Chris Hemsworth Weekend – Vacation (2015)

Director: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein

Writer: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay) John Hughes (Characters)

Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Charlie Day

 

Plot: Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.


Tagline – What could go wrong?

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Boring Comedy

 

Story: Vacation starts the Griswold family decide to take a different family vacation, Rusty (Helms), Debbie (Applegate) children James (Gisondo), Kevin (Stebbins) head across country to Walley World, the journey will bring them to meet a string of crazy characters.

Along the way they spend the night with Rusty’s sister Audrey (Mann) and her husband Stone (Hemsworth) who have a happier time with their lives.

 

Thoughts on Vacation

 

Characters – Rusty is a pilot, but seemingly a big of a dumbass outside of the job, he takes his family on a vacation across America, he seems to get away with making bad decisions along the way too. Debbie is the long suffering wife that wants to do something different for her holiday, not seeing eye to eye with Rusty. James and Kevin are kids which are different than normal with the younger bullying the older. Along the way the different characters are crazy in their own ways, mostly offence though.

PerformancesWe have a mix of actors that have been doing comedy for a while, Ed Helms should be doing a lot better as do the rest of the regulars, the only person that comes out of this with any credibility is Chris Hemsworth who shows he can hit the comedy levels.

StoryThe story is a family travelling across America where things go wrong along the way as they meet colourful characters. Part remake, part sequel following the family just feel like every basic mishap possible along the way or even having the basic level not hitting home well enough.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure puts us across America to see which is fine, but never believable and the comedy misses more often than it hits.

SettingsThe settings takes us to location you would be used to see across America without them being anything you would need reminding about though.


Scene of the Movie –
Chris Hemsworth showing his early comedy level.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How is Rusty a pilot, he clearly is an idiot.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another offence comedy that misses more than it hits.

 

Overall: This is just another boring comedy that tries too hard.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – I – Infini (2015)

Director: Shane Abbess

Writer: Shane Abbess, Brian Cachia (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Luke Ford, Bren Foster, Dwaine Stevenson

 

Plot: An elite ‘search and rescue’ team transport onto an off-world mining-facility to rescue Whit Carmichael, the lone survivor of a biological outbreak.


Tagline – Out here their greatest threat is each other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Makes Doom Look Oscar Worthy

 

Story: Infini starts when a off-world mining facility goes offline, with precious cargo there a search and rescue team are sent to retrieve any survivors and stop the contagion getting any worse. Whit Carmichael (MacPherson) is believed to be the only survivor and with his help the team plans to close operation completely.

The problems come from how the infected people have become ravenous and any contact with the blood or skin will lead to infection. When the infection continues to spread the team gets scattered and the race to survive is on.

 

Thoughts on Infini

 

Characters – Whit Carmichael is the lone survivor on a mining off-world outpost, he has hidden to stay away from the infection spreading and now is the only one that can stop the system from causing problems on other worlds. We do have the search and rescue team which are the basic figures we know from the genre, none of them stand out or do anything memorable as they all seem to get infected and crazed.

PerformancesThe performances, well this isn’t going to be the most positive part of this review, Daniel MacPherson takes the lead role and struggles to give us the impact his character needs, we also don’t get the best from most of the other actors because their characters are written so weakly.

StoryIf you have seen Doom, you kind of know the story here, search and rescue team think they are doing a routine job only to learn the mining community has been dealing with something they could never imagine fighting. It follows the direction you expect and the characterless characters make you just not care where things go or who lives or dies.

Horror/Sci-FiThe movie does try to have horror elements, but it goes for gore over the idea of anything being scary only to pull away before showing anything, the sci-fi side of the film looks at the idea that we would discover unknown threats on unknown worlds which would come off for the most part, only we decide to create the idea that we need to hold back on technology.

SettingsTh film is set on an abandoned mining community on another planet, we never see the outside, so it could be any sort of community of off-world people could even be on Earth, if we are honest.

Special EffectsWe have good looks at the aftermath of the effects, but for the most part we get nothing new added here.


Scene of the Movie –
The shot that changes everything.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have seen this before.

Final ThoughtsMost of the movie does nothing new, for the most part and then suddenly throws us a twist that hasn’t fitted the tone of anything we have seen in the movie before.

