Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil & Vile (2019)

Director: Joe Berlinger

Writer: Michael Werwie (Screenplay) Elizabeth Kendall (Book)

Starring: Lily Collins, Zac Efron, Kaya Scodelario, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Jeffrey Donovan, Haley Joel Osment, Angela Sarafyan

 

Plot: A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.


Tagline – The Story Behind America’s Most Notorious Serial Killer

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Tense

 

Story: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starts as we see Liz (Collins) visiting Ted (Efron) in prison, this leads to her flashing back to how the two first met in Seattle, the two have continued to grow a family, in the shadow of the mysterious killings of young woman in and around the local states.

When Ted first gets arrested for jumping stop signs, it soon spirals into attempted kidnapping before Ted gets charged with the murder of the girls on the university compass, with escapes mounting charges, can Ted continue to convince Liz that he is innocent.

 

Thoughts on Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

 

Characters – Liz Kendall is the single mother that starts dating Ted, she loves how he accepts her child and is accepted by her child. She is never going to accept that Ted has committed the crimes he once did, she is blinded by the love and charm Ted offers her. Ted Bundy is the most notorious serial of the last century, he used he good looks and charms to trick his victims, though we never see this on camera, we follow Ted as he convinces Liz he isn’t the killer, while using his charm and intelligence to stay ahead of the court cases he is facing, this version of Ted is one that played to the media that got the following and people interested in the case about his life. Carole Anne Boone is the woman that starts following Ted through his trial, she is just like the rest of the women, who is easily seduced by his charm. Judge Edward D Cowart is the Judge in the Florida trial, he must deal with Ted taking the trial into a media circus while remaining neutral through the case.

PerformancesLily Collins is the woman that was in love with Ted, in her performance we get to see how she is dealing with the guilt of not knowing or wanting to know the truth about Ted. Zac Efron has just shown the world that he is a major player in the acting field, this is easily the strongest performance of his career that is filled with the charm his character requires and the disturbing look behind his eyes. John Malkovich brings the much-needed calm presence for a judge. Kaya Scodelario is great to breaking away from the typical roles we are used to seeing her in.

StoryThe story here instantly gets the talking points, first any film that shows us the events of a known serial killer shouldn’t be put front and centre of a story, they don’t deserve to be the ones remembered over their victims. Away from that point, we get to follow most of the court cases involving Ted, this is refreshing as we don’t have to watch his horrible actions, just see how the cases are trying to prove whether he was the one behind the murders. The story does become interesting to see unfold because we are left to almost see why it was so hard to believe he was the killer by the way he handled himself trying to prove his innocence. This is easily the best way to look at the Ted Bundy story because it doesn’t glorify the violence he caused and showed us just how determined the authorities were to bring him down.

Biopic/CrimeThe biopic side of the film showed us just how Liz Kendall was involved in the life of Ted Bundy, how her love made it hard for her to believe he was this evil, we do see how Ted Bundy was determined to prove he was never guilty of the crimes, which leads into the world the crimes that have been committed.

SettingsA lot of the film is set in and around the courtrooms showing how the case is being broken down.


Scene of the Movie –
The verdict speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem to skip out a lot of the timeline of the murders.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best performances from Zac Efron that brings to life the serial killer Ted Bundy, showing how he would use his natural talents to charm and intelligence to attempt to get off everything he is being charged for.

 

Overall: Must Watch biopic.

Rating

 

 

Sicario 2: Soldado (2018)

Director: Stefano Sollima

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan, Catherine Keener, Manuel Garcia-Fulfo, Matthew Modine

 

Plot: The drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Excellently Shot

 

Story: Sicario 2: Soldado starts with a terrorist attack on American soil, Matt Graver (Brolin) is bought in to learn who is responsible for getting them into America in the first place, this leads him to the Mexican Cartels. Matt’s assignment is to create a war between the cartels.

Matt brings Alejandro (Del Toro) the best man back for the job which involves kidnapping Isabel Reyes (Moner) the daughter of one of the games, but when the release goes wrong the race to cover up the job is on.

 

Thoughts on Sicario 2: Soldado

 

Characters – Alejandro is recruited once again by Matt Graver to do an off the books job on the border of Mexico. He is the cold hearted killer that we met before, he goes on his own mission through the film which shows just how skilled he is. Matt Graver is the man the government turn to when they need to get a dirty job done, he is like a machine when it comes to decision making and knows to make contacts in his field. He has a much more front and centre role in this film. Isabel Reyes is the target they team goes after as a pawn in the battle between the Cartels. This isn’t the strongest character and we don’t know how often she is willing to use her father’s name. the rest of the characters we meet focus on the government making the decisions, the cartels and the small town smugglers which all come together for the final story.

