Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: James Cameron, Laeta Kalogridis, Robert Rodriguez (Screenplay) Yukito Kishiro (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Rosa Salazar, Mahershala Ali, Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Lana Condor, Eiza Gonzalez, Ed Skrein, Keean Johnson

 

Plot: An action-packed story of one young woman’s journey to discover the truth of who she is and her fight to change the world.


Tagline – An Angel Falls. A Warrior Rises.

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visual Masterpiece

 

Story: Alita: Battle Angel starts in the 26th century, Dr Dyson Ido (Waltz) searching for scraps locates the remaining parts of a cyborg, who has come from the city sky, he rebuilds her naming her Alita (Salazar) and teaches her about the world. Alita wants to learn for herself which happens when she meets Hugo (Johnson) who shows him the city.

Vector (Ali) being controlled by the villainous Nova is always seeking the best fighters to send to the city above, which attracts him to Alita knowing her abilities will give him even more power. Alita must learn about her past to fight for her future to become the hero she was always meant to be.

 

Thoughts on Alita: Battle Angel

 

Characters – Alita is the name given to the battle angel, she is from an older technology, one nobody understands one from before the great Fall. She is programmed to be like a teenager learning about the world, eager to take chance, before she learns about her fighting abilities, which will see her fight to keep her freedom and for love. This is an amazingly strong character that shows just how much motivation can come from learning one’s power. Dr Dyson Ido repairs the cyborgs, he has a heart of gold willing to help many, but he has a haunted past which gives him a secret life that Alita wants to be part off. Vector runs the city, if you want to get to the sky city, you must go through him, he knows the desire to get there and plays everybody on the idea he can make it happen. Chiren is Dyson’s ex-wife, she wants to get back to the sky city and sides with Vector to make this happen. Hugo is the young man rebel that shows Alita the city, teaches her dreams and sport. He does go against what Alita believes he is, as he like many others is dreaming of getting to the sky city. Zapan is one of the hunter warriors, used as the police within the city, they are bounty hunters who will kill for credits, he is considered the deadliest of them all and clashes with Alita.

PerformancesRosa Salazar bursts onto the scene with this performance that even though the character does feel like it is CGI, manages to give emotion through every event she learns about. Christoph Waltz shines in the doctor role, he keeps everything calm which is what is required for his character. Mahershala Ali bring a calm demanding villain to the heart of this film which will show he isn’t the strongest, but the smartest. Jennifer Connelly has the largest amount to go through with her character, she gets the chance to show us that she is the real deal. Ed Skrein does seem to bring us his Ajax from Deadpool figure, which is fine, des what the film needs. Keean Johnson completes the main cast and work in his role well have strong chemistry with Salazar.

StoryThe story here follows a former warrior being bought back to life to learn of a new world that she wants to fight to bring down, while trying to learn about her past. Now, this does have source material, so I can’t say who did it first, but this does feel like a story we have seen before, an unlikely hero coming to save the day after being mentored by an older figure that wished to do the same thing himself, must overcome the odds and gain a following. This is a tried and tested story formula and it works very well with this one too. My big issue with the story comes from the time passage, certain things that happen seem to feel like they could be weeks or months, but they play out like days, only they can’t have been days, this is the biggest disappointment in the storytelling process.

Action/Adventure/Romance/Sci-FiThe action in this movie is amazing, we get fight scenes with each combatant seemingly having a different ability which opens the doors for all possibilities too. The adventure side of the film comes from following Alita as she learns about herself, the world and her place in it. When we get to the romance side of the film this could turn people off at times, but it does show how people would be willing to fight for their unconditional love for somebody. The sci-fi concepts in this film comes from the creations, both in world and the cyborgs involved, we see a future world completely different to our own too.

SettingsOnto the best parts of the film, the settings, the city created here is one of the best you will ever see in a sci-fi film, each individual part of the city seems to have details to make us truly believe we are there.

Special EffectsThe special effects are just breath-taking, nothing seems out of place in this world filled with cyborgs. Everything in this film will make you want to love cinema even more than you already do.


Scene of the Movie –
The world we enter is just breath-taking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The nurse character, mostly because I felt we should have seen her do more (not the actress’s fault).

Final ThoughtsThis is easily going to be the best visual film you will see in 2019, it might have a by the book story, but you will be left wanting to see more and more of this character in her battles.

 

Overall: Experience this on the big screen.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – T – Titanic (1997)

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton

 

Plot: A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.


