The Snowman (2017)

Director: Tomas Afredson

Writer: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan (Screenplay) Jo Nesbo (Novel)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Chloe Sevigny, Val Kilmer, J.K Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jamie Clayton, Toby Jones

 

Plot: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.


Tagline – Soon the first snow will come, and then he will kill again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Twisty Mystery Thriller

 

Story: The Snowman starts as we meet alcoholic detective Harry Hole (Fassbender) a once great detective that is lacking the motivation because of the lack of murders and his break up with his long-term girlfriend Rakel (Gainsbourg). He gets a new member of his team Katrine (Ferguson) who has embraced the latest technology in police work and the two start an investigation into a missing woman.

The two have very different backgrounds and the story does jump back to a previous serious of crimes that were being investigated in a different part of Norway, but as the women continue to go missing we are thrown a list of different suspects and mixing this with the personal backgrounds of the two characters we wait to see who the killer is.

 

Thoughts on The Snowman

 

Characters – Harry Hole was once one of the best detectives in Oslo, his cases have been studied be the candidates in the academy, but he has fallen on bad times with a drinking problem and a relationship ending. When the case does come up he is still the first man selected to lead the investigation, this is where we get to see his true skills. Katrine is a rookie that transferred to the department, she uses the technology to make the work easier but slowly we learn about her past and her reasons for being transferred to this department. Rakel is the ex-girlfriend of Harry who they still remain close due to Harry building a relationship with her son. Arve Stop is a political figure running the campaign to get Oslo the Winter World Cup, he does become one of the many suspects. We do meet at least a total of 6 potential suspects which could all have motive for the crime which is nice, but this also means we don’t focus enough on the mind games between the killer and Hole.

PerformancesFassbender is great in the leading role, giving us what we would expect from him without reaching his best of the best level of ability. Rebecca Ferguson is good too, she doesn’t steal the spotlight like she did in Rogue Nation but shows she does have more to her in ability wise. The rest of the cast do well with what they have to work with, even if they don’t get enough screen time to make the impact they could.

StoryThe trailers made this out to be a true mind games based serial killer versus cop movie, this is in fact a lie, we have the slow processes of trying to solve who could be behind this with plenty of suspects along the way. The tease with the note does feel confusing though because it sets up the mind games but doesn’t seem to follow through on them. We do have a lot of side stories going on including Harry’s relationship with Rakel and her son, Katrine’s past and just who is Arve Stop, which doesn’t help us focus on what should be the biggest factor the killer.

Crime/Horror/MysteryThe crimes do look horrific when we see the full effects of what the killer is doing and his weapon of choice is fresh and terrifying at that. The mystery does keep us guessing through the film but the lack of final punch takes away the horror for me.

SettingsThe settings make this film look beautiful, we have stunning shots of the Norwegian snow cover countryside but once we are in the big cities it all looks the same.


Scene of the Movie –
First learning of the killer weapon.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was confusing to figure out if the characters were Norwegian or what.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller, it does keep us guessing but it does get confusing trying to balance too many side stories, unlike Wind River which deals with the problems head on.

 

Overall: Good but not great snow flake.

Rating

 

 

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Marion Cotillard Weekend – Macbeth (2015)

macbethDirector: Justin Kurzel

Writer: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso (Screenplay) William Shakespeare (Play)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Mario Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor, David Hayman

 

Plot: Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: How Did This Become Boring?

 

Story: Macbeth starts as we learn that Macbeth (Fassbender) is leading his army in a war for the King of Scotland Duncan (Thewlis). Being a loyal soldier Macbeth is reward by the king after his latest victory but when Macbeth gets a visit from three witches he learns that he will one day be king. Being consumed with the idea of becoming king and along with his wife Lady Macbeth (Cotillard) they plan to kill the king.

Once the king is dead Macbeth is placed into the roll as king but his paranoia about who knows the truth takes over him when he simply doesn’t know who to trust from his closest friends and his enemies.

