ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – The Patriot (2000)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Robert Rodat (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Techeky Karyo, Rene Auberjonois

 

Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.


Tagline – Some things are worth fighting for. 

Runtime: 2 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long War Epic

 

Story: The Patriot starts where peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Gibson) sees the American Revolution coming towards his doorstep with his eldest son Gabriel (Ledger) fighting about the British. When the British reach his doorstep they end up killing one of his sons, Col William Tavington (Isaacs) makes an enemy he can’t prepare to fight against.

Benjamin prepares his own militia to fight back against the British, one that has experience fighting on this land, one that has already won a war, all this to get revenge on the man that took his son in a cowardly action.

 

Thoughts on The Patriot

 

Characters – Benjamin Martin was once a feared general in the military, now he is a quiet farmer looking after his children after his wife’s death. when the American Revolution comes to his home, he loses a son to a ruthless Colonel. Returning to the force he leads the militia in battle against the English showing all the tricks he has learnt through the years, in his mission for revenge. Gabriel is the eldest son of Benjamin’s he is the first to go into war and after it returns home, he will serve under his father to show the pride he has standing next to him. Charlotte is the sister-in-law that protects the children from the war while the men go off to fight. Col William Tavington is the man that kills Benjamin’s son in cold blood, he doesn’t want to give a calm peaceful end to the war and is willing to and wants to kill anyone against him.

PerformancesMel Gibson might well have a few personal demons, but when it comes to this style of film, he never looks out of place on the big screen, easily be the star of this film. Heath Ledger continued to show the world just how talented he was going to become with a wonderful supporting performance and Jason Isaacs gives us a villain from a war movie we are going to hate.

StoryThe story follows a once deadly war general who is forced back into battle after his son is killed during the American Revolution, this follows his revenge in the battle which does give us a fictional story to a real war that changed America at the time. Now this does have a reality in how the men would be losing family members to the ruthless British, though this does make out that the British were the worst of the worst when it came to battle. This is a movie designed to make the American audience feel extra patriotic and does show the two sides of war, the respectful way and the dirty tactics people will use to win.

Action/History/WarThe action is large scale war sequences, each one gets bigger with the number of bodies piling up as we go along. The historical side of the film focuses on the real war over the real people involved in the war which is fine, we only need the historical side as a backdrop for the personal battle.

SettingsThe film does make the realistic settings for the time the war took place in each location does play a key part in the film be it a battle, the moment which will leave people wanting revenge or safety.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Being overly patriotic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the long war epics that is designed solely to make America look great, it does end up going down the revenge line which gives an edge to the battles, which will be the highlight of the film.

 

Overall: Patriotic 101

Rating

 

 

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John Leguizamo Weekend – The Infiltrator (2016)

infiDirector: Brad Furman

Writer: Ellen Sue Brown (Screenplay) Robert Mazur (Book)

Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Daniel Mays, Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs, Michael Pare,

 

Plot: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Crime Drama

 

Story: The Infiltrator starts as we meet Robert Mazur (Cranston) who has been working as an undercover US Custom officer who has just taken down a drug ring which for the time offers him a chance to walk away from field work. When one of Robert’s co-workers Emir Abreu (Leguizamo) comes to him with information of a Colombian drug lord Robert must decide whether to follow the lead.

Robert takes the job where he must go undercover as a banker for the Colombian drug lord where he must work with Abreu who he sees as a loose cannon to take down Pablo Escobar. The further Robert goes undercover the deeper he finds himself wondering just how far he will get pushed by the drug lords.

The Infiltrator gives us what seems to be just another look at a brave man who goes undercover to bring down a crime lord. We do have heavyweight performance from Cranston yet again that could easily get Oscar attention. I also think we get a great supporting performance from Leguizamo. The film gives us plenty of focus on the effects of going undercover on the personal life as well as the professional side of everything but it does sadly feel like just another story we have seen similar before.

 

Overall: Great performances to a crime story it feels we have seen before.

Rating70

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski (Story)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Ivo Nandi, Adrian Schiller, Celia Imrie

 

Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa’s treatments are not what they seem.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extended Mystery Horror Thriller

 

Story: A Cure for Wellness starts young executive Lockhart (DeHaan) is sent to a remote wellness centre in Switzerland to bring the CEO Pembroke (Groener) back to help close a merge in New York. After being involved in a car accident Lockhart finds himself with a broken leg and now a patient of the Wellness Program.

Still searching for Pembroke, Lockhart makes a deal with the director Volmer (Issacs) to stay for a couple of days to finish up the treatment for Pembroke. In this time Lockhart meets a mysterious young woman Hannah (Goth) the only other young patient who he tries to unlock the secrets of the program, which will test his own sanity.

