ABC Film Challenge – Random – C – Captive (2015)

Director: Jerry Jameson

Writer: Brian Bird (Screenplay) Ashley Smith, Stacy Mattingly (Book)

Starring: Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Elle Graham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jessica Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, Leonor Varela

 

Plot: A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run who has broken out of jail and murdered the judge assigned to his case.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Thriller

 

Story: Captive starts as we meet Ashely Smith (Mara) a drug addict who has lost her child due to her addiction and is desperately struggling to get clean. On the other side of the story we find Brian Nichols (Oyelowo) a criminal who breaks out of his trial hearing leaving bodies on the way.

Lt John Chestnut (Williams) and Sgt. Sandoval (Varela) lead the manhunt for Brian as we learn how this minor criminal has escalated to murder to get freedom. Brian breaks into Ashley apartment holding her hostage inside her own home. Ashley must spend the night trying to stay alive when this clearly mentally unstable man Brian pushes her to the limits.

 

Thoughts on Captive

 

Characters/PerformanceAshley is a recovering drug addict who is about to become clean and get her daughter back, she must stay one step ahead of Brian to make this happen. Brian is a criminal about to be judge on a rape case he believes he is innocent off. He escapes and kills the judge going on the run before taking Ashely hostage. He constantly believes he is innocent of all the crimes he is being accused off. The cops on the other hand are all the generic ones you would imagine they would be.

Performance Wise, Kate Mara is good in the leading role showing given the right material she can be a leading lady, David Oyelowo is as always great in yet another film he clearly is the best part off.

StoryThis is a story that is based on real events, this is just another hostage story though, we have the bonding between the criminal and victim which is nothing fresh, as well as watching the manhunt for him. This all works but doesn’t come off as original, because this is based on a real event it would have been more interesting to see more about the real case that Brian believes he is innocent off.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of this film happens early on as most of the film is hunting down the criminal who has gone to extreme lengths to get his freedom. The thriller ide doesn’t keep us on edge for long enough.

SettingsThe apartment shows how Ashely has become trapped with Brian but we also deal with the idea that we are watching a manhunt too.

Final ThoughtsThis was a slow-moving thriller that doesn’t reach the levels it needs to, mostly because this is based on a real event too.

 

Overall: Slow and disappointing thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Ghostbusters (2016)

ghsotbusterDirector: Paul Feig

Writer: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig (Screenplay) Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Neil Casey, Ed Begley Jr

 

Plot: Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Get Through

 

Story: Ghostbusters starts as we meet Erin Gilbert (Wiig) a professor who in her early career wrote a book with her friend Abby Yates (McCarthy) about the hunt for ghosts which brings Ed Mulgrave (Begley Jr) to investigate the Aldridge mansion. With Erin about to get her dream career she must go back to Abby to see her about their book where she meets Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon) who has been working with Abby.

When the three see an actual ghost, they start to work together to start their own ghost hunting business with new heartthrob receptionist Kevin (Hemsworth). When subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones) witnesses a ghost in the subway she joins the newly formed Ghostbusters to save the city of New York from a ghost invasion.

Ghostbusters is a film that was instantly disliked by most people because the original is considered a true classic and no one wanted a remake, reboot or sequel. Now going into this I was going to ignore that judgement but as I dislike most comedies this was always going to be had to enjoy. I must start with the fact I simply just do NOT find Melissa McCarthy funny at all, Kristen Wiig is solid in this role but I did find Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth to be good for laughs.

The story is all too like the original with the disgraced ghostbusters having to redeem themselves by the end. While I love the setting of New York I feel the film doesn’t use it enough and the special effects just don’t hit the marks I would expect from a film of that budget. I am not going to say this is because of the female leading cast because I do think it could have worked if the characters weren’t all looking for laughs and then mixing everything too many pop culture references that will be out dated within a few years.

 

Overall: This is unnecessary reboot/remake/sequel which ever they want to call it that plays for the laughs instead of the fantasy element of the idea.

Ratingcard

 

 

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

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Robocop (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy – a loving husband, father and good cop – is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Done

 

Story: Robocop starts with Pat Novak (Jackson) showing off the abilities of a range of different robotic defence systems in other countries and calling for people to follow Raymond Sellars (Keaton) ideas to bring these defences to the street of America and Detroit. We move on to meet hardworking honest cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) who has recently got his partner Jake Lewis (Williams) injured as they try to take down local crime boss Antoine Vallon (Garrow).

We see how Raymond if struggling to pass pure robots being used in America so he turns to Dr Dennett Norton (Oldman) who has been working on giving disabled people a new chance. Where Murphy has gained unwanted attention he becomes a target leaving him fighting for life and make him to prime candidate for the first Robocop.

Returning home Murphy enters the streets to tackle to crime and take out all of the people that are responsible for leaving him the way he is.

Robocop is a remake of the classic 1987 movie which is always going to be questioned by fans. This time we get a very similar storyline with badly injured cop gets turned into Robocop while a company is trying it’s hardest to get robotic police onto the streets. The negative for this is lack of overall crime being seen because from what we see nothing seems to threatening unlike how the original depicts the time. Taking that side of the story away the creation side is looked at in a much brighter light as we see how Alex knows what is going on this time which does offer plenty of morale questions. We do get a few throwbacks to the original with the ‘I’ll buy that for a dollar’ and ‘dead or alive your coming with me’ lines. This takes a nice fresh approach to the story without being too far away from the original.

