Cartel 2045 (2017)

Director: Chris Le

Writer: Chris Le (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny Trejo, Alexander P Heartman, Brad Schmidt, Blake Webb, Jay Whittaker, Kyler Steve Fisher

 

Plot: Its the year 2045. War on drugs in Mexico has escalated as a ruthless drug Cartel use robots to enforce their operations.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Robot Drug Wars

 

Story: Cartel 2045 starts as the war against drugs in Mexico looked like it was going to get cleaned up by the introduction of robots, but when the Cartel get their hands on the robots, drug lord Angel Malvado (Trejo) takes over the war. In the latest attempt to tackle the war former US Marine Carson Wright (Schmidt) is assigned to a team to take down Estevan Flores only for Angel to become the bigger threat.

 

Thoughts on Cartel 2045

 

Characters – Angel Malvado is the ruthless drug lord that controls the trade in Mexico with his robot bodyguards that will do any of his dirty work, he knows how to get the honest people to work for him and is smart enough not to waste a resource before their worth to him. Carson Wright is the former US Marine, being placed in jail, he gets offered a chance for freedom to be with his family by going on this latest mission, he has a past in battle and isn’t fond of the technology being used in battle.

PerformancesDanny Trejo is the biggest draw for this movie we know he can play the drug lord role with ease and this is no different. Brad Schmidt is good in the leading hero role looking just like any other soldier.

StoryThe story in this movie is the Mexican drug war with robots included, they are similar style to what we had in Chappie, we have the secret mission version the criminal drug lord that will stop at nothing to stay ahead in the game. The story is by the book and easy to follow, it is the other sides of the film which feel overly ambitious for the budget available.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is basic shooting between human guns and robots with the robots not always looking convincing enough. The sci-fi side of everything feels very ambitious for the budget the film had because the robots seem placed into the scenes over the being part of it.

SettingsThe film does have a generic Mexican town which could be anywhere in the country.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most parts are not the strongest because everything feels too ambitious.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The robots don’t seem to be very effective with their shooting.

Final ThoughtsThis is an ambitious movie, that doesn’t always hit the marks because it gets held back by the budgets the film has.

 

Overall: Try this sci-fi film.

Rating

 

 

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John Malkovich Weekend – Con Air (1997)

con airDirector: Simon West

Writer: Scott Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi, Monica Potter, Danny Trejo

 

Plot: Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Purely Enjoyable Action Film

 

Story: Con Air starts as war veteran Cameron Poe (Cage) returns to his wife Tricia (Potter) but due to the local drinks attacking him 3-1 style one ends up dead and Cameron finds himself facing jail, somehow. We get a montage to show how Cameron spends his time in jail never wanting to meet his daughter but communicating with her through letters.

Cameron is about to be released on a transport that includes his friend Baby-O (Williamson) but also a large number of deadly prisoners including Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom (Malkovich), Diamond Dog (Rhames), Johnny-23 (Trejo), Swamp Thing (Gainey), Pinball (Chappelle) and Garland Greene (Buscemi) as well as other characters. Vince Larkin (Cusack) is overseeing the transfer with Duncan Malloy (Meaney) who are trying to interrogate one of the prisoners on route.

Once in the air Cyrus has arranged a prison escape and as he quotes ‘welcome to con air’. Cameron decides to stay on the plane and protect his friend and female guard, making him the only line of defence between the prisoners and freedom.

Con Air gave us one of the most entertaining action thrillers of the 90s, the story is very thin which is what we need to let the action unfold. Our leading man is the main development as we instantly feel sympathy for him after his imprisonment for defending himself. One man doing the right thing against criminals all works for what we need but let’s face it we only want to see the action unfold and this gives us everything.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Cameron Poe is the war veteran who gets sent to jail after defending himself in a bar brawl, he has served his time and his coming home on the prisoner transport. Once the prisoners take over the plane he stays to stop them escaping and saving his friend. Nicolas gives us one of the most entertaining action leading performances of the 90’s.poe

John Malkovich: Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom is the leader of the prisoner escape, he has spent most of his life in jail becoming a genius in the process. He is calculated with every move he makes when it comes to this escape making him a villain not to be messed with. John makes for a great villain that stays calm until the very end.cyrus

John Cusack: Vince Larkin is overseeing the prison transfer and is battling with the loud mouth Malloy. He using longer words to annoy Malloy but is the only one to believe that Cameron is the hero on the plane. John works in this role but sometimes feels out of place with the action stars.

Steve Buscemi: Garland ‘The Marietta Mangler’ Greene is a late addition to the transport, he is one of the most notorious serial killers on the planet. He is completing out of his mind but not involved in the main part of the escape. Steve gives us one of the most memorable supporting character that never really seems to be involved with the main story.

Support Cast: Con Air has a big supporting cast that all help show the hero side of Cameron.

Director Review: Simon WestSimon gives us an action film we can all enjoy still 20 years after its release.

 

Action: Con Air has plenty of action from the moment the plane gets taken over to the final scenes.

Crime: Con Air gives us a prison escape on a plane which helps the crime side of the story.

