Wind River (2017)

Director: Taylor Sheridan

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham, Kelsey Asbille

 

Plot: An FBI agent teams with a town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Contender for Film of the Year

 

Story: Wind River starts as we meet Cory Lambert (Renner) a hunter hired to take out predators in the Wyoming vast landscapes, his latest job is to search for lions hunting living stock but his tracks for these predators leads him to a gruesome discovery of Natalie’s (Asbille) frozen body. Cory brings in Native American Sheriff Ben (Greene) who brings in FBI agent Jane Banner (Olsen) to help with the investigation.

The three work together as Cory’s own experience of losing a daughter helps him connect with victims family, his ability to track predators and knowing what it is like to be an outsider to the Native American community helps the new outside Jane who doesn’t get the best help from the locals but together they will look to get to the bottom of this horrific crime.

 

Thoughts on Wind River

 

Characters – Cory is a hunter for hire to eliminate predators in the open land, he is the best tracker in the area but is also haunted by the death of his own teenage daughter, when he discovers one of her old friends body he must work with FBI agent Jane to discover the truth while being the only one that connect with the victim’s family. FBI Agent Jane Banner is the nearest agent to the crime, she isn’t prepared for what she discovers in the environment but is determined to find out the truth even if the locals don’t want to help along the way.

PerformanceJeremy Renner gives his best performance of his career to date here where you are just wanting to see more from his character because he is that interesting. Elizabeth Olsen is great here too showing how she can do the smaller films with ease.

StoryThe story is following a crime that needs to be solved where we see Native American community not being as accepting to outsiders making solving the crime more difficult. The story shows how bleak the world these characters live in and the unfolding of the truth is engaging pulling us into want to learn the truth. This is a slow burning story but you just want to keep watching each and every scene.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the story is investigating of the body being found, it could be murder but the cause of death isn’t murder, this also adds to the mystery of the film as we are left to see how everything unfolds.

SettingsThe settings are fantastic viewing with the mountain range looking breath taking but also show the distant world between the Native American people and the modern world.

Scene of the Movie – The truth

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is hard to find something I didn’t like.

Tagline – Nothing is harder to track than the truth

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy contender for film of the year even could been an early pick for Best Picture, it has the best acting performance of the year to date and is a must watch for the crime thriller fans.

 

Overall: Brilliant film and contender for film of the year.

Rating

 

 

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Arrival (2016)

arrDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Ted Chiang (Story)

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O‘Brien, Tzi Ma

 

Plot: When 12 mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This is a Pure Wow

 

Story: Arrival starts meet Louise Banks (Adams) who is a linguistics professor when they arrive. They being 12 mysterious shape spacecrafts that have appeared around the world.

With the world growing with tension about the visitors Colonel Weber (Whitaker) brings in Louise and Ian Donnelly (Renner) to help translate the language the crafts are speaking. The months go past as they search for a way to communicate making baby steps along the way but can they finally get through to each other?

 

Thoughts on Arrival

 

StoryThis is one of the most fascinating stories in sci-fi from out of space in years, it avoids all the mindless destruction to look at a logical answer to what it would be like it we got a visit from space, the solving of the reasoning if you like. The film does also have a twist that just leaves you confused at first but fully understanding everything that happens.

Sci-Fi/Mystery/ThrillerThe sci-fi elements are easy to spot here with the alien introduction with the mystery being all about why they are here with the thrilling side of the story coming from which side of the fence you believe the humans will act, in peace or in violence.

Characters/PerformanceLouise is a very interesting, down to Earth character that can tackle the problem at hand with minimal fuss to make sure that the right thing is done. While Ian does makes for a good supporting character he is happy to take a step back for Louise to take the lead on the case.

SettingsThe settings give us a full look at what it will be like within these spacecrafts as well having the full military presence throughout the film.

Special EffectsThe special effects being used are all fantastic as we get to see a constant use of unease within the spacecraft with the mist while we see the spacecraft look completely as one with the locations we find them in.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far one of the greatest alien incoming movies you will ever see that makes you think about what might happen if we did get visited.

