ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – O – The Odyssey (2016)

Director: Jerome Salle

Writer: Jerome Salle, Laurent Turner (Screenplay) Jean-Michael Cousteau, Albert Falco (Book)

Starring: Lambert Wilson, Pierrre Niney, Audrey Tautou, Laurent Lucas, Benjamin Lavernhe, Vincent Heneine


Plot: Highly influential and a fearlessly ambitious pioneer, innovator, filmmaker, researcher and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s aquatic adventure covers roughly thirty years of an inarguably rich in achievements life.

Tagline – One of the biggest productions in the history of European cinema! 

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Interesting Biopic


Story: The Odyssey starts by taking us back to 1949, Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Wilson) is known as a great explorer around the world with his loyal wife Simone (Tautou) by his side, his reputation is growing with his latest adventure.

When Jacques’ latest job takes him away from home, he proves to become one of the greatest researchers and filmmakers of all time, with his children Philippe (Niney) and Jean-Michael (Lavernhe) grown up, they join him on exploring the oceans of the world. we see how Jacques goes about making history with his own documentary show and how over time his action will affects his wife and son.


Thoughts on The Odyssey


Characters – Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a great inventor whose ambition drove technology to a new level, underwater exploring, his fame takes his reputation to new heights as he sets out on new projects working with his son for new incredible discoveries underwater. He however has his vices which push his wife away and tries to hold his own son back from being as great as he is. Philippe is his son, the son that gets involved with the same research as his father, he is fearless which only leaves his father questioning his actions, it will be one of his action that brings his father his hardest day. Simone is the long suffering wife of Jacques, she stays by his side

PerformancesLambert Wilson in the leading role is good and does cover the man through over 30 years of his life in the process. Pierre Niney also gives us a good performance which is what you will be finding looking at the whole case, everyone is good without being standout.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, one of the great pioneers and explorers of the modern era, he helped making underwater exploration a possibility and was one of the first people to understand that there was a problem in the world’s oceans. We follow 30-years of his life through the success and through his hardest days. As with any biopic we get to see just moments from this man’s life, which can help show us where he once went and just what he achieved, we could have seen more about just how many other people would challenge his ideas and go onto use them too.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure from this movie comes from seeing the things that Jacques and his crew discovered over his career and blends with the biopic side of the story perfectly to teach us about the origin of certain elements of film making we admire most from the greats out there now.

SettingsThe film takes us to many different settings, we see the great ocean views above and below the water which only make us go wow, we get to see just how difficult the family life would have been for an explorer too.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed because they are used wonderfully well with the make up and aging processes, but certain water scenes don’t work as well.

Scene of the Movie –
The underwater scenes look fantastic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the relationship with the other son.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong biopic that any fans of the genre will be enjoying, it shows us just how influential one of the great explorers of the world would have been.


Overall: Nice biopic.




Franchise Weekend – The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

matrix 3Director: The Wachowski Brothers

Writer: The Wachowski Brothers (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Monica Bellucci, Essie Davis, Nona Gaye, Harry Lennix, Harold Perrineau, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Gina Torres


Plot: The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Action Packed Finale


Story: The Matrix Revolutions starts up right where the first film finished with Zion facing elimination within the next 20 Hours. Neo (Reeves) still in a coma like state stuck between worlds of both The Matrix and the Real World with Morpheus (Fishburne) receiving summons from the Oracle.

Trinity (Moss) and Morpheus go into the Matrix to locate Neo coming face to face with an old enemy. Once released from his lost state Neo learns that he is the only one who can save both worlds from both enemies with Agent Smith (Weaving) becoming even deadlier killing the Oracle but also trying to enter the real world.

Agent Smith finds himself fighting his fight in the real world as he puts Neo to the ultimate test one his one-way mission to save the humans in their battle. We await the final conclusion to this epic story where humanity will need to overcome the odds to win.

The Matrix Revolutions does finish of the saga very well but sadly this is nearly a two-hour action bonanza that does forget how import the Morpheus character. While the story does come full circle it does it with us having to deal with all the over the top action. It could all be discussed to deal with the religious elements going on but in the end that is up to how you want to read the story.


Actor Review


Keanu Reeves: Neo finds himself having to battle Agent Smith in both worlds as he searches to once and for complete his destiny as the one to save humanity from the machine controlled world. Keanu is good in this role but doesn’t reach the same levels as before.

Laurence Fishburne: Morpheus joins the rest of the resistance in battle against the machines showing he true leadership skills when it comes to battle to save the human race. Laurence gave us two brilliant iconic performance but this time Morpheus falls into supporting character we hardly see being the character we knew before.

Carrie Anne Moss: Trinity joins Neo on his one-way mission to the machine city to face the machines in what looks like a suicide mission. The love between the two will drive this mission. Carrie is god but like the rest she doesn’t reach the same levels.

