The Last Rampage (2017) Movie Thoughts

Director: Dwight H Little

Writer: Alvaro Rodriguez, Jason Rosenblatt (Screenplay) James W Clarke (Book)

Starring: Robert Patrick, Heather Graham, Bruce Davison, Alex MacNicoll, Molly C Quinn, Skyy Moore

Plot: The true story of the infamous prison break of Gary Tison and Randy Greenwalt from the Arizona State prison in Florence, AZ, in the summer of 1978.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Last Rampage starts when Gary Tison (Patrick) and Randy Greenawalt (Browning) breakout of prison thanks to Gary’s sons. The men go on the run with Cooper (Davison) trying to track them down, knowing what the men are capable off.

Gary and Randy start killing people on their plan to escape, while Dorothy (Graham) the wife of Gary believes God is looking out for them, believing she is losing her children with the rampage being left by her husband.

Thoughts on The Last Rampage

ThoughtsThe Last Rampage is a crime thriller based on the real-life story of the escape attempt by two ruthless prisoners. It shows how religious sons will do anything to get their father back after his time in prison, believing he is in fact innocent of the crimes. The rampage the elder two go on, is both disturbing and shocking with how they just don’t care about what they do. We could have a lot more time looking at Cooper tracking him, because this set of events does seem to cause him the most damage. As the for the story of the escape, it does seem to be one that doesn’t need to be highlighting just how twisted the men were, continuing the idea that we are more interested in seeing the criminals, over the innocent people they killed. When it comes to everything we are seeing, we don’t get to see how far the journey is, how intense the complex between the family is either.

Final Thoughts The Last Rampage is a thriller that doesn’t give us enough sympathy to the victims families, and focusing on the wrong side of the fight.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – F- Furious (2017) Movie Review

Director: Dzhanik Fayziev, Ivan Shurkhovetskiy

Writer: Dmitriy Paltsev, Dmitiry Raevskiy, Evgeniy Raevskiy, Sergey Yuakov (Screenplay)

Starring: Ilya Malakov, Aleksey Serebryakov, Aleksanr Ilin, Timofey Tribuntsev, Yuliya Khlynina, Andrey Burkovskiy

Plot: In the 13th century, an amnesiac soldier vows to get his revenge on the Mongol army that ransacked his village.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Furious starts as we head to the Russian city that is home to Evpatii Kolovrat (Malakov) a warrior that is haunted by his memories, needing to remember his life everyday, where he fights in the Prince’s guard. When the Mongol horde led by Khan Batiy (Tsoy) arrives outside the city, Evpatii is part of the party that looks to learn about what they have arrived.

When the city is destroyed, Evpatii looks to lead the fight back against the horde, to end the war and lead his people to freedom with the skills that will finally get unleashed on an enemy.

Thoughts on Furious

Thoughts – Furious takes us back in time to a moment in history where the Russians went to war with the Mongol horde that come into their land, we see a warrior known as Evpatii the Furious lead a small band of men in battle against the horde, using tactical strategy unlike anything people had seen before. The battles sequences are what we are waiting to see unleashed, which will be the true highlight within the film and once the bear gets involved it is unlike anything we would see in a more normal based large scale battle film. The performances are strong throughout with Ilya Malakov in the leading role, showing us the reluctant leader well. The film does have one problem, which comes from the factor we have narration in Russian, when we are hearing another language and reading the English, it feels like it could have been taken out of the film for the English audience. It might not end up being the most historically correct movie, but most of these giant battles rarely follow the truth about what happened, but it sure as hell is an entertaining experience.

