End of Watch (2012)

endDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Natalie Martinez, Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera, Cody Horn

 

Plot: Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raw Intense Crime Story

 

Story: End of Watch starts as we follow film studying Brian (Gyllenhaal) a police officers that works with Mike (Pena) on the streets of LA. Brian sets up cameras to follow the two on duty as they get stuck in the middle of drug battle as the two races clash for dominance on the streets.

We see the officers getting themselves into the middle of a string of events as we also watch both sides of the war play their cards as they become more deadly each time.

End of Watch is a crime thriller that does everything it can to show just how intense the battles on the streets of LA can be. We get to see just how divided both sides are and how the cops do their best to deal with the situations. On the negative side of this we have the film shot like a documentary which means we get a lot of shaky cam which takes us out of the story too much to enjoy this one. I can see how people will enjoy this as it does come off different to the normal but setting most of the film from within the cameras of the cop we randomly end up with the criminals too which shows we weren’t set for a found footage style either just a random set of handheld shots.

 

Actor Review

 

Jake Gyllenhaal: Brian is studying to be more than just a police officer and one of his fields of studying is film. Brian along with his partner Mike record their time together in the LAPD dealing with different drugs gangs and crimes. We get to see how he sees life as he wants to find the perfect woman but can’t always find her until Janet turns up in his life. Jake is strong in this role working off Pena really well.

Michael Pena: Mike is the partner to Brian who is a family man, he has great chemistry and his heritage helps dealing with Mexican problems they find on the street. Michael is good as he always is with a partnership film.

Natalie Martinez: Gabby is the wife of Mike who stays at home to raise their family, she has been with Mike her whole life after marry young and supports him in each decision he makes. Natalie is only really used as a supporting character never getting enough time to shine.

Anna Kendrick: Janet is the new woman that comes into Brian’s life she helps make him want to settle down being the woman he has always been searching for. Anna also struggles to the same was as Natalie but she does actually look out of place in this role.

Support Cast: End of Watch has a supporting cast which includes all the fellow members of law authority as well as all the different criminals the two officers run into on their duties. Each one offers something new for them to deal with.

Director Review: David AyerDavid does try to give us a raw feeling crime thriller and that all works great its adding the shaky cam which takes away from this film too much.

 

Crime: End of Watch puts us in the middle of a crime war building up between a rising gang and the police.

Thriller: End of Watch does try to drag us into where the men are going with their job but not enough.

Settings: End of Watch keeps nearly the whole film within the rougher neighbourhoods of LA where the two cops stand duty, this does help us understand the situation the men will find themselves in.
Special Effects
: End of Watch has solid effects when it comes to the gun battles going on in the film.

Suggestion: End of Watch is not an easy watch but I do think the crime film fans out there will enjoy this one. (Crime Film Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Chemistry between Jake and Michael.

Worst Part: Shaky cam doesn’t seem necessary.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $41 Million

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Watch Your Six September 28 

Trivia: After Taylor and Zavala pull over the male in the pickup who tries to shoot Zavala, Taylor holds up four fingers to Orozco when she asks, “Are you good?” This is often used by police to signal “Code Four,” meaning “I’m okay; no additional assistance needed at this time.”

 

Overall: Difficult to watch crime thriller that is raw and intense but shaky cam doesn’t work.

Ratingcard

 

 

Advertisements

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

purgeDirector: James DeMonaco

Writer: James DeMonaco (Screenplay)

Starring: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, Joseph Julian Soria, Betty Gabriel, Terry Serpico, Edwin Hodge, Kyle Secor

 

Plot: Years after sparing the man who killed his son, former police sergeant Barnes has become head of security for Senator Charlie Roan, a Presidential candidate targeted for death on Purge night due to her vow to eliminate the Purge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Improvement All Around

 

Story: The Purge: Election Year starts as the movement going against the idea of the Purge when people learn that the government has been using the Purge to save money. With an Election coming up independent candidate Senator Charlie Roan (Mitchell) who is campaigning to end the Purge after she was the sole survivor or a Purge attack.

The government has been lining up a clean-up job for The Purge this year with Senator Charlie Roan and other people who are against them and Leo Barnes (Grillo) is tasked with keeping her safe through the Purge. On the other side of the story we meet Joe Dixon (Williamson) who runs a small deli and has to protect it during Purge Night after his insurance rates go up.

With the Purge underway who will survive the night when tourists have come to America to join in the killing for the fun. Can the world be changed with the outcome of this night?

