Angel Has Fallen (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Writer: Matt Cook, Robert Mark Kamen, Ric Roman Waugh (Screenplay) Katrin Benedikt, Creighton Rothenberger (Characters)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Piper Perabo, Jada Pinkett Smith, Nick Nolte, Lance Reddick, Danny Huston, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.


Tagline – Fallen. Framed. Forced to Fight for His Life.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Franchise Hasn’t Fallen

Story: Angel Has Fallen starts when Mike banning (Butler) is the only survivor of a drone attack on President Allan Trumbull (Freeman), the rest of the team are killed and Mike has been framed for the assassination attempt. FBI agent Helen Thompson (Smith) is investigating the case, with Mike looking cut and dry to have been the man behind it, but when Mike escapes, he sets out to prove his innocence.

Mike turns to his estranged father Clay (Nolte) as he looks to discover why his old friend an private contractor Wade Jennings (Huston) has set him up and how he can prove his isn’t involved despite a nationwide manhunt for him.

Thoughts on Angel Has Fallen

Characters – Mike Banning is still a senior secret service man, playing righthand to the President, he has been keeping his injuries secret, which is nice to see an action man actually suffering injuries, instead of just being fine, like most action stars. He does his duty saving the President from an attack, only to find himself framed. When the people come to finish the job on Banning, he escapes and uses all his training to allude and search for a way to prove his innocence. Allan Trumbull is now the President, stepping up from his role as the Vice in the previous two outings, he is looking to change certain ideas, though he spends most of his film in a coma after the attack, he is the only other witness who could defend Mike’s involvement too. Wade Jennings is the private military contractor and old military buddy of Mike’s, he has framed him and is using his expertly trained team to hunt him down and finish off the job. Leah is the wife of Mike’s she is trying to keep him from working now they have a child and must deal with the consequences of seeing the name dragged through the dirt. FBI Agent Helen Thompson is trying to put the pieces together, seeing Mike as the prime suspect, she just wants the case closed without anybody else being hurt. Clay Banning is the estranged father of Mike’s he has been off the grid for years because of his own trauma from his time in the war, he is the only person Mike knows he can turn too.

PerformancesGerard Butler is great in the leading role, he is always going to be a bankable star when it comes to action roles and this is no different. Morgan Freeman does everything you would expect from a President role, without needing to do much. Piper Perabo takes over from Radha Mitchell in the wife role, which doesn’t have much to do if we are being honest. Danny Huston is one of these actors that you know is always going to be a villain, he does everything we know he can do in this role. Nick Nolte is a lot of fun, bringing his trademark estranged father role to the big screen once again, he gets a few laughs in too.

StoryThe story here sees Mike Banning being framed for the assassination attempt of the President, the figure that he has been guarding for years and he must go off the grid to prove who was really behind it. The story is one that is great to watch for action, but if you have seen the previous instalments of the franchise, you will be left asking a few questions. First what happened to President Benjamin Asher, we have zero mention of him, secondly, how is nobody on Mike’s side after all he has done in the past, like seriously, he pretty much saved the President against impossible odds twice. While this question could be answered with the number of pieces of evidence placed on him, it still doesn’t seem to fit the character these people have created. Away from these questions, we must say this does build on the scale of the previous film’s stories, which is good because it does feel different, which each film does do. We could easily watch this story as a single film too and the fact that we do touch on the physical injuries that Mike has suffered through his job, does show a vulnerable action character.

ActionThe action is big, we might not have the large scale opening attack, but once we get into the military formations ideas, we get plenty of tactical shootings.

SettingsThe film does build on the settings, with the first one being one building, the second being one city, now we have a nationwide hunt.

Special EffectsThe effects, well this has been an issue for the franchise all along, but the green screen scenes are so clear to see it almost feels like they didn’t finish the job yet.


Scene of the Movie – Mike and Clay have an escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – No mention of former President Benjamin Asher, like what happened here?

Final Thoughts This is a action sequel that does enough different to make it feel fresh even if certain parts of the story feels too farfetched, it does continue to have a 24 vibe to everything, but it is well for a watch if you have seen the franchise or not.

Overall: Trilogy that hasn’t Fallen.

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Summer Night (2019)

Director: Joseph Cross

Writer: Jordan Jolliff (Screenplay)

Starring: Justin Chatwin, Analeigh Tipton, Lana Condor, Victoria Justice, Ella Hunt, Callan McAuliffe, Melina Vidler, Ellar Coltrane

Plot: A coming-of-age story about the complexities of young romantic relationships.


Tagline – Thirteen Friends. One Night to Get it Right.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: TV Pilot?

