ABC Film Challenge – Romance – W – A Winter’s Tale (2014)

Director: Akiva Goldsman

Writer: Akiva Goldsman (Screenplay) Mark Helprin (Novel)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly

 

Plot: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.


Tagline – This is not a true story. This is true love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Fantasy Romance

 

Story: A New York Winter’s Tale starts as we meet Peter Lake (Farrell) left an orphan in New York City to become one of the most notorious thieves in the city, working for Pearly (Crowe) their business agreement goes south and now he is after Peter, who is saved by a mysterious magical horse.

Needing to get out of town, the horse guides him to the sick Beverly Penn (Findlay) who changes his views on life, until he learns of his own powers that shine through in this world where fairy-tales are only on the surface.

 

Thoughts on A New York Winter’s Tale

 

Characters – Peter Lake is nothing more than a thief working in New York City, when he goes against the plans of his boss he becomes a wanted man on the run with only a mythical horse to guide him, this shows him the light and the power his possesses as he walks the world as an empty sole. Beverly Penn is an heiress that is going to be dying within the next year or so, she opens Peter’s heart to be the one thing he never thought he could steal, it is her that shows him where his life might go. Pearly is the man trying to stop any miracles happening in the world, part demon he controls the ability to have miracles happening with his gangster like persona.

PerformancesColin Farrell is good in this leading role, at it shows he can handle a role that isn’t in the stranger roles like he has headed towards in recent years. Jessica Brown Findlay is the least known of the big roles in this film and she is great opposite Farrell. Russell Crowe does make for great villain which is what we always like to see. We do have a great supporting cast performing that do work for the main roles.

StoryThe story gives us a blend of fairy tale ideas in a growing world, this is an interesting story of enteral love, meaning and placement on the Earth, which is something people can find themselves asking, their place in this world. This will give the romantic fans a happy story that will play on nearly every emotion and is one that does give you a feel good moment or two through the film.

Fantasy/Mystery/RomanceThe use of the fantasy in the growing world gives us hope that things could happen that surprise us, which is where the mystery comes from as we see where Peter ends up because of the love he once felt.

SettingsThe New York setting is used to show us that miracles could happen even in the biggest city in the world.

Special EffectsThe effects through the film are good without being overly used, even though certain moments do feel green screen heavy.


Scene of the Movie –
The miracle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I think Russell Crowe is good in this film his accent seems to bounce around a lot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good, feel good movies that will leave you with a smile, hope and enjoyment by the end of the film.

 

Overall: Fantasy feel good.

Rating

 

 

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The 5th Wave (2016)

5thDirector: J Blakeson

Writer: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner (Screenplay) Ricky Yancey (Novel)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Zackary Arthur, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello

 

Plot: Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Young Adult Franchise

 

Story: The 5th Wave starts as Cassie (Moretz) shows just how deadly she has become before flashing back before everything has changed when alien ships turned up above towns. The first wave of the attack was taking out all the electricity in the world. The second wave was flooding the Earth. The third wave was a deadlier version of the bird flu crippling the surviving number. The 4th wave is the ‘Others’ becoming humans taking out any other survivors and this is where Cassie gets separated from everyone.

With Cassie along we see how Sergeant Reznik (Bello) building a new defence against the Others which is most child soldiers from the remaining survivors. This brings us to the 5th Wave and that is saved for a twist in the film but it this the beginning of the next franchise of young adult stories.

The 5th Wave is the latest in what feels like an endless run of them which luckily is dying out now. This one stands out slightly more because it jumps straight into the battle between the humans and alien invaders instead of wasting too much time building up to this in a later film. I do think this would be a good addition to the genre if we hadn’t had too much rubbish before it.

Chloe is good in the leading role but the character isn’t written as strong as she could have been, while the known adult actors are clearly having the story arc to make them the villainous roles. the rest of the teens are or children are very basic never really getting time to make the impact with the Robinson struggling to make the true impact in his role. This would be an interesting addition to the world of teen young adult films but came too late into the flood of them.

 

Overall: I do feel this would have been a good addition to the young adult genre but I feel we won’t see the whole story now.

Ratingcard

 

 

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan (Screenplay) Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Santiago Cabrera, Isabela Moner, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Mad Action Film

 

Story: Transformers: The Last Knight starts as we learn about the ancient battles the English had where the Transformers helped Merlin (Tucci) win the battle. The world has now banned from most places on the Earth but in Cuba they are still welcomed. Optimus Prime is gone and the Transformers continue to arrival. Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) continues to protect the Transformers with Colonel William Lennox (Duhamel) refuses let the good Autobots from being captured but the impending return of Megatron brings the threats to Earth.

