Michael Rooker Weekend – Whisper (2007)

Director: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Christopher Borrelli (Screenplay)

StarringMichael Rooker, Josh Holloway, Blake Woodruff, Sarah Wayne Callies, Julian Christopher, Joel Edgerton, Dule Hill 

 

Plot: Sinister things begin happening to kidnappers who are holding a young boy for ransom in a remote cabin.


Tagline – The devil’s work is childs play

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Horror

 

Story: Whisper starts when a group of criminals Max (Holoway), Sidney (Rooker), Roxanne (Callies) and Vince (Edgerton) kidnap a young boy David (Woodruff) in an attempt to gain a large ransom, as they look to sort their lives out.

Once David is in their possession, the four criminals soon learn that they have bitten off more than they can chew, when it turns out David has some kind of power which he will use against them as he is pure evil.

 

Thoughts on Whisper

 

Characters – Max is the member of the gang that wants to go clean, he wants his own business, but doesn’t have the capital to achieve this, he take the job in hopes that it will give him the money required to get the business and seems to be the only one that can keep it together through the events of the kidnapping. David is the boy that has been kidnapped, he is shown to be a loner even at his own birthday party, but it soon becomes clear that he has some form of powers that even his mother is scared off, using them to trick the criminals. Roxanne is the girlfriend of Max’s she is the first one to fold and want to quit the job as the mother instincts start taking over. Sidney is the leader of the gang that is putting the job together, he knows who to pick which does make this easier for him, though he isn’t prepared for this job.

PerformancesThis is a strange one for performances because our leads are Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies who at the time were involved in two of the biggest television shows, they both do an acceptable enough job playing to their strengths. Michael Rooker brings the strength in his performance, while young Blake Woodruff makes for an evil child with ease.

StoryThe story here is interesting because it does take a different turn when it comes to the kidnapping genre, by adding the horror elements. It does seem like everything is going to be by the book, until we learn early on when David is pure evil and turns the tables on the kidnappers. Now this should all work well and for the most part is an enjoyable enough watch, only we get a third act twist which only leaves us question large parts of the first act along with certain characters decisions.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the kidnapping which seems to have gone smoothly for the criminals, the don’t get enough focus on the investigation though, which does feel like it could be an important part of the film. The horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the pure evil that David is and just how he uses his powers to make the people do the terrible things.

SettingsThe film has a couple of settings with the safehouse being the cabin in the woods away from any visitors, the small town just helps show how desperate the criminals are too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we get a true mixed bag because the film doesn’t seem to commit on the levels needed to create the scares required.


Scene of the Movie –
The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The shower scene is shot badly.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch horror that is all we ask for at times, this isn’t the scariest film you will see and by the end it does have enough surprises to turn heads.

 

Overall: Simple and easy to watch horror.

Rating

 

 

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

logoDirector: Brad Bird

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec (Screenplay) Bruce Geller (TV Creator)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Lea Seydoux, Josh Holloway

 

Plot: The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Game Changer in the Mission Impossible Franchise

 

Story: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol starts in Budapest (Yes another well-known city), this time we watch Hanaway (Holloway) making a grand escape before getting eliminated by assassin Sabine Moreau (Seydoux).we move to follow Ethan Hunt (Cruise) who has been locked up in a Russian prison, he is broken out by Benji (Pegg) and Jane (Patton) who know that Hunt can help retrieve the chip lost when Hanaway was killed.

The three have to break into the Kremlin to stop Colbolt from deleting his files making him impossible to find. The mission get compromised and Hunt has to call for a mission abort but finds himself locked up in a hospital after a mysterious man blows the Kremlin. Ethan being picked up Secretary of IMF (Wilkinson) where we learn that IMF has been disbanded but Ethan has been given one final mission to clear the names of him and his team for the Kremlin bombing and find Hendricks (Nyqvist) the man Ethan believe to be responsible. The extraction gets attacked leaving Ethan with analyst Brandt (Renner) joining up with Jane and Benji as they are the lone members of IMF to clear the names.