Final Thoughts Furious is big, loud and action packed historical drama, with one of the best bear attack scenes put to film.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – E – The Elephant and the Butterfly (2017) Movie Review

Director: Amelie van Elmbt

Writer: Amelie van Elmbt, Matthieu de Braconier (Screenplay)

Starring: Isabelle Barth, Thomas Blanchard, Judith Chemla, Kristof Coenen, Alice de Lencquesaing, Lina Doillon

Plot: Dour ex-boyfriend Antoine (Thomas Blanchard) returns to his Belgian hometown where he reunites with his ex-lover and the mother (Judith Chemla) of their five-year-old girl, Elsa (Lina Doillon), whom he has never met. Through an unexpected turn of events, Antoine suddenly finds himself left alone to take care of the young, inquisitive and spirited youngster. Produced by the Dardenne brothers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming

Story: The Elephant and the Butterfly starts when Antoine (Blanchard) looks to visit his ex-girlfriend Camille (Chemla) who has been raising a daughter Elsa (Doillon), she doesn’t want to speak to Antoine, but when her business meeting occurs, she is left with no other option to leave Elsa with Antoine.

With Antoine left alone with a young child, he does the right thing by caring for her, until he forgets the keys, forcing him to take Elsa back to his own home, waiting for Camille to return, getting to know his own daughter for the first time.

Thoughts on The Elephant and the Butterfly

Characters – Antoine moved away from the town he had with his former girlfriend, now he has returned, he finds himself being asked to first meet, and then look after the daughter he never met. While things with Elsa do go well, his own personal life starts to suffer, though the joys of being a father shine through for him. Elsa is his daughter, the daughter he never met, she is like every 5-year-old, she just wants to explore the world. Camille is Elsa mother and the ex-girlfriend of Antoine, she has made a life for her daughter, but business has forced her into turning to Antoine for help with her for the first time.

PerformancesThomas Blanchard in the leading role is great to watch, he shows the connection a father is first trying to make with a daughter, looking at the time together with such delight, while also showing moments that his character isn’t prepared for parenthood. Lina Doillon is cute as they come as the daughter, she fills the screen with joy at all times.

StoryThe story here follows a man that returns to his home town to meet his daughter, where he ends up having to look after her for a weekend, while her mother is on a business trip. This does show the bond grown between a father and daughter over quick time, it does also show the highlight of the problems between the two adults. It is told in such charm that makes you believe this is done for the right reason.

SettingsThe film does take the father around his local area to spend time with the daughter, it shows us just how close they will become over the short time.

Scene of the Movie – Beach day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Sudden ending.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch charming movie about building a relationship with a child, after not spending any time together.

Overall: Enjoyable.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – B – The Battleship Island (2017) Movie Review

Director: Seung-wan Ryoo

Writer: Seung-wan Ryoo (Screenplay)

Starring: Jung-min Hwang, Ji-seob So, Joonh-Ki Song, Jung-hyun Lee, Su-an Kim

Plot: During the Japanese colonial era, roughly 400 Korean people, who were forced onto Battleship Island (“Hashima Island”) to mine for coal, attempt to a dramatic escape.

Tagline – 1945 Hashima – We called it hell on earth.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bleak War Story

Story: The Battleship Island starts as we see one of the daring escapes from Hashima island, we move back to mainland South Korea to meet entertainer Lee Gang-ok (Hwang) who gets drafted, Choi Chil-sung (So) a street fighter who causes trouble and Park Mu-young (Song) who is planning a rescue of more of the prisoners on the island.

They find themselves taken to Hashima Island, forced into the coal mining by the Japanese. As the conditions worsen, the South Koreans look to work together on a daring escape from the island.

Thoughts on The Battleship Island

Characters – Lee Kang-ok is the leader of a band, he is travelling with his daughter, when they get forced into the mining camp, he tries to keep the people entertained, he has the added skills which could help him survive the translation divide, but what is most important, finding and saving his daughter. Choi Chil-sung is a streetfighter that sees the problems in the mine, he looks out for his people and will stand up against anybody who makes the life even harder. He will help the people that are suffering the most. Park Mu-young has sneaked onto the island to locate somebody, he ends up leading the Koreans in their escape plan. Mallyon is one of the many women that are on the island, they are used for entertainment and pleasure by the Japanese, she does what she can to try and guard on young So-hee.

