Blood & Oil (2015)

Director: Curtis Graham

Writer: Samantha Iwowo (Screenplay)

Starring: William R Moses, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Dayton Sinkia

 

Plot: Based on True Events. A story about the 1st oil well drilled in Nigeria and how the impact has affected a small Nigerian Delta Village  (Oloibiri) and the lives of those involved.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Shocking Truth

 

Story: Blood & Oil starts after oil is discovered in a small Nigerian village of Oloibiri, the locals under a man known as Gunpowder (Mofe-Damijo) look to control the people, while businessman Powell (Moses) wants fair working conditions on everyone working for the transport of the oil.

Where the oil wasn’t controlled properly the first time, it led to the locals becoming sick and dying, this has led to the tension growing between the two sides when the new investment arrives with the locals not wanting to risk the lives of their own children.

 

Thoughts on Blood & Oil

 

Characters – Powell is the businessman that wants to run an oil business in Nigeria, he wants a honest business, with safe working and environmentally friendly towards the neighbourhood, unlike the previous people that run the company, he finds himself on the run after the locals want nothing to do with him. Gunpowder runs the local area, believing the oil will in fact be his to control, he rules by killing and forcing people to give him what he wants. He is feared by most of the locals in the area. Azu works for Powell, he has seen the consequences of the oil in his country and is torn between which side to be working on.

PerformancesWilliam R Moses is the America figure in the film and does a good job which is mostly trying to do the right thing. Richard Mofe-Damijo does bring us a character that does strike fear into the audience with just how dominate he makes his character.

StoryThe story here shows how one Nigerian village is dealing with the latest oil discovery and soon we see just how the different sides react to the latest look at investment. This does show us just how the oil business will make people do the craziest things for greed, we see how relationship between outsiders had become strained because of the actions of the people beforehand. We see how this behaviour is still happening in the modern times which shows how oil is only going to drive people to do crazy actions.

ActionThe action in the film comes from the militant behaviour of the Gunpowder and his men that use their guns to control people.

SettingsThe film is set in Nigeria in one village that shows how the people here have been affected for years and turned the mentality of the people in the area.


Scene of the Movie –
The captured reaction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have seen more from the Powell ideas of doing things the right way.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting look at how the mentality of people when it comes to oil and the potential money that could come from controlling it.

 

Overall: Interesting look at the oil industry.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Action – J – Jane Got a Gun (2015)

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Writer: Brian Duffield, Anthony Tambakis, Joel Edgerton (Screenplay) Brian Duffield (Story)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Noah Emmerich, Boyd Holbrook, Rodrigo Santoro

 

Plot: A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him.


Tagline –  Strength, justice, power, vengeance

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Boring

 

Story: Jane Got a Gun starts when Jane’s (Portman) husband returns home shot up on deaths door, she nurses him back to health while preparing or the Bishop boys led by John (McGregor) to come and finish off the job, she turns to her ex-lover and soldier Dan Frost (Edgerton) to assist her in the battle.

We watch how the two look back on a life they once had and prepare the ranch for attack with traps as they know they will be facing large numbers when they finally arrive.

 

Thoughts on Jane Got a Gun

 

Characters – Jane is the wife that needs to look into her past to keep her husband and child safe from outlaws that are not afraid to kill anyone that gets in their way. Even though the film is titled after Jane, we don’t learn too much else about her. Dan Frost however is her ex-lover and former soldier, one with stories behind his time in the war, he drinks too much while reluctantly helping Jane defend herself against the outlaws. John Bishop is the leader of the gang, he is conducting the business of taking women one of which was Jane, now he wants to clean up his loose ends which includes Jane and her husband Bill, he is ruthless and demanding of his men and wants to be treated like a true authority over them. Bill Hammond is the husband of Jane’s that returns home shot, he was part of the gang, but left once things got too far.

PerformancesNatalie Portman is fine, though it just doesn’t reach the levels we know from her through the years. Joel Edgerton is solid enough and seemingly just about the best performer in the film. Ewan McGregor did need more screen time for his character which was meant to be psychotic business man in the wild west. The rest of the performers are fine, but no one stands out.

