The Colony (2015)

Director: Florian Gallenberger

Writer: Torsten Wenzel, Florian Gallenberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nyqvist, Richenda Carey, Vicky Krieps

 

Plot: A young woman’s desperate search for her abducted boyfriend that draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody has ever escaped from.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: The Colony starts as we learn about the revolution going on in Chile where Lena (Watson) is meeting her boyfriend Daniel (Bruhl), with the tensions rising within the country a coup happens and both are captured before Daniel is taken while Lena is released.

Learning of the whereabouts of Daniel, Lena heads to Colonia Dignidad, a place where nobody has left but a place where you can join as a member or be taken as a prisoner. Lena must navigate her way through this cult to make it out alive with her boyfriend as the lead Pal Schafer (Nvqvist) has a controlling ability.

 

Thoughts on The Colony

 

Characters/PerformanceLena is a British flight attendant whose boyfriend lives in Chile, she is happy in love as the two look to decide their future they become split. Lena puts everything at risk as she searches for his abducted boyfriend. Daniel is part radical in Chile which ends up with him being taken to a cult, he gets tortured and must find a way to escape this cult. Paul Schafer is the leader of the cult, he is a disciplinary that keeps the cult in full order for his own desires.

Performance wise, Emma Watson does struggle through this film, she doesn’t reach the potential we know she can, Daniel Bruhl likewise, we know he is great but not everything seems to click. Michael tries to make his character truly threatening but you just don’t feel all the terror from him.

StoryEscape the cult, well that is the story here and as for this idea we have seen it before correct? Well this is based on true events and the truth be told it goes over too long a period to make it interesting viewing as most of the story takes place over 140 odd days of very little happening.

Romantic/ThrillerWhat would you do for love, that is one of the questions going on here, of yeah that is a thrilling side to this story too but it is way too slow before anything gets going.

SettingsThe settings give us a look at the cult grounds which shock the world once they were revealed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow thriller that just doesn’t suck you in the way it should do and ends up feeling very disappoint.

 

Overall: Slow Burning with a good conclusion.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Random – Z – The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

Director: Niki Caro

Writer: Angela Workman (Screenplay) Diane Ackerman (Book)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenberg, Daniel Bruhl, Timothy Radford, Efrat Dor, iddo Goldberg

 

Plot: The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heartbreakingly Brilliant Drama

 

Story: The Zookeeper’s Wife starts in 1939 Warsaw, Poland as we meet Antonina (Chastain) and Jan (Heldenbergh) Zabinski the zoo keepers of the Warsaw zoo, both committed to giving their animals a good life and their customers an experience they could never imagine.

When the invasion in hits Warsaw, the zoo is hit hard with the animals running wild many are killed, German zoologist Lutz Heck (Bruhl) does offer to protect the remaining quality animals by moving them to a German zoo, but the rest end up getting killed.

When Lutz agrees to let the non-Jewish couple keep their zoo open as a pig farm, they start doing what they can to help as many Jews escape the ghetto they are being forced to survive in. How many people can they save, how long can they keep everything up before getting caught out by the German’s that is the questions we are left with.

 

Thoughts on The Zookeeper’s Wife

 

Characters/PerformanceAntonina is the animal lover, people lover that works with her husband to help protect as many Jews during the war as possible, she uses her status to help keep the remaining animals safe and people safe too. Jan is the husband of Antonina that takes the biggest risks by going into the ghetto housing the Jews but he becomes increasingly jealous of Antonina and Lutz working relationship. Lutz Heck is the German zoologist that uses the Warsaw zoo for his own desire to continue breeding animals and his attraction to Antonina keeps him returning.

Performance wise, Jessica Chastain is fantastic in the leading role show us once again we how she can become any part put on front of her. Daniel Bruhl does give us a great role in which we absolutely hate his character through the film even though he isn’t truly evil. Johan Heldenbergh is also great through the film standing tall next to the two bigger names of the acting world.