 

Overall: Brilliant story telling, brilliant performances and unbelievable out to this sci-fi thriller.

Ratingcard

 

 

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

casting cardDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Characters)

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt

 

Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best So Far

 

Story: Captain America: Civil War starts as we see Captain America (Evans) and his team Black Widow (Johansson), Falcon (Mackie) and Scarlet Witch (Olsen) taking down a criminal unit with their own villain in Crossbones (Grillo). But this does lead to a mistake happening as the heroes cause more damage than they should.

With the government looking to close down the Avengers while Zemo (Bruhl) is making his moves against Hydra.

Tony Stark (Downey Jr) and Captain America both clashing on whether to sign the document that will put a limit on the Avengers action and with this the lines start getting drawn between the two men. Tension increases when the peace talks get attacked with all the fingers pointing at the Winter Soldier (Stan).

Captain America not accepting that Winter Soldier is behind the attacks goes against the new deal finding himself arrested and branded a criminal. Once free the sides are drawn and battle between the superheroes is about to be unleashed.

Captain America: Civil War is the best Avengers movie we have seen to date, this is a simple fact that we have nearly all of the Avengers bar Thor and Hulk in this one with addition too. We have the heroes dealing with the consequences of their actions in previous films. The best addition to this story I would say is that villain, now without giving too much away it is his motivation which is great but while this is great it is also a negative because we don’t get enough time to focus on his side of the story because we are dealing with the battle from within for too long. Fresh off the back of once of the most average superhero films in recent years Batman v Superman this uses the character battles better making each moment a potential end for anyone of the character which really adds the tension needed in this film and I can safely say this is the one that could be saving the Marvel Cinematic Universe from becoming average.

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Evans: Captain America is leading his own team of Avengers that ends with innocent people being killed. This brings in a new world agreement that the Avengers only worked when called upon but Captain isn’t playing by those rules as he wants to prove his old friend Bucky the Winter Soldier is innocent of attacks. He draws his lines against Tony Stark leading to battle between the Avengers themselves. Chris gives his best performance in this film franchise to date.

Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark is willing to sign the agreement because he is feeling the effects of the innocent lives they have lost. He clashes with Captain making him the law in the battle for superhero supremacy. Robert is good in this role against Captain America which works very well.

Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow is one Captain America’s team but when the agreement is made she finds herself torn between the two men who are forcing fellow superheroes to pick sides. Scarlett does well with her performance but sadly she is very underused through the film.

Sebastian Stan: Winter Soldier is Captain America’s good friend that is being framed through the film, Steve stands by him through the battle making him the one that is causing the friction between the heroes. Sebastian is great in this supporting role being the middle man for the bigger picture.

Support Cast: Captain America: Civil War the biggest cast so far with each character getting their moment in the battle and the story, we also get new characters like Black Panther and Spiderman introduced like they have been part of this universe from the very start.

Director Review: Anthony Russo, Joe RussoAnthony & Joe give us the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

 

Action: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant action sequences going on from start to finish as we see the heroes fight each other.

Adventure: Captain America: Civil War puts our heroes on the adventure that will put their alliances to question.

Sci-Fi: Captain America: Civil War throws us into the middle of a sci-fi battle with superheroes.

Superhero: Captain America: Civil War could actually be the best use of superheroes we have seen in the Marvel world.

Settings: Captain America: Civil War uses the settings to make the action happen, but with most of the fighting only being between the heroes we end up in locations where innocent people can’t be hurt.
Special Effects
: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant special effects to make all of the battle sequences look breath taking.

Suggestion: Captain America: Civil War is the Marvel film I think people should be going to watch first now. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Airport battle.

Worst Part: The villain is excellent but we don’t see enough of him.

Action Scene Of The Film: Airport Battle.

Funniest Scene: Airport Battle.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: Special effects nomination should be heading this films way.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

Tagline: Whose side are you on? 

