ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – K – Kill Command (2016)

Director: Steven Gomez

Writer: Steve Gomez (Screenplay)

Starring: Vanessa Kirby, David Ajala, Mike Noble, Bentley Kalu, Tom McKay, Kelly Gough, Thure Lindhardt

 

Plot: Set in a near future, technology-reliant society that pits man against killing machines.


Tagline – You can’t fight the future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi That Doesn’t Shine

 

Story: Kill Command starts when a robot training facility has started to malfunction, Mills (Kirby) an engineer is set there with a military squad to bring things under control, Captain Bukes (Lindhardt) leads the team as they go face to face with the killer robots.

When the operations goes well it looks like it will be an easy trip home, only now the robots are copying the techniques shown by the soldiers, making them deadlier killers and the race to survive is on.

 

Thoughts on Kill Command

 

Characters – Miles is a robotic engineer that looks like a human but has the ability to talk to the robots and understand their movements. She does show human emotion which will be her weakness when confronting the robots. Captain Bukes leads his team into the combat zone, he isn’t happy about having Miles joining the team and over the course of the events must learn to trust her. Robinson is the older soldier that knows how to keep the soldier’s calmer during the mission, when others panic he can step up.

PerformancesWhen we study the performances the first name that jumps out is Vanessa Kirby who has been the supporting star of The Crown, she is good as she isn’t meant to be showing emotion in her characters decisions. When you look at the guys playing the soldiers, they could easily be interchangeable as none make that much of an impact in the story.

StoryThe story follows thee idea of a military group needing to deal with a robotic problem in a training camp after the robots start going rogue. This brings us the normal military characters who are looking to get the job done and a subplot about humanised robot that can work with both sides to solve the problem. Most of the story plays out as a warning against the ideas of turning to technology for solutions.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action we get to see is military based as we have military operations and learning how to adapt to these changes. The horror comes from knowing the computers are taking over and they are learning at an alarming rate, which plays into the sci-fi elements to the story.

SettingsThe film takes place on a training island, which saves on the budget as this could be any island anywhere in the world.

Special EffectsThe effects are good as the machines feel like they are part of the real world from start to finish.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It didn’t feel the most original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard sci-fi movie which never becomes its own.

 

Overall: Sci-fi Forgettable

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – D – Daylight’s End (2016)

Director: William Kaufman

Writer: Chad Law (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, Louis Mandylor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Krzysztof Soszynski

 

Plot: Years after a mysterious plague has devastated the planet and turned most of humanity into blood-hungry creatures, a rogue drifter on a vengeful hunt stumbles across a band of survivors in an abandoned police station and reluctantly agrees to try to help them defend themselves and escape to the sanctuary they so desperately need.


Tagline – The apocalypse was just the beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: By the Book Action Horror

 

Story: Daylight’s End starts as we enter a world with zombie like vampire creatures, that act like zombies but can only come out at night, we meet drifter Rourke (Strong) who has been hunting them for years, now he rescues Sam (Edmundson) a survivor from a larger group run by Frank (Henriksen) hiding out in a police station.

Rourke has found a plane which gives the survivors a reason to fight to escape from the nightmare they are facing, which divides the group who must learn to put their difference a side to survive in a new location.

 

Thoughts on Daylight’s End

 

Characters – Rourke is the lone drifter that has always kept to himself when it came to dealing with the creatures, now joining a group he looks to lead them to safety, he has a broken past like most in this world, he is ruthless to the bad guys and helpful to the good guys. Frank is the leader of the survivors, he doesn’t trust Rourke to start with, but soon must learn to trust him even if it means risking others.

PerformancesJohnny Strong is good in the leading role, he looks the part for a reluctant hero which is needed for this film. Lance Henriksen is always a draw in the horror world and this is no different working for the film. The rest are good without being anything over the top or weak.

StoryThe story is lone drifter that helps group of survivors escape from a trapped location where they are only surviving over having an escape plan. This has been done before, it is a tried and tested formula for action horror which is good, but it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. There isn’t the deepest side to anything going on either.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is firing guns, running and rolling around fights nothing too difficult to enjoy. The horror is with the creature used which are good enough to be a threat for our survivors in the sci-fi look at the destroyed Earth.

