ABC Film Challenge – Action – B – The Ballard of Lefty Brown (2017)

Director: Jared Moshe

Writer: Jared Moshe (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Pullman, Peter Fonda, Stephen Alan Seder, Kathy Baker, Joseph Lee Anderson, Tyson Gerhardt, Jim Caviezel

 

Plot: A thrilling and action-packed Western, The Ballad of Lefty Brown is a story about loyalty, friendship, and the relentless pursuit of justice.


Tagline – He never wanted to be the hero.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Western

 

Story: The Ballard of Lefty Brown starts when Edward Johnson (Fonda) is heading to senate wanting to leave his loyal friend Lefty Brown (Pullman) in charge of his ranch. When Edward is murdered, Lefty wants to do his friend justice by hunting down the men that killed his friend and is joined by US Marshall Tom Harrah (Flanagan).

On the journey to learn who was behind the murder, Lefty and Tom leave fellow friend Jimmy Bierce (Caviezel) with Edward’s wife Laura (Baker) as we learn the bigger picture of just who was behind the murder.

 

Thoughts on The Ballard of Lefty Brown

 

Characters – Lefty Brown is the slacker best friend of the senator, he has often been bailed out by his friend which has built trust between the two, he is going to be left to look after the ranch only for Edward to be killed, Lefty wants to hunt down the killer, only he becomes the prime suspect, can he solve his friend’s murder before it is too late. Edward is the senator about to go on a trip wanting to leave his old friend in charge of his land, he has always been the one person to stick up for Lefty through his difficult times. Laura is the wife of Edward that has doubted Lefty’s abilities for a long time falling for the bigger plan in play. Jimmy is the older friend of the two, he has become a US Marshall that will do what he wants to put himself in play for the position he wants.

PerformancesBill Pullman does the best he can with the character which strangely does feel like a character David Arquette would normally be playing. He does give the strongest performance in the film, this is mostly because the rest of the cast don’t get enough time to shine rather than they are bad.

StoryThe story follows a character named Lefty Brown who is considered the weakest member of the team that most have given up on that must figure out who murdered his friend, the one that remain support him, along the way he must prove he wasn’t involved and that he can uncover the truth which is close to home. Now in classic western style we get to follow Lefty as he learns how things unfold and shows that every dog can have his day. It does have twists along the way which you can see coming because we don’t get enough time to be misled along the way. We have a slow pace which does work for the film as we get to learn from the young man Lefty meets about his past which inserts us into the story.

Action/WesternThe action in the film is tame, we get the basic gun firing which for the time the film is set makes sense because we can’t have endless bullets flying, though it isn’t the most gripping. There is a western theme through the whole movie which does make work for the film without being anything overly deeper than it needs to be.

SettingsThe film does have the western theme running through it with the locations being used helping it easier to identify the time the film is set in.


Scene of the Movie –
Lefty gets the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pace is too slow for me.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow moving western, it does try to recreate the classic tone which just didn’t click on the ways it once did, Pullman is the standout of an average cast with a story that is mostly forgettable.

 

Overall: Western that never really gets going.

Rating

 

 

Jim Caviezel Weekend – Outlander (2008)

logoDirector: Howard McCain

Writer: Dirk Blackman, Howard McCain (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, John Hurt, Cliff Saunders, Patrick Stevenson, Aidan Devine, Ron Perlman

 

Plot: During the reign of the Vikings, Kainan, a man from a far-off world, crash lands on Earth, bringing with him an alien predator known as the Moorwen. Though both man and monster are seeking revenge for violence committed against them, Kainan leads the alliance to kill the Moorwen by fusing his advanced technology with the Viking’s Iron Age weaponry.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Medieval Sci-Fi Actioner

 

Story: Outlander starts when a spaceship crash lands in Norway 705, we see two pilots emerge from the wreckage one Kainan (Caviezel) survives the crash, while the other shows wounds from an attack. Kainan gets a crash course on the local language Norse and culture while he gets ready for rescue. Kainan decides to explore the local wildlife for basic survival reasons and comes across a small village that has been destroyed before he is ambushed by the locals.

We learn that the people who capture Kainan have their own conflict between king Hrothgar (Hurt) and his daughter Freya (Myles) about who she can marry while the man who captured Kainan is the man who could become king Wulfric (Hudson). It isn’t long before the dragon that Kainan has been hunting attacks the village leaving many dead or missing. Even after the attack the village refuses to believe Kainan story of a dragon, believing Gunnar (Perlman) and his village is responsible.

The village goes on a hunt with a still captured Kainan who proves his worth to the village leading to them joining forces to finish off the dragon who took his family from him. Kainan has to slay the monster and unite the two battling village to kill a common threat before they all get killed.

