Daniel Craig Weekend – Defiance (2008)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writer: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick (Screenplay) Nechama Tec (Book)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein, Tomas Arana

 

Plot: Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.


Tagline – Freedom begins with an act of defiance!

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Amazing Story of the Tragedy of War

 

Story: Defiance starts as the Bielski brothers Tuvia (Craig), Zus (Schreiber) and Asael (Bell) set up camp in the forests of Belarus for Jews during the war, knowing they would become slaughtered if the Germans came across them. Tuvia wants to make sure the group survive, while Zus wants to fight back against them.

As the conflict between the brothers becomes clearer, Zus joins the Russian resistance to fight back, while Tuvia continues to grow the group offering the only hope of survival for the men, women and children.

 

Thoughts on Defiance

 

Characters – Tuvia wants safety for the innocent people in the war, mostly the Jews of Belarus, he offers them shelter in exchange for labour to make their community whole, guards them from the dangers that could come from the war, he makes the difficult decisions others simply couldn’t decide on. Zus wants to combative defence against the German’s he will eventually clash with his brother before joining the Russian’s against the German, always being left to wonder if he made the right decision. Asael is the younger of the three brothers, he learns to grow up through this war and his action show that he has given his own older brother the hope he needs to survive. Lilka is one of the women saved from the ghetto, she becomes somebody that challenges Tuvia to make the right decisions through the difficult times he is going through. We have a lot of support character who are part of this journey to show just how difficult surviving the war would have been for the innocent or helpless.

PerformancesDaniel Craig takes the leading role and shows all his strengths as an actor, he makes us believe that he is struggling with each and every expression he makes, this is likewise for Schreiber as the two show even with conflict they can work together. Jamie Bell continued to show he was growing up into a great actor ready for the more adult roles and with a supporting cast that contains Oscar nominated stars, we see the abilities involved with the cast.

StoryThe story here shows the incredible story of the Bielski brothers that gave hope to thousands of Jews during World War II, while the two oldest might fight over ideas of how to survive the war, they both want the same thing, freedom and safety for their people. We have seen many different stories of people doing incredible things to survive the war and never ask for anything in return is always growing, it is an important part of history that should never be forgotten and this film’s story shows us just how impossible their stories seemed.

Action/History/WarThe action in the film shows us the fighting suffered through war, the sequences show how quickly the peaceful locations can become ruined and just how war made people do things they never thought they would. This is also an important part of history which simply shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

SettingsSet mostly in the forest, this shows how the victims of war would be in hiding just hoping they never got seen by anybody who would come after them.


Scene of the Movie –
The journey.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The faith side while important does seem to take over at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another amazing story of survival during the war, it showed how one family risked everything to make sure others were safe and shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

 

Overall: Powerful and important.

Rating

 

 

Clash Of The Titans (2010)

logoDirector: Louis Leterrier

Writer: Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi (Screenplay) Beverley Cross (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Tine Stapelfeldt, Mads Mikkelsen, Luke Evans

 

Plot: Princess Andromeda (Davalos) is the daughter of king Cepheus, who has gained a victory against the gods. The vengeful god of the underworld, Hades (Fiennes) demands that Andromeda is offered as a sacrifice or he will unleash the Kraken against Argos. A desperate King Cepheus asks demi-god Perseus (Worthington) to find a way to defeat the Kraken. Perseus accepts the challenge because Hades was responsible for his family’s death. He discovers that the way to kill the Kraken lies with getting the head of the gorgon Medusa.

 

Verdict: Action Packed Mythology

 

Story: Using all the Greek mythology that the average person would know, we get the reluctant hero who has to grow his skills, accept who he is and fulfil his destiny. He joins a mixed group of soldiers, warriors and hunters all working towards one common goal. Nearly everything that happens during the film is not the most original but will entertain, with most of the support cast being teachers to help achieve the next step of the adventure. We all know what will happen and with no real twists or turns unfolding this predictable story is still enjoyable. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Sam Worthington: Perseus the reluctant hero, demi-god with skills he has only just learnt he had. The son of Zeus who becomes saviour of the people. Good performance that focuses more on his fighting skills rather than his acting ones. (7/10)

 sam

Liam Neeson: Zeus the God who is losing his followers who become increasingly against him. Good supporting performance but most of his scenes are confrontational speeches between other Gods. (6/10)

neeson

Ralph Fiennes: Hades the god of the underworld who sees this chance for him to raise up again and take back his place in with the gods. Good performance in the role trying to gather power and push people in the directions he wants them to go. (8/10)

 ralph

Jason Flemyng: Calibos/Acrisius former king of a world that went up against Zeus, but now he rules under Hades with increased power to take revenge on Zeus by killing Perseus. Good supporting role in what is a very disfigured role that creates a good misled supporting villain. (7/10)

 fleming

Gemma Arterton: Io a lady who has been watching over Perseus to make sure he stays safe and follows his own destiny. Simple supporting performance filling in blanks for the back story.(5/10)

 gemma

Alexa Davalos: Andromeda the princess that Hades wants sacrificed to build up his own following. Good support performance that has to question whether to give herself up or not. (6/10)

 alexa

Director Review: Louis Leterrier–Creates a good ‘blockbuster’ style action film that doesn’t have the best script. (7/10)