SettingsThe setting take us to a big city as we see the survivors needing to find a way to survive the situation.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, they work for the film without being overly used throughout.


Scene of the Movie –
Battling the Alpha

That Moment That Annoyed Me Borrowing the 28 Days Later music.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very simple action horror, it is one you could easily sit back and enjoy without being tested too much.

 

Overall: Easy to Watch

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016)

Director: John Stockwell

Writer: Dimitri Logothetis, Jim McGrath (Screenplay) Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mark DiSalle (Characters)

Starring: Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Georges St-Pierre, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sara Malakul Lane

 

Plot: A kick boxer is out to avenge his brother.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

 

Story: Kickboxer: Vengeance starts as Kurt Sloane (Moussi) arrives in Thailand in search for underground fighter Tong Po (Bautista) the man that killed his brother Eric (Shahlavi) in one of the underground fights. Eric was trained by Durand (Van Damme) a master in his own right.

When Kurt’s plan goes wrong Tong Po has his arrested leaving local cop Liu (Lane) to hide him in Durand’s place, where he can have the training he requires if he is ever going to be able to fight Tong Po.

 

Thoughts on Kickboxer: Vengeance

 

Characters – Kurt Sloane is the young brother of champion fighter, he has trained with him and saw his brother killed in an underground fight. He is out for vengeance, first he must be trained by Durand to be ready to take on such a fighter, while this is a simple character to create, we don’t see him win all his fights preparing for Tong Po, so it is hard to take him serious in a full fight. Tong Po is the champion fighter in Thailand, he is known to have the largest body count in the fighting world, he will fight for honour in the battles, he won’t turn to dirty tricks, making him a strange villain to behold. Master Durand is the man that is training Kurt and his brother previously, an expert in Mauy Thai making him an expert to be learning from. Marcia is the lady pulling the strings, she is setting up the fights to make her own money. We do end up meeting more characters than you would expect, we have cops, corrupt and one that is helping Kurt and other fighters that want to learn from masters.

PerformancesAlain Moussi takes the leading role, known more for his stunt work and fight co-ordination, he does a good job stepping into the shoes made famous by Van Damme himself. Dave Bautista is always going to be a threating villain and he isn’t afraid to step into these roles, he has the look and attitude to pull them off with ease. Jean-Claude Van Damme returns to the film franchise which made him famous, this time he takes the mentor role and does everything you expect from him. While it isn’t her own fault, I do feel like we wasted what we could have had from Gina Carano.

StoryThis is a soft remake of the much loved original, with the Sloane brothers facing Tong Po, get this side of the story straight, it was an easy to follow idea in the first place and this doesn’t do anything to over-complicate things either, it does modernise certain aspects which is good to see, but in the end bottles down to the idea of one man wanting vengeance for his brother’s death, we have the training time and the questioned asked whether it is right or wrong, simple to follow and all we need.

Action/CrimeThe action is the fighting sequences which are hard hitting with different styles through the rounds. The crime story shows us the underground fighting going on.

SettingsThe film is set in Thailand and shows us the big city, the training grounds and the underground fight arenas.


Scene of the Movie –
Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly confusing why Kurt was escorted out of the country.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun action movie with hard hitting fighting sequences that does everything you want in this style of movie.

 

Overall: Hard hitting action film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – # – 1920 London (2016)

Director: Dharmendra Suresh Deasi

Writer: Sukhmani Sadana (Screenplay) Vikram Bhatt (Story)

Starring: Sharman Joshi, Meera Chopra, Vishal Karwal, Surendra Pal, Charu Rohatgi, Sushumita Mkherjee

 

Plot: After her husband is possessed by an evil spirit, a woman turns to her former lover to perform an exorcism.


Tagline – Fear strikes again

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror

 

Story: 1920 London starts as we meet the Prince Veer (Karwel) and Princess Shivangi (Chopra) living in London, they soon become the latest victim of an evil spirit which takes over Veer’s body, Shivangi must go into her past to find her former lover Jai Singh Gujjar (Joshi) a man that was left banished because of their affair, who has an ability to tackle unwanted spirits.