Outlander manages to mix the two worlds of sci-fi and medieval without having to include the idea of time travel. This film could have been lazy and just resorted to time travel but instead tries to create the idea of different times through the universe. This makes things very interesting because Kainan is an alien to our people, we get to see a realistic reaction to an unknown person turning up in the time which would be very hostile in the time period. I did like how Kainan isn’t as good as we believe he is but wants to redeem himself for the error in his ways. I would go negative with how the film ended because we know that Kainan’s people like to conquer and destroy worlds and approaching Earth wouldn’t they want to destroy Earth like they did the other planet? When it comes to base story we get a very interesting story that shows by pointing a side differences people can conquer a common enemy. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jim Caviezel: Kainan is from a faraway galaxy but when his ship gets attacked he ends up crashing in Viking Norway along with his monster a dragon. Kainan has to unite the two fighting villages to look to hopefully finish off the beast once and for all. Jim shows why he can lead a film, but he does need a strong support cast because he doesn’t quite have the complete ‘IT’ factor needed for a film this level. (6/10)

 jim

Sophia Myles: Freya is the daughter of the leader of one of the villages who is meant to be married to the man her father see most fit to become king. She is very good in combat which could become helpful in the battle. Sophia gives a solid supporting performance playing the new tough princess role. (6/10)

 

Jack Hudson: Wulfric is the young leader of the warriors who could one day become king but his conflict with Kainan could show his real colours. Jack gives a standard performance in the supporting role never really shining to the level required. (5/10)

 

John Hurt: Hrothgar is the leader of the village who has to try and control the rivalling village to take down the dragon. John gives what you would expect from him but this role could have gone to any older actor making this a rather plain performance for what Hurt is capable off. (5/10)

 hurt

Ron Perlman: Gunnar is the leader of the other village who ends up getting involved in the battle once he learns what really took his town and family. Ron makes for a good Viking but doesn’t get enough screen time. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: Outlander has a large supporting cast of what would only be called background Vikings who either help in battle or die in battle.

 

Director Review: Howard McCain – Howard does have a good idea that works on paper but the two generation meeting wouldn’t always appeal to the casual audience. (7/10)

 

Action: Outlander is filled with battle scenes between the Vikings and the dragons. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Outlander manages to mix a visitor from the stars with Vikings nicely to create the story without having to resort to the sci-fi side to the story too often. (7/10)

Settings: Outlander creates a realistic looking Viking settlement for the most part but the alien worlds very heavy on the CGI. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Outlander has what can only be described as poor CGI effects for the creature, the alien worlds and even the spacecraft, with a budget this big you would expect them to get this right. (1/10)

Suggestion: Outlander is one to try but don’t expect anything special if you do, I would be best suggest to fans of the Vikings too. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Not using time travel.

Worst Part: CGI

What Could Have Been Better? – Better CGI

Action Scene Of The Film:  Joined forces fight.

Favourite Quote: Kainan ‘This thing has carved out a territory and you’re in it!’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Nope

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Pathfinder

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: It destroyed his world. He won’t let it destroy ours.

 

Overall: Outlander does make for a solid sci-fi film but never reaches the levels it could.

Rating 55

Jim Caviezel Weekend – Transit (2012)

logoDirector: Antonio Negret

Writer: Michael Gilvary (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Caviezel, Diora Baird, James Frain, Elisabeth Rohm, Sterling Knight, Harold Perrineau, Jake Cherry, Ryan Donowho

Plot: A gang of bank robbers hide their loot in the car of a family going camping. They chase down the family to kill them and get the loot back, but run into a fight.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple Action With the Family, Not for th Family

Story: Transit starts with a daring heist where the robbers walk away without a trace. Our four robbers Marek (Frain) Arielle (Baird), Losada (Perrineau) and Evers (Donowho) as they look for a way past the road patrols. Nate (Caviezel) and his family Robyn (Rohm), Shane (Knight) and Kenny (Cherry) are on their family trip when the thieves see their vehicle as an opportunity to transport the money past the patrols.

Once across the road blocks the thieves follow the family as they wait for their chance to collect their money but when the cars get involved in a drag race Nate finds himself arrested, leaving the thieves having to think of a new plan. Nate has just been released from prison making his speeding a violation of his parole and this trip is a way of making up the time he lost in jail.

When the first attempt to reclaim the money goes wrong the thieves have to bide their time before coming back after the family in a real cat and mouse chase across country.

