ABC Film Challenge – Animation – K – Khumba (2013)

Director: Anthony Silverston

Writer: Raffaella Delle Donne, Anthony Silverston, Jonathan Roberts, Camilla Bubna-Kasteliz, Mike De Seve, Joe Vitale, Dave Bejoya (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jake T Austin, Adrian Rhodes, Sam Reigel, Bryce Papenbrook, Devon Graye, Alexander Polinsky, Jonny Rees

 

Plot: Rejected by his superstitious herd, a half-striped zebra embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes but finds the courage and self-acceptance to save all the animals of the Great Karoo.


Tagline – Half a zebra, a whole lot of adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Animation

 

Story: Khumba starts as we learn about how the zebras live isolated away from the rest of the animals in the wild, with their own water hole, but when Khumba is born he isn’t like the rest, he is only half striped. Never fitting in with the rest of the zebras, he tries to use his kindness to open the door to other animals only to shows Phango a leopard where the zebras are hiding.

Wanting to find a new place for his herd, he goes outside the border where he joins forces with a wildebeest Mama V and ostrich Bradley to complete his search for this new home, while being hunted down by Phango.

 

Thoughts on Khumba

 

Characters – Khumba is the half-striped zebra that always feels rejected by his herd, when he goes out to search for a new water hole he goes on an adventure of self-discovery in the wild Karoo, meeting different species along the way as he learns his place in the world. Mama V is a wildebeest that takes Khumba under her wings because of her own tragic story of loss in the wild, Bradley is an ostrich that joins the adventure because they are travel together, he likes to be a show man though. We also have the stereotypical villain in the hunter Phango a leopard that is always hunting.

StoryThe story follows a zebra going on an adventure of a lifetime to learn his place in the world, this does follow the normal animated storyline, by putting our character through a test to accept that he is different and that is a good thing for him and will make him be the one to be remembered in the world. We have the inclusion of many different species of animals which must work together to survive the world which helps show us how animals from different locations will need to work together to achieve their own safety. This is one story that is easy to follow, it has moments of peril, but nothing overly scary.

AdventureThe adventure in the movie follows Khumba escaping from his contained life to learn about the full-scale size of his world.

SettingsThe settings show us the world of the Karoo, a beautiful open world safari world.

AnimationThe animation does work well for the whole film and is something good outside of the normal big-name companies that make animation.


Scene of the Movie –
Escape the hunters.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The real world references just miss.

Final ThoughtsThis is an animation that does everything you want without being anything special, it will keep the family happy and tell an important generic story.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animation throughout.

Rating

 

 

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James McAvoy Weekend – Filth (2013)

Director: Jon S Baird

Writer: Jon S Baird (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: A corrupt, junkie cop with bipolar disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.


Tagline – This Little Piggy went to town!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Offensive Mess

 

Story: Filth starts as we follow foul-mouth sex crazed cop Bruce (McAvoy) as he gives us his thoughts on his department Lennox (Bell) and Drummond (Poots) to mention a few. He believes he is on the verge of the promotion he has been waiting for, for years, but after a trip to Dr Rossi (Broadbent) we learn there may well be a deeper problem is Bruce.

With this going on, we follow Bruce as he looks to solve the murder of a Japanese student by a local gang, his may rival is Drummond who he believes is offering sex for promotions.

 

Thoughts on Filth

 

Characters – Bruce is a junkie, sex addict cop who will use his position to get whatever he wants, abusing his power, while not being mentally stable in anyway. He is desperate to get his promotion while battling his own demons. The rest of the characters are just cops that are just as dirty of Bruce and the random wives we just see Bruce having sex with.

PerformancesWhile James McAvoy does full commit to this role and shows how he can go to the extremes in roles which is soon going to be his trademark. The performances from the rest of the cast are fine, but they don’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story just seems to be Bruce going around having sex, collecting drugs, taking drugs and being a general asshole. I think that is the story, there doesn’t seem to be anything constructive going on through the film in anyway, even though there is a clear alternative issue going on which doesn’t seem to get enough attention.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy level is poor with most of the jokes being misses and the crime tries to focus on how the police are just as bad as the criminals.

SettingsThe settings put us in Scotland which work for the accents, but never making anything iconic.


Scene of the Movie –
Dr Rossi Trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No direction for the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy movie, the story doesn’t follow any direction, we follow a character with no redeemable qualities through troubles but overall this is just offensive with how it treats women and how men are meant to act towards them.

 

Overall: Awful watch for the whole audience.

Rating

 

 

Abigail Breslin Weekend – August: Osage County (2013)

osageDirector: John Wells

Writer: Tracy Letts (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch

 

Plot: A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Actors Dream

 

Story: August: Osage County starts when Beverly (Shepard) goes missing causing his cancer striken wife Violet (Streep) to get the family back together to help find him, this brings Barbara (Roberts), Bill (McGregor), Jean (Breslin), Charlie (Cooper), Mattie Fae (Martindale) and Ivy (Nicholson) which helps expose all the problems between the family.

When Beverly’s body is discovered the rest of the family Karen (Lewis) her new boyfriend Steve (Mulroney) and Little Charles (Cumberbatch) return home for the funeral as more of the family secret come out

 

Thoughts on August: Osage County

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters in this film are all different aged members of one big dysfunctional family with their own problems, they all have their own secrets that will be getting exposed through the time together.