Trivia: This is the live-action debut of T’Challa, the Black Panther, one of the first African superheroes.

 

Overall: This is the best film from the marvel cinematic universe to date.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

logoDirector: Tommy Wirkola

Writer: Tommy Wirkola (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears, Robin Atkin Downes, Ingrid Bolos Berdal, Joanna Kulid, Thomas Mann, Peter Stormare

 

Plot: Hansel & Gretel are bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Heavy Story Short

 

Story: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters starts with a twist on the known Hansel & Gretel story where as children they were left in the forest by their parents. Hansel & Gretel come upon a candy covered home in search for help but what they find inside is witch but the two handle themselves, deal with the problem and never go back to their parents.

Grown up Hansel (Renner) & Gretel (Arterton) are known as the witch hunters going from town to town to defeat whatever witch is haunting the villagers. Sheriff Berringer (Stormare) is hunting a witch in his town and Hansel & Gretel are bought in by the Mayor to find the witch leading to the instant tension between the two parties. The Sheriff decides to hire his own team to find the witch but she does one better, Muriel (Janssen) finds them and makes quick work of them.

Hansel& Gretel capture one of the witches and discover the plan where Muriel leader of the witches is planning to take 12 children and after they take the 12th Hansel & Gretel become separated. Hansel gets help from a local girl Mina (Viitala) while Gretel receives help from an unlikely source a troll. Hansel & Gretel must face their deadliest enemy to date.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes an old story we all have heard before and makes it a all grown up version. I like the idea of see what happened when the pair grew up but sadly that is the only real positive I could find in this film. The fact that the action scenes are nearly all identical with running through the woods or the town followed by Hansel or Gretel getting pretty much battered before pulling of something as a pair to defeat the enemy makes me wonder how they have lasted this long. The witch’s motives seem like a very similar take on what ‘The Brothers Grimm’ film had going on and the attempted twists are easier to read that a Dr Seuss book. I felt very disappointed with the lack of originality in this story because I feel the idea has a lot of potential. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jeremy Renner: Hansel the brother of the pair who is very much the jump in head first kind of guy, he does spend a lot of time running through the woods but is loyal to Gretel until the end. Jeremy does a solid job and takes his beatings well, but never gets to show any of his acting abilities through this film. (5/10)

 hansel

Gemma Arterton: Gretel the brains of the act who uncovers what is really going on, she is much more patient than Hansel but can handle herself in a fight. Gemma has the look of a sexy witch hunter but really that is all. (4/10)

gertel

Famke Janssen: Muriel the evil witch who is out to become the most powerful indestructible witch of all time. She is already more powerful than anything the two have faced before. Famke does a solid job in the villainous role but really doesn’t get a chance to be as evil as her character requires. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has a supporting cast that includes the fellow witches out to complete the ritual, it also has the towns people who are scared of what is happening.

 

Director Review: Tommy Wirkola – I have to say I like Tommy’s work on the Dead Snow films but this seems like it tries too hard to make something extra happen and forgets to make the simple happen. (4/10)

 

Action: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has plenty of running, getting beaten up, shooting and missing that it takes over the whole story with all easy action. (6/10)

Fantasy: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes us into a fantasy world of witches but tries to keep things real, which doesn’t always work. (6/10)

Horror: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters doesn’t really end up being that much of a horror we have some very good effect used on the kills but nothing truly horror. (4/10)

Settings: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters uses the settings well to put us in the time period the film is set in. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters uses some good special effects but you did know when it is CGI. (6/10)

Suggestion: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is one to watch late night television when nothing is on and you feel like trying it. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Certain kills are good.

Worst Part: Lack of story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Attacking the witches.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $226 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Classic Tale New Twist

 

Overall: This is a lacklustre addition to the action horror genre that really doesn’t know which genre it wants to be and falls flat on its face.