Thriller: Con Air keeps us on edge from start to finish as we watch waiting to see if Cameron will save the day.

Settings: Con Air keeps the settings mostly on the plane with the criminals having rising tension while the scenes outside always feel desperate against the time.
Special Effects
: Con Air uses great effects throughout for all the action sequences.

Suggestion: Con Air is one to switch on and just relax and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Bunny.

Worst Part: Malloy is terrible character for the role he is meant to be in the DEA.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequence.

Favourite Quote: Garland Greene ‘Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Rock

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Budget: $75 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: One wrong flight can ruin your whole day

Trivia: The song “How Do I Live” was nominated for both an Oscar as Best Original Song and a Razzie as Worst Original Song. It did not win either award.

 

Overall: Action film that will always be one that is easy to watch.

Ratingcard

Franchise Weekend – XXX (2002)

casting card

 

Plot: An extreme sports athlete, Xander Cage, is recruited by the government on a special mission.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Film 101

 

Story: XXX starts as Agent Gibbons (Jackson) is bought into help with an operation where normal agents keep getting killed, his plan is to have criminals enter into the worlds. We go onto meet Xander Cage (Diesel) who is an extreme sportsman using his skills for campaigning.

We go through a training routine with Xander who ends up having to help Gibbons as an alternative looking agent in Czech Republic. Xander has to get close to Yorgi (Csokas) and his group Anarchy 99 which he finds to be an easy thanks to his extreme sports background but when he finds out what they have planned he has to find a way to save the day.

XXX is one of those films you can just sit back and enjoy, you have to suspended your disbelief to see what is going on and could easily be a video montage to make extreme sports popular again. We get a very average villain that would be something we have become used in 2002 with the weaker Bond films at the time. We know the story is easy so just enjoy.

 

Actor Review

 

Vin Diesel: Xander Cage is extreme sports man that has been breaking the law with his antics. He gets recruited to become an agent to get information from a terrorist group where he learns of a plan to build weapon and must use all his sports skills to save the day and the world. Vin is good in this leading role very much a performance you have come to expect from him in action film.

Asia Argento: Yelena is the lady who is up close and personal with Yorgi but we soon find that she isn’t completely like we thought as we learn her true nature in the situation. Asia is a good female lead but isn’t on the level we have come to know in modern cinema but only because of writing not her performance.

Marton Csokas: Yorgi is the criminal that Xander must get close to, he accepts Xander into his crime world because of his fame in the underground world but once we find out his real motives we see just how dangerous he really is. Marton is a good but simple villain which is only really one dimensional.

Samuel L Jackson: Agent Augustus Gibbons is the man who comes up with the idea of using criminals to take down the crime ring and his first recruit Xander Cage. This is a very easy authority role that we could see in many other films. Samuel is good for this role even if it never really tests his skills.

Support Cast: XXX has a supporting cast we have all come to know with a henchman, gadget guy and unlucky guys, thy all help the film really well in the film.

Director Review: Rob CohenRob gives us an easy to watch action film that works for what it is without being a classic.

 

Action: XXX is everything you want in an action film with extreme sports.

Adventure: XXX is great for an adventure side of the story which all works well.

Thriller: XXX keeps us on edge throughout without being full edge of the seat.

Settings: XXX uses the Czech Republic setting which does have good visual but never really feels in peril.
Special Effects
: XXX has good effects with everything that happens with avalanche scene having a few moments that you can see the CGI.

Suggestion: XXX is one for all the action fans to enjoy but don’t go in too seriously. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Extreme sports scenes.

Worst Part: Isn’t the most original.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one, with another in the works.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: If you want someone to save the world, make sure it’s someone who likes the world as it is.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action film that is nothing too special

Ratingcard

 

 

The Crow Week – The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005)

logoDirector: Lance Mungia

Writer: Lance Mungia, Jeff Most, Sean Hood (Screenplay) James O’ Barr (Comic Book Characters)

Starring: Edward Furlong, David Boreanaz, Tara Reid, Emmanelle Chriqui, Danny Trejo, Dennis Hopper

Plot: On his way to becoming an immortal demon, gangleader Luc Crash (Boreanaz) orchestrates the murder of Jimmy Cuervo (Furlong) and his girlfriend, Lily (Chriqui).

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Poorly Modernised

Story: The Crow Wicked Prayer starts by showing three men Pestilence (Okumoto), War (Chong) and Famine (Ortiz) playing a major part in a miner strike gone wrong which is just a distraction to help Luc Crash (Boreanaz) escape from county jail to continue his satanic cult along with girlfriend Lola (Reid).

Next we meet young lovers Jimmy Cuervo (Furlong) and Lilly (Chriqui) as they plan on running away together after her priest father Harold (Trejo) disapproves of their relationship. When Luc comes after the young lovers for revenge he kills them both in an act of revenge against the Indian tribe the banished them. As the films before have shown us Jimmy will return from the legend of the Crow and kill everyone responsible for his lover and his own death.

