Oscar Isaac Weekend – Sucker Punch (2011)

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn

 

Plot: A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather, retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, envisioning a plan to help her escape.


Tagline – You Will Be Unprepared.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sexy & Stylish

 

Story: Sucker Punch Starts when Babydoll (Browning) is se to a mental institute by her evil step-father, looking to cope with this new world, she creates an alternative reality where the other patients Sweet Pea (Cornish), Rocket (Malone), Blondie (Hudgens) and Amber (Chung) entertain clients for Blue Jones (Isaac) the orderly who in this world is a gangster.

Babydoll has a plan to escape which involved winning over the girls, most support him, while Sweet Pea isn’t so happy to go along with the plan, with each performance putting the girls in a life or death situation outside of the current reality.

 

Thoughts on Sucker Punch

 

Characters – Babydoll is thrown into a mental home after trying to defend her younger sister from their abusive stepfather, here she knows she has five days before it is lights out, which means she must plan her escape, which sees her create alternative reality where she can escape the hands of the people who will end her life. Sweet Pea is the eldest the girls in the home, she is most opposed to going through with the escape plan, believe it will get the rest of the girls in trouble. Rocket is the first of the girls to let Babydoll in after being rescued by her, she guides her around the home teaching her just what they need to know to survive. Blondie and Amber some off as the two naïve of the girls as they will go along with any idea which would make their lives easier. Dr Gorski looks after the girls preparing them for their performances. Blue Jones is the one that runs the club, an orderly in the home that holds the key to the only exit.

PerformancesEmily Browning in the leading role fits the part perfectly, we needed her character to look the youngest of the group. Abbie Cornish fits the oldest of the girl’s role well too because she see her vulnerable side through the film, while trying to be the strongest. Jena Malone plays the middle ground between the girls well as we see just how conflicted her character becomes through the film. When we get into the supporting cast, we do know that we performances that fit the film without looking out of place in any point in the film.

StoryThe story can be cut down to a simple escape plan movie, that would be the simplest way to describe the story, only this isn’t a simple movie. It creates worlds, within worlds to cope with an impending outcome for Babygirl. The idea that we jump into other realities does help the film feel a lot more enjoyable because the wildly imaginative ideas only improve the story, even if it could have borrowed from many subgenres. While this does have a comic book feel and you could easily see more chapters being added to make more adventures, it does have to go down as original in the story front, something that shouldn’t ever be criticised.

Action/FantasyThe action is massive set pieces each one from a different eras from a samurai to war, they all work and feel unique to this film, which is filled with fantasy ideas of just what the characters use to create the world they can fight through.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just where the girl’s minds will go through the performances, each one makes the mission to escape feel like we are fighting for something.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are fantastic, they show us just how you can create something this visually stunning no matter how big it could be.


Scene of the Movie –
Dragon fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Blondie and Amber are too similar.

Final ThoughtsThis is a truly ambitious movie, it shows us just how you can make an original movie which will completely go against anything you believed you would be seeing.

 

Overall: Brave, ambitious, wildly over the top, what more could you want?

Rating

 

 

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Weekend – Stop-Loss (2008)

Director: Kimberly Peirce

Writer: Kimberly Peirce, Mark Richard (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Abbie Cornish, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Victor Rasuk, Timothy Olyphant, Ciaran Hinds, Rob Brown

 

Plot: A veteran soldier returns from his completed tour of duty in Iraq, only to find his life turned upside down when he is arbitrarily ordered to return to field duty by the Army.


Tagline – The bravest place to stand is by each other’s side.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Must Watch Movie

 

Story: Stop-Loss starts as we see the army unit that is touring in Iraq, they come under attack losing men, Brandon King (Phillippe) and Steve Shriver (Tatum) return home with their unit for a weekend of leave with Tommy (Gordon-Levitt) and Eyeball (Brown).

