John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum (2019)

Director: Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, Marc Abrams (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Ian McShane, Jason Mantzoukas, Said Taghmaoui, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Mark Dacascos

 

Plot: Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.


Tagline – If you want peace, prepare for war

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutally Brilliant

 

Story: John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum starts right where the last film ended, John Wick (Reeves) has one hour before the bounty on his head becomes live reluctantly by Winston (McShane), John searches for a way to escape which sees him turning to old connections including The Director (Huston) and Sofia (Berry).

With John searching for safety or redemption, The Adjudicator (Dillon) is set to punish the people that helped John commit the kill in the previous film, with her chosen assassin Zero (Dacascos) proving to be one of the toughest enemies John has ever faced.

 

Thoughts on John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

 

Characters – John Wick is the world known assassin that broke the codes put in place, this sees him become the target this time with everybody wanting to hunt him down and cash in on his bounty. John does have connections which will see him stay ahead of the problems before he needs to make his own stand against the table. Sofia is from John’s past, she is the manager of another hotel who will help John because of what he did for her in the past, she is just as deadly of an assassin working hand in hand with her dogs, she is a character we want to see more of even if it is her own movie. Winston is the manager of the hotel in New York, he has run the place for 40 years and is reluctant to put the hit out on John, his delay will see him facing consequences of his action, but he is calm and always has a plan. Bowery King is a character we met last film, he has the ears of on the streets, left needing to honour the decision to go for the hit on John, he will also need to face actions for his decision to help John. Zero is the new assassin chosen to lead the battle against anybody that has help John, he has waited for this chance to get his hands on John to prove himself in combat. The Adjudicator has arrived to clean up the mess which led to John being able to kill inside the walls of the hotel, she is sent to punish anyone that helped John with the kill. Charon is the loyal member of the hotel that welcomes the guests and gets to step up when needed. The Director is one of the people John turns too, she does have a connection to his past which will be key to his escape.

PerformancesKeanu Reeves is fantastic once again in this role, he has made this character truly iconic in the action genre, with the effortless ability to step into the countless fight sequences. Halle Berry enters the franchise and gets one of the most memorable sequences, only wanting to see more from her character. Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Riddick continue to excel in the supporting roles, while Anjelica Huston adds to this list with ease. Mark Dacascos is a wonderful fighting villain, he even gets moments of comedy that don’t feel forced in anyway. Asia Kate Dillon is arguable the least known star in this film, she brings the a-game to shining in this role which shows authority and calmness through the film.

StoryThe story does pick up right where the last one left, showing us what happens next to John Wick when he becomes the target for all the fellow assassins in the world. This does continue to build the world that we have seen growing, showing how people can operate within the world. the story does follow John Wick facing endless amounts of enemies, connect to former contacts hoping they will honour their loyalty over the code, hoping to find a way to end the waves of enemies heading his way. The story does show how other characters have been affected by the actions in the previous film too, while also bringing in new characters with ease.

Action This is one of the purest, most brutal action films you will ever see, the fight sequences are breath-taking and you will see each and every blow giving out.

SettingsThe film uses the settings wonderfully, be it the New York, the hotel and even outside the city where John must visit for help.

Special EffectsThe effects are brutal as you end up seeing the wounds inflicted through the film, some even might make you wince that little bit.


Scene of the Movie –
John & Sofia double team fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me John getting a taxi in New York at half five and being confused about the traffic.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the greatest third instalments in any action film, it is a must watch for fans of the originals and makes the trilogy feel complete.

 

Overall: Must Watch Action Film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – F – Frankie & Alice (2010)

Director: Geoffrey Sax

Writer: Cheryl Edwards, Marko King, Mary King, Jonathan Watters, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse (Screenplay) Oscar Janiger, Philip Goldberg, Cheryl Edwards (Story)

Starring: Halle Berry, Stellan Skarsgard, Phylicia Rashad, Chandra Wilson, Alex Diakun, Joanne Baron

 

Plot: A drama centered on a go-go dancer with multiple personality disorder who struggles to remain her true self and begins working with a psychotherapist to uncover the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.


