Samson (2018)

Director: Bruce Macdonald, Gabriel Sabloff

Writer: Jason Baumgardner, Zach Smith, Galen Gilbert, Timothy Rarajczak (Screenplay) Jason Baumgardner, Zach Smith (Story)

Starring: Taylor James, Billy Zane, Lindsay Wagner, Caitlin Leahy, Rutger Hauer, Jackson Rathbone

 

Plot: After losing the love of his life to a cruel Philistine prince, a young Hebrew with Supernatural strength defends his people, sacrificing everything to avenge his love, his people, and his God.


Tagline – Chosen. Betrayed. Redeemed.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not Very Interesting

 

Story: Samson starts as a young Hebrew Samson (James) helps feed his small village by stealing from King Balek (Zane) the cruel Philistine ruler, his son Prince Rallah (Rathbone) is tasked to search for Samson to make him part of the crown’s guard.

When Samson meets the beautiful Taren (Sholto-Douglas) he decides he wants to marry her, only she is from the enemy village, Samson must question his own faith before going to war with Rallah to free his people one the Philistine rule.

 

Thoughts on Samson

 

Characters – Samson is destine to rule the Hebrew people one day, he was selected by their God to be their messenger, blessed with inhuman strength and set in a rulebook that will keep him strong, he falls in love he ends up going to war with the Philistines finally getting his chance to be the leader he was destine to become. King Balek is the cruel leader that has been making the life of the Hebrews a nightmare, he wants to remain in power and get rid of Samson, the biggest threat. Rallah is the prince that is assigned to go after Samson, he sees this as his chance to impress the King, only using his power to for bloodshed to kill anyone. Delilah is a woman that is being used to make everything unfold for Samson, I could have sworn that in the biblical version of this story, she is the one that he falls in love with.

PerformancesTaylor James might have the physical appearance for this role, but he just doesn’t bring the dramatic side of the film. Billy Zane looks like he is enjoying the supporting role, but doesn’t do anything original with his character and Jackson Rathbone does go full-blown over the top in the villainous role.

StoryThe story follows Samson a man that was destine to rule his people against the cruel leaders controlling their land, blessed with incredible strength he can’t be beaten unless he breaks the three rules placed on him. This is a story I do remember from the bible, this is one that doesn’t seem to follow it the way I remember what so ever, it was always about Samson and Delilah’s love and betray, with this one we get too much nonsense leading up to what has been happening and just ends up spending too much time not making sense before we get anywhere near the main part of the story from the bible.

ActionThe action in the film isn’t shot very well, this is because we have Samson going against a full army, which you can clearly see the member of the army standing back waiting for their moment to attack, rather than acting natural.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings for the film simple, they are different sizes of villages or cities, both reflect the numbers and power both sides of the war have.


Scene of the Movie –
First big fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not the story I remember from the bible.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappoint version of one of the most famous stories of faith and love from the bible, it doesn’t seem to capture everything on the same level it could and ends up just being generic swords and sandal film.

 

Overall: Disappointing all around.

Rating

 

 

Three (2005)

Director: Stewart Raffill

Writer: Stewart Raffill (Screenplay)

Starring: Billy Zane, Kelly Brook, Juan Pablo Di Pace, Todd Collins, Gabrielle Jourdan

 

Plot: Three people – a rich couple and a crew member – are shipwrecked on a tropical island and their subsequent fight for survival becomes even tougher when they begin to turn on each other.


Tagline – Looks can kill

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Brook in a Bikini

 

Story: Three starts when a rich group of tourists with Jack (Zane) and his wife Jennifer (Brook) go on a boating trip in the tropics, when the boat catches fire, Jennifer finds herself on a beach with one of the cabin boys Manuel (Di Pace), as they look to survive, until Jack arrives on the island too.

The men start competing for Jennifer’s attention with her husband not wanting her talking to anybody else even if Manuel can catch and feed the survivors, and Manuel just wanting to survive his time on the island, we get to see the animalistic side of the characters as they look to show dominance on the island.

 

Thoughts on Three

 

Characters – Jack is a business man that has always expected people to do a job, never really thanking them along the way. Once trapped on the island he becomes paranoid Manuel is trying to steal his wife and won’t accept that he could help them all survive. Jennifer is the trophy wife of Jack’s, she really doesn’t know how to do anything on the island and just wonders around in her bikini more often than not. Manuel is a cabin boy that survives the shipwreck and wants to impress Jennifer, he knows how to survive on the island and is overly aggressive towards woman, which for some reason is a turn on about his character.

PerformancesBilly Zane is not very good in this leading role, he is the best of the three actors, but he just isn’t believable first as Kelly brook’s husband and secondly as the guy about to snap. Kelly Brook, bless her, she really can’t act can she, but she does look pretty. Juan Pablo Di Pace struggles to make an impact as the fiery Latino stereotype.

