ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – S – Salt and Fire (2016)

Director: Werner Herzog

Writer: Werner Herzog (Screenplay) Tom Bissell (Short Story)

Starring: Veronica Ferres, Michael Shannon, Gael Garcia Bernal, Volker Michalowski, Lawrence Krauss, Anita Briem

 

Plot: A scientist blames the head of a large company for an ecological disaster in South America. But when a volcano begins to show signs of erupting, they must unite to avoid a disaster.


Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Dull

 

Story: Salt and Fire starts as three scientists representing the United Nations Laura (Ferres), Dr Cavani (Bernal) and Dr Meier (Michalowski) are on their latest mission but find themselves taken hostage by Matt Riley (Shannon) in South America, but not everything is what it seems as Matt explains the actions of his team to Laura and the goals they are trying to reach.

Laura’s team is bought together for a reason, to study an ever-increasing Salt plain which could bring around a volcanic explosion that could end the world as we know it.

 

Thoughts on Salt and Fire

 

Characters – Laura Sommerfeld is the lead UN doctor on the latest mission, but she gets taken hostage by a radical group that want to take down a cooperation that has accidently started the end of the world, she must learn about the salt plain that could end the world. Matt Riley is the man behind the hostage taking as he knows about the potential threat to the world. Doctor Cavani is the loud mouth of the team that is also cowardly, he works with Laura but is sick for most of the film. we don’t get very much from any of the supporting characters in this film.

PerformancesVeronica Ferres is the main actress, she is in every scene as we see how she learns about the story unfold, she is solid in the leading role but never enough to hold our attention. Michael Shannon is good in his role but we just don’t get enough from him character, this can be said for most of the cast we just needed more from their characters.

StoryThe story follows one doctor that must learn of an impending disaster which needs solving even though it is considered unsolvable.  This story is dull and slow, but it does have meaning when you look at the message trying to be sent, other than that it is too preachy for its own good. It tries to make us feel guilty for a new threat to the world that is manmade but is slowly becoming too much.

ThrillerThis film tries to keep us on edge but in the end, you just don’t hit the edge of your seat by a long way.

SettingsThe film is set in an unknown location in South America, it is designed to make us feel like it could be anywhere in the world that this could happen.


Scene of the Movie –
Photo time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Overly preachy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that doesn’t hit the marks it should, it could be breath-taking but in the end just sends you to sleep.

 

Overall: This movie was just painfully boring to watch from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – M – The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

Director: Walter Salles

Writer: Jose Rivera (Screenplay) Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, Albertto Grando (Book)

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo De la Serna, Mia Maestro, Mercedes Moran, Jean Pierre Noher

 

Plot: The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life’s calling.


Tagline – Before he changed the world the world changed him

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: The Motorcycle Diaries starts as Ernesto (Bernal) and Alberto (Serna) head off on their motorcycle journey across South America, starting in his native Argentina as they look for some self-discovery. As the journey continues they head through Chile and learn about a new culture as they use their skills to get supplies to continue their journey.

Using Ernesto’s medical training to help the poor that they have medical problems in exchange for supplies and rooms as they learn their purpose in life.

 

Thoughts on The Motorcycle Diaries

 

Characters – Ernesto is a medical student in Argentina, that goes on this journey of self-discovery before taking on his final year of studies. He gets to learn about life as he prepares for this next step in his life which will help him as he becomes the iconic figure Che. Alberto is the best friend joining him on the journey, he tries to push Ernesto to breaking the rules, being dishonest to get what they need supplies. Chichina is the woman that Ernesto falls in love with back in Argentina at the start of his journey, she gives him an extra reason to return.

PerformancesGael Garcia Bernal became a star after this performance, he has gone onto being one of the stars of Pixar’s new movie Coco, this shows the skills he must show the heart and kindness his character had towards helping the poor. The rest of the cast support his performance wonderfully as we do meet plenty of different people along the way.

StoryThe story here follows the two young men that travel across South America, learning different levels of poverty being experienced by people without access to medical supplies, they learn their purpose in the world which opens the eyes to one of the most iconic revolutionaries of all time Che. It does play out like an adventure like they would never be able to experience again and for that it must be praised, because any story which teaches life lessons is a must watch.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure our two men go on takes them from their guaranteed future in science and medical to learning the troubles the people of South America are experiencing and learning different cultures. The fact this is based on Ernesto’s own story before becoming an icon of revolution only helps explain his decisions.

SettingsThe settings show us the different countries, the breath-taking views, the open roads and different weather conditions they must go through.


Scene of the Movie –
Peru party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One part which could add something else would be to see where they have come from, money or poverty or whichever.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful biopic of an icon before he became the icon the world would know, this gives him motivation to follow his ideas.

 

Overall: Must watch biopic.