The weekend in Texas shows the effects on war has had on the soldiers, Steve becoming a violent drunk, while Tommy is suffering from losing his best friend on that last mission, Brandon tries to keep them in line while he is about to eave himself. Brandon gets stop-loss meaning he must return to Iraq, but he isn’t going to return, going on the run AWOL from the army with Michelle (Cornish), Steve’s girlfriend, as he wants to find a way to leave the army, while also showing the effects of the war on him.

 

Thoughts on Stop-Loss

 

Characters – Brandon King is the squad leader of his unit, he losses men on his latest tour of duty, but believes he is out with this latest tour, he must remain calm for his men back home while clearly suffering from PTSD from the events. He gets ordered to return to Iraq which he isn’t having leading him to go on the run, searching for answers to stop his return to war. Steve is Brandon’s best friend and fellow star of their home town, he returns home to get married, but his suffering is clearer to see and this puts his relationship with Michelle in the air. Michelle is Steve’s girlfriend, they are meant to be getting married, but when Brandon goes on the wrong, she supports him as her relationship with Steve get worse. Tommy is another member of the unit, he loses his best friend on tour and never recovers, he drinks to get through his nightmares which shows the PTSD he is suffering from, only Brandon can get through to him and with him on the run Tommy is a danger to everyone.

PerformancesRyan Phillippe gives his best performance of his career in this role, he shows the strength his character needs while the weaknesses inside are tearing him up. Channing Tatum broke away from the pretty boys roles first with this role and shows that he does have skills. Abbie Cornish is strong in her role through the film and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fantastic in the supporting role as the PTSD in his character feels the most destructive.

StoryThe story follows the effects of war on three soldiers returning from a tour of duty in Iraq, they are all suffering from different levels of PTSD and shouldn’t be returning to duty, when one gets Stop-loss he goes on the run, ones behaviour stops him going back with this being the only thing he wants and the third who wanted out but decides he wants to return. While the story shows one man trying to get away from his duty, it shows the larger effects of soldiers that are returning with PTSD and how easily they can just break. This is an important story about treating soldiers with respect by not forcing them to return if they are not mentally capable off because of what they have seen, done or been involved in, and how to support them as they try to return to normal lives.

WarThe war side of this film is shown in what happened to these soldiers and the aftermath of what happens when they return without the support required.

SettingsThe settings show both the world they have been living in Iraq and the home back in Texas as they are in desperate search to get on with their life.


Scene of the Movie –
Brothers fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of support the soldiers get.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most impactful movies when it comes to tackle war, it shows how difficult life away from the tours can tear the soldiers apart in a war they didn’t need to be fighting. This has career best performances from the three lead actors and a story which could easily be a reality to any soldier returning from active duty.

 

Overall: Must watch war story.

Rating

 

 

6 Days (2017)

Director: Toa Fraser

Writer: Glenn Standring (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Abbie Cornish, Martin Shaw, Ben Turner, Emun Elliott, Aymen Hamdouchi

 

Plot: In April 1980, armed gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in Princes Gate, London and took all inside hostage. Over the next six days a tense standoff took place, all the while a group of highly trained soldiers from the SAS prepared for a raid the world had never seen.


Tagline – London 1980, the world witnessed a new way to tackle terrorism.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Tensionless

 

Story: 6 Days starts on the 30th April 1980 when Iranian terrorists storm the Iranian Embassy in Princes Gate taking hostages and demanding the release of 91 prisoners back in Iran. We follow the negotiator Max Vernon (Strong), reporter Kate Adie (Cornish) and the specialist SAS unit with rookie Rusty Firmin (Bell) planning their ideas of for entering the embassy.

England faces the idea of negotiating with terrorists or being strong and taking them down from the within showing the strength to deal with terrorist situations. As the tensions rise, Max tries to find a peaceful solution to everything while Rusty and his team are preparing for any chance of taking the embassy by force.

 

Thoughts on 6 Days

 

Characters – Rusty Firmin is the lead on a SAS team that are called to try and solve the hostage situation, they have only ever done training never being able to get their hands-on experience before. Rusty is desperate to show they are ready to protect their country. Max Vernon is the negotiator that keeps the terrorists calm, trying to make their demands happen, he stays calm through the whole situation even when the pressure to make something happen is getting to him. Kate Adie gives updates from outside for the watching television public to see how everything unfolds, in all honesty, we don’t need to be following this character.