The Crow Wicked Prayer brings the Crow up against his deadliest enemy to day with the inclusion of a satanic cult. I did like the idea that the original murder is more personal which is a good change in direction. Now for the negative, the crow looks so weak and comes back way to easily with nothing pushing the return like the previous ideas with a set day. Everything ends up feeling messy building up to the final fight. This film feels different but doesn’t capture the changing ideas. (4/10)

Actor Review

Edward Furlong: Jimmy Cuervo/The Crow is the young lover who gets murdered by a gang only to return to kill everyone responsible for his death. Edward really has struggled to become the adult star his childhood movies had promised us. (4/10)

David Boreanaz: Luc Crash is the leader of the satanic cult that kills Jimmy and his lover in his quest to become immortal while driving his men with the idea that he will become Satan. David over does the villainous role in this one. (5/10)

Tara Reid: Lola Byrne is the spiritual sidekick of Luc Crash who is performing the spells to make his returns as Satan happen, she is twisted and shows this by taking Lillys eyes. Tara Reid enough said. (2/10)

Support Cast: The Crow Wicked Prayer has the trademark villains and supporting roles from Danny Trejo and Dennis Hopper, wow just showing what they will turn up in.

Director Review: Lance Mungia Lance does a not have the best direction style because it ends up feeling lost through the story. (4/10)

Fantasy: The Crow Wicked Prayer does use the legend of the Crow to bring fantasy but counteracts the idea with satanic cults. (5/10)

Settings: The Crow Wicked Prayer uses a different settings with the small town of miners that could lose their jobs for the settings. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Crow Wicked Prayer is one that the fans should watch to finish the series but otherwise it can be missed. (Fans Watch)

Best Part: The idea of the Crow versus Satan.

Worst Part: Ed Furlong doesn’t work as the Crow.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Was last one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Passion..Revenge…Eternity.

Overall: Disappointing final nail in the coffin of the franchise.

Rating 30

Violet & Daisy (2011)

logoDirector: Geoffrey Fletcher

Writer: Geoffrey Fletcher (Screenplay)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel, James Gandolfini, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Danny Trejo, Lynda Gravatt, Tatiana Maslany, Cody Horn,

 

Plot: Two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until an unexpected target throws them off their plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Genre Mixing

 

Story: Violet & Daisy starts by introducing our two protagonists Daisy (Ronan) and Daisy (Bledel) acting like two normal teenage girls who complete their latest job dressed like nuns. The two teenage assassins take a holiday where they get called in for another job and as they need to money they take it. Russ (Trejo) their handler gives them the details on the target known only as The Guy (Gandolfini). Our two assassins are on the job so they can get the latest dress from their favourite fashion designer Barbie Sunday (Horn).

After falling asleep waiting for The Guy he arrives home covers them up and gives them cookies and milk. The girls find themselves in a moral predicament when they get to know someone before having to kill him. The Guy is almost waiting for them to kill him leading the girls to want to know more about his story. Things take a turn when another rival group of assassins are in on the job, who also wants The Guy killed.

Violet & Daisy was a surprise to me I kind of went into the film expecting an all guns a blazing action film but I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. We end up getting a drama about two teenagers who learn the side effects of their jobs while we also get the idea of one man wanting to leave the world before he can make up for everything he did wrong. We get to see how the three people chat and learn to finish the next chapter of their lives before it is too late. We have friendship tested, regret challenged and lies uncovered. All of these things help make this very interesting even though it goes against everything you have ever been taught about assassin’s films. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Saoirse Ronan: Daisy younger of the two hit girls who is still learning the ways but is enjoying the ride along with becoming best friends. She enjoys the friendship and the travel while letting her friend do all the killing. Saoirse does a good job in this here second teen assassin role. (8/10)

 girls

Alexis Bledel: Violet having a previous partner dying she has become close with Daisy to level of best friends as they travel the world as assassins. She is haunted by what has happened as well as learning more about trusting people. Alexis does a good job in the role she would have been slightly too old to be playing. (8/10)

 

James Gandolfini: The Guy who is the target for the two girls after stealing from their boss. He is dying and wants to end his suffering but slowly over the meeting he sets up one last goodbye to his daughter. James does a good job in this role. (8/10)

 

Support Cast: Violet & Daisy has a small supporting cast with most characters only turning up in one or two scenes to push the story in a different direction.

 

Director Review: Geoffrey Fletcher – Geoffrey does a good job directing this story about friendship and regrets. (8/10)

 

Action: Violet & Daisy doesn’t really have much action in it, we have a couple of very short shoot outs which all play very well. (6/10)

Drama: Violet & Daisy focuses on its characters and how they all see the world and beyond interacting with each other. (9/10)

Thriller: Violet & Daisy keeps you guessing to what will be revealed next along with what could happen next. (8/10)

Settings: Violet & Daisy keeps most of the setting in one place with most taking part in the apartment of The Guy. (9/10)

Suggestion: Violet & Daisy is one to watch it is pleasantly surprising that could be enjoyed by all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The awkward but important interaction between the three.

Worst Part: Don’t expect all out action.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Small one near the start.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Too much sugar can kill you.

Trivia: One of James Gandolfini’s last acting roles before his death on June 19, 2013.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Drama

Rating 80