ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – C – The Confines (2015)

Director: Eytan Rockaway

Writer: Ido Fluk (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Patric, Louisa Krause, Mark Margolis, Ezra Knight

 

Plot: Take a terrifying plunge into the warped mind of a disturbed young woman. Desperate to get her life back on track, the unstable Streak takes a job as a security guard, working the graveyard shift at a once upscale, now abandoned apartment complex. But on her first night on duty, she discovers a horrifying presence lurking deep within the bowels of the decaying building. With her nerves already on edge, Streak must confront demons both real and imagined as she struggles to keep a grip on her sanity.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This Should Be A LOT Better

 

Story: Confines starts when down on her lucky single mother Streak (Krause) must take a job as an overnight security guard in an abandoned apartment building, her partner Cooper (Patric) on this night the disabled man that has seen people come and go over and over, with no one lasting more than a week.

When Streak starts exploring noises she hears, she learns the dark secret about the building leading to a terrifying series of events.

 

Thoughts on Confines

 

Characters – Streak is a disturbed young woman, she must prove she can keep a job to get her child back which leads her to the night watchwoman role. She doesn’t have experience in this role which leads her to explore and using her gift to learn the truth about the building. Cooper is the experienced night watchman, he needs this job and with his disability, it seems like a comfortable gig for him, this night turns into a nightmare as he must deal with Streak never being sure if she is unstable herself or there is something going on in the building. To round out our small cast we have a homeless man and the guy that hires Streak, neither do much else in the film.

PerformancesLouisa Krause in the leading role is solid enough, though we never truly believe her fear through the night and her lack of ability to make us feel like we could be seeing her on edge over just horrors doesn’t convince. Jason Patric is solid to, though he never gets the time required to do anything with his character. The rest of the cast barely get any screen time which is why they suffer from low scores.

StoryThe story much like many horror film keeps everything very simple, this is all we needed it to do too. On the first night of a job as a night watchwoman our leading lady must battle her own inner demons when strange things start happening within the apartment building she is working in. well this sounds like it should be an enjoyable enough watch for a horror fan, the ending only left me scratching my head which is disappointing, even though it could have made sense or not.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film mostly down to what isn’t there as we balance between stuff int eh corner over anything else. The mystery comes from what could be making the noises in the building and what is involved with the history of the events here.

SettingsThe film takes place completely in the building, this does keep the events confined to one location, we have the darker rooms, the forbidden rooms which only draw the horror ideas we could get.

Special EffectsThe effects are solid enough though most of it is the in the corners blink and you miss it moments.


Scene of the Movie –
The first visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ending.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the best horror, it has potential of greatness, though it just doesn’t click things together like it should do.

 

Overall: Horror that will just become forgettable.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – W – The Wrestler (2008)

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Robert D Siegel (Screenplay)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry, Wass Stevens

 

Plot: A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle.


Tagline – Love. Pain. Glory.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Great

 

Story: The Wrestler starts as we follow Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson (Rourke) a once icon of the wrestling business, still working small events where he is the star attraction but struggling to make ends meet on the payment for his own trailer park home. Randy is close with the everyday people in his life and has his own go to stripper Cassidy (Tomei).

One night after another show stealing performance Randy suffers a heart-attack where he is warned not to continue wrestling or it will kill him. Randy tries to rekindle his broken relationship with his daughter Stephanie (Wood) while balancing the idea that he could have one final big payday, a rematch against his biggest rival.

 

Thoughts on The Wrestler

 

Characters – Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson was once the biggest name in wrestling, now he is nearing retirement where he still performs in small venues. His life is turned upside down after a heart attack where he must decide whether to step away from the limelight or continue performing and risking his health. As a wrestling fan this is an interesting character as it shows just how far someone with go to perform for their fans. Cassidy is the stripper that Randy has become friends with over the years, she keeps her personal life away from the clients but when Randy wants to make their friendship more it turns into a pivotal moment in her life too. Stephanie is the daughter of Randy, he was a terrible father when she grew up, but can she forgive him to start a fresh now, that is the question.

PerformancesMickey Rourke does give the performance of his career here, he breaks away from anything we would know him to make us feel everything we see him go through. Marisa Tomei is great as the stripper with a heart and Evan Rachel Wood continued to show us just how talented she was in her growing career of the time.

