ABC Film Challenge – Action – B – Black Hawk Down (2001)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Ken Nolan (Screenplay) Mark Bowden (Book)

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, Ewen Bremner, Sam Shepard, Gabriel Casseus

 

Plot: 160 elite U.S. soldiers drop into Somalia to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and find themselves in a desperate battle with a large force of heavily-armed Somalis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Military Movie

 

Story: Black Hawk Down starts as we learn about why the Americans are in Somalia during the conflict within the country in 1993. We meet the host of different soldiers with different ranks with the main focus on the squad leader Eversmann (Hartnett) on his first mission as leader, with experienced squad leader Hoot (Bana). The mission is simple extract to captured soldiers from the middle of the militant controlled town.

When one of the helicopters is shot down the mission changes and know the soldiers must fight the militants in the city to save as many men as possible.

 

Thoughts on Black Hawk Down

 

Characters/PerformanceGoing through the characters may take a while, it would be fair to say we barely learn anything about our characters outside of this combat, of the main focal ones we have on the day promoted to leader Eversmann who is good and being fair to his men which includes the desk soldiers Grimes who has never been in conflict before. McKnight is the vet that gives the orders from the ground. Hoot has been in conflict many times and takes the similar role to Eversmann as gives the loose advice on how to command a small unit. Sanderson is like the super soldier that runs into conflict knowing it will be the best defence against the enemy. The soldiers do all get their own small stories of the conflict, with Nelson Twombly being one of the most memorable.

Performance wise, we have a cast which plays out like a who’s who of Hollywood starts or stars to be, not a single person gives us a bad performance and each member of the cast could be believable as a soldier through the film.

StoryThe story is how one mission turned into a massive conflict for control of the city as the American soldiers must overcome the Somalian militant. This story is more about the action and as always does only show the American’s being the good guys even if they don’t understand the conflict they are walking into, while with that statement I am not saying I side with the Somalian’s either. The story could be considered thin because it does only show one long conflict but that does mean we get the extended look at each member of the unit in their own battle to survive.

History/WarThis is one of the many battles America has faced in the 90’s yes, it is only one battle but it shows just how this battle went down in one of the biggest battles of modern warfare.

SettingsThe city shows us just how difficult conflict would be for both sides, we see how vantage points could leave soldier exposed but also how difficult it could be to stay safe.

Special EffectsAll of the effects put us right in the middle of the battle showing us how brutal, deadly and horrific the battle was.

Final Thoughtsif you want to see one of the best modern warfare movies, this is the best conflict showing film out there, it has an amazing cast that would go onto bigger projects in Hollywood too.

 

Overall: Must watch war movie.

Rating

 

 

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Only the Brave (2017)

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Writer: Ken Nolan, Eric Warren Singer (Screenplay) Sean Flynn (Article)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell

 

Plot: Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.


Tagline – It’s Not What Stands In Front Of You, It’s Who Stands Beside You

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Man Versus Natural Story

 

Story: Only the Brave starts as we meet Eric Marsh (Brolin)a mountain hotshot firefighter superintendent with his trusted second lieutenant Jesse Steed (Dale) who get their chance to step up to the next level as the prepare for the wildfires which could take homes.

When Eric’s connection Duane (Bridges) gives his new which includes loud mouth Christopher (Kitsch) and recovering junkie Brendan (Teller) trying to prove his value to the team, they get their opportunity to prove their quality to the fire department as they end up battling one of the biggest wildfires in history.

 

Thoughts on Only the Brave

 

Characters – Eric Marsh is the leader of the group of firefighters, he has fought to get his team the chance to become a force known as hotshots, which means on the frontline, he will give everyone a chance to prove themselves, even if his own ideas could cause problems with their chances. His leadership skills make him the inspiration the unit needs. Jesse Steed is the second in command, providing the much-needed answers to questions he might be facing and advice to the crew. Amanda is the wife of Eric, the two have an understanding that shows she is prepared for him to not make it home one day, as she shows the independence needed as she works with helping horses which have been mistreated. Brendan is a young junkie, he becomes a parent and wants to turn his life around by joining the unit, this gives him the direction, mentorship and responsibility he had never focused on before in his life, this is shown with his relationship with Eric and with Christopher, the loud mouth of the unit that is willing to push Brendan as far as he needs to be pushed.

