Franchise Weekend – Nymphomaniac Vol 2 (2013)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth

 

Plot: The continuation of Joe’s sexually dictated life delves into the darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman’s care.


Tagline – Forget About Love

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker, but Not Interesting

 

Story: Nymphomaniac Vol 2 starts where the last film finished as Joe (Gainsbourg telling the story, Martin acting the story) is feeling lifeless when it comes to sex and even after having a child with Jerome (LaBeouf) the two start to become distant in their relationship as Joe still requires her sexual times. Now we are watching the older Joe only as she gets involved with risky sexual experiences.

When her body starts to struggle with the sex in her life, she starts going through treatment for her sex addiction and what she goes through next shows just how addiction can take over the lives of people.

 

Thoughts on Nymphomaniac Vol 2

 

Characters – Joe continues her story in this one we look at her taking on more extreme sexual encounters as she does continue to take on daily encounters to satisfy her lust. We see the affects on her body as she grows to the middle aged woman. The rest of the characters we meet don’t get enough screen time, Jerome is here only to try to take Joe’ child away. Seligman does have a bigger secret about him.

PerformancesCharlotte Gainsbourg does take the centre stage this time around going through the sexual encounters, she does commit to the performance. We have new actors joining this film and they do a good enough job when given the time.

StoryThe next chapter of the stories of Nymphomaniac Joe, this does show her going into extremer formers of sexual pleasure which has cost her child, but found her a career she could never have imagined, one which lets her use her sexual desires. The thing with the story here, is that you do need to have seen the first film to have any idea what is going on, while most two part movies you can miss or get recap this offers us nothing to help.

SettingsThe settings continued to show us just where Joe finds herself through her different encounters, none become the most important to the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The new job for Joe.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It’s just unrealistic conversations.

Final ThoughtsThis is the second half of a film, that if you don’t make it through the first one, you will not enjoy the second, this might be darker, but it just isn’t enjoyable enough to sit through.

 

Overall: Still difficult to watch.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Nymphomaniac Vol 1 (2013)

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Stkarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Connie Nielsen

 

Plot: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.


Tagline –  Forget About Love

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uncomfortable at Times

 

Story: Nymphomaniac Vol 1 starts as a beaten Joe (Gainsbourg) is rescued by Seligman (Skarsgard) taken back to his home to hear her story. Joe gives her story about how she is a nymphomaniac and how she became sexually awoken at a young age, flashback to a younger Joe (Martin) who goes through men for her own pleasure with her best friend B (Clark) in a competition level.

As the sexual stories compare to Seligman’s love of fishing we learn how Joe finds herself in this situation, well for the first chapter of the film.

 

Thoughts on Nymphomaniac Vol 1

 

Characters – Joe is the nymphomaniac, we do meet her at different stages of her life, from her first sexual encounter to her stage where she is left beaten up. We learn how she enjoys sex and has her whole life, she has only followed the idea of sex though, never believed in love, telling her story show where she is now. Seligman is a fisherman that takes Joe in to help her fix up, he listens to her story comparing it to his desire to fish. Jerome is one of the first true lusts that Joe has one that she might have loved, he was her first lover and soon becomes the pretend boss in her life, the one she can’t have. The rest of the characters we meet are those that are involved directly or indirectly with her sexual stories.

PerformancesCharlotte Gainsbourg is good at the telling the story side of the film, she does show the regrets of her characters past, but it is Stacy Martin that does sexual side of the story and as a newcomer does become the star of the show. Skarsgard is always a man you could listen to tell a story, this is all he does though. The performances are fine but no one outside of Martin really stands out.

StoryThe story here follows Joe a nymphomaniac that is telling her story to a man that offered her help in her time off need. Now this is a story about addiction, this time her addiction is sex and how it has affected different moments of her life. The story does give us lots of comparisons between sex and fishing which is weird and does try to make a big statement about people vision of life.

SettingsThe settings show us the different locations that Joe has been having sex and what it means to her life, none of the settings become the most important part of the film though.


Scene of the Movie –
Chapter 4.

That Moment That Annoyed Me LaBeouf doing an accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is part one of a double header, I am not looking forward to part two as this film doesn’t become the most interesting when it comes to everything going on.

 

Overall: Not the most interesting.

