The Cold Light of Day (2012) Movie Review

Director: Mabrouk El Merchri

Writer: Scott Wiper, John Petro (Screenplay)

Starring: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Echegui, Joseph Mawle, Caroline Goodall, Rafi Gavron

Plot: After his family is kidnapped during their sailing trip in Spain, a young Wall Street trader is confronted by the people responsible: intelligence agents looking to recover a mysterious briefcase.

Tagline – Instinct is his greatest weapon.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Cold Light of Day starts when a wall street trader Will (Cavill) travels to Spain to spend time with his estranged family, father Martin (Willis), mother Laurie (Goodall) and brother Josh (Gavron). After Will goes on a trip to the shops, he returns to find the boat abandoned, with his father’s secret past coming back to haunt him.

Will finds himself in a race against time to try and save his family, not knowing who he can trust, with his father’s former partner Carrack (Weaver) hunting him down, along with the terrorists who have his family.

Thoughts on The Cold Light of Day

ThoughtsThe Cold Light of Day is an action thriller that relies on the star power of Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, while trying to create the next star in Henry Cavill. The story will give us the reluctant hero trying to learn what is going on, while trying to save his family, not knowing who to trust in the grander scheme of things, as nearly everyone new that he meets has their own agenda. The idea that he has no background in the spy world, will leave us wondering how he can get the upper hand on most of the people he meets. We do have the explosive action needed, with one notable car chase through the streets of Madrid being the standout in the film. This is a film that might try to offer plenty of twists and turns, but it does become clear who is involved with the plots. The performances are strong enough for an action film, with Henry Cavill doing well as the unlikely hero, despite us expected it in the post Superman appearances.

Final Thoughts The Cold Light of Day is an easy to watch action film.

ABC Film Challenge – Adventure – Y – Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (2012) Movie Review

This is under Y because of star Yancy Butler.

Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: David Reed (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisabeth Rohm, Yancy Butler, Paul Nicholls, Poppy Lee Friar, Benedict Smith, Caroline Ford, Robert Englund

Plot: Black Lake is now a crocodile sanctuary, surrounded by an electric fence. When the fence is left open, a high-school bus unknowingly enters the park. It’s up to Reba and the Sheriff to save the kids from becoming crocodile food.

Tagline – It’s Anything But Tasteless

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Lake Placid: The Final Chapter starts when Sheriff Giove (Rohm), Reba (Butler) and Loflin (Nicholls) have created a crocodile sanctuary in the area to protect the local life, despite the bigger they get, the locals want them out.

When a group of poachers break into the area, the gate is left open, leading to the Sheriff’s daughter Chloe’s (Friar) high school camping trip going into the sanctuary, becoming the targets of the blood hunger crocodiles.

Thoughts on Lake Placid: The Final Chapter

ThoughtsLake Placid: The Final Chapter is the latest movie in the already over done franchise that started as a horror comedy before turning into a CGI styled cheap cash in. we do get the normal idea of a group of people needing to fight to survive against a group of giant killer crocodiles in still water lake. The story does start with an early point that the crocodiles need to be protected, but quickly decides they are just in need of hunting, while they hunt the human victims. This is a fun type of monster movie, we know going in it isn’t going to be great, it is because of this, we can sit back and enjoy everything we see, from the Robert Englund creep like poacher, to the no-nonsense wildlife water protector Reba played by Yancy Butler. The tacked on love stories are used as filler, while most of what happens around it is just drunk kids being easy pickings. The special effects are not the strongest, with most just being awkward computer crocodiles that have never been near the scene they are meant to be part off.

Final Thoughts Lake Placid: The Final Chapter is a great late night trashy horror film.

Big Miracle (2012) Movie Review

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler (Screenplay) Tom Rose (Book)

Starring: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Ted Danson, Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root. Andrew Daly, Ahmaogak Sweeney, Kristen Bell, Vinessa Shaw

Plot: In small-town Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend – a Greenpeace volunteer – on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Big Miracle starts when local reporter Adam Carlson (Krasinski) doing a story around Alaska, he finds himself finding a big story, three grey whales trapped in the ice. When the story grabs the attention of America, with Rachel Kramer (Barrymore) the ex-girlfriend and Green Peace activist looks to make help, with oil driller J.W. McGraw (Danson) seeing the PR stunt to help increasing his popularity.

Bringing everyone together for the difficult operation to rescue the whales, the world watches the incredible rescue attempt that will bring more people together.

Thoughts on Big Miracle

Characters & Performances – Adam Carlson is a small time reporter that has been working in Alaska for years, putting together small pieces, getting to know the people. This new story will help him gain the headlines, where he will be doing the right thing for the whales, the people and for his career. John Krasinski brings the charisma to this role, as well as he everyday nice guy figure we all know now. Rachel Kramer is the Green Peace activist that is always caught in a fight for the wildlife of the world. This latest story sees her doing everything she can, working with people she hates to rescue the three whales. Drew Barrymore is great here showing the emotional core behind the determination. We get to see the team effort here, from the oil barrel J.W. McGraw who is always looking for PR stunt before he gets emotionally invested in the saving the whales. The endless amounts of journalists looking for the big story. The locals that must embrace change and the military people involved in trying to make the change.