Meanwhile in England Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins) is preparing for the final battle, Vivian Wembley (Haddock) doesn’t believe in the legends of King Arthur and her tours prove what it could be. On Cybertron Optimus Prime wants to rebuild his home planet which means returning to Earth to find an ancient Staff giving to Merlin.

Cade finds himself teaming up with Vivian in the middle of the battle between the Decepticons, Autobots and the Government as Cybertron heads towards Earth which would cause the end of the world.

 

Thoughts on Transformers: The Last Knight

 

Characters/PerformanceCade Yeager is now an outlaw hiding the Autobots in a junkyard, here he lives a quiet life but when a new threat heads toward Earth he finds himself being selected as the Last Knight that can fight to save the Earth. Sir Edmund Burton is the guardian of the secrets of the Transformers, he fills in all the gaps as to what is happening as well as bringing together the team. Vivian Wembley is an anti-believer in the history of King Arthur but when she learns she is the last descendant of Merlin she must work with Cade to save the Earth. Vivian is added for a new love interest for Cade and the high educated between the two.

We have the military characters which includes the returning Colonel Lennox, who just do military stuff and mostly get in the way. The King Arthur and Merlin figure who just re-tell the story we know. We have the comic relief with Izabella, Jimmy and many of the Transformers but we never get too close to any of the characters.

The performances are what you have come to expect, Wahlberg is good in the leading role even if he can look lost at times he has the charisma to lead the films, Laura Haddock adds class with her performance by not only being the stunning woman but a smart one, and Anthony Hopkins enjoys the chance to have fun in a mega blockbuster.

StoryThe Transformers storylines are never the most in detail stories, we know this by now on film number 5. We mix into the Transformers story King Arthur legend, well it is new and does continue to world build and it is as nonsense as you expect for a Transformers film because if we are being honest the story isn’t the most important part of the film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is massive once more with Transformer battles in a giant scale and the city-wide battles and even ocean size battles being a massive experience. The adventure takes across the world again to save the world from not only Megatron but Cybertron this time. The sci-fi side does bring us into a world of giant robots that can be vehicles in a giant space battle.

SettingsWe have a couple of settings, we see how Chicago still devastated by the effects of the previous films, the hidden locations of Cade at the Autobots, we also have London being used for the chase sequences and while this isn’t anything new it is a fun watch, but in the end, we just use locations of iconic landmarks.

Special EffectsThe effects for the battles are great throughout the film bring us into the story to enjoy the massive over the top battles.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that always gets criticized because it doesn’t have the most intense storyline but the reality is this is one franchise that is all about the massive action sequences that take away of beliefs needed for the world of Transformers.

 

Overall: Bonkers, Enjoyable, nonsense action film

Rating

 

 

The Dark Tower (2017)

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Writer: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Tom Taylor, Dennis Haysbert, Claudia Kim, Jackie Earle Haley

Plot: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Easy to Watch but Forgettable

Story: The Dark Tower starts with Jake (Taylor) a troubled young New York kid who has been suffering from nightmares of a mysterious Man in Black trying to destroy a tower by torturing children. We follow how Jake has suffered his personal loss which most people just see as an excuse for beliefs on the Man in Black and when his mother and step-father try to send him to a hospital for a weekend he escapes after learning about a house that could hold some answers for him.

Entering a forbidden portal Jake finds himself in a new world in search for the last Gunslinger Roland (Elba) who has been hunting the Man in Black Walter (McConaughey) a sorcerer that has been trying to bring down the Dark Tower that holds the universes together. As the adventure unfolds Jake will learn his place in the bigger picture in the universe.

Thoughts on The Dark Tower

Characters – Jake is your normal trouble boy that we need in a style of film like this, he has lost a parent, doesn’t like his step-father, has troubles at school and has been having dreams of a world far away from his reality, as his therapist says his dreams are just a reflection of his reality. He gets to go on the adventure to solve his nightmares but only ends up growing up along the way. Roland is the last Gunslinger that roams the desert in search for Walter who has killed the rest of the Gunslingers. He reluctantly takes Jake on his quest showing his gun skills to hopeful kill his oldest enemy. Walter is the sorcerer that has collecting children from different worlds that can destroy the Dark Tower bring pure evil across all the worlds. He his ruthless side where he kills anyone who gets in his way but for unknown reasons he likes to keep the Gunslinger around to torture him. The rest of the characters only seem to be nameless henchman or villagers that help along the quest.

