The Lone Ranger (2013)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, Terry Russo (Screenplay) Fran Striker, George W Trendle (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale

 

Plot: Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.


Tagline –  Never Take Off the Mask

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Long

 

Story: The Lone Ranger starts with Tonto (Depp) telling the story of how he met the Lone Ranger John Reid (Hammer) the district attorney of Texas, we see how Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) killed John only for Tonto to bring him back from the dead to get their vengeance on the outlaws.

The journey takes the two men across the wild west to expose the truth behind everything that has been going on between the outlaws and the native Americans.

 

Thoughts on The Lone Ranger

 

Characters – John Reid is a district attorney in Texas, living in the shadow of his brother, but this time he gets to go on an adventure with his brother only to be murdered and bought back to life by Tonto. He must work with Tonto to get the people behind his brother’s death. Tonto is the native American that shows John the way as his own past makes him the colourful character that does things in his own direction. Butch Cavendish is the villainous outlaw not afraid to kill anyone who gets in the way of what he desires.

PerformancesArmie Hammer in this leading role is good through the film, he must play the straight-laced character and pulls this off. Johnny Depp is going on one of his stranger character missions again here and at times is fine, but at others gets annoying. William Fichtner as a villain is something we always want to see.

StoryThe story follows the origin of The Lone Ranger and Tonto as they faced their first enemy together in the wild west. The story plays out nicely just how you would imagine any Disney related material to, as an unlikely hero is born, even if it does follow elements of the Pirates beginning. This does have an adventure across the west feel which is nice to see and the twists and turns do seem to be easy to see unfolding, with a villain that knows the danger the two heroes pose to him.

Action/Adventure/WesternThe action sequences do come off feeling like the highlight of the movie, with an amazing opening train sequence. The adventure side of the film is written all over the idea of going across the wild west to stop the villainous characters. The western feel comes through strong too, while not the most serious we do see both sides of the law.

SettingsThe settings take us all over the wild west fitting into nearly ever typical location we know about.

Special EffectsThe effects are good too in the film while only being used to cover up certain moments of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Ladder trick.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lot of fun even if it is too long in places, the cast do a good job and this one will be a film that you can switch off and enjoy.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action adventure.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – # – 13 Hours (2016)

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Chuck Hogan (Screenplay) Mitchell Zuckoff (Book)

Starring: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini

 

Plot: As an American ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya, a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Action Thriller

 

Story: 13 Hours starts with the history of what had been going on in Libya leading up to the events of the secret CIA base that had been watching for black market deals, this base was held by on 6 elite soldiers. The team is led by Tyrone ‘Rone’ Woods (Dale) and includes the men his trusts Jack Silva (Krasinski), Tanto (Schreiber), Boon (Denman), Tig (Fumusa) and Oz (Martini).

The team work in Benghazi the one city in the world where all the other embassies have left but the American one refuses to leave. As the weeks go by they go through chases but mostly just waiting for something to go wrong. When the US Embassy gets invaded the unit must wait for the moment to fight back and now they find themselves in the middle of the chaos needing to survive using all their skills.

Thoughts on 13 Hours

 

Characters/PerformanceJack Silva is the latest member of the unit, he has left his family behind for what should have been an easier role but not in the middle of a deadly conflict he must use all his skills to survive. Rone is the leader of the unit, he knows how to think fast and knows how to keep his unit in order. The rest of the soldiers all come off like something we have seen before, not getting enough extra development.

Performance wise, John Krasinski brings us a performance not many people believed he could have done and this is great to see. James Badge Dale is also good throughout the film. the rest of the cast do all do great jobs as we are left believing they are real soldiers.

StoryThe story is based on the real events, we get to see how the Americans had to fight against the Libyan revolution against the odds in a desperate attempt to survive the night in hopes of getting rescued. This is slightly long as a story but it does work as we get time to look at the human aspect pre-and during the event in question. There isn’t any twists in the story it is just about the survival.

Action/Thriller/WarThe action is big and well created war like battle sequences that make us believe we are in the middle of the battle. We are left on the edge of our seat wondering who will happen next. The war side of the film is all about the modern wars which mostly revolve around revolutions in country that our Americans are trapped in.

SettingsEach setting is designed perfect for the conflict scenes, we are always thrown into the action and this is just how the modern war would feel.

Special EffectsAll the effects are used to make for the explosions look great as well as showing the good mix of practical and special effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best modern, full-blown action war movies of the recent years and it fully engages with the audience even if some of the unit are not developed as well as others.

 

Overall: Brilliant watch for the modern warfare film fans.

