Red Sparrow (2018)

Director: Francis Lawrence

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Jason Matthews (Novel)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons

 

Plot: Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.


Tagline –  I Know Your Secrets.

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Espionage Movie

 

Story: Red Sparrow starts when CIA agent Nate Nash (Edgerton) blows his cover in Russia just as brilliant ballerina Dominika (Lawrence) breaks her leg during a performance, 3 months later her Uncle Vanya (Schoenaerts) offers to help with the new financial crisis her family would be facing, by bringing her into the Sparrow school.

The Sparrow program teaches the subjects to use their bodies to seduce the enemies of the Russia as Nate is forced back into the field as he is the only contact to a source within Russia. Dominika’s first assignment is to track down and seduce Nate bring stopping him from getting the security information he is after in Hungry, the cat-n-mouse chase is now on.

 

Thoughts on Red Sparrow

 

Characters – Dominika was once a brilliant ballerina, destine to be one of the top stars of the dancing world, after an accident her priorities change as she is desperately trying to keep the roof over her sick mother’s head. She is recruited to become a Sparrow, an agent that seduces the enemy in hopes of getting secrets, she isn’t like the other sparrows though, she has a way about getting the job done. Nate Nash is a CIA agent undercover in Russia, he does blow his cover landing him back home, but when his source will only talk to him he enters the field again, he uses his skills to get the information and stay ahead of Dominika. Vanya is the Uncle of Dominika, he recruits her with his government position believing that her family connection will help get results.

PerformancesJennifer Lawrence is good even if her accent comes in and out way too often for a consistent level required in the film. Joel Edgerton is good throughout, we can always count on his to give us strong performances throughout any film though. Matthias Schoenaerts is the best performer in the film in the supporting role and to say how many big names we have in the supporting roles we get to see some of the best actors in the industry here.

StoryThe story takes us into the espionage style movie where we follow a reluctant young Russian woman being forced into working for the Russian government and an American CIA agent looking to finish a case he should have been removed from. This does fall into the cat-n-mouse style story which will try to keep you guessing along the way and shows how both sides of the intelligence war are operating, leaving you to figure out who is the mole for the Americans. It should have higher levels of suspense for the subject matter, but just doesn’t suck you into the film on the levels you are expecting.

Mystery/ThrillerThe film uses the mystery side of the story to keep us guessing to who the contact in Russia is, what are the secrets that are being released and which side will get the upper hand, the Russians or the Americans. The film doesn’t feel like the highest tension level that it should though.

SettingsThe film does have some beautiful shots as we learn where the film is being set, we do move around Europe for the film though, which takes away moments of suspense we could receive.


Scene of the Movie –
The weapon of choice for the assassin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has slow pacing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced spy thriller, it does try to keep us guessing throughout only to end up failing to give us any suspense or use any of the sexual skills we are forced to watch the training side of things.

 

Overall: Thriller that just doesn’t hit the suspense levels required.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – G – Gold (2017)

goldDirector: Stephen Gaghan

Writer: Patrick Massett, John Zinman (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, Bill Camp

 

Plot: Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slightly Miss-Leading

 

Story: Gold starts in 1981 Nevada where Kenny Wells (McConaughey) who works in mining but when the industry hits hard times he becomes desperate and wants to get into the search for Gold, to do this he needs to work with successful copper miner Michael Acosta (Ramirez).

Finding the perfect location of untapped potential in Asia the two working together to search for a chance to make their fortune. With the first attempts going badly the two must find another way to make things work, before they finally find their gold mine.

As the success gets to Kenny’s head his personal life with Kay (Howard) starts to be strained and with their company hitting the stock market can this all be as much of a success as Kenny dreams it to be.

 

Thoughts on Gold

 

Characters/PerformanceKenny is the dreamer who believes he can make major money with a treasure hunter, he isn’t the smartest with money but his showmanship can get the sale for him. Acosta is the smarter businessman of the two who supports Kenny through all his decisions be it good or bad, he has a reputation that says he is the master geologist who can find metal in any surface.

