Pierce Brosnan Weekend – After the Sunset (2004)

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Paul Zbyszewski, Craig Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, Don Cheadle, Naomie Harris, Chris Penn, Troy Garity

Plot: The story of what happens after a master thief achieves his last big score, when the F.B.I. Agent who promised he’d capture him, is about to do just that.


Tagline – Who will walk away?

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Crime Heist

Story: After the Sunset starts as master thief Max (Brosnan) and his partner Lola (Hayek) get one over FBI agent Stan Lloyd (Harrelson) once again, stealing the diamonds he is transporting despite Stan’s fear of Max coming for them, escaping to tropical island, Max and Lola find themselves getting bored in retirement.

Stan heads down to the tropical island to watch over Max and Lola believing they will be trying to pull off another job, with a new potential diamond for Max to steal, Stan teams up with local cop Sophie (Harris) to try and catch him in the act. The island gang leader Henri Moore (Cheadle) wants the diamond and is pushing Max into doing the job, will he come out of retirement.

Thoughts on After the Sunset

Characters – Max Burdett is a famous diamond thief, he has managed to get away with the most difficult jobs and has always managed to find a way to have an alibi for when the robberies have taken place, he has retired with his partner until a new temptation and gang leader pushes him into one more job, while he uses his charm to stay one step ahead of the FBI agent tracking him. Lola is the partner of Max, she is used for distraction using her beauty to turn head, but she is keeping herself busy in the retirement life in which she is getting bored of. Stan is an FBI agent that has always found himself losing Max, he decides to follow him to the tropical island believing he is going after another job, hoping that he can catch him in the act this time around. The two men have a rival friendship which sees them needing to word their conversations correctly and even help each other with their relationship issues. Henri Moore is the island gangster, he has been turning the island into what he wants and wants Max to help him steal the diamond. Sophie is the local cop that doesn’t take anything from anyone and is the only one that is willing to tackle the gangster problem through the film. She works with Stan on the tracking of Max.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan is wonderful to watch as a confident thief, he is great in these styles of role and it shows here. Salma Hayek is always going to great to watch and this role shows her at her best, with Woody Harrelson also shining through this film, he knows how to hit the comedy needing for his role despite him having a serious side to him. Don Cheadle doesn’t really get that much screen time, while Naomie Harris shows us a strong performance through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a thief living in paradise after retirement, only to find himself followed by his nemesis FBI Agent and pushed into a new job by the island’s gangster. This is a story that plays out like the crime heist story, by having the five main parts each trying to stay ahead of each other, with plenty of twists and turns along the way as they each believe they have the upper hand. This does have the slick style needed in the story and does show that both men will find themselves getting into trouble with their personal lives, with the unlikely friendship being there to help each other out.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from how Max and Stan keep their friendship with them getting into funny situations, all while keeping the criminal line between the two of them.

SettingsThe film is set on a tropical island which does give us the beautiful backdrop and shows this could be a place for thieves to retire in.


Scene of the Movie – Fishing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Could have more from Cheadle’s character.

Final Thoughts This is a fun heist movie with enjoyable characters and a slick style when it comes to deal with the relationship between thief and authority.

Overall: Enjoyable heist film.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Drew Pearse, Shane Black (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Warren Ellis, Adi Granov (Comics)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

 

Plot: When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.


Tagline – Unleash the power behind the armor.

Runtime: 2 Hour 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Superhero Movie with Consequences

 

Story: Iron Man 3 starts in the aftermath of The Avengers, Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is still dealing with the side effects from going through the worm hole, to make matters worse Pepper (Paltrow) is getting tired of his action, a new terrorist known as the Mandarin (Kingsley) is bombing the world.

After Tony challenges him to fight him, Tony finds his mansion destroyed, with Tony getting stuck in a small town, when the true identity of the Mandarin is revealed and the man who is controlling him Aldrich Killian (Pearce) a man that Tony once rejected working with.

 

Thoughts on Iron Man 3

 

Characters – Tony Stark is back, this time he can’t sleep because of what happened in New York in the Avengers. He can’t cope with knowing he could know lose somebody he loves in Pepper, he keeps busy by improving his suits and challenge the new terrorist. He must go on a journey of self-discovery before fighting the latest enemy. This is one of the best character arcs in the franchise. Pepper Potts is still running the company, but is getting more distant from Tony, she learns how Tony feels about her by his actions in this film. Rhodey has become the lead guardian turned to for his newly rebranded Iron Patriot. He lets Tony get the important information required to learn the truth. Aldrich Killian is the man that Tony once forget or rejected, he has gone on to master a way to fix limp loss, which has helped him grow a group of soldiers that can explode if not treated properly, he has put a mask on his attacks making it seem like he had nothing to do with it. Maya is another lady from Tony’s past, she has her own reasons for returning, where she plays partly as a love rival for Pepper and somebody who still wants her work to mean something. Trevor is the Mandarin, through to be the big threat in the film, while we get a twist in his purpose in the film which has divided fans ever since.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr gives one of the best performances in the Marvel Universe because he must deal emotions unlike any other hero in the franchise to date. Gwyneth Paltrow gets to bring her own stamp to this role, getting more involved in the action this time around. Don Cheadle continues to make his character more likeable than ever. Guy Pearce does make for a strong villain, he keeps up guessing to what he will do next hanging on his words. Rebecca Hall struggles, but this is mostly because the character is written poorly. Ben Kingsley gives us one of the funniest performances in the franchise to date.