The Purge: Election Year brings us into the world of The Purge where we actually see people turning against the idea for the first time. We get the idea of having both sides of a political debate which would happen through a Purge like event. Sure we do have some poorly written characters which are filled with racial moments at times. Overall the story is easy to follow and does lack twists but is fully embracing the idea behind the film to the fullest.

 

Actor Review

 

Frank Grillo: Leo Barnes is the returning hero who is against the Purge after nearly committing the revenge crime a few years ago. He knows works as head of security of Senator Charlie Roan who if she wins will end the purge tradition. Leo trusts no one which is the only way he knows how to keep the Senator safe. Frank is great as the leading action star in this movie becoming the face of the franchise.

Elizabeth Mitchell: Senator Charlie Roan is the sole survivor of a Purge game with her family, she has led a campaign to run for President so she can end the Purge forever. With the Purge night in full effect she becomes the prime target for the government so they can continue their Purge night. She must find herself outside surviving the Purge with her bodyguard Leo and anyone else who wants to do the right thing. Elizabeth is strong in this role being a leader in the making.

Mykelti Williamson: Joe Dixon is a local deli owner who just wants to defend his deli during the Purge night but when he comes to the defence to the Senator he does the right thing with his connections from his shady past. Mykelti is good in this supporting role where he gets to take what feels like a Danny Glover role.

Joseph Julian Soria: Marcos is the loyal employee of Joe’s who just wants to protect the deli with his boss, he also has a shady past from his time in Mexico but now does the right thing. Joseph is good in this supporting role even if the character is slightly stereotypical.

Support Cast: The Purge: Election Year has a supporting cast which does include the only member to appear in all three films Dante Bishop. We also get a full array of colour psychotic characters who come out to Purge that give this the next level of dimension which we see improving each year.

Director Review: James DeMonacoJames gives us yet another improvement on the franchise which isn’t afraid to take on the social questions between the brutality offered.

 

Action: The Purge: Election Year could easily have the best pure action in a film so for this year to date, without any of the fantasy elements involved.

Horror: The Purge: Election Year does have brutal kills going on in the background of the film and while the concept is just about killing people for fun but the main story comes off full action.

Settings: The Purge: Election Year keeps everything inside the city throughout the film where the terror is going on which help show how one day you could be friends or stranger the next you are just going to kill that person.
Special Effects
: The Purge: Election Year has great effects when it comes to the kills involved in the film.

Suggestion: The Purge: Election Year is one you should watch if you liked the first two, but it is also one for all the action fans out there to enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Upping the action ante.

Worst Part: Some poorly written interaction with racial stereotypes.

Action Scene Of The Film: Church time.

Kill Of The Film: First founding father.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $63 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Keep America Great

 

Overall: Improving upon the last one yet again as this franchise keeps coming off stronger and stronger.

Ratingcarrd

 

 

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

casting cardDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Characters)

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt

 

Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best So Far

 

Story: Captain America: Civil War starts as we see Captain America (Evans) and his team Black Widow (Johansson), Falcon (Mackie) and Scarlet Witch (Olsen) taking down a criminal unit with their own villain in Crossbones (Grillo). But this does lead to a mistake happening as the heroes cause more damage than they should.

With the government looking to close down the Avengers while Zemo (Bruhl) is making his moves against Hydra.

Tony Stark (Downey Jr) and Captain America both clashing on whether to sign the document that will put a limit on the Avengers action and with this the lines start getting drawn between the two men. Tension increases when the peace talks get attacked with all the fingers pointing at the Winter Soldier (Stan).

Captain America not accepting that Winter Soldier is behind the attacks goes against the new deal finding himself arrested and branded a criminal. Once free the sides are drawn and battle between the superheroes is about to be unleashed.

Captain America: Civil War is the best Avengers movie we have seen to date, this is a simple fact that we have nearly all of the Avengers bar Thor and Hulk in this one with addition too. We have the heroes dealing with the consequences of their actions in previous films. The best addition to this story I would say is that villain, now without giving too much away it is his motivation which is great but while this is great it is also a negative because we don’t get enough time to focus on his side of the story because we are dealing with the battle from within for too long. Fresh off the back of once of the most average superhero films in recent years Batman v Superman this uses the character battles better making each moment a potential end for anyone of the character which really adds the tension needed in this film and I can safely say this is the one that could be saving the Marvel Cinematic Universe from becoming average.