 

Overall: This feels like a proper Doom rip off.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Y – Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

Director: Takashi Miike

Writer: Yoshitaka Yamaguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Yayan Ruhian, Lily Franky, Hayato Ichihara, Riko Narumi

 

Plot: In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire-a bloodsucking yakuza vampire boss! Among Kamiura’s gang is Kageyama, his most loyal underling. However, the others in the gang view Kageyama with disdain and ridicule him for his inability to get tattooed due to sensitive skin. One day, assassins aware of boss Kamiura’s secret arrive from abroad and deliver him an ultimatum: Return to the international syndicate he left years ago, or die. Kamiura refuses and, during a fierce battle with anime-otaku martial-arts expert Kyoken, is torn limb from limb. With his dying breath, Kamiura bites Kageyama, passing on his vampire powers to the unsuspecting yakuza. As he begins to awaken to his newfound abilities, Kageyama’s desire to avenge the murder of boss Kamiura sets him on a course for a violent confrontation with Kaeru-kun, the foreign syndicate’s mysterious and seemingly unstoppable leader!


Tagline –  Once bitten, you’re a yakuza.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers Revenge Thriller

 

Story: Yakuza Apocalypse starts with Yakuza boss Kamiura (Frankly) showing his kindness to the civilians in his neighbourhood, removing any members that wrongfully harm any of his people, with a new understudy Akira Kageyama (Ichihara) we start to see the tension from the rest of the Yakuza before assassin Kyoken (Ruhian) is set to murder Kamiura who just so happens to be a Yakuza vampire that in his dying breath turns Kageyama.

Kageyama must learn how to survive his new abilities to become strong enough to extract revenge on Kyoken and the rest of the Yakuza who turned on his boss by turning everyone into vampires.

 

Thoughts on Yakuza Apocalypse

 

Characters – Akira Kageyama is a member of the Yakuza, he is a good man not following traditions of tattoos and never hurting anyone innocent, which has raised him up the ranks under his current boss. When his boss is murdered, he takes his ability of being a vampire to continue his good nature in the battle while taking out the men that killed his boss. Kyoken is the stranger in town, the assassin sent to kill Kamiura, deadly in combat, he knows how to blend into a crowd.  Kamiura is the respected Yakuza boss that keeps the city in check not letting anything get out of hand, which has made him enemies within the Yakuza with his secret being revelled.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are good throughout, there is a stand out performer in Yayan Ruhian because we know just how amazing he is at combat, Hayato Ichihara is good too in the lead role, but some of the small supporting performances do feel over the top.

StoryThe story here as far as I could tell, was a Yakuza boss being murdered and one of his men seeking revenge with a vampire filled twist, which just makes things bigger and crazier through everything that is unfolding. Then there is the frog costume, well things get crazy here, this is a story you remember, not for being great, but for being weird as they come.

Action/Comedy/HorrorThe action is big and gives us plenty of martial arts material to watch unfold, the horror comes from the different styles of vampires that become Yakuza and the comedy comes from the craziness going on through the film.

SettingsThe film keeps everything in on location of a small city which is now under control from Yakuza, first the kind type and soon the deadly type.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film work well because they show the blood splatter at its very best.


Scene of the Movie –
The frogs arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The tone of the film changes too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is truly a crazy movie which has blood splatter throughout the film even though it does follow a simple revenge plot.

 

Overall: A movie you won’t forget.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – X – X: Past is Present (2015)

Director: Hemant Gaba, Pratim D Gupta, Sudhish Kamath, Nalan Kumarasamy, Anu Menon, Sandeep Mohan, Quashiq Mukherjee, Rajshree Ojha, Raja Sen, Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Suparn Verma

Writer: Hemant Gaba, Pratim D Gupta, Sudhish Kamath, Nalan Kumarasamy, Anu Menon, Sandeep Mohan, Quashiq Mukherjee, Rajshree Ojha, Raja Sen, Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, Suparn Verma (Screenplay)

Starring: Rajat Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Anshuman Jha, Piaa Bajpai, Sara Bhaskar, Neha Mahajan

 

Plot: A filmmaker with a mid-life crisis meets a mysterious young girl who reminds of every woman in his past.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Reminiscing Never Felt so True

 

Story: X: Past is Present starts as K (Kapoor) is at a party when he meets a young woman that reminds him of his former love, each moment he sees her through the night reminds him of previous women in his life and we follow the young K (Jha) through these relationships.