Hugo Weaving: Agent Smith takes full control in the Matrix making him the force that Neo can’t battle within this world but with him entering the real world he becomes a foe Neo wasn’t ready to battle. Hugo has his more sinister scenes but is barely in the final movie because of the battle going on.

Support Cast: The Matrix Revolutions still has the massive supporting cast which are all genetic soldier like characters during the immense battle sequences.

Director Review: The Wachowski BrothersThe brothers do give us a seemingly non-stop action bonanza with the concluding part of their sci-fi saga.


Action: The Matrix Revolutions is pretty much non-stop from the opening sequence to the final scene when it comes to action even though large amounts are mass combat scenes.

Sci-Fi: The Matrix Revolutions continues to keep the sci-fi world looking strong where we get to see the battles going on in a post-apocalyptic future.

Settings: The Matrix Revolutions uses both worlds to show just how bleak the future is with the machines controlling over it.
Special Effects
: The Matrix Revolutions gets the special effects back on track with this one with each scene look and feeling like the real deal.

Suggestion: The Matrix Revolutions is one you should watch to complete the series because the end works out very much complete. (Complete Franchise)


Best Part: Robot invasion battle.

Worst Part: Somehow there is too much action.

Action Scene Of The Film: Machine battle.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

Tagline:  Everything that has a beginning has an end. 


Overall: Tidy conclusion to the series that is all action.




Paul Walker Weekend – The Lazarus Project (2008)

logoDirector: John Glenn

Writer: John Glenn (Screenplay) Evan Astrowsky (Story)

Starring: Paul Walker, Piper Perabo, Brooklynn Proulx, Bob Gunton, Lambert Wilson, Linda Cardellini, Tony Curran


Plot: A former criminal is drawn into a criminal endeavour and subsequently finds himself living an inexplicable new life working at a psychiatric facility.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Interesting


Story: The Lazarus Project stars by introducing our protagonist Ben (Walker) with his daughter Katie. Ben is part of a normal family but fresh out of prison on parole. Along with his wife Lisa (Perabo) the family is looking to the future. When Ben brother Ricky who is also fresh out of prisoner comes to him with a job, Ben rejects the chance. Ben loses his job because of his criminal background he doesn’t want to disappoint his wife, who is about to start studying. Ben goes along with his brother’s plan but the plan goes horribly wrong and Ben ends up on death row.

After being executed Ben is found walking along a roadside by Father Ezra (Gunton) where he is on his way to be the new janitor. When Ben meets a mysterious man Avery (Wilson) who explains that he has been given another chance to make up for his mistake. While Ben tries to figure out what is going on he meets a variety of different characters that could help or hinder his situation as he searches for answers.

The Lazarus Project is a slow moving story that tries to keep you guessing and it does throw out a few twists and turns. The problem is that none of the attempted twists come off believable as well as being forced down our throats. It tries to keep the mystery around for the whole film and slowly tries to push your emotions by what happens or is told to Ben. It doesn’t end up getting messy like it could, but it moves very slowly and one pushes you in one direction. (6/10)


Actor Review


Paul Walker: Ben Garvey criminal trying to go on the straight road but after his chance if thrown away he turns back into crime leading to him to get caught and executed. That isn’t the end for Ben who finds himself in a small town working as a grounds keeper trying to figure out why he is there and how to get home. Paul gives a good performance and carries the film in the whole. (7/10)


Piper Perabo: Lisa Garvey wife of Ben who is looking to start a career that will help the family together, but after Ben is caught she continues her own life without him. Piper gives a good supporting performance but is not seen enough to make any impact. (6/10)


Bob Gunton: Father Ezra the leader of the institute who treats Ben like a lost son trying to help him in the right direction. Bob gives a good performance in the authority role. (6/10)


Support Cast: The supporting cast all help push us in the direction where we think we need to be going but in the end all come off very generic.


Director Review: John Glenn – John does a solid job directing but fails to push us the audience with anything that happens. (5/10)


Mystery: The Lazarus Project creates a good mystery leaving us to wonder what is going on but never ends up surprising us. (7/10)

Thriller: The Lazarus Project is a good thriller because we want to know what will happen or has happened to Ben. (8/10)

Settings: The Lazarus Project uses its limited settings to show how Ben is now trapped in a place he doesn’t understand. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Lazarus Project is one to be trying, it doesn’t push you as far as it should but is enjoyable for the mystery hungry fans like. (Try it)


Best Part of The Lazarus Project: Dog.

Worst Part of The Lazarus Project: Not enough hints of twists.