Rating

 

 

The Contender (2000)

Director: Rod Lurie

Writer: Rod Lurie (Screenplay)

Starring: Gary Oldman, Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater, Sam Elliott, William Petersen, Saul Rubinek, Philip Baker Hall

 

Plot: Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for US Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to de-rail her confirmation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Political Thriller

 

Story: The Contender starts as President Jackson Evans (Bridges) is in search for a new Vice-President after the death of the previous one. When senator Jack Hathaway (Petersen) witnesses a car crash but is unsuccessful in rescuing the victim, this eliminates him from the race for the Vice-President role because it will show failure in his character.

President Jackson selects who he wants in Senator Laine Hanson (Allen). It isn’t long before Shelly Runyon (Oldman) the judge of the committee of the confirmation procedure and young upstart Reginald Webster (Slater) to try and expose the secrets of Laine so they can select Hathaway as Vice-President.

As the confirmation committee continue their questioning Laine’s personal life is opened for all to see, leaving her to find herself folding on her own morals or fight back against the people exposing her life’s decisions.

 

Thoughts on The Contender

 

Characters/PerformanceLaine is a senator who gets thrust into the public spotlight as the lead contender to be Vice-President, she has led a life that does have secrets but nothing illegal, she wants to stand by her morals if she is given the role even though she is going to get her past exposed. Shelly is the man trying to plan his own decision on who will be the next Vice-President, he has been planning to get one over the President’s choice.  President Jackson is a strong man, a leader who keeps his cards close to his chest but also knows how to keep the people he is scouting near him to learn their motives. The rest of the characters are all great throughout to work within their roles in how the events will unfold.

Performance wise, Joan Allen is fantastic in the lead role of this movie showing all the integrity needed for a Vice-Presidential candidate. Gary Oldman as always is fantastic in his role that you barely even know it is him. Jeff Bridges even in a supporting role is gripping to see as we do just want to see where his performance will take us. Each and every supporting performance is great through this film and completely worth watching as one of their best.

StoryA story that focuses on the ideas of what would make a good Vice-President, we see how events in their lives are not important to where they are now, we also see how their beliefs shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to making the right decisions for the country. We see how the contenders can go out of their way to make something happen but most importantly we see how they can be honest when it comes to making the right choices.

ThrillerThe film does keep us on edge throughout the story unfolding as we are looking to see what the next secret could be and if it could damage the campaign.

SettingsThe settings all come off how you would expect with the story unfolding, we have the White House, the courtroom and her own personal home where each detail is learnt about.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to political thrillers this is easily one of the best you will see, it is a must watch for the fans of the genre and the heavyweight performances show us this.

 

Overall: Political masterclass of a film.

Rating

 

 

Bullet to the Head (2012)

logoDirector: Walter Hill

Writer: Alessandro Camon (Screenplay) Alexis Nolent, Colin Wilson (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Jon Seda, Holt McCallany

 

Plot: After watching their respective partners die, a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Stallone Action Flick

 

Story: Bullet to the Head starts by showing James Bonomo (Stallone) saving a cop before explaining why and we flashback to how he got there. James is a hit man and along with is partner Louis (Seda) are good at their jobs. When they go to collect their money Louis is killed by Keegan (Momoa) and after he goes after James he gets more than he bargained for. Officer Taylor Kwon (Kang) comes into town from Washington to investigate the man that James and Louis killed but he wants to people who hired them and attempts to work with James to uncover the truth. Reluctantly they team up

Keegan who has been working for Robert Nkomo Morel (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Marcus Baptiste (Slater) is set on his next mission who shows us just how much of an efficient killer he is. James & Taylor start their investigation where we get the traditional conflict of styles between a killer and a cop. The odd couple build must try to get to the bottom of who killed their former partners.

Bullet to the Head is one of those films that you know what you are going to get, but saying that we do get a few surprises. On the good guys we don’t get any surprises but how the villains are handled is where the surprises are with shock kills turns and twists. The story itself is easy to follow and never offers anything new to the genre but it didn’t need to. This is easily in the ratings for a relaxaction film and you won’t need to worry about thinking about what will happen next. This is solid but not perfect. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: James Bonomo hit man whose partner is killed by the people who hired them to do the job. He must team up with a cop to get to the bottom of who is responsible. Sylvester made his name in action films where he isn’t the most convincing and this is no different we know what we will get and he delivers what we expect. (7/10)

 sly

Sung Kang: Taylor Kwon Washington cop whose former partner who is killed after dealing with the wrong people. He teams up with James to find the people who hired them for the job. Sung gives a good performance in his opposite mind-set of James. (7/10)

taylor

Sarah Shahi: Lisa James’ daughter who is his go to girl for medical work needed while she is a tattoo artist. Sarah ends up playing the typical damsel in distress. (5/10)

 lisa

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Robert Nkomo Morel criminal mastermind who has everyone under his thumb with all his business deals. Adewale does a solid job as the criminal business man. (6/10)

 morel

Jason Momoa: Keegan hit man who kills Louis and goes after James but constantly gets foiled in his attempts. Jason is the real star of this film showing his remorseless side when it comes to his kills. (8/10)

 keegan

Christian Slater: Marcus Baptiste second in command who ends up spilling the beans on the plan which leads to James & Taylor having the knowledge on who to take down. Christian plays a solid supporting role. (6/10)

 slater

Support Cast: Bullet to the Head supporting cast is mainly extra people to be killed by both sides.

