Bilal: A New Breed of Hero (2015)

Director: Khurram H Alavi, Ayman Jamal

Writer: Khurram H Alavi, Ayman Jamal, Alexander Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, Yassin Kamel (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane, China Anne McClain, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Michael Gross

 

Plot: A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home. Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. Inspired by true events, this is a story of a real hero who earned his remembrance in time and history.


Tagline – A Legend Breaks Free!

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important Moment from History

 

Story: Bilal: A New Breed of Hero starts a thousand years ago, Bilal and his sister Ghufaira are taken into slavery by the evil ruler Umayya, facing a life in chains the two must do what they can to survive.

Bilal growing up to be one of the most respected slaves, will stand up for his own kind make friends Saad along the way. Bilal learns his place in the world as the man that would lead his people to freedom and away from the slavery world they are being forced to live in, a journey that will test him to his limits.

 

Thoughts on Bilal: A New Breed of Hero

 

Characters – Bilal was once a free child, but raised as a slave, now a man he is starting to lose hope of ever being free until he meets one of the other men that had escaped the world and learns that he could be the one to lead the rest of the slaves to freedom. Umayya is the evil ruler that controls with an iron fist whipping anyone that goes against him or his people. Ghufaira is the sister to Bilal that has been pushed to her own limits that he must protect. Saad is the one man that Bilal can trust, they met as teenagers in a small altercation only to gain mutual respect for each other.

StoryThe story here shows one of the very first men to rise up against his slave owners to fight for their freedoms, now this could easily be compared to Moses story without the supernatural elements involved for an easy reference point, but this is its own story. it shows how one man Bilal wouldn’t stand by and take the abuse that was being thrown his way and would join forces with people that could make a difference. The pace of the story is a little bit slow at times, though this does help us understand the struggle being faced at times. We learn how heroes were born and how a nation would need to stand up for themselves to become free.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is a special treat when we see it because we see the few training montages, though the final epically big battle is one of the best in animated film history. The adventure shows us just how hard Bilal’s journey would be to get the freedom he desires.

SettingsThe film puts us in a middle Eastern country, it is set before they were named with names we know, it shows us just how away from the world the people could be from peace one moment to war the next.

AnimationThe animation in the film is beautiful, it does feel more lifelike than other animations which helps as we are learning a story about people, it has large scale scenes which look flawless when it comes to showing us the battles going on.


Scene of the Movie –
The battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The time jump mostly feels confusing even though the characters are aging through these moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautifully shot animation that tells the story of a real hero that you will never have heard of.

 

Overall: Animation Fans Watch This One.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – P – Pompeii (2014)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Kit Harrington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland

 

Plot: A slave-turned-gladiator finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him.


Tagline – No warning. No escape

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Mindless Action

 

Story: Pompeii starts as the last Celt Milo (Harrington) as slaved turned gladiator gets transported to Pompeii for the last arena to show his power in. while Milo is being prepared for his latest fight against fearless gladiator Atticus (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) who has one last fight before freedom. Outside his prison, Cassia (Browning) is being lined-up for any bachelors from around the world including Corvus (Sutherland) the man that led the army that butchered Milo’s family.

When Milo and Cassia meet they know they are in love, though the different positions making their love impossible, shown the true colours of Corvus, it is the volcano Mount Vesuvius that will decide these characters fates.

 

Thoughts on Pompeii

 

Characters – Milo is a Celt, his family was butchered when he was a young boy, now he is the last of his kind, a slave turned gladiator, one that is unbeaten in combat. He falls for Cassia the heir to the throne of Pompeii and once the destruction starts he must risk his life to save her. Cassia is the heir to the throne, not interested in the men she is being arranged with seeing something different in Milo, she is being forced to marry Corvus to save her family until the volcano strikes and she needs saving by her true love. Corvus is the evil ruler from Rome, he has conquered around the world killing millions, he will do anything to survive including killing innocent people and uses his position of power to do whatever he wants. Atticus is fellow gladiator who fights with honour even though this could be his last fight because winning would me freedom, he becomes friends with Milo as they work together to escape their enemies.

PerformancesKit Harrington freshly out of Game of Thrones step into this role and does a good job without needing to do too much with the fighting being great to watch. Emily Browning is good too which is same for most of the supporting cast, we do have a couple of weak performances and over the top Kiefer Sutherland is one you will laugh off.

