ABC Film Challenge – Crime – O – One Last Score (2015)

Director: Hank Bedford

Writer: Hank Bedford (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, Faith Hill, RJ Mitte, Brad Carter, Steve Earle, Mick Foley

 

Plot: A young, recently-released and unpredictable ex-con with bad luck, and a sexy, listless girl-next-door with a troubled family, become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love, as they try to ditch their dead-end town for a better life.


Tagline – Get out while you can.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: One Last Score starts as young man Kermit (Zylka) is release from prison and returning to the preverbal wrong side of the tracks where the families struggle to make ends meet. He returns home to his mother Arletta (Hill) who wants him to stay out of trouble, his neighbour Rachel (Keough) who is working to help care for her sick mother, with her latest job being as a stripper.

Kermit and Rachel strike up a friendship for the bonding of their own struggles, supporting each other through this tough time. This brings Kermit back to the life of crime, the one he promised to star away from in an attempt to escape the dead-end town with Rachel.

 

Thoughts on One Last Score

 

Characters – Kermit is the former criminal that returns to his trailer park home to try and rebuild his life, he wants to be a barber, but is drawn back into his life of crime as he falls in love with Rachel and the two want to escape their dead-end town. Rachel is trying to help her mother paying for medical bills which leads her to a life of stripping, the two bond and plan to escape this life and start over.

PerformancesChris Zylka is good in the leading role, he works well with Riley as we see just how desperate his makes his character feel in what seems like a hopeless situation. Riley Keough shows her talent in this role as the woman that is left with her back against the wall.

StoryThe story here shows the tough lives people can be living in America with little money, we see how two people that have turned to a life they didn’t want try to make ends meet in an attempt to escape this style of living. This shows us how another side of America lives which isn’t the side that gets shown enough, the side that are forced into lives they can’t handle, that are dangerous and at times illegal. The pace of the story is slow, but that does help the final pay off in the story which makes you think at times.

CrimeThe crime world that Kermit is going into is only scratched on the surface, while we know he doesn’t want to be deeper in, this shows us how on the lines he wants to be to survive.

SettingsThe film shows us with the settings the poorer parts of America, the ones living in the trailer parks trying just to get by each day, this helps us understand the characters struggles.


Scene of the Movie –
The Lake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The strange interviews through the movie, while I understand it reflects real life people, we lose something about the characters we are following.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow burning story that shows the tough times in America, it shows the desperation for two people to escape in a job they would never want to do, but must do.

 

Overall: Bleak view on America

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Runner (2015)

runner-scoreDirector: Austin Stark

Writer: Austin Stark (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Paulson, Peter Fonda, Connie Nielsen, Wendel Pierce, Bryan Batt, Christopher Berry

 

Plot: In the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill, an idealistic but flawed politician is forced to confront his dysfunctional life after his career is destroyed in a sex scandal.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Political Drama

 

Story: The Runner starts as Louisiana is dealing with the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, politician Colin Pryce (Cage) wants to supporting his state who are not getting supported after the spill which is take jobs from the good people. His fight gets national attention as he starts to fight for the people whose lives are being destroyed.

When it is made public that Colin has had an affair behind his wife Deborah’s (Nielsen) back the state turns on him forcing him to resign and come back stronger as he continues to fight for the people of Louisiana he could make a comeback unlike anyone in the political world.

 

Thoughts on The Runner

 

StoryThis is a very political drama story 101 job we have one man who was great for the people lose his role for affair and goes through tough tests before looking to make the comeback, you have nothing overly interesting going on here in what is a standard political drama.

ThrillerWhile this is more drama based you are kept wondering how Colin can bring his career back around by continuing to do the right thing.

Characters/PerformanceColin is based on a real person who does want to do the right thing for the people but isn’t the most morale correct when it comes to his personal life, this makes him an easy target in a political story. we do have other characters who are all part of the decision-making process that Colin goes through but none really make an impact. When you look at the performances they are all average without being any of the actor’s high points.

SettingsThe settings are all real to the Louisiana as we see the different levels of working classes all dealing with the same problem after the BP oil spill but none of the locations come off feeling memorable.

