The Glass Man (2011) Movie Review

Director: Christian Solimeno

Writer: Christian Solimeno (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Nyman, James Cosmo, Neve Campbell, Brett Allen

Plot: The chilling story of a middle class man whose desperate weathering of the current economic crisis ends with the arrival one night of a debt collector with an offer that surely cannot be turned down.


Tagline – Knock Knock. Who’s There?

Runtime: 1 hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Glass Man starts as we meet Martin Pyrite (Nyman) who has recently been fired under unusually circumstances which he believes is unfair, he has kept this secret from his wife Julie (Campbell) and has seen his debts rising above anything he can afford.

When his wife starts to learn the truth, Martin needs to explain to her the truth, until a stranger Pecco (Cosmo) arrives at the door looking for his money. Pecco offers him a chance to clean up his debts by joining him on a one night mission into a world of crime.

Thoughts on The Glass Man

Characters – Martin has always lived a life above what he could afford, where he finds himself spending as quick as he earns, which has led to him needing to hide the fact he lost his job and owes more than he can pay off, he gets a one off night to try and fix his problems, where his eyes will be open to everything he has done wrong. Pecco is the loan shark that arrives in the middle of the night that offers Martin a way out of his problems, his imposing presence will only make Martin mind up. Julie is the wife of Martin, we don’t really learn much about her with most of her time just being around the home.

PerformancesAndy Nyman does do the most work in the film as the nervous figure that is seeing his life fall apart around him, while James Cosmo does make for a figure of pure fear. Neve Campbell does seem wasted in her role though, she does also struggle with the accent.

StoryThe story here follows a man that is living above his income that has seen his life spiral out of control and given a lifeline by a shady loan shark, where he will dive into a world of crime for his freedom. The story does hide some of the most important sides to everything, we don’t know how serious the issue that has caused Martin to be fired, while the journey does end up coming up with a story that gets caught up in trying to be something edgier than it actually is.

ThrillerThe film does try to keep us on the edge of our seats when it comes to the night out with the loan shark.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to show first how Martin is living in a big home, worked in a big office and then the life of crime causing him to step out of his normal world.

Final Thoughts The Glass Man is trying to be edgy with how everything unfolds, but ends up tripping over the final reveal.



ABC Film Challenge – Animation – Y – Batman: Year One (2011) Movie Review

Director: Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery

Writer: Tab Murphy (Screenplay) Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Richmond Lewis (Graphic Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku, Jon Polito, Alex Rocco, Katee Sackhoff

Plot: A wealthy playboy and a Chicago cop both return to Gotham City where their lives will intersect in unexpected ways.


Tagline – A merciless crime – turns a man into an outlaw.

Runtime: 1 Hour 4 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautifully Dark

Story: Batman: Year One starts when Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne arrive in Gotham, one to start a new career, the other returning for the first time in years. Jim joins the force and sees just how corrupt the force is in this city, where he must wait for his time to bring them down, while Bruce is taking his first steps into fighting crime him own way.

When Batman starts building his vigilante reputation, Gordon is assigned to track him down and stop him from taking control of the city. Gordon must face him and learn that the two might want the same thing for the city.

Thoughts on Batman: Year One

Characters – Jim Gordon is the new lieutenant in Gotham City, he is here to start a new career with his pregnant wife, with his previous life showing him to have been the one to expose corrupt police officers, now in the middle of a corrupt department, he must wait for his time to bring them down, no matter who comes for him. He must decide whether Batman is going to be a threat or not. Bruce Wayne has returned home after years his parents death and wanting to start fighting crime, he has started small before evolving into the Batman, taking on the biggest crime boss in the city, he might be seen as the enemy, but shows his true colours. Selina is a small time criminal that has been waiting for her chance to make the most of the criminal uprising, seeing that Batman could be doing the right thing. Commissioner Loeb is the man who has been accused of being corrupt and now he has it covered up until Jim arrives to try and make the most of everything before losing everything he has worked for.