Story: Summer Night starts as we head to a small American town, we go on to meet the young adults in Andy (Chatwin), the newly pregnant Mel (Tipton), Lexi (Condor), Harmony (Justice), Dana (Hunt), Taylor (McAuliffe), Vanessa (Vidler), James (Coltrane), Corin (Kampouris), Rabbit (Milner), Seth (Nelson), Caleb (Szeto) and Luke (Davis) as they all know each other, they all have connecting stories and spend a typical summer night socialising at the local bar, where the issues get dealt with, from broken hearts, unplanned pregnancy, first dates and old love.

Thoughts on Summer Night

Characters – We do meet a lot of different characters, they do all know each other and they each represent a different version of a young adult trying to balance their romances, these characters do feel like we are jumping into a television drama, because nobody seems like they are a main character and a different story could cover their story in a deeper level.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are all strong, considering the actors don’t get that much screen time, we see how they are all dealing with different emotions and understand each characters mindset through the performances.

StoryThis story follows a group of young adults that are spending their summers having a good time dealing with love and all the things around it over one night. It would be fair to say this could easily be a pilot for a television show by just how the story unfolds, we do meet a lot of characters with each chapter of the film feeling like it could be bigger with longer conversations between the people having moments in their lives. By not having a true main character we are often left wondering why we needed so many characters for a film. Certain points being discussed are serious and do need to be looked at in a serious light too.

ComedyWe do get moments of comedy which can get laughs, though we do focus on the drama of life more often than not.

SettingsThe film is set in one small town, it shows that the group of young adults are close and the drama of their lives can cross paths.


Scene of the Movie – The band performances.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters for just a film.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at how young adults can spend a summer night, partying and trying to figure out relationships and life in general, it would work better as a television series as we could spend more time with the characters.

Overall: Young Adult Life.

Once Upon a Time in a Haunted House (2019) Horror Short

Director: Ramone Menon

Writer: Ramone Menon (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniella Mendoza, Marvin J Edmonds, C.J. Baker, Anna Chavez, Patrick Rutnam

Plot: A desperate illegal immigrant takes a job as the caregiver of a malevolent ghost at a Haunted House.


Tagline – This is No Fairytale

Runtime: 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Creepy Horror Shocker

Story: Once Upon a Time in a Haunted House starts as we follow Dario (Edmonds) going on a date with Raquel (Mendoza), the date is at her apartment, which instantly has a creepy vibe once he enters, it isn’t long before he learns the truth about the date. We have chapters here with which will explain Raquel’s position in this house, the mother figure that lurks in the shadows and just what the plan is the visitors.

Thoughts on Once Upon a Time in a Haunted House

Final Thoughts Being a short horror, it would be unfair to give everything away, so first we must admire the fact this story, it does get told in a reverse style, seeing how each character has found themselves in the position before we get to see the big reveal to what is the evil in the film. Each chapter has a strong build to an incident which relies on the performance reaction from the potential victim, which makes us want to see more, with the chapter when everything is unleashed being the one, we have been waiting for. When it comes to a short film, we can always look at what could be longer and this is one story that could become a feature film, with the mystery having everything we want to see, when it comes to creating a mystery behind the horror we are about to watch. This is a short that makes you want to see more, which is what we want from any short film.

Overall: Horror Short Leaving You Wanting More.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) Movie Review

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Julia Butters, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Al Pacino

Plot: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.


Tagline – The 9th Film from Quentin Tarantino.

Runtime: 2 Hours 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Look at Hollywood

Story: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood starts as we head to Hollywood in 1969, television actor Rik Dalton (DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) as we follow Rick trying to put his career back on track, he is shown the reality of his situation through his agent Marvin Schwarz (Pacino). Rick must face his own future in the business when he learns that Sharon Tate (Robbie) and Roman Polanski have moved into the house next door to him.

As we follow the three around LA, Rick working on another television appearance, Sharon watching her own movie in a theatre and Cliff stumbling in to the Spahn ranch where he once worked that has been overtaken by the hippies control be Charles Manson. With Hollywood being the home for dreams, Rick, Cliff and Sharon will end up having a night that will change their lives forever.