 

Thoughts on A Cure for Wellness

 

Characters/PerformanceLockhart is the driven ambitious young man who has nearly reach the peak of his career at such a young age, he is haunted by his past which does include his father’s suicide and his mother’s death, this leaves him alone but in search for answers once he becomes the latest patient in the program. Volmer is the director of the clinic, he constantly remains calm through any incidents that occur and does have his own motives for the clinic. Hannah is the mysterious young woman also in the clinic, she is the only young patient there and she is Volmer’s main project but we are left to wonder about her past.

Performance wise, Dane DeHaan is good in this leading role and you can clearly see why he is tipped for a great career. Jason Isaacs always makes for a good doctor figure and this is no exception, while Mia Goth continues to make a name for herself in these stranger roles.

StoryThe story is filled with questions which always makes for a good story, I will have to point out that this is a long film nearing the 2 and half hour’s mark and even at that you can see how the pace can be questioned but it doesn’t feel long. We get a new look into the asylum genre which I feel is something we needed but the weakness is that we never hit the full levels of any of the genres involved.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy elements of this film come from the world we are placed into, this also comes for the sci-fi side of everything too. The horror comes from see what happens within the walls which is quite shocking at times but the best use of the genres comes from the mystery element which keeps us guessing from start to finish as we simply don’t know where it will go.

SettingsWith most of the film taking place in the clinic we find ourselves trapped just like Lockhart in a place which doesn’t have an escape because being there means you don’t want to leave.

Final ThoughtsThis is one long mystery thriller that doesn’t stop you wanting to see where the film will go and then it will leave you shocked by the end.

 

Overall: A rewarding mystery thriller

Rating

 

 

Event Horizon (1997)

logoDirector: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Philip Eisner (Screenplay)

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Closest To A Sci-Fi Horror Equal to Alien

 

Story: Event Horizon starts by filling us in on the time and events of the film, we are in 2040 where a Deep space research vessel called The Event Horizon has disappeared after passing past Neptune becoming one of the biggest disasters on record. 7 years later we see a devoid of gravity space craft that haunts Dr Weir (Neill) as he still struggles with the loss of his wife. We are on the Lewis & Clark the rescue mission to find the Event Horizon. Our team includes Captain Miller (Fishburne), Med Tech Peters (Quinlan), Lt Starck (Richardson), Cooper (Jones), Justin (Noseworthy), DJ (Isaacs) and Smith (Pertwee) each has their own specialist use on the mission. We get the simple hyper sleep idea for the long distance travelling which continues to feed the nightmares Weir is having.

The mission involved learning what really happened to the Event Horizon because it was part of a secret experiment to create a faster travelling system through space. Investigating the ship the crew find nothing but a ghost ship, with signs of a previous struggle with blood and body parts floating around. When an unexplained event happens the crew have to all move onto the Event Horizon while they try and fix their own ship. It isn’t long before the crew start seeing things around the ship which simply can’t be explained with rational science. The crew has 20 hours of air before they will end up dying to fix their ship and make it home.

Event Horizon is a sci-fi film that is nearly 20 years old and still feels like it could be considered fresh compared too many films that attempted and failed to reach the same level of atmosphere and pure horror. We get the deep space which instantly creates the idea that the characters are going to be alone. I will look at few negatives that got me, the first would be that they don’t discuss the mission until they are about to get there meaning there isn’t a way to go back. The second would be even after seeing this film a couple of times now I still don’t fully know what to believe about the Dr Weir character whether he is good or always bad. Overall this is a very good story and the negatives are really just nit picking instead of just praising the film. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Laurence Fishburne: Captain Miller is the leader of the rescue mission, he will look out for every one of his crew and involve them all in the decision making process but will never leave one behind. Laurence does a good job in this leading role playing the strong but equal leader. (7/10)

 miller

Sam Neill: Dr William Weir is the creator of the Event Horizon who gets taken over by the life force inside the ship wanting to take advantage of the newly discovered machine. Sam ends up going through a brilliant and frightening transformation as this film rolls on and ends up being almost unrecognisable. (8/10)

weir

Kathleen Quinlan: Peters is the med tech who first starts getting vision showing her greatest fear. I do have issues with this character because she should be the most logical when it comes to seeing the vision because she off all the people should know it is only in their minds. Kathleen does a solid job with what she has to do, it’s not her fault her character makes bad decisions. (6/10)

 

Joely Richardson: Lt Starck is the member of the crew trying to uncover everything that happened to the original crew and along the way she learns the pure terror the crew will be in for. Joely does a solid job in this role but really doesn’t get as much screen time as the character should get. (7/10)

 

Richard T Jones: Cooper is one of the engineers who gets all the best lines while the mission is taking place, he also goes through the most including being blasted off the ship and having to find his own way back. Richard ends up playing the character you want to see on screen most because he is so funny. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Event Horizon does have a couple more members of the crew that all end up becoming disposable characters as they rest try to escape the terror on the ship.