StoryThe story follows an aging star of a sport needing to face his own mortality or face losing everything. This is a subject which has always been a popular subject because it is icons who are the ones feel could never finish but once they are gone we miss them. Seeing it from the performers point of view works too because we learn what drives them in the one skill they always believed they had.

SportsThe wrestling sequences do give away secrets of the sport which are well known by now but at the time they were lesser known skills outside the business, but the fights feel as brutal as they seem.

SettingsThe settings show us just how far the once star has fallen from grace, he is now not the man he once was living in trailer park, fighting in small events over the big events he once did.


Scene of the Movie –
Pre-Match Speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That ending.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the great movies of modern time, it shows the drive performers have to continue doing what they love when they shouldn’t anymore which is why this is a must watch for anyone who has a passion.

 

Overall: Must watch for all wrestling fans.

Rating

 

 

Noah (2014)

logoDirector: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, Kevin Durand

 

Plot: A man is chosen by his world’s creator to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.

 

Verdict: Visual Beautiful

 

Story: We all know the basic story about Noah and his Ark. This builds on the idea that if it was real the human challenges sacrifices would be huge to make, leaving us to watch how the family struggles through them all. We also see how they would deal with the large amounts of animals, but question whether they would be the last humans. All together it is built to an epic scale that does test morale questions about how to deal with what is going on. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: Noah the man who has had the vision about the great flood and along with his family he sets out to protect them and complete the wishes of God. Good performance as one of the greatest characters the Bible ever created. (8/10)

 noah

Jennifer Connelly: Naameh the wife of Noah who supports on the trip and tests his human side over his religious side. Good supporting role and does have some powerful scenes but otherwise is only a background to the bigger picture. (8/10)

connolly

Ray Winstone: Tubal-Cain the villain of the piece who tries to stop the ark and turn one of Noah’s children against him. Good villainous performance without being pure evil, just desperate to survive. (8/10)

 winstone

Anthony Hopkins: Methuselah the mythical oldest man to live from the Bible, father of Noah and guider on the creation of the ark. Good supporting performance that works for Hopkins. (7/10)

 

Emma Watson: Ila found wounded she becomes part of Noah’s family before becoming a love interest for Shem. Good supporting role breaking out of the Harry Potter character most people are used to seeing her in. (8/10)

 watson

Logan Lerman: Ham the middle child who wants to have love but with what is happening he starts to lose faith in his father. Good performance in the lost son role, showing how each side could be right and wrong with the cleansing.  (7/10)

 hem

Douglas Booth: Shem the oldest son and to become leader of the family once Noah has passed, he works as hard as his father and will be a great replacement but when he love interest starts to change his relationship with his father he is ready to step up now. Good performance from the most unknown of the main characters standing toe-to-toe with the greats involved. (8/10)

shem

Director Review: Darren Aronofsky – Good direction to turn the epic story from the Bible into an epic screen adaptation. (8/10)

 

Action: Even though there are only a couple of action scenes they are put together brilliantly. (8/10)

Drama: Good drama showing the relationships between the characters and how they are being effects by what is going on. (9/10)

Settings: Even though each setting is very much CGI is looks beautiful and authentic. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Stunning CGI to create everything going on with the actors. (10/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one to try it might not be for everyone as it is long and a lot of people nowadays don’t believe or care about Biblical stories. (Try)

 

Best Part: The fight before the ark launch.

Worst Part: It is long.

Action Scene Of The Film: The ark launch fight.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: It could get a few nods most for visual effects.

Box Office: $359 Million

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 18 Minutes

Tagline: Rediscover the epic story of one man and the most remarkable event in our history.

 

Overall: Epic Tale Comes to Life

Rating 80

 

Stand Up Guys (2012)

logoDirector: Fisher Stevens

Writer: Noah Haidle (Screenplay)

Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Lucy Punch, Addison Timlin, Vanessa Ferlito

 

Plot: Fresh out of prison Val (Pacino) meets back up with his old friend Doc (Walken). Finding out that Doc is now living a very boring life of painting and sleeping, Val decides he wants to party and it is up to Doc to show him the old haunts. These include a brothel now run by the old favourite’s daughter, breaking into a pharmacy for Viagra and a bar.

