ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – P – Perfect Storm (2000)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: William D Wittliff (Screenplay) Sebastian Junger (Book)

Starring: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C Reilly, Diane Lane, William Fichtner, John Hawkes, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Allen Payne

 

Plot: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sea Worthy Disaster Adventure

 

Story: The Perfect Storm starts as Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney) has been hitting a dry patch when it comes to his boats fishing quota. Determined to turn this around Billy takes his crew Bobby (Wahlberg), Murph (Reilly), Sully (Fichtner), Bugsy (Hawkes) and Alfred (Payne) out again further than normal but also to a location which should have larger number of fish.

As the crew hit the ocean get go further than before, but they catch more than they could imagine, the problem they now face is getting home, which includes going through a hurricane the size no one has seen before.

 

Thoughts on The Perfect Storm

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Billy Tyne is a once successful fisherman but his luck has dried up, determined to turn it around he takes his crew out further than normal risking their lives. Bobby is the younger member of the crew who loves the adventure at sea but his girlfriend wants him to start a less risky job, this could be his last mission to sea. Murph is the divorced father that is dealing with the idea is son isn’t going to be seeing him as often as he would like to. Sully is the newest crew member, he seems difficult to work with but also loyal to the end and one of the best fishermen in own. We do also have the remaining crew who are loyal, other boats that get trapped in the storm, Linda Greenlaw a fellow fisherwoman that knows how capable Billy is and finally Christina, Bobby’s girl that waits for him back home.

Performance wise, Clooney shows here that he was ready to start being taken seriously by Hollywood here, we also get a good performance from Wahlberg here too, we also have a supporting cast we can always rely on to give us brilliant performance and they know their importance to the film.

StoryThe story is based on the true events of the 1991 hurricanes that hit off the coast of America, we follow the fishing boat primary but we do also have the coastguards being followed as they look to rescue other boats which at times does take away from the characters we get to have a good time meeting in the opening sequence of the film. away from that we get to see how the main boat must decide whether to stay safe or risk it all be going through the storm.

Action/AdventureThe action sequences through the storm are brilliant, they put us in complete location with the crew dealing with every single up and down they must face. The adventure shows us what the men must overcome to return home.

SettingsThe film is set all at sea which is fine because it is about the fishing boat that needs to battle the storm to make it home, but this makes us feel like we are in the middle of this adventure through the whole film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to make each and every scene look realistic and still do till this day.

Final ThoughtsOne of the films that shows us just how people will fight through storms to make money and how mother nature will not always be one your side.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat action thriller.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – U – Untraceable (2008)

untracDirector: Gregory Hoblit

Writer: Robert Fyvolent, Mark Brinker, Allison Burnett (Screenplay) Robert Fyvolent, Mark Brinker (Story)

Starring: Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross, Mary Beth Hurt, Peter Gray Lewis

 

Plot: FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the Internet. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Thriller

 

Story: Untraceable starts as we meet a partnership within the FBI computer division where Jennifer Marsh (Lane) and Griffin Dowd (Hanks) search for cybercrimes. This is show as we see how good the pair are at tracking down and capturing the criminals.

The main story starts when Jennifer discovers a website called ‘Kill With Me’ showing a tortured cat that can’t be closed down. When the killer returns, he picks a human victim with brings in Detective Eric Box (Burke) to work with Jennifer to figure out the motive behind the killer’s actions.

 

Thoughts on Untraceable

 

StoryWe all like to see a good dark crime thriller and this story delivers on that, we get plenty of graphic murders happening by the killer as we are left to wonder just what his motives are. I do think we have a killer with good motives once we learn them and I also like how everything in circled around societies new obsession with the internet and viral videos. This is a crime story I would expect that fans of the genre to enjoy even if certain elements are slightly too dark for some.

Crime/Mystery/Thriller We get a crime story that is full of the everything you need for an intense thriller that shows just how dark crimes can be when you looking for why the crime is taking place. We do have the mystery side of the story as we have to figure out why the killer is committing these crimes.

Characters/PerformanceWhen it comes to the characters Jennifer Marsh is developed to be the solo parent who seems to be the only one smart enough to figure out how to stop the killer, well her and her partner Griffin. When you look at the Detective Box character you are left wondering how he was in that position because he has no clue about the crimes going on. The killer does have good motives but in the end we are left feeling he is defeated slightly too easily. I do think the performances are all good without being considered any of the best of that year.

SettingsI think the settings are solid because the killer wants it hard to find him but in the end, nothing feels like it is anything special to where the events of the film take place.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good dark thriller I do think people can enjoy even if it is too dark for the casual fans.