StoryWe have heard this horrific story before, we know what the Nazi’s did to the Jews and we know Schindler’s List is the most famous and well-respected film version of these events. While the plot giving is slightly miss-leading because we are expecting to see more about the animal saving, we do find ourselves looking at the incredible story of how the zookeeper’s risk their lives to save as many as Jews as possible during the war. We know how amazing the heroes of the war were and learning new stories of their heroics is always good to see. I do feel this film does have certain pacing issues because you can have your heart broken in the open 30 minutes as you would be looking to see something slightly different in the next chapters of the story.

Biography/History/WarSeeing the story of the Zabinska’s struggle during the war shows us how brave they were trying to save, the difficult decision they made and the part of history they were part of.

SettingsThe settings all look fantastic putting us in the middle of the war in Warsaw showing us just how difficult everything was for the people involved.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most heart-breaking films you will see this year, but it does fall into another incredible story of how people risked their own lives to save Jews from the Nazis. I would say parts of the synopsis are miss-leading as I was expecting a lot more about how the animals were being saved but saying this we can seeing another incredible story from World War II.

 

Overall: Brilliant story of heroic actions.

Rating

 

 

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Director: Julius Onah

Writer: Oren Uziel (Screenplay) Oren Uziel, Doug Jung (Story)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Bruhl, John Ortiz, Chris O’Dowd, Aksel Hennie, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki

 

Plot: Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Addition to Cloverfield Universe

 

Story: The Cloverfield Paradox starts as we come to the Earth as the people are facing an energy crisis, one of the last hopes is an experiment in space to product an almost infinite amount, the crew includes Schmidt (Bruhl), Hamilton (Mbatha-Raw), Kiel (Oyelowo), Monk (Ortiz), Mundy (O’Dowd), Volkov (Hennie) ad Tam (Zhang).

While performing their experiment something goes wrong and the crew finds their ship in the middle of nowhere in space, the Earth gone, what happened, the team must work together to keep the ship active before even considering looking for home and things only get more confusing when Jensen (Debicki) appears on the ship claiming to be part of the team.

 

Thoughts on The Cloverfield Paradox

 

Characters – Hamilton seems to be one of our main characters, because we follow her on Earth as she debates whether to be part of the mission, so she can save her family from the crisis on Earth, on board the ship we see how her first and most important thing to follow is communicating with her family. Kiel is the Commander on this mission, he knows how each member of the team can be used to get through the problems. Schmidt is the man behind the science, it has been his ideas which are being put into practice in the experiment. Monk is the medical officer on the ship, he faces the scientific decisions. Mundy is the engineer on board, he can fix any problem as fast becomes the funniest member of the crew. Volkov is the member of the team which easily gets hot headed through the situations the crew themselves in. Tam is a crucial part of the team when it comes to knowing the operations behind the experiment. Jensen appears on the ship after the experiment goes wrong, she seems to be part of the team, but no one else knows who she is. She knows the operations the crew want to follow too.

PerformancesThis has a star studded multi-cultured set of actors, this helps show us how the world is united with this plan. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is good in this leading role, her character is the only one that does seem to show any life outside of the mission though. Daniel Bruhl and David Oyelowo are two top performers and they both give us the good performances we expect. Chris O’Dowd nearly steals the movie, his characters wit mixed with his delivery helps the movie have moments of light-hearted humour. Elizabeth Debicki is good too but I do feel like we don’t get enough from the talents of Aksel Hennie and Ziyi Zhang.

StoryThe story follows an experiment to try and solve the problems the Earth is facing with energy supplies, the idea takes us into a scientific discussion about what would happen if scientists accidently ended up in an alternative dimension. We have characters that are smart in space, which follows the same lines as ‘Life’ and ‘Sunshine’ as they do come together to try to solve the problem over just panicking. This does tie into the previous films nicely too, which is just what we wanted to see.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-fiThis film doesn’t reach the horror element level it could have, but the mystery side of the film covers this weakness, the sci-fi side of things do offer big questions about where things could be going.