PerformancesJosh Brolin in the leading role fantastic, proving he can keep his performance reserved while showing he is the true leader of the group. James Badge Dale is always great in the supporting roles and this is clear once again. Jennifer Connelly also proves to be a great supporting performer here, even though part of her storyline isn’t as interesting as the firefighting. Miles Teller does continue to build up a reputation for giving good and different performances through the film. Taylor Kitsch also continues to rebuild his career after the reputation he once get branded with.

StoryThe story follows a mountain firefighting unit that prepare to become the next level, before they start battling the wildfires with each one giving them a new task to overcome. This is based on the real crew which became a close unit as they got closer to the action to try and protect the loved ones. This does show a lot of training, battling and preparing for a big fire and shows the bravery these men showed when it came to try to protect their town.

BiopicThe men involved in the firefighting unit are real, they risked their lives to save people and their homes. These men needed their story told and this gives them that.

SettingsThe settings used in the film show us the positions people will find themselves in when it comes to needing to protect their homes, we feel the intensity of the fires they are facing.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 20 minutes are must watch performance work.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is an amazing movie, I wasn’t expecting too much from this movie, but I was left drawn to the screen for the remaining of the film with the final 20-30 minutes being must watch.

 

Overall: Brilliant movie, a must watch for all.

Rating

 

 

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan (Screenplay) Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Santiago Cabrera, Isabela Moner, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Mad Action Film

 

Story: Transformers: The Last Knight starts as we learn about the ancient battles the English had where the Transformers helped Merlin (Tucci) win the battle. The world has now banned from most places on the Earth but in Cuba they are still welcomed. Optimus Prime is gone and the Transformers continue to arrival. Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) continues to protect the Transformers with Colonel William Lennox (Duhamel) refuses let the good Autobots from being captured but the impending return of Megatron brings the threats to Earth.

Meanwhile in England Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins) is preparing for the final battle, Vivian Wembley (Haddock) doesn’t believe in the legends of King Arthur and her tours prove what it could be. On Cybertron Optimus Prime wants to rebuild his home planet which means returning to Earth to find an ancient Staff giving to Merlin.

Cade finds himself teaming up with Vivian in the middle of the battle between the Decepticons, Autobots and the Government as Cybertron heads towards Earth which would cause the end of the world.

 

Thoughts on Transformers: The Last Knight

 

Characters/PerformanceCade Yeager is now an outlaw hiding the Autobots in a junkyard, here he lives a quiet life but when a new threat heads toward Earth he finds himself being selected as the Last Knight that can fight to save the Earth. Sir Edmund Burton is the guardian of the secrets of the Transformers, he fills in all the gaps as to what is happening as well as bringing together the team. Vivian Wembley is an anti-believer in the history of King Arthur but when she learns she is the last descendant of Merlin she must work with Cade to save the Earth. Vivian is added for a new love interest for Cade and the high educated between the two.

We have the military characters which includes the returning Colonel Lennox, who just do military stuff and mostly get in the way. The King Arthur and Merlin figure who just re-tell the story we know. We have the comic relief with Izabella, Jimmy and many of the Transformers but we never get too close to any of the characters.

The performances are what you have come to expect, Wahlberg is good in the leading role even if he can look lost at times he has the charisma to lead the films, Laura Haddock adds class with her performance by not only being the stunning woman but a smart one, and Anthony Hopkins enjoys the chance to have fun in a mega blockbuster.

StoryThe Transformers storylines are never the most in detail stories, we know this by now on film number 5. We mix into the Transformers story King Arthur legend, well it is new and does continue to world build and it is as nonsense as you expect for a Transformers film because if we are being honest the story isn’t the most important part of the film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is massive once more with Transformer battles in a giant scale and the city-wide battles and even ocean size battles being a massive experience. The adventure takes across the world again to save the world from not only Megatron but Cybertron this time. The sci-fi side does bring us into a world of giant robots that can be vehicles in a giant space battle.

SettingsWe have a couple of settings, we see how Chicago still devastated by the effects of the previous films, the hidden locations of Cade at the Autobots, we also have London being used for the chase sequences and while this isn’t anything new it is a fun watch, but in the end, we just use locations of iconic landmarks.

Special EffectsThe effects for the battles are great throughout the film bring us into the story to enjoy the massive over the top battles.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that always gets criticized because it doesn’t have the most intense storyline but the reality is this is one franchise that is all about the massive action sequences that take away of beliefs needed for the world of Transformers.

 

Overall: Bonkers, Enjoyable, nonsense action film

Rating