Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orland Bloom, Keira Knightley

 

Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than Expected

 

Story: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge starts as a young Henry Turner visiting and promising to break the curse on his father Will Turner (Bloom) against his father’s wishes because it means finding Jack Sparrow (Depp).

Move forward nine years and Henry (Thwaites) in part of the British Navy hunting down pirates in search of Jack Sparrow, when his ship heads into the Devil’s Triangle they find themselves attacked by the ghost Captain Salazar (Bardem), a man in search for Jack Sparrow who cursed his crew.

Finding himself locked up, Henry learns he is on the same island as Jack Sparrow and sets out on finding him as well as an astronomer Carina (Scodelario) who gets treated like a witch because of knowledge. The three team up with Jack’s crew to search for Poseidon’s Trident the one object that can break all curses in the ocean.

With Captain Salazar terrorising the ocean he joins the current ruler of the ocean Captain Barbossa (Rush) in the hunt for Jack as the pirates do battle to break the curses over the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Jack is back, but this time we get a mix of what we expect from the style of the character at times being fun and over times feeling like a parody of himself. Captain Salazar is a good additional villain to this franchise because he was once a man doing the right thing but now hunts the seas for any victim. Captain Barbossa does have the best story arc in this film as we see how he has become the wealthiest pirate at sea and always stays one step ahead of everyone else. Henry is good for this film because it brings us back into the original characters origins learning about Will Turner and now his son, even if the character feels just like a copy of his father, Carina is written to be a strong independent woman in the time of the film which she is but she does also turn into the normal damsel in distress when it comes to conflict moments.

Performance Wise, Johnny Depp does feel like he is doing what you expect but does have moments of parody. Javier Bardem is good and enjoys the villainous role. Rush continues to be good without excelling, Brenton and Kaya are good addition but they do feel like they were just creating a new version of Bloom of Knightley.

StoryOne of the strongest points of any pirates movie is being able to tell us a continuing story, Black Pearl entered us into this world very nicely and the next two chapters continued the story along building on the characters legacy, when it came to Stranger Tides things went off the rails and the film came off boring. This story brings us back to the original arcs and continues to build on them like we enjoy seeing. This isn’t the overall best but it certainly isn’t the worst of the Pirates films and if you enjoyed the stories in the first couple you will enjoy this one.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is all fun, we get a couple of rip off ideas from bigger action franchises, most notable the bank heist, the sword fighting is fine but does become inconstant by the end of the film as ghosts can’t have sword fights. the adventure is the highlight here because this time you do feel like you are back where you want to be. The fantasy side of the film continues on nicely as we dive into the myths of the ocean.

SettingsEach setting looks perfect for a pirates film as we can continue to enjoy the visual experience of a pirates movie.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good, I did like how the deliberate slow flow of Salazar’s hair almost becomes a characteristic of its own too.

Final ThoughtsSure this film will get slammed but it doesn’t need to be, if you just go in look for some fun you will find yourself enjoying this one enough.

 

Overall: Sit back, switch your brain of and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Gods of Egypt (2016)

casting card

 

Plot: Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Clash of the Titans: Egypt Edition

 

Story: Gods of Egypt starts as the Egyptian Gods live among the humans as kings, as the crown in about to change giving Horus (Coster-Waldau) the honour of leading the Egyptian people. With this coronation going on we meet young thieve Bek (Thwaites) and his bride to be Zaya (Eaton). When Set (Butler) the Uncle of Horus arrives h takes the crown killing his father, taking his eyes and putting all the mortals into slavery.

With Set running Egypt Bek finds himself wanting out and his plan given to him by Zaya who is enslaved by the Master Builder Urshu (Sewell) (yes he is called the Master Builder and I did laugh for about half an hour) is to steal back Horus’ eyes and returning them to the fallen king who is in exile.

Horus has one of his eyes back Bek unites with him to claim his throne with an adventure across Egypt.

Gods of Egypt turns the Clash of the Titans story into something we have seen in Clash of the Titans only with a different line of history of mythical characters. We get a vengeance story which yes we have seen before but it really works for this film. We don’t see anything fresh but this is easily fun and enjoyable to watch. My biggest issue with this is that the Gods are meant to tower over the mortals but it is so inconstant it sometimes comes off comical.