StoryThe story involves Tony Stark facing consequences of The Avengers, while dealing with a new threat terrorising the world. This way of looking at the story is impressive because we have seen many superhero films that have never looked at dealing with side effects of the previous films, this brings Tony on a character arc which is easily one of the best in the franchise. The idea a villain has created a way for people to recover from limp loss that could end up becoming deadly weapons is strong because it continues to show rival inventors in Tony’s world. This is one of the stories which does get questions over a certain serve in the story, but it only adds to the way we are getting too.

Action/Sci-FiThe action involved in the film is a terrorist that uses explosive to destroy or fight Tony Stark. Which does show us how the sci-fi world of technology is making a new threat to the world.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show Tony stuck in a town where he wouldn’t ever visit, the action scenes do take us to new settings though which does help.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show how flawlessly Tony can get in and out of his suits, the way the characters look when they could look to explode or regenerate, which fits the style of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The plane save.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Failure to use Maya well enough.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best character arcs in the franchise to date, we see how he must learn from his mistakes and fight a new threat.

 

Overall: Best character arc to date.

Rating

 

 

Jon Favreau Weekend – Iron Man 2 (2010)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Justin Theroux (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L Jackson, Clark Gregg

 

Plot: With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father’s legacy.


Tagline – It’s not the armor that makes the hero, but the man inside.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Sequel

 

Story: Iron Man 2 starts in the world where Tony Stark’s (Downey Jr) Iron Man has seen the world in peace for the longest time in modern history, the government however isn’t happy with the device and the world is trying to build their own versions of the Iron Man suit. With Tony’s device slowly causing more damage than it should, he is looking for a way to stop the affects being caused.

With Tony searching for answers, he must deal with new member of the law team Natalie Rushman (Johansson), giving Pepper (Paltrow) the CEO position, a rival inventor Justin Hammer (Rockwell) and a jilted victim of his father’s work Ivan Vanko (Rourke) better known as Whiplash, who has his own form of weaponised equipment and wants revenge.

 

Thoughts on Iron Man 2

 

Characters – Tony Stark revealed his identity at the end of the last movie, he has become even more famous as the man that ended conflict in the world, the government want control over the suit and worry that other parts of the world could develop their own version of the suit. He must deal with his own mortality when the one thing keeping him alive, is making him sick. He will also need to fight for his father’s mistakes, pushing his closest friends away. Pepper Potts has been given a promotion by Tony, to CEO, she already runs his affairs, she is now running his company, while trying to control him during his self-destruction. Rhodey is still in his role in the military, he is still challenging Tony, but gets to use his own suit the correct way, for guiding the military. Natasha goes undercover in Stark’s company, she is a member of SHIELD where she uses her skills in combat to keep Tony out of trouble. Justin Hammer is a rival inventor still trying to get ahead of Tony in the weapons business, he has been working on his own Iron Man suit, without much success, he hires Ivan to build him a suit. Ivan Vanko has built his own weaponised suit, he is the son of a rival of Tony’ father, which sees him want to take revenge on Tony for his father’s action, becoming whiplash, the one man that has created a suit that could rival Iron Man.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr is still great to watch, he keeps the charisma required for his role, while bringing an emotional factor which is needed for where his character goes in this film. Gwyneth Paltrow does have a bigger role here and brings us a much stronger performance with her character. Don Cheadle is an improvement on Terrence Howard, bringing Rhodey to life more. Scarlett Johansson has the perfect look for this character which is only first jumping into the franchise. Sam Rockwell as another inventor arms dealer who is filled with the swagger required. Mickey Rourke as the villain has good motives he does everything he can even if he character does grumble a lot.

StoryThe story follows up the beginning of Iron Man dealing with the idea that the military would want control of the equipment and the rest of the world will be playing catch up, with their own versions of the Iron Man suit. This is a strong world building exercise to the Iron Man universe, we get to see how SHIELD are operating in the shadows watching over the potential threats. We have a villain that is competition and another one that is out for personal revenge. We up the stakes in this one, Tony does have to deal with his own problems by needing to improve the suit and we get to set up the position of who is one the good side with teases of the eventual Avengers team up.

Action/Sci-Fi The action in this film relies on a couple of big scenes, we have the racing introduction, the mid-life crisis sequence and the showdown, each has their own way to make an impact. The sci-fi side of the film continues to show the technology advances that Tony is dealing with.

