ABC Film Challenge – Crime – K – Kidnapping Freddy Heineken (2015)

Director: Daniel Alfredson

Writer: William Brookfield (Screenplay) Peter R de Vries (Book)

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, Ryan Kwanten, Anthony Hopkins, Mark van Eeuwen

 

Plot: The inside story of the planning, execution, rousing aftermath and ultimate downfall of the kidnappers of beer tycoon Alfred “Freddy” Heineken, which resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for an individual.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Action Crime

 

Story: Kidnapping Freddy Heineken starts as we follow our five criminals Cor Van Hout (Sturgess), Willem (Worthington), Cat (Kwanten), Spikes (Eeuwen) and Brakes (Cocquerel) who have always been looking for a way to make money quickly instead of getting real jobs in Holland. Their latest plan is to kidnap beer tycoon Freddy Heineken (Hopkins) and collecting the ransom.

With the plan in place the kidnapping goes well the wait for the ransom is what takes the time and tests the strength of the kidnappers over the victims as we follow what could be the undoing of the men.

 

Thoughts on Kidnapping Freddy Heineken

 

Characters – Cor Van Hout is the leader of the gang, he brings his men together to complete the jobs with some failing and others not, he comes up with the latest job while his personal life is about to hit the highs a father could experience. Willem is the hot head of the group who will go past the marks to make the job get done and he could become the biggest problem involved. Freddy Heineken is the beer tycoon that has become the target of this men and he stays extremely calm through his ordeal trying to friend his kidnappers too.

PerformanceJim Sturgess is strong in the leading role of this film throughout feeling like the rest would listen to his every word. Sam Worthington is good in the loose cannon role too. Anthony Hopkins is as always the star of the show here as you want to see all of his scenes.

StoryThe story is based on the true story of what happened when a group of criminals kidnap the tycoon and how they were not completely sure things would work and how things could go wrong. This is good because it doesn’t go down a slick as the best heist movies but is also calm enough to feel like it is based on real people human errors through the heist.

Action/CrimeThere are a couple of good car chases through the film which do make up the action side of things while the whole story is about the crime being committed.

SettingsThe streets involved in Amsterdam show us how tight the car chases can be and escape routes by more than just road, we do feel like this is authentic with how everything unfolds during the crime.

Scene of the Movie – Freddy’s orders.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The clear choice for a problem is having some Dutch cast members but the leads are not.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that didn’t get much talk when it came out but I don’t understand why, it is an enjoyable and one film that is worth watching for all the heist fans out there.

 

Overall: Good heist film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – U – Upside Down (2012)

Director: Juan Solanas

Writer: Juan Solanas (Screenplay) Juan Solanas, Santiago Amigorena, Pierre Magny (Adaptation)

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall, Blu Mankuma, Nicholas Rose, James Kidnie

 

Plot: Adam and Eden fell in love as teens despite the fact that they live on twinned worlds with gravities that pull in opposite directions. Ten years after a forced separation, Adam sets out on a dangerous quest to reconnect with his love.


Tagline –  Two worlds. One future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Ambitious

 

Story: Upside Down starts as we learn about the two different worlds, with their own gravity, but within communication distance. Adam (Sturgess) is from one world while Eden (Dunst) is from the other, the two fell in love, but they can’t be together for any length of time because of the different pulls on their gravities.

When their secret relationship is found out about, Adam believes that Eden died, 10-years later he learns she is still alive and goes to find a way to meet her again through a business that connects the two worlds.

 

Thoughts on Upside Down

 

Characters – Adam is from one world, raised an orphan after his parents were killed in an accident, he is fascinated by the other world which leads him to Eden, when he believes he loses her forever he starts to focus on other projects. When he learns that she is still alive he risks his life to try and find a way to meet her again and go to the world that he is not only forbidden from, but could kill him if he stays too long. Eden is the girl from the other world she has become injured losing her memory but rising up through the company, can he memory return in time to feel the feelings she once had.

PerformancesJim Sturgess is solid in the leading role, he plays the ambitious side to his character well, but he isn’t the most convincing on the romantic side of things. Kirsten Dunst does well enough as she can always be turned to for romantic based movies, this is no different. Timothy Spall gets good laughs in the supporting role.