 

Overall: Deliciously dark crime thriller that tries to push boundaries with the killer.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Glass House (2001)

glassDirector: Daniel Sackheim

Writer: Wesley Strick (Screenplay)

Starring: Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, Stellan Skarsgard, Bruce Dern, Kathy Baker, Trevor Morgan, Chris North

 

Plot: An orphaned teenager is taken in by a Malibu couple but discovers they aren’t the caring friends they seemed to be.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Solid Thriller

 

Story: The Glass House starts as high school student Ruby Baker (Sobieski) and her younger brother Rhett (Morgan) lose their parents in a car accident they find themselves orphaned and having to move into the Glass household with Erin (Lane) and Terry (Skarsgard).

After spending time with the family Ruby starts to suspect something strange going on with the Glass family and that they have an alternative motive for wanting to take the orphaned children in.

The Glass House is a thriller that does follow the ABC ideas of most of these domestic thrillers where the eldest child has to prove their new guardians are not who they thought they could be even if they have trick the others into believe they are good and all the people that are important. The problem here is that this is nothing overly fresh, it also doesn’t push any of the boundaries needed for the thriller side of the story. it all just becomes extreme average as easily forgettable.

 

Overall: Basic thriller that just doesn’t hit any of the good marks needed in a true thriller.

Rating45

 

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

casting card

 

Plot: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Start Big Finish

 

Story: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starts with yet another brief origin story for Bruce Wayne as we see his parents killed yet again, but at least this is just through the opening credits. Bruce Wayne (Affleck) is now just a business man but while Superman (Cavill) is fight Zod from Man of Steal he just so happens to be destroying Metropolis.

18 Months have passed since the events of Man of Steel and Lois (Adams) is still journalist looking to interview war criminals where Superman is using his abilities for good, but the world doesn’t see him as good with Senator Finch (Hunter) seeing the consequences of his actions.

Batman is now fighting crime in his own where with Alfred (Irons) helping his operation where Batman knows they are criminals and is happy to brand the criminals he catches while he prepares himself for the day Superman goes too far. This film does need a villain right well here is Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) a brilliant scientist businessman who has uncovered the weakness behind Superman.

So being forty minutes in we are left with Bruce Wayne playing detective in a case that leads him to Lex Luthor where he gets invited to a party with all of the players including Clark Kent and Diana Prince (Gadot) attending.

All this plays out in a very slow building hour to find out that Bruce Wayne is trying to track down his own weapon to use on Superman thee very same one that Lex Luthor is after but Bruce wants revenge for the lives lost in Superman’s battle. All this is leading to the battle between the two while they both miss the enemy standing right in front of them in Lex Luthor.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film that I could easily have plenty of hate but I do think it has good and bad parts. First the good, the story of a film that does look at consequences of the destruction unlike many of superhero films that just look over it at times. Lex Luthor’s plan is great because it is the first time a villain has turned too good guys against each other which such ease.

As for the bad side is that everything is very slow with the build-up as we see detective side of the story from Batman. With the new Batman I do understand this is a new universe new version but isn’t the point of Batman not to kill bad guys but he doesn’t seem to care. While the final look stunning it is yet again just a mega destruction scene that feels forced to bring the two back on the same side as well as just forcing Wonder Woman into the franchise. I also feel a lot of the themes as in whether we should allow a hero to stay on Earth or whether we need a hero has been handled in many films including X-Men and Transformers before and this adds very little to the discussion.

While all of this might be looking into too much of the story I feel this is overly long but still a good starting point for the next franchise giving us 3 heroes and a villain that is the closest to a Joker figure we have seen in a long time.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Affleck: Bruce Wayne/Batman as Bruce Wayne he is trying to track down a way to kill Superman after the damaged he caused during Man of Steel. He has turned into a full blown detective only using his Batman suit to take down the people involved. It isn’t long before he clashes with Superman but ultimately it is his acceptance that heroes can’t save everyone now. He clashes with Superman but unaware of the real villain behind everything. Ben is good in this role taking over the cape from Bale and suits the older looking Bruce but isn’t going to be remember for being good or bad.bat

Henry Cavill: Clark Kent/Superman as Clark he is now just a journalist and boyfriend to Lois but as Superman he has the world divided on whether he is a good or even needed on Earth. He continues to do the right thing when he can but finds himself drawn to the Batman around Gotham as he doesn’t believe in the way he is going about things. He becomes the enemy of the world once framed but will he realize who the true enemy is before it is too late. Henry is solid yet again but Superman is just a very plain character.superman

Amy Adams: Lois is still the journalist that will take all the risks to uncover the story, he relationship with Clark Kent and Superman will be her greatest weakness as the story will tell once one man knows the truth. Amy is good but we just don’t see enough of her smartest good side character in the film.