 

After Doc’s loyalty becomes clear after old mob boss Claphands (Margolis) wants Doc to kill Val by morning, because he blames him for his son’s death in the original heist that left Val in prison. Doc decides to let Val live out one more night of freedom which includes rescuing an old friend and get away driver Hirsch (Arkin) from a retirement home. The three friends have one last night of living their old lives before Doc has to make up his mind.

 

Verdict: A clever comedy

Story: In what is a lovely story following three old friends have a night of reminiscent, we get to see three characters looking at what they have missed by a mistake they all regret in their own ways. A story about taking that final chance before it is too late. Sure this isn’t original but the message is always good and true. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Al Pacino – Val the ex-con who knows what is coming but wants to live up his final day with his only friend in the world. Good performance from Pacino, showing he can do comedy without acting stupid, but also gets to make fun of what he has achieved as an actor. (8/10)

 pacino

Actor Review: Christopher Walken – Doc the loyal friend who has been trapped by the mob boss who wants him to do one deed before he can go on with his life. Good performance from Walken and much like Pacino gets to have fun without disrespecting his previous work. (8/10)

walken

Actor Review: Alan Arkin – Hirsch the getaway driver who is stuck in a retirement home, who gets to have one more drive in a luxury car with his old friends. Good performance who even though it only a supporting role enters and leaves the picture without looking out of place like the rest of the support cast. (8/10)

 alan

Director Review: Fisher Stevens – Good entertaining direction create a very nice story. (8/10)

 

Comedy: Nice comedy to go next to the serious storyline. (7/10)

Crime: looking back at the crimes committed as well as committing a few more along the way. (7/10)

Believability: The look at how three guys will look back at things is true but the ex-con mob boss not so. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: All good settings that make each moment look like an old memory. (7/10)

 

Suggestion: I personal really enjoyed this but I don’t think everyone will do. A lot of people will not like either lead in a comedy role, but if you try it you will be rewarded. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The end works well

Worst Part: Nothing really new

Funniest Scene: Hospital scene.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: They don’t make em’ like they used to.

Similar Too: Bucket List

 

Overall: Very Touching Comedy Drama

Rating 76

The Fountain (2006)

logoDirector: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky (Screenplay) Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel (Story)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz, Ellen Burstyn, Mark Margolis, Stephen McHattie, Cliff Curtis, Sean Patrick Thomas

 

Plot: We have three stories from past present and future about men in pursuit of eternity with their love. A conquistador in a Mayan country searching for the tree of life. A medical researcher working with various trees, who is looking for a cure for his dying wife, and a space traveller with an aged tree encapsulated within a bubble moving towards a dying star. All three stories intersect together to create the idea of eternal love.

 

Verdict: An ambitious love story

Story: Well the story was very good putting together a seemingly difficult series of events to tell one overriding story. I will say that this was hard to follow and will require your full attention to understand what you just saw; I do like a story that challenges the audience to think. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Hugh Jackman – Hugh plays all three leading men through the generation, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Hugh shows his full range of acting ability in the film that will go down as one of his best in his career. (9/10)

 jackman dr

Actor Review: Rachel Weisz – Rachel plays two leading roles as one story doesn’t include the female love. She does a good job but only one of her characters makes a real impact. (8/10)

rachel

Director Review: Darren Aronofsky – This guy was built for ambitious films and this was one of his early well-funded films before his mega hits, this shows that he knows how to make the audience think. (9/10)

 

Fantasy: A great range of fantasy elements throughout. (9/10)

Romance: Proving that the men will do anything for the one they love brings the romance level right up. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Strong sci-fi elements used through all the stories.(9/10)

Special Effects: Great special effects throughout. (9/10)

special effects

Believability: I would like to think some people will believe in eternal love. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: each setting it very important to help the story flow. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest watching this to all, but I think some people will struggle to get through the film if they have shorter attention spans. If you do watch this you will get rewarded by the end. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The tree of life

tree

Worst Part: You really have to think when you are watching.

Kill Of The Film: Conquistador

Favourite Quote: Tom Creo ‘All these years, all these memories, there was you. You pull me through time.’

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Nope

Similar Too: Cloud Atlas

 

Overall:  Very complicated ambitious film that really has a great message.

Rating 82