 

Actor Review

 

Gerard Butler: Set is the brother of Anubis that wants the throne with his being given to his nephew. He takes the crown by force bring Egypt into a dark age of slavery and any fellow God that turns him will be killed. Once Horus starts coming after him crown he will put anything in his way to stop him. Gerard is good as a villain which is nice to see him playing something different

Brenton Thwaites: Bek is a young mortal thieve that is tired of being in slavery and steals the eyes of Horus to return them to the worthy king. He loses his love Zaya in his daring mission leading him to make a deal with Horus to save her as he joins the adventure. Brenton is good in this role bring a mix of daring and comic moments.

Courtney Eaton: Zaya is the love of Bek who is killed during their daring escape, stuck in the afterlife she has to wait to see if Bek can find a way to save her. Courtney is pretty much just the damsel in distress character without excelling in being above average.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: Horus is the fallen king of the Gods that upon receive his eye he heads back into an adventure with Bek to reclaim his own throne from his Uncle Set. Nikolaj is good in this role bringing a lot of his Jamie Lannister we all love into play.

Support Cast: Gods of Egypt has a large supporting cast that are different character from Egyptian history.

Director Review: Alex ProyasAlex puts his own spin on what is considered Egyptian history.

 

Action: Gods of Egypt has good action being used throughout without being the most original and the highlight being in the snake chase.

Adventure: Gods of Egypt puts our characters on an adventure against enemies in Egyptian history.

Fantasy: Gods of Egypt gives us a look at all of the wild characters from Egyptian folk law.

Settings: Gods of Egypt keeps everything in what was meant to from ancient Egypt.
Special Effects
: Gods of Egypt has a mix of good and bad effects used throughout.

Suggestion: Gods of Egypt is one to try, it does have good moments being used from start to finish. (Try It)

 

Best Part:  Snake chase.

Worst Part: The difference in heights comes off random and inconstant.

Action Scene Of The Film: Snake chase.

Funniest Scene: One of the characters is called the Master Builder.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Clash of the Titans.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $140 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

Tagline: All of creation is at stake

 

Overall: Fun in a way to switch your brain off to enjoy

Ratingcard

 

 

The Giver (2014)

giverDirector: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Michael Mitnick, Robert B Weide (Screenplay) Lois Lowry (Book)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Swift

 

Plot: In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: The Giver starts by taking us to the community that has been formed after war where we meet Jonas (Thwaites) who about to be assigned his job once they finish school, along with his best friends Fiona (Rush) and Asher (Monaghan). Jonas has always been thinking he doesn’t fit in, you know what this is just going to be the same old young adult idea, I can see it coming.

Jonas gets given the ultimate honour being selected as the new receiver of memories the highest honour anyone could get in the community. He receives training from The Giver (Bridges) the close to retirement age meaning he will give Jonas al of the memories of human history the one thing no one in the community is allowed to have.

Becoming the Receive means he can change the rules learn about something beyond their world which could bring down the community forever as Jonas becomes confused that no one else is allowed to feel these memoires.

The Giver is another young adult film that follows the traditional style of the film with an almost check list of ABC of things to see in the movie. I did like the idea of how the world is created and could fully believe that it comes off correctly for these people. I did like how the emotions really hitting our character and how it changes him. Where it could come off negatively is that we did see this happen to often in the genre but if this is a one off film in the genre it would have been a lot popular and we would see the end of the story in later film.

 

Actor Review

 

Brenton Thwaites: Jonas reaches the age where all school student graduates and enter into the chosen careers, Jonas is given the biggest honour and that is being the next Receiver. Jonas has to go through training which is going to give him all the emotions from human history but this only drives his desires to learn more about the world he lives in. Brenton is good in this leading role fitting the traits needed for the young adult genre.

Jeff Bridges: The Giver is the outgoing Receiver that needs to train Jonas and not make the mistakes he has made before. He tries a different approach from a life time of having the memories that have consumed him free the rest of the community. Jeff is good in this role never looking too out of place.

Meryl Streep: Chief Elder runs the community and with this power she watches over everything making sure everything in the community stays calm. Meryl is good in this supporting without really getting to the highest levels of her abilities.

