Vintage Franchise – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Writer: Leonard Nimoy, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal (Screenplay) Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Kim Cattrall, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: On the eve of retirement, Kirk and McCoy are charged with assassinating the Klingon High Chancellor and imprisoned. The Enterprise crew must help them escape to thwart a conspiracy aimed at sabotaging the last best hope for peace.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Addition to Franchise

 

Story: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country starts as the Klingon race is facing extinction after a mining accident, Spock (Nimoy) and the federation have looked at options to create a peace agreement and Spock suggests the near retirement Kirk (Shatner) to escort the Chief in Command of the Klingons for negotiations.

When the escort goes wrong all clues point to the Enterprise attacking and members of the crew boarding the ship to assassinate the Chief in Command, this leads to Kirk and McCoy (Kelley) being arrested for the assassination, leaving Spock to uncover the truth during this delicate time between the space races.

 

Thoughts on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

 

Characters – Kirk is on the verge of retirement and reluctantly accepts an escort mission searching for a chance of peace even against his own dislike towards the Klingons after their hand in his son’s death. Kirk is framed for the assassination of the Klingon leader and joins McCoy in a mining prison hoping his crew could turn around the conviction. Spock is the one trying to put together peace treaty and must take control of the Enterprise after the assassination and the investigation from within the ship to who was really behind it all. Chang is the Klingon general that believes himself and Kirk are both great warriors and he also isn’t supporting the peace talks, he is quick to point the finger at Kirk for the assassination.

PerformanceBy now we what performances we are going to get from the crew, with Shatner and Nimoy both doing what we expect now. Christopher Plummer is the biggest addition to this cast and he does well even though you could question an actor as respected as him joining in this late in the franchise.

StoryThe story shows the point of the Federation, looking for peace between all races but the crew must deal with the few extremists that don’t want the peace in the galaxy. This does play out as a strategical part of the series as we learn more sides to the overall battle which makes everything feel a lot more interesting. If you are going into this looking for big battles you won’t get that one though.

Adventure/Mystery/Sci-FiThe adventure does take a step back in this story as we are left to focus on the mystery behind who is against the peace talks.

SettingsThe mostly just spend the time on the ships which is fine because this story focuses on the idea of peace in the galaxy over a battle there.

Special EffectsThe effects are good without being great through this film.

Scene of the Movie – The assassination looks great.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lack of use of the supporting crew.

Final ThoughtsThis is another nice addition to the Star Trek franchise which shows even after 6 films you can still enjoy the film.

 

Overall: This is a nicely built up film in the franchise.

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John Travolta Weekend – The Forger (2014)

forgerDirector: Philip Martin

Writer: Richard D’Ovidio (Screenplay)

Starring: John Travolta, Christopher Plummer, Tye Sheridan, Abigail Spencer, Anson Mount, Marcus Thomas, Jennifer Ehle

 

Plot: A thief works with his father and son to forge a painting by Monet and steal the original. Together, they plan the heist of their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch

 

Story: The Forger starts as Raymond Cutter (Travolta) puts together a deal to get out of prison early, returning to his father’s Joseph’s (Plummer) home who has been looking after his son Will (Sheridan). Raymond makes a deal with Keegan (Mount) to help him get out early but the deal is that Raymond must use his skills to forge a painting or he will put Raymond back in jail.

Raymond is also having to deal with the tragic story of his son’s cancer treatment explaining why he would risk everything to get out of jail early. Raymond must keep everything together as he works on the highly risky job but also trying to help his son fulfill his dying wishes.

 

Thoughts on The Forger

 

StoryThe story going on through this story is very interesting, I have only heard bad things about this film and I found the story between Raymond and Will touching as we see how Raymond knows what is coming to his own son and posing a question to us all, how much would we give up for the final weeks/months of our son’s life. The crime story while is key to his release is just in the way of what could be a very impressive story, but the two do end up working well in parallel to each other.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime thriller side of this film all feels very generic and if you look past that to the personal side of the story you will find this interesting but the crime story is just there really.

Characters/PerformanceThe three generations of Cutter family all make for good characters with each member giving a good performance but the crime characters all end up feeling like we have seen them all before with the plucky cop background only making it hard to judge the performance.

