ABC Film Challenge – Random – N – Night Moves (2013)

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Writer: Jonathan Raymond (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, Logan Miller, Kai Lennox, Katherine Waterston

 

Plot: Three radical environmentalists look to execute the protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Slow

 

Story: Night Moves starts as we follow Josh (Eisenberg) and Dena (Fanning) who are environmentalists looking to find a way to change the world before it gets destroyed. Tired of the peaceful protests the couple head off to meet radical Harmon (Sarsgaard) who has a plan for a true statement the world will take notice off.

We watch how the three bring together the equipment to send their message and we are left to wonder if they will go through with it and what impact it could have on the environment.

 

Thoughts on Night Moves

 

Characters/PerformanceJosh and Dena are young idealistic environmentalists that are out on a mission to work with the radical Harmon they sum up the frustrated generation of how the world get mistreated and want to change it in their own way. Harmon is full left field, he wants to enjoy seeing the world change because of what they do.

Performance wise, we know how capable all three actors are, but sadly through this film we don’t get to see just how talented they are. I feel it is the script which holds most of this back really.

StoryThe story shows how environmentalists can push things to the extremes but must deal with the consequences of those action. The story is incredibly slow paced never pulling you into care about these characters or their actions and by the end everything all feels very flat indeed.

ThrillerYou simply don’t get sucked into this story or what is happening because of the poor pacing within the movie.

SettingsThe settings show the nature that these characters want to see live on, we also get to see just what has been happening with the human impact, so this does help us understand the situation the characters find themselves in, in a weird way.

Final ThoughtsThis was a very slow movie, it has a story that doesn’t drag you in and most disappointingly the film really doesn’t go anywhere.

 

Overall: Disappointing and slow film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – A – American Ultra (2015)

ultraDirector: Nima Nourizadeh

Writer: Max Landis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman

 

Plot: A stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Comedy

 

Story: American Ultra starts as Mike Howell (Eisenberg) who must explain what has happened. We move back to see how Mike and his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart) who live in a small dead-end town while enjoying getting stoned in their spare time. We also meet the government agents Adrian Yates (Grace) who is looking to close a project that Victoria Lasseter (Britton) has started.

When Adrian decides to terminate asset Mike Howell he becomes activated by Victoria and Mike learns all about a new set of skills that leaves a trail of bodies as Mike and Phoebe go on the run to learn the truth.

 

Thoughts on American Ultra

 

StoryThe story here is easy to follow and it is clear that this is designed to poke fun at the is he an agent or not sub-genre of action without being full parody. I think the story works and comes off original for the most part because you are left wonder where it could go next and we see how anything is possible too.

Action/ComedyThe action going on within this film is to make the extra comedy with how unique the kills and use of weapons that make things original throughout. While I don’t think, this is the best comedy the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously helps make it feel light hearted throughout.

Characters/PerformancesMike is meant to be your everyday stoner who just gets by in life but what if he had been recruited by the government to be an undercover asset, well this is told through this character where he questions his own existence in the world. Phoebe does have a twist to her character with Yates being the typical over the top full of power government agent with Victoria being the elder member of the government team who wants to do the right thing. When you look at performances Eisenberg gets to have a lot of fun with his character and Stewart shows the talent she has but doesn’t always show in Twilight. Grave continues to be good at the over the top guy with the rest of the cast fitting the movie well.

SettingsThe settings are within the small town which shows just how the government can take control without needing to explain. It also gets fully explained by Mike hasn’t been able to leave under the program.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few and far between but all work for how the story is being told without having anything go wildly over the top like it could.

Final ThoughtsEnjoyable and fun is the best way to describe this because you know you are having something slightly light hearted going on throughout.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable action comedy that watched the right way can be enjoyed.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Social Network (2010)

socialDirector: David Fincher

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Ben Mezrich (Book)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Rashida Jones, Rooney Mara

 

Plot: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overrated and Hard Work

 

Story: The Social Network starts as we meet Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) on a date with Erica Albright (Mara) showing how socially awkward he can be during his time Harvard. Upset about the break up Mark with his friend Eduardo Saverin (Garfield) Dustin Moskovitz (Mazzello) and Chris Hughes (Mapel) create a comparing girls photos on a website that spread through Harvard instantly bringing down the servers.

