The Lone Ranger (2013)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Russo (Screenplay) Fran Striker, George W Trendle (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale

 

Plot: Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.


Tagline –  Never Take Off the Mask

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Long

 

Story: The Lone Ranger starts with Tonto (Depp) telling the story of how he met the Lone Ranger John Reid (Hammer) the district attorney of Texas, we see how Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) killed John only for Tonto to bring him back from the dead to get their vengeance on the outlaws.

The journey takes the two men across the wild west to expose the truth behind everything that has been going on between the outlaws and the native Americans.

 

Thoughts on The Lone Ranger

 

Characters – John Reid is a district attorney in Texas, living in the shadow of his brother, but this time he gets to go on an adventure with his brother only to be murdered and bought back to life by Tonto. He must work with Tonto to get the people behind his brother’s death. Tonto is the native American that shows John the way as his own past makes him the colourful character that does things in his own direction. Butch Cavendish is the villainous outlaw not afraid to kill anyone who gets in the way of what he desires.

PerformancesArmie Hammer in this leading role is good through the film, he must play the straight-laced character and pulls this off. Johnny Depp is going on one of his stranger character missions again here and at times is fine, but at others gets annoying. William Fichtner as a villain is something we always want to see.

StoryThe story follows the origin of The Lone Ranger and Tonto as they faced their first enemy together in the wild west. The story plays out nicely just how you would imagine any Disney related material to, as an unlikely hero is born, even if it does follow elements of the Pirates beginning. This does have an adventure across the west feel which is nice to see and the twists and turns do seem to be easy to see unfolding, with a villain that knows the danger the two heroes pose to him.

Action/Adventure/WesternThe action sequences do come off feeling like the highlight of the movie, with an amazing opening train sequence. The adventure side of the film is written all over the idea of going across the wild west to stop the villainous characters. The western feel comes through strong too, while not the most serious we do see both sides of the law.

SettingsThe settings take us all over the wild west fitting into nearly ever typical location we know about.

Special EffectsThe effects are good too in the film while only being used to cover up certain moments of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Ladder trick.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lot of fun even if it is too long in places, the cast do a good job and this one will be a film that you can switch off and enjoy.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action adventure.

Rating

 

 

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram (Screenplay) Guy Ritchie, Jeff Kleeman, David C Wilson, Lionel Wigram (Story) Sam Rolfe (Original TV Show)

Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani, Hugh Grant, Jared Harris

 

Plot: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.


Tagline –  Two sworn enemies. One common mission.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average Action

 

Story: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starts as we follow American CIA Agent Napoleon Solo (Cavill) and Russian KGB Agent Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) must put their difference aside to stop a threat during the cold war to stop nuclear weapon being built which could cause massive casualties. The only connection is the daughter of the scientist Gaby (Vikander) as they search for the Vinciguerra’s with Victoria (Debicki) running the crime operation.

As the two start to put their differences aside they learn skills to make them better agents and learn to work as a team for the first time in their careers.

 

Thoughts on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

 

Characters – Napoleon Solo is the American CIA Agent, he works for them to clean his robbery charges because he is a brilliant thief, being able to swipe anything with the blink of an eye, he uses his charm to stay ahead of the game. Illya Kuryakin is the Russian KGB agent, he is short tempered and can handle himself in the fight, but sadly he comes off looking like the weaker of the two. Gaby is the daughter of the prime suspect, she works with the agents to locate him in the hands of the villainous Victoria. Victoria has taken over the family business which involves building her own nuclear weapon. Alexander Waverly is a man of mystery who keeps appearing in the lives of the agents but who does he work for.

PerformancesHenry Cavill is an actor I have always questioned and here he does show emotion, charm that is required for the character of Napoleon. Armie Hammer does have a lot of fun in his role which he is good in and anything Alicia Vikander stars in gets extra class and beauty.  Elizabeth Debicki is good in her limited scenes but doesn’t give us anything new for a villain, Hugh Grant gets the few laughs in the film too.

StoryThe story follows two unlikely agents needing to work together to save the world, it sounds simple and is from a television show, so we know where it will go. If you have seen the formula before you will have better options out there but for a simple story that you can see the twists coming and can just enjoy it unfold.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is by the book for the most part having nothing overly memorable while the comedy works at times but isn’t a laugh out loud movie.

