The Mercy (2018)

Director: James Marsh

Writer: Scott Z Burns (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Colin Firth, David Thewlis, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Buchan, Anna Madeley

 

Plot: The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.


Tagline – Based on the true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Paced, Lacks Impact

 

Story: The Mercy starts when inventor Donald Crowhurst (Firth) who has been working on boating equipment for years decides he wants to try and circumnavigate the globe alone, with no experience of sailing behind him. His wife Clare (Weisz) supports his decision believe he knows what he is getting himself into and Rodney Hallworth (Thewlis) handling the press and Mr Best (Stott) financing the trip.

While on the adventure, plans don’t go to plan and alone Donald must make a difficult decision to cut the corners to both save his life from danger and break the records set out on front of him. When his journey gets studied questions arise and soon the mystery about his pace come to light.

 

Thoughts on The Mercy

 

Characters – Donald Crowhurst has been inventing equipment for boats for years, the one things he desires more is to go around the world, which he puts into motion by building the fastest boat, but with no experience can he do the impossible? Clare is his wife back home and mother to their children, she faces the anxious wait for him to return from his journey, while dealing with the idea he might not make it back and the increased public spotlight thrown on the family because of his success. Rodney is the press officer arranging the sponsors for Donald and bring in the press to tell his story to the world, he becomes more involved the better and faster Donald does.

PerformancesColin Firth is the star of this show, he does much of the work in solo takes showing the endurance he is facing in the middle of the ocean, the moments of beauty and the moments or loneliness shine through in his expressions. Rachel Weisz is good and shines in a couple of scenes, but doesn’t show her full skills. David Thewlis is always an excellent supporting performer too.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely sailor taking on one of the riskiest and most dangerous journey a sailor can take alone. He brings hope to any sailor with the idea, but the truth will leave that hope shattered in one of the biggest mysteries in the sailing world. this is based on a real-event which is interesting to see unfold, my problem with the way the story is told, is that we don’t really know what happened and never get any real evidence either way, which by the end leaves you playing into theories over the truths.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure plays into the idea that Donald could be going on a journey that could inspire anyone. The biopic side of the film shows how the family was dealing with the journey, but what Donald did on the boat can’t be answered.

SettingsThe film creates the time period well and the time spent on the boat feels like the adventure it was meant to be.


Scene of the Movie –
The wildlife shots.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing the truth.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting biopic that shows a mystery that was never truly solved, it is paced nicely but lack that point of solving the mystery only making suggestions.

 

Overall: Solid biopic with great performances.

Rating

 

 

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Marion Cotillard Weekend – Macbeth (2015)

macbethDirector: Justin Kurzel

Writer: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso (Screenplay) William Shakespeare (Play)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Mario Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor, David Hayman

 

Plot: Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: How Did This Become Boring?

 

Story: Macbeth starts as we learn that Macbeth (Fassbender) is leading his army in a war for the King of Scotland Duncan (Thewlis). Being a loyal soldier Macbeth is reward by the king after his latest victory but when Macbeth gets a visit from three witches he learns that he will one day be king. Being consumed with the idea of becoming king and along with his wife Lady Macbeth (Cotillard) they plan to kill the king.

Once the king is dead Macbeth is placed into the roll as king but his paranoia about who knows the truth takes over him when he simply doesn’t know who to trust from his closest friends and his enemies.

Macbeth is one of my favourite Shakespeare stories which instantly made me want to see this film but wow I was disappointed with this telling of the story. This story continues to show very little happening in a story that should be filled with tension, revenge and bloodshed but all we seem to get is talking, talking and talking. I am really annoyed how dull this story is that might as well just have been the stage version because nothing gets offered to make this film unique.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Fassbender: Macbeth is the loyal soldier in a war for Scotland’s king Duncan, when he gets visited by three witches he gets the new that he will one day become king of Scotland. This leads to him to kill the king taking his crown but becoming paranoid that he will be a victim just like he made Duncan. Michael does a good job in a performance that could easily be the stage performance.macbeth hcaracter

Marion Cotillard: Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth who pushes him into killing the eking so that he could become king, she stays calm even though she is guilt ridden trying to bring her husband back to the great man he once was. Marion gives us a good performance that would be great on the stage.lady

Paddy Considine: Banquo is the loyal first person Macbeth turns to during battle but once Macbeth becomes king everything changes between the two loyal friends. Paddy is good but doesn’t get enough screen time to make the impact required.

