ABC Film Challenge – Action – R – RocknRolla (2008)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Karel Roden, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he’s helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole’s wall. While Cole’s men, led by the dependable Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.


Tagline – A story of sex, thugs and rock ‘n roll.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Saturated Film

 

Story: RocknRolla starts when One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Elba) learn the hard way how London mobster Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) operates, needing to collect a large amount of money. Lenny is in the middle of a big deal with a Russian Uri Omovich (Roden) that would be the biggest of his career.

When a piece of art gets stolen Lenny is put under pressure to return the art work to Uri, he turns to his right-hand man Archy (Strong) to get it back, turning to One Two for help as we see how the underworld coming together to get one up on each other.

 

Thoughts on RocknRolla

 

Characters – One Two is the leader of the Wild Bunch, he gets left owing a lot of money within the month and it soon becomes his connections that help with the mystery about where a painting is hiding as he plans to solve his own problems. Mumbles is the best friend in the Wild Bunch, he is the one that One Two turns to for advice through the problems. Lenny Cole is the mobster that runs London, he has everyone in his pocket to get what he wants, with his greed taking over when he can have a deal with a billionaire Russian, though his past could cause the trouble in this deal. Stella is the accountant that has each party doing her dealings, she knows how to have each side in the palm of her hands. Archy is the one telling the story, he has the right-hand man for Lenny and the go between all the different sides of the underworld. In this film we do get too many characters with so many different arcs going on through the film.

PerformancesThe acting in this film is good from the whole cast, we have a large cast which does hinder them from getting a true star turn in this film. Butler, Wilkinson, Newton, Strong, Elba, Hardy all show how they can become good at making moments of impact in shorter scenes.

StoryThe story here follows three levels of mobsters as they deal with a deal gone bad as they are trying to stay ahead of each other, in typical Ritchie storytelling we get thrown all over the place with the story telling and miss the most interesting action aspects of the film. when it comes to the criminal underworld side of the story, we don’t get anything new with generic characters who just go through the emotions that don’t always make us enjoy the characters we are enjoy watching.

Action/CrimeThe action is disappointing because we have scenes which should be good, only Ritchie’s style of shooting chops too much hiding the best parts. The crime world created is good because we see just how many different levels of the crime world we are entering.

SettingsThe film is set in London which is good for the film because if these type of deals are happening it would need to be in a busy city location like London.


Scene of the Movie –
Sporting goods fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The action editing.

Final ThoughtsThis is your typical British gangster film, it has its own flair which can help and hinder the film at times, we have too many characters to stay on top of which only disappoints with the storytelling process.

 

Overall: Typical mobster movie.

Rating

 

 

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Sword of Vengeance (2015)

Director: Jim Weedon

Writer: Julian Unthank, Matthew Read (Screenplay)

Starring: Stanley Weber, Annabelle Wallis, Karel Roden, Ed Skrein, Dave Legeno, Edward Akrout

 

Plot: Vengeance is the driving force behind a shadow walker’s return to Norman conquered Saxon lands after the Battle of Hastings and a brutal repression of it’s people by a cruel lord.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Splattered Action Mess

 

Story: Sword of Vengeance starts shortly after the Battle of Hastings (1066, if you don’t know your British history) Durant (Roden) has slaughtered the Saxons and strikes fear through the remaining citizens. Shadow Walker (Weber) has a score to settle against Durant, travelling around alone he finds himself working with Saxon warriors led by Anna (Wallis) wife of a former warrior, as the two forces look set for one final showdown for the land of British.

 

Thoughts on Sword of Vengeance

 

Characters – Shadow Walker is the mysterious stranger who travels alone for his own quest for vengeance, master of combat he can easily defeat multiple deadly foes at once, he ends up leading a Saxon fight back against the tyrant ruling the land. Anna is the leader of the Saxon group, she lost her husband in the battles and now she unites the other groups as they plan to fight back, she accepts Shadow Walker as their combat leader. Durant is the tyrant ruling the land, his armies have conquered and slaughtered villages, with his power showing just the force he has become, he isn’t afraid to get into the battles himself though.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the combat sequences Stanley Weber does look the part, this works in the film because he doesn’t get left to try any of the emotional scenes, just being emotionless is this guys strong point. Annabelle Wallis is strong also handling the fighting well, but does better with the emotional level of the film. Karel is a basic villain we know he can play this character well and this is no different.

StoryThe story follows Britain after the battle of Hastings, new conquerors control the land slaughtering the people and now we follow a lone walker seeking revenge only to find himself in the middle of the battle. This brings us into the idea of the reluctant hero needing to step into a battle for the same reasons he is involved to overcome the tyrant ruling the land. It is nothing new to the genre and can be easily watched without being difficult to watch.

ActionThe action is medieval style fighting swords and shields being used for combat.

SettingsThe settings leaves us in what could be any woodland area which are used for the fighting.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well for the combat injuries which are blood covered.


Scene of the Movie –
The first attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of interest in the villains.

Final ThoughtsThis has plenty of blood, weak story and strong combat sequences.

