ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Origin War (2016)

Director: Shane Abbess

Writer: Shane Abbess, Brian Cachia (Screenplay)

Starring: Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Luke Ford, Rachel Griffiths, Temuera Morrison

 

Plot: Set in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, an unlikely pair race against an impending global crisis and are confronted by the monsters that live inside us all.


Tagline – A father on a mission, a convict on the run, must fight for the future. The countdown has begun

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Pilot Episode

 

Story: The Osiris Child starts in the future where colonization has become the normal. LT Kane Sommerville (MacPherson) was a once great pilot whose accident left many dead, now he works on one of these planets, split from his family, when his daughter Indi (Croft) visits, unable to take her to the base he leaves her in the big city.

When a virus outbreak happens on the surface, the base is on lockdown, only for this to be a cover up for a monster they created outbreak and he must escape to the surface, where he meets escaped prisoner Sy Lombrok (Lutz) as the two reluctantly work together to save Kane’s daughter.

 

Thoughts on The Osiris Child

 

Characters – Lt Kane Summerville is a disgraced pilot working on a remote planet, his career has cost him his family being away from his daughter. He will get a chance to redeem himself when his daughter is put in danger, he rushes against time to save her from the impending destruction of the planet. He sees this as his final chance to make up for his mistakes. Sy Lombrok is one of the prisoners on the planet, he reluctantly joins Kane on his journey giving him his chance for redemption. Gyp is one of the people that joins the men on the journey, she has lived on the surface of the planet and enjoys a drink or two General Lynex is the one planning the destroying the planet after her own experiment goes wrong, she doesn’t care how many people will die to cover up their mistake.

PerformancesDaniel MacPherson in the leading role is strong who is willing to do anything for his daughter, it isn’t the most difficult role though. Kellan Lutz as the brooding criminal with a secret for his imprisonment does well through the film. Isabel Lucas and Rachel Griffiths both struggle to deliver on the standards involved.

StoryThe story follows a military pilot teaming up with a prisoner to save his daughter before the newly colonized planet is destroyed to cover up the mistake by the military. We know this type of story and it does play out like a video game, with each stage becoming more difficult. This story does feel like it is just a set up for a bigger concept, with the story told in chapter form too helps that theory. The story does have plenty of sup-plots which could have been investigated in more depth, which a film couldn’t have offered, because they are interesting and get flown over without given that much time on.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this film feels very safe with one plane chase, bit of driving then a few bullets flying at the monsters. The horror elements in the film comes from the origin of the monsters which will be killing machines. The sci-fi world is brilliant because we get to see just how going to new worlds could happen.

SettingsThe world building in the film is the highlight because the new planet system feels like we could see a massive scale behind everything which shows us just how prepared this film is for the story to open up for more too.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple enough, the monsters don’t always look that scary though.


Scene of the Movie –
The original sin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It feels like a pilot.

Final ThoughtsSimple sci-fi action film that feels like it should be preparing for something much bigger.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating

 

 

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Kicks (2016)

Director: Justin Tipping

Writer: Joshua Beirne-Golden, Justin Tipping (Screenplay)

Starring: Jahking Guillory, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Christopher Meyer, Kofi Siriboe, Mahershala Ali, Rxchie

 

Plot: Brandon is a 15 year old whose dream is a pair of fresh Air Jordans. Soon after he gets his hands on them, they’re stolen by a local hood, causing Brandon and his two friends to go on a dangerous mission through Oakland to retrieve them.


Tagline – They aren’t just shoes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shoe Mentality

 

Story: Kicks starts as we meet 15-year-old Brandon (Guillory) who comes from a poor family in Oakland, whose pride and joy would be to have a pair of Air Jordans. When Brandon buys some black-market versions of the shoes, only to have them stolen by local hood Flaco (Siriboe).

Wanting to get his shoes back, he goes on an adventure with his two best friends Albert (Wallace) and Rico (Meyer) which sees him dive into the gang mentality of the neighbourhood in Oakland.

 

Thoughts on Kicks

 

Characters – Brandon has come from a poor family, he knows how to stay out of trouble usually using his running pace, he has always wanted to have his own pair of Air Jordans, which he purchases, making him feel like he is on top of the world. After they are stolen, he risks his friendship to get them back from on of the most dangerous men in the hood. Albert and Rico are the two best friends of Brandon, they have their own characteristics which makes the group complete and will help Brandon retrieve his shoes. Flaco is the man that steals Brandon’s shoes, he uses his gang to outnumber him and is considered one of the most dangerous men in the neighbourhood.