StoryThe story here looks into forbidden love, we get a grander scale for this because the two lovers come from different worlds and can’t be together because of science. We have a lot of explaining as to why the two can’t be together which at times ends up being too much to follow because the science involved just seems like it goes on for about 10 minutes. The idea of two people wanting to be with the one they love is good part of the story though.

Fantasy/Romance/Sci-FiThe fantasy side of this film is taking us to the world where two worlds can’t be together while only being a breath apart, this leads into the romantic side of the film as our two loves must find a way to be together. The sci-fi side of the film comes on strong too because we then need to see how the worlds are different.

SettingsThe settings show us the difference in the two worlds, one for the rich, one for the poor, each has its own colour tone and area of pure beauty.

Special EffectsThe effects are weak here, we can see the fact we are watching actors perform on front of a green screen for most of the movie, which only disappoints.


Scene of the Movie –
Falling, it always looks good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me the green screen lets down.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic love story which tries to become very ambitious when it comes to where it wants to take the story.

 

Overall: Simple Love story, complicated world.

Rating

 

 

Geostorm (2017)

Director: Dean Devlin

Writer: Dean Devin, Pau Guyot (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerald Butler, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia, Jim Sturgess, Daniel Wu

 

Plot: When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone.


Tagline –  Some Things Were Never Meant to Be Controlled

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: A Lot of Fun

 

Story: Geostorm starts as we see how the world has been getting hit by natural disasters only a deadlier than ever level, Jake Lawson (Butler) and a team of international scientists create Dutch Boy a space system that can stop storms from being created and it is a system that is working well, but Jake gets axed from the team.

3 years later the system starts to go wrong which leads to Max (Sturgess) to rebuild the bridges burnt with Jake to go into the space to solve the problem with Dutch Boy but when they learn that the problem is more than just a computer glitch and the race to stop the dreaded Geostorm could end the world as we know it.

 

Thoughts on Geostorm

 

Characters – Jake Lawson is the mastermind engineer that has been the head designer of Dutch Boy, the defence against the storm, he is rash with his decisions which leads him to being axed from the program but he is also the only one that could save the day when he learns the bigger picture. Max Lawson is Jake’s younger brother, he is political man that tries to keep Jake in line but ends up needing to make the hard decisions while building the relationship back with his brother. Sarah Wilson is the secret service agent that is also the girlfriend of Max, she is by the book but also knows how to get the jobs needed done. We have other characters that work for the film, the President preparing to open Dutch Boy to the world and a list of people that Jake doesn’t know on the space station that could be working against them.

PerformancesGerald Butler is a good lead and not having a pointless romantic story helps us enjoy his rough around the edges character. Jim Sturgess is good in the film getting a lot of the comedy moments. Abbie Cornish is great as the strong female performance in a role we are not used to seeing a female character in as the strong secret service agent. The performances from the bigger name are fine but are used in the way you are expecting them to be. The lesser known stars do enjoy themselves making a name for themselves in the best scenes.

StoryThe idea the world is going to be destroyed by natural disasters and we need to solve the problem before it is too late. The science in this film is something we could look at happening in the future but when it goes wrong what would we do. The idea works for a popcorn Blockbuster film because certain things are farfetched at times. Saving the world from space and from Earth does work to and the idea the brother’s need rebuild their relationship to save the world. Don’t go in thinking you will get an Oscar worthy script it’s just a fun nonsense disaster movie.

Action/Sci-FiThe action sequences are big cities being destroyed, but for once there is a reason why it is big cities being destroyed. The sci-fi behind this film works because it is something people have spoken about before so I feel it works for the films ideas.

SettingsThe settings take us to big cities to get destroyed which does make sense for the film as we have the satellites needing to be over the cities.

Special EffectsThe effects are one of the weakest parts of the movie, which is something that we have seen from modern disaster films.


Scene of the Movie –
Hong Kong escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The effects are weak.

Final ThoughtsI loved a disaster movie, I can enjoy the nonsense behind them which is entertaining to watch even though it is crazy throughout.