Rating

 

Only the Brave (2017)

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Writer: Ken Nolan, Eric Warren Singer (Screenplay) Sean Flynn (Article)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell

 

Plot: Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.


Tagline – It’s Not What Stands In Front Of You, It’s Who Stands Beside You

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Man Versus Natural Story

 

Story: Only the Brave starts as we meet Eric Marsh (Brolin)a mountain hotshot firefighter superintendent with his trusted second lieutenant Jesse Steed (Dale) who get their chance to step up to the next level as the prepare for the wildfires which could take homes.

When Eric’s connection Duane (Bridges) gives his new which includes loud mouth Christopher (Kitsch) and recovering junkie Brendan (Teller) trying to prove his value to the team, they get their opportunity to prove their quality to the fire department as they end up battling one of the biggest wildfires in history.

 

Thoughts on Only the Brave

 

Characters – Eric Marsh is the leader of the group of firefighters, he has fought to get his team the chance to become a force known as hotshots, which means on the frontline, he will give everyone a chance to prove themselves, even if his own ideas could cause problems with their chances. His leadership skills make him the inspiration the unit needs. Jesse Steed is the second in command, providing the much-needed answers to questions he might be facing and advice to the crew. Amanda is the wife of Eric, the two have an understanding that shows she is prepared for him to not make it home one day, as she shows the independence needed as she works with helping horses which have been mistreated. Brendan is a young junkie, he becomes a parent and wants to turn his life around by joining the unit, this gives him the direction, mentorship and responsibility he had never focused on before in his life, this is shown with his relationship with Eric and with Christopher, the loud mouth of the unit that is willing to push Brendan as far as he needs to be pushed.

PerformancesJosh Brolin in the leading role fantastic, proving he can keep his performance reserved while showing he is the true leader of the group. James Badge Dale is always great in the supporting roles and this is clear once again. Jennifer Connelly also proves to be a great supporting performer here, even though part of her storyline isn’t as interesting as the firefighting. Miles Teller does continue to build up a reputation for giving good and different performances through the film. Taylor Kitsch also continues to rebuild his career after the reputation he once get branded with.

StoryThe story follows a mountain firefighting unit that prepare to become the next level, before they start battling the wildfires with each one giving them a new task to overcome. This is based on the real crew which became a close unit as they got closer to the action to try and protect the loved ones. This does show a lot of training, battling and preparing for a big fire and shows the bravery these men showed when it came to try to protect their town.

BiopicThe men involved in the firefighting unit are real, they risked their lives to save people and their homes. These men needed their story told and this gives them that.

SettingsThe settings used in the film show us the positions people will find themselves in when it comes to needing to protect their homes, we feel the intensity of the fires they are facing.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 20 minutes are must watch performance work.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is an amazing movie, I wasn’t expecting too much from this movie, but I was left drawn to the screen for the remaining of the film with the final 20-30 minutes being must watch.

 

Overall: Brilliant movie, a must watch for all.

Rating

 

 

Jack Nicholson Weekend – The Departed (2006)

departedDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay) Alan Mak, Felix Chong (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Corrigan, James Badge Dale

 

Plot: An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Departed starts with the tradition introduction of all the characters starting with Frank Costello (Nicholson) who has been running Boston for years, we meet Colin Sullivan (Damon) who Frank has been grooming to become his connection inside the police force as we watch how fast he rises through the ranks. We also meet Billy (DiCaprio) who has come from the rough side of Boston but become one of the best cadets Queenan (Sheen) & Dignam (Wahlberg) have seen, who talk him into going undercover with the Costello.

We follow as Frank Costello and Queenan work with their informants as they each try to keep one step ahead of each other before all of the twists and turns are around every corner.

The Departed will go down as one of the greatest crime thrillers of all time, it is filled with plenty of twists and turns throughout. I am not usually a fan of the gangster genre but this one pulled me in from the start to finish because we never knew what would happen next. This was a remake of the trilogy of Infernal Affairs and I can safely say this squeezes all of the action from the three films into one. Each character is developed to keep on interested in all of them as we learn what the real motives are. I can safely say this deserved the Oscar praise it gained.