PerformancesJahking Guillory in the leading role is great to watch, he has shows us how difficult being a kid in the wrong neighbourhood can be. We understand his character’s decisions and feeling of hopelessness in the world he is facing. The supporting cast are great too, fully embrace themselves in this neighbourhood.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager that ends up starting a potential gang war after his shoes are stolen and he wants to take them back from a notorious gang leader. This story shows us how important the little things in the kids in this gangland mentality neighbourhoods mean the world and how they will do anything to get what they need. The shoes are clearly metaphors for becoming a man which in this neighbourhood is one of the most important moments in the lives of these teenagers. Watching from the outside, we are watching the people involved fighting over a pair of shoes which does seem almost pointless in the end.

SettingsThe film is set in Oakland which shows us how the neighbourhood is being operated in by the different gangs.


Scene of the Movie –
The chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The whole story is about a pair of shoes being stolen.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting coming-of-age stories in the tough street of Oakland, it shows how difficult to navigate for the locals this will be.

 

Overall: Interesting Coming-of-age tale.

Rating

 

 

Ibiza Undead (2016)

Director: Andy Edwards

Writer: Andy Edwards (Screenplay)

Starring: Cara Theobold, Emily Atack, Algina Lipskis, Jordan Coulson, Homer Todiwala

 

Plot: A group of young people head to Ibiza for the holiday of a lifetime – all the sun, sea and sex they can handle. If only there wasn’t a zombie outbreak getting in the way.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror Comedy

 

Story: Ibiza Undead starts as we learn that there is a zombie outbreak in the world but not enough to stop the world functioning. We have four friends Ellie (Theobold), Alex (Coulson), Az (Todiwala) and Big Jim (Kear) heading to Ibiza for a party holiday with Alex’s sister Liz (Atack) and Zara (Lipskis). Around the island an importer of zombies Karl (King) has lost his shipment which brings the zombies to the island.

When the zombies arrive the friends, well that is a loose term must work together to survive and make it out of the villa alive. Here we get plenty of zombie comedy kills throughout the night.

 

Thoughts on Ibiza Undead

 

Characters – Ellie is the former girlfriend of Alex’s that gets invited on the holiday even though she isn’t a party animal like the rest of the people on the holiday. Liz is the sister of Alex that is prepared for the sun sea and sex holiday. Zara is the flirty seductive one of the girls who is happy to use her body to get what she wants. Alex is the main male lead that is on a lads holiday but brings his ex-girlfriend along, Big Jim is the loud mouth of the friends with Az being the shy awkward one.

PerformancesThe performances are fine through the film, we have the performances that are happy to mock the generic stereotypes of the British Ibiza holiday makers.

StoryYoung British tourists versus zombies in Ibiza, well that is the simple story to follow, it offers nothing new to the genre but gives us laughs along the way. It is an easy story to follow and if you are game to watch an easy to watch horror comedy it works for casual storytelling fans.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy is British through and through which works if you understand how we think. The horror is just typical zombie guidelines which have gore moments but never reach the full effects of scare.

SettingsIbiza makes for a new and good setting for a zombie twist even if the film does feel like it could be a film version of Dead Island.

Special EffectsThe effects work for film getting a few laughs at times and we know we have good zombie moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Give Jim the shotgun.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Amazing how many phone calls these people make when it costs so much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy that hits more often than it misses but one I feel Brits will enjoy more.

 

Overall: Good little British comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – E – Eliminators (2016)

Director: James Nunn

Writer: Nathan Brookes, Bobby Lee Darby (Screenplay)

Starring: Scot Adkins, Stu Bennett, Daniel Caltagirone, James Cosmo, Ty Glaser, Olivia Mace

 

Plot: A former US Federal Agent must abandon the witness protection program and come out of hiding when his London home is invaded in error due to a wrong address. When the event ends with multiple homicides, the news triggers those hunting him to send Europe’s most dangerous assassin to kill him. Now on the run with his daughter’s life in jeopardy, a determined father must get her to safety before the people he’s been hiding from track him down.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Popcorn Action

 

Story: Eliminators starts when former US Federal Agent Thomas (Adkins) gets his house invaded by the wrong people who he kills to protect his daughter leaving him in hospital with his face plastered over the news, giving away his witness protection status.

The man who is after him Cooper (Cosmo) hires his best assassin Bishop (Bennett) to track him down and kill Thomas and his daughter, this leaves Thomas no choice but to go on the run to save her life and his own.

 

Thoughts on Eliminators

 

Characters – Thomas is a former US Federal Agent that is in witness protection program, he is trying to live a quiet life off the radar, until he becomes the victim of a mistaken identity. Accused of murder he is separated from his daughter only for his identity to be revealed to the world with the former enemy sends an assassin to kill him. He must use his skills to stay ahead of the enemy and save his daughter. Bishop is the assassin hired to eliminate Thomas and his daughter, he knows the tricks of the trade, but I do feel he makes mistakes which give away his position to be known as the best assassin in Europe. Ray is the connection trying to help clean up the exposed witness protection system.