SettingsThe film uses two major settings, the first and best is the space station which is highlight of the film because every time we jump to Earth, it seems to slow up the pace of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are flawless through the film, the space moments are wonderful and an incident with an arm is great.


Scene of the Movie –
Found the worms

That Moment That Annoyed Me Returning to Earth gets frustrating.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart sci-fi film that throws up the questions about what could go wrong with an experiment that could help save the Earth. This does fit into the universe created with the Cloverfield movies too.

 

Overall: Hugely entertaining sci-fi thriller.

Rating

 

 

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

casting cardDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Characters)

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt

 

Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best So Far

 

Story: Captain America: Civil War starts as we see Captain America (Evans) and his team Black Widow (Johansson), Falcon (Mackie) and Scarlet Witch (Olsen) taking down a criminal unit with their own villain in Crossbones (Grillo). But this does lead to a mistake happening as the heroes cause more damage than they should.

With the government looking to close down the Avengers while Zemo (Bruhl) is making his moves against Hydra.

Tony Stark (Downey Jr) and Captain America both clashing on whether to sign the document that will put a limit on the Avengers action and with this the lines start getting drawn between the two men. Tension increases when the peace talks get attacked with all the fingers pointing at the Winter Soldier (Stan).

Captain America not accepting that Winter Soldier is behind the attacks goes against the new deal finding himself arrested and branded a criminal. Once free the sides are drawn and battle between the superheroes is about to be unleashed.

Captain America: Civil War is the best Avengers movie we have seen to date, this is a simple fact that we have nearly all of the Avengers bar Thor and Hulk in this one with addition too. We have the heroes dealing with the consequences of their actions in previous films. The best addition to this story I would say is that villain, now without giving too much away it is his motivation which is great but while this is great it is also a negative because we don’t get enough time to focus on his side of the story because we are dealing with the battle from within for too long. Fresh off the back of once of the most average superhero films in recent years Batman v Superman this uses the character battles better making each moment a potential end for anyone of the character which really adds the tension needed in this film and I can safely say this is the one that could be saving the Marvel Cinematic Universe from becoming average.

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Evans: Captain America is leading his own team of Avengers that ends with innocent people being killed. This brings in a new world agreement that the Avengers only worked when called upon but Captain isn’t playing by those rules as he wants to prove his old friend Bucky the Winter Soldier is innocent of attacks. He draws his lines against Tony Stark leading to battle between the Avengers themselves. Chris gives his best performance in this film franchise to date.

Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark is willing to sign the agreement because he is feeling the effects of the innocent lives they have lost. He clashes with Captain making him the law in the battle for superhero supremacy. Robert is good in this role against Captain America which works very well.

Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow is one Captain America’s team but when the agreement is made she finds herself torn between the two men who are forcing fellow superheroes to pick sides. Scarlett does well with her performance but sadly she is very underused through the film.

Sebastian Stan: Winter Soldier is Captain America’s good friend that is being framed through the film, Steve stands by him through the battle making him the one that is causing the friction between the heroes. Sebastian is great in this supporting role being the middle man for the bigger picture.

Support Cast: Captain America: Civil War the biggest cast so far with each character getting their moment in the battle and the story, we also get new characters like Black Panther and Spiderman introduced like they have been part of this universe from the very start.

Director Review: Anthony Russo, Joe RussoAnthony & Joe give us the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

 

Action: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant action sequences going on from start to finish as we see the heroes fight each other.

Adventure: Captain America: Civil War puts our heroes on the adventure that will put their alliances to question.

Sci-Fi: Captain America: Civil War throws us into the middle of a sci-fi battle with superheroes.

Superhero: Captain America: Civil War could actually be the best use of superheroes we have seen in the Marvel world.

