Forsaken (2015)

Director: Jon Cassar

Writer: Brad Mirman, Tari (Screenplay)

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox, Chris Ippolito

 

Plot: In 1872, an embittered gunslinger named John Henry Clayton attempts to make amends with his estranged father Reverend Samuel Clayton while their community is besieged by ruthless land-grabbers.


Tagline – Haunted by his past, searching for peace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Westerner

 

Story: Forsaken starts when John Henry (Kiefer Sutherland) returns to his family town where his father Reverend Samuel (Donald Sutherland) has a strained relationship due to him not returning to help his mother on her deathbed.

With the Clayton’s discussion their own beliefs in God, James McCurdy (Cox) has taken over the town and starting to expand his empire with Dave Turner (Wincott) doing his dirty work, John refuses to go down without a fight and decides to challenge the rule of the town.

 

Thoughts on Forsaken

 

Characters – John Henry Clayton left his town for war, he never returned until his mother died, he has become distant from his father not believing in God, the town does fear his actions in the past, which has made him the threat to the gang controlling the town and when things become personal, he becomes the man people need to fear. Reverend Samuel Clayton is respected in the town which he has made a place believing in God, he doesn’t like his son returning, but learns that he hasn’t for a good reason. James McCurdy is the man running the town, he lets his men kill to get the property he wants. Dave Turner is one of the men that works for James, one that does play by honour over many of the shot first men in the gang.

PerformancesKiefer Sutherland in the leading role is fine, though his mumbling doesn’t help us care enough his character, opposite his father Donald who isn’t the most entertaining either. Michael Wincott was the most interesting character because he seems to get some development and want to see more from him. Brian Cox feels completely wasted in his role that gives him nothing.

StoryThe story follows a man returning home with a reputation while he needs to learn how to make a stand to protect his town which has become a problem overrun by a gang of outlaws. This does follow the generic idea of a returning man helping clean up his town without offer anything new, it keeps us seeing how the action are building up to the problems that will be facing before the final showdown. The pacing does become slow which does make things unfold at a snail’s pace which just doesn’t keep our attention for long enough.

Action/WesternThe action does feel flat, we just don’t get enough of it to make us believe it is action heavy movie, though the mood makes us feel like the western we are entering.

SettingsThe film does make us feel like we are the small town which has a community feeling about it.


Scene of the Movie –
Dave doesn’t like his men not following orders.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The mumbling from Kiefer.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced action western movie that just never gets going and ends up feeling the pace taking age to get through.

 

Overall: Slow and bland.

Rating

 

 

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Braveheart (1995)

Director: Mel Gibson

Writer: Randall Wallace (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormack, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen, Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo, Brian Cox

 

Plot: When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.


Tagline – Every man’s spirit is free. Not every man has the courage to follow it.

Runtime: 2 Hours 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long Biopic

 

Story: Braveheart starts when young William Wallace see his father and brother killed fighting for the independence of the land, taken in by his Uncle Argyle (Cox) he is raised to be a fighter. King Edward I (McGoohan) is trying to take control of the whole of Britain planning on leading the pressure on the Scots to fold, his son Prince Edward (Hanly) marries Princess Isabelle (Marceau) to unite with France.

William (Gibson) wants a life of peace which sees him marry Murron (McCormack) in secret after seeing what happens to the brides on their wedding night. When an English soldier tries to rape Murron, she fights back, only for this to lead to her execution. William is now ready for war and will lead the Scottish into battle against the English.

 

Thoughts on Braveheart

 

Characters – William Wallace saw his family die at war, raised in the peaceful land, wanting a peaceful life, his life if turned upside down when his wife is executed by the English. William becomes thee general for the Scottish army in the fight for freedom, becoming a leader put into legend. Princess Isabelle is from France, married to the Prince of England, she doesn’t like the conflict, turning to William to help him in the time of need. King Edward I is driven by war, he wants to conquer Scotland using his armies to try and keep them in order. Robert the Bruce is torn between keeping the peace or joining William’s war, he comes from the royal bloodline knowing his choice will be seen by the people. Murron is the common woman that William marries and sees killed for defending herself.

PerformancesMel Gibson in the leading role is strong for the most part even if he can’t manage to pull off the accent to a high enough standard, add in his age isn’t on the right scale required for this man. Sophie Marceau gets the strongest female role in the film, while the rest of the performance come off strong without anybody becoming overly memorable.