StoryThe story follows a reluctant wife that will do anything to protect her house, husband and future from a gang of outlaws who want him dead, we see the set up, the build up and the flashbacks to how everything ended up where we are now before finally getting to see the showdown. Most of this involves a lot of talking about where the former lovers could have gone after crossing paths. The pace of the story telling is very slow and focusing on the talking for such a large period of time, doesn’t give us the character development needed for any of the three main characters. this is one that could easily be missed because it doesn’t offer anything new to the western genre either.

Action/WesternThe action is left for one final showdown with bullets flying, though placing it in complete darkness makes it hard to see everything going on. The film does have a western feel with the use of setting, weapons and storytelling, though it just doesn’t stand close to the levels of the good ones, let alone the great ones.

SettingsMost of the film is set on he isolated farmhouse Jane lives on, the setting up for the defence of the home, this however slows the film down and when we leave it just becomes worse too because they are generic locations.

Special EffectsThe effects are solid enough with the bullets flying around with the impacts showing the blood splatter.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing is so slow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced western that just doesn’t deliver the way it should, it had potential only it doesn’t make Jane a strong enough character with her being the title one.

 

Overall: Slow, pace less and boring.

Rating

 

 

The Pack (2015)

Director: Nick Robertson

Writer: Evan Randall Green (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Campbell, Anna Lise Phillips, Katie Moore, Hamish Phillips, Charles Mayer

 

Plot: A farmer and his family must fight for survival after a ferocious pack of wild dogs infiltrates their isolated farmhouse. Through a series of frightening and bloody encounters they are forced into survival mode to make it through the night.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror

 

Story: The Pack starts as the Wilson family Adam (Campbell), Carla (Phillips) and children Sophie (Moore) and Henry (Phillips) are struggling to make ends meet on their remote farm, they have an offer to leave or face losing everything and to make matters worse their sheep are being killed off at night.

The night comes are a pack of wild dogs trap the family inside the home, with nowhere to run and the blood thirsty animals outside the family must survive to make it through the night.

 

Thoughts on The Pack

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam is the traditionalist farmer that doesn’t want to leave his family farm even through the financial struggles but will do anything to protect his family. Carla is a vet that runs a small clinic out of the farm and does believe that moving could be right for the family. Sophie is your typical older teenager that wants to be in the city with friends instead of the middle of nowhere while Henry is the youngster and wanting to follow in both his parent’s footsteps.

Performance wise, well it would be fair to say that everybody is fine, most of what is needed in this film is terror and survive and that depends on the enemy and it would be fair to say they all pull this off well but it is the basics which don’t come off as well.

StoryA family in the middle of nowhere gets trapped by a pack of wild dogs and must survive the night. This isn’t the most difficult story to follow in fact it is easy to understand, we don’t get too much going on but the added financial situation problems shows these characters could become desperate.

Horror The pack of wild blood thirsty dogs does make for a good horror enemy as they will not stop when hunting and are stronger than the domestic ones, we get lots of drawn out scene just waiting for a jump attack to happen through this film.

SettingsThe film does put the family in their home but in the middle of nowhere which shows us the family is not safe in their own home but also have nowhere to run too.

Special EffectsThe effects are used sparingly to show the attacks but mostly editing protects the need for over use.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror to watch, mostly in the midnight selection but still rewarding.

 

Overall: Midnight horror treat.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – G – The Good, The Bad and The Dead (2015)

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr

Writer: Sean Ryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Messner, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Vivica A Fox, Michael Pare, Natassia Malthe, John Laughlin

 

Plot: Brian Barnes (Johnny Messner) wakes up in the desert wounded and with no memory and no idea why he’s surrounded by eight bodies, a van with four million in cash and a van full of cocaine. Brian is pursued by not only notorious drug lord Danny Perez (Danny Trejo) who desperately want his money back, and DEA Agent Rooker (Dolph Lundgren), but also a by the corrupt Sheriff Olson (Michael Pare) who will stop at nothing to get his hand on the new found fortune. On the run, Brian discovers the more he remembers the less he wants to know about who he really is.


Tagline – Who can you trust?