 

Overall: Easy to watching, but nothing special

Rating

 

 

Melissa George Weekend – A Lonely Place to Die (2011)

 

 casting card

Plot: A group of mountaineers in the Scottish Highlands discover a kidnapped girl and are pursued by her captors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Tense Thriller

 

Story: A Lonely Place to Die starts as we three climbers Rob (Newman), Ed (Speleers) and Alison (George) showing just how extreme their love for climber is when we see them avoid disaster following an accident. Returning to their holiday trip the friends meet up with fellow climbers Jenny (Magowan) and Alex (Sweeney) to prepare for the biggest climb of their trip.

Heading out on the next day of climbing the friends find a mysterious breathing pipe where they discover a young girl Anna (Boyd) locked in a hole in the ground. Deciding to do the right thing they split up to get help with Alison and Rob heading to Devil’s Drop to get to the village quicker while the rest take Anna for a safe place to wait for rescue.

When one of their own is killed the remaining friends find themselves being hunted down by Mr Kidd (Harris) & Mr Mcrae (McCole) who are after Anna, the friends have to use all their climbing and survival skills to escape this deadly situation.

A Lonely Place to Die is a thriller that goes on to keep the storyline twists coming, the idea of finding a girl trapped in the woods and being hunted down is an easy story and would easily have been enough but adding in the idea of kidnapping hand over works really well. This does mean the introduction too all of the original characters comes off almost pointless because most of them are just disposable but it does get saved with the final act tension. This is one I do feel people will enjoy and with this many twists it never actually gets confusing.

 

Actor Review

 

Melissa George: Allison is the experienced climber on a climbing holiday with friends, we see how she can handle herself in the extreme conditions early on but when we see her and her friends find a young girl in the middle of the forest she must find a way out of the mountain range to save the girl. Melissa is always a strong lead in film but I was never sure of her accent in this one.

Ed Speleers: Ed is the least experienced member of the friends that Allison has bought along on the trip, he is reckless but we see how he will do the right thing when needed. Ed is a solid supporting choice but lacks that final moment.

Sean Harris: Mr Kidd is one of the two men hunting the friends down, he is very psychotic as we see him happily watch people die. This is a very good villain because we see his greed and complete lack of care showing through. Sean is good in this role where we see just how twisted his character gets.

Karel Roden: Darko is dealing with Mr Kidd, he is a victim as it is Anna that has been kidnapped for a ransom. He has come prepared to get revenge on the people involved. Karel is good in this role as we see his change as we learn his real position in the situation.

Support Cast: A Lonely Place to Die has a good supporting cast that all do their jobs to make this an edge of your seat ride.

Director Review: Julian Gilbey

 

Action: A Lonely Place to Die has a lot of survival action with chasing, climbing and gun fights happening.

Crime: A Lonely Place to Die puts us in the middle of the kidnapping so we actually feel like the one of the climbers stuck in the middle.

Thriller: A Lonely Place to Die keeps us on edge through the whole film as we wonder who will make it out alive.

Settings: A Lonely Place to Die has the first half in the middle of the Scottish Highlands with no means on communication while being chased really does work and the festival finale is a good close for the chaos.
Special Effects
: A Lonely Place to Die has good effects when needed but isn’t a film that turns to them.

Suggestion: A Lonely Place to Die is one I think people should watch, I think it is intense thriller with nicely handled twists. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The twists.

Worst Part: A few loose ends at the end.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Out there, there’s nowhere to hide

 

Overall: Enjoyable thriller that keeps us on edge throughout.

Ratingcad

 

 

Guillermo Del Toro Weekend – Hellboy (2004)

lgoDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Peter Briggs (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic Books)

Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Brian Steele

Plot: A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Dark Comic Book Film

Story: Hellboy starts in 1944 Scotland as we follow young soldier Trevor Bruttenholm as an experiment involving the paranormal is being performed by the Russian’s while our American’s are trying to stop it. Grigori Rasputin (Roden) plans to open the gates of hell and releases a demon that will help the Russian’s win the war. While the American’s do prevent the event happening the gate was open long enough for a baby demon Hellboy to come through and befriend Trevor who ends up becoming his father.

Fast-forward to the present time 2004 (year of release) where Hellboy is a myth, a cover up in America. Rasputin is bough back from the dead by his loyal followers, while Hellboy (Perlman) gets a new partner John Myers (Evans) who receives the tour from professor Bruttenholm known as Broom (Hurt). Hellboy is about to come up against the very man who bought him into the world Rasputin who is long thought of to be dead while facing personal problems with his old flame Liz (Blair) and his father Broom.

