King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram (Screenplay) David Dobkin, Joby Harold (Story)

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox

 

Plot: Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gangster Fantasy Film

 

Story: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starts with backstory, yay, in this we get to see how King Uther (Bana) has waged war against Mages showing he is keeping him people safe at Camelot. After the latest victory, Uther finds his kingdom under attack from within racing to save his son Arthur from his corrupted brother Vortigern (Law). With Arthur safe we get a flash into how Arthur and Vortigern spend the next years before we start our main story.

Arthur (Hunnam) now a gangster like figure in Londium crosses paths with King Vortigern and learns his own destiny within the world as he is the only man to be able to remove the sword from the stone. With King Vortigern needing to hunt down and kill Arthur who begins his own resistance movement against the new evil ruler with a mix of loyal men to his father and his own friends.

 

Thoughts on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

 

Characters/PerformanceArthur is the boy raised in the gutter that was destine to become king, we follow his journey from small time street hustler to warrior and then king, this isn’t too much in the field of original in the character design. The Mage is the guide into the fantasy world for Arthur mostly in riddles. Vortigern is the evil king looking to gain the power of magic through the sacrifices he is willing to make, he hasn’t plenty of chances to kill Arthur but wants to do it in display style. The rest of the characters all help with the characters through the film without being that memorable.

Performance wise, Charlie Hunnam does struggle in the leading role which does leave you wondering how he keeps getting potential franchise lead roles, Jude Law does give us a very mixed performance, one minute you feel like it is good then it comes off cheesy. Astrid Berges-Frisbey does seem to struggle throughout, it seems part is the language barrier because it feels like she is just reading the script with no idea how to add any impact to her lines. The rest of the stars are better and handle their supporting role well.

StoryKing Arthur is a story that has been told plenty of times and building the idea of a fantasy world should work, but you do have plenty of things going wrong here, first it uses the explaining the action scene while it is unfolding way too often, I think it was about 5 times through the film. we also have dialogue which feels like we are watching a gangster film. the story does end feeling very long and misses the chances for the best action sequences for extra talking scenes.

Action/Adventure/FantasyAction sequences are all cut chopped and edited down losing the scale we would like to have seen, the adventure side of the story is forgettable but it is difficult to make this original. The fantasy world is what is interesting but we do get large scale scenes which just feel like a film trying to be bigger than it is.

SettingsThe settings are all fine but none of them can become iconic enough.

Special EffectsThe special effects look good throughout but in the end, are used in places just to be big.

Final ThoughtsThis is an awkward mix of gangster and fantasy film that doesn’t quite click with the film missing too many chances to give us a truly memorable action sequence.

 

Overall: This is a forgettable fantasy gangster film.

Rating

 

 

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Owen Wilson Weekend – Shanghai Knights (2003)

knightsDirector: David Dobkin

Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Tom Fisher, Aidan Gillen, Fann Wong, Donnie Yen

 

Plot: When a Chinese rebel murders Chon’s estranged father and escapes to England, Chon and Roy make their way to London with revenge on their minds.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fun Sequel

 

Story: Shanghai Knights starts when Chon Wang’s (Chan) father is murdered by Lord Rathbone (Gillen) and the imperial seal is stolen and taken to London. Chon Wang must locate Roy (Wilson) and head to London for revenge.

On their adventures in England the pair meet a string of characters including street thieve Charlie Chaplin (Taylor-Johnson) and Artie Doyle (Fisher) who aid them on their adventure against Rathbone and Wu Chan (Yen) as we get a loose run through English history.

Shanghai Knights is a huge improvement on the original mainly because it gets to poke good fun at the vintage English style of living where we get to see historical characters for the time including a reference to Jack the Ripper. We get to see the building chemistry between Chan and Wilson which again works perfectly. The original had plenty of nods towards classic westerns this has plenty of nods towards the silent movies. We also get the first showdown on film between Chan and Donnie Yen which for the fans of the genre is something they would have been waiting for.

