ABC Film Challenge – Animation – H – Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Writer: Robert Smigel, Adam Sandler (Screenplay) Todd Durham (Characters)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Space, Keegan-Michael Key

 

Plot: Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.


Tagline – Drac’s pack is back

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Sandler’s Sequel

 

Story: Hotel Transylvania 2 starts as Mavis and Jonathan get married and start a family in Dracula’s hotel, with their child Dennis in a position of being either a human or a vampire, Dracula comes up with a plan to forces Dennis into becoming a vampire, by sending Mavis and Jonathan on a vacation.

As Dracula’s attempts to push Dennis into become a monster, he must learn that the world has changed from the time he grew up and now monsters are accepted in the world

 

Thoughts on Hotel Transylvania 2

 

Characters – Dracula is the hotel owner and still protective father, but not grandfather, he wants to see his hybrid grandson follow in his footsteps over letting him be a natural growing into his natural form. Jonathan is the human husband of Mavis that enjoys the hotel life, he must work with Dracula to stay in the hotel. Mavis is the mother of Dennis, a vampire that is trying to figure out where to raise her son.

StoryThe story seems to follow the ideas of how the world is changing and people from different generations need to learn how to adapt to this new world. Somehow, we get a deeper meaning in a movie which was designed to come off as bringing different monsters together into one movie with a comic side to it. We have another look at how a grandparent is trying to control how their children raise their kids which is fine, it a formula that works well.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy side of this film comes from how the different monsters can go against the trends of what we have seen in the horror versions of these films, this will also be one of the family to enjoy.

SettingsThe film takes us to the hotel in Transylvania as well as the modern world where Mavis gets to experience things for the first time, we get moments which takes out character down memory lane too.

AnimationThe animation used in the movie is good from start to finish, using the generic images of the monsters to add comedy to the looks.


Scene of the Movie –
Camp time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One too many Sandler and friends jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is an animated comedy that does seem to work on levels you wouldn’t imagine it hitting, it will work for the whole family and shows when held back Sandler can make bearable comedies.

 

Overall: Solid animated sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Air (2015)

Director: Christian Cantamessa

Writer: Christian Cantamessa, Chris Pasetto (Screenplay)

Starring: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt, Michael Hogan, Steve Burgess

 

Plot: In the near future, breathable air is nonexistent and two engineers tasked with guarding the last hope for mankind struggle to preserve their own lives while administering to their vital task at hand.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Air starts in the future when the world has gone through a war, the remaining people live in a bunker in sleep chambers, engineers Bauer (Reedus) and Cartwright (Hounsou) both awaken on a routine cycle to check the equipment before returning to their chambers, but when a fire causes them to lose one of their chambers, they must work together with the resources they have because in 2 hours their air supply runs out.

As the clock ticks down the two must face moral decisions which involve risks to the fellow the sleepers in their bunker but finding a way for them both to get back to sleep is the most important part and any means necessary.

 

Thoughts on Air

 

Characters – Bauer seems to be the most resourceful of the two technicians in the chamber, he plays things safe and makes sure he knows the damage of any effect the men do. Cartwright seems to be the one who is about to lose his mind, he has visions of his wife who makes him make the decisions he does. While it could be argued these two men are meant to be considered the lower lives of the selected neither of them is made out to be the good guy while both find themselves making bad decisions through the film.

PerformanceBoth Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou are great actors but in this role the two just don’t give their best performances and end up not helping us care about either character.

StoryThe story should work, we have the world ending with the only survivors in sleeping pods with two technicians watching over them every so many months or years. The problems here are clear, we have two unlikable characters who while they do take a step back to solve the problem it does just turn into a mindless battle of who will get the upper hand.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi side of the film comes from idea the world has ended and now the few survivors are underground, we are left wondering how the two men could survive with the only one chamber.

SettingsThe film is set within the chamber, it shows the unclear feeling of what is outside and the fear of what is happening with no safety in the chamber.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well with most being practical until we see the outside world which is as bleak as we are expecting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I just didn’t care about the two characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that we have seen before, we have seen better before but we have seen worse too and lacks the pace we need in the film.

 

Overall: Disappointing thriller.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – No Escape (2015)

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Writer: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle (Screenplay)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare, Pierce Brosnan

 

Plot: In their new overseas house, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape from an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.


Tagline – Blood for water

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action Thriller

 

Story: No Escape starts as the Dwyer family moves to an unknown Asian country for the father’s work, Jack (Wilson) has bought his wife Annie (Bell) and girls Lucy (Jerins) and Beeze (Geare) to hopefully start a new life, luckily for them they meet man that knows the area Hammond (Brosnan).

On the first morning Jack learns that the country is about to be nothing like they had ever imagined as the locals are creating a coup which is against the foreigners that have come into their country. Jack must now do everything to get his family out alive before they are murdered.

 

Thoughts on No Escape

 

Characters – Jack is a mechanic sent to this unnamed Asian country, to take over the local water company, he has bought his family along and feels this will be a fresh start for them. He must show his determination as he finds his family in danger during a coup in the country. Annie is the wife of Jack, that has supported him in his decision to move across the world, she helps Jack try to get their family out alive. Hammond is a man that has been to this country a lot, he enjoys a drink and a fight, he also knows the best way to survive against this deadly enemy.

