ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – P – Perfect Storm (2000)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: William D Wittliff (Screenplay) Sebastian Junger (Book)

Starring: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C Reilly, Diane Lane, William Fichtner, John Hawkes, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Allen Payne

 

Plot: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sea Worthy Disaster Adventure

 

Story: The Perfect Storm starts as Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney) has been hitting a dry patch when it comes to his boats fishing quota. Determined to turn this around Billy takes his crew Bobby (Wahlberg), Murph (Reilly), Sully (Fichtner), Bugsy (Hawkes) and Alfred (Payne) out again further than normal but also to a location which should have larger number of fish.

As the crew hit the ocean get go further than before, but they catch more than they could imagine, the problem they now face is getting home, which includes going through a hurricane the size no one has seen before.

 

Thoughts on The Perfect Storm

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Billy Tyne is a once successful fisherman but his luck has dried up, determined to turn it around he takes his crew out further than normal risking their lives. Bobby is the younger member of the crew who loves the adventure at sea but his girlfriend wants him to start a less risky job, this could be his last mission to sea. Murph is the divorced father that is dealing with the idea is son isn’t going to be seeing him as often as he would like to. Sully is the newest crew member, he seems difficult to work with but also loyal to the end and one of the best fishermen in own. We do also have the remaining crew who are loyal, other boats that get trapped in the storm, Linda Greenlaw a fellow fisherwoman that knows how capable Billy is and finally Christina, Bobby’s girl that waits for him back home.

Performance wise, Clooney shows here that he was ready to start being taken seriously by Hollywood here, we also get a good performance from Wahlberg here too, we also have a supporting cast we can always rely on to give us brilliant performance and they know their importance to the film.

StoryThe story is based on the true events of the 1991 hurricanes that hit off the coast of America, we follow the fishing boat primary but we do also have the coastguards being followed as they look to rescue other boats which at times does take away from the characters we get to have a good time meeting in the opening sequence of the film. away from that we get to see how the main boat must decide whether to stay safe or risk it all be going through the storm.

Action/AdventureThe action sequences through the storm are brilliant, they put us in complete location with the crew dealing with every single up and down they must face. The adventure shows us what the men must overcome to return home.

SettingsThe film is set all at sea which is fine because it is about the fishing boat that needs to battle the storm to make it home, but this makes us feel like we are in the middle of this adventure through the whole film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to make each and every scene look realistic and still do till this day.

Final ThoughtsOne of the films that shows us just how people will fight through storms to make money and how mother nature will not always be one your side.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat action thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Director: Martin McDonagh

Writer: Martin McDonagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas hedges, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones

 

Plot: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.


Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Humorous

 

Story: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starts as Mildred Hayes (McDormand) puts up three billboards in a quiet road questioning how Willoughby (Harrelson) hasn’t solved the case of her daughter’s rape and murder. Fellow officer Dixon (Rockwell) who has a chequered past is enraged by the signs, while officer Willoughby tries to clean up the situation and prove there isn’t enough to solve the case, but with his dying he does want to solve the case before he goes.

As the billboards stay up longer, the town starts to become divided on the support in catching the killer and Mildred does to extremes in her battle with Dixon to get the case solved.

 

Thoughts on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Characters – Mildred Hayes is a mother that has run out of patience when it comes to the police finding the killer off her daughter, she did have the full support of the town, but this stunt pushes the people away even if it could get her the killer to identify themselves. Willoughby is the lead investigator in the case, he has done everything he could to solve the case, but he is now facing his own battle with cancer, while keeping the peace in the town. Dixon is the hot-headed police officer that clashes with Mildred and anyone who supports her in finding out the truth.

PerformancesFrances McDormand shows us that she can reach the Fargo levels whenever the material is given to her, as she shines through as the best part of this movie. Woody Harrelson is great again this year, showing us he can step into any role and be great. Sam Rockwell is wonderful too as we see that this cast is filled with talent character performers.