PerformancesScott Adkins is a good action star, there is no questioning this, he has the look and the skills to be one of the best, but his ability to pull off the American accent is terrible in this film. Stu Bennett or former wrestler Wade Barrett is good as the assassin, while he doesn’t make too much of his character original, he does everything he needs to for his role.

StoryThe story plays out easily enough, assassin tracking down his target around London over what feels like just one night. This adds the adrenaline rush the story needs in an old school cat n mouse style story. where this film starts to fall apart in the story is silly mistakes getting exposed, for example this Federal Agent gets in a taxi to escape the killer only to stay in said taxi instead of using intelligence of swapping vehicle, which would have made the escape easy. If you do look past these flaws you can get the enjoyment of the simplistic nature of the story.

ActionThe action in the film is entertaining to watch, we have a mix of chase sequences, bullet flying scenes and hand to hand combat which gets to show of Adkins skills.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, which is good for an American based story as we get to see the race against time unfold, even if we don’t use any of the stand out location.


Scene of the Movie –
Thomas v Bishop on the docks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Escaping, sure this Federal Agent would have better intelligence.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to action movies we know sometimes we just need to switch our brains off and enjoy, this is one of those movie, it is a lot of fun even if there are a lot of flaws with the methods things unfold.

 

Overall: Fun popcorn filled action film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – C – Criminal (2016)

Director: Ariel Vromen

Writer: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Jordi Molla, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Amaury Nolasco, Alice Eve

 

Plot: In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative’s mission.


Tagline –  Take me to the Dutchman.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Action Thriller

 

Story: Criminal starts when CIA agent Bill Pope (Reynolds) is working on bringing The Dutchman (Pitt) to America in exchange for closing the wormhole on the dark web that he has created, the problem is Xavier Heimdahl (Molla) also wants the Dutchman and kills Bill before getting the answers.

Turning to Dr Franks (Jones) for an experimental memory transfer Quaker Wells (Oldman) the head of the CIA operation uses death-row inmate Jerico Stewart (Costner) to learn where the vital information is, but letting a killer lose becomes harder to control than believed.

 

Thoughts on Criminal

 

Characters – Jerico Stewart is the dangerous death-row inmate, we don’t learn what he has done, but anyone that crosses him usually ends up in a body bag. He is forced into receiving Bill’s memories in a hope that he can save a major release of secure information, he doesn’t want to work with the CIA and is happier to operate in his own means. Quaker Wells is running the CIA operation which goes wrong, he will go at any lengths to get the answers he needs to stop the information leak, company man who does go too far. Dr Franks has been working on transferring memories for 18 years, this is his first human attempt which shows how he wants to help with the new memories. Important to the story but lacking the impact he should have on the story. Bill Pope is the family man and CIA agent, it is his memories which hold the answers after he is killed. Xavier Heimdahl wants to bring an end to governments across the world, he will go public with his speeches while also having his darker side coming out when getting what he wants.

PerformancesKevin Coster is in the middle of his recovery/mid-life crisis roles in action movies, he knows how to make his performance work keeping everything entertaining throughout. Gary Oldman as a company man CIA agent, well this always works as he never needs o do anything challenging. Tommy Lee Jones likewise does what he needs to without bringing anything unique to the role. Reynolds is hard to judge because of the smaller part in the film. Jordi Molla does make a good villain showing the calmness needed for the character to feel calculated. Gal Gadot is solid in her supporting role without needing to do much.

StoryThe story gives us the idea that vital information is about to be leaked by a hacker if he doesn’t get a passport and immunity, but things go wrong when the agent with the connection is killed. The experimental idea of transferring memories is put in motion as the candidate doesn’t follow orders the way they had hoped and different agencies from around the globe want the information. This plays out like an action film, but in reality it should have been a tense thriller with the characters we have here. It is an easy to watch and enjoy even if the premise does seem wildly over the top for a simpler idea.

Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiWhen we look at the themes being used action gives us the shoot out we have seen before with a couple of car chases, nothing overly memorable though. The crime world we are placed into shows how the CIA are trying to protect the world from a new threat in London, it seems weird the British intelligence agency are not involved in this. The mystery in this film doesn’t work too well as the only thing needing to be solved is where the package was left. The sci-fi side of the film does come from the idea of transferring the memories, it is only used here though.

SettingsThe film is set in London and the surrounding area, it does feel weird that an American operation happens in England though.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed without being over used for the action scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Ambulance chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does have a tonal problem with the action and thriller side of things.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid easy to watch action thriller that doesn’t test the audience too much, throws in a wild sci-fi idea and big-name actors hoping it will be a classic.

 

Overall: Easy to watch.

Rating