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Evans: Captain America is leading his own team of Avengers that ends with innocent people being killed. This brings in a new world agreement that the Avengers only worked when called upon but Captain isn’t playing by those rules as he wants to prove his old friend Bucky the Winter Soldier is innocent of attacks. He draws his lines against Tony Stark leading to battle between the Avengers themselves. Chris gives his best performance in this film franchise to date.

Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark is willing to sign the agreement because he is feeling the effects of the innocent lives they have lost. He clashes with Captain making him the law in the battle for superhero supremacy. Robert is good in this role against Captain America which works very well.

Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow is one Captain America’s team but when the agreement is made she finds herself torn between the two men who are forcing fellow superheroes to pick sides. Scarlett does well with her performance but sadly she is very underused through the film.

Sebastian Stan: Winter Soldier is Captain America’s good friend that is being framed through the film, Steve stands by him through the battle making him the one that is causing the friction between the heroes. Sebastian is great in this supporting role being the middle man for the bigger picture.

Support Cast: Captain America: Civil War the biggest cast so far with each character getting their moment in the battle and the story, we also get new characters like Black Panther and Spiderman introduced like they have been part of this universe from the very start.

Director Review: Anthony Russo, Joe RussoAnthony & Joe give us the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

 

Action: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant action sequences going on from start to finish as we see the heroes fight each other.

Adventure: Captain America: Civil War puts our heroes on the adventure that will put their alliances to question.

Sci-Fi: Captain America: Civil War throws us into the middle of a sci-fi battle with superheroes.

Superhero: Captain America: Civil War could actually be the best use of superheroes we have seen in the Marvel world.

Settings: Captain America: Civil War uses the settings to make the action happen, but with most of the fighting only being between the heroes we end up in locations where innocent people can’t be hurt.
Special Effects
: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant special effects to make all of the battle sequences look breath taking.

Suggestion: Captain America: Civil War is the Marvel film I think people should be going to watch first now. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Airport battle.

Worst Part: The villain is excellent but we don’t see enough of him.

Action Scene Of The Film: Airport Battle.

Funniest Scene: Airport Battle.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: Special effects nomination should be heading this films way.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

Tagline: Whose side are you on? 

Trivia: This is the live-action debut of T’Challa, the Black Panther, one of the first African superheroes.

 

Overall: This is the best film from the marvel cinematic universe to date.

Ratingcard

 

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

logoDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily Van Camp

 

Plot: For Steve Rogers, awakening after decades of suspended animation involves more than catching up on pop culture; it also means that this old school idealist must face a world of subtler threats and difficult moral complexities. That comes clear when Director Nick Fury is killed by the mysterious assassin, the Winter Soldier, but not before warning Rogers that SHIELD has been subverted by its enemies. When Rogers acts on Fury’s warning to trust no one there, he is branded as a traitor by the organization. Now a fugitive, Captain America must get to the bottom of this deadly mystery with the help of the Black Widow and his new friend, The Falcon. However, the battle will be costly for the Sentinel of Liberty, with Rogers finding enemies where he least expects them while learning that the Winter Soldier looks disturbingly familiar.

 

Verdict: Marvel Betrayal

 

Story: So we have seen what happened to Tony Stark after the Avengers now it is time to look at Captain America. He has learnt to adapt to the future, but still hasn’t really made any new friends. This story shows how the SHIELD has been compromised and Captain America has become the villain, he must clear his name and find out what has happened and who is responsible. Seems simple really, we have a few personal battles like Captain America and The Winter Soldier true identity. In the end it is a welcome addition to the series and with a post credits scene that really builds to the next chapter but in the end I found this just another average comic book story that is important to the series but not the most memorable. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Evans: Captain America now used to the future but when Nick Fury is killed, he is the only one who can uncover the truth, but he does bring along a couple of familiar faces and a few new faces that are welcome allies. He has to prove who was responsible before he is taken out but SHEILD. Good performance from Evans who is growing into the role as the films come. (9/10)

 captain

Samuel L. Jackson: Nick Fury planning to always be one step ahead at SHIELD he gets blocked out of the system before being target by assassins. Fury would eventually return to Captain America for help before he is killed leading to everything else that happens. Good supporting performance with typical Jackson intensity. (8/10)

fury

Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow the deadly assassin who teams up with Captain to uncover the truth, with her brilliant combat skills she makes a great addition to the team. Good performance showing her kick ass skills. (8/10)

 widow

Robert Redford: Alexander Pierce the head of SHIELD who has been planning his own take over using his connection with HYDRA. He uses his intelligence to get what he wants and push people into supporting him. Good villain performance without using any combats just his brains. (8/10)

 redford

Sebastian Stan: Winter Solider an assassin who is trying to kill Captain America, but he is also a man from his past, Captain tries to talk him around but he is fully programed to kill and complete his mission. Good performance making a villain with conflict. (8/10)

 winter solder

Anthony Mackie: Falcon a soldier with big dreams that bumps into Captain who gives him a chance to prove himself, which he does becoming a trust ally in fights. Good performance in the sidekick role. (8/10)

falcon

Director Review: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo – Good direction to keep the franchise going in the right direction. (8/10)