StoryThe story shows the extremes of losing a child, the stress of noting being able to solve one of the worst cases in the town. This does turn into a character studio on the people involved and how their lives need to move on without a chance of every being able to. It is hard to describe this story in much more depth because it is interesting, it does have a lot going on that keeps us wanting to see where the film will go.

Comedy/CrimeThis does use dark humour throughout as we are seeing the effects of the crime on people’s lives, don’t expect to see an investigation though, we are focusing on the relationship between the mother of the victim and the police.

SettingsThe film takes place in this small town where everyone seems to know everyone, so they have all felt the effects of the crime, this helps when things start to get exposed.


Scene of the Movie –
Window smashing, it is a well shot single looking take.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The answer is frustrating.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dark humour that can be enjoyed by the fans of that genre, it does have a good subject matter but doesn’t get to a level in the story that I enjoyed watching.

 

Overall: Dark comedy through a serious subject matter.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

still knowDirector: Danny Cannon

Writer: Trey Callaway (Screenplay) Lois Duncan (Characters)

Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr, Brandy Norwood, Mekhi Phifer, Muse Watson, Bill Cobbs, Matthew Settle, Jeffrey Combs, Jennifer Esposito, John Hawkes, Jack Black

 

Plot: The murderous fisherman with a hook is back to once again stalk the two surviving teens, Julie and Ray, who left him for dead, as well as cause even more murder and mayhem, this time at a posh island resort.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pointless Sequel

 

Story: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer starts as Julie James (Hewitt) is still having nightmares about what happened the summer before. Ray (Prinze Jr) still being the boyfriend figure wants to keep the relationship to mark the anniversary of the accident, break up time. Introduce Karla (Norwood) a new best friend of Julie who is trying to make her come out of her shell by hooking her up with nice guy Will (Settle).

When Karla wins tickets to the Bahamas she offers Julie two tickets with one going to Ray if he can make it the other being Tyrell (Phifer). Julie, Karla, Tyrell and Will go on the holiday because Ray never turns on. Ray escapes from hospital while our guest discover they are on the island in the off season making them the only guest on the island. The friends find out they are not alone on this island when the man with hook returns to finish what he started, but is it the same person?

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer follows up one year later from the last film yet again when we see Julie still struggling but moving on which does work for me because it is what is needed to make the character continue their life. My problem comes that we all know that they got the answer wrong to win the competition so we know it is a trap. Also I find it hard to believe the girls who love the sun wouldn’t know when storm season is. I really find it hard to believe that this horror makes any sense because a character that is watching their back falls for such a simple trick and what Ray is up to is almost comical. This is a sequel we didn’t need to see really.

 

Actor Review

 

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Julie James is still traumatised by what happened on the previous two years but is also trying to make something of her life. She has made it through another year of college and is spending this 4th of July on a tropical island with her best friend, only to discover the killer hasn’t finished with her yet. Jennifer is good for the look of this role but doesn’t really do too much in the role.julie

Freddie Prinze Jr: Ray Bronson is the other lone survivor from the first film that is working for a living, he is still involved but getting distance from Julie who invites in a holiday away but never makes it. He has a run in with the killer and has to make his way to the island to save Julie. Freddie gets to work on a random story seemingly through the film.ray

Brandy Norwood: Karla Wilson is the best friend of Julie now and she wins the trip to the Bahamas for the friends to go on. She is always trying to bring her out of her shell but never knew the true story about what happened. Brandy is the standard in this supporting role.

Mekhi Phifer: Tyrell is the boyfriend of Karla who puts up with the issues with Julie to support his girl but even he starts getting tired of the stories once Julie starts acting paranoid. Mekhi doesn’t get out of the basic supporting performance through the film.

Support Cast: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has big names in the supporting cast that are nearly all used as just extra bodies pilling up.

Director Review: Danny CannonDanny gives us such a basic slasher sequel that really just doesn’t go too far into original ideas.