The performances are all good without being award standard with McConaughey having to carry the film even though Ramirez was impressive in the supporting role.star

StoryThe story here is all about one man getting rich and how it all went down, I do feel this was sold differently because I was sold on the idea of a big treasure hunt but this is all how the business side of the story happens. The story is very up and down for pacing without being as interesting in the those places.

Adventure/ThrillerAdventure side of this story comes from searching for the gold but you just never feel like you are joining in a treasure hunt, you are kept wondering where the story will go but this is a lot of the business side of the events unfolding.

SettingsThe settings through the film show the different stages of Kenny success, we have the low moments, the jungle in search of the gold and when he has the money and how he would be spending it. All the settings can show us just where he is through this story with just a glance at the scene.genre

Final ThoughtsI just couldn’t find this to be the most interesting for what I went into watching, the highlight of the trailer was the tiger moment which is completely out of contexts and has zero impact in the story.

 

Overall: This is easy to watch but also easy to forget what you saw.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, Bill Camp, Sunny Suljic

 

Plot: Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.


Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not Sure!

 

Story: The Killing of a Sacred Deer starts as wee meet surgeon Steven Murphy (Farrell) who has a friendship with Martin (Keoghan) whose father died on his operating table. Steven has his family, wife Anna (Kidman) and children Kim (Cassidy) and Bob (Suljic) with their own dreams at home.

As Martin starts to become overly attached to Steven, he starts to find a way to force himself into his life by befriending Kim, while Bob becomes sick with no explanation to what is causing his problems. It isn’t long before Kim gets sick too, this pushed Steven into trying to find out what Martin has done to make this happen, giving him the option to save his family.

 

Thoughts on The Killing of a Sacred Deer

 

Characters – Steven Murphy is a surgeon, he has years of experience and a family, but when the son of one of his patients starts getting to involved in his life, he must look into his past to save his family. Anna is the wife of Steven, she starts to go in his case to learn the truth in a way to hopefully save her children from whatever has been done to them. Martin is the son of a patient who died on Steven’s table, he starts by striking up a friendship only to show a sinister reason for the friendship which puts Steven’s family in danger.

PerformancesColin Farrell brings us another good performance, it does feel like he does just continue to use the same style of performance that he gave us from The Lobster. Nicole Kidman is good in this role using her beauty to get what she can from her character. Barry Keoghan continues to make an impact on the business this year after Dunkirk, he gives us a haunting performance as Martin.

StoryThe story follows a doctor whose life comes crashing down around him once the son of a former patient comes into his life. We see how the actions lead to Steven needing to make a difficult decision, one that would change his life, but we are mostly left to see just what is causing the actions to happen, the true motivations behind it and just what he wants.

Horror/MysteryWhen you look at the horror side of the film we get moments of disturbing behaviour, which is the mystery behind everything that just keeps us interested in to where the horror could go.

SettingsThe setting doesn’t do too much for the film, we don’t seem to be located in any locations which makes a true impact on the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The elevator.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The almost pointless dialogue.

Final ThoughtsThis movie is weird, this is the understate of the year I think, it has random dialogue style, moments that just seem random and most importantly keeps us wanting to know what the hell is going on.

 

Overall: Too strange for the casual viewer.

Rating

 

 

The Maid’s Room (2013)

Director: Michael Walker

Writer: Michael Walker (Screenplay)

Starring: Paula Garces, Annabella Sciorra, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger

 

Plot: THE MAID’S ROOM is a psychological thriller that explores the complex relationships between truth and justice, hubris and power, wealth and fear.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lifetime Movie 101

 

Story: The Maid’s Room starts as the Crawford family Mrs (Sciorra), Mr (Camp) and their son Brandon (Ettinger) hire a maid Drina (Garces) to keep their weekend residents clean, offering money, room and board for Drina.