 

Actor Review

 

Joel Kinnaman: Alex Murphy is the honest cop that tries to take down criminal boss only to find himself the targeted by the men who leave him as good as dead. He gets a second chance by becoming the first Robocop but this time he can keep the emotions but can he control himself when it comes to the men that left him almost dead. Joel is good but never as strong as Peter Weller.

Gary Oldman: Dr Dennett Norton is the man that has been working on giving disabled people their lives back and gets bought in by Raymond to make the first ever Robocop and the subject is Murphy. He does push the boundaries to make this happen but also knows there are limits. Gary is good and going up with and against Keaton we see the two heavyweights doing great scenes.

Michael Keaton: Raymond Sellars is the CEO of OmniCorp that has been pushing the senate to make the use of Robotic cops on the streets without much success. When he teams up with Dennett they create the first Robocop to make the streets safe. Michael is good in this role where he comes off strong in this businessman.

Abbie Cornish: Clara is the wife of Alex who gives permission to allow Alex to be used to create the Robocop but once he is finished she finds herself being pushed away by Alex’ programing. Abbie is solid in this role without being used in the side we need to see her in.

Support Cast: Robocop has a big supporting cast, we do have a couple of twists on original characters but most importantly this time we have strong side characters in the development of Robocop.

Director Review: Jose PadilhaJose gives us a remake that brings a classic into the modern era of cinema that works with modern times of paper work too.

 

Action: Robocop has the action you would expect to see only tamed down with Robocop only Taser people rather than just killing.

Crime: Robocop puts us in a crime heavy world but seems to keep a lot of the story within the science and business ideas of the creation of Robocop.

Sci-Fi: Robocop brings us into the future world where the police would need help from a Robots but have to start with a Robocop.

Settings: Robocop keeps us in Detroit but this time does travel around the world which does take away part of the originals best moments.
Special Effects
: Robocop has very good effects being used to create Robocop especially when we see the deconstruction of his real self.

Suggestion: Robocop is one you really should give a go even if you are a fan of the original. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Oldman v Keaton is great to see.

Worst Part: Not dark enough.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: We’ve got the future under control.

 

Overall: Solid remake that could be given more time than it got.

Ratingcard

 

 

Triple 9 (2016)

triple 9

 

Plot: A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Much Going On

 

Story: Triple 9 starts as we watch our criminal team of Michael (Ejiofor), Marcus (Mackie) Russell (Reedus), Gabe (Paul) and Franco (Collins Jr) who are working for a new Russian force run by Irina Vlaslov (Winslett). The job doesn’t go as smoothly as planned but we learn that these men are actually all cops. Jeffrey Allen (Harrelson) is the man trying to solve the robbery as his nephew Chris (Affleck) starts on the force partnering with Marcus.

When Michael thinks they are out he gets given one last job and to show how serious they are by killing one of the crew. The plan to complete the job is to kill a cop taking all of the police to the wrong side of town while they complete job, but not everything is as it seems.

Triple 9 is a crime thriller that does take away the twists we see too often in these films by instantly telling us we are dealing with corrupt cops. This is something I did like and mostly the only thing I really did like. The film has too many characters in that we are meant to want to follow, mostly all bad people too which doesn’t help us route for anyone to win. I think having too many big names doesn’t help either because we are expecting more scenes for them all. This really does come off as over complicated throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Michael is the corrupt cop leading the group of thieves, he has all the communication with Irina due to his relationship with her sister and the child they have together. He has to lead his crew on one final job that has the biggest score of their careers but if they don’t complete the job they will be killed. Chiwetel is good in this leading role showing that he could handle leading such a big cast.

Casey Affleck: Chris is fresh to the department a clean by the book officers with a family, he gets assigned to work under Marcus where the styles quickly clash. Chris finds himself trying to learn the new department only to discover the truth. Casey is good but suffers with lack on screen time for what should be one of the main characters.

Anthony Mackie: Marcus is the second in command still working on the force to keep face and connections in the crime world. He has to become the partner of Chris where he does want to make the unthinkable happen. Anthony is solid going against the Captain America character he has been playing recently.

Woody Harrelson: Jeffrey is the detective from the Major Crimes division that is trying to find the men in the crime team, his nephew is Chris which when he learns the truth proves just how desperate he is to solve the crime. Woody is his ever reliable self in this role without reaching his top levels.

Kate Winslet: Irina is running the crime family while her husband is in jail and this involved getting people to do her dirty work including Michael and his team. Kate is solid in this role but you just never believe her in this villainous role.

Support Cast: Triple 9 has a big supporting cast to go along with the main five, not everyone shines enough to make an impact but also nobody is bad. It was good to see Norman Reedus and Aaron Paul stepping up from the television screens.

Director Review: John HillcoatJohn tries to bring a fresh approach to the crime heist world but then gets everything just too over complicated.

 

Action: Triple 9 has a couple of good action sequences with the raid in the flats and the bank robbery coming off nice.

Crime: Triple 9 puts us in the middle of a crime boss, corrupt cop and honest cops trying to stay ahead of each other.

Thriller: Triple 9 tries to keep us on edge from start to finish but doesn’t keep us truly interested with all of the characters involved.

Settings: Triple 9 doesn’t have any iconic settings used in the film which doesn’t help to make anything memorable.
Special Effects
: Triple 9 has basic effects when it comes to the scenes that need them but again nothing special.

Suggestion: Triple 9 is one to wait till it appears on TV to watch. (TV Viewing)

 

Best Part: Bank robbery.

Worst Part: Too many characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: Never forget what side you’re on

 

Overall: Overly complicated crime thriller

Ratingcard