Transit comes off as a very easy to watch action film, it never really challenges you as an audience member because nothing comes off new, all of the characters are very generic with the lead being a husband trying to keep his family together and the criminals all fitting the check box list. I will say this does keep you attentions from the moment it starts and isn’t afraid of just starting with the heist only leaving us with the escape attempt. I simply can’t praise this though because it will always go down as a forgettable action film because nothing truly memorable happens in the film. (5/10)

Actor Review

Jim Caviezel: Nate is the former criminal who is trying to rebuild his family life after a short stint in jail, he takes them cross country but when his family get targeted by a ruthless group of thieves he has to show how much he cares about his family against these men. Jim does a good job showing he is a good reluctant hero. (7/10)nate

James Frain: Marek is the leader of the thieves he stays calm for the most part before showing his true ability to snap after the money escapes his grasps. James gives us a solid villain with all of the clichés you need. (6/10)frain

Support Cast: Transit has a supporting cast that includes Nate’s family who have become distant from him because of his time in jail, the rest of the thieves who are all out for themselves and will easily turn on each other and a group of cops who try to help.

Director Review: Antonio NegretAntonio gives us a solid action film that really doesn’t end up giving us anything new but is easy to watch. (6/10)

Action: Transit has car chases, car chases, car chases oooo there was a fight and some shooting too. (6/10)

Thriller: Transit keeps you attention as you want to see if the family makes it out alive. (7/10)

Settings: Transit keeps the settings easy to watch but has nothing stand out in the locations with most of it being inside the swamp lands. (7/10)

Suggestion: Transit is one for all action fans to try but if your not an action fan give it a miss. (Action Fans Try)

Best Part: Caviezel is a good leading man.

Worst Part: Nothing original.

Action Scene Of The Film: Three way car chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Marine

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: A Pulse-Pounding Story of Survival and Revenge!

Overall: Action film 101 hey that sounds like my site.

Rating 50

Pay It Forward (2000)

logoDirector: Mimi Leder

Writer: Leslie Dixon (Screenplay) Catherine Ryan Hyde (Book)

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment, Jay Mohr, Jim Caviezel, Jon Bon Jovi

 

Plot: A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspiringly Good Tale

 

Story: Pay it Forward starts by showing reporter Chris Chandler (Mohr) tracking down to find out what is happening with a hostage situation before his car gets smashed by the perk. With everyone gone Chris gets a surprise visit from a mystery man who gives him his car in a generosity idea.

Rewind 4 months we met Trevor McKinney (Osment) a young boy attending school where he meets his new teacher Eugene Simonet (Spacey), Eugene is scared and sets out the rules for his class as he teaches the middle school social studies. On the first day Mr Simonet sets his class an assignment ‘Think of an idea to change our world – and put it into ACTION!’ Trevor becomes obsessed with this idea and instantly gets his mind rolling with ideas.

Trevor lives with his mum Arlene (Hunt) who works at a strip bar but only as a bartender, Trevor finds himself having to look after himself after school on a regular occasion but this time he decides to start his idea, by bring home a homeless man Jerry (Caviezel) feeding him and giving him a roof for the night as well as a shower, cleaning him up. Arlene is furious about finding out finding the homeless man in their house and confronts Mr Simonet about the assignment before having to go to her next job as a croupier.

Returning to Chris we learn about why he got the car with the pay it forward idea and how it came about and how the mystery man got to the position to pass it on to Chris.

We move back to Jerry fixing Arlene’s car and we learn how Trevor helps Jerry get back on his feet. Trevor has come up with his idea to paying it forward, where one person helps three people by doing something to help them find something into life and by doing so those three people will then pay it forward to three more and so on. After feeling like he failed with Jerry, Trevor moves onto his next person Mr Simonet as Trevor starts to try him up with his mother. We also see the parallel story of Chris trying to uncover who really invented the idea of Pay It Forward.

We are treated to the story of one little boy who managed to think of a way to change the world for the better with a simple idea of putting faith in each other.

Pay it Forward manages to give us a story about what can be achieved if we put our minds to it, if we put a simple action into motion. It shows us that mistakes in life are going to happen, it is how we handle ourselves when we get a chance to redeem ourselves that matters. We see how one little boy has this idea that makes everyone it affects improve their own lives as well as the people it pays it forward too. The reality is we all have had an idea to improve things, change things and only a few people in history have ever put it into action, so this film manages to challenge us to prove we want to change things. I can’t go on without talking about the ending that is fitting for the story even if it is full of tragedy. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Spacey: Eugene Simonet the scared emotionless teacher who doesn’t believe anyone will ever treat him the same because of his burns. Eugene sets his pupils a simple assignment which ends up becoming a sensation. Kevin gives a great performance as the inspirational teacher. (9/10)

 eugene

Helen Hunt: Arlene McKinney single mother of Trevor who has to work two jobs to make ends meet, she has a drinking problem but is working on sorting herself out. Helen gives a great performance as the struggling mother. (9/10)

helen

Haley Joel Osment: Trevor McKinney young boy who gets inspired by his teacher to create the Pay it Forward movement which could make the world a better place, but after it doesn’t seem to work first time around he tries again and just as it appears like it is working things keep stopping what could be the very best idea the world would have seen. Haley gives a brilliant performance in an idea that should have helped change his career. (10/10)

 trevor

Jay Mohr: Chris Chandler a reporter who literally stumbles into the pay it forward idea and tries to uncover the truth about who started it in a journey that takes him across the country. Jay gives a good performance but never needs to put in more than he does. (7/10)

