ABC Film Challenge – Action – C – Criminal (2016)

Director: Ariel Vromen

Writer: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Jordi Molla, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Amaury Nolasco, Alice Eve

 

Plot: In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative’s mission.


Tagline –  Take me to the Dutchman.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Action Thriller

 

Story: Criminal starts when CIA agent Bill Pope (Reynolds) is working on bringing The Dutchman (Pitt) to America in exchange for closing the wormhole on the dark web that he has created, the problem is Xavier Heimdahl (Molla) also wants the Dutchman and kills Bill before getting the answers.

Turning to Dr Franks (Jones) for an experimental memory transfer Quaker Wells (Oldman) the head of the CIA operation uses death-row inmate Jerico Stewart (Costner) to learn where the vital information is, but letting a killer lose becomes harder to control than believed.

 

Thoughts on Criminal

 

Characters – Jerico Stewart is the dangerous death-row inmate, we don’t learn what he has done, but anyone that crosses him usually ends up in a body bag. He is forced into receiving Bill’s memories in a hope that he can save a major release of secure information, he doesn’t want to work with the CIA and is happier to operate in his own means. Quaker Wells is running the CIA operation which goes wrong, he will go at any lengths to get the answers he needs to stop the information leak, company man who does go too far. Dr Franks has been working on transferring memories for 18 years, this is his first human attempt which shows how he wants to help with the new memories. Important to the story but lacking the impact he should have on the story. Bill Pope is the family man and CIA agent, it is his memories which hold the answers after he is killed. Xavier Heimdahl wants to bring an end to governments across the world, he will go public with his speeches while also having his darker side coming out when getting what he wants.

PerformancesKevin Coster is in the middle of his recovery/mid-life crisis roles in action movies, he knows how to make his performance work keeping everything entertaining throughout. Gary Oldman as a company man CIA agent, well this always works as he never needs o do anything challenging. Tommy Lee Jones likewise does what he needs to without bringing anything unique to the role. Reynolds is hard to judge because of the smaller part in the film. Jordi Molla does make a good villain showing the calmness needed for the character to feel calculated. Gal Gadot is solid in her supporting role without needing to do much.

StoryThe story gives us the idea that vital information is about to be leaked by a hacker if he doesn’t get a passport and immunity, but things go wrong when the agent with the connection is killed. The experimental idea of transferring memories is put in motion as the candidate doesn’t follow orders the way they had hoped and different agencies from around the globe want the information. This plays out like an action film, but in reality it should have been a tense thriller with the characters we have here. It is an easy to watch and enjoy even if the premise does seem wildly over the top for a simpler idea.

Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiWhen we look at the themes being used action gives us the shoot out we have seen before with a couple of car chases, nothing overly memorable though. The crime world we are placed into shows how the CIA are trying to protect the world from a new threat in London, it seems weird the British intelligence agency are not involved in this. The mystery in this film doesn’t work too well as the only thing needing to be solved is where the package was left. The sci-fi side of the film does come from the idea of transferring the memories, it is only used here though.

SettingsThe film is set in London and the surrounding area, it does feel weird that an American operation happens in England though.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed without being over used for the action scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Ambulance chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does have a tonal problem with the action and thriller side of things.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid easy to watch action thriller that doesn’t test the audience too much, throws in a wild sci-fi idea and big-name actors hoping it will be a classic.

 

Overall: Easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

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Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 1 Nosedive

nosrediveDirector: Joe Wright

Writer: Rashida Jones, Michael Schur (Screenplay) Charlie Brooker (Story)

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve, Cherry Jones, James Norton, Alan Ritchson, Daisy Haggard

 

Plot: In a future entirely controlled by how people evaluate others on social media, a girl is trying to keep her “score” high while preparing for her oldest childhood friend’s wedding.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shows Social Media Perfect

 

Story: Nosedive starts by taking us into a world where every single interaction you have gets reviewed by the people you have it with as everyone strives for popularity. Lacie (Howard) is a 4.2 and is always trying to impress everyone to help her score rise so she can move to a luxury apartment complex.