StoryThe story follows three people stranded on an island after their boat gets shipwrecked, first they must learn to survive o the island, then we just get a love triangle between the two men fighting over the one woman on the island, there is also some voodoo. The story just becomes a battle to see who could impress Jennifer the most instead of focusing on surviving, we don’t get too deep into a story and more of the film just seems to be about getting Kelly Brook to walk around in her bikini.

Adventure/Horror The adventure blends well with the horror of not knowing who you can trust when you are trapped on an island well, we never get to the level where everything gets to the level where they could become life and death.

SettingsThe film is set in one singular location an island which leaves the people stranded there needing to figure out how to survive this situation.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It never feels like it is life and death.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull adventure horror that is more about the love triangle than actually focusing on the bigger story going on about surviving.

 

Overall: Love Triangle without any corners.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – T – Titanic (1997)

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton

 

Plot: A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.


Tagline – Collide With Destiny

Runtime: 3 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece in Cinema

 

Story: Titanic starts as treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Paxton) and his team are searching the Titanic wreckage for any remaining treasure that could make them rich, on their latest voyage they find a picture of woman wearing a long-lost necklace, the heart of the ocean. With this picture becoming international news Rose (Stuart) comes aboard the ship to tell her story of her trip in the doomed ship.

Returning to 1912 we follow Rose (Winslet) from a rich family using the trip with her fiancée Cal (Zane) to return to America to start their life together. Jack (DiCaprio) on the other hand wins his ticket in a poker game to be a passenger on the ship, in the third class.

As the two get involved in a chance meeting, Rose is shown the life that is care free away from her prim and proper lifestyle that she has only ever been shown, the two fall in love in their short time together but after the ship hits the iceberg, they must battle to survive the fateful night as the panic of the tragic event occurs.

 

Thoughts on Titanic

 

Characters – Rose is shown to us in two different times, we first meet the modern day one, well 1997 where she has lived the life she had always dreamed off, now she gets to return to the Titanic wreckage to tell her story of events on the maiden voyage that will be remembered forever. The other Rose we meet is the younger one, the 19 year-old that is moving to America to start her life of luxury with her fiancée Cal, at this age she isn’t sure this is what she wants and meeting Jack shows her a new look and even a new love in life, she takes risks that she would never have even imagined taking before meeting Jack. Jack Dawson is a drifter, artist and traveller of the world, winning his ticket in a game of poker, he sees this as his chance to return to America with his new craft, he falls for Rose and his carefree lifestyle shines on her and he is shunned by anyone in the first class of the ship. Cal is the fiancée of Rose, he has used his wealth to get all the benefits in life, he looks down on anyone not from the same class as himself and takes an instant dislike to Jack, he tries to control Rose’s every decision making him the villain of the piece. We have the controlling mother, the fish out of water with money in Molly who steals nearly every scene being the only one that can relate to Jack and the portrays of the real people behind the ship tragedy.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became international A-Listers after this movie, their performances are fantastic and showed the world the talent they both had at this early moments of their career. Billy Zane does make a great villainous character through this film and you will find yourself hating his character. Kathy Bates is fantastic too in a role you could have watched all day long. The whole cast is fantastic in this film and their performances show us just how good they are.

StoryThe story shows us one of the most tragic moments in modern human history, this sinking of the Titanic, an accident in which no one was prepared for, seeing the supporting characters who are based on the real people is fascinating to see how they were to believed to have acted, saying this the love story does feel very forced and having one person telling the story doesn’t give us the understand how she would know what other people were doing at the times without her in the movie. Clocking up at over 3 hours, this story never seems to find a low point well telling the story of this tragedy.

RomanceThe weakest part of the film here, because this event didn’t need a fictional love story which in all fairness is a by the book routine love story of the rich meets poor.

SettingsThe creation of the Titanic for the setting is fantastic, as we follow the journey you feel like you are part of this doomed voyage which is filled with the beauty of first class and the cramped conditions of third class.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used in this movie were ground-breaking at the time, they stand this test of time and deserved any credit the team working on this got.


Scene of the Movie –
The search for survivors, is haunting, disturbing and tragic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How would Rose know what people were doing in her story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest movies of all time, a record breaking in its own right, career making, career defining and moment in history that will forever be stuck in tragic events.