 

Jim Caviezel: Jerry homeless man who Trevor first helps and after it looks like he has let Trevor down we see that he does in fact Pay it Forward on his next travelling trip. Jim puts in a good performance in a supporting role. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Pay it Forward as a supporting cast that has been helped out along the way by the idea that all show how people from different backgrounds change how people think about the world.

 

Director Review: Mimi Leder – Mimi does a great job directing this showing how one idea can spread so easily. (9/10)

 

Drama: Pay it Forward touches off all the emotional leaves in this film letting us know what the characters think and feel throughout the film. (9/10)

Settings: Pay it Forward Las Vegas is the setting and it shows how hard living there could be for a boy growing up with so much change. (9/10)

Suggestion: Pay it Forward is one that really has to be watch by everyone. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The Idea.

Worst Part: I like the end but it is hard to watch.

Lessons Learned: Pay it forward.

 

Believability: The story is made up by the idea really could work. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: Very good chance at the end. (8/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Surprisingly not

Box Office: $55.5 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Like some other kids, 12-year-old Trevor McKinney believed in the goodness of human nature. Like many other kids, he was determined to change the world for the better. Unlike most other kids, he succeeded.

 

Overall: When it comes to a film that really does pass on a good message this really is one of them, brilliantly acted and wonderfully told this is something a lot of people should be seeing.

Rating 90

Escape Plan (2013)

logoDirector: Mikael Hafstrom

Writer: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller (Screenplay) Miles Chapman (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Matt Gerald, Curtis Jackson

 

Plot: Ray Breslin (Stallone) works as an escape artist trying to find weakness in prisons to stop inmates escaping and helping design the perfect prison. After he gets framed he ends up in a new prison he designed with some of the most deadly criminals in. Teaming up with Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to take down the warden Hobbes (Caviezel) escape the prison and find out who framed him.

 

Verdict: Prison Break the Movie?

Story: It would be fair to say this story is very much like Prison Break, where you have a prison designer and muscle trying to escape a prison using everything at the disposal. It goes to the next level where Ray is an expert on escaping and someone else’s greed leaves him stranded. In the end it turns into an action film with elements of revenge that we have all seen before and can sit through again. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Sylvester Stallone – Ray Breslin studies the prison layouts to work out the best escape finding the weakness. Very resourceful and will get to know who can help in his plan. Good performance that we are used to see from Sly. (8/10)

 sly

Actor Review: Arnold Schwarzenegger – Rottmayer Ray’s first friend on the inside and first person Ray recruits to help in his escape plan. Good performance from Arnie where he gets to have a bit more fun and take part in less action based scenes which he is known for. (8/10)

arnie

Actor Review: Jim Caviezel – Hobbes the warden of the prison, very condescending to the inmates as he thinks he has the upper hand at all times. Good performance from Jim where he is the smallest character on the prison but always has a presence about him.  (8/10)

 jim

Actor Review: Faran Tahir – Javed a fellow inmate who ends up part of the plan even though they are all best of enemies. Good small part role even though he is important to final outcome. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Amy Ryan – Abigail Ray’s connection on the outside but spends the few scenes she is in looking for him. Good performance but only very small role. (7/10)

 amy

Actor Review: Vincent D’Onofrio – Lester Clark Ray’s who talks him into taking the job. Good performance again but again only a small role that need to be bigger. (7/10)

 vinny

Director Review: Mikael Hafstrom – Good direction to create a claustrophobic story. (8/10)

 

Action: Not as much action as you would think but the final escape comes off very well. (8/10)

Thriller: Never reaches a strong edge of the seat standard but has a will he won’t he element. (8/10)

Believability: (0/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: The prison makes an excellent setting as it would be hard to just get the parts for the escape and no one would know where they are. (10/10)

Suggestion: One for the action junkies here, it would be found to be a little bit too much for a casual film fan that dislikes action. (Action Fan Watch)

 

Best Part: The planning.

Worst Part: Would you really help someone in a maximum off the radar prison escape?

Action Scene Of The Film: The escape

Kill Of The Film: Drake

Funniest Scene: Say Cheese

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Similar Too: Prison Break TV Show

 

Overall: Let’s Break Bad Guys Out Of Prison

Rating 80