Tagline – Collide With Destiny

Runtime: 3 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece in Cinema

 

Story: Titanic starts as treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Paxton) and his team are searching the Titanic wreckage for any remaining treasure that could make them rich, on their latest voyage they find a picture of woman wearing a long-lost necklace, the heart of the ocean. With this picture becoming international news Rose (Stuart) comes aboard the ship to tell her story of her trip in the doomed ship.

Returning to 1912 we follow Rose (Winslet) from a rich family using the trip with her fiancée Cal (Zane) to return to America to start their life together. Jack (DiCaprio) on the other hand wins his ticket in a poker game to be a passenger on the ship, in the third class.

As the two get involved in a chance meeting, Rose is shown the life that is care free away from her prim and proper lifestyle that she has only ever been shown, the two fall in love in their short time together but after the ship hits the iceberg, they must battle to survive the fateful night as the panic of the tragic event occurs.

 

Thoughts on Titanic

 

Characters – Rose is shown to us in two different times, we first meet the modern day one, well 1997 where she has lived the life she had always dreamed off, now she gets to return to the Titanic wreckage to tell her story of events on the maiden voyage that will be remembered forever. The other Rose we meet is the younger one, the 19 year-old that is moving to America to start her life of luxury with her fiancée Cal, at this age she isn’t sure this is what she wants and meeting Jack shows her a new look and even a new love in life, she takes risks that she would never have even imagined taking before meeting Jack. Jack Dawson is a drifter, artist and traveller of the world, winning his ticket in a game of poker, he sees this as his chance to return to America with his new craft, he falls for Rose and his carefree lifestyle shines on her and he is shunned by anyone in the first class of the ship. Cal is the fiancée of Rose, he has used his wealth to get all the benefits in life, he looks down on anyone not from the same class as himself and takes an instant dislike to Jack, he tries to control Rose’s every decision making him the villain of the piece. We have the controlling mother, the fish out of water with money in Molly who steals nearly every scene being the only one that can relate to Jack and the portrays of the real people behind the ship tragedy.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became international A-Listers after this movie, their performances are fantastic and showed the world the talent they both had at this early moments of their career. Billy Zane does make a great villainous character through this film and you will find yourself hating his character. Kathy Bates is fantastic too in a role you could have watched all day long. The whole cast is fantastic in this film and their performances show us just how good they are.

StoryThe story shows us one of the most tragic moments in modern human history, this sinking of the Titanic, an accident in which no one was prepared for, seeing the supporting characters who are based on the real people is fascinating to see how they were to believed to have acted, saying this the love story does feel very forced and having one person telling the story doesn’t give us the understand how she would know what other people were doing at the times without her in the movie. Clocking up at over 3 hours, this story never seems to find a low point well telling the story of this tragedy.

RomanceThe weakest part of the film here, because this event didn’t need a fictional love story which in all fairness is a by the book routine love story of the rich meets poor.

SettingsThe creation of the Titanic for the setting is fantastic, as we follow the journey you feel like you are part of this doomed voyage which is filled with the beauty of first class and the cramped conditions of third class.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used in this movie were ground-breaking at the time, they stand this test of time and deserved any credit the team working on this got.


Scene of the Movie –
The search for survivors, is haunting, disturbing and tragic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How would Rose know what people were doing in her story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest movies of all time, a record breaking in its own right, career making, career defining and moment in history that will forever be stuck in tragic events.

 

Overall: Brilliant, and a must watch

Rating

 

 

The Terminator (1984)

terminatorDirector: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller

 

Plot: A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The Terminator starts first by the traditional introduction to our three main characters, first we have the cyborg Terminator (Schwarzenegger) who along with Kyle Reese (Biehn) have both been sent back from the future where robots control the Earth. Both are on a mission to find waitress Sarah Connor (Hamilton) who is key to the resistance against the robot battle.

When the Terminator starts tracking down all the local Sarah Connors he starts merciless killing them while Kyle is out to protect her from the cyborg. Sarah must work with Reese to survive and defeat this Terminator as she learns the truth about her own importance to the future of mankind.

The Terminator is one of the most iconic films from the 80s that has become one of the most talked about film franchises of all time. This role turned the fresh face powerhouse Arnold Schwarzenegger who has only been the good guy taking a cold-hearted killer role which was a huge risk but works to perfection. We get Linda Hamilton being the reluctant hero that evolves through the film to become the kick ass action lead we all know from the second film. We finally get a great action hero performance from Michael Biehn. We see this early film from James Cameron show all his potential to go on to make bigger projects with this still being one of his greatest achieves because of the budget this one had.