StoryThe story here shows a fictionalised version of the battle between William Wallace as he led the Scottish in battle with the English after the king tried to take control of the land, taking their freedom. While the scale of this story is massive, the reality it that most of the historical side of the film just doesn’t live up to the reality of what really happened, you can use the internet yourselves to learn the truth. For an inspirational hero of war leading a nation this is everything you want though. We do see how both sides prepare for the battles and just how they believe they are in the right, with both sides having people that don’t back what the leaders are doing to each others.

Biopic/History/WarThis is where we must look at how you read the movie, for a history lesson that is wrong this is easy to watch, it does everything to make it feel like a realistic version of events, but not the complete truth. The war between the English and the Scottish was real, was bloody and this film shows us just how brutal the wars of this time would have been.

SettingsThe film shows us just how large scale the battles were, when it comes to the pure numbers involved in the battles, we get the beauty of the highlands too which show us just how beautiful the land would have been for fighting for.


Scene of the Movie –
The battles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The length of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a historically incorrect movie that can be watch for the pure scale of the epic battle between the nations, with have strong performance, wonderful directing when it comes to the battle scenes too.

 

Overall: Brutal at times, long at others.

Rating

 

 

Cillian Murphy Weekend – Red Eye (2005) Revisited

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Carl Ellsworth (Screenplay) Carl Ellsworth, Dan Foos (Story)

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Laura Johnson, Jayma Mays, Angela Paton

 

Plot: A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician.


Tagline – Fear Takes Flight

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Red Eye starts with workaholic hotel manager Lisa (McAdams) is returning home after a family funeral, she meets a charming co-passenger Jackson Rippner (Murphy) for is heading to Miami for business. Once the flight is in the air, Jackson who just so happens to be seated next to Lisa reveals his business, the flight takes a twist for Lisa.

Jackson wants Lisa to move an incoming politician from one room to another, or he will kill her father Joe (Cox), Lisa is left in an impossible position of trying to stay ahead of Jackson’s plan and not leading a politician to their death.

 

Thoughts on Red Eye

 

Characters – Lisa is a workaholic hotel manager that is has a fear of flying, who is travelling home after a funeral, she has remarkable calmness through stress related issues in life, knowing how to deal with difficult clients the best way. She has full say on everything going on within the hotel with her regular clients trusting her completely. Jackson Rippner starts off a kind friendly man, willing to step up where gentlemen might not, he is seated next to Lisa on the plane, where he shows his true colours as part of a terrorists that need Lisa to move their target. He remains calm through each of her attempts to not follow through knowing just how to get the job done. Joe is the father of Lisa, he has been remodelling his home, always there to support her, he is just going about his evening through the film. Cynthia is the slightly ditsy receptionist that Lisa supports with the difficult decisions she is going through at the hotel.

PerformancesRachel McAdams in the leading role breaks away from the known romantic comedy roles she had been doing before this film, she proves she could be a genuine star in the thriller role, Cillian Murphy continued to make a name for himself in this role, where he plays the disturbing lead villain who becomes even more frightening within the final act. Brian Cox is one of the more underused talents in the film, while Jayma Mays brings quirkiness to her role.

StoryThe story is kept very simple, a man forces a hotel manager to change an appointment mid-flight and if she doesn’t, he will have her father killed, this becomes a cat-n-mouse style story about both trying to stay ahead of the other. This simplistic side of this story is what makes it standout because the stakes are placed on the table early and the idea that she has no easy escape proves just how difficult her job is going to be. It does keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to see just what will happen next and isn’t afraid show moments of brutal looking injury. The idea the target it a political figure helps increase the stakes too.

MysteryThis is a mystery that will keep us guessing to just how they will get out of the situation, how far Jackson is willing to go and if there is any other motivation in his plan.

SettingsMost of the film takes place onboard the plane, it shows just how difficult escape is going to be for Lisa and how she has little option to help Jackson.


Scene of the Movie –
The pen.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have had an idea to about who the political figure is meant to be, how much he could change certain issues in America.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most enjoyable thriller that you will see, it has two brilliant led performances and will keep you guessing through the film, just what will happen next.