StoryThe story here tries to create the normal Roman traditions on the eve of the Mount Vesuvius eruption. So we do need to break this down a little bit more, first the whole gladiator fighting for freedom and the love of the heir of the city is mostly forgettable, it is almost trying to pull a Titanic with this angle for a love story in the mist of a disaster. Once the eruption starts the story gets more interesting because we learn the true colour of characters, though we do know the outcome making certain moments in the escape feel almost pointless including one where Atticus saves a little girl.  For a disaster movie with elements around it, we have an entertaining enough story, just one that tries too hard to give a fictionally twist on a real event.

Action/Adventure/History/RomanceThe action in the film is good to watch and easily the highlight, we have different sword or weapon fights, chase sequences and destruction. You could easily say the adventure side of things is Milo trying to escape which is a fair enough game to be watching. Now the history, this is hard because this eruption was a real event, what was going on at the time isn’t as clear. Mixing the real events with this nonsense romantic angle doesn’t help though.

SettingsThe film does make us feel like we are in Pompeii for the most part, the destruction sequences show us just how much of a panic it would have been for the victims of the disaster.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are mixed, we get moments that could have been better mostly to do with the larger sequences though.


Scene of the Movie –
The eruption.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Milo in the gladiator time, really?

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough disaster movie that does the action well though it has a pointless romance angle.

 

Overall: Simple disaster movie.

Rating

 

 

Suicide Squad (2016)

squadDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Common, Ezra Miller, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Cara Delevingne, Joel Kinnaman, Scott Eastwood

 

Plot: A secret government agency recruits a group of imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency, which inevitably leads to chaos.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Complicated

 

Story: Suicide Squad starts as we see Amanda Waller (Davis) putting together her elite squad of criminals with Deadshot (Smith) The Joker (Leto)’ girlfriend Harley Quinn (Robbie), Captain Boomerang (Courtney), Diablo (Hernandez), Killer Croc (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Enchantress (Delevingne). After being green lighted the squad is ready to get to work.

With this team put together it is the Joker himself that starts to search down his love while the team sets out to try and clean the streets for Amanda Waller and stop a brand new evil from taking over the world.

Suicide Squad ends up being a film which just adds the comic book characters to the world of dysfunctional bad guys needing to do the good job. This adds comic book characters that only the diehard fans would know because even after playing the first Arkham game we only meet Killer Croc that is involved in this film. The evil is basic and levels with RIPD and the almost non-existence of the Joker sucks most of the excitement out of this film because Deadshot is such a generic anti-hero character. Harley Quinn is quirky but not as bonkers as we need her to be and most of all this just ends ups feeling like a piss poor attempt at The Raid with comic book names.

 

Overall: This film lacks the violence required it lacks the humour required and now I find myself wondering what is next for the DC Universe because this is yet another bland addition to the universe.

Rating45

 

 

Trumbo (2015)

trumboDirector: Jay Roach

Writer: John McNamara (Screenplay) Bruce Cook (Book)

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Maldonado, John Getz, Laura Flannery, David James Elliott, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alan Tudyk, John Goodman, Stephen Root, Roger Bart, Ellie Fanning

 

Plot: In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good History Lesson

 

Story: Trumbo starts with Dalton Trumbo (Cranston) a registered communist who classing with other people in Hollywood including heavyweights John Wayne (Elliott) on his beliefs that that the government shouldn’t be able to look into everything the American people do. Even with these beliefs Dalton gets one of the biggest deals any writers have ever been offered in Hollywood.

The government decides to take on the communists in Hollywood believing they are trying to use movies to pull in the audience to join them. Gossip writer Hedda Hopper (Mirren) wants to use her column to expose the communists while leaning on the head of studios to fire all the communists involved in the infamous Hollywood 10 as they look to defend themselves.

After being sent to prison for his beliefs he ends up having to rebuild his career and he turns to Frank King (Goodman) who can’t pay the writers the same level but he and the blacklist writers all work to get their screenplays around Hollywood.

Trumbo gives us a look at the Americans and how they treated the people involved. I never personally understood what all this communist un-America talk really was and still don’t know enough to true judge how well this film portrays it all. I did like the story being re-told in a good way showing how even when people bring people down they won’t stay down however hard it is on the family. This really just more on a history lesson but is important.