Settings: Captain America: Civil War uses the settings to make the action happen, but with most of the fighting only being between the heroes we end up in locations where innocent people can’t be hurt.
Special Effects
: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant special effects to make all of the battle sequences look breath taking.

Suggestion: Captain America: Civil War is the Marvel film I think people should be going to watch first now. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Airport battle.

Worst Part: The villain is excellent but we don’t see enough of him.

Action Scene Of The Film: Airport Battle.

Funniest Scene: Airport Battle.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: Special effects nomination should be heading this films way.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

Tagline: Whose side are you on? 

Trivia: This is the live-action debut of T’Challa, the Black Panther, one of the first African superheroes.

 

Overall: This is the best film from the marvel cinematic universe to date.

Ratingcard

 

 

Woman in Gold (2015)

ogoDirector: Simon Curtis

Writer: Alexi Kaye Campbell (Screenplay) E Randol Schoenberg, Maria Altmann (Life Story)

Starring: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance

Plot: Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Incredible True Story

Story: Woman In Gold starts Los Angeles 1998 where Maria (Mirren) is burying her sister, at the funeral she asks her friend for a favour. Maria is looking a lawyer and Randy Schoenberg (Reynolds) is the person she turns to. Randy has a big historic background but is trying to make it on his own after a failure to make his own practise work. Maria is trying to get her family artwork back after it was stolen during World War II by the Nazis.

Maria starts by just telling the story before pushing Randy into taking the case and after reluctantly taking his new boss Sherman (Dance) into taking the case and letting him go to Austria to investigate the case. The odd couple Maria and Randy travel to Austria and teaming up with Austrian Hubertus Czernin (Bruhl) to learn how the new legal system is starting and how difficult it will be to get her treasures back.

We do get flashbacks from Maria as she remembers pre-war and during the war what was happening to her family. When Maria loses her appeal it leaves the pair facing the losing battle when the only option is to go to court which they simply can’t afford. They bring the battle back to the States where they finally get the upper hand but will they finally win the case.

Woman In Gold when it comes to true story films we ask the questions how much is true because the horror genre has ruined the concept. I am always interested in a true story that explains something from history, we know the horrific crimes committed in the war by the Nazi’s. I think this is a great story that shows how hard people will fight for what is right, I do think some people will find this slow but fully enjoyable. (8/10)

Actor Review

Helen Mirren: Maria Altmann is a holocaust survivor who wants to bring her family’s art back after it was stolen by the Nazi’s during World War II. She teams up with young lawyer who has connections to her past to take on the Austrian government. Helen gives a great performance in the leading role. (9/10)maria

Ryan Reynolds: Randy Schoenberg is young lawyer who has a rich history in his name, he has failed in his business ventures to be a lawyer, he gets a chance to work with Maria putting all his future job opportunities on the line as well as his personal life. Ryan gives us a great performance showing he can do serious. (8/10)randy

Daniel Bruhl: Hubertus Czernin is the Austrian connection that helps Maria and Randy learn about the Austrian law when it comes to reclaiming painting stolen during the war. Daniel gives a good supporting character performance. (7/10)

Support Cast: Woman In Gold has supporting cast that all help or hinder along the way of the case.

Director Review: Simon Curtis Simon gives us a good film telling us an amazing true story. (9/10)

Drama: Woman In Gold shows just how far two people will go to for the truth. (9/10)

Settings: Woman In Gold uses the real settings to make everything feel real but also re-creates the locations in the flashback scenes that works great. (9/10)

Suggestion: Woman In Gold is one I think people should give a go, I do think everyone would enjoy this. (Watch)

Best Part: Chemistry between Mirren and Reynolds.

Worst Part: People might find the subject too serious.

Believability: Yes is based on the real story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: A few details about the true story at the start.

Oscar Chances:

Box Office: $33 Million

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: The fight for justice never ends

Overall: Woman in Black is a very underrated film that is brilliant story.

Rating 85