PerformancesWe have excellent performances from the whole cast, each one shows the different levels of desperation to survive the people are suffering through, what it will mean and what they are willing to give up.

StoryThe story here focuses on the Korean prisoners forced to work under the strict Japanese reign on Hashima Island during World War II and how they ended up fighting back in a daring escape plan. While the events of this story are fictional, the reality of what the island was used for is true. Seeing the hardship the Korean were forced into is a hard watch and like any revolution story, this shows what it means to escape a life they should never be forced into.

Action/History/WarThe action in the film shows us just what the war like battles would have been like for the slave labour needing to find a way to beat the military trained soldiers, which does put a huge spotlight on the historical moment in time.

SettingsThe film keeps us on the island that shows us everything the Koreans would have gone through, we see the tight living space, the horrendous mine conditions.

Scene of the Movie – Bathroom fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The subtitles, not that we have them, that they are so small and hard to read.

Final Thoughts This is a hard to watch war story that will fill in a history lesson for what the people had to suffer through and fought for when they wanted freedom.

Overall: Strong war drama.

That Good Night (2017) Movie Review

Director: Eric Styles

Writer: Charles Savage (Screenplay) N.J. Crisp (Play)

Starring: John Hurt, Sofia Helin, Max Brown, Erin Richards, Charles Dance

Plot: Ralph, a once-famous screenwriter, is in his seventies and terminally ill. He has two final missions: to be reconciled to his son, Michael, and, secretly, to ensure he is not a burden to his wife, Anna, as he goes “into that good night”.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Life and its Importance

Story: That Good Night starts as Ralph (Hurt) a once-famous screenwriter learns that his treatment isn’t going well, he wants to reunite with his estranged son Michael (Brown) before telling his wife Anna (Helin), Ralph has set up everything for when his passes, but his stubborn attitude is only pushing away the relationships he wants to rebuild.

As Ralph tries to figure out a way to end his own suffering, he must learn that his old ways will never leave him being remembered in the right way to the family he will leave behind.

Thoughts on That Good Night

Characters – Ralph is a famous screenwriter, he has lived a selfish life, where he has always looked after himself over anybody, including his own son, he learns his days are numbered which makes him want to reconnect with his son, only he is just as distant as he always was, he must figure out how to make everything right before his time is up. Anna is the wife of Ralph, she has made him happy for years after their own meeting in a hospital years before. Michael is the estranged son that Ralph pushed out of his life, he has created his own life with his own girlfriend and career without his father, he has wanted to let him back in only it hasn’t been as easy as he thought it would be. The Visitor comes to Ralph when he is alone, giving him advice about the situation he finds himself in.

PerformancesJohn Hurt gives one of his final performances here, one that is right up there with one of his best, because it shows how he gives us a character that is facing a life and death situation. Sofia Helin, Max Brown, Erin Richards and Charles Dance all give great performances in the supporting roles in the film.

StoryThe story here follows an elderly screenwriter that is facing his own mortality and wants to rebuild the relationship with his distant son, even if he needs to learn to change himself if he is ever going to face a chance to do this. This story does focus on the idea that no matter how much time you have left, you should always try to make up for anything you don’t want to lose in life. We do see this happen slightly too easily considering just how distant it is applied the problems between the two are, though it does make you see just how difficult life can be for everybody in life. It does use a unique way for Ralph to see the light in his life, which is a nice touch to make it seem different to others.

SettingsThe film uses the beautiful remote house as the backdrop for the most point showing us just how success can give you a life away from people, reflect the distant in relationship Ralph has with people in general.

Scene of the Movie – Hurt and Dance chat, such great sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It didn’t feel like the relationship wasn’t a strained as it could be.

Final Thoughts This is a lovely almost tribute to John Hurt, which reflects the sad truth of his passing, it does show us how life can come to an end and that you will need to get everything you want together before it is too late.

Overall: Lovely tribute to John Hurt.