Rating 45

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

logoDirector: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Christopher McQuarrie, Drew Pearce (Story)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Simon McBurney, Jingchu Zhang, Tom Hollander, Alec Baldwin

Plot: Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Non Stop Action

Story: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation starts in London, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) who gets his latest mission, a shadow nation known as the Syndicate who have turned the tables on Hunt. CIA Director Alan Hunley (Baldwin) is out to close the IMF with William Brandt (Renner) there to defend them the ruling is that the IMF is closed.

The Syndicate captures Ethan preparing to torture him before Ilsa Faust (Ferguson) saves him but remains undercover inside the Syndicate. Hunley is trying to hunt down Hunt even if it ends up going through his former team with Benji Dunn (Pegg) first up. Hunt continues to use his old team mate Benji as he tries to bring down the Syndicate, the question remains just how deep does the Syndicate’s cover up go and can Ethan and his team stop them before they complete their plan to create a new world they can control.

Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation is the toughest test Ethan has faced to date while I still wonder how anyone would even consider the fact Ethan has gone dark after just the four mission we have seen, we have to deal with it again here. I like how through the how film you are not sure what side of the fence Ilsa is but when it comes to Ethan’s story it does feel like more of the same. It is unfair to say this is bad because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and this could easily be the most action packed of the series especially as it doesn’t seem to let you have time to breathe. This is a wonderful addition to the spy genre. (8/10)

Actor Review

Tom Cruise: Ethan Hunt is our leading special agent who has been working on tracking down the Syndicate, when his unit gets closed down yet again he must go rogue himself with both the Syndicate and CIA after him. Ethan has to turn to his trusted team to supporting him along with undercover British Agent Ilsa to stop the Syndicate once and for all. Tom Cruise continues to show why he is the biggest blockbuster star around this a great performance. (9/10)hunt

Jeremy Renner: William Brandt has to deal with the wrath of the CIA Director who is out to stop Ethan and the IMF. He must let Ethan complete the mission but can’t directly help him in anyway, before teaming up with Luther to save Ethan. Jeremy continues with this almost awkward role, not his fault his character just feels out of place in the action side of things. (7/10)

Simon Pegg: Benji Dunn is the technologically skilled team member of Hunt’s who ends up getting pulled into the field which he wants to take down the Syndicate while being chased down by the CIA. Benji brings all the laughs to the making everything have a lighter feel which is much needed with all the action. Simon gives a great performance with an added laugh in almost every scene he is in. (9/10)benji

Rebecca Ferguson: Ilsa Faust is the member of the Syndicate that helps Ethan but through the whole film we never really know who she is working for even with her connection with the British Secret Service. Rebecca does a good job in the role that offers up the most interest mainly because we don’t know where her alliance is and Rebecca helps give mystery to his character. (7/10)ilsa

Sean Harris: Solomon Lane is the leader of the Syndicate, former British Intelligence who is waging his own war where he can end up control the fire arms being used in wars. Sean makes for a good villain but I think we still need that little extra from his characters side. (7/10)

Support Cast: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation has a big supporting cast that are the henchmen, the supporters of Ethan and just the pawns in the game as the truth needs to be bought out.

Director Review: Christopher McQuarrieChristopher brings his own style of action to this film to make us entertained from start to finish. (8/10)

Action: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation has brilliant action sequences through the whole film. (9/10)

Thriller: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation keeps you on the edge of your seat from the opening sequence until the end credits. (10/10)

Settings: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation uses each setting to create another action sequence that all works but nothing to make us think they are important to actual story. (6/10)

Suggestion: Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation is a must watch this year as it is easily one of the best action films of the year. (Watch)

Best Part: Morocco chase.

Worst Part: I think there is more to come from the Brandt character.

Action Scene Of The Film: Morocco chase.

Funniest Scene: No masks.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hour 11 Minutes

Tagline:  Go rogue

Trivia: The stunt coordinator told Simon Pegg that Cruise was going to do all the driving because he didn’t have any driver better than him.

Overall: Spy films have never felt more action packed.

Rating 85