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol manages to address the over used storylines in the franchise and turn them into failed attempts on mission with the equipment failing and for the first time not even hinting at a mole inside IMF. The pace of this film is what is most impressive because it is non-stop from the moment the opening sequences happens to the final act it all takes place in almost real time without the travelling. This is how a spy film should be done with the team having to work out the solution without having to rely on the computer back home. I would say this is easily the best in the franchise because it manages to break free of the restraints the previous outings seem to have around them. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Ethan Hunt is the lead in the operation to clear America’s name from bombing the Kremlin, he must assemble a new team to take on the latest impossible mission only this time the stakes a higher. Tom shows that he can still play the action hero and isn’t afraid to take the chances with the stunt work he willing takes part in. (8/10)

 hunt

Paula Patton: Jane was the lead on the original mission and after Hanaway gets killed she takes the latest mission personally making her decision making more difficult. Paula fills the leading lady role nicely without really doing too much extra. (7/10)

jane

Simon Pegg: Benji is now a fully trained field operative (somehow) and is part of the team used to rescue and work with Hunt. He is easily the character that makes you laugh the most through the whole film. Simon pretty much is the scene stealer with all the fun lines that will make you laugh through the action. (8/10)

 benji

Jeremy Renner: Brandt who seems like a normal analyst but shows his worth when it comes to the mission in hand to hand combat. Jeremey shows he did his training for the action roles and plays the man of mystery well. (7/10)

 brandt

Michael Nyqvist: Hendricks is the villain of the piece arranging for the codes to be taken, he is brilliant trained and uses all his skills to stay one step ahead of the game. Michael makes for a good villain showing he was using his brains over the fighting. (7/10)

hendricks

Support Cast: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol has a supporting cast that includes mostly the people Ethan’s team are after and a determined Russian agent trying to capture Ethan unsuccessfully.

 

Director Review: Brad Bird – Brad does a great job making an entertaining action film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. (8/10)

 

Action: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is filled with action but all very tactical action. (8/10)

Thriller: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol keeps you interested from start to finish. (9/10)

Settings: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol keeps the settings well-known so we can tell where things are going on without needed to be told. (8/10)

Suggestion: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is one for all the action fans to enjoy with plenty of action and stunts. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Building running.

Worst Part: Sometimes we get too many jokes.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car fighting.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one more sequel

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $695 Million

Budget: $145 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

Tagline: No Plan. No Backup. No Choice.

 

Overall: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is easily the best yet in a franchise that just seems to improve.

Rating 85

Sabotage (2014)

logoDirector: David Ayer

Writer: Skip Woods, David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Terrance Howard, Max Martini, Kevin Vance, Mark Schlegel, Mireille Enos, Maurice Compte, Martin Donovan

 

Plot: Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.

 

Verdict: Disappointing Action Thriller

 

Story: We see how an elite DEA team find themselves disgraced by the government after $10 million dollars goes missing during a bust. The team gets put back together but the members start getting picked off. With the money still missing we have a FBI agent trying to figure out who is the person targeting them. We see the team not supporting her help and Breacher trying to keep them in line. We see how the team tries to uncover the truth and battles to stay alive, the truth could end up being closer than anyone imagined. This tries to be too smart in the end throwing in twist after twist that makes the last one come over as pointless. It really changes film type with the last twenty minutes and it’s the only twist you didn’t really see coming. It is not the best and the over the top macho performances from the supporting team don’t help in the end the film disappoints. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Breacher leader of the unit and the one who gets focused on the most. He keeps the team in order when they just want to cause chaos. He works with Caroline to uncover the truth but he is also keeping a few secrets about himself. This is not his best performance by any stretch but it is darker than normal, no funny one liner to ease the action. (6/10)

 arnie

Sam Worthington: Monster seemingly the loose cannon of the unit who will go over the line when dealing with the bad guys. Sam became unrecognizable for this role but I am not sure why, he didn’t need too. (5/10)

sam

Joe Manganiello: Grinder the hyper macho member of the unit who uses his imposing presences to try and make himself the most important person in the room. I think he is meant to be the actually big softy of the group but due to lack of development in the supporting characters we don’t see this. Does ok with what he is meant to be doing. (6/10)

 joe

Terrance Howard: Sugar member of the unit but I am not sure what he was meant to be doing most of the time. Not his fault they wasted his talent. (3/10)