 

Overall: Plain old enjoyable odd couple action comedy.

Rating82

 

 

The Judge (2014)

judgeDirector: David Dobkin

Writer: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard

 

Plot: Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pleasant Surprise

 

Story: The Judge starts when big time lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey Jr) has to return home when his mother dies while his own marriage is falling apart. Hank gets to have time with his brother’s Glen (D’Onofrio) and Dale (Strong) while he has to rebuild his broken relationship with his father Judge Palmer (Duvall).

This reunion gets thrown into a direction Hank wasn’t ready for when Judge gets accused of murder and the victim just so happens to be from the only mistake of his career. Now Hank must put aside their differences and let his father pick his own lawyer C.P Kennedy (Shepard) to defend his father against a big time lawyer Dwight Dickham (Thornton) and re-connect with his family. Once the case goes to trial Hank has to defend his father in a case that looks very much against him.

The Judge is a film I covered on my Do we care about the Oscars feature a few months back and I was left wondering if I would be interested in seeing this film at all. What I found was one of the better family dynamic films of recent years as we do follow the men who do struggle to show their emotions with each other few such a difficult time. The case itself does come off all very predictable which I will say does get buried behind the relationship with Hank and his Father which is the driving force of this film. Performance was Duvall and Downey Jr shine in the leading roles while all of the supporting case give wonderful performance not trying to steal the spotlight off anyone.

 

Overall: Enjoyable film that even at over 2 hours flies past without you needing to check the clock.

Rating80

 

 

Bryan Singer Weekend – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

casting card

 

Plot: The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure Film

 

Story: Jack the Giant Slayer starts by giving us the story that poor boy Jack and Princess Isabelle who love the story of the giant that came to Earth before being banished. Jack (Hoult) all grown up is trying to sell his horse and cart finding himself in the kingdom of King Brahmwell (McShane) who is trying to keep tabs on his now of age daughter Isabelle. We know Jack made a deal where he ended up getting some beans that just so happen to be magic.

With Isabelle trying to escape her impending marriage to Roderick (Tucci) she finds herself at Jack’s house. When the beanstalk rises it takes Isabelle up into the giant kingdom leading to Elmont (McGregor) Roderick, Jack and Elmont’s men to climb the beanstalk.

Upon reaching the top we learn Roderick’s plan while our character have to learn that not all legends are fairy tales.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a story we should all have known by now but how do you turn this into a feature film, well this is how it is done. We create a battle between humans and the giants filled with generically average characters all with their own motives. I do think the expanded story works but in a world where we have had Lord of the Rings and going through Game of Thrones this comes off slightly short.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicholas Hoult: Jack is the simple farm boy that finds himself selling his house for beans only to discovery that these beans take him to the giant kingdom on top of a beanstalk. Jack must rescue the princess and become the giant slayer he was always destine to become. Nicholas is good in this leading role showing he can be a future star.

Eleanor Tomlinson: Isabelle is the princess of the kingdom that wishes to see more of the world before being wed to the older man Roderick. While she does become the very basic damsel in distress by the end of the film. Eleanor also gives us a good performance even if her character is basically the damsel in distress we don’t see as much anymore.

Ewan McGregor: Elmont is leader of the king’s guard, he is fearless and will give any common man a chance to help do the honourable thing, which includes Jack. He works with Jack to makes sure the princess is safe once the giant from myth become a reality. Ewan has a lot of fun in this role where we get to see him supporting the next generation of stars.

Stanley Tucci: Roderick is planned to be wed to the princess, but he has his own plans which do include bringing down the giants to help him get everything he wants. Stanley plays the typical villain add his own spin to it without being that memorable.

Support Cast: Jack the Giant Slayer has a solid supporting cast but they just get enough real time out of everything involved.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan gives us a good enjoyable film even if the CGI comes off slightly iffy.

 

Adventure: Jack the Giant Slayer sends us on the adventure that could well be the first one we ever heard.