PerformancesWhen you look at the performances you can’t fault them because they are give good performances, Mark Strong shines like he always does, Jamie Bell is good too, the limited scenes Abbie Cornish is in she does well to. The problem is the characters are not the most interesting.

StoryThe story is based on the real Iranian terrorist hostage situation in 1980 which last the 6 Days. It shows how England didn’t want a copy of what happened in Munich, didn’t want to give into terrorism and wanted to remain strong in the eyes of the world. It also shows how while being trained to deal with the situation, the SAS had never had to tackle things in reality. This should be an interesting watch but in the end, we don’t focus on enough of the negotiation process or the tactical side leaving us feeling like we haven’t learnt enough by the end.

Action/HistoryThe get tactical action, the most part is training ideas before one main shot, but it doesn’t feel like it was shot the best way. We learn moments from the historical events, but most comes from the reading over the storytelling.

SettingsThe film is set instantly around the Embassy, which puts us into the action from the start which is all we want to see.


Scene of the Movie –
The practise sieges

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel we should have followed one side more instead of trying to cover three angles.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough history lesson, we learn what we need to, but not enough from the action unfolding before us.

 

Overall:  Disappointing historical drama.

Rating

 

 

Geostorm (2017)

Director: Dean Devlin

Writer: Dean Devin, Pau Guyot (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerald Butler, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia, Jim Sturgess, Daniel Wu

 

Plot: When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone.


Tagline –  Some Things Were Never Meant to Be Controlled

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: A Lot of Fun

 

Story: Geostorm starts as we see how the world has been getting hit by natural disasters only a deadlier than ever level, Jake Lawson (Butler) and a team of international scientists create Dutch Boy a space system that can stop storms from being created and it is a system that is working well, but Jake gets axed from the team.

3 years later the system starts to go wrong which leads to Max (Sturgess) to rebuild the bridges burnt with Jake to go into the space to solve the problem with Dutch Boy but when they learn that the problem is more than just a computer glitch and the race to stop the dreaded Geostorm could end the world as we know it.

 

Thoughts on Geostorm

 

Characters – Jake Lawson is the mastermind engineer that has been the head designer of Dutch Boy, the defence against the storm, he is rash with his decisions which leads him to being axed from the program but he is also the only one that could save the day when he learns the bigger picture. Max Lawson is Jake’s younger brother, he is political man that tries to keep Jake in line but ends up needing to make the hard decisions while building the relationship back with his brother. Sarah Wilson is the secret service agent that is also the girlfriend of Max, she is by the book but also knows how to get the jobs needed done. We have other characters that work for the film, the President preparing to open Dutch Boy to the world and a list of people that Jake doesn’t know on the space station that could be working against them.

PerformancesGerald Butler is a good lead and not having a pointless romantic story helps us enjoy his rough around the edges character. Jim Sturgess is good in the film getting a lot of the comedy moments. Abbie Cornish is great as the strong female performance in a role we are not used to seeing a female character in as the strong secret service agent. The performances from the bigger name are fine but are used in the way you are expecting them to be. The lesser known stars do enjoy themselves making a name for themselves in the best scenes.

StoryThe idea the world is going to be destroyed by natural disasters and we need to solve the problem before it is too late. The science in this film is something we could look at happening in the future but when it goes wrong what would we do. The idea works for a popcorn Blockbuster film because certain things are farfetched at times. Saving the world from space and from Earth does work to and the idea the brother’s need rebuild their relationship to save the world. Don’t go in thinking you will get an Oscar worthy script it’s just a fun nonsense disaster movie.

Action/Sci-FiThe action sequences are big cities being destroyed, but for once there is a reason why it is big cities being destroyed. The sci-fi behind this film works because it is something people have spoken about before so I feel it works for the films ideas.

