Welcome Home (2018)

Director: George Ratliff

Writer: David Levinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Paul, Emily Ratajkowski, Riccardo Scamarcio, Katy Louise Saunders, Alice Bellagamba

 

Plot: A couple spend a weekend at a vacation rental home in the Italian countryside in an attempt to repair their relationship, but soon become victims of the homeowner’s sinister plans.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Thriller

 

Story: Welcome Home starts with our couple Bryan (Paul) and Cassie (Ratajkowski) heading to their Italian countryside rental home for the weekend, as they two look to rebuild their relationship. With the relationship still strained you can see the troubles they are having and when neighbour Federico (Scamarcio) arrives in their lives it only shows how things might never be fixed.

The closer Federico gets to the couple the stranger the events, we learn that he has the house rigged with cameras and is happy to help continue adding strain on the relationship either by pushing Bryan to get even or trying his own hand at seducing Cassie.

 

Thoughts on Welcome Home

 

Characters – Bryan has been struggling to deal with the fact his girlfriend cheated on him, he is torn between making the big step or walking away and this holiday will give him that chance for an answer. Cassie is the girlfriend that has cheated on Bryan, she is trying to do anything to help him forgive her though we are never truly sure she wouldn’t do something like this again. The problem with both of these two comes with the fact we don’t get to learn anything about who they are other than each other’s partner, we spend more time either watching Cassie shower or just watch her getting dressed than to give us any redeeming characteristics. Federico is the neighbour that offers a friendly hand to Cassie, soon we learn his motives as he watches over the house with a series of cameras as he inserts himself into the lives of the couple.

PerformancesAaron Paul is the leading role does continue to struggle on the big screen after his wonderful performances in Breaking Bad, he never looks that interested in what his character is meant to be. Emily Ratajkowski is known more for her modelling and music videos, sure she looks beautiful but when it comes to acting, she doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. Riccardo Scamarcio is the villainous role is creepy and seductive just like he needs to be for his role.

StoryThe story follows a couple that are rebuilding their relationship on a vacation where things end up getting pushed to new limits by a mysterious stranger. This is something we have seen before, there is no simply way of putting it, the way these usually works better is following the mysterious stranger because we learn what they are doing and wait to see when the others will. This gives us the information about what he is doing and still makes us sit through most of the fight the couple are struggling through, which again could have been highlighted stronger as the point of trying to get over it, but they are reacting like it only just happened. This story is weak for the most part, the highlight comes from the final moments, which could make you rethink everything you did just watch.

ThrillerThe film does try to put us on edge from the start to the finish as we learn what is going on and wait to see just how far things will go, the problem is that this film doesn’t hit the markers to suck us into everything that is happening.

SettingsThe film is set in Italy which as we saw in ‘Call Me By Your Name’ can have beautiful backdrops, this film fails to capture this in anyway.


Scene of the Movie –
The final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Seriously how many shower scenes do we need in 90-minute movie?

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that follows a well known style of couple on vacation to fix problems only things go wrong, the acting is basic, the plot predictable and the settings are not used to their best capability.

 

Overall: Dull thriller.

Rating

 

 

A Long Way Down (2014)

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Writer: Jack Thorne (Screenplay) Nick Hornby (Novel)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Zara White, Joe Cole, Sam Neill

 

Plot: Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another with the difficulties of their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underrated Gem

 

Story: A Long Way Down starts on New Year’s Eve as disgraced TV celebrity Martin (Brosnan) is planning to kill himself only to get interrupted by the lonely Maureen (Collette), heartbroken Jess (Poots) and cancer stricken JJ (Paul) who are also using the same rooftop to plan their suicide.

All going against the suicide the four make a pact to not kill themselves until at least Valentine’s day and support each other through the six weeks once the tabloids want to make a story of why they were together. The four become good friends exposing their own secrets to why they want to escape their lives.

 

Thoughts on A Long Way Down

 

Characters/PerformanceMartin is the disgraced TV talk show host, his small mistake has ruined his career, his family and even finding himself in jail. Now out of jail he wants to kill himself to get away from the headlines. Maureen is a single mother spending everyday looking after her disabled son, not getting any real free time. Jess is the daughter of politician whose sister vanished a few years before, she is a lost soul in the world turning to the drinks and drugs. JJ is an American musician who can’t find his place in the world.

Performance wise, I feel all four of the main actors give brilliant performances, Paul and Poots both show that this could be one of their best of their careers in film, while Brosnan and Collette must have theirs put on their underrated performances of their careers.

StoryThe story shows the struggles everyday people can have with depression, it shows that you can get support from people you didn’t even know. I think this film tackles the issues of depression on a brilliant level, and shows just how you can find light in the strangest places.

SettingsThe settings are used to show just how different the location these four have come from, it shows just how important finding help outside your comfort zone can be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I didn’t expect too much from and I can say I truly enjoyed the film, the characters all feel real, their problems feel real and most importantly the answers to the problems didn’t cure everything they helped them realizes how important they are.

 

Overall: This is a very underrated film I feel people should be seeing.