PerformancesThis is a movie with two excellent performances in from Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, these two show how talented they are and elevate their performances from the first film. the rest of the cast are good without taking away the spotlight from any of the two leads.

StoryThe story continues to show the war on the cartels in and around the Mexican border, it shows how the government is willing to create their own war to keep the other side out of their problems. The core of the story follows one mission to create a war in Mexico, we know the players in the game from the American side and they are unleashed to go further than before. There is a subplot about a teenager getting bought into the cartel to help with the smuggling, which is important for the story, but the build is very much out of the style of the rest of the film. if you like the dark, brutal side of the original then you will enjoy this one too, though I will warn there are some very difficult scenes to watch.

Action/CrimeThe action in this film is hard hitting, the shoot outs are brilliant and the explosion look as realistic as you could imagine. There is no turning away from the brutality in the action. The crime shows the American government breaking the law to fight the criminals at their own game which is where the film puts out the ethical question about what they are doing.

SettingsThe film uses the settings excellently, this helps with the shots we get that use the camerawork perfectly and show just where this war will be happening.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just what happens when our characters get hit by the bullets flying around, the effects are brutal to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
The dust convoy

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Miguel storyline takes something away from the mission story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an excellent sequel to Sicario, it shows just how deadly the game of creating wars can be and just how dirty people will have to get to achieve this.

 

Overall: Must watch action thriller.

Rating

 

Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – J. Edgar (2011)

hooverDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Dustin Lance Black (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney

 

Plot: J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Biopic

 

Story: J. Edgar starts as we learn that J Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio) wanting to tell his story as he goes back to 1919 when he witnesses the crime being committed against his boss Mitchell Palmer. We see how Palmer give Hoover a chance to search for the communist which are targeting high ranking members of America.

With Hoover’s first act he plans to deport any non-America who poses a threat to the country a new law was born and peace came from the rebel. Being put in charge of the Bureau of Investigation Hoover cleans out the corruption to build his own force as he wants to use new technology to help fight crime. While his professional career shines and rises his personal life where he tackles his own relationship with Clyde Tolson (Hammer) that has to remain a secret. The birth of the FBI is told through this story too.

J. Edgar shows the amazing career and life of one of the most important men in American history as we see how he came to help change how law was thought and studied. This will never be questioned but his methods on achieving this could be questioned as he does push many morale boundaries. It is the look into his personal life which also interests because for a man rising against authority to be homosexual at the time would have been looked down on so Hoover also becomes victim to the personal choice being the thing that held back his career. The problem with this film is not in the performance because DiCaprio shines in this role but the problem comes with the fact that this is slightly too long at nearly two and half hours long we could have easily have had a two-hour film because the whole film feels slow at times.

 

Overall: Slow biopic with heavyweight performances.

Rating55

 

 

Extinction (2015)

extinctionDirector: Miguel Angel Vivas

Writer: Miguel Angel Vivas, Alberto Marini (Screenplay) Juan de Dios Garduno (Novel)

Starring: Matthew Fox, Jeffrey Donovan, Quinn McColgan, Valeria Vereau, Clara Lago, Eduardo Fedriani

 

Plot: And suddenly, overnight, the world came to a halt. Two men, two survivors, one kid, and hatred that separates them. A place forgotten by everyone, including the creatures that inhabit the Earth… until now.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Horror

 

Story: Extinction starts as we follow two buses with military personal moving civilians before a sudden stop shows the enemy they are against, a blood thirsty creature almost vampire mixed with zombie. The attack leaves on Patrick (Fox), Jack (Donovan) and baby Lu belonging to one of them left alive.

Nine years later we find Patrick living opposite Jack on a none speaking terms while Jack is trying to raise his daughter Lu (McColgan) in a world with just the three of them alive. We don’t know what has happened between Jack and Patrick but that is the reason why they don’t talk. When Lu sees one of the creatures trying to get into the safety house the three learn they may not be alone anymore but the danger has returned and the two men have to put their difference behind them to protect Lu from the evil in the world.survirs

Extinction is a film that could have gone down as something very routine but does something very different. We skip most of the aftermath of the attack and see something has happened between the men but only as the film unfolds we learn the truth. We also are left guessing which one is actually the father of Lu. The drama between the men does really help the story get driven because the horror is almost forgotten at times showing that the time the film is set person issue will need to be put aside when surviving is most important. I do think we have a few issues with character decisions but otherwise this is very engaging.

 

Actor Review

 

Matthew Fox: Patrick is one of the two me that have survived all these years and what seemed like they were friends soon shows they are actually enemies now. He lives in isolation but opposite Jack & Lu as we see him being the guy trying to communicate with anybody while being more adventures with his hunting. Matthew is good in this role where he almost plays three different characters through his character’s development in the film.