 

Action: Plenty of action sequences all come off very well. (8/10)

Fantasy: The fantasy side of the story works well using plenty of well-known mythological characters. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting is well constructed to create a real feel to each scene. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Some of the special effects are brilliant, the giant scorpions and the Kraken, but the Medusa looks awful. (7/10)

Suggestion: The action fans out there will enjoy this as it will keep you all entertained without challenging you with its story. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Kraken

Worst Part: Medusa

Action Scene Of The Film: Giant Scorpions fight.

Kill Of The Film: Medusa

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $493,214,993

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: Titans will clash

 

Overall: Big Over The Top Action Quest

Rating 71

The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

logoDirector: David Twohy

Writer: David Twohy (Screenplay) Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat (Characters)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Colm Feore, Thandie Newton, Judi Dench, Karl Urban, Alexa Davalos, Linus Roache

 

Plot: Riddick (Diesel), now a hunted man, finds himself in the middle of two opposing forces in a major crusade. Lord Marshal (Feore) a warrior priest who is the leader of a sect that is waging the tenth and perhaps final crusade 500 years in the future. Aereon (Dench) an ambassador from the Elemental race. She is an ethereal being who helps Riddick unearth his origins.

 

Verdict: Riddick Origins

 

Story: Yes this is a sequel and we do get the returning survivors from Pitch Black. Five years has past and Riddick is still a wanted man, but it is an old friend who has put the bounty on his head. Riddick returns to find himself the animal killer needed to fight a war he has no part of. We get to see a lot more of Riddick’s combat skills but to make things more interesting we have plenty of different parties wanting Riddick to be a pawn in their games; be it just for money, to fulfil destiny or to protect a small planet. Each group has different agenda that has been slowly building before the catalyst Riddick turns up. We end up getting a good story that takes a character out of a claustrophobic environment and putting him into a politic war, brave but effective. (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Vin Diesel: Riddick we knew what he was capable off from the first one, we heard the stories, but we never saw how effective a fighter he really was. We also learn about where he came from and the people he is the last off. Good performance where he gets to build his character from the first one. (8/10)

 riddick

Colm Feore: Lord Marshal the leader of a group of destroyer of worlds, you either join them and their faith or you die. He wants to destroy Riddick but is also determined to keep him around and turn him into one of the fiercest warriors in the galaxy. Good performance but never needs to do more than is asked. (7/10)

colm

Thandie Newton: Dame Vaako the wife of the man who wants to be the leader of the invaders, she is a good planning and motivator with her seductive ways. Good performance playing the smart sexy leading villainous lady. (7/10)

 thandie

Judi Dench: Aereon a peaceful leader against the evil Marshal who has extra powers including invisibility and gliding, she is wise and can see what could happen in the future. Good supporting performance with a character which would need a bit more back story to really make a true impact. (6/10)

 dench

Karl Urban: Vaako the want to be leader of the group, he waits for his time and even gets involved with a small side mission just to make sure that he remains in the good books of Marshal. Good early performance from Urban who has gone onto bigger and better performance. (7/10)

 urban

Alexa Davalos: Kyra you remember Jack from the first one well she grew up and now she is in prison, a skilled fighter who still wants to be Riddick, she takes not prisoners while fighting and always has a trick up her sleeve. Good performance with plenty of fighting scenes becoming the bad girl of the picture. (7/10)

 alex

Director Review: David Twohy – Good direction to take three characters from one genre and move them into another genre, creating a big intergalactic war. (8/10)

 

Action: Action from start to finish, mainly hand to hand combat or use of whatever is handy, including a tea cup. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: New planets, new species, new religions, new weapons what more can you want in a sci-fi film. (10/10)

Thriller: The story builds up nicely keeping you right in the story from start to finish. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting adds more tension to the story with the stand out location being the prison planet. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Great special effects but some have dated a bit now. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one that the action fans will really enjoy, but the fans of Pitch Black will be disappointed due to the lack of similar story involved. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The race against the sun

Worst Part: We could have learnt more about the supporting characters war.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Race against the sun leading into a battle.

Kill Of The Film: Tea Cup

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one more sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115,772,733

Budget: $105 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: All the power in the universe can’t change destiny

Trivia:Vin Diesel wanted Judi Dench to play Aereon and went to great lengths to get her. A long-time fan of Dench, he had her dressing room filled with bouquets of flowers and also advised her that they could not begin casting the movie until she agreed to accept the role.

 

Overall: The Rise of Riddick

Rating 86