Rating

 

 

Eye in the Sky (2016)

eyeDirector: Gavin Hood

Writer: Guy Hibbert (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Phoebe Fox

 

Plot: Col. Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, sees her mission escalate when a girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute over the implications of modern warfare.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Thriller

 

Story: Eye in the Sky starts Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren) planning her latest mission in her search for terrorists in Kenya. She has two drone pilots located in the States Steve Watts (Paul) and rookie Carrie Gershon (Fox) being her eyes in the sky as Katherine co-ordinates with the locals in Kenya planning the take down.

We continue to meet everyone else involved in this operation with Lieutenant General Frank Benson (Rickman) keeping everything under control from a British military office and Jama Farah (Abdi) a ground surveillance from the ground.

Finding the terrorists, the we get go through the legal and ethical decision about any drone attack, this is what creates all of the tension through the film.

Eye in the Sky shows us the modern warfare and how the search for these deadly terrorist, the story shows how difficult these decisions the people involved have to face because they are not only trying to stop terrorist attacks they are trying to protect the innocent lives involved too. Having the people located all over the world also shows us how much of a global operation this actually is too. I think the tension is built up through the film that does help keep us on edge and is willing to offer up the questions about what we would do too.

 

Actor Review

 

Helen Mirren: Colonel Katherine Powell is running the operation to locate and capture known terrorists in Africa. She has to communicate with people all over the world on this operation as well as dealing with legal and ethical consequences. Helen gives us a great grounded performance through this film.

Aaron Paul: Steve Watts is the drone pilot stationed in Nevada having to watch over the situation unfold, he knows that he is pulling the trigger that could end innocent lives. Aaron is good in this performance showing all the emotion needed in the role.

Alan Rickman: Lieutenant General Frank Benson has to communicate with the highest ranking officials as to what can be done for the good of the mission and the good of the country all after he had the difficult decision what present to buy. Alan gives the performance you would expect from him in one of his last before we lost great.

Barkhad Abdi: Jama Farah is the Kenyan agent on the ground that has to risk his own life to get close to produce a positive ID on the suspects. Barkhad is good in this role having to deal with the most action involved in the story.

Support Cast: Eye in the Sky has a supporting cast that are all involved in the operation from all around the world they all help balance what would be the right or wrong decision.

Director Review: Gavin HoodGavin gives us a thriller that keeps you on edge throughout as well as offering all the questions needed during these operations.

 

Thriller: Eye in the Sky keeps us on edge wondering how the operation will go from start to finish.

War: Eye in the Sky shows us all the angles on the modern warfare when it comes to the decision making when dealing with terrorists and innocent lives.

Settings: Eye in the Sky puts our characters in different global positions when it comes to dealing with the operation, each location shows how modern warfare is being handled now.
Special Effects
: Eye in the Sky uses the effects very well throughout when needed but never turning them too often.

Suggestion: Eye in the Sky is one I do think everyone should enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension being built.

Worst Part: I think some people might expect more action.

Oh My God Moment: Final decision.

Favourite Quote: Lt. General Frank Benson ‘Never tell a soldier that he does not know the cost of war.’

 

Believability: This could be a real operation.

Chances of Tears: Maybe.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $13 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Welcome to the new front line. 

 

Overall: One of the most intense thrillers of the year.

Ratingcard

 

 

Central Intelligence (2016)

centralDirector: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet, Jason Bateman, Aaron Paul, Ryan Hansen

 

Plot: After he reconnects with an awkward pal from high school through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hilarious Comedy

 

Story: Central intelligence starts as we Bob Stone an overweight school student getting embarrassed on front of the whole school while Calvin Joyner is getting all the praise and is the only one who sticks up for him. Move forward 20 years later and Calvin (Hart) works in a dead end job instead of the success he was meant to be.

When Bob (Johnson) makes contact with Calvin he turns up a changed man built like Hercules and after a night out he learns that he is in the CIA. When Agent Harris (Ryan) turns up claim Bob is a dangerous and a threat to the government. Calvin finds himself having to work with Bob to clear Bob’s name however resistant Calvin is.

Central Intelligence is a buddy comedy that gives us a new comedy powerhouse couple with Johnson and Hart. We get what is a simple crime story where the agent brings in someone from outside to solve the case does bring in the comedy throughout without having to make the crime story way to series. The story does get balanced though where we don’t get too many pointless jokes taking away from the action in the story. overall the story flows nicely and can’t help but say how enjoyable it all was.

 

Actor Review

 

Dwayne Johnson: Bob Stone is a former bullied high school student who has changed his life to become a CIA agent that reaches out to Calvin to help him on his latest case. Bob is skilled combat expert but also eccentric in all of his action. Dwayne nails this comedy perfectly and works with Kevin to a new level of comedy.

Kevin Hart: Calvin Joyner was voted most likely be a success in high school but now he works as an accountant but when Bob turns up in his life the excitement returns to his life once again. Calvin also has to balance his 20-year marriage with this secret mission. Kevin is great in this role showing brilliant chemistry with Dwayne.