Jeffrey Donovan: Jack was once friends with Patrick but no enemies while Jack is trying to raise Lu in this empty world. He has a much more cautious approach compared to Patrick but not listening to Lu could be the downside of all of their safety. Jeffrey is good in this role where he does create a real tension between his character and Matthew’s.

Quinn McColgan: Lu is the daughter of Patrick who was only a baby when the attack happened where her mother died trying to save her. She is getting increasingly frustrated about not being allowed to leave the house but has to protectors in the world. Quinn is great in this role even if the character makes some bad decisions.

Support Cast: Extinction doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast but the few we do meet do a good job.

Director Review: Miguel Angel VivasMiguel does a great job with this film with a story that keeps us on edge for the whole journey.

 

Horror: Extinction uses the creatures to create the horror along with the idea that our world is gone from where we once knew it to be.

Sci-Fi: Extinction puts us into a post-apocalyptic world where we never fully know what caused it.

Settings: Extinction puts us into the setting where snow has taken over the world making everything look very bleak.
Special Effects
: Extinction does have a few issues with the special effects as you could see the CGI very easily but I do think it will be to keep it in the comic book tone.

Suggestion: Extinction is one film that really surprised me so I will be suggesting it to everyone. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The Conflict between Patrick and Jack.

Worst Part: Certain moments make you wonder how they survived this long.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: Maybe in a couple of places.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: They are the last

Trivia: They filmed in Budapest due to its snowy winter, but it turned out to be the first winter in over a decade with no snow at all.

 

Overall: Surprisingly emotional filled horror thriller.

Ratingcard

 

Sicario (2015)

sicarioDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Julio Cedillo

 

Plot: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Sicario starts when a FBI SWAT team bust a house where Kate Macer (Blunt) discover the walls are filled with dead bodies. After impressing the higher ups in the FBI Kate gets assigned to work on a task force under Matt Graver (Brolin) to track down the Cartel along with the expert Alejandro (del Toro).

On this task force Kate discovers not everything is going by the book as she tries her hardest to fight to get this done the legal way but even her higher ups want this done the illegal way to stir the pot and expose the criminals.

Sicario is a tense thriller that keeps us on the edge of our seats, it has plenty of twists and turns that keep us guessing to where things are going and who people are. This is slow moving as we only really follow the preparation, execution and questions about each mission without getting to in depth with anything else. It will go down as one of the best thrillers of the year.

 

Actor Review

 

Emily Blunt: Kate Macer is a highly respected leader of a FBI SWAT unit that gets a chance to get revenge on the Cartel that have been causes the deaths of her unit. She ends up on a special task force where she questions every decision being made for being unethical compared to the usual by the book style she works under. We find Kate trapped in a world she doesn’t fully understand but in a place she wants to be in too where she learns how to take down a Cartel. Emily is brilliant in this role showing all her skills through the performance.kate

Benicio Del Toro: Alejandro is the Mexican helping the special unit, he will do the dirty jobs without blinking but still keeps mystery about him from start to finish. Benicio is great in this role which is filled with mystery.alejandro

Josh Brolin: Matt Graver is the leader of the special unit, he is very laidback and doesn’t care what rules they break to get the job down, he also isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to getting the job done but would rather leave it up for Alejandro. Josh is good in this role with his style working for the role.matt

Victor Garber: Dave Jennings is the head of the FBI who gives Kate the chance to be part of this task force, he is happy with things being done off the book as long as it gets results. Victor is good in this supporting role without being a major part of the film.

Support Cast: Sicario has good basic supporting cast that all work for the story.

Director Review: Denis VilleneuveDenis brings his own style to this thriller that all works for where the story needed to go.

 

Action: Sicario has good tactical action from start to finish.

Crime: Sicario brings us into the crime war against the Cartels as we see the intense side of the story.

Mystery: Sicario adds the mystery as we just don’t know what the overall plan is, as well as wondering who Alejandro really is.

Thriller: Sicario keeps us guessing to what will happen next and to who throughout.

Settings: Sicario takes us to the location you would expect to see in the world we are a part of for this journey
Special Effects
: Sicario uses great effects to create the kills used throughout.

Suggestion: Sicario is one for all the thriller fans to enjoy from start to finish. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension from start to finish.

Worst Part: Slow moving.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Will most likely appear on the lists

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 1 Minute

Tagline: The border is just another line to cross.

Trivia: The thermal vision shots in the film were shot with a thermal vision camera and they were not added in the post-production.

 

Overall: Tense thriller that keeps us guessing from start to finish

Ratingcard