Final ThoughtsGrab your text books and you will see how to make this movie with ease adding nothing special within the film.

 

Overall: Not the best, not the worst just forgettable.

Ratingard

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – K – Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015)

Director: Daniel Alfredson

Writer: William Brookfield (Screenplay) Peter R de Vries (Book)

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony Hopkins, Mark van Eeuwen

 

Plot: The inside story of the planning, execution, rousing aftermath and ultimate downfall of the kidnappers of beer tycoon Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, which resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for an individual.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Action Crime

 

Story: Kidnapping Freddy Heineken starts as we follow our five criminals Cor Van Hout (Sturgess), Willem (Worthington), Cat (Kwanten), Spikes (Eeuwen) and Brakes (Cocquerel) who have always been looking for a way to make money quickly instead of getting real jobs in Holland. Their latest plan is to kidnap beer tycoon Freddy Heineken (Hopkins) and collecting the ransom.

With the plan in place the kidnapping goes well the wait for the ransom is what takes the time and tests the strength of the kidnappers over the victims as we follow what could be the undoing of the men.

 

Thoughts on Kidnapping Freddy Heineken

 

Characters – Cor Van Hout is the leader of the gang, he brings his men together to complete the jobs with some failing and others not, he comes up with the latest job while his personal life is about to hit the highs a father could experience. Willem is the hot head of the group who will go past the marks to make the job get done and he could become the biggest problem involved. Freddy Heineken is the beer tycoon that has become the target of this men and he stays extremely calm through his ordeal trying to friend his kidnappers too.

PerformanceJim Sturgess is strong in the leading role of this film throughout feeling like the rest would listen to his every word. Sam Worthington is good in the loose cannon role too. Anthony Hopkins is as always the star of the show here as you want to see all of his scenes.

StoryThe story is based on the true story of what happened when a group of criminals kidnap the tycoon and how they were not completely sure things would work and how things could go wrong. This is good because it doesn’t go down a slick as the best heist movies but is also calm enough to feel like it is based on real people human errors through the heist.

Action/CrimeThere are a couple of good car chases through the film which do make up the action side of things while the whole story is about the crime being committed.

SettingsThe streets involved in Amsterdam show us how tight the car chases can be and escape routes by more than just road, we do feel like this is authentic with how everything unfolds during the crime.

Scene of the Movie – Freddy’s orders.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The clear choice for a problem is having some Dutch cast members but the leads are not.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that didn’t get much talk when it came out but I don’t understand why, it is an enjoyable and one film that is worth watching for all the heist fans out there.

 

Overall: Good heist film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – I – I Am Wrath (2016)

Director: Chuck Russell

Writer: Paul Sloan (Screenplay) Yvan Gauthier (Story)

Starring: John Travolta, Christopher Meloni, Amanda Schull, Sam Trammell, Patrick St. Esprit, Rebecca De Mornay

 

Plot: A man is out for justice after a group of corrupt police officers are unable to catch his wife’s killer.


Tagline – I lay my vengeance upon them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Old Man Action 101

 

Story: I Am Wrath starts as we learn the war on crime was getting out of hand, but the Governor has started winning against the gangs. Stanley (Travolta) returns home after a business trip meeting his wife Vivian (De Mornay) where the two are attack with Vivian murdered.

With the police not getting the suspects, Stanley turns to a previous life working his former partner Dennis (Meloni) as a black-ops soldier that will stop at nothing to extract revenge on the people who murdered his wife.

 

Thoughts on I Am Wrath

 

Characters – Stanley is a mile-mannered businessman working in the car industry. When is wife is murdered in a senseless crime, he returns to a former life on a warpath with the gang involved as the cold-hearted killer. Dennis is the former partner of Stanley’s that still has the connections in the underworld, he helps Stanley in his revenge mission, he supplies the weapons and details of who were responsible. Abbie is the daughter of Stanley that tries to be there for her father while continue on her adult life. Detective Gibson is the lead on the case, he is forced to let the suspect go believing he will get himself killed soon enough.