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Billy is the special police trainee that gets recruited to go undercover in Frank Costello’s gang. He has come from the rough side of Boston but stayed out of trouble which makes him a prime candidate for this role. While undercover he gets pulled to levels he never thought he would have to go to get his mission complete and stay one step ahead of Sullivan who is tracing him. Leonardo is great in this undercover role showing how he needs to play both sides of the law throughout.billy

Matt Damon: Colin Sullivan is the man who has been working for Costello for nearly his whole life, he is put through the training to become his connection on the inside where he keeps Frank one step ahead of any activity against his men. He also has to track down the men who is undercover in the gang tracking keeping himself away from Billy’s attention. Matt shines in this role of the informant inside the department.colin

Jack Nicholson: Frank Costello is the gangster the authorities are after he runs Boston and keeps his men on the inside while never trusting too many people on the inside of his gang. Jack is wonderful as this gangster playing the role you expect from him and the freedoms he requires.frank

Mark Wahlberg: Dignam is one of the officers that is planting his undercover men in a desperate attempt to stop Costello once and for all. He is direct straight to the point but his temper could also be his weakness. Mark is great as the hot head authority character.didgna

Support Cast: The Departed has a huge supporting cast that all give brilliant performance in the plot filled twist filled story.

Director Review: Martin ScorseseMartin finally won his Oscar for this role and yes it is brilliant as he balances the stories from all three Infernal Affairs stories into one.

 

Crime: The Departed is a web of conspiracy between the cops and gangsters in the crime world.

Thriller: The Departed keeps us guessing from start to finish through the whole film.

Settings: The Departed uses the Boston setting for the film which shows the gritty side of the story.
Suggestion
: The Departed is a film that I feel everyone should have seen at least once. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Story keeping us gripped.

Worst Part: Nothing.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 31 Minutes

Tagline: Lies. Betrayal. Sacrifice. How far will you take it?

Trivia: The only remake of a foreign film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

 

Overall: Simply brilliant crime thriller that keeps us on edge throughout.

Ratingcard

 

The Walk (2015)

walkDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Browne (Screenplay) Philippe Petit (Book)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Don, Clement Sibony, Cesar Domboy, Mark Camacho, Steve Valentine, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz

 

Plot: In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the immense void between the World Trade Centre towers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thrilling Biography

 

Story: The Walk starts as Philippe Petit (Gordon-Levitt) who dreams of walking between the Twin Towers, but of course he wants to give us his back story as a street performer in Paris who learns about the construction of the Twin Towers setting out on the adventure to America while going through other landmarks of the world first.

We watch as Philippe met people along the way to help him achieve his goal including the beautiful fellow street performer Annie (Le Bon) and photographer Jean-Louis (Sibony). Along with the training of Papa Ruby (Kingsley) the four head to New York to work out the plans to make the ultimate high wire performance happen.

The Walk tells the incredible story of the daredevil hire wire who walked between the Twin Towers. This was a remarkable achievement that will never be repeated but I do feel we have seen the documentary Man on Wire which tells the same story in a much more interesting way as we see the real people involved discussing what they experienced. The problem with the story here is that the film focuses on the special effects over the story.

 

Actor Review

 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Philippe Petit is the hire wire daredevil, we watch from his early stages of his performing on the streets of Paris where he learns of the construction of the Twin Towers. Philippe becomes obsessed with crossing this dream as he puts together a team to make this dream a reality. Joseph is good in this role but you never believe his French accent.philipp

Charlotte Le Bon: Annie is a fellow street performer that because the love interest and biggest supporter as Philippe is going for his impossible dream. She keeps him grounded when he starts to get tested by his mental state before the walk. Charlotte is good in this supporting role but doesn’t feel strong enough in the role.

Ben Kingsley: Papa Rudy teaches Philippe every he knows as he comes from a long family of hire wire walkers, he treats him like a son trying to protect him but deep down he knows that Philippe is just as daring as he once was. Ben is good in this supporting role but I do feel like he could have seen more from him.

Clement Sibony: Jean-Louis is the second member of the team after Annie, he is a photographer who Philippe makes his official one, he helps Philippe plan his walk giving fresh ideas on how to make it a reality. Clement is good in the supporting role but falls into the background to easily.

Support Cast: The Walk really has a supporting cast that all blend into one in the background of the story going on.

Director Review: Robert ZemeckisRobert gives us a visually great film but when it comes to the small screen it loses all the effects it has created.

 

Adventure: The Walk shows us the adventure Philippe went on to achieve his dream.

Biographical: The Walk cuts out a lot of the important back story of how Philippe got to the Twin Towers.

Thriller: The Walk puts you on edge through the high wire scenes.

Settings: The Walk recreates the settings brilliantly to make us feel like we are with the characters on the trip.
Special Effects
: The Walk uses the effects to create the world trade centres and make the high wire scenes wonderfully.

Suggestion: The Walk is one to try but I would say watch the documentary first. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The Walk.

Worst Part: Misses too much out.

 

Believability: Based on the real story of Philippe Petit.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Man on Wire

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: From the director of Forrest Gump, Cast Away and Flight.

 

Overall: Good thriller but Man on Wire offers a lot more about Philippe.

Ratingcard