 

Director Review: Paul W.S. Anderson – Paul does a great job here and shows he knows how to pace a film to have enough scares and tension to keep us fully behind the film from start to finish. (8/10)

 

Horror: Event Horizon has to go down as one of the best horror films of the 90s but will always end up getting eclipsed by Alien. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Event Horizon takes place in space and challenges scientific theory to make the story’s events unfold. (9/10)

Settings: Event Horizon works perfectly for horror as it creates isolation instantly and the crew have to find their own way to safety because no one can rescue them. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Event Horizon does have a small weakness because a lot of the gravity based effects have dated but the rest all look great consider how many years have passed. (6/10)

Suggestion: Event Horizon is one for all the horror fans to watch, it is easily one of the most enjoyable of recent years. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Weir’s Transformation is scary and frightening all mixed up to make it horrific.

Worst Part: Certain effects have dated.

Oh My God Moment: The footage showing what happened to the original crew.

Scariest Scene: The reveal of what has happened to Dr Weir.

Favourite Quote: Dr Weir ‘Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Sunshine and Pandorum

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26.6 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Infinite Space – Infinite Terror

Trivia: Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial cut of the film ran to 130 minutes and was quite graphically violent, so much so that both test audiences and the studio baulked at the finished product. Paramount ordered him to cut the film by 30 minutes and tone down some of the violence, a decision he now regrets.

 

Overall: Event Horizon is one of the most shocking sci-fi horrors of all time and a must watch for all the horror fans out there.

Rating 89

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Domhnall Gleeson, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall

 

Plot: Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: It ends with a bang

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two starts by reminding us of the closing scene in Part One with Voldemort taking Dumbledore’s wand from his grave. Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint) continue in the quest to stop Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). The plan to find the final item of the three Deathly Hallows items takes our heroes down to Bellatrix Lestrange vault. After which they must sneak back into Hogwarts to meet up with the former classmates as they have to work together to uncover the next Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort is searching for to make him stronger.

Hogwarts is under a new head master Severus Snape (Rickman) who threatens the whole school both students and staff only to finally get confronted by Harry and taken out of the picture at Hogwarts. Voldemort tries to get the students to turn Harry over but united they stand ready for the final battle against Voldemort and anyone who stands with him.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two complete the saga we have seen for a grand total of ten years. We FINALLY get to see a proper battle instead of a small five minute one which most of the films have had. We do get more causalities and a conclusion that any saga would be happy with, we get some twists we don’t see coming that will bring our opinions on certain characters around. We get rewarded for sitting through the other films that developed the characters so we don’t have to waste time with anymore preparation. In the end all the fans will be rewarded with a conclusion that we deserved. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter going through his final preparation to face Lord Voldemort in a battle that will define him. Daniel gives a great performance in his final outing as the wizard hero. (9/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione along with Ron work on their own plan to stop Voldemort. Hermione helps in the battle by letting Harry focus on the main one ahead of him.  Emma gives a good performance. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron along with Hermione work on a plan to stop Voldemort and final show each other how they feel about one another. Rupert gives a good performance in the supporting role. (8/10)

 ron

Ralph Fiennes: Lord Voldemort along with his army is out to take down Hogwarts and kill Harry once and for all. Ralph makes for a great villain through the last couple of films and finally gets a chance to be the full force villain we have been waiting to see. (9/10)

 voldemort

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has a huge supporting cast for the battle which sees old friends return, enemies exposed and true alliances revealed. They all help in the final battle with each offering something we didn’t expect from them.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. (9/10)

 

Family: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two remains one for the growing family to enjoy but this one would be too much for the younger audience. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two keeps its fantasy elements going with the magical battles. (8/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two doesn’t have much mystery about it anymore as we solved most of the mystery in the previous film. (5/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two cuts its setting down but that works because we don’t need many as the battle takes place at Hogwarts. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has great special effects throughout that keep everything looking very real. (10/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two should only be watched by the fans who have seen the previous films, if you don’t you won’t get the full reward with this one. (Watch After the Rest)

 

Best Part: Hogwarts battle.

Worst Part: 19 years later doesn’t fit in at all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hogwarts battle

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The end for now

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Box Office: $1.3 Billion

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: It All Ends

Trivia: Daniel Radcliffe reportedly broke 80 wands throughout the series because he used them as drumsticks.

 

Overall: Great Conclusion to the Saga

Rating 90