Macbeth is one of my favourite Shakespeare stories which instantly made me want to see this film but wow I was disappointed with this telling of the story. This story continues to show very little happening in a story that should be filled with tension, revenge and bloodshed but all we seem to get is talking, talking and talking. I am really annoyed how dull this story is that might as well just have been the stage version because nothing gets offered to make this film unique.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Fassbender: Macbeth is the loyal soldier in a war for Scotland’s king Duncan, when he gets visited by three witches he gets the new that he will one day become king of Scotland. This leads to him to kill the king taking his crown but becoming paranoid that he will be a victim just like he made Duncan. Michael does a good job in a performance that could easily be the stage performance.macbeth hcaracter

Marion Cotillard: Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth who pushes him into killing the eking so that he could become king, she stays calm even though she is guilt ridden trying to bring her husband back to the great man he once was. Marion gives us a good performance that would be great on the stage.lady

Paddy Considine: Banquo is the loyal first person Macbeth turns to during battle but once Macbeth becomes king everything changes between the two loyal friends. Paddy is good but doesn’t get enough screen time to make the impact required.

David Thewlis: Duncan is the king of Scotland, he trusts Macbeth to lead his army but once the war is over the very man he trusts is the one that turns on him. David does a good job in this role which we know is only for a supporting member of the cast.

Support Cast: Macbeth has all the character from the play without making many of them making a big impact.

Director Review: Justin KurzelJustin does well directing a glorified play.

 

Drama: Macbeth is a slow moving story that should be a lot more intense.

War: Macbeth uses the war story as the backdrop to the story being told.

Settings: Macbeth uses the Scotland highlands for the settings throughout.
Suggestion
: Macbeth is one to save your money as go to the theatre to see. (Theatre Trip)

 

Best Part: Looks pretty.

Worst Part: Dull throughout

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: All hail

 

Overall: Dull, boring adaptation of a Shakespeare classic

Ratingcard

 

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: John Logan, Dante Harper (Screenplay) Jack Paglen, Michael Green, Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Story/Characters)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett

 

Plot: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Plain Bad

 

Story: Alien Covenant starts with the colony ship the Covenant heading towards a new planet, a crew of 15 and over 2000 colonist on board with just Walter (Fassbender) the android running the ship. When the ship encounters a freak storm in space leads the crew suffering loses they need to let the new captain Oram (Crudup) guide them through the damage to the systems.

When the repairs find a ghost transmission from a planet which appears perfectly habitable Oram goes against first mate Daniels’ (Waterston) opinion to continue their mission and takes a crew to this planet.

While on the planet the crew learn, this planet isn’t as safe as they had thought as they learn the deadly species waiting to be awoken along with a discovery which will give them answers about one of the mysterious of space.

 

Thoughts on Alien: Covenant

 

Characters/PerformanceWalter is the latest model of the androids that joins the mission to do the jobs humans can’t manage he is good natured and understands his mission. Daniels is the second in command after the early tragedy, she doesn’t want to investigate the new planet but soon becomes the one we must rout for once she decides to fight. Oram is your standard captain trying to take the role with his own stamp, also he is meant to be religious. The rest of the crew are what you expect.

Performance wise, well this is where things get interesting, Fassbender is fine but let’s face it he is wasting his talent in movies like these. Waterston struggles to follow in the strong leading action heroine footsteps with Crudup being easily forgettable. This does have known names but nothing that comes off truly memorable in the performances.

StoryThe story looks to follow up what happened after the Prometheus in what just feels like a complete rip off, of plenty of films, we have horribly written characters that just do panic instead of being professional in the role that would remain calm through each situation. This is a rinse, repeat film that ends up being one of the most predictable movies you have ever seen.

Horror/Sci-FiThere is little to no horror in a movie that has ALIENS in which is the whole point. The sci-fi side of the story is all what you have come to expect from the genre without being anything fresh.

SettingsThe film looks beautiful and stunning throughout but they also don’t have anything looking original though.

Special EffectsThe special effects show us the settings looking almost flawless, it is the aliens which come off weak in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor addition to the franchise of aliens, we barely see them and the science versus religion question doesn’t end up getting discussed enough.

