ABC Film Challenge – Action – E – The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Richard Wenk (Screenplay) Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim (Television Show)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo

 

Plot: Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?


Tagline – There will be consequences

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Slow Action Film

 

Story: The Equalizer 2 starts as we see how Robert McCall (Washington) driving around helping people when he learns they have been mistreated, just being a good guy around the neighbourhood. Robert still has his connection with the agency in Susan (Leo) who gives him the information to help with problems she can’t deal with.

After she is killed investigating a case, Robert reveals himself to his former partner Dave York (Pascal) who has believed he has been dead for years, to help get the people that killed their friend, all while trying to be a mentor to young man Miles (Sanders) who is being drawn into the gangster life.

 

Thoughts on The Equalizer 2

 

Characters – Robert McCall no longer works at Home Depot, he is a driver for hire around the town and he listens to the people’s stories and where he sees fit to step in to solve the problems. This time somebody makes it personal and he must come out from the shadows to get revenge. Dave York is the former partner of Robert’s who believed he was dead, he sees his new partner killed and is looking for answers to why his friend stayed away so long. Miles is a streetwise teenager on the brink of making a terrible decision to join a gang, Robert aims to guide him to make the right decision. Sam is an elderly client who Robert wants to help out, he is here to show just how good natured Robert is. Brian and Susan Plummer are the only connections with the agency Robert has, he will do anything to help them, as they help him with little matters he has.

PerformancesDenzel Washington is an actor that will always give us good performances, this is no different because we get to see the calm character and the deadly which he can switch between without blinking an eye. When we look at the rest of the cast, they are good without being anything overly memorable, with the villain being forgettable and the supporting arcs of the story not being given the time to truly focus on.

StoryThe story here continues to show how deadly, but fair Robert McCall can be, he wants to help people out, give them a chance to better their lives or admit to their mistakes. This time the story becomes personal after one of his friends in the agency is killed, sending him on a warpath against anybody involved. This side of the story is easy to watch, the more intense side of the story which is good to watch. The sentimental side of the story is interesting because we see how the problems in the world can be solved with moments of kindness which Robert shows different generations of people in his life, trying to teach people how to treat people, this is nice to watch, only for the two sides of the story struggling to connect to each other.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is good when we get it, the final sequences being the highlight of the action, the crime side shows how one man can use his connections to get a job done to clean up the streets.

SettingsThe film shows Robert operating in a normal big city, this shows us how stories can be found in most corners for most people.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing between the serious side stories and the action heavy main story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that does everything you would imagine, it isn’t going to be one of the greatest just one you can enjoy without worrying too much about what is going on.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable action.

Rating

 

 

Three Identical Strangers (2018) Movie Review

Director: Tim Wardle

Plot: In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they’re triplets who were separated at birth. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery.


Tagline – The Most Amazing, Incredible, Remarkable True Story Ever Told

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Must Watch

Story: Three Identical Strangers starts when Robert Shafran starts college with everybody acting like they knew him, until he learns that they believe he is another man Eddy, who looks exactly the same, only to learn they were twins separated at birth, with their story making the headlines in the papers. If that wasn’t an incredible enough, it turns out another man David is the same making them triplets, who have everything the same in interests and tastes.

With the three men reunited, they reach celebrity status, partying before they all settle down, only this is only the beginning of a much darker reason for the three to be separated at birth.

Thoughts on Three Identical Strangers

Final Thoughts This is an incredible documentary that shows us how the three brothers learned about each other, became friends, celebrities and felt like they had never been apart. This is the positive side of the story, we get to see the darker reason for their separation and just how much it affected them deep down, causing problems in their lives. This is a film that you could barely imagine some writing, let alone living through, with the twists about the truth being shocking beyond belief, we have the true affects of why this was done, which shows the pain that the brothers went through. This is one of the most essential watches in documentaries in recent years.

Overall: Essential Viewing.

Rootwood (2018) Movie Review

Director: Marcel Walz

Writer: Mario von Czapiewski (Screenplay)

Starring: Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling, Sarah French, Felissa Rose, Tiffani Fest, Brandon Rhea, Kwame HEad

Plot: Two students are hired by a Hollywood film producer to shoot a horror documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil.