Alexander Skarsgard: Father is the man that has raised Jonas because in this world you don’t have parents, he is good man never understand anything he does could be wrong. Alexander is solid in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Giver has a small supporting cast with the genetic characters you would expect to see like the love interest and the reluctant best friend going into battle. They all work well in the stories path that help along the way.

Director Review: Phillip NoycePhillip does give us a good young adult film which does come off like the ones we have seen before.

 

Romance: The Giver does use the love angle to push the character to finally achieve the freedom desired.

Sci-Fi: The Giver puts us into a world where emotions are banned and well we have seen before but everything comes off really well.

Settings: The Giver creates a world we can see isolated from the world believe they are safe in their ways.
Special Effects
: The Giver has good special effects to make see the black and white mix with the colour being seen by the characters.

Suggestion: The Giver is one to try if you are a fan of the young adult genre. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The world created.

Worst Part: It is a builder film.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Search for truth. Find freedom.

 

Overall: Another good addition to the young adult genre.

Ratingcard

 

 

Son of a Gun (2014)

sonDirector: Julius Avery

Writer: Julius Avery (Screenplay)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Brenton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander, Jacek Koman, Matt Nable, Tom Budge, Eddie Baroo, Nash Edgerton, Damon Herriman

 

Plot: JR busts out of prison with Brendan Lynch, Australia’s most notorious criminal, and joins Lynch’s gang for a gold heist that soon pits the two men against one another.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Crime Heist Film

 

Story: Son of a Gun starts as we see JR (Thwaites) arriving at prisoner, too young for his own good. Inside he has no one to supporting him but catches the eye of Brendan Lynch (McGregor) a criminal in his own right that sees JR as his man on the outside while he is serving his longer sentence.

JR released walks straight into the crime business where Tasha (Vikander) leaves him what he needs after Sam (Koman) sets up a house for him. JR is placed on the outside for grand escape of Brendan and his men from jail.

Once out Brendan has arranged for a new heist for Sam and JR is part of it but as JR becomes obsessed with Tasha he puts all their lives at risk but who is really the one that can be trusted.

Son of a Gun is a crime film that follows the traditional story of a troubled young man who seems a father in criminal. We also get the trademark ruthless boss and greed taking over all of the men involved. I don’t feel this offers anything fresh to the genre but follows all the check list easily for the basics. I would have liked to have known why JR was in jail in the first place and why he was trying to be friends with Brendan but this almost gets forgotten.

 

Actor Review

 

Ewan McGregor: Brendan Lynch is the expert armed robber that is sitting in jail when he catches the eye of JR. he uses JR to help him escape and get into the next job which will give him enough money to give up the life of crime. He is very obsessed with order and always has the plan down perfectly. Ewan is solid in this role and is something we are not used to seeing from him.bredna

Brenton Thwaites: JR is a troublemaking young man who finds himself in jail for a crime we never seem to learn what he committed.  He comes from an abusive home making him rebel against the world. While in jail he finds himself entering into a new criminal circle where he works for Brendan but his ways will always be out to put his own life at risks. Brenton is solid in this role but his character doesn’t get developed correctly.jr

Alicia Vikander: Tasha is one of the girls Sam keeps around, she isn’t allowed to do anything against his permission but once she meets JR the two will risk their own lives to be together. Alicia is solid showing she had to start making wave in this supporting roles.

Jacek Koman: Sam Lennox is the crime boss who Brendan is working for, he has lined up a job that will make both of them very rich. He doesn’t like anyone getting interested in his woman and when JR starts taking an interest in Tasha he makes the whole crew pay. Jacek makes for a generic villain in a heist film.

Support Cast: Son of a Gun has a basic supporting cast that you would expect to see in a heist movie.

Director Review: Julius AveryJulius gives us a great but basic heist movie that is an easy watch but never reaches the true potential.

 

Action: Son of a Gun has basic heist action moments that really don’t give us enough.

Crime: Son of a Gun puts us into a crime world where we see the heist take place.

Thriller: Son of a Gun tries to keep us on edge but fails to achieve this.

Settings: Son of a Gun uses Australia as the setting which works in places but not enough.
Special Effects
: Son of a Gun has easy to use effects to show certain moments but not enough.

Suggestion: Son of a Gun is one for the fans to try but not one of the best out there. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Prison break.

Worst Part: Very slow.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Gold is thicker than blood.