Fantasy: Jack the Giant Slayer throws us into the fantasy world where giants live above humans.

Settings: Jack the Giant Slayer has the settings that makes us feel like we are going to be in the world created.
Special Effects
: Jack the Giant Slayer has some bad CGI moments which can take away from these moments.

Suggestion: Jack the Giant Slayer is one I do think people will enjoy but I can see how come people be turned off. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final battle is very good.

Worst Part: CGI

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $195 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Prepare for a giant adventure

 

Overall: Solid adventure film that will be the one that will enjoy from the childhood stories.

Ratingcard

 

 

Wedding Crashers (2005)

logoDirector: David Dobkin

Writer: Steve Faber, Bob Fisher (Screenplay)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour, Bradley Cooper

 

Plot: John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) work together but they look forward to one season every year, Wedding season. The two of them crash weddings to meet woman, they both work hard on their back stories and have a code that they follow. Things change when John meets Claire (McAdams) at a wedding, he convinces Jeremy to break the code and go to a family weekend. Jeremy who has also hooked up with Claire’s sister the wild Gloria (Fisher) have to watch out for their father Secretary Cleary (Walken) and Claire’s boyfriend Sack (Cooper).

 

Verdict: Great romantic comedy

Story: When it comes to romantic comedies it is usually very hard to find one that has a story I like, but this one takes the prize as my favourite happy ending comedy. The story is not just about meeting the girl of the dreams but also about a friendship going through maturing days of the guy’s lives. Each character adds something to the story and watching Vince and Owen work their comedic timing is a treat. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Owen Wilson – John one of the wedding crashers who wants to go into overtime to get to know a potential girl on his dreams. Owen is great as he has to show more range than the others because he is all happy for the first part but once he is exposed he is left to deal with the darker side of love. (9/10)

 wilson

Actor Review: Vince Vaughn – Jeremy partner in wedding crashing who ends up with what he thinks is a nightmare girl and the overtime John wants causes him great stress. This could be Vince’s best comedy role he is quick talking and inappropriate without being to crude.  (9/10)

vince

Actor Review: Christopher Walken – Secretary Cleary the well-respected man whose daughters are involved in the entire goings on. Good performance from Walken because anyone dating anyone who is his daughter would be scared. (8/10)

 walken

Actor Review: Rachel McAdams – Claire the girl who steals John’s heart but her boyfriend gets in the way of her chance of getting to know John even though she slowly starts to fall for him. Fresh of the back of The Notebook she was the ‘IT’ lady for romantic films and this shows she has what it takes to pull it off. (9/10)

 mcadams

Actor Review: Isla Fisher – Gloria the innocent girl that Jeremy ends up with at the wedding full of her crazy personality and wild side makes a great character. This is a great performance from Isla which really put her on the map in Hollywood. (9/10)

 fisher

Actor Review: Bradley Cooper – Sack the boyfriend of Claire that is very full of himself. Bradley creates a very unlikable character here and it wasn’t long after this is, went on to bigger things including his Oscar nod. (8/10)

cooper

Director Review: David Dobkin – It would be fair for say this is his best film to date because it tells and goes through many stories transitions. (9/10)

 

Comedy: Some very funny moments that breaks up a more serious part of the story. (9/10)

Romance: Great romantic stories going on giving the hope that true love can be real. (9/10)

Chemistry: The chemistry between Vince and Owen makes this film what it is. (9/10)

Believability: I’m sure there are wedding crashers out there but the falling in love the way they both do is not believable. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Each setting adds to the story as the house after the wedding shows how out of their depth John and Jeremy are. While each wedding scene gives a very authentic moment. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest watching as I find this to be one of the best comedies of recent years and the chemistry between Owen and Vince hasn’t been match since. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Will Ferrell’s cameo.

Worst Part: Funeral crashing bit too much.

Funniest Scene: hard to pick between most of Isla and Vince’s scenes.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Brilliant Romantic Comedy

Rating 95