SettingsThe film uses the settings more for the action with one of the most iconic action sequences in the franchise, we continue to see Tony’s lab which tends to get destroyed a lot too.

Special EffectsThe special effects in the film make each fight, drone or Iron Man suit look realistic through the film which is what needed for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Monte Carlo entrance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a small pacing issue.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel that continues to build the universe we know now, Tony still needs to learn about his place and how to handle the suit which is important and shows the past could come back to haunt you.

 

Overall: Fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer:  Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin (Comics)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin, Danai Gurira

 

Plot: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe.


Tagline – Avenge the fallen.

Runtime: 3 Hours 1 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cinematic Masterpiece

 

Story: Avengers: Endgame starts in the aftermath of the actions a Thanos (Brolin) in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, the remaining Avengers and the world are dealing with the consequences of the snap. The Avengers, Ironman (Downey Jr), Captain America (Evans), Hulk (Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth), Black Widow (Johansson), War Machine (Cheadle), Nebula (Gillan), Rocket are joined by Captain Marvel (Larson) and Hawkeye (Renner) to go face to face and look to undo Thanos actions.

 

Thoughts on Avengers: Endgame

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie I just don’t want to get into any more details about the story, or characters action through the film. This is however one of the greatest achievements in cinema history, to be able to bring us the 22nd film in a franchise and have the stakes on this high of a level, you are just left stunned by the spectacle of this movie. We easily get the best performances from many of the big cast members including Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans.

We do get one of the finest, most breath-taking scenes in the whole franchise that will bring the emotional factor to a level unlike anything we have see before. This does help us because of the factor of the emotional effect of the snap that we see not just the Avengers, but how the world is dealing with them.

This is one that I want to revisit for a lengthy review, which could include spoilers.

 

Overall: The Cinematic Event that we were Promised.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – T – Traffic (2000)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Stephen Gaghan (Screenplay) Simon Moore (Miniseries)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones

 

Plot: A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America’s escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a crack addict. Two DEA agents protect an informant. A jailed drug baron’s wife attempts to carry on the family business.


Tagline – It’s a dirty, dirty war! And no one comes away clean

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burning Crime Thriller

 

Story: Traffic starts by following two Mexican Cops Javier Rodriguez (Del Toro) and Manolo Sanchez (Vargas) who aren’t part of the drug trafficking side of the business, though they must turn a blind eye. America is trying to clean up the drug war by hiring judge Robert Wakefield (Douglas) to take the battle to them, while DEA agents Ray Castro (Guzman) and Montel Gordon (Cheadle) are dealing with an informant. As a drug lord is taken away his wife Helena (Zeta-Jones) must deal with the consequences of her husband’s actions.

With the four sides needing to think of their futures, Javier makes a desperate decision, Robert needing to deal with his own personal problems including his daughter crack addiction, Montel wanting to be on the front line without losing more people and Helena wanting to continue her husband’s business either after being watched by the authority.

 

Thoughts on Traffic

 

Characters – Javier Rodriguez has been working on the Mexican side of the drug battle, one of the good cops that gets pressed into making a big decision which could affect his partner and his own family. Robert Wakefield is being lined up to lead the battle on the drugs from the American side of the war, his promotion is huge for his career, but his own teenage daughter has become a drug addict spiralling out of control, leaving him in the position of needing to win the war or save his family. Montel Gordon is the DEA agent that has been on the ground trying to get to the truth about who is behind the drug deals going on. Helena is the wife of the drug lord who wants to keep the business alive even after her husband is taken to jail, knowing her kids will need the money for their own futures.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are good through the film, while most of the big character barely ever connect with each other, the separate performances from Bel Toro, Douglas, Zeta-Jones and Cheadle are all strong for the film.

StoryThe story here follows separate stories involved in the drug war going on between Mexican and American sides of war as see the people on the ground, the people in political officers and the dealer’s family. We do jump between the stories a lot which can make it hard to keep up with everything because the jump between them and lack of connection can be disconnecting for the audience. It does give us an insight to the drug war that is on going between the countries and how the people can be drawn to extremes to get their own fixes. The cops will be pushed too far without having any power when it comes to taking down the criminals without crossing the lines. With plenty of questions being asked it would have been nice to have more answered.

CrimeThe crime world we are thrown into shows us just how the criminal world of drugs operates be it with the deals, the legal system or the users and how the problem is looking to be solved.

SettingsThe film does take us to many different locations as we get to see how everything operates, we see the Mexican dealer’s life of luxury home, to the political offices taking on the war to the dens where the users get attracted too.


Scene of the Movie –
Seth is being excused today.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many stories going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong look at the drug war, it does have too many stories going on at once which can drag you down because each character feels like they are meant to be important in their own way.

 

Overall: Over saturated movie

Rating