 

Overall: Brilliant, and a must watch

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)

Director: Roel Reine

Writer: Brendan Cowles, Shane Kuhn (Screenplay) Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Victor Webster, Billy Zane, Ron Perlman, Selina Lo, Dave Bautista, Krystal Vee

 

Plot: Since his rise to power, Mathayus’ kingdom has fallen. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funnier Sequel

 

Story: The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption starts where a disgraced Mathayus (Webster) is in search of a worthy death not that he has lost his kingdom and love, now he fights for money and honour with Horus (Perlman) hiring him to take out his brother Talus (Zane) a man trying to conquer the land. Mathayus is sent with European warrior Olaf (Christopher) who helps save a princess Silda (Vee) for King Ramusan (Morrison).

But this easy looking adventure takes a turn in the search for Cobra before Mathayus must come up against ghost warriors in Argomael (Bautista), Zulu Kondo (Ferguson), Tsukai (Lo) to free the kingdom from war.

 

Thoughts on The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption

 

Characters/PerformanceMathayus is now older which is good because now this is a sequel to the original as we see how he has fallen from grace but is still a brilliant warrior. Silda is the plucky warrior woman starting her own revolution against the evil ruler. With Talus being the over the top cowardly ruler that will never get his hands dirty. Olaf adds most of the laughs in this film with the ghost warriors all have a great look about them.

Performance wise, Victor Webster is solid in the leading role being an improvement on the last outing but never reaching Johnson level. Krystal Vee makes for yet another beautiful warrior but Billy Zane is way to over the top for this role. The early role for Dave Bautista does show how far he has come though. If you are looking to see a lot of Ron Perlman you will be disappointed.

StoryThe story follows what happens once Mathayus has fallen from the top returning to his warrior ways for money. Finding him stuck between two sides in the battle also works and it could be argued that this is the best story yet from a Scorpion King film.

Action/AdventureThe action is almost painfully choregraphed with the adventure side of the film going the wrong direction. The fantasy side does work in places with the ghost warriors.

SettingsThe settings once more could have just been anywhere with no location sticking out.

Special EffectsThe special effects are fine as the film cuts back on them mostly returning just to hand to hand combat.

Final ThoughtsThis story is good but the poorly directed action, poor acting and repetitive action gets tiresome quickly.

 

Overall: Another part of this franchise where you don’t need to see anything else beforehand.

Rating

 

 

Dead Calm (1989)

deadDirector: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Terry Hayes (Screenplay) Charles Williams (Novel)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane, Rod Mullinar, Joshua Tilden

 

Plot: After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae spend some time isolated at sea when they come along a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful

 

Story: Dead Calm starts when married couple Rae (Kidman) and John (Neill) suffer the personal tragedy when their son is killed in a car accident. To cope with the loss, the two head out to sea to get away from the world and grieve in their own way.

The couple’s peace is broken when lone survivor Hughie Warriner (Zane) whose crew have all died as the couple agree to help the stranded sailor. Whilst investigating Hughie’s boat John learns the truth about this man whose sinister side takes over as he takes control of their ship kidnapping Rae along the way. The film becomes a battle for survival from Rae point of view and John must repair the damaged boat to have any chance of saving the day.

Dead Calm keeps the story short and sweet never trying to be anything more than it needs to. We never find anything getting confusing with the most part just being a fight for survival be it on a damaged boat or stay one step ahead of a mad man. This really does make this easy to follow.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicole Kidman: Rae is dealing with the loss of her son in a car accident where she was also badly injured in. she joins her husband on their yacht sailing around the Pacific but her time of grieving is interrupted when she finds herself being held captive by Hughie. Nicole is great in this role showing a strong female character through the ordeal she finds herself in.

Sam Neill: John is the husband of Rae who just so happens to be a sailor, he takes her away to grieve the loss of their son only to find himself in a race against time using all of his skills to save from the hands of a mad man. Sam is good considering he has to spend most of the film alone.

Billy Zane: Hughie is the lone survivor from another yacht claiming his crew all died but soon we learn about his dark side as he has always been planning to hijack the next boat he came across with Rae as his prisoner. I do feel this character could have been even darker than what we got. Billy is good in this role but I feel we did need to see slightly more twisted in his character.

Support Cast: Dead Calm really doesn’t have anyone else truly involved with most extra characters only appearing in an odd scene.

Director Review: Phillip NoycePhillip gives us a tense thriller that keeps us on edge throughout.

 

Thriller: Dead Calm does keep us on edge throughout because we know just how stranded the characters are through the situation.

Settings: Dead Calm puts our characters in the middle of the ocean which shows us there is nowhere they can go to escape what is happening, perfect us of setting.
Special Effects
: Dead Calm has good effects when needed with most just really being used sparingly.

Suggestion: Dead Calm is one I would recommend seeing as it does everything you need it to do as a thriller. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: A certain death.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: High Seas. Deep Terror.

 

Overall: Suspense filled thriller.

Ratingcard