David Thewlis: Duncan is the king of Scotland, he trusts Macbeth to lead his army but once the war is over the very man he trusts is the one that turns on him. David does a good job in this role which we know is only for a supporting member of the cast.

Support Cast: Macbeth has all the character from the play without making many of them making a big impact.

Director Review: Justin KurzelJustin does well directing a glorified play.

 

Drama: Macbeth is a slow moving story that should be a lot more intense.

War: Macbeth uses the war story as the backdrop to the story being told.

Settings: Macbeth uses the Scotland highlands for the settings throughout.
Suggestion
: Macbeth is one to save your money as go to the theatre to see. (Theatre Trip)

 

Best Part: Looks pretty.

Worst Part: Dull throughout

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: All hail

 

Overall: Dull, boring adaptation of a Shakespeare classic

Ratingcard

 

Wonder Woman (2017)

Director: Patty Jenkins

Writer: Allan Heinberg (Screenplay) Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs (Story)

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Tagmaoui

 

Plot: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: DC Just Kicked Marvel’s Ass

 

Story: Wonder Woman starts in the present day (this works because we know Wonder Woman is part of the modern-day fight) where Diana (Gadot) receives the original photo of her with fellow soldiers Steve Trevor (Pine), Sameer (Taghmaoui), Charlie (Bremner) and The Chief (Rock) during the First World War.

This launches us into a flashback as Diana recounts her training under the greatest Amazon Warrior Antiope (Wright) first against her mother Hippolyta (Nielsen) wishes but soon with open arms. When Steve crashes into the oceans surrounding their island, he comes telling stories of a great war raging. Diana decides it is her destiny to fight to save the innocent and joins Steve in battle, but the outside world is nothing like she had expected and soon she will learn the politics, bravery and horrors of a modern war as she goes in search of Aires the God of war that she believes in causes it all, while Steve is on a mission to stop the latest weapon spreading. Can Diana unlock her destiny and become the hero the world is looking for?

 

Thoughts on Wonder Woman

 

Characters/PerformanceDiana is the warrior that wants to fight to save the world, always pushed to improve her abilities, she learns more about her true self on this adventure, while also having comical moments of not understand but reality checks by others. As Wonder Woman, she is the weapon we all came to see as he highlight of Batman v Superman and just continued to grow our love for this character. Steve Trevor is an American spy, he knows about the new weapon which could end the war and will do everything to stop it from causing more casualties. He is a good man that is showing Diana the way in this world. Hippolyta and Antiope are good character even if they fall into the typical mother and trainer routine. Ludendorff gives us the villain that will do anything to win the war however violent it is. The rest of the characters all either add laughs, menace or surprises to the story.

Gal Gadot is wonderful in this role, she is beautiful, naïve and can kick ass to save people all without blinking an eye. Chris Pine is a brilliant choice for this role as brave American not full off himself either. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright fill the middle-aged roles well both look beautiful and offering the advice from their characters. Danny Huston is easily one of the best go to guys in Hollywood for a villain role and he doesn’t fail to deliver. The rest of the cast all do great jobs throughout.

StoryThe story is an origins story but this time it is our aged mentally Diana looking back on what made her want to protect humans from war. This is also a brilliant war movie showing how unknown eyes would be in complete shock and terror in what they are seeing from the humans in battle. The story does feel grounded when it is just Diana witnessing the war but when she becomes Wonder Woman it turns full comic book which is good for the world created in this universe of DC characters.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is a mix of slow motion action sequences and big war set pieces, each one improving upon the last. The only negative in the action comes in the final battle. The adventure puts us on the mission to try and stop the war. The fantasy comes from Diana’s belief in Gods both good and evil being behind the war.

SettingsEach setting shows us the different environment Diana must enter after leaving her paradise, if it was London, the Front during war or the war bases which battles take place on. This helps us understand each decision Diana is making.

Special EffectsThe effects all look fantastic from start to finish of this movie and full expect to enjoy what you see.

Final ThoughtsAs a comic book movie, this is simply fantastic, wonderfully shot, powerful story that drives Diana to uncover her destiny and enjoy character. But as a major fan of the little things here, if this is Diana remembering the events how does she know what Ludendorff is up to? This of course is just being picky and is a question thrown around when people talk Titanic too, so we are in the top ranks of films here.

 

Overall: DC might just have won the battle this year with this brilliant addition to the superhero genre.

