Amateur (2018)

Director: Ryan Koo

Writer: Ryan Koo (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Rainey Jr, Josh Charles, Brian White, Sharon Leal, Ashlee Brian


Plot: A young basketball player struggles to fit in with his new team.

Tagline – Every dream has a price.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Sports Drama


Story: Amateur starts as Terron Forte (Rainey Jr) an internet sensation basketball player that is destine to become an NBA star, the problem is he struggles in school to focus on numbers dyscalculia and is part of losing team, his dad Vince (White) brings in well-respected high school coach Gaines (Charles) to give him a chance only that he will need to move away from home.

Moving to the new school and home he must learn to be around high school age students and learn the game at the next level, but this is going to come at a cost, his education gets put on the back burner and the darker side of the sport is shown to the sport.


Thoughts on Amateur


Characters – Terron is a basketball prodigy that has been struggle with dyscalculia being unable to read numbers, he has always continued to keep his education up with the help of his mother and being the best player in his area he has turned heads. He gets signed to a high school team which improves him game but gives out false education promises. He must learn to play the game with his learning difficulties and being just a part of everyone else’s success. Coach Gaines has offered everything Terron would want for a future in the NBA even if he has been taking advantage of the players by bending the rules of the game to create the stars of tomorrow. Vince is Terron’s father that once had a chance of a sporting career and is trying everything to help his son even with his constant pain from his injuries.

PerformancesMichael Rainey Jr is the lead of this movie, he is brilliant in this role, handling the basketball side of things and the learning difficulties his character has been facing are shown well throughout. Josh Charles is good as the coach that will do anything to anything for his reputation of finding young players, while Brian White is good too.

StoryThe story here shows of a sporting prodigy can use social media to hype his reputation while stepping up levels others wouldn’t normally get. It shows how the sporting system needs to be balanced with education and breaking the rules could leave the potential ruined. We get to see the darker side of high school basketball and how far people will go to bring through the best players, the film does also display living with dyscalculia and how you can overcome the problem even if it takes time to reach the solution.

SportsThe basketball scenes look great, its not a sport I know too much about, but how the young player can excel against senior players.

SettingsThe film keeps everything around the school system showing how Terron must learn to become part of the team away from home and how he needs to be outside his comfort zone.

Scene of the Movie –
Learning the plays.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t learn enough about the education levels Terron was scoring before the move.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sports drama that does show the best and worst parts of the high school basketball.


Overall: Must watch for sports fans.





Twelve Rounds (2009)

Director: Renny Harlin
Starring: John Cena, Aidan Gillen, Ashley Scott, Steve Harris, Brian White, Gonzalo Menendez, Taylor Cole, Kyle Russell-Clements

Starting out with the FBI trying to catch Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) an international arms salesman which goes wrong, Miles and his girlfriend Erica (Taylor Cole) are having a steady get away when they just happen to stop next to a patrol car. In this patrol car are Danny Fisher (John Cena) and his partner Hank Carver (Brian White) and the two go for a routine pull over which also goes wrong leaving Hank Shot and the patrol car totalled. Danny sets out on foot to catch the car cutting through houses and gardens, After a few blocks he catches up only for disaster to strike Erica is killed in an accident leaving Miles swearing revenge.

One year later Danny and Hank are now detectives after capturing Miles. Thinking this will be just another day Danny and his wife Molly (Ashley Scott) set out on their ways Molly catches the ferry to work, when Danny gets a phone call not just any phone call it is Miles. Miles ends up blowing up their house and capturing Molly forcing Danny to go twelve rounds against him completing tasks ranging from stopping a street tram with no brakes to jumping out of a twenty storey building. Danny, Hank and two FBI agents George Aiken (Steve Harris), Ray Santiago (Gonzalo Menendez) all set out to stop what called be city wide destruction.

Director Renny Harlin credits include Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger and Deep Blue Sea. Twelve Rounds really follows this movies up nicely with endless edge of the seat action. John Cena lacks any real acting ability but really lives up to the term action star and is actually believable as a cop pushed to the limit to save his wife. Aidan Gillan also shines as a almost psychopathic villain who has nothing to learn and a very good plan set out.

As Story this is over the top but is very watchable to anyone who is a fan of an all out action movie, with very little to really think about storyline wise you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Hopefully people can look pasted the fact John Cena is a wrestler and look at him as an action star because he could well become a good one.

My Overall Rating for this movie is a solid 84%

Brick (2005)

Director: Rian Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Lukas Haas, Noah Fleiss, Matt O’Leary, Emilie de Ravin, Noah Segan, Richard Roundtree, Meagan Good, Brian White.

 This is Rian Johnson’s feature film debut and what a debut it is, winner of ‘The special jury award’ at Sundance.

 Our teen hero is Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) get a mysterious phone call from his ex-girlfriend Emily (Emillie De Ravin) asking for help using unknown slang words ‘Pin’ ‘Tug’ ‘Brick’. using a connection at the school the Brain (Matt O’Leary) they try and work out the words leading them to discover that ‘Pin’ could be the Kingpin.

After a meeting and backing off plea from Emily Brendan finds a symbol. Eventually he learns it is a place around the Town leading him there he finds the body of Emily. With a flashback of what once was he decides to solve her murder himself by hiding the body.

 Brendan now enter the world of drug trafficking meeting Tugger or Tug the muscle of the Pin(Lukas Haas) and the mysterious Laura (Nora Zehetnar). Getting himself involved in the business he discovers the truth of what has happened to Emily.

 The love for Emily from Brendan is so strong with him only wanting the best for her even after seeing all her falls, This is summed up in a Strong Flashback in which Brendon says she is the only thing he cares about.

 Made on an estimated budget of $475,000 this is truly a remarkable piece of film noir full of exceptional performances from every single performer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers one of his best performances of his young and ever growing career.

 This is one if not my all time favourite movie so of course i will give it a 10/10 but i would also say this isn’t for everyone as it a slow building story which some people may not be in favour off.

 So overall score would be 98%