ABC Film Challenge – Action – R – RocknRolla (2008)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Karel Roden, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he’s helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole’s wall. While Cole’s men, led by the dependable Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.


Tagline – A story of sex, thugs and rock ‘n roll.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Saturated Film

 

Story: RocknRolla starts when One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Elba) learn the hard way how London mobster Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) operates, needing to collect a large amount of money. Lenny is in the middle of a big deal with a Russian Uri Omovich (Roden) that would be the biggest of his career.

When a piece of art gets stolen Lenny is put under pressure to return the art work to Uri, he turns to his right-hand man Archy (Strong) to get it back, turning to One Two for help as we see how the underworld coming together to get one up on each other.

 

Thoughts on RocknRolla

 

Characters – One Two is the leader of the Wild Bunch, he gets left owing a lot of money within the month and it soon becomes his connections that help with the mystery about where a painting is hiding as he plans to solve his own problems. Mumbles is the best friend in the Wild Bunch, he is the one that One Two turns to for advice through the problems. Lenny Cole is the mobster that runs London, he has everyone in his pocket to get what he wants, with his greed taking over when he can have a deal with a billionaire Russian, though his past could cause the trouble in this deal. Stella is the accountant that has each party doing her dealings, she knows how to have each side in the palm of her hands. Archy is the one telling the story, he has the right-hand man for Lenny and the go between all the different sides of the underworld. In this film we do get too many characters with so many different arcs going on through the film.

PerformancesThe acting in this film is good from the whole cast, we have a large cast which does hinder them from getting a true star turn in this film. Butler, Wilkinson, Newton, Strong, Elba, Hardy all show how they can become good at making moments of impact in shorter scenes.

StoryThe story here follows three levels of mobsters as they deal with a deal gone bad as they are trying to stay ahead of each other, in typical Ritchie storytelling we get thrown all over the place with the story telling and miss the most interesting action aspects of the film. when it comes to the criminal underworld side of the story, we don’t get anything new with generic characters who just go through the emotions that don’t always make us enjoy the characters we are enjoy watching.

Action/CrimeThe action is disappointing because we have scenes which should be good, only Ritchie’s style of shooting chops too much hiding the best parts. The crime world created is good because we see just how many different levels of the crime world we are entering.

SettingsThe film is set in London which is good for the film because if these type of deals are happening it would need to be in a busy city location like London.


Scene of the Movie –
Sporting goods fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The action editing.

Final ThoughtsThis is your typical British gangster film, it has its own flair which can help and hinder the film at times, we have too many characters to stay on top of which only disappoints with the storytelling process.

 

Overall: Typical mobster movie.

Rating

 

 

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Gemma Arterton Weekend – 100 Streets (2016)

Director: Jim O’Hanlon

Writer: Leon Butler (Screenplay)

Starring: Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Tom Cullen, Kierston Wareing, Ryan Gage, Charlie Creed-Miles, Ken Stott

 

Plot: Three people, three extraordinary stories. All lived out within a hundred London streets.


Tagline – Anybody can take a wrong turn.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Engaging Drama

 

Story: 100 Streets starts as we meet our characters, troublemaking drug dealing thief Kingsley (Dramah), former rugby player Max (Elba) who is going through a marriage problem after his own affair with his wife Emily (Arterton) who in an act of revenge is dating photographer Jake (Cullen). The final couple we meet are cabbie George (Creed-Miles) and Kathy (Wareing) who are trying to adopt a child, though his past is causing problems in this pursuit.

As the lives cross-paths the people must learn about the mistakes they make to prevent themselves from making any more mistakes.

 

Thoughts on 100 Streets

 

Characters – Max is a former England rugby captain, since retiring he started cheating on his wife and getting caught up with the drugs, seeing his future career going up in smoke, he needs to clean up his own actions in any hope of winning his wife back. Emily is the wife of Max who has been going through the struggles of her husbands action, thinking about getting back into acting and trying to move on with her life. Kingsley is the streetwise drug dealing thief that has been caught up against the law, even though he believes he could go onto something bigger, he receives the guidance required to escape this life. We have a cabbie that makes a terrible mistake and must learn to live with the consequences and a photographer that wants to be part of Emily’s life.

PerformancesIdris Elba, Gemma Arterton are both great in their roles in the film, we know and expect it from them.  Elsewhere we get the less known actors in Franz Drameh and Charlie Creed-Miles that shine in this film.