SettingsThe settings are all what you would call generic for the style of film without being anything special or iconic for any of the scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that I only ever heard bad things so going in I wasn’t expecting too much, but in the end I found myself enjoying the personal element of the film between the family but struggled to enjoy the crime side of the film.

 

Overall: Solid but forgettable movie about family.

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Already Dead (2007)

alreadyDirector: Joe Otting

Writer: Joe Chappelle (Screenplay) Robert Archer Lynn, David Alford (Story)

Starring: Ron Eldard, Til Schweiger, Patrick Kilpatrick, Geoff Pierson, Marisa Coughlan, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: When Thomas Archer’s happy & successful life is all but ruined following a horrific attack he is presented with a perfect opportunity to exact physical revenge upon the man who caused all his grief. However the immediate consequences of his actions and inactions are much more complicated than he imagined. Who will survive ?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Thriller

 

Story: Already Dead starts as we see Thomas Archer (Eldard) having to follow instructions by mobile as he is looking to get his son back from a kidnapper. We continue to watch Thomas take instructions as he runs the events of the night when his son was taken through his mind.

As the night continues he gets put through tests by the man on the phone including being able to get revenge on the man that killed his son, but are these just tests where they criminal is getting this man to do his dirty work. We watch how the twists are laid into plan for this film as they come thick and fast.

Already Dead gives us a story which asks you the question just how far would you go to get revenge on the person who took and killed your son, but it also throws a twist in their where we have to deal with the idea the cops have created a game to rid the streets of criminals of people they don’t want or can’t deal with through legal reasons. I would question certain character decisions because after what happens would these two men be friends, I think not.

Onto the acting and what can I say, this doesn’t have the best acting from any of the people involved with the lead struggling to make any sort of impact in the screen and most of the supporting cast barely doing anything of merit.

 

Overall: Thriller that lacks all the punches it needs to truly stand out.

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Twelve Monkeys (1995)

mmonkeysDirector: Terry Gilliam

Writer: David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, David Morse, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic of Time Travel Genre

 

Story: Twelve Monkeys starts as we learn 7 billion people died thanks to virus released and the animals have taken control of the planet once more. The remaining humans live underground and we follow James Cole (Willis) a prisoner who is assigned to visit the surface before being selected to visit the past to try and stop the virus outbreak.

When James is sent back to 1990 he finds himself being set to a mental institute thanks to the doctor Kathryn Railly (Stowe) who sees his ramblings of a mad man as he searches for the army of the 12 monkeys. On his time in the mental home he meets the eccentric Jeffrey Goines (Pitt) who has to show him around and preach his beliefs.

Failing on his first mission Cole gets sent back again and again until he works with Kathryn to uncover the truth behind the secrets of the twelve monkeys and the virus who destroyed the world.

Twelve Monkeys gives us a time travel movie that is also plays out as a virus outbreak that has happened. We get a time travel story that does try to solve the mystery of how the virus came about as we have to put together loose clues sent back. The mystery is great to see how it gets solved even though we get a false lead for most of the film. There are certain moments in the film which could have given us more mystery for example one big side to the story is whether Cole is sane or not and there is never a doubt that he has time travelled and I believe creating that doubt could add another dimension to this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Bruce Willis: James Cole comes from the future to try and uncover the truth about a virus which wiped out humanity while he was just a child. Each time he returns he uncovers more clues working with doctor Kathryn Railly they search for the answers to what will create the future where humans have been whittled down to 1%. Bruce is great showing how he can work the more serious roles stepping away from the action genre.

Madeleine Stowe: Kathryn Railly is a psychologist that has been treated Cole on his first visit only for when he disappears. When he returns she finds herself believing everything and working with him to save the human race. Madeleine is a good supporting character working with Bruce very well.

Brad Pitt: Jeffrey Goines is the leader of the army of the twelve monkeys who is going against his powerful father that has been experimenting on animals but is he the guy that released the virus? Brad gives us a performance that did truly break him out of the current roles of a pretty boy he had been making his name in.

David Morse: Dr Peters works for the animal trials where he gets close up information on what the monkeys are receiving making him just as much of a suspect as Jeffrey. David is only just a supporting role but he does well in the few scenes he has.

Support Cast: Twelve Monkeys has a supporting cast which interact with our main cast with the strange scientists in the future who are Terry Gilliam written all over them.