Jesse Eisenberg: Lex Luthor is a genius that has learnt about the weakness in Superman, he plays all of his business skills to put him in a position to get everything he needs to defeat him. He is truly a mastermind in this world as he puts together all the pieces leading to the battle between Batman and Superman. Jesse is fantastic in this role easily the best and mostly the only good thing in this movie.lex

Support Cast: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the supporting cast you expect, the returning members of the Man of Steel world, the recasting of the Batman side with Jeremy Irons being hilarious and Wonder Woman getting her first outing.

Director Review: Zack SnyderZack continues to do these wildly over the top action sequence with plenty of destruction that makes little to know sense in the universe created but does know how to create the mystery side about it all.

 

Action: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the action we have come to know from Snyder, crash bang wallop destroying as much as possible.

Fantasy: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice brings us into a fantasy world where we have to see the superheroes and Batman fight an unkillable villain that can be killed.

Sci-Fi: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has aliens in and made fight unrealistic fights.

Superhero: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice puts us in the world of superheroes and villains and Batman building up to something bigger.

Settings: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set in the main two cities and quite happy to destroy them and magically rebuild them a day later.
Special Effects
: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the effects you would expect to see without doing too much original.

Suggestion: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one the fan boys will love but it will soon be forgotten in the world of comic book films. (Fan Boys Watch)

 

Best Part: Jesse Eisenberg is a great villain.

Worst Part: Too many attempts at the puns/references to previous films that Deadpool was pulling off with ease.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase.

Funniest Scene: Jeremy Irons.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 31 Minutes

 

Overall: An over the top comic book action film that is nothing special.

Ratingcard

 

 

Trumbo (2015)

trumboDirector: Jay Roach

Writer: John McNamara (Screenplay) Bruce Cook (Book)

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Maldonado, John Getz, Laura Flannery, David James Elliott, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alan Tudyk, John Goodman, Stephen Root, Roger Bart, Ellie Fanning

 

Plot: In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good History Lesson

 

Story: Trumbo starts with Dalton Trumbo (Cranston) a registered communist who classing with other people in Hollywood including heavyweights John Wayne (Elliott) on his beliefs that that the government shouldn’t be able to look into everything the American people do. Even with these beliefs Dalton gets one of the biggest deals any writers have ever been offered in Hollywood.

The government decides to take on the communists in Hollywood believing they are trying to use movies to pull in the audience to join them. Gossip writer Hedda Hopper (Mirren) wants to use her column to expose the communists while leaning on the head of studios to fire all the communists involved in the infamous Hollywood 10 as they look to defend themselves.

After being sent to prison for his beliefs he ends up having to rebuild his career and he turns to Frank King (Goodman) who can’t pay the writers the same level but he and the blacklist writers all work to get their screenplays around Hollywood.

Trumbo gives us a look at the Americans and how they treated the people involved. I never personally understood what all this communist un-America talk really was and still don’t know enough to true judge how well this film portrays it all. I did like the story being re-told in a good way showing how even when people bring people down they won’t stay down however hard it is on the family. This really just more on a history lesson but is important.

 

Actor Review

 

Bryan Cranston: Dalton Trumbo was one of the most respected writers in Hollywood who was a communist, he gets charged for his crimes ending up in prison. Once released he ends up leading the fellow blacklisted writers in a movement to get themselves recognized in Hollywood once more. Bryan is brilliant in this role fully becoming the character.charaacer

Diane Lane: Cleo Trumbo is the wife of Dalton she tries to keep the family together while Dalton stands up for his beliefs, she stands up to him when needed without coming off over demanding. Diane is good in the supporting role but doesn’t get too much screen time.

Helen Mirren: Hedda Hopper is the gossip writer who along with John Wayne tries to out all the communist employees in Hollywood, she goes out her away against Dalton even when he starts trying to make a comeback. Helen is good but we don’t see enough of her to learn enough about her character.

Support Cast: Trumbo has great supporting characters who are all names the fans of Hollywood would enjoy watching.

Director Review: Jay RoachJay gives us a good and important story that we would need to know to see the struggles of the people who were outed as communists.

 

Biographical: Trumbo gives us a great look at one of the most important screenwriters of all time.

Settings: Trumbo re-creates the settings to make everything look like we are part of the time period.

Suggestion: Trumbo is one to try, I do think some people will find it difficult to watch but it is a good lesson. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Cranston is brilliant.

Worst Part: We don’t learn enough about Hedde.

 

Believability: Based on the real story of Dalton and the communist time period.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 2 Golden Globes

Oscar Chances: Could easily get nominations

Runtime: 2 Hour 4 Minutes

Tagline: When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen.

 

Overall: Brilliant story even if we only see one side of it all

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