StoryThe story follows the lives of three people, the problems they are facing and the changes that will define them. We get three different worlds, one is the celebrity world and marriage, where the vices can control someone, the middle-class who just want normal lives which can fall apart from past action and the lower-class that must fight for a chance or face the same circles of crime. The way the three lives cross without interaction shows how people can be going through their own struggles meters away from you. Each life will be changed by the events in the film, which is important to see and we can see how theses moments can do the moments that create a future.

SettingsThe film is set in London with the idea that we are within 100 streets of each other, in a position where lives can cross paves.


Scene of the Movie –
Leaving the gang.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not sure what will happen with Jake next.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully engaging drama that shows the lives people are living without you knowing within metres of your own life. Strong performances throughout do help the film stand out too.

 

Overall: Drama well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – P – Prom Night (2008)

Director: Nelson McCormick

Writer: J.S. Cardone (Screenplay)

Starring: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter, Jessica Stroup, Dana Davis, Collins Pennie, Kelly Blatz, Idris Elba

 

Plot: Donna’s senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends.


Tagline – A Party To Die For

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bog Standard Slasher

 

Story: Prom Night starts as Donna (Snow) witnesses her family being murdered by a crazed teacher Mr Fenton (Schaech). 3-years-later it is the senior prom and Donna still haunted by the events of that night, but with her boyfriend Bobby (Porter), best friends Claire (Stroup) and Lisa (Davis) look to have a night to remember.

The problem comes when Detective Winn (Elba) receives the news that Richard Fenton has escaped his prison and has turned up at the prom too. This prom will be one they will never forget as it becomes a fight to survive.

 

Thoughts on Prom Night

 

Characters – Donna is our damaged high school student that is still dealing with the effects of the murder of her family that she survived. Now it is her graduation prom and she is planning to have the time off her life but things soon take a turn when her stalker returns. Detective Winn catch the killer and now must do anything to stop him finishing off what he started. We do have the typical high school characters that are filled with terrible decisions on the prom night, the biggest one that cause is a problem was Lisa who wanted to be prom queen but decided to go upstairs to fool about before it gets announced even though it is the most important moment in the high school experience to her.

PerformancesThe performances, how we missed talking about how well actors perform with bad scripts, Brittany Snow is struggling here to make an impact as the lead which is the only character we only really are meant to care about if we are being honest. The other teenagers are poor to basic even if Dana Davis does look stunning in most scenes. Idris Elba is the highlight of the performances as the cop searching to the escaped killer.

StoryThe story follows one pro night when the stalker of one of the students comes to get his revenge, the idea this film takes place over one night is the best and only good thing about this movie. What follows in the story telling process is a series of awful decision, including when the fire alarm goes off, going upstairs to retrieve an item of clothing. Having a prom that feels like a film premier also doesn’t help because surely nothing we be this dramatic.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is the basic of all slashers and we don’t see any blood because of the age rating it received. It claims to be a mystery but most of this mystery is why the characters are written so poorly.

SettingsThe setting for the most part is the hotel for the prom, which feels like an everyday location but soon becomes a game of who can stay ahead of who.

Special EffectsThe effects are barely touched because of the lack of gore used in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
This is a tough decision here, well I am going to have to go shallow here and go Dana Davis prom dress.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters are written contradictable to their actions.

Final ThoughtsThis seems to be a remake that didn’t click, it is a bog standard to bad slasher with terrible characters, weak horror moments and just fades into a blur of bad decisions.

 

Overall: Yeah, no just forget about it.

Rating

 

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer:Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim, Steve Ditko, Joe Simon (Characters)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Sebastian Stan, Pom Klementieff, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Idris Elba, Benedict Cumberbatch, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, Benedict Wong, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle

 

Plot: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe


Tagline – An entire universe. Once and for all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly a Game Changer

 

Story: Avengers: Infinity War starts as we see the power of Thanos (Brolin) collecting his second infinity stone leaving a path of destruction, with his power growing the Avengers must unit to fight and stop him getting the remaining Infinity Stones that will give him the power to eliminate half of any population with the click of his fingers.

The battle will take place in space, on distant planets and back home on Earth where we get to see unseen team ups and reunions between friends.

 

Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity Way

 

Characters – When we dive into characters we have so many to talk about, I will spend time talking Thanos because has been a villain waiting in the background for many films for, we know his is powerful and this is how you make a villain the powerful force we know and will remember because what he does in this film will make you remember within the first five minutes, but we do also see what drives him and that he has true belief in his cause. In the rest of the characters we know what we are getting from most, I was impressed with Doctor Strange as I wasn’t too interested in the solo film, Thor has a brilliant story arc that keeps his character in the tone we got in Ragnarok and the father son dynamic between Tony and Peter is still here. Drax gets the most laughs once more, while everyone around Steve Rogers is the more serious side of the film. the only negatives on the characters we meet would be the generals for Thanos, who are largely forgettable.