StoryThe story here follows one year in Gotham city as we see how the rise of the Batman and Jim Gordon through the police force dealing with the criminals both in the police force and the criminal underworld. The story does highlight how they both want to do the right thing in different ways, but both don’t want to turn to murder. They do also see enemies come from different directions in their lives too. The strange way this film plays out is when we see just how the time flies, we do have a couple of scenes which are literally one line and jump to the next week, which does make this feel rush, making you think it could have had a lot more in the story.

Action/CrimeThe action does mix with the crime, because it shows how both sides are fighting for what is right with bodies flying around the scenes.

SettingsThe film takes us to Gotham city which we all know is the iconic location that is known for the Batman to be set in.

AnimationThe animation style is great to see and will always work for the darker Batman stories.


Scene of the Movie – Batman escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The certain random scenes to show a sentence.

Final Thoughts This is a great dark Batman story which does show the origin of both Batman and Jim Gordon in there one year after returning and arriving in Gotham.

Overall: Great Origin Story.

Laurence Fishburne Weekend – Contagion (2011) Revisited

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Z Burns (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet

Plot: Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure.


Tagline – Nothing spreads like fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Thriller

Story: Contagion starts when people from around the world start getting sick, with Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) returning home with the same serious symptoms, dying in front of her husband Matt (Damon) and son Clark (Kane). Dr Ellis Cheever (Fishburne) and Dr Erin Mears (Winslet) are leading a task force to investigate the sudden amounts of people getting sick, with Dr Leonora Orantes (Cotillard) attacking the cases from the European side.

Journalist Alan Krumwiede (Law) is trying to get a big story from the outbreak, with the scientist racing against time to first find the infected, secondly to learn about the virus and thirdly just where it started before the population of the world starts dwindling.

Thoughts on Contagion

Characters – Dr Leonora Orantes works for the World Health Organization she starts the investigation from Europe through Hong Kong trying to trace the origin of the disease, showing how easily it was spread. Dr Ellis Cheever and Dr Erin Mears are from the CDC that are trying to contain the problem in America, building shelters for the sick, dealing with the pressure from people who want the story. Alan Krumwiede is an internet reporter that gets aggressive with his techniques in searching for the truth. Mitch sees his wife being one of the first victims, finding him being one of the few people immune to the disease.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast in this film, we have A-Listers and up and comers mixing together effortlessly, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard are all fantastic in their roles through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the outbreak of an unknown aggressive disease that is effecting the world globally, we have the race from the governments to try and figure out how to stop it and learn where it came from before it kills millions around the world. This story does show us just how quickly a disease could spread, how deadly it could be and how the world could start to fall apart even within the first month of the outbreak. We do get to see the scientific response to everything which is a lot more interesting instead of just following the traditional trends which we have seen before, we see how desperate the people have become and even how the structure of government can even hold up everything. This is an investigation based movie which is important to see for everybody as we are getting the search for the origin too.

ActionThe action in the film is more about the race to find a cure, to save lives, which does make this a thriller side of everything.

SettingsThe film takes place all over the world, showing just how quickly the disease started to spread, with people in the world getting sick, the disease spreads quicker.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just how sick the people will get, this is mostly make-up effects which shows how sick people will become.


Scene of the Movie – The search for the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The annoying daughter that is more worried about time passing than surviving.

Final Thoughts This is a great look at how quickly a disease could spread and cause millions of deaths and how much work would go into solving the problem.

Overall: Brilliant.

Robert Downey Jr Weekend – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Movie Review

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney (Screenplay) Arthur Conan Doyle (Characters)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry

Plot: Detective Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, who is carrying out a string of random crimes across Europe.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Feels Like a Game I Lost

Story: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starts with Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr) on the tail of Professor Moriarty (Harris) following Irene Adler (McAdams) around believing there is an involvement in the terrorist attacks going across Europe.