SettingsThe film takes us around Europe which is fine for the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used in film for moments of action but I do feel like it could miss on most part.


Scene of the Movie –
For a special agent, you’re not having a special day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It did feel long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid by the book action adventure movie, it doesn’t offer too much new but isn’t the worst, just sadly average.

 

Overall: Average action movie at best.

Rating

 

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Best of 2018 – S – Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Director: Boots Riley

Writer: Boots Riley (Screenplay)

Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermain Fowler, Omaria hardwick, Terry Crew, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer

 

Plot: In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weird and Wonderful

 

Story: Sorry to Bother You starts when Cassius Green (Stanfield) gets a brand-new job as a cold caller, his good friend Salvador (Fowler) also works there and his girlfriend Detroit (Thompson) are trying to plan some sort of future together, joined by new co-worker Squeeze (Yeun) and Langston (Glover) they start searching for the improvement in the job.

When Cassius gets a promotion his life will change forever as he now knows what it is to be away from the financial struggle he has been living through.

 

Thoughts on Sorry to Bother You

 

Characters – Cassius Green is a telemarketer living in his Uncle’s garage with his girlfriend, he wants to make more of his life while remaining loyal to his friends, when he gets the chance to make the money, but it will come at a cost, leaving him torn between both worlds needing to make the right decision. Detroit is the girlfriend of Cassius, she is an artist at heart enjoying being close to the streets with her work, she wants to stay loyal to the people that support her. Salvador is the best friend that works with Cassius, he is the one that could see his friend turning his back on him. Mr well they bleep out his name, he welcomes Cassius to upper level seeing him as the star employee. Sergio is the uncle that is tight for money but will support Cassius however difficult it happens to be. Langston shows Cassius how to make an impact in the job, while Squeeze becomes the friend at work trying to make a difference with everything for the employees. Steve Lift runs a company which in the eyes of some is slave labour, he plays it off an opportunity and is happy to see the money roll in.

PerformancesLakeith Stanfield in the leading role is the true star of the film, each scene he is in we are wanting to see more from him, he hits every emotion needed for his characters reactions. Armie Hammer continues to show us just how talented he is with his role in this film. we do get strong performance from the supporting cast with Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun and Jermaine Fowler getting the best moments.

StoryThe story shows us how one man’s life can change once he shows that he has a new skill he didn’t know he had, it plays along the lines of getting rich and need to stay loyal to his friends. This is the core of the story, but it soon goes in a different direction, one that will surprise you with what is being built up to. This is a story that is trying to send a message about employment problems a racial vision of people. It does have ideas that things could be changed in the future even if they are focusing what could only cause a bigger problem over solving them. This is going to be a story which you can see people turn away because of just how weird it gets, but it will be a unique vision too.

Comedy/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe film does have comedic elements once we get to see what is going on too, it is unique in its style, the fantasy side of the film comes from what is meant to be happening behind closed doors in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Oakland, without doing any research this is just a normal American city that doesn’t always give opportunity to the people from the city, it works because it shows how things can get out of hand here.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good when we see what is happening with the master plan in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The calls are filmed in a unique way which will be remembered.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The forced rap.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most unique films you will see this year, it has one of the weirdest twists that any story will offer with great performances throughout.

 

Overall: Something you will never forget.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – # – Cars 3 (2017)

Director: Brian Fee

Writer: Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, Mike Rich (Screenplay) Brian Fee, Ben Queen, Eyal Podell, Jonathon E Stewart (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer

 

Plot: Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.


Tagline – One last chance, One last dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Cars 3 starts as Lightning McQueen cruising his way to titles with two close competitors until hot shot rookie Jackson Storm with a brand-new model that increases speed and ability over Lightning and his older models which slowly go out of the sport, before he loses his spot on the grid.

Needing a make over, Lightning sees his team taken over by Sterling who could bring Lightning a new training program with trainer Cruz Ramirez, all to get back on the track and prove he hasn’t lost it.

 

Thoughts on Cars 3

 

Characters – Lightning McQueen is now one of the top drivers in the world, experienced on the field, that is until the next generation model comes through taking his spot on the track, now an aging star, his time might be up. He must prove he still has the skills to race against the younger cars, following the footsteps of many sport stars. Cruz is a trainer for Lightning new team, she helps young drivers prepare for racing without ever getting the chance to go on the road. She does have her own dreams and Lightning will help her learn these dreams. Jackson Storm is the hot shot new racer ready to become the star of the sport, he acts like he respects Lightning, only to be the cocky arrogant new driver. Sterling is the new owner and big fan of Lightning, he wants to give him a chance, the problem comes from needing to win and Lightning just won’t give his team that.