Thoughts on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Characters – Rick Dalton was once the star of a popular television show, now his show is cancelled, he has been left to work on guest spots usually playing the villain, the film roles have dried up and he must rely on Cliff to drive him around LA, he knows he is better than what he is getting and does believe that he will one day get a big role, he is a great look at how actors can see their careers turn into a rollercoaster in Hollywood. Cliff Booth is the stuntman for Rick, he helps drive him around town too, with he two being best friends. When he isn’t helping Rick, he cruises around town and isn’t far from breaking the law once again, he does seem grounded in this world and isn’t afraid to get into a fight, including challenging Bruce Lee. Sharon Tate is the beautiful actress that was on the rise to stardom, she parties with her husband and friend Jay and is the talk of the town. As for the rest of the characters, we meet actors of the era, on set members that help or hinder the roles for both Rick or Cliff and members of the Manson family.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio proves once again that he can become any character he wants with a performance that shows that he could be an actor trying to be an actor and know just how to play this role. Brad Pitt steals the movie with the personification of cool in every single scene he is in, the laidback nature and the relationship he has with his dog, just makes you want to see more of him. Margot Robbie looks perfect for the role of Sharon Tate, she doesn’t put a foot wrong even if she doesn’t end up having a big of a role that we are made to believe.

StoryThe story here follows an actor suffering with a career identification that teams up with his stuntman to go in search for the next career move, all with the background of the growing actions of the Manson Family. This is a story that does feel misleading at times, firstly because it felt like it should be heavily about the Manson family murders, while instead that is just the background story, while we are much more focal on the idea that an actor is trying to rebuild his career. This does make everything feel more entertaining though, because we get to flashback to certain life decisions which might have left the characters in the position they find themselves in. if you are a fan of 60s Hollywood, you will get plenty out of this story which will be filled with references for the golden era of Hollywood.

ComedyThe comedy in this film flows through how Rick and Cliff get involved in everything, we will get laughs through certain things, without it being a laugh out loud comedy.

SettingsThe settings for the film truly do put us back into the 1960 Hollywood era, be it the sets, the streets, the vehicles or the houses, it truly feels like we are there.


Scene of the Movie – Cliff visits the ranch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – What is Tarantino’s obsession with feet.

Final Thoughts This is an truly entertaining Tarantino movie, it pays tons of respect to the golden era of Hollywood and will keep you laughing along the way.

Overall: Entertaining Respect to Hollywood.

Killers Anonymous (2019)

Director: Martin Owen

Writer: Seth Johnson, Elizabeth Morris, Martin Owen (Screenplay)

Starring: Tommy Flanagan, Jessica Alba, Gary Oldman, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Tim McInnerny, Suki Waterhouse, Sam Hazeldine

 

Plot: A support group of killers is held regularly. The participants sit in a circle of trust and share their transgressions.


Tagline – Take It One Slay At A Time

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Slick as it Thinks it is

 

Story: Killers Anonymous starts with the assassination attempt of a Senator, the assassins involved are going to a private support meeting which only contains fellow assassins, where the killers can talk about their murders, with the newest member of the group Alice (Brown) getting to meet the paranoid members.

When The Man (Oldman) learns that the assassination failed, he wants answers which see the different members of the support group trying to figure out who is to blame for their failures and needing to clean up the messes left behind.

 

Thoughts on Killers Anonymous

 

Characters – The Man is the assassin’s handler, he puts them in the right place and deals with things when things go wrong, he is on his latest operation which has a connection to everything going on. Markus is one of the more experienced assassins that is at the meeting, he isn’t happy with new faces arriving in his meeting. Alice is the mysterious new member at the meeting, she doesn’t say much which only makes the other assassin’s question who and why she is there. Jade is one of the assassins that works under the Man, she has made a mistake because of her own personal life, which has only annoyed The Man.

PerformancesThis movie does have a big cast and is one that is using the biggest names to try and sell the movie, Gary Oldman isn’t in the film that much, the same can be sad for Jessica Alba, Tommy Flanagan does get top billing even though he is only one of many in the support group, with only Rhyon Nicole Brown having anything part of mystery about her character.

StoryThe story here follows a group of killers that meet to discuss what happened to make the latest job go wrong, this is a regular occurrence, well the meetings are, but soon things start to unravel to show us just what is happening, why the new woman is in the meeting and what went wrong. This is where the story is trying to become a fancy slick mystery, but in reality it is failing to capture this on so many different levels, it is one of those crime mysteries which tries to make everything single moment mean something that could turn the story on its head, only to end up giving us too many characters to focus on, without giving us enough information to make the characters interesting enough to care about.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action in this film is saved for two main fight sequences, which are almost blink and you miss them, while the crime world does show us just how the killers could operate, the mystery in the film is the highlight because we get to see just who could be trusted or who can’t be.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the one building, during the meeting and around the breaks, this does help contain the problem they are facing, only for it to not give us enough to see for what could be a bigger prospective film.


Scene of the Movie –
Church fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many assassins talking mostly nothing important.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that believes it is one of the slickest of the year, it never gets close to being that and only ends up leaving us disappointed.

 

Overall: Gives killers a bad name.

Rating