Russell Crowe Weekend – Broken City (2013)

Director: Allen Hughes

Writer: Brian Tucker (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal


Plot: In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure: Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.

Tagline –  Proof Can Be a Powerful Weapon.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Long Feeling Crime Thriller


Story: Broken City starts as we see Bill Taggart (Wahlberg) who gets dismissed from his police duty by Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) after taking justice into his own hands. 7-years-later Billy is a private investigator catching cheaters with his assistant Katy Bradshaw (Tal), Billy gets a call from the Mayor who is on his latest campaign, who wants Billy to learn who Cathleen Hostetler (Zeta-Jones) is cheating on the Mayor with.

It isn’t long before Billy finds himself in the middle of a murder that looks to throw the election into turmoil, can Billy do the right thing and get the right man elected mayor?


Thoughts on Broken City


Characters – Billy Taggart was once a cop that went too far to make a criminal pay for a crime they committed, now just a private investigator he finds his latest case involving the Mayor a potential career ender, as he searches for the truth, while battling falling off the wagon. Mayor Hostetler has run the city for years now, he has used his place to get deals put through for his own profit keeping people in his pocket and never playing fair. He hires Billy to investigate who his wife Cathleen is cheating on him with. Cathleen Hostetler has been seeing someone behind her husband’s back only to be keeping a secret bigger than Billy can handle.

PerformancesMark Wahlberg does most of the leading in this movie, he is good through the film and at least he isn’t do his bad comedy routine in this one. Russell Crowe is great as the villainous mayor using his power to rule a city. Catherine Zeta-Jones is strong in her role too.

StoryThe story here follows a political thriller with conspiracies of what is and could be happening while people try to get in a position to change things in the right way. We have people that have suffered from other people’s greed, that are going to bring down the villainous mayor along the way. This does try the be one of those stories that tries to deal with greed in the human nature in a political world which has always been on edge, this continues as the film unfolds as we see what the big plan is.

CrimeThis is a crime thriller in a way that shows how the political criminals can stay in power by placing the right people in the right places.

SettingsNew York always makes for a brilliant setting and the scale of the city helps with the idea of a corrupt mayor.

Scene of the Movie –
The debate.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The alcoholic side seems just a tag on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough crime thriller, it does keep us guessing along the way to who is working for who and who is in the right when it comes to running the city.


Overall: Solid crime thriller.




The Book Of Eli (2010)

logoDirector: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Writer: Gary Whitta (Screenplay)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Evan Jones, Joe Pingue


Plot: In a post-apocalyptic world a lone survivor Eli (Washington) travels across America to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Eli’s journey gets interrupted when he enters a small town full of survivors and he ends up having an altercation with the leader of the town Carnegie (Oldman) who is hunting for a certain book. Eli ends up working with Solara (Kunis) to escape Carnegie and his henchmen led by Redridge (Stevenson).


Verdict: End of the world meets comic book violence

Story: Surviving the end of the world can be hard to create, but I feel this one could be considered one of the better ones on the commercial audience. When you compare it to the real feel of the Road the story comes off a bit short. The characters have mystery and the overall fight for a bible shows that even after we have destroyed each other through war we still fight for a book that leads us with blind faith. (8/10)


Actor Review: Denzel Washington – Eli the lone traveller who is travelling one direction West, he is also very skilled fighter but still has one mystery he keeps close to him. Good performance from Washington that gives him a chance to be in a less serious film. (8/10)


Actor Review: Gary Oldman – Carnegie the leader of a small community that hunts for his own bible and will use anyone to get what he wants. Oldman has played some of the most iconic villains in history, this is not one of his best but still evil enough. (7/10)


Actor Review: Mila Kunis – Solara the daughter of Carnegie’s love interest who escapes the community with Eli. This is disappointing supporting role clearly overacting throughout. (4/10)


Actor Review: Ray Stevenson – Redridge the leader of Carnegie’s henchmen who also has an interest in Solara. Basic henchman like role, doesn’t have anything that makes him memorable. (6/10)