The acting performances in this film are all top notch with the stars all giving brilliant performances where they can all show their abilities throughout.stars

StoryThe story is about how the family are forced to go through the good and bad moments from life that get exposed over one week from the moment the father goes missing, through the funeral and the aftermath. There are plenty of stories going on through the film which draw you into want to know what is happening with this family.

DramaThis is a drama through and through where we see how the family have been through all sorts through the years with everything getting exposed in one week when they are bought back together.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around the one house where the family must return too, we get to see how the memories come back for the characters involved.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an actors dream to watch, you get fine performance from everyone but this isn’t going to be for the casual film fans.

 

Overall: A film for aspiring actors to watch.

Ratingrating

 

 

Russell Crowe Weekend – Broken City (2013)

Director: Allen Hughes

Writer: Brian Tucker (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal

 

Plot: In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure: Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.


Tagline –  Proof Can Be a Powerful Weapon.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long Feeling Crime Thriller

 

Story: Broken City starts as we see Bill Taggart (Wahlberg) who gets dismissed from his police duty by Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) after taking justice into his own hands. 7-years-later Billy is a private investigator catching cheaters with his assistant Katy Bradshaw (Tal), Billy gets a call from the Mayor who is on his latest campaign, who wants Billy to learn who Cathleen Hostetler (Zeta-Jones) is cheating on the Mayor with.

It isn’t long before Billy finds himself in the middle of a murder that looks to throw the election into turmoil, can Billy do the right thing and get the right man elected mayor?

 

Thoughts on Broken City

 

Characters – Billy Taggart was once a cop that went too far to make a criminal pay for a crime they committed, now just a private investigator he finds his latest case involving the Mayor a potential career ender, as he searches for the truth, while battling falling off the wagon. Mayor Hostetler has run the city for years now, he has used his place to get deals put through for his own profit keeping people in his pocket and never playing fair. He hires Billy to investigate who his wife Cathleen is cheating on him with. Cathleen Hostetler has been seeing someone behind her husband’s back only to be keeping a secret bigger than Billy can handle.

PerformancesMark Wahlberg does most of the leading in this movie, he is good through the film and at least he isn’t do his bad comedy routine in this one. Russell Crowe is great as the villainous mayor using his power to rule a city. Catherine Zeta-Jones is strong in her role too.

StoryThe story here follows a political thriller with conspiracies of what is and could be happening while people try to get in a position to change things in the right way. We have people that have suffered from other people’s greed, that are going to bring down the villainous mayor along the way. This does try the be one of those stories that tries to deal with greed in the human nature in a political world which has always been on edge, this continues as the film unfolds as we see what the big plan is.

CrimeThis is a crime thriller in a way that shows how the political criminals can stay in power by placing the right people in the right places.

SettingsNew York always makes for a brilliant setting and the scale of the city helps with the idea of a corrupt mayor.


Scene of the Movie –
The debate.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The alcoholic side seems just a tag on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough crime thriller, it does keep us guessing along the way to who is working for who and who is in the right when it comes to running the city.

 

Overall: Solid crime thriller.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Evidence (2013)

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi

Writer: John Swetnam (Screenplay)

Starring: Torrey DeVitto, Caitlin Stasey, Harry Lennix, Stephen Moyer Nolan Gerard Funk, Radha Mitchell

 

Plot: A detective hunts down a killer using video footage shot by the victims of a massacre at an abandoned gas station.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Shocking Murder Mystery

 

Story: Evidence starts as a massacre has happened at a gas station, detectives Reese (Moyer) and Burquez (Mitchell) must look through all potential video evidence to figure out what happened. We follow along with this investigation as we see the film about aspiring actress Leann (DeVitto) being made on a bus trip with friends and strangers along the way.

As the recordings continue to show events unfold we see how a killer started picking off the members of the bus tour as they hide out in an abandoned gas station and the team are having to watch the graphic murders.

 

Thoughts on Evidence

 

Characters – Detective Daniel Reese is the depressed cop that refused to take no as an answer while working on this case and now he must use his skills to prove he is capable to get the job done after his own personal heart ache. Detective Alex Burquez is leading the investigation knowing the pressure she is facing to get killer before the case can spiral out of control. Leann is the aspiring actress that is having her life film in case she can become a famous star. We also have the camerawoman for the most part of the film that of course lasts till near the end and the generic disposable characters.

PerformanceMoyer and Mitchell are the big names in this film which is also the draw but it is hard to say they were at their best as they are only part of the film that is watching the other part, they keep the straight faces well but otherwise don’t get a chance to shine. Torrey DeVitto as the main character from the victims is fine throughout but it is also hard to judge through a found footage film.

StoryThe story is split between the people who are getting picked off or already have if you like and the detectives trying to figure out just what has happened. Watching how the police would analyse the crime is an interesting switch to the story as we have seen the jumping around before and we have seen the story being told, but only using the video footage makes it all feel original. Saying that it does just bottle down to a murder mystery with a serial killer on the lose that needs to be captured but you do want to see who the killer is.

Crime/Mystery The crime side of story is shown in aftermath only first as we see what has happened we watch how it all went down through footage on phones and cameras. The mystery behind it all looks at who was behind it all which does keep us guessing through the film.

SettingsThe settings are split between two, the gas station where the crime takes place and the police station where the investigation is happening.

Special EffectsThe effects used for the kills are graphic as they come making everything come off shocking when you see it.

Scene of the Movie – Final reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We know it is designed to show little parts but it does get frustrating watching certain moments of shaky cam.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking film that is one that does get rewards if you watch it until the end.

 

Overall: Great ending.

Rating