This night’s events cause Zuckerberg on front of a disciplinary panel as well as showing us the ongoing court case going on against Zuckerberg. His stunt has grab the attention of the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler (Hammer playing both) who want Zuckerberg to help them with their big idea.

The story continues to show Mark works with Winklevoss twins only to use their idea to build his own site The Facebook. When the site takes off it grabs the attention of founder of Napster Sean Parker (Timberlake) who wants to take the site from Millions to Trillions. This is the story of how Facebook ends up becoming one of the biggest things the world has ever seen.

 

Thoughts on The Social Network

 

StoryThe story shows us how Facebook was built by making enemies with the people who helped start it going by borrowing ideas to make it the biggest sites in the world. We get plenty of business talk, tech talk and lawyer scenes which mix up the story for us making it difficult to understand everything that goes on because most of the story is very American, so if you don’t understand the terms you will find yourself lost in the mix. I feel this will always be a complex story that will be remember but is told very slow and confusingly.

Biography/DramaShowing the actions of the real-life people involved Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins and Sean Porter show how they were all effected by what happened with the creation of Facebook which is all good as we see how these people were meant to be acting towards making this happen. There is nothing bad to say about this side of the story watching the genre.

Characters/PerformanceThe performances are nearly all flawless as we see just how these people are portrayed, we see how Zuckerberg comes off very brash arrogant and rude towards the people who help him. When you see the cast being involved you can see how the stars have started and come onto the next big things.

SettingsEach setting makes us see just how much a party incident this started as which would be where the idea started but the most important side of this is showing how it started with dorm room before turning into the business venture in a tower.

Final Thoughts Overall this is a very interesting look at how Facebook started even if the story can be hard to follow. We get heavyweight performances from all but the early stages of the film come off slow but the final acts of the film are the real highlights of the film.

 

Overall: Great performance, important story but at times tells a story we don’t need to know.

Ratingcard

 

 

Now You See Me 2 (2016)

 now

Director: Jon M Chu

Writer: Ed Solomon (Screenplay) Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt (Characters)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

 

Plot: The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Sequel

 

Story: Now You See Me 2 starts by going all Ocean’s Twelve on us by having Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman) wanting revenge on the Four Horsemen Daniel (Eisenberg), Merritt (Harrelson), Jack (Franco) and Lula (Caplan). Dylan (Ruffalo) brings the Horsemen back for their next job as they look to expose a new technology that will be stealing information.

With the Horseman being played and exposed they find themselves being handled by the puppet master Walter Mabry (Radcliffe) who wants the Horseman to steal a technology he helped create to make up for the money he had stolen by the Horseman a year before.

Now You See Me 2 gives us the sequel that plays out very much like Ocean’s Twelve where the robbed characters want revenge on the people that took their money. This plays out like something that has lost the elements of surprise which the first film had because the twist in the first film defines how clever the concept was but this time we lack that side of everything. This is easy to watch but in the end just doesn’t reach the full potential required in the film.

 

Overall: This is an unnecessary sequel to a fun film

Rating51

 

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

casting card

 

Plot: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Start Big Finish

 

Story: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starts with yet another brief origin story for Bruce Wayne as we see his parents killed yet again, but at least this is just through the opening credits. Bruce Wayne (Affleck) is now just a business man but while Superman (Cavill) is fight Zod from Man of Steal he just so happens to be destroying Metropolis.

18 Months have passed since the events of Man of Steel and Lois (Adams) is still journalist looking to interview war criminals where Superman is using his abilities for good, but the world doesn’t see him as good with Senator Finch (Hunter) seeing the consequences of his actions.

Batman is now fighting crime in his own where with Alfred (Irons) helping his operation where Batman knows they are criminals and is happy to brand the criminals he catches while he prepares himself for the day Superman goes too far. This film does need a villain right well here is Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) a brilliant scientist businessman who has uncovered the weakness behind Superman.

So being forty minutes in we are left with Bruce Wayne playing detective in a case that leads him to Lex Luthor where he gets invited to a party with all of the players including Clark Kent and Diana Prince (Gadot) attending.