PerformanceAs for the performances I did want to just watch McConaughey throughout the movie as he is the highlight of the film showing menace even though he is only saying all the cool villainous quotes. Idris Elba does seem to struggle in the leading role but the character of the Gunslinger isn’t developed like he would be able to from the books. Tom Taylor is fine but isn’t taking any awards for best child performance this year.

StoryThe story is an easy to follow as we get the trademark stereotype characters placed into the world, the trouble boy, the evil man in black, the lost hero that all come together for a showdown to save the universe, I feel there is a lot more to be told in this universe which is the biggest disappoint because you can’t get this much information into a 90-minute movie. This is a by the books action fantasy that will be forgotten within a couple of weeks.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-Fi/WesternThe action is all entertaining but now the most original by any means, the fantasy shows the different worlds but I feel we would have like more from this, the sci-fi sides the different worlds that could be out there but again doesn’t get enough time to come through, while the western just feels like the Gunslinger comes from that genre nothing else.

SettingsNew York and a desert are not normal two settings you would put side by side and in a film that could go anywhere this doesn’t offer enough on the visual settings being used.

Special EffectsCertain moments of the special effects do look very rushed and cheap rather than the high quality you would expect from a movie on Stephen King’s work.

Scene of the Movie – The farm invasion slow motion kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is too much untold.

Final Thoughts This film doesn’t give the books enough time to tell the epic story, many scenes feel like the best quotes are taking from the books to make the scenes sound cool.

Overall: Disappointing but not awful.

Rating

Rings (2017)

ringsDirector: F Javier Gutierrez

Writer: David Loucka, Jacob Estes, Akiva Goldsman (Screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)

Starring: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Vincent D’Onofrio, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan

 

Plot: A young woman finds herself on the receiving end of a terrifying curse that threatens to take her life in seven days.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 30 Second Sigh

 

Story: Rings starts with the latest victim of the tape on a plane when his 7 days are due to be up and the plane crashes. 2 years later Gabriel (Galecki) buys the old video player only to find the tape inside and of course he decides to watch the tape and receives the phone call 7 days.

We go onto meet couple Julia (Lutz) and Holt (Roe) who must go their separate direction with Holt going off to college. When Holt goes missing and Julia receives her own strange phone call she heads to the college to figure out what is going on. What Julia discover is that Gabriel a professor as the university, has been working on unlocking the Samara mystery with the students which is forcing people to watch the tape and spreading the Samara curse through tapes.

When the network starts building Holt finds himself needing to find a solution within the next 12 hours or he will become the latest victim, all for a bigger picture of Gabriel trying to uncover proof of a sole. When Julia takes the curse for Holt it gives them a week to unlock the secrets but Julia’s tape plays something new and can’t be copied, which means the two must investigate the case once more.

 

Thoughts on Rings

 

Characters/PerformanceJulia and Holt are clearly two of the most pointless characters in the leading roles of this film, I feel this way because when it was Naomi Watts’ character she was a reporting and could understand how to investigate a case, these two are just random students. Gabriel on the other hand while coming off like a desperate scientist at least looks at the idea of this curse being a way to prove the existence of a sole after death which I do think adds something to this film, but I do think he should have been more of a asshole professor rather than a studying one.

Performance wise well Lutz and Roe do struggle to make an impact in their roles and Johnny Galecki really can’t shake the Leonard role from Big Bang Theory with this performance.stars

Story*Rant Warning* This story is getting ridiculous, we do have a ghost investigation style story but it is looking at a deeper idea to what was solved in the first films and now nothing makes any sense to what they left us. We have weak characters to follow on the story too. The only good thing in this story is the idea that a professor is trying to figure out how to capture a human sole after death and that gets forgotten quickly too.

HorrorWe get the disturbing video with extra images, yay. We also have endless amounts of bad jumps scares going on making this feel have no scare factor.

SettingsOnce we get to the island/town we look to investigate the mystery once more which doesn’t make sense in the way it should do.

Special EffectsWe have very basic special effects here with most just being well placed horrific attempted images.genre

Final ThoughtsWe have yet another sequel we didn’t need again, we have poor script, average at best acting and just a bad rehash of what was once great.

 

Overall: Something we didn’t need at all.

Rating

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