Franchise Weekend – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenageDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Evan Daughterty (Screenplay) Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman (Characters)

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Noe Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremey Howard, Danny Woodburn


Plot: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Bonkers Fun


Story: Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles starts as we learn of Shredder and his foot clan have the city of New York in terror when they keep up their attacks, with a mentor keeping his children underground until they are ready to fight back. We move on to meet ambitious reporter April O’Neil (Fox) who is trying to break a big story on the foot clan but must continue pointless stories with her cameraman Vernon (Arnett).

When April witnesses a failed Foot Clan robbery she believes there is a vigilante protecting the city and with Eric Sacks (Fichtner) leading the NYPD’s defence against the Foot Clan we are ready to meet the turtles Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello who are fighting back against the Foot Clan.

When the turtles become the new targets the true villain behind Shredder is revealed and the turtles are finally allowed to go out and fight against the criminals of New York City.


Thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Characters/PerformanceWe all know the teenage mutant ninja turtles and all their different characteristics, with some we love more than others and here we have what we all remember from the turtles. April O’Neil is a strong reporter character that also has a connection to the turtle’s origins which is all good with her cameraman Vernon offering most of the comic relief through the whole film. Eric Sacks makes the typical villainous businessman role which is fine for this film.

Performance wise Megan Fox is good in this role, she brings the added beauty needed for this film to stop it become just another turtle film with Will Arnett getting all the comedy he needs to make us smile. William Fichtner is always reliable for this type of role too.stars

StoryThe origin for the turtle’s story is never going to be perfectly but do we care? No we just want a film to be fun and this is just nonsense fun when you look at the story. we get the ambitious journalist, check, the easy to defeat villain, check, comic sidekick check, and the turtles check all mixing together to make a watchable film you don’t need to think about.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is big, over the top and fun for the casual film can to enjoy, the adventure shows the team working together for the first time. The comedy comes when needed without burying the whole film.

SettingsNew York City the main attraction for newly every single comic book origin story, we get everything we need from the city apart from the random mountain which feels out of place.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good in the film with the mix of the CGI turtles with the human world.genre

Final ThoughtsSometimes you just need a film to be entertaining and this film does that, it will have a target audience that will enjoy and get the most out of it.


Overall: Switch off your brain and enjoy the movie.




Elvis & Nixon (2016)

elvisDirector: Liza Johnson

Writer: Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal, Cary Elwes (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, Sky Ferreira, Tracy Letts, Tate Donovan


Plot: The untold true story behind the meeting between Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n Roll, and President Richard Nixon, resulting in this revealing, yet humorous moment immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy


Story: Elvis & Nixon starts as we see Elvis Presley (Shannon) decide he wants to get a Federal Badge which leads him to bring his two closest associates Jerry (Pettyfer) and Sonny (Knoxville) to arrange a meeting with President Nixon (Spacey).

Going through the President’s associates Krogh (Hanks) and Chapin (Peters) to make the most unlikely meeting between the two different worlds to have a simple conversation between two of the most iconic men in American history.

Elvis & Nixon is a good comedy that has good moments to see how different the two men are. We get a brilliant performance from Shannon once again as we see him become the King and interact with different members of his fan base to get what he wants. The gun scenes are all the extra funny moments because we get to see how Elvis believes he is doing nothing wrong. This is an overall an enjoyable watch in a light hearted manner.


Overall: Enjoyable comedy that has moments of truth through it.




Walking Tall (2004)

logoDirector: Kevin Bray

Writer: David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Johnny Knoxville, Neal mCDonough, Ashley Scott, Michael Bowen, John Beasley


Plot: A former U.S. soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slick Popcorn action flick


Story: Walking Tall starts when Chris Vaughn (Johnson) returns to his hometown after his time away in the services. Chris learns that the old mill where his family has worked is closed and a casino is the main resource in the town. The family have all gone through hardships because of the change in the town with Chris’ sister Michelle (Wilson) now on the paramedic.

Ray (Knoxville) Chris’ old friend invites him along for a reunion with all the old boys in a traditional game of football the American style. This introduces Jay Hamilton (McDonough) the man who knows runs this town who is one of the old boys who seems to have been a high school rival. Jay’s family owned the mill but when it was left to him he closed it to open the casino. Chris notices there is a drug problem in the town which reaches down to the Chris’ nephew.

The Wild Cherry casino hosts the night for Chris, Ray and the rest of the friends, where a private dance from a high school sweetheart Deni (Scott) and some dodgy dice on the table shows Chris just what has happened to his town. After Chris is involved in a fight in the casino he is taken by Hamilton’s friends and left for dead on the side of the street.

Recovering from his injuries Chris rejects an offer from Hamilton for a job and goes to the Sheriff to press charges, but Chris gets thrown out with the case fully closed. One more personal issue when his nephew nearly dies do to a drug problem, Chris smashes up the casino and taking out the whole security team. In court Chris swears to run for Sheriff is found not guilty leading him to win the election in a landslide. Chris now sets out to clean up the town along with his new deputy Ray one drug dealer at a time.