Amy Ryan: Agent Pamela Harris is tracking down Bob and wants to use Calvin as the bait but as we continue the story we lean towards it either being her or Bob as the actual Black Badger. Amy is good in this role that lets the leads steal all of the spotlight.

Danielle Nicolet: Maggie is the wife of Calvin and the two are high school sweethearts who is trying to keep the marriage feeling fresh before they start they own family. Danielle is good in this supporting role.

Support Cast: Central Intelligence has a good supporting cast that all help with the comedy going on through the film.

Director Review: Rawson Marshall ThurberRawson gives us one of the comedies of the year where we see a new comedy force born in Johnson and Hart.

 

Action: Central Intelligence has great comedy action throughout even though most is just generic for the style of film.

Comedy: Central Intelligence has brilliant comedy between the two leads who nail nearly every single joke through the film.

Crime: Central Intelligence has a crime story that is going on in the background which help direct all the comedy and action going on.

Chemistry: Central Intelligence has brilliant chemistry between Hart and Johnson throughout.

Settings: Central Intelligence puts our characters into the locations to create the trouble they find themselves in which can be used for the comedy involved.

Suggestion: Central Intelligence is one for all the comedy fans to go and watch this year. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Johnson and Hart brilliant chemistry.

Worst Part: You know where the story is going.

Action Scene Of The Film: Office space.

Funniest Scene: Doctor time.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel:

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson

Trivia: When Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson’s characters first meet, Kevin Hart makes a reference to Dwayne looking like Hercules, Dwayne Johnson played Hercules in the film “Hercules” in 2014.

 

Overall: One of the best buddy comedy movies this year and one of the best in recent years.

Ratingcard

 

 

Triple 9 (2016)

triple 9

 

Plot: A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Much Going On

 

Story: Triple 9 starts as we watch our criminal team of Michael (Ejiofor), Marcus (Mackie) Russell (Reedus), Gabe (Paul) and Franco (Collins Jr) who are working for a new Russian force run by Irina Vlaslov (Winslett). The job doesn’t go as smoothly as planned but we learn that these men are actually all cops. Jeffrey Allen (Harrelson) is the man trying to solve the robbery as his nephew Chris (Affleck) starts on the force partnering with Marcus.

When Michael thinks they are out he gets given one last job and to show how serious they are by killing one of the crew. The plan to complete the job is to kill a cop taking all of the police to the wrong side of town while they complete job, but not everything is as it seems.

Triple 9 is a crime thriller that does take away the twists we see too often in these films by instantly telling us we are dealing with corrupt cops. This is something I did like and mostly the only thing I really did like. The film has too many characters in that we are meant to want to follow, mostly all bad people too which doesn’t help us route for anyone to win. I think having too many big names doesn’t help either because we are expecting more scenes for them all. This really does come off as over complicated throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Michael is the corrupt cop leading the group of thieves, he has all the communication with Irina due to his relationship with her sister and the child they have together. He has to lead his crew on one final job that has the biggest score of their careers but if they don’t complete the job they will be killed. Chiwetel is good in this leading role showing that he could handle leading such a big cast.

Casey Affleck: Chris is fresh to the department a clean by the book officers with a family, he gets assigned to work under Marcus where the styles quickly clash. Chris finds himself trying to learn the new department only to discover the truth. Casey is good but suffers with lack on screen time for what should be one of the main characters.

Anthony Mackie: Marcus is the second in command still working on the force to keep face and connections in the crime world. He has to become the partner of Chris where he does want to make the unthinkable happen. Anthony is solid going against the Captain America character he has been playing recently.

Woody Harrelson: Jeffrey is the detective from the Major Crimes division that is trying to find the men in the crime team, his nephew is Chris which when he learns the truth proves just how desperate he is to solve the crime. Woody is his ever reliable self in this role without reaching his top levels.

Kate Winslet: Irina is running the crime family while her husband is in jail and this involved getting people to do her dirty work including Michael and his team. Kate is solid in this role but you just never believe her in this villainous role.

Support Cast: Triple 9 has a big supporting cast to go along with the main five, not everyone shines enough to make an impact but also nobody is bad. It was good to see Norman Reedus and Aaron Paul stepping up from the television screens.

Director Review: John HillcoatJohn tries to bring a fresh approach to the crime heist world but then gets everything just too over complicated.

 

Action: Triple 9 has a couple of good action sequences with the raid in the flats and the bank robbery coming off nice.

Crime: Triple 9 puts us in the middle of a crime boss, corrupt cop and honest cops trying to stay ahead of each other.

Thriller: Triple 9 tries to keep us on edge from start to finish but doesn’t keep us truly interested with all of the characters involved.

Settings: Triple 9 doesn’t have any iconic settings used in the film which doesn’t help to make anything memorable.
Special Effects
: Triple 9 has basic effects when it comes to the scenes that need them but again nothing special.

Suggestion: Triple 9 is one to wait till it appears on TV to watch. (TV Viewing)

 

Best Part: Bank robbery.

Worst Part: Too many characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: Never forget what side you’re on

 

Overall: Overly complicated crime thriller

Ratingcard