Rating

 

 

Coco (2017)

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

Writers: Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich (Screenplay) Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil

 

Plot: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.


Tagline – The celebration of a lifetime

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Magnificently Magical

 

Story: Coco starts as we meet Miguel a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician, his family in Mexico have forbidden any music with his grandmother Abuelita refusing to let Miguel even hold an instrument. When Miguel learns that he is related to the greatest musician in all of Mexico Ernesto de la Cruz, he wants to follow his dream and follow in his great-great grandfather’s footsteps.

On the day of the dead, Miguel tries performing music using Ernesto’s guitar, but only finds himself transformed to the land of the dead, where he meets his dead relatives, but he refuses to give up on his dreams of music until he gets the blessings of his ancestors, with the help of Hector who is desperate to visit the land of the living as no one remembers him.

 

Thoughts on Coco

 

Characters – Miguel is a young Mexican boy that dreams of becoming a musician, but his family forbid it, when Miguel refuses to give up on his dream he must travel through the land of the dead to learn why his family isn’t letting him play music, an adventure he will never forget, that will define his life. Hector is the hustler skeleton that helps Miguel try to find Ernesto, he uses his know how to guide Miguel through the city of the dead. He is trying to find a way to be remembered by the living so, he doesn’t fade away forever. Ernesto de la Cruz is Miguel great-great grandfather who is one of the most famous musicians Mexico ever produced. We have the family in both the land of the living and the dead that love and want to support Miguel.

StoryThe story follows a young boy with dreams of being a musician against his family’s wishes. He wants to break the family tradition, but a trip to the land of the dead will show him why his family is against him ever being a musician. The story dives into Mexican culture, playing on the ideas of the spiritual beliefs and family traditions and teaches you to never forget family whatever they might have done to hurt you.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Fantasy/MusicThe adventure that Miguel goes on is unlike any Pixar character as he goes through the land of the dead. The comedy seems to mostly come from Dante the dog who will make you laugh in every scene. The whole story revolves around family and can be related to by anyone. The fantasy world of the land of the dead look fantastic and plays into the idea of never knowing what is on the other side. The music has a couple of memorable songs which drive the story and even play on the emotions.

SettingsThe settings show is visual beautiful as we see the land of the dead looking something special to visit.

AnimationPixar is always going to get you seeing wonderful animation style that we know they can do.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening 30 minutes is run of the mile animation.

Final ThoughtsThis is a magical movie that teaches us the meaning of the family and remembering the importance of them all. This will make you smile and even cry at times.

 

Overall: Wonderfully animation movie.

Rating

 

 

Neruda (2016)

NERUDA is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital from 10th July.

Director: Pablo Larrain

Writer: Guillermo Calderon (Screenplay)

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Mercedes Moran, Emilio Gutierrez Caba, Diego Munoz

 

Plot: An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the Communist Party.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Edge of your Seat Historical Thriller

 

Story: Neruda starts in the years following World War II, Senator Pablo Neruda (Gnecco) and Nobel Prize-Winning poet going against the President of Chile, he gets called a communist and must face jail or life on the run. Pablo choices to go on the run while still fighting for his beliefs with Inspector Oscar Peluchonneau (Bernal) assigned to ruin him.

We see how Neruda used his abilities as a poet to stay one step ahead of the police with people happy to open their door to a man they considered a great man, with this Inspector Oscar learns how Neruda can be staying in hiding and learning to follow the clues about this man wondering if he is as much of a criminal as the President makes him out to be.

 

Thoughts on Neruda

 

Characters/PerformancePablo Neruda is a brilliant poet, famous throughout Chile, he was a senator but must give up his limelight life once he is accused of being a communist but he remains on the run with the connection that still respect him for his work. Oscar Peluchonneau is the man that is tracking Neruda, handpicked by the President as he stays calm during his pursuit as he learns more about the man he is tracking.

Performance wise, Gael Garcia Bernal is good through the film as the inspector tracking down Neruda. Luis Gnecco is the star of this film effortless stepping into the shoes of the poet.

StoryThe story of the cat and mouse between Neruda and Oscar is an interesting watch, because we do learn about the man hunt for an accused communist who was respected by too many people to be turned on by them all. We see both sides of the hunt too, if you hadn’t heard of this poet and his battle to stay free, then you will get to see how he achieved this now.

Biography/CrimeLooking into the life of Pablo Neruda is an interesting view point because now we can see how this man was considered a criminal having to live a life on the run when he didn’t commit any crimes.

SettingsThe settings show us how Neruda could stay hidden for so long and how he kept his reputation through this time.

Final ThoughtsFor all the history fans out there, this is a film you will be enjoying learning about a nationwide man hunt that is well known through Chile.

 

Overall: This is an interesting historical drama learning about a great poet that escaped the country.

Rating