Walking Tall does tell the true story of a real man who came back to his town to clean it up, this time the story is simple but knowing how accurate it is isn’t as easy to know. We have seen the clean up the drug problems before but I do feel this one loses something by being so very short, the tension never really rises but I would say it is an enjoyable action side to the story. The story offers up the question about what you would do if you town turned out like this one and how you would change it. The reality is that this story was designed to show off Dwayne Johnson’s screen presence and potential push his career off. (6/10)


Actor Review


Dwayne Johnson: Chris Vaughn former soldier who after returning home gets a shock when he sees what the town has become, left for dead Chris decides to go for the Sheriff Job and clean up his town once and for all. Dwayne does a good job in the role that showed off his action star abilities. (7/10)


Neal McDonough: Jay Hamilton owner of the casino and former school rival of Chris’ who tries to get Chris on his team but ends up getting on his bad side. After being caught by Chris selling drugs through the casino his wise talking can’t get him out of this one. Neal is one of my favourite actors and always turns up in villainous roles performing well again here. (7/10)


Johnny Knoxville: Ray Templeton best friend of Chris who helps fill in the blanks with the town for Chris, he is a former con because of his drug problems and is always good for a laugh. Johnny does a good job as the comic relief. (7/10)


Ashley Scott: Deni former high school sweetheart of Chris who now works in the casino to help ends meet. Ashley does a solid job but never really has enough to work with. (6/10)


Support Cast: Walking Tall supporting cast is Chris family that all support him and drive his character on. It also has mostly henchmen for Hamilton that all work well to give Dwayne someone to fight.


Director Review: Kevin Bray – Kevin did a solid job directing this but never really pushing the boundaries the film have pushed. (6/10)


Action: Walking Tall has plenty of action scenes that mix from hand to hand to all out gun battles. (8/10)

Crime: Walking Tall shows how the town has been overrun by criminals and one man takes a stand. (8/10)

Thriller: Walking Tall never lets the tension build up enough to make a serious impact on the story. (5/10)

Settings: Walking Tall uses a small town well to create the changed home environment. (8/10)

Suggestion: Walking Tall is one for the action fans to enjoy but only just to see the action unfold don’t expect anything truly special. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Smashing up the casino.

Worst Part: Very short.

Action Scene Of The Film: Police station attack.


Believability: The idea is based on a real man, but what happens seems too cinematic. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 2 sequels

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $56 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: One man will stand up for what’s right.

Trivia: At the beginning when Chris Vaughn asks the sheriff what happened to the former sheriff it is said that the guy was a great man but they found one day he had mysteriously skidded off a deserted road and died hitting a tree. This is a reference to how the realBuford Pusser died.


Overall: Walking Tall is a very short action film that does everything you want an action film to do, switch your brain off and what people beat or shot each other.

Rating 60

The Last Stand (2013)

logoDirector: Kim Jee-woon

Writer: Andrew Knauer (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzman, Jaimie Alexander, Peter Stormare, Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro, Genesis Rodriguez, Eduardo Noriega


Plot: Sheriff Owens (Schwarzenegger) is a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Summerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled. After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members. He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for the face off.


Verdict: Arnie’s Back


Story: We all know what to expect from an Arnie film, plenty of action and one liners. This delivers what you expect nothing more nothing less. We get the quirky support characters, a higher authority that doubts him and a villain that will stop at nothing. Don’t go in expecting to see anything Oscar worthy just look to sit back and enjoy the film unfold. (7/10)


Actor Review


Arnold Schwarzenegger: Ray Owens a former narcotics officers who know is the sheriff at a small town where very little happens, he still has some fight in him that is bad news for anyone who messes with his town. Typical Arnie performance that will have a bit of fun with his age now. (7/10)


Forest Whitaker: Agent Bannister the FBI agent who loses the criminal while trying to transfer him, only to try and track him down. Standard FBI performance offering nothing new to the character. (6/10)


Eduardo Noriega: Gabriel Cortez the ruthless criminal who enjoys the speed of his car, he will kill anybody who gets in his way and likes to take an extra risk when it is not needed. Good villainous performance but he misses a lot of the action.(7/10)


Peter Stormare: Burrell the man behind the final leg of the escape who makes the mistake of picking Owen’s town, comes off as a reasonable guy until he doesn’t get his own way. Good villainous support performance as he gets to face Arnie and his team. (7/10)


Johnny Knoxville: Lewis the nuts vintage gun collector who joins the force to stop the criminals coming through the town and giving him a chance to use his own guns in combat. Good performance if not crazy, you will remember more of his scenes than anyone else’s. (7/10)


Director Review: Kim Jee-woon – Creates an enjoyable action film that is just entertaining. (7/10)


Action: Once the action starts it rarely gives you a chance to breath. (9/10)

Thriller: The action gives this thrills but the build is not the most thrilling. (8/10)


Settings: Basic setting which works well for the film giving isolation for the action showing how alone the town is against the criminals. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is for all the action fans out there, you will all enjoy this but people outside the fan zone will find this boring. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Town showdown.

Worst Part: Bit slow starting.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Town showdown

Funniest Scene: Old lady kills a bad guy.

Kill Of The Film: Flair Gun.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Box Office say no, but you never know.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $48,330,757

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Retirement Is For Sissies


Overall: Enjoyable Action

Rating 74