Tagline – Inspired by an amazing true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Drama, Lacking Casual Appeal

 

Story: Frankie & Alice starts as we meet go-go dancer Frankie (Berry) the most popular girl in the club who starts having strange episodes in her life, moments when she starts to believe she is a white woman. Oz (Skarsgard) a psychologist takes Frankie in and starts to try and figure out what is going on inside Frankie’s head.

Losing her job and finding herself in trouble with the law, Frankie must turn to Oz to help her by checking her in for 30-days to start with and soon they start to get to the bottom of everything.

 

Thoughts on Frankie & Alice

 

Characters – Frankie is a stripper that is the most popular girl in the club, she can have any guy she wants and usually gets them. One day she starts getting black outs where we see she becomes a different person, which only leaves who losing her job and running out of money. Seeking help, she learns she has multiple personality disorder and now she needs help to understand how to get this under control. Oz is the psychologist that is sees the problems in Frankie’s head and works against the trends to help her even if the rest of the doctors don’t believe things are real.

PerformancesHalle Berry is great in this leading role, she takes on the 3 personalities and makes each one feel unique for the difference in their characteristics. Stellan Skarsgard in a doctor role, he is always going to be one of the great doctor figures on the big screen. When we look at the rest of the cast we don’t get too many performers that standout in anyway.

StoryThe story here follows one woman that starts to lose her mind when the multiple personalities in her head start taking over, one doctor will try to help her unlock the past she has locked up to create these personalities. This is based on a real woman and doctor that worked together and it shows us just how committed doctors can be to solve a problem which others will dismiss, we get to see how misdiagnosis can cause bigger problems in life, but once you learn the truth you can put everything together to live a happy life. We knew this going in, this was never going to have an unhappy ending, but we should face the reality that certain people would have not made it through this. This story does show an important sign to help deal with mental health which could see people struggle through different times in life and tells us all we shouldn’t be afraid to get help.

BiopicThis shows us two real people, Frankie is an incredible and tragic story which has been hidden behind the personalities created in her mind and the doctor that would do anything to help her control them.

SettingsSet in the late 60’s we get an authentic feel for every scene of the movie, the divides in the neighbourhoods and the class difference between the rich and poor.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This isn’t going to be for a causal movie fan.

Final ThoughtsThis is an important look at deal with mental health in the 60s how certain doctors would push it aside while others tackled it head on, the story of Frankie shows us how we could understand a person going through such horrors could create these personalities.

 

Overall: Important and brave message.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Flintstones (1994)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Tom S Parker, Jim Jennewein, Steve E de Souza (Screenplay)

Starring: John Goodman, Elizabeth Perkins, Rick Moranis, Rosie O’Donnell, Kyle MacLachlan, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor

 

Plot: In this live-action feature of the cartoon show, Fred Flintstone finally gets the job he’s always wanted, but it may just come at a price.


Tagline – Yabba-dabba-doo it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: The Flintstones starts as we jump into Bedrock the place we loved as the cartoon, Fred Flintstone (Goodman) helps out his best friend Barney Rubble (Moranis) adopt Bam Bam their first child, in return Barney secretly swaps test scores with Fred leading to Fred getting a promotion to vice President.

Fred finds himself in a role he isn’t prepared for as he is being used by Cliff Vandercave (MacLachlan) who wants to use Fred to get away with stealing from the company and leaving Fred to take the blame, it isn’t long before the two families friendship put to the test.

 

Thoughts on The Flintstones

 

Characters – Fred Flintstone is the loveable idiot with a heart of gold, he works in the quarry, enjoys bowling and always has Barney for company, in this adventure he ends up in a role he can’t handle and his friendship being tested. Barney Rubble is the best friend of Fred’s that helps Fred get a promotion only to suffer the consequences, he wants to keep it a secret which will ruin the friendship. Wilma and Betty are the wives that support in the places with Cliff Vandercave being the typical business minded villain.