PerformancesThe performances like the characters we have way too many to talk about, Josh Brolin being the new comer makes a massive impact easily becoming the best villain in the MCU. The talent on the Avengers is fantastic and the people that stood out for me were Benedict Cumberbatch, Dave Bautista and Chris Hemsworth, while I don’t think anybody is close to being bad, I felt the actors on the Earth battle weren’t given enough to do to get to their best abilities.  

StoryThe story here is the build up for 18 movies, we have developed our heroes while learning little about the villain, this story shows just what Thanos is fighting for, what he will do to get it and what the heroes will need to do to stop him. For me this is the game changer in superhero movies, we manage to handle seeing separate groups work together to fight on different worlds in groupings you wouldn’t put together, this does however mean certain characters don’t meet in this story which might disappoint fans. The story also balances comedy with the Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy mostly and the serious side of what is coming with Captain America. This is easily what we as fans have deserved, but you might not get everything if you haven’t seen the other films.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fi/FantasyThe action is massive and takes us to different worlds for the battles which each are filled with peril because we know not everyone will make it out of this one. the adventure takes our characters to places they haven’t been before for their part in the story, which brings the sci-fi sides with large parts of the film being in space and different worlds that only could come from fantasies of comic books.

SettingsEach setting offers our characters a challenge they will need to face in battle, this shows how easily travelling through space can be if you know the ability to do so.

Special EffectsThese fight sequences, action sequences look breath taking and nearly everything is flawless except the routine space creatures in the final battle.


Scene of the Movie –
Thor meeting the Guardians.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We learn why a couple of characters are not in the film, but there are some that just seem missing which frustrates because they were interesting ones you would have liked to have seen fight.

Final ThoughtsThis is the biggest comic book movie of all time, it changes everything going forward and is a must see for anyone who is a fan of the genre.

 

Overall: Must See Brilliance.

Rating

 

 

Molly’s Game (2017)

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Molly Bloom (Book)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. MacKenzie

 

Plot: The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.


Runtime: 2 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long

 

Story: Molly’s Game starts as we learn how the Olympic dream of Molly Bloom (Chastain) are shattered due to a freak accident, broke and moving away from her demanding father Larry (Costner) to moves to LA. In what becomes a trend in this movie we see the FBI raid Molly’s apartment laying on new charges to her for running illegal poker games with the mobs.

Needing to clear her name again Molly recruits lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Elba) as we learn how she started as small time secretary and turned into secret poker game mogul for the elite, movie stars, athletes and business tycoons alike. We learn mostly how she must clear her name from any illegal activities.  

 

Thoughts on Molly’s Game

 

Characters – Molly Bloom is our narrator, our story telling, she has been branded the Poker Princess. She tells us the whole story how she has gone from just being a hostess to becoming the owner and leader of the secret poker game for the social elite, she won’t give up the names of her clients even if she could to get off any criminal offences. Charlie Jaffey is the lawyer who reluctantly takes the case, he knows she could be defended and challenges her to take a plea, while showing similar characteristics to Molly’s own father. We get to meet plenty of characters along the way who have played in the game, each with their own sub-stories.

PerformancesJessica Chastain is great in this leading role showing she is one of the best actresses in the business today, Idris Elba is strong in the supporting role, but not being his fault, I would have liked an extra dimension to his character. The rest of the cast are good without being great through the film.

StoryThe story follows Molly’s rise and fall in the secret poker playing world, how it starts with celebrities and soon turns into mobsters. We jump around different times as she is telling the story to Charlie, but there is a lot of rinse repeat when it comes to the poker events which only leads us to get tired of, this is a new player, he came from this place and has this much money, he is this level of poker player. I found myself thinking that we didn’t care too much about Molly’s story, she barely does anything that illegal, she just offers people with too much money a chance to lose it to other players.

BiopicThis is something we have been seeing a lot in Hollywood now a days, we follow a person that did something minor that wouldn’t effect most people that seems to think it is a story we want to see, even if the story isn’t that interesting.

SettingsThe settings show us the high life the characters we have been living in, this shows us how secretive the game was to the people involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Charlie snaps in a briefing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem to repeat what we have seen before.

Final ThoughtsThis wasn’t on the level it could be, we have a character in Molly we don’t really care about because most of the characters we meet here are on the high-life just spending money most people could never see. The performances are the strength in the movie.

 

Overall: Not the best biopic you will see.

Rating