Director Review: Terry GilliamTerry unique style is all over this fil even with the most important part of the film coming off serious we get small elements which keep this being his own work.

 

Mystery: Twelve Monkeys keeps us wondering throughout the film to where the virus really came from even though the element of time travel will always stick to the fact he was a time traveller.

Sci-Fi: Twelve Monkeys has the idea that the world has been destroyed by a virus as well as having time travel shows the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: Twelve Monkeys keeps the past and present looking very different so we can easily tell the two apart from Cole’s journeys.
Special Effects
: Twelve Monkeys has good effects when needed without turning to them too often.

Suggestion: Twelve Monkeys is one I suggest everyone who is into time travel to watch at least once to see if they can understand the spin on an outbreak film. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The time travel spin on a virus film.

Worst Part: You may need a couple of viewings to understand parts of the film

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $29 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

Tagline: The future is history

 

Overall: One of the best mind-bending time travel films out there.

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Paul Bettany Weekend – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

beatfulDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Akiva Goldman (Screenplay) Sylvia Nasar (Book)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Christopher Plummer, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas, Jason Gray-Stanford, Judd Hirsch

 

Plot: After a brilliant but asocial mathematician, John Nash, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: A Beautiful Mind starts as we see John Nash (Crowe) start his time at Princeton University where we meet fellow students Sol (Goldberg), Hansen (Lucas), Bender (Rapp), Ainsley (Gray-Stanford) and his roommate Charles (Bettany). Struggling to find his place in the University it takes an everyday occurrence for John to final start rolling on his theory.

After becoming the brightest student John moves onto becoming a teacher while secretly working for the government on code breaking reporting to Parcher (Harris). While teaching he meets the beautiful Alicia Nash (Connelly) and the two strike it off before starting their lives together.

When it becomes apparent John is struggling to manage both live the people that care about him with Charles returning to his life, Parcher pushing him too much and his wife wondering what he is up to, but this beautiful mind is about to be tested when Dr Rosen (Plummer) a psychologist enters his life.

A Beautiful Mind is a wonderfully drama showing us the story of one of the greatest minds of our generation. We see how difficult the life was for John before learning of his mind being damaged due to his schizophrenia. We follow from his time in school until his Noble Peace Prize. We see John deal and learn with his condition to still go on achieve greatness in his life. This is such a brilliant story that shows how success you can achieve your potential regardless.

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: John Nash is the brilliant mathematician that believes he has been working for the government cracking codes, but when we and he learns the truth we discover this beautiful mind is damaged in other ways. We see John’s life from early Princeton till his final acceptance in the scientific world. Russell gives the best performance of his career her where he shines in the drama.john

Ed Harris: Parcher is the man John believes works for the government as he lives the life of mystery and code breaking John believes he is part of. Ed is great in this supporting role.parcher

Jennifer Connelly: Alicia Nash starts off as a student of John’s before being the only person that sees there is something wrong with his mind, she supports him through every decision in their lives. Jennifer is brilliant in this role of the patience wife.

Paul Bettany: Charles is the roommate John has at Princeton that helps him break out of the problems he has been suffering through but we learn the truth about Charles once we learn John’s mental state. Paul put himself on the map with this great supporting role.charles

Support Cast: A Beautiful Mind has a brilliant supporting cast that all give performances worthy of this subject matter.

Director Review: Ron HowardRon shows that he can handle the serious films that are important to see the greatest people in human history.

 

Biographical: A Beautiful Mind shows the struggles John Nash had with his own sanity to achieve unlocking all of the potential inside his mind.

History: A Beautiful Mind is one film that shows the mind of someone so troubled achieving so much.

Settings: A Beautiful Mind uses the real life location re-created for the story to be unfolded in.
Suggestion
: A Beautiful Mind is one for everyone to watch at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The Pen scene.

Worst Part: Slightly too much time on the imagined side of John’s life.

Favourite Quote: Dr Rosen ‘Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?’

 

Believability: Based on the John Nash and his amazing story.

Chances of Tears: Maybe a few nearer the end.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress with another 4 Nomination including Best Actor.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

Tagline: The Only Thing Greater Than the Power of the Mind is the Courage of the Heart

Trivia: John Nash is shown smoking in the film. In reality, he was a militant anti-smoker.

 

Overall: Brilliant Biographical film that is a must watch for all.

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