Hellboy is a comic book film that is different to everything we have know, it focuses a lot more on the paranormal side of effects. Even though this comes off with similar styling as the comic book film it doesn’t have a super strong villain where it tests the hero to make the right decision. This film is over ten years old and I can safely say I would rather watch this than most of the Avengers universe films. This is fun action pack and just enjoyable without losing the darkness in the story. (8/10)

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Hellboy is the demon who comes through a portal where he spends his life fighting the paranormal for the Americans. He is the anti hero we haven’t seen in comic book films before he just wants to be accepted by has to spend his time in hiding. Ron did a great job as the anti hero using his charm and physical image to make a great performance. (8/10)hellboy

John Hurt: Trevor Bruttenholm is the man who raised Hellboy as well as running the paranormal investigation unit for the American government. He always protected Hellboy through the worst times and has know searched for his replacement due to his terminal illness. John gives a good performance in the mentor role which works for the film. (7/10)brom

Selma Blair: Liz Sherman is the former member of the team who is trying to live a normal life but when her abilities flair up again she returns to fight along with Hellboy to stop the gates of hell opening. Selma was a good supporting character and love interest with our hero. (7/10)iz

Rupert Evans: John Myers is the new recruit sent to the paranormal section where he must learn the ways as Hellboy is picky about who he works he proves to be a good ally even if they don’t see eye to eye to start with. Rupert does a solid job but doesn’t seem to get the character development he needed to have. (6/10)jon

Karel Roden: Grigori Rasputin is the man who released Hellboy that now wants to continue bringing his vision of pure evil to the world from beyond the grave. Karel does a good job in the villain role that doesn’t rely on strength rather than brains. (7/10)rasputin

Support Cast: Hellboy has a supporting cast that includes the supporting villains that has one assassin that is very cool but otherwise most of the support cast is the disposable characters.

Director Review: Guillermo del Toro – Guillermo dos a great job directing this dark comic book film that really works making this entertaining but still unique to the genre. (8/10)

Action: Hellboy has some very good over the top action but doesn’t have a true stand out moment though. (7/10)

Fantasy: Hellboy brings us the into the world where demons are just past the other dimension. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Hellboy brings us into a future world where the end could come from something different. (8/10)

Settings: Hellboy uses settings you would expect to see with the genre being used. (6/10)
Special Effects: Hellboy has great effects throughout that help work with the story. (8/10)

Suggestion: Hellboy is one for all comic book fans to enjoy because it just feels different the superhero films. (Comic Book Fans Watch)

Best Part: Hellboy is a great character.

Worst Part: I feel like it would have a bigger following if it came out now.

Action Scene Of The Film: Train chase.

Funniest Scene: Liz and John’s date with Hellboy watching

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes has one.

Post Credits Scene: There is one.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $59 Millions

Budget: $66 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Tagline: Give Evil Hell

Trivia: Doug Jones‘s (Abe Sapien) voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, but Pierce refused a credit, because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug’s creation and did not wish to detract from his performance.

Overall: What the comic book genre needed, something different.

Rating 80

Frankenstein’s Army (2013)

logoDirector: Richard Raaphorst

Writer: Miguel Tejada-Flores (Writer) Chris W. Mitchell, Miguel Tejada-Flores (Story)

Starring: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym, Alexander Mercury, Luke Newberry, Hon Ping Tang, Andrei Zayats, Mark Stevenson, Christina Catalina, Jan De Lukowicz, Zdenek Barinka

 

Plot: Towards the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The scientists have used the legendary Frankenstein’s work to assemble an army of super-soldiers stitched together from the body parts of their fallen comrades, a desperate Hitler’s last ghastly ploy to escape defeat.

 

Verdict: Wartime Found Footage

 

Story: Playing on the ideas that the Nazi’s experimented on people during the war, we have the standard small unit who get tricked into trying to collect the information. Each character is very genetic and the story is slow moving, once the action starts it gets slightly more interesting but really just doesn’t go as well as it could. (5/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Karel Roden: Viktor the mad scientist who has made a full collection of weird creatures. You don’t meet him till late in the film and he is just as crazy as you expect him to be. (5/10)

 viktor

Joshua Sassa: Sergei the Polish member of the unit who takes control when the leader gets killed. He is the calmest of the unit who is smart enough to ask question first. Simple performance who never does too much. (5/10)

sergei

Alexander Mercury: Dimitri the man behind the camera, who is on a more important mission to bring Viktor back to the Russians.  Simple performance never doing anything memorable. (5/10)

 dimitri

Luke Newberry: Sacha the trademark clumsy member of the unit. Many give you a giggle at his mistakes but never does anything worthwhile.(4/10)

 sacha

Andrei Zayats: Vassili the hot head of the unit would rather shot first ask questions later. Simple performance not doing anything of any note. (5/10)

vasili

Director Review: Richard Raaphorst – Creates some brilliant creations and strong use of effects but lack of story or steady camera work struggles to pull you in. (6/10)

 

Action: Simple action mainly just gun battles. (6/10)

Horror: The ideas of Viktor are horrific while most are predictable jumps. (7/10)

Settings: The setting is good for horror putting the characters into isolation. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Some very good special effects to create the creatures that are a full range of weird and insane creation. (9/10)

Suggestion: This isn’t one to be going out your way to watch but if it is one late night you could try it. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: The creatures.

Worst Part: The story.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: I doubt it

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 84 Minutes

 

Overall: Found Footage With Awesome Creatures but Terrible Story

Rating 50