 

Horror: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has basic slasher check mark without being scary in one bit.

Mystery: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer tries to add mystery about who the killer is only to give us an awful twist ending.

Thriller: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer tries to keep us on edge but we only meet the killer late on in the film.

Settings: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer puts out main cast on a tropical island during a storm which does create isolation but also doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Special Effects
: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has basic effects when it comes to the kills.

Suggestion: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is one for the horror fans to just give a go, it isn’t brilliant but will give you the basic horror genre something to watch. (Give it A Go)

 

Best Part: Jack Black is funny.

Worst Part: Nothing original.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Get Hooked Again

 

Overall:  Basic slasher that we didn’t really need a sequel for.

Ratingcard

 

Daniel Day-Lewis Weekend – Lincoln (2012)

lincoln posterDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Tony Kushner (Screenplay) Doris Kearns Goodwin (Book)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee James, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley

 

Plot: As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful History Lesson

 

Story: Lincoln starts as President Lincoln (Day-Lewis) had just been re-elected as the Civil War was entering its four year. Lincoln wants to push a new constitution through congress which is abolishing slavery he must work with fellow members that have difference in opinions on the matter and we follow Lincoln through the meetings.

We follow as all the different sides of the argument try to put their points forward for and against the idea of the 13th amendment with Thaddeus Stevens (Jones) being the stand out campaigner in favour of the amendment. With the Secretary of State William Seward (Strathairn) pushing through the votes for the undecided.

Lincoln really comes off as a history lesson about one of the greatest leaders in American history. This is a slow moving film but it is also very interesting if you want to learn about President Lincoln. There are a lot of courtroom scenes that comes off slow because you want to see Lincoln giving speeches because each one draws you in. overall this really is just a history lesson that will help you learn more about the great man.

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Day-Lewis: President Abraham Lincoln is the man who fought to campaign for equal rights for all slaves, he is running the country with his speeches and is happy to let his men make things fall into place. Lincoln is arguable the most famous of all Presidents of America and what he achieved will forever be the greatest achievement of any of them. Daniel is incredible in this role where he won his third Oscar.linconl

Sally Field: Mary Todd Lincoln is the wife of Abraham who is still suffering from their lost child as she always wants to stand next to her husband and protect their remaining child. Sally is great in this supporting rolemary

David Strathairn: William Seward is the secretary of defence who has been working with Lincoln to get the votes needed to make the amendment pass. He will stand up to Lincoln when needed showing his strength against the great leader. David is great in this supporting role showing this is what he should be doing in film.

Tommy Lee Jones: Thaddeus Stevens is the one man from the south that agrees with Lincoln, he will stand up in court against any odds for what he believes in to make sure this amendment gets passed. Tommy got himself an Oscar nod in this brilliant supporting performance.ddy

Support Cast: Lincoln has a massive supporting cast that all play different characters that were real people for the time period.

Director Review: Steven SpielbergSteven is the always reliable director when it comes to telling the story from history.

 

Biographical: Lincoln takes us to one of the most important moments of Lincoln’s life as he changes history as we know it.

History: Lincoln gives us everything we need to see in a history lesson about the great man.

War: Lincoln is set through the Civil War but we don’t really end up seeing anyone in actual combat.

Settings: Lincoln re-creates the settings to make us look like the time period in question.
Special Effects
: Lincoln has great effects to make everything look authentic through the film.

Suggestion: Lincoln is one film that you should watch just to learn about Lincoln. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Lincoln’s speeches

Worst Part: Courtroom comes off slightly repetitive.

 

Believability: Based on the real people involved.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars and Nominated for 10 more.

Box Office: $182 Million

Budget: $65 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Trivia: Every major character in the film was a real person or at least a composite of real figures and the film strives to reflect the actual actions or thoughts of the historical figures.

