ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Ravenous (1999)

Director: Antonia Bird

Writer: Ted Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, John Spencer

 

Plot: In a remote military outpost in the 19th Century, Captain John Boyd and his regiment embark on a rescue mission which takes a dark turn when they are ambushed by a sadistic cannibal.


Tagline – Bon apétit!

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tasty Addition

 

Story: Ravenous starts as Captain John Boyd (Pearce) is left disgraced during a battle gets set to a quiet military outpost to save face for the army. The Outpost is filled with a mix of different men including Cleaves (Arquette), Toffler (Davies) and Hart (Jones).

When a stranger Colqhoun (Carlyle) is rescued he tells the tale of his journey which saw his men turn into cannibals but he escaped the panic. The men set out to rescue the remaining survivors across the harsh snow-covered mountain range with Colqhoun as their guide. When Colqhoun’s true nature is released it becomes a battle to survive against the blood thirsty maniac.

 

Thoughts on Ravenous

 

Characters – Captain John Boyd is known to the people as a hero, but he is anything but that as survived rather than won his battle. He is relocated to a small outpost where he can work with the quiet group of soldiers but soon he finds himself needing to face his own demons when a sadistic cannibal starts picking off his unit. Colqhoun is the stranger discovered with a story of a cannibal group in the woods, but soon we learn he is a lone sadistic cannibal just looking for more food. The rest of the characters are just other soldiers in the unit that have different drive through the film.

PerformancesGuy Pearce is great in this leading role of a man who must face his own demons while also questioning his own sanity. Robert Carlyle is also great in this film, we see his calm ability to keep people listening to him even if he is the one doing things wrong. The rest of the cast are good without getting too much time to shine on the level of the two leads.

StoryThe story takes us into a world of cannibals and disgraced soldiers, we see how one man is left to battle his own demons while dealing with a sadistic cannibal that no one else is believing his true colours. This is a battle between the two men to stay ahead of the other and as things unfold we get twists on how they will stay ahead of each other too, which does keep us guessing to how this will play out.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of the movie comes from the effects of cannibalism on the characters with the horror showing us just how far a character could go to survive, including eating human flesh.

SettingsThe setting helps because our characters feel isolated through everything that happens which helps Colqhoun get around so easily.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the horrors of what is happening with the most part being practical effects which helps us enjoy the environment we are placed into.


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain search.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting David Arquette.

Final ThoughtsThis was a good fantasy horror involving cannibals, it does have a few tonal problems mostly with Colqhoun because one minute he is calm but the next he is blood driven and it flicks between the two too often.

 

Overall: Great addition to the cannibal movies.

Rating

 

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Jessica Chastain Weekend – Lawless (2012)

Director: John Hillcoat

Writer: Nick Cave (Screenplay) Matt Bondurant (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman

 

Plot: Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Standard Historical Crime Story

 

Story: Lawless starts as we meet the three brothers Bondurant, youngster Jack (LaBeouf), Forrest (Hardy) and Howard (Clarke), the eldest two have a reputation of being indestructible, the three are bootlegging alcohol during the prohibition era in America. Business is great and their reputation keeps people away from.

This changes when Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Pearce) arrives looking to clean up Franklin County, Virginia, this helps Jack learn how to be part of the business in the violent side of the business. This leas Jack to make a deal with the deadliest bootlegger Floyd Banner (Oldman) and the war begins between gangs and cops.

 

Thoughts on Lawless

 

Characters/PerformanceJack is the youngster brother, he has always looked up to his brothers to do the dirty work but now he wants to get out there and get his hands dirty, Forrest if the toughest member of the family, he the one conducting most of the business and he will also be the muscles when someone messes with them. Howard is the eldest member of the brothers, he survived the war and now looks for fights while drinking. Charlie Rakes is the man trying to shut down the bootlegging business, he will kill the people involved to send his message. Floyd Banner is the biggest name in the business and now he works with the brothers but will kill anyone who crosses him.

Performance wise, Shia is good in the leading role fitting the part of lead well, Hardy is the best performer where here as the ruthless member of the team, otherwise the rest of the cast are all good throughout the film all doing what you would expect from the genre.

StoryThe story follows the bootleggers during the prohibition era in America, we see the rise of one, the downfall of another an mostly just how things went down in the battle to be the men that get turned too for supplies. This isn’t the most interesting story as none of the characters are overly likeable.

Crime The throws us into a crime world of the prohibition era which shows us just what this would have been like for the men involved.

SettingsThe settings show us just how shady the operations were on the back-country roads on America.

Final ThoughtsThis is fine, nothing special movie that can easily be forgotten when it is all set and done.

 

Overall: Fine but nothing special.

Rating

 

 

Memento (2000)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan (Screenplay) Jonathan Nolan (Short Story)

Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox

 

Plot: A man juggles searching for his wife’s murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece Thriller

 

Story: Memento starts as Leonard (Pearce) a man with no short-term memory, but has come up with a way to cope with the situation where he leaves notes on his body which will give him answers to his wife murder. Assisting him on this investigation is Natalie’s (Moss) and Teddy (Pantoliano) but with Leonard’s handicap are people taking advantage of him?

We are left to wonder just who did kill Leonard’s wife because each scene points him in a different direction to who was behind it all.

 

Thoughts on Memento

 

Characters – Leonard is a man who is investigating his own wife’s death but with his own short-term memory problem Leonard is finding it hard to figure out who to trust, with only the answers tattooed on his body. Natalie is a woman that Leonard meets who has also lost somebody and she does help him. Teddy is the other main person that is helping Leonard through the situation.