Back home Sherlock has forgotten his responsibility to be the best man for Dr Watson’s (Law) wedding and ends up dragging him into the battle with Moriarty, one that is getting out of his control.

Thoughts on Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Characters – Sherlock Holmes has become entrapped in a battle of wits with Moriarty, this has seen him turn to disguise to elude him, turning to the one person he knows he can trust to help him, Dr Watson, he will risk his life to uncover the truth using his ability to see what will happen. Dr Watson is about to get married and is left disappointed by Sherlock for not preparing his part in the wedding preparations, he reluctantly joins Sherlock in the battle against Moriarty. Madam Heron finds herself caught in the middle of the battle with her brother going missing after working with Moriarty. Professor Moriarty is considered one of Holmes greatest rivals, here we see him in the middle of a grand plan which has seen Europe on the verge of war, always staying ahead of Holmes, letting him investigate just what he wants him to.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr is mostly annoying in this role, he is trying to make Sherlock quirky and it just doesn’t seem to work. Jude Law is solid enough in the sidekick role, without making Holmes seem very interesting. Noomi Rapace does everything she needs to without making an impact in the film. Jared Harris is the most interesting performance in the film, with him needing to be calculated throughout.

StoryThe story here follows Sherlock Holmes facing off against his most famous enemy Professor Moriarty as he tries to uncover his plan which takes Holmes around Europe to do battle with the calculated villain. Now the first problem here comes from the fact the story is told with way too many, if you see it from this angle you will learn the truth, without giving us any hint that this is going on. When it comes to the back and fourth between the two, we are left wondering just how they got into the rivalry in the first place, wondering why Holmes and Watson have become separate after all these years. We don’t seem to get a true threat of Moriarty either, which should see him getting the upper hand a lot more, we are left feeling like this story does drag along for too long.

Action/MysteryThe action in this film does feel frustrating because nearly all the best bits are shot as if they have happened and then rewind it for something else, with the mystery in the film just not being as interesting as it should be.

SettingsThe film does use the era based settings well enough be it London or Paris which does make it understandable that bigger plans are in play.

Special EffectsThe effects are what are used for the rewinds, they don’t help make the action entertaining in anyway, leaving us feeling empty by the end of the film.


Scene of the Movie – Didn’t have one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How quirky Sherlock is made to be.

Final Thoughts This is a disappointing version of one of the most famous fictional detectives, it is shot badly leaving us all over the place.

Overall: Bad version of Holmes.

Jason Bateman Weekend – Horrible Bosses (2011)

horribleDirector: Seth Gordon

Writer: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay) Michael Markowitz (Story)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Fox

 

Plot: Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Horrible Bosses starts by introducing us in traditional comedy style as we meet Nick (Bateman) who has been working hard for a promotion from Dave Harken (Spacey), dental assistant Dale (Day) who works for crazy horny dentist Dr Julia Harris (Aniston) and Kurt (Sudeikis) who actually likes his boss Jack Pellit (Sutherland) but his son Bobby (Farrell) is cokehead who takes over the family business.

The three are all high school friends that all now are working for bosses they hate spending each night moaning about how they hate their days. This leads to the three to want to kill their bosses and they look for a hitman and find Dean ‘MF’ Jones (Foxx). The friends must find out a way to make their bosses have accidents to get rid of them.

Horrible Bosses is a comedy circling around the idea of having to work for difficult bosses and how you can go to the extremes and want to kill them. This shows how difficult it can be to work with difficult bosses but is mostly about how friends can bitch about how they hate them. The comedy does work in places even if certain parts are flipped reverse on sexual harassment.

Bateman, Sudeikis and Day do have good chemistry throughout while Spacey, Aniston and Farrell get to have great fun with their horrible boss characters each getting to play against the normal characters we are used to. This does turn into a good comedy that people will enjoy as they can relate to the struggle with difficult bosses.

 

Overall: Fun comedy that hits all the levels it needs too with the subject matter.

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