The action through this film is great because of how raw it all looks as it feels like it could easily be happening on the streets at any the present time while the special effects still stand the test of time. The concept behind the story comes off feeling so original for the time even if elements of this have been copied in recent years that this truly is one of the classics of the genre and film history.

 

Overall: Easily one of the most icon and brilliant films ever put to film.

Ratingresults

 

 

Aliens (1986)

aliensDirector: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay) Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Characters) James Cameron, David Giler, Walter Hill (Story)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, William Hope, Jenette Goldstein, Al Matthews

 

Plot: The planet from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Still Stands the Test of Time

 

Story: Aliens starts when Ripley (Weaver) is finally rescued from her hyper sleep, only to find out that she has been sleeping for centuries, questioned for her action on the spacecraft she learns that the same planet LV-426 has been colonised with no problems from any alien species.  We get to see how the colony is building on the planet which includes us watching Newt (Henn) and her family being the ones to find the alien ship.

The company representative Burke (Reiser) looks to recruit Ripley into helping them once the company loses connect with the colony, this time armed with marines led by Lieutenant Gorman (Hope). The elite unit including Corporal Hicks (Biehn), Private Hudson (Paxton), Private Vasquez (Goldstein) and Private Drake (Rolston) to mention a few is armed to the teeth ready for any combat needed, but it is the android Bishop (Henriksen) that cause Ripley the worries especially after what happened last time she was on a mission with one.

Once at the colony the soldiers find the place abandoned at first until they find Newt only to learn the truth about what happened at the base. The unit find themselves under attack from multiply xenomorphs and only Ripley knows how to fight them off.

Aliens is the sequel to one of the greatest horror movies that actually takes the film in a different direction by adding action element. This doesn’t take away anything because if the sequel had just been on one ship with limited weapons it simply would have been a remake feeling, this story feels fresh because we already know the basics of what our heroes are up against we just needed to learn how they will deal with them this time. When it comes to the story it once again is simple soldiers versus aliens in a battle to survive which all works perfectly for this classic 30 years later.

 

Actor Review

 

Sigourney Weaver: Ripley is the lone survivor from the events of the first film, she has been in hyper sleep for years. She is charged for her actions as no evidence of any alien life form is discovered in the wreck, dealing with all the side effects we get to see how she is getting on with her life again. All this changes when the company that blamed her turned to her for help on the same planet that we first met a xenomorph. When things go wrong she takes charge of the situation while trying to protect a little girl. Sigourney was nominated for an Oscar for this performance and it would hard not to praise her brilliant performance.ripley

Carrie Henn: Newt is the little girl that was living on the colony before the attack, she is also the lone survivor once the soldiers turn up to deal with the situation. She has survived by hiding and offers the soldiers much needed advice on where to survive. Carrie is great in this role for such a young actress at the time.

Michael Biehn: Corporal Hicks has to take charge of the soldiers once his seniors become incapacitated. He will listen to Ripley and make the right decisions when it comes to fighting the xenomorphs. Michael is great in this role where he actually plays the sensible soldier.

Lance Henriksen: Bishop is the android on the mission, he is instantly disliked by Ripley but this time we only see good from the android who is willing to risk his own life to save the humans. Lance is great as this android keeping the emotionless expression throughout.

Support Cast: Aliens has a supporting cast that is mostly the soldiers who are generic in their own way along with the company man that also works for this film very well.

Director Review: James CameronJames is a director that always makes classics and this could well be his best.

 

Action: Aliens is filled with combat driven action which comes off very nicely in the confined spaces.

Horror: Aliens is still filled with horror of isolation on the planet being hunted down by an alien enemy.

Sci-Fi: Aliens puts our characters in space and a new planet ticking off all of the sci-fi elements to make this an action sci-fi film.

Settings: Aliens creates a larger isolation idea with the characters being trapped on a base rather than a ship with no escape from the enemy.
Special Effects
: Aliens has stunning effects that still stand the test of time.xena

Suggestion: Aliens is one I do feel everyone should have watched at least once in a lifetime. (Watch)

 

Best Part:  First meeting the aliens.

Worst Part: Depends which cut you watch, the shorter cut takes away a lot of back story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

Favourite Quote: Ripley ‘Get away from her you bitch’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won Two Oscars for Best Sound Effects and Visual Effects.

Box Office: $85 Million

Budget: $ 18.5 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 34 Minutes

Tagline: There are some places in the universe you don’t go alone.