Tagline – Welcome to the darkest place on earth.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Running in the Woods 101

Story: Rootwood starts when two podcasters William (Gallant) and Jessica (Dowling) get to meet a horror movie producer Laura Benott (Rose) to shoot a documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil. The pair are joined by Erin (French) and into the forest they go.

The further the trio get into the woods, the stranger the events are, with them looking to document other disappearances, they start to unlock clues to what might be happening, or will they become the latest victims.

Thoughts on Rootwood

Characters – William and Jessica have been working on their supernatural podcast for years, they like to look into stories from a distance, only now William has made connection to get their first field job looking into the unexplained, he see this as his chance to make himself bigger in the community, willing to risk more than life itself, while Jess doesn’t care about becoming as big as her co-star. Erin does bring glamour to the documentary, with the idea of using her status to make the documentary look more appealing to sell. Laura Benott is the producer that hires the team to investigate the Wooden Devil.

PerformancesWhere this movie is part documentary and mockumentary, it is hard to judge the performances, because Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling and Sarah French are doing the lost in the woods being haunted by something outside side of the film well.

StoryThe story here follows three podcasters that look to investigate a local legend, only to find themselves experiencing the horror in the woods themselves. The story can easily be compared to the Blair Witch Project with the documentary filmmakers going into the woods for a story only to find themselves running around in from the danger. It doesn’t get enough to feel completely original, even if it does try to go in a different direction with the final act, it doesn’t seem to get enough to make the impact required.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does fall into the three people running around the woods screaming with noises causing problems for the characters. We don’t seem to get into the mystery behind everything either, which then falls into something that really gets solved.

SettingsThe film is set in the random locations within the woods, it could be anywhere without being anywhere we haven’t seen before.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film work for the film giving us everything we need for what might be in the costume.


Scene of the Movie – Race to escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too similar to Blair Witch Project.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does feel like it wants to try and give the Blair Witch Project, only to get caught up doing everything to similar, even with a fresh outcome.

Overall: The Blair Witch Project without the suspense.

Agatha and the Truth of Murder (2018) Movie Review

Director: Terry Loane

Writer: Tom Dalton (Screenplay)

Starring: Ruth Bradley, Ralph Ineson, Tim McInnerny, Pippa Haywood, Blake Harrison

Plot: In 1926, with her personal life in tatters and her writing in crisis, a young Agatha Christie decides to solve a real-life murder.


Tagline – Some people have a taste for murder..

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Murder Mystery

Story: Agatha and the Truth of Murder starts as the great Agatha Christie (Bradley) is struggling with her latest novel, with the readers being able to guess who the killer or killers are, going through a divorce, she isn’t willing to sign.

When one of her fans Mabel (Haywood) visits, she asks Agatha to try and solve a real crime on a train, one the police can’t figure out, seeing this as a way to get out of her writers block, she goes to attempt to solve this crime, with suspects that could come out of her own novels.

Thoughts on Agatha and the Truth of Murder

Characters – Agatha Christie is the great author, whose murder mystery novels have the large following, she is struggling to find motivation with her latest novel because her readers can guess the impossible killer. Her personal life is falling apart too, with an unlikely visit giving her a chance to experience solving a real murder. Mabel is the woman that comes to Agatha for help solving her friend’s murder, one that could have suspects from every angle of her real life, she gives her the information and joins in the trying to solve the crime. Detective Inspector Shore is the only real police involved in trying to solve the case, as other members of the gathering start getting killed, as the finger pointing increases.

PerformancesRuth Bradley in the leading role is great to watch, diving into the role of the legendary author. We have a host of British talent in here with Ralph Ineson, Tim McInnerny and Blake Harrison filling out the cast well showing the talent within the country.

StoryThe story here follows the mystery behind Agatha Christie missing 11 days, which have never been explained, showing how she escaped the troubles in her life, to solve a real murder. This does turn into a murder mystery that could have come out of the novels of the author, which will keep us guessing like the detective, in this case herself. We do get glimpses into the real life troubles Agatha was going through, it also shows that post-war life that does have people suffering in private and shows moments of heroism that they achieved in war. If you like a murder mystery, this story is an easy watch that could be enjoyed by all.