Each memory brings back a moment in his K’s life, one that he will never forget and one he can never live through again, these stories have made K the man he is now even the missed opportunities he went through.

 

Thoughts on X: Past is Present

 

Characters – K is the womanising filmmaker having a mid-life crisis, he meets a young lady at a party and starts to reminisce on the women that have help inspire his movies through the years. He is filled with happiness and sadness with memories that have made him and broken him in the past. The young woman likes the stories she is hearing and does have motivation for arriving in K’s life. Rija is the wife that K lost in his story of love, she wanted a normal life, something K never offered.

PerformancesRajat Kapoor is great in this leading role showing us the memories that K is having with the happiness and regrets like we all do. This does have strong performances from the whole case too.

StoryThe story follows the man having a mid-life crisis remembering the women that came into his life, some for the better, others for the worst, each one brings their own story and lesson he learned through life. While looking at the different stories is wonderful too, it does become difficult to understand the different times everything is happening for K because the jumps seem ransom for the different time eras. Away from that slight flaw the idea is something I could enjoy watching and is one that I feel people will understand.

Mystery/RomanceThe romance in this film comes from the different memories that K has been having the loves he once had for years and the small slings which lasted a lifetime. The mystery comes from who the mysterious girl is and even if she is real.

SettingsThe film takes us to plenty of different settings that K has been through his life they have helped him write his own movies.


Scene of the Movie –
How the flashbacks feel, because they feel like they are how memories would be.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Keeping up with the timeline in the flashbacks

Final ThoughtsThis is a very good look at how life can lead us down different paths, some that will show us the best and most memorable moments and others which will remind us of the mistakes in our life.

 

Overall: Lovely look at life’s best moments.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – V – Veteran (2015)

Director: Seung-wan Ryoo

Writer: Seung-wan Ryoo (Screenplay)

Starring: Jung-min Hwang, Ah-in Yoo, Hae-jin Yoo, Dal-su Oh, Man-sik Jeong

 

Plot: Jo Tae-Oh is a young man who was grown spoiled in a wealthy family. He keeps on committing pretty much every crime that one can think of. He tries to buy his way out of everything which almost always works but Detective Seo Do-Cheol won’t let that happen this time.

Tagline – He will stop at nothing

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Enjoyable Crime Thriller

 

Story: Veteran starts as we see how Seo Do-cheol (Hwang) and his team operate taking down criminals, his latest target in young businessman and vice-president of the family business Jo Tae-oh (Ah-in Yoo) who playboy lifestyle has been raising eyebrows as he can buy himself out of any problems.

When one of the contractors attempt suicide after lack of payment, Seo starts to investigate Tae-oh to bring down his corruption at a price as he puts his career and marriage on the line to bring them down.

 

Thoughts on Veteran

 

Characters – Seo Do-cheol is a detective that has been operating with his team to take down criminals for years now, his latest job made him a connection to a contractor that gets terminated before receiving payment, this gives Seo a chance to look at the vice-president of the company where he must show his determination to expose the truth and bring him down against everyone else’s opinions. Jo Tae-oh is the vice-president of a family company where he has more money then sense which lets him indulge in illegal part of life with his lawyer needing to clean up his actions.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast are good, Jung-min Hwang in the leading shines with his determined mindset to bring down Tae-oh. Ah-in Yoo is great as the playboy businessman, he brings out his cockiness in nearly every scene while also being able to snap at any moment.

StoryThe story follows one determined detective trying to take down a vice-president of a ruthless company who pays off anyone that tries to go against him. The story does have plenty of twists along the way and does handle business corruption well, we also get to see how South Korean culture can play into decisions being made by characters. The pace of the story works well to as it never seems to let up even if the film is over 2 hours long.

Action/Comedy/Crime The action in this film is kept for a couple of good sequences while we focus on the crime side of the film for the most part. We have moments of comedy while they don’t take over the film.

SettingsThe films place in a South Korean city where the rich can get what they want and get away with what they want, and the cops must try to take them down.


Scene of the Movie –
The takedown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You feel we could have had more of Jo Tae-oh action before this crime.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller that exposes plenty of truths in the corruption one man had been causing and shows the best of the two men and what they are fighting for.

 

Overall: Fun crime thriller.

Rating