Rating

 

 

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

kingDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Maron Csokas, Edward Norton

 

Plot: Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long History Lesson

 

Story: Kingdom of Heaven starts as we meet Balian (Bloom) a blacksmith whose wife has committed the ultimate sin, suicide. When his father the great warrior Godfrey de Ibelin (Neeson) arrives offering to take him to the promise land of Jerusalem to become a warrior he takes the chance to escape the past which is haunting him. When his father dies, he must continue on without him across the seas and the dessert.

Arriving in Jerusalem Balian must start to find his faith once again in a town where prays can be had by any religion un the strict leadership of King Baldwin (Norton). Balian finds himself having to lead the armies of Baldwin as he finds himself in the middle of a religious war during the crusades.

Kingdom of Heaven gives us the story of the battle for Jerusalem during the crusades, I am not good with all my history so most of this I had no idea before watching which made this film all the more difficult to understand what was going on. The battles sequences all come off very well without being wow.

The performance all seem to be what you would expect from the stars involved with the elder being good for their smaller roles and Bloom struggle to be the leading man. In the end this feel just like all the other historical war films with nothing special about what is going on really.

 

Overall: Overly long history lesson that we didn’t need to know.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – RED 2 (2013)

casting carrdDirector: Dean Parisot

Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber (Screenplay) Warren Ellis, Cully Hamner (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Byung-hun Lee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Neal McDonough, David Thewlis

 

Plot: Retired C.I.A. agent Frank Moses reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: RED 2 starts as we follow the now couple Frank Moses (Willis) and Sarah (Parker) as Frank desperately tries play house while Sarah wants adventure when Marvin (Malkovich) returns to their lives. When Marvin fakes his death once more he learns that himself and Frank are being framed for a mission they were never part of, these leads to the adventure Sarah and Frank need to rekindle their relationship.

When Jack Horton (McDonough) recruits a former friend Han Cho Bai (Lee) to take him out to clean up the mess we see the governments of the world working to retrieve the information before any other countries do which brings back Victoria (Mirren). We also have Russian agent Katja (Jones) as they search for a guy called The Frog (Thewlis) who will lead them to the answers.

RED 2 is an improvement on the original because we are now taking on the developed characters from the first film, we know they had missions before retiring which throws us straight into the new mission. On the negative we do feel like we are repeating the same elements we saw in the first film. This is again just an easy film to follow that can be enjoyed.

 

Actor Review

 

Bruce Willis: Frank is now trying to play house and live a normal life with Sarah when the past he still tries to escape catches up with. Frank must go on another mission with Marvin with Sarah tagging along with an ex-girlfriend getting in the way he must uncover the truth about a secret mission he went on. Bruce seems to come off slightly stronger in this performance unlike his last outing.

John Malkovich: Marvin is the first one to suspect something going on and his paranoia doesn’t help along the way. He tries to be there for Frank whether he needs advice about his relationship and is always good for weapon of choice. John continues to be the funniest part of the film.

Mary-Louise Parker: Sarah is the girlfriend of Frank who is looking for the adventure that sparked their relationship in the first place. When Marvin turns up she jumps at the chance to go on this latest mission but this time she has to deal with a rival woman from Frank’s past. Mary-Louise is good in this role that does add another dimension to her character.

Helen Mirren: Victoria is the MI6 agent that works with Frank to find the truth which does include turning her back on her own country. Helen is good with her parts but we don’t see her enough compared to the first film.

Support Cast: RED 2 has a big supporting cast with well-known names in the business including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Byung-hun Lee who all bring great addition to the sequel to show just how many added characters could be put into this story.

Director Review: Dean ParisotDean adds a lot to this crime comedy where we do get a much more enjoyable movie all around.

 

Action: RED 2 has good action going on throughout with one way over the top shoot out destroying a street of cars.

Comedy: RED 2 does have added comedy this time with the idea that Sarah gets jealous of Frank’s ex-girlfriend while Malkovich still steals the scenes.

Crime: RED 2 does bring us into a string of different law enforcements trying to take down Frank because of the crimes he might have committed.

Settings: RED 2 takes us around Europe for the settings which all work t make the story more engrossing.
Special Effects
: RED 2 has good special effects to show us just how to make action work without turning to them too often.

Suggestion: RED 2 is one that I think people will enjoy but I do think you have to watch through the first one. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Malkovich still shines.

Worst Part: The way the story unfolds feels like we have see it before.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $84 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Million

Tagline: The best never rest.

 

Overall: Very enjoyable sequel that shows this was going in the right direction.

Ratingcard