Crime/MysteryThe film sees Agatha Christie becoming the detective, like her creations to try and solve murder, with plenty of suspects to keep us guessing along with the mystery.

SettingsThe film here is set in a big house, which shows how the rich would be looking to get the money from the deceased, showing how they are more comfortable in the upper class of society.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does feel like any murder mystery that could be in any British murder mystery show.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable murder mystery that does keep us guessing while taking a fresh approach to how Agatha Christie might have gotten her inspirations.

Overall: Murder Mystery 101.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – K – The Keeper (2018) Movie Review

Director: Marcus H Rosenmuller

Writer: Marcus H Rosenmuller, Nicholas J Schofield (Screenplay)

Starring: David Kross, Freya Mavor, John Henshaw, Harry Melling, Michael Socha, Dave Johns, Barbara Young

Plot: The Keeper tells the extraordinary love story between a young English woman and a German PoW, who together overcome prejudice, public hostility, and personal tragedy. While visiting a PoW camp near Manchester at the end of WWII, Margaret Friar, the daughter of the manager of the local football team, notices young German soldier Bert Trautmann. 


Tagline – He came as an enemy… And became their hero.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Outstanding

Story: The Keeper starts with the war ending, the English are putting their lives back together and the German Prisoners of war are helping with the rebuilding process. Jack Friar (Henshaw) a local shopkeeper who wheels and deals with the soldiers, while noticing one of the prisoners, paratrooper Bert Trautmann (Kross) has goalkeeping skills.

Jack offers Bert a place in his shop and being the goalkeeper for his local struggling football team, soon the teams fortunes turn around and suddenly the locals including his daughter Margaret (Mavor) learn that just because he is German, he didn’t have a choice but to fight. Bert builds a reputation which will make him one of the greatest goalkeepers of an era, one whose story will change football in England forever.

Thoughts on The Keeper

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, Bert Trautmann was a paratrooper for the Germans in World War II, he was captured by the English becoming a prisoner of war, waiting for his chance to return home, he must serve around the village where his goalkeeping skills are discovered seeing him sign for Manchester City. Outside of football he must prove that he was a solider with little choice, but to fight for the Germans, he must overcome all the hate that is thrown his way, while falling in love with an English woman, breaking the boundaries of post war feelings. Margaret is the local woman that isn’t happy about having a German around the village, but slowly gets to learn that he didn’t have a choice, as the two slowly start to fall in love, showing how people need to learn to forgive, instead of holding on the hate. Jack Friar is the man who gives the Bert a chance to go in goal for a local team, a place to work away from the camp and lets him into his life, he is a typical wheeler and dealer. Jock Thompson is the Manchester City manager who offers Bert a chance at a major team, he has a bigger job at bringing a city together to support a man that could change the team’s fortunes.

PerformancesDavid Kross is brilliant as the solider turned goalkeeper, he shows us the pain a war soldier would have been through, just showing the hope he wants a new life after it. Freya Mavor is wonderful too in her role, which shows us how somebody would stand up for a change. In the support roles we have strong work from everybody through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the life and career of former prisoner of war, turned professional goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, how he found love and had to build bridges after the war to make history. Before watching this story, I only knew one major part of Bert’s career, the FA Cup final he won with a broken neck, this is shown and is very scary to watch, when you think about the safety in sport now. Outside of this we get to dive into how the English must learn to forgive the Germans for what happened in the war, something that was never going to be easy, but it was the only way to move forward, this is show through the different levels of acceptance Bert must achieve, his personal life is also very interesting to see, with the ups and downs which could have broken any man, showing the horrors war did to him too. This story is a must watch for any of the sports fans out there, it is told in a way that does show people can be good, not everyone is considered to be bad.

Biopic/Sport/WarWe do follow Bert’s time from his POW days to his return to football after his own personal tragedy, seeing this shows how the war can create a divide that needs to be broken and with sport, it gave him a chance to build the bridges.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are kept simple for the most part, with it being focused on the small village and the football stadiums.


Scene of the Movie – The cup final.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain hate filled characters, are just basic with why they are created, a little bit more about them would have given them more reason to hate.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant biopic about one of the most iconic men to every play football, we see his life which was filled with so much to overcome, he still managed to make history.

Overall: Brilliant Biopic.