Her chances come when her hyper popular best friend Naomie (Eve) invites her to her wedding as we see Lacie see the light in her popularity spike. Lacie’s story takes a drastic turn for the worse as her point system crashes and she finds herself isolation in the world as she learns the effects within the world where popularity is important.

Nosedive is a perfect look at how certain people look at social media as they drive to be popular and how things can swing in an instant. It shows how people can judge you on something so meaningless like whether you like something other people did or you smiled at them. I feel this is something everyone who takes social media slightly too seriously needs to look at and reflect on their own life.

 

Overall: Hoping this is the start of something truly brilliant this season.

Rating90

 

 

ATM (2012)

logoDirector: David Brooks

Writer: Chris Sparling (Screenplay)

Starring: Alice Eve, Josh Peck, Brian Geraghty, Mike O’Brian

 

Plot: On a late night visit to an ATM, three co-workers end up in a desperate fight for their lives when they become trapped by an unknown man.

 

Verdict: Just Run Idiots

 

Story: We get the three friend stuck in the ATM box, with the door open, well unlocked. We have a man outside killing people, but just one man, will they get out is question. Ok enough at the story let’s look at what was wrong.

Being trapped worked nicely, well there is the positive. Right here we go why didn’t they park next to it? Why didn’t they run when the killer was killing the first bloke? Why does nobody keep their phones on them? Would they really freeze to death in a closed environment for five or six hours? What was the killer’s motive?

Enough of the questions because we didn’t get any answers here. This could have worked well, it didn’t. (2/10)

 

Actor Reviewfriends

 

Brian Geraghty: David nervous friend who wants to get a date with the beautiful Emily, after they get trapped he tries to be the macho man and save the day. Poor performance. (2/10)

 

Alice Eve: Emily enjoys the Christmas party before leaving her job for good, but takes a lift home the wrong way by a work friend, you go girl. She gets very annoying quickly because she holds them back from safety. Alice looks a little bit lost in this role, if only she had her phone she could have phoned her agent. (2/10)

 

Josh Peck: Corey selfish friend of David who causes all the problems because he is a flake with his money, phone and just a person you would have left behind. Josh does well to make you hate his character. (4/10)

 

Mike O’Brian: The Man the killer who has trapped them and kills anyone who comes close to the ATM. Interesting killer but what is his motives? (4/10)

 

Director Review: David Brooks – Has an easy idea to use and makes it come off so bad it is unbelievable. (2/10)

 

Horror: Should be scary, but isn’t. (2/10)

Thriller: You kind of want to know if they will make it out, but you never get too much behind them because of the poor decision making. (4/10)

Settings: The isolation idea is good just pulled off terribly. (7/10)

Suggestion: Just don’t bother watching. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: It is short.

Worst Part: Too many questions.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Somehow it could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: Your money or your life

 

Overall: If you want to spend a hour screaming at the screen this is for you

Rating 10

 

Top 10 Favourite Romantic Comedies

With it being Valentine’s Day this weekend I put together my top ten favourite romantic comedies. I am not the biggest fan of romantic comedies and many of the films on the list won’t make many other peoples lists.

10. She’s Out Of My League (2010) Review

10

When average Joe Kirk (Jay Baruchel) meets the perfect girl Molly (Alice Eve) he has to overcome his belief that he is a five at best and she is a perfect 10. What this film gives the average guy the belief that he can get any girl they want if only they act and treat them correctly.

9. The Proposal (2009)

9

When hard driving editor Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) working visa is set to expire she force her assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her and get her a green card. When the two spend the weekend with Andrew’s family they slowly start to fall for each other. What follows is a series of events that prove that you never know someone until you spend time with someone.

8. Love Actually (2003)

8

This is Richard Curtis’ stories of love leading up to Christmas. We have a group of different scenarios all giving a feel good side to love. Some stories are funny like the body doubles while some are more serious like the family being torn apart by an assistant.  With most of the stories inter weaving add to the story.