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Populated Action Film

 

Story: The Good, the Bad and the Dead starts as the outlaw (Messner) wakes after a drug deal goes bad, corrupt sheriffs try to claim his prize which brings in the Enforcer Bob Rooker (Lundgren) to do the work for the Suit Imani Cole (Fox) who has been trying to stop the drug deals coming across the borders. When the drug lord Mateo Perez (Trejo) wants his drugs back, it becomes a race against time to see who ends up with the drugs, money and lives.

The race to solve the case and close the case brings us many twists which leave Outlaw Brian needing to face the facts about who he really is and what he was doing at the crime scene.

 

Thoughts on The Good, the Bad and the Dead

 

Characters – Brian Barns is the outlaw, he is left shot in a drug deal gone bad, he has no memory which leads him to need to go on a journey to first learn who he is and later how to escape. Bob Rooker is the DEA Agent tracking down the events of the shootout, he is following clues while staying on the right side of the law. Mateo Perez is the drug lord that is wants to track down who killed his son and took his money. Imani Cole is the suit trying to put the pieces together with her team. Most of the characters we meet don’t get enough development and we keep getting more characters added to complicate things.

PerformancesThe performances are affected by the pure number of characters we are dealing with, nobody gets a chance to stand out or is given enough screen time to be effective for the film.

StoryThe story does try to bring us a story that has plenty of interweaving arcs, which the film doesn’t get enough time to get flushed out and then we try to make every single character seem like they are the most important character to the story. The story does try to stay fast paced which doesn’t help either because we do get a lot of scenes which involve talking and just shooting or planning which takes a lot away from the final outcome of the story.

Action/WesternThe action is by the book shooting which never feels challenging to watch and leaves you not caring too much.

SettingsThe film doesn’t use the settings well enough for the film making none of them having any memorable scenes.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine when it comes to the wounds, but otherwise it will not become anything memorable.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening sequences works well.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters and twists.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly complicated and populated movie that brings in too many characters to make the twists happening.

 

Overall: Too busy.

Rating

 

 

AfterDeath (2015)

Director: Gez Medinger, Robin Schmidt

Writer: Andrew Ellard (Screenplay)

Starring: Miranda Raison, Sam Keeley, Elarica Johnson, Lorna Nickson Brown, Daniella Kertesz, Joe Passarella

 

Plot: Five young people wake up dead. Washed up by the tide they scramble to an abandoned beach house, soon realising that the perpetual night and blasts of pain suggest this is some version of hell. Between in-fighting and attacks by a demonic shadow creature, they recall the collapse of the nightclub that brought them here – and begin seeing hope of a second chance in the cabin’s two mysterious paintings.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: AfterDeath starts with Robin (Raison) waking up on a beach, chased by a demon, leading her to a beach house, with Seb (Keeley), Patricia (Johnson), Livvy (Brown) and Onie (Kertesz) stranded in too. The five of them are all dead, they can’t escape this location, where they are being terrorised by their past in the shape of a ghostly spirit.

The five must figure out how they died, why they are being punished, how to escape or even if they can at all.

 

Thoughts on AfterDeath

 

Characters – Robyn is the latest person dragged into the after world, she is the one that is trying to get to the bottom of everything happening. These characters are all poorly written which makes it even harder to describe what their actions are, Seb, Patricia and Livvy all want to party in the afterlife, while Onie is trying to figure out how to get out through suicide.

PerformancesIt is so difficult to complain about an actors performance, but this must go down as five of the combined worst performances out there, all the stars look just as lost as the script.

StoryThe story follows five young people who seem to be stuck in an afterlife situation where they need to figure out how to escape before spending eternity in hell. I have seen my fair share of afterlife movies and they can be interesting if they are done correctly, this one is done on a level that becomes confusing and messy, before become slightly preachy about everything going on. We just don’t get anything that will be seen as interesting and should be left on the writing block.

Horror/MysteryThis film doesn’t give us much to be scared off, it just feels like we have seen this before, the mystery is there, it just doesn’t reach any leaves it should for making us become invested in what is happening.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings in and around the single beach house, which should work, but they try to leave which only makes things feel out of place.

Special EffectsThe effects are all on the same level, it kind of works but never looks that high quality.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters.

Final ThoughtsThis just isn’t the most interest ideas of dealing with the afterlife and needing to unlock the secret to see where you will spend your life.

 

Overall: Disappointing and dull.

Rating