SettingsThe settings take us to big cities to get destroyed which does make sense for the film as we have the satellites needing to be over the cities.

Special EffectsThe effects are one of the weakest parts of the movie, which is something that we have seen from modern disaster films.


Scene of the Movie –
Hong Kong escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The effects are weak.

Final ThoughtsI loved a disaster movie, I can enjoy the nonsense behind them which is entertaining to watch even though it is crazy throughout.

 

Overall: Just fun and easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Robocop (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Done

 

Story: Robocop starts with Pat Novak (Jackson) showing off the abilities of a range of different robotic defence systems in other countries and calling for people to follow Raymond Sellars (Keaton) ideas to bring these defences to the street of America and Detroit. We move on to meet hardworking honest cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) who has recently got his partner Jake Lewis (Williams) injured as they try to take down local crime boss Antoine Vallon (Garrow).

We see how Raymond if struggling to pass pure robots being used in America so he turns to Dr Dennett Norton (Oldman) who has been working on giving disabled people a new chance. Where Murphy has gained unwanted attention he becomes a target leaving him fighting for life and make him to prime candidate for the first Robocop.

Returning home Murphy enters the streets to tackle to crime and take out all of the people that are responsible for leaving him the way he is.

Robocop is a remake of the classic 1987 movie which is always going to be questioned by fans. This time we get a very similar storyline with badly injured cop gets turned into Robocop while a company is trying it’s hardest to get robotic police onto the streets. The negative for this is lack of overall crime being seen because from what we see nothing seems to threatening unlike how the original depicts the time. Taking that side of the story away the creation side is looked at in a much brighter light as we see how Alex knows what is going on this time which does offer plenty of morale questions. We do get a few throwbacks to the original with the ‘I’ll buy that for a dollar’ and ‘dead or alive your coming with me’ lines. This takes a nice fresh approach to the story without being too far away from the original.

 

Actor Review

 

Joel Kinnaman: Alex Murphy is the honest cop that tries to take down criminal boss only to find himself the targeted by the men who leave him as good as dead. He gets a second chance by becoming the first Robocop but this time he can keep the emotions but can he control himself when it comes to the men that left him almost dead. Joel is good but never as strong as Peter Weller.

Gary Oldman: Dr Dennett Norton is the man that has been working on giving disabled people their lives back and gets bought in by Raymond to make the first ever Robocop and the subject is Murphy. He does push the boundaries to make this happen but also knows there are limits. Gary is good and going up with and against Keaton we see the two heavyweights doing great scenes.

Michael Keaton: Raymond Sellars is the CEO of OmniCorp that has been pushing the senate to make the use of Robotic cops on the streets without much success. When he teams up with Dennett they create the first Robocop to make the streets safe. Michael is good in this role where he comes off strong in this businessman.

Abbie Cornish: Clara is the wife of Alex who gives permission to allow Alex to be used to create the Robocop but once he is finished she finds herself being pushed away by Alex’ programing. Abbie is solid in this role without being used in the side we need to see her in.

Support Cast: Robocop has a big supporting cast, we do have a couple of twists on original characters but most importantly this time we have strong side characters in the development of Robocop.

Director Review: Jose PadilhaJose gives us a remake that brings a classic into the modern era of cinema that works with modern times of paper work too.

 

Action: Robocop has the action you would expect to see only tamed down with Robocop only Taser people rather than just killing.

Crime: Robocop puts us in a crime heavy world but seems to keep a lot of the story within the science and business ideas of the creation of Robocop.

Sci-Fi: Robocop brings us into the future world where the police would need help from a Robots but have to start with a Robocop.

Settings: Robocop keeps us in Detroit but this time does travel around the world which does take away part of the originals best moments.
Special Effects
: Robocop has very good effects being used to create Robocop especially when we see the deconstruction of his real self.

Suggestion: Robocop is one you really should give a go even if you are a fan of the original. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Oldman v Keaton is great to see.

Worst Part: Not dark enough.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: We’ve got the future under control.

 

Overall: Solid remake that could be given more time than it got.

Ratingcard