StoryThe story here sees Lightning McQueen reaching the end of his career, seeing the younger drivers taken his spot in the sport he loves. He must improve to compete, while learning valuable life lessons about stepping away from the spotlight on top on his own accord rather than being pushed out and forgotten. This story puts Lightning in a position that Doc Hudson had been and missed out on, his mentor manages to show him from his career the mistakes he made. This does always feel like an aging sports star sticking around longer than they should and ends up getting the same ideas that we see in the later Rocky movies. This does feel like the right sequel to the original with the time spent between the films.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Sport The adventure side of this film does take Lightning back to his roots to learn his next step in the driving world, the comedy comes from the events that happen to Lightning along the way, they will give you laugh when needed without being used to often. It would be fair to say the whole family can enjoy this one and get enjoyment from different moments of the story. the sports side of the film is big because it shows us just how a star of the game can be left behind too quickly.

SettingsThe film returns to older settings which show Lightning needing to go soul searching through different worlds away from the glitz and glamour of the normal racing world.

AnimationPixar are the leading team in visual animation, nothing in this movies look can be questioned as it looks perfect in every single shot.


Scene of the Movie –
The make it or break it race.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a very safe sequel.

Final ThoughtsThis is a safe and enjoyable sequel to the much-loved franchise, it gets the story correct for the time between this and the first film which helps by forgetting the second film.

 

Overall: Enjoyable respect filled sequel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – C – Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: James Ivory (Screenplay) Andre Aciman (Novel)

Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Ester Garrel

 

Plot: In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.


Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Love Story

 

Story: Call Me by Your Name starts as Mr Perlman (Stuhlbarg) and his family in Northern Italy open their doors for one of his assistant American Oliver (Hammer) for the summer, Elio (Chalamet) the eldest son must give up his room for Oliver and notices the behaviour of Oliver being different to what he is used to seeing.

When Elio and Oliver start hanging out more, it starts with a mentoring effect, but soon turns into something else, a sexual relationship which posses its own problems for the two, with Elio’s age being one of them.

 

Thoughts on Call Me by Your Name

 

Characters – Elio is a 17-year-old music and book lover, living in Northern Italy, he is trying to learn how to seduce women and when Oliver arrives on the scene, he starts to learn a few things, but then he starts to question his own sexuality after he becomes attracted to Oliver. Oliver is an American research assistant working with Elio’s father, he is a charismatic man who grabs the attention of the people he is around, he takes a shine to a local woman, but the attention he really wants is Elio’s, he knows this could be bad for his career, leaving us to wonder if it is work the risk. Mr Perlman is the father of the house, he has ben working on a ground-breaking historical discovery and Oliver is part of his research team.

PerformancesArmie Hammer is an actor that has always been braver with his own career decisions, this would be considered his bravest choice and his best performance, he is engaging through each scene as you just want to know where he will take the character next. Timothee Chalamet could easily be the biggest breakout star this year, he is fantastic in this leading role, where he shows the lost innocence while trying to discovery his characters sexuality. The rest of the performance in the film are great but don’t take away from the leading two stars.

StoryThe story examines the idea of needing to understand your sexuality when going into adulthood, the story does a good job of showing both of Elio’s choices, either being with Marzia or with Oliver, because this only continues to show the decision and discovery that he is looking to make about himself. The one weakness I did find in the story, which is part my own confusion I think, is that it never feels like a forbidden love, but it also feels like it was meant to be, forgive me if this doesn’t make sense.

RomanceThe romance side of the film is the whole deal, we get to see the whirlwind summer romance between Oliver and Elio, while also seeing the idea that Elio could have to avoid his homosexual side in the future.

SettingsThe settings are breath-taking landscapes of Northern Italy which could be postcard after postcard of beauty spots.


Scene of the Movie –
Distant bike ride.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not really knowing if it was a forbidden love or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful acted movie, visually pleasant experience with the landscapes, but if we are being honest, this film isn’t going to be for the casual audience, even with the fantastic story of love.

 

Overall: Beautiful love story.

Rating