 

Overall: Poor franchise addition that is weak in every single aspect.

Rating

 

 

Assassin’s Creed (2016)

assaDirector: Justin Kurzel

Writer: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Kenneth Williams, Denis Menochet, Essie Davis

 

Plot: When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor Video Game Adaptation

 

Story: Assassin’s Creed starts by looking at the secret assassin that Aguilar (Fassbender) was part of in the 16th century before we meet a young Cal who witnesses his mother murdered by what can only be described as a mysterious assassin that his father Joseph (Gleeson) has become.

Cal (Fassbender) grown up finds himself on death row now ready to get the lethal injection for capital murder charge. Awaking from his death Cal finds Dr Sofia (Cotillard) waiting for him in an advanced scientific laboratory.

Cal gets forced into the program where he will learn the memories of one of his ancestors Aguilar the assassin in Spain. The reason Cal is left alive is to go back into the memories of Aguilar to discover where he put an artefact that Sofia and her father Rikkin (Irons) are after, but along the way Cal learns the fighting skills of the assassins becoming a danger in today’s world too.

 

Thoughts on Assassin’s Creed

 

StoryThis is the latest in the video game turned movie and the story on paper this has all the potential to be the one that brings the video game films to the mainstream success. Sadly this story doesn’t come off to the effect you would like because too much of the film is in the modern world when the part of this game that made you go wow was the recreation of the ancient world. I feel we did deserve more than just a glorified treasure hunt with a sprinkling of family issues.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action in this film is all fine but nothing special while the idea of going into the mind of a previous life just doesn’t hit the levels it could.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters Cal and Aguilar are basic while Sofia and Rikkin also come off as average character within a film. The performance from Fassbender are solid but nothing special with Cotillard and Irons not even nail the same accent despite being father and daughter just doesn’t make sense at all. When you look at the supporting cast well you won’t remember them either.

SettingsThe lab setting is fine but just doesn’t stand out that futuristic while the past life setting doesn’t hit the special wow factor the game gave us first time.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the special effects, you are expecting something truly special but in the end this just doesn’t deliver.

Final ThoughtsFails on nearly every level to reach video games potential and will just continue the trend of poor video game to film adaptations.

 

Overall: Not the game to film we were looking for.

Ratingcard

 

 

John Malkovich Weekend – Jonah Hex (2010)

jonahDirector: Jimmy Hayward

Writer: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor (Screenplay) Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, William Farmer (Story)

Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, John Gallagher Jr, Michael Shannon, Wes Bentley

 

Plot: The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Bad as I Thought

 

Story: Jonah Hex starts as we see soldier Jonah Hex (Brolin) has to pay for killing Quentin Turnbull’s (Malkovich) son during the war, branded with a QT on his face Jonah witness his family burnt alive. Going on the rampage to find Turnbull he only discovers he has died and Jonah becomes a bounty hunter that can communicate with the dead.

When Turnbull returns from the grave or never got killed the President turns to Jonah Hex to stop Turnbull and his plan to build the deadly weapon that could become the biggest threat in American.

Jonah Hex is an adaptation from a comic book series which like most I have never read so I can’t judge how accurate the version is. The story is shot like it has been ripped from the pages of a comic because we get very little background story of any characters in more than quick flashbacks. The special effects do come off looking bad in places where you can clearly see the CGI being used throughout. The settings all come off looking like the time which isn’t a problem and potentially the highlight of the film. The action side of the film is all average without a truly memorable scene being used either and the inclusion of the fantasy elements where Jonah can talk to the dead comes off looking good and is something I would have liked to have seen more.

The cast is an interesting one because Brolin as Hex works well, Malkovich as the main villain is like finding a cheap version of Cyrus the Virus from Con Air, Megan Fox clearly brings the sex appeal but doesn’t get much of the actual acting done here. It is Michael Fassbender that stands out in this role where he goes full crazy with his character being the most memorable but I am not sure if it is for the right or wrong reasons. All the other supporting cast are almost wasted in small roles that barely get more than one scene.

 

Overall: I was expecting terrible but this is an easy watch without being great.

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