With the past being placed in the past, Jai comes to figure out how to save Veer and giving Shivangi a peaceful life, only the evil spirit isn’t going to let that happen.

 

Thoughts on 1920 London

 

Characters – Shivangi the princess who has just gotten married, she sees her husband become possessed, which forces her to return to her family for help, with her ex-lover being the only one that could save her husband. Jai Singh is the exorcist that was once the lover of Shivangi, but not being from the royal family means he was once banished for their love. Now he must help her fight an evil spirit, he speciality. Veer is the husband that gets stricken down by the evil spirit that has taken over his body.

PerformancesWe focus mostly on just the two stars of the movie, Meera Chopra and Sharman Joshi who are both great through the film dealing with the horror, the personal status they are facing and love they both feel.

StoryThe story here follows a possession, this is a story I have seen many times, but the different is, I have only ever seen Christian or Jewish religions deal with the spirits, this time we get to see how Hindus treat unwanted spirits. The story does follow the traditional scares, but then here is a twist in the story which explains the possession, one about honour, love and revenge, which does make the story feel fresher, I learnt that this is part of a series of film, but I am confident there isn’t a connection between the previous ones. Most of this is by the books and that is al we want from a horror film.

Horror/MysteryThere are good scare moments in this film, nothing overly original, but they will give the jumps required, the mystery comes from just what the motivation of the evil spirit is to be doing the possessing.

SettingsThe film takes the action to London, which I guess is new to the franchise, this is fine even though we spend most of the time in the mansions with no landmarks in the background, with the landmark scenes including the bridges only.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well to create the horror moments, like most films the practical is good, but the CGI comes off weak.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I understand this is a Bollywood film, the songs lose moments of tension in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that works for the exorcism genre well, it shows how a different religion reads evil spirits and does battle against them, which is interesting to see and does give us good moments of horror.

 

Overall: Good horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Z – Zoology (2016)

Director: Ivan I Tverdovskiy

Writer: Ivan I Tverdovskiy (Screenplay)

Starring: Masha Tokareva, Natalya Pavlenkova, Aleksandr Grochilin, Olga Ergina, Dmitriy Groshev, Irina Chipizhenko

 

Plot: Middle-aged zoo worker Natasha still lives with her mother in a small coastal town. She is stuck and it seems that life has no surprises for her until one day – she grows a tail and turns her life around

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Comedy Drama

 

Story: Zoology starts as we meet middle-aged Natasha (Pavlenkova) who works in the local zoo as an office worker and her life is turned upside down when she grows a tail. Already considered some what of an outsider her Mother (Chipizhenko) tries to help her, while the rest of the town sees her as a laugh stock.

While looking to find a way to have the tail removed she meets x-ray doctor Peter (Groshev) a man that doesn’t judge her in anyway and the two strike up a relationship giving her a new meaning in life.

 

Thoughts on Zoology

 

Characters – Natasha is the middle-aged woman that lives an ordinary life, she is an office worker at the zoo and gets bullied by her co-workers, one day she grows a tail which makes her the talk of the town, as she starts to date a doctor and learns to accept her imperfections. Peter is the doctor who never once judged Natasha for being different, he becomes the love interest and helps her come out of her shell. Natasha’s mother has always been keeping her in control and isn’t happy with the new freedom she is showing.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are good throughout, Natalya Pavelenkova is clearly the star of the show giving us a performance we feel her pain and happiness through.

StoryThe story follows an outsider that starts to come out of her shell once she learns she has a tail and falls in love with a doctor. We get to see how the small town life can be cruel on the people that are different, but also learn that you need to accept being different to stand out in the right way.

ComedyThe comedy in this film comes from the drama being told, we keep everything low key and you won’t be laughing out loud, just seeing the drama as light hearted.

SettingsThe film gives us a small town setting, this shows us just how the community reacts to the new body part Natasha gets and shows how being the outsider can be difficult.


Scene of the Movie –
Zoo talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It doesn’t play into the comedy enough to be a real comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice drama showing us how difficult life can be in a small community if you start looking different.

 

Overall: Smart character study of small communities.

Rating