PerformancesOwen Wilson is not known for this style of movie, this helps us understand his helpless to what is happening because anyone that can handle a fight would look out of place in this film. Lake Bell is good in her role because she does at times play the victim, while Pierce Brosnan as the shady guy that can handle a gun offering protection does what he does best.

StoryThe story becomes one of the simplest and most effective one for any action film, a family needing to survive against the locals of a new country that are trying to kill any American people they can get their hands on. This starts early in the with the action and the only thing that matters is getting out alive. We don’t need detailed back stories for anyone else in the film, a history of employment, we just need to see their love is going to be driving them to survive.

ActionThe action is war based, we have a coup happening which will put the characters in danger and needing to survive, each situation is surrounded with tension as the peril always feels real.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us the name of the country, which works because it shows how a country could rise up against the people taking their jobs.


Scene of the Movie –
The beginning of the coup, shot so well.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do meet characters seemingly just to be killed off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that just doesn’t stop, it is a must watch for action fans because you will be left needing an extra breath.

 

Overall: Action Fans Watch

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Ip Man 3 (2015)

Director: Wilson Yip

Writer: Tai-lee Chan, Lai-yin Leung, Edmond Wong (Screenplay)

Starring: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Jin Zhang, Mike Tyson, Patrick Tam

 

Plot: When a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer make a play to take over a local school, Master Ip is forced to take a stand.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong but Still Weakest of the Trilogy

 

Story: Ip Man 3 starts as we learn Ip Man (Yen) is now one of the most respected men in town with larger class of students and helping in the community.  Secretly in town Frank (Tyson) has been running a fight club that Tin-chi (Zhang) is the star fighter and Ip and Tin-chi become friends as they fight to protect their children’s school from a gangster and former student Ma King-Sing (Tam) to fight their battles.

Ip must face his most personal battle when his own son is taken as part of the leverage to get his men to leave the school and Tin-chi proves to be a worthy fighting partner even if hi morals are not as clean as Ip’s, but soon Tin-chi becomes jealous of the publicity Ip man gets over him.

 

Thoughts on Ip Man 3

 

Characters – Ip has once again reached the status we first met him in the first film, respect from everyone that has heard of him. This time he must battle a personal battle against gangster and another one that he will not be winning. Cheung the wife of Ip has been by his side through everything but this time she must help Ip man face mortality. Tin-chi is also a Wing Chun fighter that has been fighting in the fight clubs but soon he wants to make a name for himself in battle against Ip.

PerformanceDonnie Yen continues his record of being great as the Ip Man showing the combat needed to handle a higher emotional level than before. Lynn Hung gives her best performance in the franchise to date, but this is because she actually has something to do this time. Jin Zhang is great to showing he could potentially be a next generation of big name fighters to come from China.

StoryThe story here does feel less significate this time around because Ip has his status regain, he is only fighting the odd gangster as one man wants to prove who the Grandmaster in town is, it is the personal story between Ip and his wife that is the strongest part of story but it just doesn’t get the most focus required in the story. of the three this is easily the weakest of the series, it is also the most confusing due to the villains seemingly only lasting for about 30 minutes.

Action/Biography/SportsThe action is fantastic once more and shows how to put together a martial arts movie but just for the biopic part of the film, it does just feel like they are just using the name to make a small story bigger.

SettingsWe continue to move into the future of Ip’s life and the settings show this without them looking out of place in anyway.

Scene of the Movie – Dance, not fight

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lack of true villain this time around.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong trilogy for the action sequences throughout the film but this is the weakest combat story even if it does have the most important personal story for Ip to go through.

 

Overall: Great action set piece.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – A – Assassin (2015)

Director: J.K. Amalou

Writer: J.K. Amalou (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny Dyer, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Deborah Moore, Holly Weston, Natalia Ryumina

 

Plot: Ruthless killer for hire (Danny Dyer) breaks the rules of his profession and falls for a beautiful young woman. Discovering the notorious gangland brothers (Martin & Gary Kemp) had hired him to kill her father, his world breaks down and he must turn against his criminal employers and their gang to save the woman he loves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Straight to DVD for a Reason

 

Story: Assassin starts as we see just how slick Jamie (Dyer) an assassin in London can be, he works for the Alberts John (Gary Kemp), Lee (Martin Kemp) who hire him for one a new job, but Jamie breaks the rules he put in place by having Chloe (Weston) distract him into falling in love.

When Chloe has a connection to the latest job, Jamie’s escape plan goes out the window and he is left to watch over her and see what his employees would do with her.

 

Thoughts on Assassin

 

Characters/PerformanceJamie is an assassin in and around London, he is good at his job but falls in love risking his reputation and life. John and Lee Alberts are the gangsters gone clean well they claim to have. Chloe is the druggie stripper that Jamie falls in love with who also puts up a fight when wanting to know the truth.

Performance wise, Danny Dyer isn’t known for his acting ability and it shows here as he struggles to pull off the leading role. The Kemp brothers are both filled with menace through the film but Holly Weston does struggle in the leading lady role.

StoryThe story of an assassin breaking his rules and having a hit put out on him is a story we have all seen before, it is fine, it works and this follows those trends easily without doing anything fresh.

ThrillerWe kind of figure out the routine here, we are interesting on seeing what happens to the characters involved.

SettingsLondon is a popular setting for the gangs and assassins storyline which works in places but we never see any of the iconic locations used.

Final ThoughtsI think the audience for this film will be Danny Dyer fans only, the genre has way better options out there.

 

Overall: Not one of the better assassin films around.

Rating