 

Overall: Just fun and easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

Stonehearst Asylum (2015)

logoDirector: Brad Anderson

Writer: Joe Gangemi (Screenplay) Edgar Allan Poe (Short Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Jason Flemyng, Sophie Kennedy Clark

Plot: A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues — though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Thriller That Lacks Something

Story: Stonehearst Asylum starts in Oxford University where The Alienist (Gleeson) tries to prove the madness of young woman as he teaches his students how to treat people with this dimension. Edward Newgate (Sturgess) is our medical student studying to become an Alienist and his work takes him to the Gothic Stonehearst Asylum. Finn (Thewlis) fills in the information about the number of patients that are at Stonehearst as well as filling us in on some of the more unique ones.

The head Doctor Silas Lamb (Kingsley) grills Edward on his motives about getting into the mental health world where his work would only be questioned and not held in high regard. Going on the rounds with Lamb, Edward the two are clearly going to start clashing with their ideas of methods with Lamb trying to keep his patients happy while Edward wants to cure their problems. On the trip around the hospital Edward gets to learn the story of Eliza Graves (Beckinsale) a patient that looks relatively normal compared to the rest.

Edward gets a warning from Eliza which leads to Edward investigating the Asylum and discovering Benjamin Salt (Caine) who claims to that himself and his employees are trapped in cells and Lamb has taken over the hospital. Edward has to figure out a way to work out who is really in charge and figure out how to prove what is going on. Edward continues to learn about the asylum where he has the make the final decision about what to do.

Stonehearst Asylum is a film that was slightly misleading because I thought it was going to leave us wondering who was the rightful doctor but in the end it gives us the information freely leaving us to wonder how Edward deals with the situation. The film did pull me in but through the whole film I did feel like something was missing. There is one final killer twist but otherwise it will play out how you would expect offer very simple. (6/10)

Actor Review

Kate Beckinsale: Eliza Graves is the beautiful patient who has captured the eye of young doctor Edward Newgate, she tries to help him get through the situation in the hospital leaving us to question whether she is really as mad as she is claimed to be. Kate gives a solid performance that continues to show her decline in performances in recent years. (6/10)grave

Jim Sturgess: Edward Newgate is a medical student looking to learn about the mental health. He requests to attend Stonehearst but little does he know that he is walking into the middle of a battle of power in the asylum. Edward has to work out who to help the doctor who goes too far or the patient taking over the asylum who treat each other like human beings. Jim gives us a good performance through the film. (7/10)edwward

David Thewlis: Mickey Finn is the muscles and man who will do the dirty work for Silas Lamb, he enjoys hurting people making him the most dangerous man in the asylum. David does a good job as the loose cannon in the asylum. (7/10)finn

Ben Kingsley: Silas Lamb is the man running the asylum but turns out to be a patient of the asylum, he has watched how the asylum was once run and now he thinks he knows how to treat the patients with the treatment they truly need. Ben delivers one of the best performances in the film being so calm and calculated throughout. (7/10)lamb

Michael Caine: Benjamin Salt is the head of the doctor who has been locked away by Silas and his patients whoo have taken over the asylum, he tries to get Edward to help but knows he can’t risk the new doctors life. He methods are what had led to the patient revaluation. Michael doesn’t have enough screen time for my liking for the character. (6/10)salt

Support Cast: Stonehearst Asylum has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the patients and doctors, you have to work out who is what as the story unfolds.

Director Review: Brad Anderson Brad does a good job directing but there is a certain moments that could have been better and we could have seen a lot more about the difference between Lamb and Salt. (6/10)

Thriller: Stonehearst Asylum does keep us guessing to what will happen, but I feel we could have had a little extra to pull us right in. (6/10)

Settings: Stonehearst Asylum keeps most of the action inside the asylum which helps keep us guessing because we know all the true identities are inside the asylum. (8/10)

Suggestion: Stonehearst Asylum is one to try, I think it will be enjoyable to watch but I do feel certain people will find it slow. (Try It)

Best Part: Final Twist.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: No one is what they seem

Overall: Thriller that is entertaining but lacks that extra punch to pull it right in.

Rating 60