Franchise Weekend – Underworld Awakening (2012)

underDirector: Mans Marling, Bjorn Stein

Writer: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, J Michael Straczynski, Allison Burnett (Screenplay) Len Wiseman, John Hlavin (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Sandrine Holt, Charles Dance

 

Plot: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Sequel

 

Story: Underworld: Awakening starts with back story in case you missed the first three films Selene (Beckinsale) explains to us the audience where we are in the story now, the story she thought she had won, but no humans are now the enemies. Humans are now tracking down both vampires and lycans killing any they find.

After being captured Selene returns to where she last remembers being only to discover it was 12 years ago, and her beloved Michael is missing. Selene goes on a killing revenge mission to discover the truth behind the reason why the humans kept her alive all this time. Selene works with fellow vampire David (James) as she learns just what remains of both species now.

Underworld: Awakening brings a new enemy in humans only to forget that issue quite quickly into the film by going back to the vampire and lycan battle. We get a massive middle finger to what the originals had by just going fully blown Resident Evil mode by having genetically enhanced lycans for the bigger opponent in battle, come on really? The special effects actually feel like a step back from the first films too while the action is just wildly over the top like before.

Beckinsale being back is a huge plus because she is just as ruthless as we remember her to be. James is just a poor replacement for Michael but that is down to character development no James’ performance, much the same could be said Ealy’s cop character who just helps with a solo scene to explain and no rival cop to contend with either and finally Stephen Rea is the doctor character you expect him to be, Charles Dance gets added for an experienced elder character while the rest are just generic almost extras.

 

Overall: All action no story with a love character just thrown into this story.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Perfect Guy (2015)

perfect guyDirector: David M Rosenthal

Writer: Tyger Williams (Screenplay) Alan B McElroy (Story)

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut, L. Scott Caldwell, Charles S Dutton, John Getz, Tess Harper, Kathryn Morris, Rutina Wesley

 

Plot: After breaking up with her boyfriend, a professional woman gets involved with a man who seems almost too good to be true.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fatal Attraction Again

 

Story: The Perfect Guy starts with ambitious professional woman Leah (Lathan) getting tired with her slow moving relationship with Dave (Chestnut) as her career it blossoming she ends her relationship with Dave. A chance meeting with the smooth talking Carter (Ealy) leads to her find what seems like the perfect man.

With everything running smoothly things take a sudden turn when Leah sees a violent side to Carter as this smooth calm man because the most dangerous person in Leah’s life. Carter turns into a psychotic stalker trying to play the law to keep Leah in his life.

The Perfect Guy is a film that is basically just another twist on the Fatal Attraction story just trying to make the woman the strong independent character and the man the stalker. This does everything you would expect without really excelling to the next level for the style of film. It will easily be forgettable though.

 

Actor Review

 

Sanaa Lathan: Leah is the professional business woman who wants to settle down but when her current boyfriend isn’t ready to commit she starts a romance with the charming and smooth Carter. When she gets to see the darker side of Carter she finds herself being stalked by an unstable man. Sanaa gives us a strong performance in the leading role.

Michael Ealy: Carter comes off smooth and charming along with having family values. We learn that he does have a darker side which when he lets out pushes Leah away leading to him becoming obsessed with her. Michael comes off very well in this role as the crazed smart man.carter

Morris Chestnut: Dave is the boyfriend who wouldn’t commit and the person Leah turns to after Carter turns obsessive as they both have to deal with the psychotic side of Carter. Morris gives us a basic supporting performance that never gets a chance to excel in the role.

Support Cast: The Perfect Guy has the very basic supporting that are all very generic to genre.

Director Review: David M RosenthalDavid gives us another take on a classic which does the job it needs to.

 

Thriller: The Perfect Guy keeps us trying to keep our attention without being anything special.

Settings: The Perfect Guy doesn’t seem to use the setting as anything over iconic for the scenes.
Special Effects
: The Perfect Guy only uses the special effects when needed.

Suggestion: The Perfect Guy is one to try but don’t expect too much special. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Michael Ealy is creepy throughout.

Worst Part: Poor development of supporting cast.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Fatal Attraction

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Trust one, fear the other

Trivia: After the success of No Good Deed (2014) Screen Gems greenlit this project.

 

Overall: Stalker film that will not bring anything fresh to the genre

Ratingcard

Seven Pounds (2008)

logoDirector: Gabriele Muccino

Writer: Grant Nieporte (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy, Barry Pepper, Elpidia Carrillo, Robinne Lee

 

Plot: Ben (Smith) opens the film with a phone call to emergency services. He is reporting his own suicide, but why? Ben has been meeting people, testing people for a cause; of the people he is speaking to are Emily (Dawson) a dying lady, Ezra (Harrelson) a blind man. Ben has a secret that has been eating him up inside and he is out looking for a chance of redemption.

 

The story flicks between the present and the past as we build up to see what Ben did to need his redemption. With his friend Dan (Pepper) reluctantly helping him fulfils his final request by helping him find people in need of help.