 

Actor Review

 

Bryan Cranston: Dalton Trumbo was one of the most respected writers in Hollywood who was a communist, he gets charged for his crimes ending up in prison. Once released he ends up leading the fellow blacklisted writers in a movement to get themselves recognized in Hollywood once more. Bryan is brilliant in this role fully becoming the character.charaacer

Diane Lane: Cleo Trumbo is the wife of Dalton she tries to keep the family together while Dalton stands up for his beliefs, she stands up to him when needed without coming off over demanding. Diane is good in the supporting role but doesn’t get too much screen time.

Helen Mirren: Hedda Hopper is the gossip writer who along with John Wayne tries to out all the communist employees in Hollywood, she goes out her away against Dalton even when he starts trying to make a comeback. Helen is good but we don’t see enough of her to learn enough about her character.

Support Cast: Trumbo has great supporting characters who are all names the fans of Hollywood would enjoy watching.

Director Review: Jay RoachJay gives us a good and important story that we would need to know to see the struggles of the people who were outed as communists.

 

Biographical: Trumbo gives us a great look at one of the most important screenwriters of all time.

Settings: Trumbo re-creates the settings to make everything look like we are part of the time period.

Suggestion: Trumbo is one to try, I do think some people will find it difficult to watch but it is a good lesson. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Cranston is brilliant.

Worst Part: We don’t learn enough about Hedde.

 

Believability: Based on the real story of Dalton and the communist time period.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 2 Golden Globes

Oscar Chances: Could easily get nominations

Runtime: 2 Hour 4 Minutes

Tagline: When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen.

 

Overall: Brilliant story even if we only see one side of it all

Ratingcard

Concussion (2015)

concussionDirector: Peter Landesman

Writer: Peter Landesman (Screenplay) Jeanne Marie Laskas (Article)

Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O’Malley, Eddie Marsan, Hill Harper, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Moyer, Luke Wilson

 

Plot: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Event Changing Film

 

Story: Concussion starts as we meet Nigerian Doctor Bennet Omalu (Smith) a pathologist who has a slow method when he examines the dead, his boss Dr Cyril Wecht (Brooks) wants him to become more traditional quicker. We meet former NFL star Mike Webster (Morse) who has been struggling since retiring as have his team mate Justin.

As Bennet opens his doors to Prema (Mbatha-Raw) a successful African looking for a start in America, we see how Mike is falling further into a mess as his Dr Julian Bailes (Baldwin) is running out of ideas before he finally dies. Bennet is assigned to figure out why this once hero has died to give the how state a final answer to what happened. What he learns could change sports from a medical stand point forever.

Concussion shows how one sport can cause so many issues later in their life. We get to see how a neutral was the one person that was willing to push the limits against the NFL. We get to see how to see how the players are getting ill moments before their deaths. We don’t get into the NFL side enough as we only focus on Bennet’s story which is slightly disappointing. This is an important story because it shows yet another cover up in America

 

Actor Review

 

Will Smith: Dr Bennet Omalu is the Nigerian pathologist living and working in America, when one of his town’s favourite players dies he is assigned to examine the body, while examining the body he learns about the brain damage the NFL players are suffering from which could easily change the game forever. Will gives one of his best performance in many years here.bennet

Alec Baldwin: Dr Julian Bailes is the former NFL doctor who couldn’t understand why he former players were acting the way they were. Once Bennet releases his research he teams up with him to turn his much loved sport into something safe again. Alec gives us a great performance in this role.

Albert Brooks: Dr Cyril Wecht is the head of the hospital in which Bennet works, he lets Bennet take these chances to make sure he can protect further injury even if it puts his own career in danger. Albert gives us a good performance which is perfect in the supporting role.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Prema is the young African woman who comes to live in America where she gets asked to live with community man Bennet, over time the two fall in love which makes her the strong part whenever Bennet is feeling weak. Gugu is good in this role without being anything special.

Support Cast: Concussion has a good supporting performance but sometime lacks the character time required.

Director Review: Peter LandesmanPeter gives us a good film exposing the truth about a sport that many people in the world enjoy.

 

Sports: Concussion shows the affects playing the sport could have on a human body.

Settings: Concussion doesn’t make too much out of the settings with none being anything memorable to the final story.
Special Effects
: Concussion uses the effects to show how the affects happen to the brain.

Suggestion: Concussion is one to try, it is good to see how sports can be dangerous to the people playing. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Smith’s performance.

Worst Part: NFL side of the story.

 

Believability: Based on what happened and how the sport was changed.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for Best Actor in Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances:

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Even Legends Need a Hero

 

Overall: Solid sports drama that doesn’t go into the real depths of the battle.

Ratingcard