StoryThe story here follows what seems like a small story of three trapped whales, that become an international story of an unlikely rescue attempt of the trapped whales, that had the world watching what seemed like an impossible task. This is based on the true story that took over the world, seeing how the world would come together in an attempt to rescue three whales, showing the different struggles they must look to overcome along the way. We see how different people’s thinking was put aside for the rescue attempts, letting people learn the different points of view that would end up changing parts of the world forever.

ThemesBig Miracle is a biopic that show the incredible people that came together from different worlds to save three whales, they each have their own reason for being there, with the same goal, to rescue the whales. The locations show us how the freezing temperatures would make this harder for outsiders to adapt too and how the town would look to let them into their lives to learn their culture.

Big Miracle is a heart warming drama that will show us just how much the human race could achieve if they worked together.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – A – Act of Valor (2012) Movie Review

Director: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh

Writer: Kurt Johnstad (Screenplay)

Starring: Rorke Denver, Dave, Sonny, Weimy, Ray, Ajay, Mikey, Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle

Plot: An elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.

Tagline – of their own accord

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Training Montage.

Story: Act of Valor starts when undercover CIA Agent Lisa Morales (Sanchez) is abducted, with a specialist Navy SEALs team look to extract her, Dave, Sonny, Weimy, Ray, Ajay, Mikey the real Navy SEALs show how they would complete a extraction before learning about the bigger picture.

The SEALs return to the field to track down the people that took Lisa in the first place to bring down a new terrorist threat to the world.

Thoughts on Act of Valor

Final ThoughtsThis is a unique take on an action film, we get to see a real Navy SEAL team as they work as a unit, have each other’s back and eliminate threats in the most effective way. By highlighting the abilities of the men, we get to see how people could become more eliminated without anyone noticing the threat coming, while having a more traditional look at how the terrorists around the world operate within the shadows, always having someone more dangerous on top of them. This is a very patriotic movie, showing us how it seems that only America can solve the problems in the world and does suffer from lack of emotional response for the person side of the story. It ends up feeling more like a highlight reel for the Navy over anything fresh that we haven’t seen before.

Overall: Easy to Watch Action.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – U – Dredd (2012) Movie Review

This is under U because of Karl Urban as Dredd.

Director: Pete Travis

Writer: (Screenplay) John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra (Characters)

Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Tamer Burjaq, Domhnall Gleeson

Plot: In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

Tagline – Judgment is coming

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Dredd starts as we meet Judge Dredd (Urban) the best police officer in the futuristic town, whose power gives him the ability to judge somebody’s crimes. Dredd is assigned a rookie Anderson (Thirlby) who has psychic abilities. Dredd is given the day to see if Anderson can keep up.

The first day will see the pair heading into a block run by drug lord Ma-Ma (Headey) who has just executed people who betrayed her. Dredd and Anderson must enter the most dangerous building in the city and bring an end to Ma-Ma reign of terror before her new SLO-MO drug leaves the building.

Thoughts on Dredd

Characters & Performances – Judge Dredd is the best law enforcement officer in the city, judge, jury and executioners. He is given a rookie to show the ropes, which will see him given out the rules for her to follow, letting her make the decisions, assessing her, while doing his duty. He will always keep his helmet on, being truer to the original content. Karl Urban is brilliant in this leading role, giving us the calm authoritarian character who is always in control no matter what the odds are. Anderson is the rookie with psychic abilities, she isn’t at the level required to be a judge yet. This is her training day, given one shot to prove herself under Dredd. She must use her abilities to help Dredd get through situations he wouldn’t normal be able to brute force he way through. Olivia Thirlby does a great job in this role that goes hand in hand with Urban’s character, she brings the more grounded version of the character to life. Ma-Ma is the drug lord who runs the tower block. If you cross her, she will make you suffer before killing you. Everybody in the building either fears her or respects her, but everyone follows her rules. Lena Headey gives us one of action films best modern-day villains, one that is cold, calculated and ruthless. We do get endless amounts of villains for Dredd to plough through on his way to getting justice.

StoryThe story here follows the legendary Judge Dredd as he takes a rookie under his wing, with the pair finding themselves going into battle against the ruthless drug lord in her tower block filled with criminals who will do anything she says. The story does give us an idea which is easy to follow, two judges against a building full of enemies who will kill for their leader. Each floor with offer up a new problem and while this might well get overshadowed by The Raid, we do get to see just what measure this graphic novel character will go to get the job done.

ThemesDredd brings us an onslaught of action, which just doesn’t stop, we get to see the different floors offering different challenges, bringing different weapons to the battle. We get hand to hand combat, which is as equally entertaining. The singular location shows us just how big the building is, increasing the enemies the Judges must go through. The special effects to show us how the SLO-MO works, is brilliant too, being used to add a new dimension to the fight scenes.

Final Thoughts Dredd is an excellent action movie that should continue to have the following it deserves.