PerformancesJohn Travolta is solid enough in this leading role, we do get to see a large number of 50+ year old actors going into this action films, he isn’t the best, but he isn’t the worst. Christopher Meloni plays the best character in the film and is easily the one you want to see more of in this film. Amanda Schull is fine in her role, we need a figure that isn’t involved in the action and she offers it. The rest of the cast bring us the targets for the most part and give us generic bad guy performances.

StoryThe story follows one man that goes to war on the gangs of his city to learn who killed his wife and get revenge. When it comes to the story this isn’t the most original, it is extremely watchable for a time killing hour and half, it doesn’t test the audience and doesn’t have any twists along the way. This is one of those stories that is mostly forgettable over bad and checks all the boxes needed to make the audience watch.

Action/CrimeThe action is filled with old man action style that Liam Neeson made famous, it works for the film with Meloni getting the best sequence. The crime throws us into the world where gangs are controlling the streets with drug sales going through the roof and one man doing anything to get revenge.

SettingsThe film takes us to a city overrun by crime and shows us how people can be forced into actions to get revenge for the lost loved one.


Scene of the Movie –
Dennis versus the thugs in the shop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have seen this before.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic action film that will keep you entertained through the whole film without being anything overly original.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – G – The Gunman (2015)

Director: Pierre Morel

Writer: Don MacPherson, Peter Travis, Sean Penn (Screenplay) Jean-Patrick Manchette (Novel)

Starring: Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba

 

Plot: A sniper on a mercenary assassination team, kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Terrier’s successful kill shot forces him into hiding. Returning to the Congo years later, he becomes the target of a hit squad himself.


Tagline – Guard the truth.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre

 

Story: The Gunman starts as we meet Terrier (Penn) a mercenary whose cover as a humanitarian working in Congo who assignment was to kill the new minster of mining whose new policy could bring the country to its knees again. With the mission being a success, Terrier is forced to flee the country for his own safety. Years past and Terrier believes he is being followed and turns to his old friends who worked on that last mission, Stanley (Winstone), Terrance (Rylance) and Felix (Bardem) to see if anyone leaked the information about the hit.

Not knowing who to trust Terrier must race against tie to figure out the truth with his own life and loved ones lives on the line as the past continues to come back and haunt him.

 

Thoughts on The Gunman

 

Characters – Terrier is a sniper mercenary who poses as a humanitarian, he knows how to make connections and uses them to complete jobs, though his latest job turns out to be his last as he goes into hiding. Learning his life is in danger he goes in search for answers about who is after him, giving him a chance to see his love once again. Annie is the woman that Terrier must leave when he goes into hiding, the woman he loved, she has moved on though she still does love Terrier even after all these years. Felix is one of the connections from the job, he had always been jealous of the relationship Terrier and Annie had, leaving him to make his move once Terrier is out of the picture. Stanley is the connection in London that is a good friend that will help out where needed. Terrance is the one of the group which continued his success and knows who is still in the loop.

PerformancesWhen it comes to performances we need to face the reality that Sean Penn is trying his luck at the Liam Neeson style of action film, he just doesn’t have the same levels of action in him and for the most part he doesn’t do anything to make us truly care about his character. When we look at the supporting cast on the male side we get four big-names we know do solid enough supporting roles, while Jasmine Trinca is solid enough as the love interest for Terrier.

StoryThe story follows a mercenary that finds his previous job exposed to the people it has effective, but soon needs to learn who released the information. The was sold to be a fast paced action thriller, though the story is slow burning political thriller which focuses on the ideas that have been put forward when the rich try to control countries for their own means. The slow pace takes us out of the story because things just become boring for the most part.

Action/CrimeFor an action film we get the very basic levels of shooting and combat which are covering up the bigger crime going on between the men.

SettingsThe film takes us from growing African country that the Europeans and Americans are looking to take advantage off, to Europe as we get the locations that are designed to show us the hiding places are in every city.

Special EffectsThe effects come from how the wounds look and that is about it, for the most part they are the strongest part of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Sniper time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow burning action crime thriller that lacks any tension, suspicious about who the villain is and ends up playing out like a paint by numbers cliché.

 

Overall: Cliched and boring.

Rating