 

Action: Good action that keeps upping the levels as film continues. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Good look at a future world that could happen with the wrong people in power. (9/10)

Settings: Good settings used but nothing that can really make the sense different. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Solid special effects used throughout. (9/10)

Suggestion: This one for all the franchise fans and all action fans will enjoy this. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Car invasion.

Worst Part: Filler for next part.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Fight

Funniest Scene: Interrogation scene.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $713 Million

Budget: $170 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

Tagline: In heroes we trust.

 

Overall: Just Another Superhero Film

Rating 72

The Grey (2011)

logoDirector: Joe Carnahan

Writer: Joe Carnahan, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (Screenplay) Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (Short Story ‘Ghost Walker’)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, James Badge Dale, Ben Bray

 

Plot: In Alaska, a team of oil workers board a flight home; however, they cross a storm and the airplane crashes. Only seven workers survive in the wilderness and John Ottway (Neeson), who is a huntsman that kills wolves to protect the workers, assumes leadership of the group. Shortly after they learn that they are surrounded by a pack of wolves and Ottway advises that they should seek protection in the woods. But while they talk through the heavy snow, they are chased and attacked by the carnivorous mammals.

 

Verdict: Survival Thriller

 

Story: Having a group of generic survivors in an against the odds race to survive is not the most original of stories. This puts these survivors up against a different enemy though, being the wolves which are just as lethal as any other enemy they could have come up against. The story has it’s touching moments when the group talk about what they are trying to get back to, as well as having the tense showdowns with the wolves next to the fights with them. The story offers everything to enjoy and moves at a nice pace, it just lacks original characters for the scenario. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Liam Neeson: Ottway the man whose job it is to stop the wolves hunting the workers and after the crash uses all his experience to keep everyone alive as long as he can. Haunted by a troubled past and visions of his wife we are left to guess throughout what happened to her that drove him to his isolation state. Great performance from Liam showing he is now a lead action star. (9/10)

 neeson

Frank Grillo: Diaz the typical against the hero guy, unwilling to help and constantly disagreeing with Ottway, but in the end makes a sacrifice for the good guys when the time came. Good role and performance from Grillo. (8/10)

grillo

Dermot Mulroney: Talget an older member of the survivors who really is out his depth, but understands what is going on just not how to survive it. Good role that fills the wiser stereotype character. (7/10)

 talgat

Dallas Roberts: Hendrick the quiet one who somehow makes it a long way before going. Good performance filling the role of a character that we don’t seem to need to rot for even though he makes it so far. (7/10)

 hendrickk

Joe Anderson: Flannery talks too much causing everyone to be on edge, the first member of the team to make contact with Ottway but is the first to not make it on the journey. Good supporting role that makes a character you will actually remember even though he is only disposable one.(7/10)

 flannery

Nonso Anozie: Burke the token sick character that slows the team down, but never wants to give up or let them down. Good supporting role that shows how hard it is to give up during such an impossible time. (7/10)

 burke

Director Review: Joe Carnahan – Good direction building up tension, throwing in a few jumps and having a gentle moment when it is needed. (8/10)

 

Action: When the action happens it is good stuff, with the plane crash being one that will stick with you. (8/10)

Thriller: Great tension built up throughout. (9/10)

Settings: Great setting to create true isolation that leaves the guys not knowing where to really go for safety. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Good special effects for most of the wolf attacks, and plane crash. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest to try it, I think thriller fans will enjoy this, but it might not work for all as the slow moments can take away some of the best moments of tension. (Try it)

 

Best Part: The final showdown.

Worst Part: Misleading trailer.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Plane Crash.

Kill Of The Film: Hernandez

Believability: Works on the belief that this is how wolves act when an unknown enemy enters their territory. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Unlikely.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $77,278,331

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: Live or Die on This Day.

Trivia:Bradley Cooper was originally cast, but Liam Neeson replaced him.

 

Overall: Run, Hide, Fight, Survive, Just Avoid The Wolves

Rating 78