When Drina is left alone with Brandon, he is involved in an accident resulting in a death, the family tries their hardest to pay Drina off to stay quiet but hold her prisoner as the family look to cover up their own crimes.

 

Thoughts on The Maid’s Room

 

Characters/PerformanceDrina is an immigrant from Columbia working as a maid for a rich family, she wants the best for her family but finds herself in the m idle of a moral question about what to do when asked to cover up a murder. Mr and Mrs Crawford will do anything to cover up their son’s crime while Brandon is the typical rash rich kid that thinks he can get away with anything.

Performance wise, this doesn’t have anything great in it, we have solid enough performance without being scene stealers from everyone involved.

StoryIf I am being honest, this film feels like it is a special in a soap opera, it tries to play itself of as a thriller and does have a fresh twist in its own way but that twist sucks all the life out of the film make you not really care what is going on.

ThrillerTries to keep us guessing but in the end, is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Settings – Nearly the whole film is set in and around the rich resident house which works but also adds to the soap opera feel.

Final ThoughtsIf I wanted to watch a long version of a soap opera I would watch one but in the end this doesn’t offer too much of a mystery and whichever direction is goes you are left think ‘so what, do I care’

 

Overall: TV movie that sky seems to be showing.

Rating

 

 

Jason Bourne (2016)

bourneDirector: Paul Greengrass

Writer: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse (Screenplay) Robert Ludlum (Characters)

Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Scott Shepherd, Bill Camp

 

Plot: The most dangerous former operative of the CIA is drawn out of hiding to uncover hidden truths about his past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bourne There Seen That

 

Story: Jason Bourne starts when Jason Bourne (Damon) gets drawn out of hiding by his former contact Nicky Parsons (Stiles) who gives him information about his father and why he was selected to be a candidate in the program. With Jason wanting to find answers CIA Director Robert Dewey (Jones) wants to close the case on Bourne for good and with his Asset (Cassel) ready to pull the trigger it is the inclusion of ambitious agent Heather Lee (Vikander) that sees this operation as her chance to leap forward in her career.

Jason Bourne is the continuing story of Jason Bourne with yet another extension to the story of the man. We get all of the same action we have seen with an overall conspiracy to take privacy from the people. I personally feel this is kind of just more of what we have seen before as the story shows that whatever happens it will happen again.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Jason Bourne has been in hiding getting by using his skills but when he gets contacted by his former contact he comes out of hiding to try and put a stop to the whole system of recruiting the potential soldiers. Matt looks the part and feels like he has naturally aged the character.

Tommy Lee Jones: CIA Director Robert Dewey is looking to re-activate the program to see everyone’s personal information but once Bourne surfaces he looks to put an end to him and anyone who gets in his way. Tommy is what you would call the standard villain without being anything fresh to the series.

Alicia Vikander: Heather Lee is an ambitious agent that uses her skills to locate Bourne demanding to lead the team in taking him out but she classes in methods with Dewey. Alicia has made a big name for herself over the recent years and this could well be her easiest role where she doesn’t have to do too much to be a big part of the story.

Support Cast: Jason Bourne has a supporting cast which isn’t that big but in the end only one other character is really interesting and that is the Asset who has an old rivalry with Bourne.

Director Review: Paul GreengrassPaul gives us a standard sequel to the much loved series which just doesn’t hit all the points needed.

 

Action: Jason Bourne has brilliant car chases and hand to hand combats even if the camera is way too shaky.

Settings: Jason Bourne pretty much takes us on a world tour through the film never staying any location long enough.
Special Effects
: Jason Bourne has good effects when needed without using too much CGI.

Suggestion: Jason Bourne is one for the fans to watch but it really isn’t one of the strongest in the series. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final car chase.

Worst Part: Shaky Cam

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Maybe

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $120 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: You know his name

 

Overall: Just another chapter in the series really.

Ratingcard