Director Review: The Hughes Brothers – Good direction to a film that is enjoyable but not memorable. (7/10)


Action: Some great fight scenes and large fire fights. (9/10)

Adventure: The idea of travelling through end of the world adds adventure to the story. (7/10)

Special Effects: Good special effects with the world creation and deaths. (8/10)

Believability: The world could be the aftermath of a war in the nuclear age. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The post-apocalyptic world is created very well to create a great feel in the settings. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest trying this, you may also enjoy this is you are a fan of the Fallout games. It has violence toned down for the more casual viewer too. (Try It)


Best Part: Eli’s fights.

Worst Part: Slow moving.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Bar fight.

Kill Of The Film: Redridge

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Similar Too: The Road, Fallout Games


Overall: Post-apocalyptic let down

Rating 65

From Hell (2001)

logoDirector: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes

Writer: Terry Hayes, Rafael Yglesias (Screenplay) Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Ian Richardson, Jason Flemyng, Katrin Cartlidge


Story: Inspector Frederick Abberline (Depp) is a brilliant Inspector but has his flaws, he likes to indulge in opium which gives him vision of crimes. After a prostitute is murder he will faces his toughest test to date. After the second prostitute is murdered he knows he will be hunting a serial killer not just any serial killer, Jack The Ripper. Mary Kelly (Graham) one of a close friends group of prostitute reluctantly helps Abberline track down The Ripper. The question remains who is The Ripper and why is he killing the prostitutes?


Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper

Verdict: Graphic novel adaptions are always hard to re-create. This creates a modern look at a vintage crime.

Story: The story is full of the conspiracy of the real Jack The Ripper, as the crime was never solved many people have come up with their own conclusion, this offers one of those opinions. It tries to follow everything around the time to the highest level of authenticity but clutches at straw when it comes to the real people who were murdered and tried to solve the crime. In the end the story never really decides if it wants to be based of truth or all made up which takes something away. (7/10)


Actor Review: Johnny Depp – As an Inspector of the time he shows a level of intelligence way above the other police officers involved in the story. Depp struggles with his generic cockney accent but he does deliver an engaging performance. (8/10)


Actor Review: Heather Graham – The smartest of the prostitutes, not saying much though soon becomes the damsel in distress. Graham accent makes Depp look world class, clearly miss cast for the locational role but does deliver in the damsel in distress aspect. Poor Performance Award (6/10)


Actor Review: Ian Holm – An aging surgeon, who now teaches, helps Abberline figure out who the suspects could be, before becoming a suspect himself. Holm fits in as the wise older figure that teaches as well as potential having a darker side. Star Performance Award (9/10)

Actor Review: Robbie Coltrane – Abberline’s sidekick Inspector who keeps him grounded as well as covers for some of his unprofessional actions. Being English makes the role easier for Coltrane to play and he is very nonsense and unsympathetic to the girl’s situation. Favourite Character Award (9/10)


Director Review: Hughes Brothers – working with a true main leading man for the first time they cope well, but you feel they may have chosen alternative actors and actresses for the English roles instead of just going with a big name. The film itself works well once you look past that point. (8/10)


Horror: Some horrific deaths but never shown in full just the aftermath. (8/10)

Thriller: Strong thriller adds mystery to the legendary killer. (9/10)

Settings: Set in Whitechapel and looking very authentic full of darkness which helps with the horror side of the story. (9/10)

Suggestion: Mystery fans will enjoy, all Depp fans will enjoy as they will watch anything he is in. It also has appeal to those who are interested in the The Ripper legacy, to both see how farfetched one theory is or to see what could have been the true story of him. As a mystery fan I will suggest this to you all. (Watch)


Best Part:  Sergeant Peter Godley (Coltrane) creates one hell of a distraction.

Worst Part: The accents.

Favourite Quote: Peter Godley ‘From Hell, Well at least they got the address right.’

Trivia: Daniel Day Lewis was first choice for the lead.

Overall: Slicker mystery with conspiracy of truth

Rating 80%