 

Verdict: An emotional drama

 

Story: Watching one man incredible quest for redemption shows just how far some people will go for it. His search for people who are worthy of being saved all come off very well. The build-up to see what has caused his heartache is good, with the final reveal heart breaking. All together the story will pull at your heart strings. (9/10)

 

Actor Reviews

Will Smith: Ben the man on the quest for redemption, who uses his tax man job title to find out who needs help. This is a brilliantly played role by an actor I am quick to criticize, Will shows he can do a touching drama very well and doesn’t need to do this silly money roles. (9/10)

 smith

Rosario Dawson: Emily a lady with a terminal heart condition that meets Ben, who then helps give her more of a reason to live. Good performance from Rosario who blends well with Smith. (8/10)

dawson

Woody Harrelson: Ezra a blind meat salesman with a heart of gold, that Ben really pushes to the limits to see if he is a good enough person. Good supporting role who is important to outcome but doesn’t appear too often. (7/10)

 woody

Michael Ealy: Ben Thomas, Ben’s brother who spends most of the film chasing him down he also fills in what has happened and why Ben has been on the quest. Good supporting role that doesn’t get used as much as possible. (7/10)

 

Barry Pepper:Dan Ben’s best and oldest friend who has promised when the time comes he will follow his instruction no matter what happens. Good supporting role but has limited screen time. (7/10)

 peper

Director Review: Gabriele Muccino – Great direction to create a very touching film. (8/10)

 

Drama: Great drama with strong use of all emotional levels. (9/10)

Settings: With many settings that all work for the film but don’t change the film. (7/10)

Suggestion: I think people should watch this film it really is something that will touch your heart. If you give it a go you will be rewarded with a touching story. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Smith’s performance

Worst Part: Could have used the support cast bit more.

Favourite Quote: Ben ‘In seven days, God created the world. And in seven seconds, I shattered mine.’

Believability: People do help people the same ways but maybe not to the same extremes as Ben does. (6/10)

Chances of Tears: Some people may have some. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 4 and Nominated for another 6, including Satellite and Image awards.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $168,168,201

Budget: $55,000,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: Seven Names, Seven Strangers. One Secret.

Trivia:Michael Ealy was hand-picked by Will Smith to play his brother.

 

Overall: Brilliant Touching Drama

Rating 81

Takers (2010)

logoDirector: John Luessenhop

Writer: Peter Allen, Gabriel Casseus, John Luessenhop, Avery Duff (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Brown, Hayden Christensen, Matt Dillon, Michael Ealy, Idris Elba, Steve Harris, T.I. Harris, Jay Hernandez, Paul Walker

 

Plot: A seasoned team of bank robbers, including Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba), John Rahway (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) Attica successfully complete their latest heist and lead a life of luxury while planning their next job. When Ghost (Tip T.I. Harris), a former member of their team, is released from prison he convinces the group to strike an armoured car carrying $20 million. As the “takers” carefully plot their strategy and draw nearer to exacting the grand heist, a reckless police officer (Matt Dillon) inches closer to apprehending the criminals.

 

Verdict: Slick Heist Film

 

Story: It can be hard to keep the heist genre fresh because there is always some very simple rules that every film usually follows. The strong leader who has a second who keeps everything together and comical brother pairing, a group of seemingly different people whose skills come together, a determined cop, an old member and the idea this will be the last job but even risker than normal. This follows all the rules without straying to create any originality, saying that these rules are what makes this a good film and why try and change something that is broken. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

(This is not in order of impotence)

Chris Brown: Jesse the cocky brother and member of the crew who select skill set is never really explained but when he is in trouble he always finds a way out with a brilliant free running scene. Good performance from the controversial singer showing he can be part of an assembled cast. (7/10)

 borwn

Hayden Christensen: AJ the man who can get his hands on everything, he is good in a fight and his overall charm makes the youngest member of the team crucial. Good performance from the heavily criticised actor. (7/10)

hayden

Matt Dillon: Jack the reckless cop who won’t let the case rest until he finds out who was behind the job, leading him to push his daughter away and leave him figuring out everything on his own. Good performance from the ever reliable Dillon. (7/10)

 dillon

Michael Ealy: Jake the smart brother who keeps both their interests at heart, he plans the details of the job while others get what he needs. Good performance creating a good bond with Chris Brown to create a good brother relationship. (7/10)

 jake

Idris Elba: Gordon the leader of the crew, who always keeps the jobs quick and clean with a long enough gap between them all that no one will suspect them. Good performance from Idris showing he is the go to lead coming out of the UK.(8/10)

 elba

T.I. Harris: Ghost the former member who is fresh out of jail, who brings the team one more job to make up for his lost time. Good performance creating a very calm persona throughout. (7/10)

 ghost

Paul Walker: John the calm second in command/advisor to Gordon who keeps everyone together as is usually the go to guy to double check everything before going through with the job. Good performance from Walker showing he is a good member of an ensemble cast. (7/10)

walker

Director Review: John Luessenhop – Good direction to create a good crime thriller that keeps your attention from start to finish. (7/10)

 

Action: The action doesn’t happen too often but when it does it is all very entertaining. (7/10)

Crime: Good crimes heist thriller elements used throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: Keeps you wondering what will happen next to all the characters. (8/10)

Settings: Good settings used mainly all LA which works for the busyness of the moments. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is one that all the fans of the genre should see, but I feel more people should try it they will enjoy what they see. (Try)

 

Best Part: The Free Running Escape.

Worst Part: No real originality.

Action Scene Of The Film: Free run escape.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Ocean’s Eleven

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $69 Million

Budget: $32 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Money doesn’t count

 

Overall: Enjoyable Crime Thriller

Rating 75