Trivia: The knife trick scene was not in the original shooting script. According to Lance Henriksen, the adding of Hudson’s hand to the knife trick was discussed with almost everyone, except Bill Paxton.

 

Overall: Stunning sci-fi action horror that really comes off as the true classic

Ratingcard

 

Terminator Genisys (2015)

lgoDirector: Alan Taylor

Writer: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier (Screenplay) James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd (Characters)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith, Courtney B Vance, Byung-hun Lee

Plot: John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Popcorn Sequel

Story: Terminator Genisys starts with narration from Kyle Reese (Courtney) and how Sky-net destroyed the world in 1997 leaving the few survivors either running or becoming slaves to the robots constantly running from Terminators. John Connor (Jason Clarke) saves a young Kyle Reese who is leading the resistant. When John is planning the final attack it looks like a complete success until they discover Sky-Net has sent a Terminator back in time, when Kyle volunteers to go back and protect Sarah.

The mission is to protect Sarah and stop Genisys before it comes online, but the world Kyle is set back to isn’t the same as The Guardian (Schwarzenegger) has been protecting and training Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) for years and another Terminator the T-1000 (Lee) has been waiting for Kyle to return.

Now Sarah, Kyle and Pops nickname for the good Terminator have to work together to stop Sky-Net and their plan before Judgement Day happens. After Sarah and Kyle move forward in time they meet John Connor but he isn’t everything they remember but undercover for Sky-Net.

Terminator Genisys is a film I really can’t find a way to criticise what I saw, I liked how the film took the same ideas that the first two created and increased the threat level behind the events. The main four characters Terminator, Sarah, John and Kyle just being the only ones involved in the main story helps because lets face it Terminator 3 and 4 spent too much time trying to create a new terminator but this time the terminator becomes personal. You can always be a fan of a franchise that builds upon the previous film and this fills in everything that was created after Judgement Day. (7/10)

Actor Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Guardian has been sent back to protect Sarah from a younger age then in previous films, he has trained her to deal with all the different terminators as they wait for the moment which is meant to be for her. Arnold gets to have a lot of fun with this role makes him feel like the old Arnold is back. (7/10)pps

Jason Clarke: John Connor is the leader of the resistance who sends Kyle back to protect his mother. He makes a surprise appearance in the life after Sarah and Kyle go forward in time but is everything as it seems. Jason makes for a great villain even if he starts of as the hero. (7/10)john

Emilia Clarke: Sarah Connor is a lot more prepared for the terminators in 1984, she has spent a lifetime fighting them along with her Guardian. She knows where her future is going but still has the desire to live her own life. Emilia comes into the franchise and does a good job in the iconic role. (7/10)sarah

Jai Courtney: Kyle Reese is one of John’s most loyal soldiers in the battle against Sky-Net, he volunteers to go back in time to protect Sarah but what he finds is a different future to what he had been expecting. He get caught up in the middle of a battle he was only looking to be part of the beginning of. Jai does well because we have seen weaker performance in the past but this could be the start of something good for him. (7/10)kyle

Support Cast: Terminator Genisys has a supporting cast that includes the generic authority figures and a comic relief J.K. Simmons.

Director Review: Alan TaylorAlan stays true to the originals to make a good addition to the series. (7/10)

Action: Terminator Genisys has plenty of action sequences mostly CGI heavy though. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: Terminator Genisys checks off nearly all of the sci-fi check boxes to make it one of the better sci-fi action films of the year. (7/10)

Thriller: Terminator Genisys keeps us guessing until the very end. (7/10)

Settings: Terminator Genisys uses the generic locations throughout. (6/10)
Special Effects: Terminator Genisys has a mix of great and bad CGI effects that really can make things good or bad as certain parts look great but the bad let the film down. (5/10)

Suggestion: Terminator Genisys is one for the popcorn fans to enjoy, I think the die hard fans will be disappointed. (Popcorn Fans Watch)

Best Part: Arnold dead pan comedy.

Worst Part: Bad CGI.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

Funniest Scene: Line up.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Most likely

Post Credits Scene: Yes

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $318 Million

Budget: $155 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 6 Minutes

Tagline: The rules have been reset.

Trivia: Jason Clarke is the sixth actor to play John Connor in the many portrayals of the character. This has lead to people referring to him as the “Rusty Griswold” of the Terminator series as five different actors have portrayed that role in the many films.

Overall: Fun popcorn film that will entertain throughout.

Rating 70