PerformanceGuy Pearce does give the performance of his career showing the full emotion his character is going through. Carrie-Anne Moss is good with her limited screen time. Joe Pantoliano is brilliant in the supporting role as we never know the truth about his character.

StoryAt the core of this story we have a mystery that needs to be sold, but the story is told in a different order than we would expect, even though this film is told in reverse the twists are still coming through thick and fast leaving us wondering about the characters involved from start to finish.

Mystery/ThrillerThe mystery comes into play early as we are giving the idea that someone has killed Leonard’s wife and now we want to know where things are going even though things are in reverse the clues keep popping up.

SettingsThe settings show us just where the characters are getting through with no big set pieces but just the crime world the characters find themselves in.

Special EffectsWe have a few effects but we don’t need too many for the story to unfold.

Scene of the Movie – So, I am chasing this guy’

I always get annoyed by one thing in a movie, this is that moment I am picking the slightly under written character of Natalie as the picky point.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the great thrillers ever made, it truly will keep you wondering even if the beginning is the end of the story.

 

Overall: Must watch for the Nolan fans.

Rating

 

 

Genius (2016)

geniusDirector: Michael Grandage

Writer: John Logan (Screenplay) A Scott Berg (Book)

Starring: Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, Guy Pearce, Dominic West, Vanessa Kirby, Mark Arnold

 

Plot: A chronicle of Max Perkins’s time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas WolfeErnest HemingwayF. Scott Fitzgerald and others.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid History Lesson

 

Story: Genius starts in New York 1929 where Maxwell Perkins (Firth) an editor for Scribner who is considered the best in his office that others come to with work they believe need to be appreciated. The latest work is from Thomas Wolfe (Law) and it has taken his breath away even though it has been reject by all the rest of the publicist around New York.

Seeing the greatness in the novel Max works with Thomas to trim the work so the mass audience will go out of their way to read the next American classic. We continue to see how Max worked with best minds including F Scott Fitzgerald (Pearce) and Ernest Hemingway (West) as we see how Maxwell was the man behind who made some of the biggest books happen. We do focus on the Maxwell and Thomas relationship as they spend years working on the latest work which will become one of the biggest in American history but will also test the men’s personal relationships.

Genius falls into yet another history lesson of a great mind that didn’t get everything out before he was taken from this world. This time we focus on author Thomas Wolfe and the unique style he went to make sure he could get out his stories. We get to see the relationship with the man behind the work who helped make it the legendary book he could tell. The film is slightly slow in places and we don’t get a full extent of the time period it is all set over which disappoints in places. It was nice to learn more about certain men in history but it is also a film that I wouldn’t be re-watching any time in the future.

 

Overall: Solid history lesson but disappointing with how much detail it does into everything.

Rating51

 

 

The King’s Speech (2010)

logoDirector: Tom Hooper

Writer: David Seidler (Screenplay)

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Gambon

 

Plot: Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George (‘Bertie’) reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.

 

Verdict: Brilliant Drama

 

Story: With many people around the world suffering from speech impediments this shows how someone who was such public figure had to overcome his to lead a nation into war. In fairness it isn’t solely about this, we see how the royal family was struggling to cope with a scandal with an heir to the throne and how the family treats Bertie differently because of his problems. We also see that being in a role of power can alienate people leading to a friendship growing between both Bertie and Lionel. In conclusion this is a brilliant story of how one man faced his biggest weakness and conquered it to become a leader. (10/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Colin Firth: King George VI at the start he is second in line to the throne, with the new invention of radio requires public speaking and skill he doesn’t have due to a speak impediment. He has tried all sorts of treatments, but all have failed. He tries one more person Lionel Logue who pushes him in direction he would never have been pushed. He takes up the advice and comes along leaps and bounds under him all while dealing with family issues before taking his seat as the King of England, leader of the nation. Brilliant performance from Colin, which won him an Oscar.  (10/10)

 colin

Geoffrey Rush: Lionel Logue the unconventional speech therapist who gets selected to try and help King George overcome this problem with the methods no one has been brave enough to try on him. Lionel pushed George to limits he wasn’t used to and gets results. He also builds a friendship which he never knew he could achieve. Brilliant performance from Geoffrey who also got a Oscar nomination for this role. (10/10)

rush

Helen Bonham Carter: Queen Elizabeth George’s wife who is trying to help him find the right person to help cure his problem. She is loyal and always stands by his side and always encourages him even when other people put him down. Great performance as the supporting wife. (9/10)

 carter

Guy Pearce: King Edward VIII old brother to Bertie who was next in line to be king but due to his choice in wife he has to give up his chance pushing Bertie into a role he never thought he would get. He also intimidates his young brother because of his confidence. Good supporting performance playing the role well. (8/10)

 guy

Director Review: Tom Hooper – Great direction telling the incredible story of George’s courage. (10/10)

 

Biography: Brilliant to show how one man’s struggle will become his greatest strength. (10/10)

Drama: Brilliant drama that flows at a perfect pace. (10/10)

Settings: Each setting is perfectly re-created authentic settings for the time period. (10/10)

Suggestion: This is a must watch, but what Oscar winning best picture film is not? (Watch)

 

Best Part: The final speech

Worst Part: The non-drama fans will find it slow.

Believability: Yes based on the true story.(10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 107 awards across all ceremonies as well as a further 131 nominations.

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best original Screenplay. Was also nominated for a further 8 Oscars

Box Office: $414 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: When God couldn’t save The King, The Queen turned to someone who could.

 

Overall: Brilliant Drama About Overcoming One’s Problems.

Rating 95