PerformancesJohn Goodman in the role of Fred work wonderfully because he first looks the part and secondly knows how to handle comedy. Rick Moranis handles the side comedy wonderfully while the rest of the cast are good without being overly interesting.

StoryThe question here was how do you turn the much loved cartoon into a functional feature length film, the story here does show us how Fred gets himself into a position he can’t handle and shows how Barney is the one to help him out of the position. It does feel like a feature length episode of the show which works well for the story even if it does have a couple of more serious sides to the story. the story is what we have seen in other comedies and won’t be overly testing on the audience.

Comedy/Family/FantasyThe film uses the comedy much like the cartoon does, things feel over the top and do get the laughs required, the whole family can enjoy moments of this film which does know how to offer comedy for all ages.

SettingsThe look of the Bedrock look great and pays the respect to the cartoon where we see the different dinosaurs living with the humans. Everything looks and seems to be practical too.

Special EffectsThe effects show us how practical effects can be used to create a world where the human dinosaur relationship works for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The quarry showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough Dino.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun family film that can be enjoyed by the fans of the original show, it has the jokes and references to what we know.

 

Overall: One for the family.

Rating

 

 

Kidnap (2017)

Director: Luis Prieto

Writer: Knate Lee (Screenplay)

Starring: Halle Berry, Sage Correa, Chris McGinn, Lewis Temple, Jason George

 

Plot: A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.


Tagline – They messed with the wrong mother.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thrilling Thrill-Ride

 

Story: Kidnap starts as single mother Karla (Berry) who works as a waitress is shown working her ass off just to get time to spend with her son Frankie (Correa) which the afternoon offers her. The trip takes a turn when a moment of dealing with her ex’s demands leads to her son getting kidnapped but unknown people and the glimpse of the captures leads to a high speed chase down the freeways.

How far with Karla go to rescue her son but just what is the motives of the kidnappers, that is the questions we are left to wonder about.

 

Thoughts on Kidnap

 

Characters – Karla is the waitress that works extra hard to keep everything together for her son Frankie, in one of those moments of looking after her son she finds herself distracted with a phone call and finds herself chasing down the kidnappers. We get to see the determination she is to save her son through the film showing that he is the only important part of her life. Frankie is the son that has been kidnapped. Margo is one of the kidnappers who has taken Frankie for seemingly money, I do feel like we needed to learn more about their motivation.

PerformancesHalle Berry is strong in her role in the film, she doesn’t have the look of someone who would win in a physical battle which is why she makes a great opponent for the kidnappers, the other performances are good without getting enough time to make the full impact in the film.

StoryThe story is single parent has child taken and will not stop until they get their child back. This has always been entertaining but we are used to seeing a father in the role who would win in a fight, having a waitress shows how she must use her brain to win this but also use her surroundings in the car. Outside of the chase you are left wondering why no one seems to be reporting the car chases through the highways and not learning too much about the kidnappers does take something away because you are left wondering why they would risk so much for a child for only a little money, but I guess this does play into the idea we only see things from Karla’s point of view.

ThrillerWe are kept on the edge of our seats in this movie because we know Karla can’t do too much once she catches the kidnappers, because it could mean hurting her own son. The idea of waiting to see how far things will go is interesting and edge of your seat.

SettingsThe film keep the location on the move which works because it is mainly a chase with the final act in one location showing us the underworld that has been created.


Scene of the Movie –
New car to chase showing the goodness in Karla.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kidnappers seem to make rash decisions which should only get them caught.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice intense easy to watch thriller, sure it has flaws but not every film needs to be perfect sometimes you just need to be entertained.

 

Overall: Fun easy to watch thriller.