 

howard

Mireille Enos: Lizzy undercover member of the unit who now has a drug problem make her a very loose cannon. Yet again it was a talented actress in a role that needed more development. (4/10)

 enos

Olivia Williams: Caroline teaming up with Breacher to uncover what is going on, trusts him but not a single member of the unit. Somehow she becomes a better cop in combat than the rest of the unit. Does a good job with what she has to work with. (6/10)

 

Director Review: David Ayer – I read that the production company wanted more action so I will not criticise the director as much because his bigger picture might have been better. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of graphic action violence throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: You do want to know who is behind it all but they never give you enough reason to suspect anyone. (7/10)

Settings: The settings are barely used to create anything extra. (2/10)
Special Effects
: To make the gun shots look so real I will give this the credit it is due. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think only action fans will like this at all but I don’t think all of them will enjoy as much as they could have. (Action Fans Try)

 

Best Part: I only liked the final twist.

Worst Part: The early attempts at twists.

Action Scene Of The Film: Street chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $18 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Leave no loose ends.

 

Overall: Lack of character development ruins what could have been a good thriller.

Rating55

 

Paranoia (2013)

logoDirector: Robert Luketic

Writer: Jason Dean Hall, Barry L. Levy (Screenplay) Joseph Finder (Novel)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Harrison Ford, Lucas Till, Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, Josh Holloway, Richard Dreyfuss

 

Plot: The high stakes thriller Paranoia takes us deep behind the scenes of global success to a deadly world of greed and deception. The two most powerful tech billionaires in the world (Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman) are bitter rivals with a complicated past who will stop at nothing to destroy each other. A young superstar (Liam Hemsworth), seduced by unlimited wealth and power falls between them, and becomes trapped in the middle of the twists and turns of their life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realizes his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows far too much for them to let him walk away.

 

Verdict: Slick Technology Stealing Thriller

 

Story: Entering the world of corporate espionage can come off boring if the subject matter isn’t very interesting. This targets the ‘now’ generation by tackle the battle between two leading technology companies trying to create the next forward step in having everything in your own hands. Granted this will date as time goes on because of the movement in technology, but for now it should have done a lot better than the Box Office return it did get. This is a solid thriller and a lot better than other films that have made money, give it a try and don’t believe what the box office says. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Liam Hemsworth: Adam the young dreamer who believes he can change the face of the world of technology but ends up being pushed into corporate trading and the deeper he gets the less options he has. Good performance from the young Hemsworth here, showing he can go just as well as his brother. (7/10)

 liam

Gary Oldman: Nicolas the man who fires Adam only to re-hire him to help him learn about Jock’s company and he will do anything for the information. Good performance from Oldman who for once doesn’t need to put on an accent letting his English roots shine through. (7/10)

gary

Amber Heard: Emma a marketing lady for Jock who also becomes a love interest and someone who ends up getting hurt because of Adam. Good performance, but over connected character for a simple storyline. (6/10)

 amber

Harrison Ford: Jock the owner of the rival company who takes Adam in under his wing letting him learn about the secrets of the company while secretly playing him against Nicolas. Good performance from Ford who gives a good business man performance which you wouldn’t see from him normally. (7/10)

 ford

Director Review: Robert Luketic – Good direction to create a thriller that keeps you attention. (7/10)

 

Thriller: Keeps your attention from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: New York perfect location for the business world corruption. (8/10)

Suggestion: This one will have gone under the radar due to poor reviews, but it really is worth ago. (Thriller Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Twists and turns.

Worst Part: Using the technology it will date.

Believability: Could be going on. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Paycheck

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $14 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: In a war between kings even a pawn can change the game.

 

Overall: Good Thriller

Rating 75

Intelligence Season 1

logoMain Cast: Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory, John Billingsley, P.J. Byrne, Michael Rady, Marg Helgenberger

Big Name Guest Stars: Tomas Arana, Lance Reddick, Faye Kingslee, Zuleikha Robinson, Peter Coyote, Will Yun Lee, Alan Ruck

 

Plot: Welcome to Cyber Command where the first man given a microchip in his head Gabriel Vaughn (Holloway) has connection to every computer system in the world. Cyber Command in ran by Lillian Strand (Helgenberger) while the science in looked after by father son team Cassidy’s Dr Shenendoah (Billingsley) and Nelson (Byrne). Gabriel has a bodyguard Riley (Ory) who is handpicked by the President from their secret service unit. Riley ends up being more of a partner in the end help Gabriel and the team solve crimes from all over the world.