 

Overall: Tense, atmospheric thriller.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – E – Exit Humanity (2011)

Director: John Geddes

Writer: John Geddes (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Cox, Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Stephen McHattie, Jordan Hayes

 

Plot: A young man’s struggle to survive in the aftermath of a deadly undead outbreak during the American Civil War.


Tagline – History has a violent way of repeating itself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow, But Enjoyable Zombie Movie

 

Story: Exit Humanity starts during the civil war, where Edward Young (Gibson) battled but the war bought the rise of the undead which Edward has battled successfully until they get his family, looking to get across country to spread his son’s ashes he sets out alone.

Along the way he meets a fellow survivor who has been battling General Williams (Moseley) and his men including Medic Johnson (McHattie) who believe they can control the undead, so know teaming with Isaac (Seybold) he sets out on helping him defeat these evil men, all while being narrated but Malcolm Young (Voiced by Cox).

 

Thoughts on Exit Humanity

 

Characters – Malcolm Young is our narrator, he tells the story like he is writing it in a book, Edward Young is the man who fought in the Civil War but now lives in an undead infested land where he loses his family but now he fights the undead in a quest to put his son’s ashes to rest. Eve is a lone woman living in the woods, she is believed to be a witch which built her reputation for the locals, she opens her doors to Edward and his party. General Williams is the man that believes there is a cure, but his evil ways lead to them experimenting on the living to find it. Medic Johnson is Williams’ doctor who performs these experiments.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good, we have the horror icons in Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley and Stephen McHattie that give us good performances throughout. Brian Cox narrating is engaging throughout while Mark Gibson as our lead is good with all the bigger named actors.

StoryThe story here is a zombie one, which we have seen plenty off, but it does take place in a Civil War era, which is an original spin on it. We have the journey our hero goes on, a villain that would end it and as always someone looking for a cure. The story is also told in chapter as if it was read from a book and strangely the narration side of the story being told in more interesting than the acting side of everything unfolding.

HorrorThe horror is a zombie world where the humans seem to be the bigger enemy, which works but isn’t on the scary factor.

SettingsThe film is set in the Civil War era, so we don’t have big strong structures for safety we are in the woods with our characters needing to find a way to survive without the ammunition the modern zombie films would have.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well which is mostly practical as we see how the zombies are created to fit the time.


Scene of the Movie –
I liked how the opening was narrated to us.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long movie, with the muted action sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting take on the zombie genre, it places us into a different era with the same threat but does feel at times like it is being told as something one of the great poets would have written in the era.

 

Overall: This is an interesting if take on the genre even if slightly too slow.

Rating

 

 

 

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – K – Kite (2014)

kiteDirector: Ralph Ziman

Writer: Brian Cox (Screenplay) Yasuomi Umetsu (Original Film)

Starring: India Eisely, Callan McAuiffe, Samuel L Jackson, Carl Beukes

 

Plot: When her cop father is killed, a young woman tracks the murder with the help of his ex-partner.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What a Mess

 

Story: Kite starts as Sawa (Eisley) a young woman out for revenge on the gang that killed her parents, she works with Lieutenant Aker (Jackson) as they are targeting the Thornhill’s gang. The deeper Sawa gets the more dangerous is becomes but her bloody quest for revenge isn’t going to stop until the last one pays for what they did.

 

Thoughts on Kite

 

StoryThis story seems to be a blend of Hit Girl and Hanna without anything to make it interesting, we have the revenge story we have seen before and an unlikely hero with the girl working with police officer to take down gang, yay this is just what it is and forgettable at that.

Action/Crime/ThrillerWe do get mindless action and the traditional crime story of trying to take down a gang but it doesn’t feel fresh.

Characters/PerformanceSawa is this new young woman hit girl that takes on the bigger men in a revenge mission, the cop character is also something you have seen before giving nothing fresh to this idea. The performances here are all pretty bad with what feels like dreadful dubbing in place too.

SettingsWe get the typical gang locations all designed to give Sawa a new weapon of chance for a kill or two.

Special EffectsWell finally something that we can have positives about and that is the special effects which are all good enough for the film we are watching which must be over the top and in places pulled from an anime story.

Final ThoughtsThis was a terrible film that is an insult to the anime to live action genre.

 

Overall: Just avoid this mess.

Rating15