What Could Have Been Better? – More twists or at least hints of twists.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Shutter Island


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Some realities have no escape


Overall: Poor Man’s Shutter Island

Rating 55

The Lazarus Project (2008)

As part of the Paul Walker focus weekend, here is my guest review of my favorite Paul Walker film role. I hope you enjoy, Aled from SofaWatch.

Title – The Lazarus Project

Year of release – 2008

Genre – Mystery/Thriller

Length – 1 hour 40 mins

Rating – 15

Director – John Patrick Glenn

Writer(s) – John Glenn and Evan Atrowsky

Who is in it? – Paul Walker as Ben Garvey, Piper Perabo as Lisa Garvey, Bob Gunton as Father Ezra, Lambert Wilson as Avery, Linda Cardellini as Julie Ingram and Malcolm Goodwin as Robbie to name a few.

What’s it about? – Ben’s (Walker) brother Ricky is out from prison and gets in contact over a plan he has for one last job. Initially Ben says no until he is let go from his job, which changes his mind and he agrees to go along. The job goes south and Ricky is dead along with some security and police officers. Ben being the last criminal alive takes the rap for the whole thing and is sentenced to death. One minute Ben is having a lethal injection, the next he is with Father Ezra (Gunton) and begins working as a caretaker for a psychiatric unit. All Ben wants is to get back to his family but many obstacles are put in his way. Surrounded by mysterious goings on and a lot of questions to be answered Ben fights against his own sanity until he discovers that nothing is as it seems.

Is it any good? – This is my favorite role portrayed by Paul Walker, the way he plays his character is so realistic. Full of suspense and mystery this film makes you question what is on going, it makes you feel apart of the film guessing at why what is happening happens.

Why should I watch it? – If you loved Shutter Island you will love this film also. The acting is superb and the storyline is written so well to portray the mystery and suspense.

How do you rate it overall? -10/10

Babylon A.D. (2008)

logoDirector: Mathieu Kassovitz

Writer: Mathieu Kassovitz, Joseph Simas (Screenplay) Maurice G. Dantec (Novel ‘Babylon Babies’)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Mark Strong, Charlotte Rampling, Gerard Depardieu, Jerome Le Banner


Plot: In a near future, the mercenary Toorop (Diesel) is hired by the powerful criminal Gorsky (Depardieu) to take a woman named Aurora (Thierry) from a Noelite Convent in Central Asia to New York. In return, he will receive a large amount of money and a clear passport. Toorop joins Aurora and her guardian Sister Rebeka (Yeoh) as they cross the dangerous Russian landscape chased by mercenaries that also want Aurora. On their journey, Toorop discovers that Aurora has special abilities and once in New York they see on the news that the Noelite Convent has just been bombed. When Aurora discloses that she is a virgin and pregnant with twins, Toorop realizes that there is something sinister behind his mission and that he and Sister Rebeka are not part of Gorsky’s plans.


Verdict: Short Sci-Fi Missing a Final Act


Story: Starting out with the usual reluctant hero having to risk more than he ever wanted to, to protect someone with powers the world has never seen. This time we are put in the bleak future world where the rich have too much and the poor struggle to survive. We see how two different groups are interested in the package and both for very different motives. Our hero refuses to trust either and has to turn to his connection that he also doesn’t trust to make the journey possible. In the end it is nothing new to the genre in fact it is just a mix of Mercury Rising and Fifth Element. (6/10)


Actor Reviews


Vin Diesel: Toorop our reluctant hero who has his strict rules for his missions, he can’t get back in the US for an unknown reason, we really don’t learn anything to explain why he is who he is. He puts everything on the line to make this mission happen so he can disappear. This is what you expect from Vin, strong leading role with plenty of combat skill. (7/10)


Michelle Yeoh: Sister Rebeka the protector of Aurora, who has strong religious beliefs that guide her. She has good combat skills to show that she isn’t just a religious figure. Good supporting performance showing the mysterious protector well. (7/10)


Melanie Thierry: Aurora the mysterious package that needs to be delivered, she has powers that can help her see into the future and take in an incredible amount of knowledge. Good performance to create a mysterious woman. (7/10)


Director Review: Mathieu Kassovitz – Good direction to create the film, but it really feels like there should be one more final scene. (6/10)


Action: The action comes thick and fast, with two big ones that really stand out. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: A good dark bleak look at how the future world could be. (9/10)

Thriller: Doesn’t manage to pull you in enough to really be at the edge of the seat. (5/10)

Settings: Each setting is very good and does add to the atmosphere of the story. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Even though we are looking at a future world, the film tries to leave the special effects out, but when needed they are good. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one to try, but don’t go out your way to see this film. (Try it)


Best Part:  Snow Ski chase from Jets.

Worst Part: Needs more of a conclusion.

Action Scene Of The Film: Battle in New York

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $72,108,608

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


Overall: Not The Most Memorable Sci-Fi Film

Rating 65