7. Gigantic (2008) Review

7

When mattress salesman Brian (Paul Dano) meets young lady Happy (Zooey Deschanel) his plans to adopt a Chinese baby start becoming more difficult as he slowly starts to fall for the Happy. In what are two very different characters than what we are used to seeing as leads in Romantic Comedies we get a very good realistic tale of love happening with someone and when you least expect it.

6. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

6

The story follows Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) to very different people who met on a road trip home and become friends and over the years, in a series of will they won’t scenarios we get to see how even as two friends the opposite of sex can fall in love over time.

5. Definitely Maybe (2008)

5

When Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) tells his young daughter about his three loves in life as she has to work out which one is her mother. In what is a series of light hearted comedy moments to show how some people will come into people’s lives can change you. This is one example that falling for a woman can ruin your career if you are not careful.

4. Ruby Sparks (2012) Review

4

In this story Calvin (Paul Dano) is struggling in his personal life and love life, until one day he starts writing about a young lady Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan). Somehow she becomes real and he doesn’t know how to deal with as he starts a relationship with his creation, but when things start going stale he tries to improve things with dire consequences.

3. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Review

3

IN what is a adaption of William Shakespeare’s Taming Of the Shrew we follow a new boy Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) try to find a way to date Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), The only way this can happen is if he can find a date for her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) enter bad boy Patrick (Heath Ledger). In what is a great story of teenage love and struggles through high school this fast became one of the best stories of making it out and standing up for what you want.

2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) Review

2

When bi-polar Pat (Bradley Cooper) finds his wife cheating on him he ends up in a psychiatric ward. Forced to move back home with his parents he meets depressed Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) and they become friends before becoming close friends that change each other’s lives. This is quite possible the best of all the films on this list, it has so many great scenes and flawless performances from all the stars.

1.       500 Days Of Summer (2009) Review

1

What is not a love story but a story of love we follow Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and his whirlwind relationship with Summer (Zooey Deschanel). Both wanting different things we see how one man’s whole life goes from brilliant to empty thanks to his over emotional attachment to Summer. In what is possibly the best story of real love as we all have been in some part of the love story in our lives.

Honourable Mentions

  • Jersey Girl
  • Rock Of Ages
  • Click

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

star trek into darknessDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof (Screenplay)

Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Annton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, Noel Clarke

 

Story: Kirk (Pine) returns along with his crew to take on a smilingly unstoppable man John Harrison (Cumberbatch). Harrison starts a war against star fleet but can Kirk stop a terror from within before it is too late?

 

Verdict

 

Action: From the opening chase sequences to the in space classic Star Trek battle scene. Fills all the check boxes in action pack sci-fi (10/10)

 

Sci-Fi: Everything a Star trek fan will want and plenty to keep a casual sci-fi interested without full blown ‘geeking’ it out. (10/10)

 

Special Effects: top draw special effects all round (10/10)

 

Settings: Teasing the inclusion of the kligons and one of their home worlds is a very good touch. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: A top draw sci-fi film that continues a franchise and can easily draw in a casual viewer. (9/10)

 

Best Part: The build to the final battle plays out brilliantly

 

Worst Part: Lens flares

 

Star Performance: Zachary Quinto

Favourite Character: Bones

 

Poor Performance:  Alice Eve (not so much her fault just a needless character)

 

Least Favourite Character: Carol

 

Favourite Quote: John Harrison ‘You think your world is safe? It is an illusion, a comforting lie told to protect you, enjoy these final moments of peace, for I have returned to have my vengeance, so shall we begin?’

 

Overall: A blockbuster that will leave you out of breath, The film is full of everything you would like in a action sci-fi film and adding in Bones one liners to lighten the mood adds a lot. The big reveal of the villain was one of the worst kept secrets in the build, but doesn’t need to be in their in all fairness as Harrison being an unknown makes him come off extra evil. In the end just cause Star Trek is classed a geek or nerd followed film tv show J.J Abrams has turned into a more main stream film that should be enjoyed by all.

 

Rating 90%