All this plays out in a very slow building hour to find out that Bruce Wayne is trying to track down his own weapon to use on Superman thee very same one that Lex Luthor is after but Bruce wants revenge for the lives lost in Superman’s battle. All this is leading to the battle between the two while they both miss the enemy standing right in front of them in Lex Luthor.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film that I could easily have plenty of hate but I do think it has good and bad parts. First the good, the story of a film that does look at consequences of the destruction unlike many of superhero films that just look over it at times. Lex Luthor’s plan is great because it is the first time a villain has turned too good guys against each other which such ease.

As for the bad side is that everything is very slow with the build-up as we see detective side of the story from Batman. With the new Batman I do understand this is a new universe new version but isn’t the point of Batman not to kill bad guys but he doesn’t seem to care. While the final look stunning it is yet again just a mega destruction scene that feels forced to bring the two back on the same side as well as just forcing Wonder Woman into the franchise. I also feel a lot of the themes as in whether we should allow a hero to stay on Earth or whether we need a hero has been handled in many films including X-Men and Transformers before and this adds very little to the discussion.

While all of this might be looking into too much of the story I feel this is overly long but still a good starting point for the next franchise giving us 3 heroes and a villain that is the closest to a Joker figure we have seen in a long time.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Affleck: Bruce Wayne/Batman as Bruce Wayne he is trying to track down a way to kill Superman after the damaged he caused during Man of Steel. He has turned into a full blown detective only using his Batman suit to take down the people involved. It isn’t long before he clashes with Superman but ultimately it is his acceptance that heroes can’t save everyone now. He clashes with Superman but unaware of the real villain behind everything. Ben is good in this role taking over the cape from Bale and suits the older looking Bruce but isn’t going to be remember for being good or bad.bat

Henry Cavill: Clark Kent/Superman as Clark he is now just a journalist and boyfriend to Lois but as Superman he has the world divided on whether he is a good or even needed on Earth. He continues to do the right thing when he can but finds himself drawn to the Batman around Gotham as he doesn’t believe in the way he is going about things. He becomes the enemy of the world once framed but will he realize who the true enemy is before it is too late. Henry is solid yet again but Superman is just a very plain character.superman

Amy Adams: Lois is still the journalist that will take all the risks to uncover the story, he relationship with Clark Kent and Superman will be her greatest weakness as the story will tell once one man knows the truth. Amy is good but we just don’t see enough of her smartest good side character in the film.

Jesse Eisenberg: Lex Luthor is a genius that has learnt about the weakness in Superman, he plays all of his business skills to put him in a position to get everything he needs to defeat him. He is truly a mastermind in this world as he puts together all the pieces leading to the battle between Batman and Superman. Jesse is fantastic in this role easily the best and mostly the only good thing in this movie.lex

Support Cast: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the supporting cast you expect, the returning members of the Man of Steel world, the recasting of the Batman side with Jeremy Irons being hilarious and Wonder Woman getting her first outing.

Director Review: Zack SnyderZack continues to do these wildly over the top action sequence with plenty of destruction that makes little to know sense in the universe created but does know how to create the mystery side about it all.

 

Action: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the action we have come to know from Snyder, crash bang wallop destroying as much as possible.

Fantasy: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice brings us into a fantasy world where we have to see the superheroes and Batman fight an unkillable villain that can be killed.

Sci-Fi: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has aliens in and made fight unrealistic fights.

Superhero: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice puts us in the world of superheroes and villains and Batman building up to something bigger.

Settings: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set in the main two cities and quite happy to destroy them and magically rebuild them a day later.
Special Effects
: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the effects you would expect to see without doing too much original.

Suggestion: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one the fan boys will love but it will soon be forgotten in the world of comic book films. (Fan Boys Watch)

 

Best Part: Jesse Eisenberg is a great villain.

Worst Part: Too many attempts at the puns/references to previous films that Deadpool was pulling off with ease.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase.

Funniest Scene: Jeremy Irons.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 31 Minutes

 

Overall: An over the top comic book action film that is nothing special.

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