Rating

 

 

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons (Comic Book)

Starring: Taron Egerton, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Cookson, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges

 

Plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure Blast of Fun

 

Story: Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts when the Kingsman are left for ruin with only Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) making it out of a calculated attack by drug lord Poppy (Moore) who is using former failed applicant Charlie (Holcroft) to do her work.

Searching for the Doomsday play, Eggsy and Merlin head to Kentucky and for Stateman to work with their agents Tequila (Tatum) Ginger Ale (Berry), Champagne (Bridges) and Whiskey (Pascal) to learn more about the Golden Circle which is the only other clue they have, it isn’t long before Poppy reveals her plan to the world and now the two Kingman and Stateman must work together to stop her with the help of an old friend.

 

Thoughts on Kingsman: The Golden Circle

 

Characters – First the Kingsman Eggys is now a proven Kingsman, a year has passed and his working relationship with Merlin and Roxy are the highest they have ever been. When he losses most of his team, he is reunited with Harry and must use his skills to return Harry to his former glory and save the world. Merlin continues his gadget man role but gets to learn with Ginger Ale about newer technology, where the two work to help the field team. Harry survived, well we get a loose story that works as to why but he is damaged spending the year not remembering who he is, when his memory does return to him, he isn’t the same man but does still have the edge.

The Statesman, Tequila is the agent that first discovers the Kingsman in their base, he asks the questions and feels almost like an American Eggys. Champagne is the leader of the Statesman who sets out the missions. Ginger Ale is the gadget woman that dreams of being able to go into the field but for now she works with Merlin. Whiskey is the agent that goes out into the field with Eggys and is easily the best character from the Statesman side of things with his lasso in hand, he gets all the best fight scenes.

Poppy is our main villain, she is a drug lord living off the grid, she has everyone in the palm of her hands but now she wants to be remembered as the successful businesswoman that she believes she is, by making her drugs legal, which looking at the reasoning seems like a good idea for her motives. She does have an evil side which comes out with how she is demanding people to accept what she is doing or they will die and forcing Elton John to sing for her.

We do have a large cast but with the length of the movie the most important characters do all get the required screen time.

PerformancesTaron Egerton once again does a great job in the leading role showing the street smarts one minute and the upper class the next, Mark Strong and Colin Firth both enjoy their roles never putting a foot wrong. Julianne Moore relishes playing the villain and makes the most of it. The weakest performances come from Bridges and Tatum but that is mostly because they have very few scenes and are both here to drag in a certain audience. Halley Berry does a good job in her role not demanding the attention which other gadget figures have in the past, but to me Pedro Pascal is the scene stealer here, he loves the action sequences, understands how his character is meant to be over the top too.

StoryThe story here does increase the scale of everything, it brings the Kingsman into an international ring of secret agent which opens many more doors in the future, but it does bottle down to needing to face one crazy genius who has an enhanced goon as their main protection. The villain does have good motives for their plan, which is different for most villains who just what the money or revenge, the idea of bringing Harry back while farfetched does play into the bigger story too. If you wanted bigger, you get it here and even though the film is longer than you would like it to be it just doesn’t get slow.

Action/AdventureThe action is large scale with the usual well-placed action sequences with the ski lift being the most impressive of the lot. The adventure side of the film does take the agents all over the world to face different environments for battle.

SettingsAs we said we jump around the world, we start in London, head to Sweden, Kentucky, Italy and Cambodia for our main settings which gives us different environments to fight in.

Special EffectsThis is one of the weakest elements of the film, it does make things bigger which does force the use of CGI and the large-scale scenes do at times take you out of the moment.


Scene of the Movie –
Ski lift.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Travelling around the world never happened so quickly.

Chances of Sequel: I am sure we will get one.

Final ThoughtsIf you wanted a sequel that is just as fun as the original, then you will find it here, it builds a larger universe which we know is something we don’t always need, we have a great villain with a smart plan, we also have enjoyable action throughout.

 

Overall: One of the most fun action films of the year.

Rating