 

Overall: Brilliant history lesson but not an easy watch

Ratingcard

 

 

Everest (2015)

logoDirector: Baltasar Kormakur

Writer: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Elizabeth Debicki, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, Jason Clarke, Clive Standen, Emily Watson, Martin Henderson, Michael Kelly, John Hawkes, Michael Kelly

Plot: A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Memorizing

Story: Everest starts by introducing us to Rob Hall (Clarke) a skilled climber with years of experience climbing Mount Everest. Rob is preparing for his latest expedition, we also meet Beck Weathers (Brolin), Doug Hansen (Hawkes) and Jon Krakauer (Kelly) all members of the latest expedition even with a rival climber Scott Fischer (Gyllenhaal) who has lost out on taking a journalist up the mountain.

We watch as Rob train the want to be climbers through their paces to prepare them for the climb of their life times. Realizing there are too many different expedition trying to reach the summit Rob tries to work out a plan to split climbs so they don’t end up having people waiting to climb the mountain.

Weather clear, teams prepared the time has come to climb Mount Everest with Rob and Scott leading the way, but getting to the top was the easy part it is getting back down during a sudden snow storm hits the team.

Everest is based on the true events of the 1996 incident which lead to the many death on Mount Everest. We follow these victims and survivors as they go up the mountain but have to fight unpredictable weather on their way back down, I think the film handles to subject brilliantly but I will say it struggles to give enough screen time to certain supporting characters. Saying this we do get to see how difficult the climb would be and we are left wondering what will happen (unless you know the real story) and who will make it down.

Actor Review

Jason Clarke: Rob Hall is the lead climber taking teams up Everest, he leads this latest expedition to the top of the highest point on Earth and while everything goes well on the way up to the summit it is the journey down which causes the problems as he needs to lead his team down through a sudden snow storm. Jason does a great job in this role continuing to impress in leading role over the recent years.rob

Jake Gyllenhaal: Scott Fischer is a rival lead climber who is on a mutual respect level with Rob, he works with Rob to make the increasing number of climbers climbing to the top of the mountain. He has a riskier style compared to Rob but he does understand the dangers all the same. Jake does a good job but I do feel like we needed more from his character.scott

John Hawkes: Doug Hansen is the man who has returned to the mountain after just missing out on the summit the year before, he works three jobs to make this dream a reality and will never give up on achieving this dream. John does a good job in this role because he looks like a guy who wouldn’t look like the made climber compared to the rest of the team.doug

Josh Brolin: Beck Weathers is the loud mouth American who see climbing the mountain as a rush, he struggles to deal with the rules because he expects to be getting a chance to climb the mountain not wait for time to do it, he does create a good bond with the rest of the climbers though. Josh does a good job in his role and brings something to the character that makes you not like him.beck

Sam Worthington: Guy Cotter is a fellow climber who helps make the mountain safer to climb, he works with Rob and is the one that guides him through the ascent from the top. Sam does a solid enough job in this supporting role but doesn’t get enough to do.

Support Cast: Everest has an even bigger supporting cast mostly filled with loved one of the men on the mountains along with the rest of the climbers who end up stuck on the mountain against the storm, they all help as we watch them desperately try to save their loved ones.

Director Review: Baltasar Kormakur Baltasar gives us a visually stunning looking film telling a tragic story of what happened on the mountain that fateful may.

Adventure: Everest shows what the perils of going on this ultimate adventure really are.

Thriller: Everest keeps you wondering what will happen to the characters from the start to the finish as you root for all of them.

Settings: Everest creates the settings perfectly to show how difficult it would be during the condition the climbers find themselves in.
Special Effects: Everest uses the effects to make each scene look realistic throughout.

Suggestion: Everest is one to watch because it will be one of the best visual treats of the year along with a story that shows how much people risked for that rush. (Watch)

Best Part: Visually brilliant.

Worst Part: I felt the supporting characters needed more screen time.

Believability: It is based on what really happened on Everest in 1996

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Could get a few visual awards.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minutes

Tagline: Never let go

Overall: One special film that tells such a brilliant and tragic story

Ratingcard