 

Director Review: Walter Hill – Walter does a good job directing an action film you expect to be watching but nothing special. (7/10)

 

Action: Bullet to the Head has plenty of fights to keep the action flowing nicely. (8/10)

Thriller: Bullet to the Head doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat like it could but you do want to know the truth. (5/10)

Settings: Bullet to the Head New Orleans makes for a good setting but no scene is really standing out for location. (5/10)

Suggestion: Bullet to the Head is one for the action fans to enjoy, it is simple to follow and doesn’t require any think, just sit back and enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Axe fight.

Worst Part: Business villains are boring.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Axe Fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Unlikely, but is left open to one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nope

Box Office: $9.5 Million

Budget: $55 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Revenge never gets old.

 

Overall: Simple Action Thriller

Rating 65

Halloween Kingathon – Dolan’s Cadillac (2009)

Banner-2logoDirector: Jeff Beesley

Writer: Richard Dooling (Screenplay) Stephen King (Short Story)

Starring: Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Wes Bentley, Greg Bryk, Aidan Devine, Al Sapienza, Karen LeBlanc

 

Plot: A young man attempts to seek to avenge his wife’s death after she is murdered by a Las Vegas mobster.

 

Verdict: Different Revenge Film

 

Story: We have seen the revenge film done plenty of times and each one tries to offer something slightly different to the idea. This has a few changes but could easily be confused for the same. We have the witness murdered to stop a criminal being convicted and charged of his crime. This leads to the husband having a break down and complete loss of faith about the system and out to seek revenge for his murdered wife. He plans his revenge but instead of it being him taking the crew out one by one he goes straight to the source and we have a lengthy revenge moment which last nearly a good quarter of the film.

 

With this whole story we do get the Stephen King touch which you will see most notable with the revenge moment which gives our hero a conflict because of what goes on, but as King does he lets us have a moment of completion where we don’t know what will happen in that moment. It does have its slow build as we have to go through will he be able to kill or not as well as a confrontation with the man he is after who sends him a message. It is a solid revenge thriller but could be considered just another member of the revenge film selection. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Christian Slater: Dolan human trafficker who has expected standards which does not include drugs. He likes to send messages before going further but with Elizabeth he makes a statement. He makes enemies with other gangs but he knows he has nothing to fear. Good performance from Slater who makes a good villain. (7/10)

 dolan

Emmanuelle Vaugier: Elizabeth wife who witness’s Dolan murder some of his trafficked goods, but even after getting warned she refuses to back down and ends up paying the ultimate price. Good performance even though it comes off as a very annoying character. (6/10)

emmunauelle

Wes Bentley: Robinson quiet life teacher who agrees to support his wife when she wants to stop Dolan but after she is murdered he has to question himself and what he stands for. He plots revenge but finds the act harder than he thought and his plans keep changing but he has to take revenge for his wife. Good performance from Bentley who shows he can play the role of anti-hero. (7/10)

 robinson

Greg Bryk: Chief loyal henchman of Dolan who is a perfect shot as well as being a good ear for conversation with Dolan. Good supporting performance though he falls flat during the final moments. (6/10)

 cheif

Supporting Cast: The support cast is mainly stereotypical characters be it a driver, a FBI agent or local sheriff that all make good supporting characters but no one really shines in these roles. (6/10)

 

Director Review: Jeff Beesley – Nice directing and with the final revenge moment we get a very nice use of the idea that is very intense. (7/10)

 

Thriller: You do want to know what Robinson will do to Dolan and when he will do it from the moment his wife is murdered. (7/10)

Settings: Each setting almost gets over looked for the main story until the final revenge moment. (6/10)

Suggestion: This is one to be trying, I went with it because of the name Stephen King, but this could be enjoyed by all the revenge film fans, but don’t expect any gore. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The revenge plot.

Worst Part: Does have slow moments while building up to final act.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

Overall: Tidy Thriller From Stephen King’s Mind

Rating 71