 

Overall: Easy to watch even if slow heist movie.

Ratingcard

Maleficent (2014)

logoDirector: Robert Stromberg

Writer: Linda Woolverton (Screenplay) Charles Perrault, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, Milt Banta, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm (Original Material)

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley, Brenton Thwaites, Kenneth Cranham

 

Plot: A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Fantasy

 

Story: Maleficent start with narration that informs us that we have two different kingdoms that are at war who could only be separate by good guy or a villain. We meet Maleficent the good kind young fairy part of the fantasy kingdom. The young Maleficent gets to meet her first human when young Stefan enters into the world and as time goes by the two become friends and eventually fall in love.

Maleficent (Jolie) fully grown becomes the guardian of the Moors and after starting to grow apart from Stefan the war between humans and fairies was ready to come to ahead. Stefan (Copley) rising through the kingdom gets a chance to become king along with the rest of the loyal followers of the King all they had to do was bring Maleficent head to him. Stefan’s desire for power sees him betray Maleficent by taking her wings.

Maleficent fuelled by rage brings darkness to her kingdom while see waits for her chance to get revenge on King Stefan. When King Stefan has a baby Maleficent puts a curse on the baby that upon pricking her finger on a spinning wheel she will fall into sleep never to awaken until she has true loves kiss. Maleficent continues to watch Aurora (Fanning) grow hoping for the chance that when she will get cursed. As Aurora continues to grow Maleficent becomes a friend with and turns into the Godmother and even tries to lift the curse but with no luck. Aurora is doomed to need to find true loves kiss to survive.

Maleficent manages to take an old story of Sleeping Beauty and turn the story on its head, much like Oz the Great and the Power did. This time we learn that the evil from that story had a motive and wasn’t just purely evil. We learn that anyone that gets hurt in love could break and the results could turn into something that looks like this. We do get the traditional Disney ‘true love’ theme running throughout which does get used too much but on the plus side we get to see the real meaning behind it. This tries to make everything seem like it is a lot darker than the first story but in the end just sends up round in circles and coming off very been there seen that *cough* Frozen. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Angelina Jolie: Maleficent fairy who gets betrayed by a human filling her with darkness against that human before putting a curse upon his baby daughter. Over time Maleficent becomes the fairy godmother watching over the young girl before trying to lift the curse. Angelina shines in this villain with a heart role, playing both sides throughout the film we get to see what she is capable off. (8/10)

 maleficent

Elle Fanning: Aurora the young girl who becomes cursed, while her good nature changes Maleficent making her want to lift the curse. Elle is a great actress coming through but we don’t get to see enough of her character in this film. (6/10)

aurora

Sharlto Copley: Stefan a childhood friend of Maleficent who gets consumed by power which ends up making him betrays her on his way to become king. Once he is king Maleficent puts a curse on his baby girl which ends up pushing him into darkness trying to get revenge on her. Sharlto is a good actor normally but I do feel like he looks kind of lost in this role. (5/10)

stefan

Support Cast: Maleficent has a supporting cast that includes Maleficent loyal slave and three pixies who are there for comic relief, most of the rest of the characters are there to look the part and never really get involved in what is going on.

 

Director Review: Robert Stromberg – Robert does a good job visual with his direction debut but really doesn’t make a true classic from which the source material could be considered. (7/10)

 

Action: Maleficent has a few fantasy fights but nothing over the memorable. (5/10)

Family: Maleficent is a dark tale to take the family to see and might not be suitable for the youngest family members. (5/10)

Fantasy: Maleficent takes us into a beautiful fantasy world that changes with the mood of Maleficent. (9/10)

Romance: Maleficent plays the old romance and true love storyline which feels tired through this one. (5/10)

Settings: Maleficent each setting is brilliantly created for the characters to live in. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Maleficent has good effects to create the worlds. (9/10)

Suggestion: Maleficent one for the family really, and also for the Disney princess fans. (Family or Princess fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The Effects are brilliant.

Worst Part: Seen the story before.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Oz The Great and the Powerful

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar in Costume Design..

Box Office: $758 Million

Budget: $180 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Don’t believe the fairy tale

 

Overall: Maleficent is a fantasy film that ticks all those boxes but ends up falling short with the original story ideas.

Rating 60