 

Season Highlights: It is fair to say not much happens to create a true underlining storyline. We have a few bits that carry over and that revolves around political secrets with each organisation keeping things close to home. We have a rogue agent with a chip in her head Mei Chen who works for money who gets involved with the teams business throughout the seasons. Most of the first season was building the loyalty between the team hopefully leading to big and better stories.

 

Verdict: Smart Simple Action Show

 

Season Story: Even though I felt that the show starts slow with its desperate attempt to create a long term storyline for Gabriel only to throw it out the door after three episodes. Once you get pasted them we have a series of enjoyable episodes that just build the teams characters to lead to more later in the show. (7/10)

 

Main Cast Reviews

 

Josh Holloway: Gabriel the solider with the chip in his brain, brilliant trained in combat, Gabriel is a man that saves the day week in week out. Josh does very well with the role and shows he can be the lead in a show. (9/10)

 josh

Meghan Ory: Riley the secret service agent reassigned to Cyber Command to work with Gabriel. Meghan does a good job in the role in an investigation style team. (8/10)

riley

John Billingsley: Dr Shenendoah the creator of the chip who also keeps the chip and Gabriel safe after he returns from the field. Good performance from John who plays the almost mad scientist but not quiet mad very well. (8/10)

 john

P.J. Byrne: Nelson who looks after the computer side of the operation and constantly looks up to his father and wants to emulate his work. Good from P.J. who steals most of the scenes he is in. (9/10)

 pj

Michael Rady: Jameson part of the team, a great shot but rarely says or gets involved in anything. Good performance but his character isn’t used very much.(6/10)

 

Marg Helgenberger: Lillian Leader of Cyber Command who has to try and keep Gabriel in check as well as using her contacts through the government to help her and the team. Good performance from Marg who steps away from CSI very well in this show. (8/10)

lillian

Special Guest Star Reviews

 

Tomas Arana: DNI Adam Weatherly one of the people within the government to whom Lillian has contact with. Good typical government role appearing in 10 of the 13 episodes.  (8/10)

 

Lance Reddick: DCI Jeffrey Tetazoo another one within the government who is against the danger Gabriel could possess. Good from Lance who seems to play the role very well. (8/10)

 lance

Faye Kingslee: Mei Chen after getting a chip placed in her mind she ends up working as an assassin for hire who has learnt more of the chip abilities that Gabriel. Good performance from Faye who adds some mystery to the chip. (8/10)

 mei chen

Zuleikha Robinson: Amelia, Gabriel’s wife who was dead, then wasn’t then died in three episodes. Can’t blame the actress for the poorly written character. (4/10)

 

Peter Coyote: Leland, Lillian father who is also involved with the government who can’t tell her secrets but leads her in the direction she needs to go, is one of the mysteries to be solved if the show returns. Good performance to create a character with plenty of mystery about him. (9/10)

 

Alan Ruck: Jonathan Cain a wheelchair bound man who plans to release the same virus he has on a city wide population. Good twisted villain created here, player perfectly by Ruck.  (9/10)

 

 

Action: Plenty of action throughout the show. (8/10)

Thriller: Always keep you guessing on what will happen next. (8/10)

Chemistry: Good chemistry between the characters. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting is very different, but all work well for that particular episode. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would say give the show a go, it is gentle and easy to watch and doesn’t have the issue of trying to catch up if you miss one. (Try)

 

Best Episode: Size Matters Episode 7

Worst Episode: Red X Episode 2

Best Guest Star: Alan Ruck

Funniest Moment: Nelson’s lines during a serious scene.

Surprise Of The Season: Final Twist.

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of New Season: It is in the air at the time I am writing this.

Cliff Hanger Scene: Has a final cliff hanger for a returning season.

What to Look Forward to Next Season: What is Leland’s role? Will Mei Chen return?

Similar Too: Person Of Interest

 

Overall: Cyber Man to The Rescue

Rating 75