The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

Director: Gideon Raff

Writer: Gideon Raff (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Evans, Haley Bennett, Alona Tal, Michiel Huisman, Ben Kingsley, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alex Hassell, Alessandro Nivola, Greg Kinnear

Plot: Israel’s Mossad agents attempt to rescue Ethiopian Jewish refugees in Sudan in 1977.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Amazing True Story

Story: The Red Sea Diving Resort starts as Ari (Evans) an American Ari (Evans) working for the Israel Mossad agents rescues refugees from Ethiopia with his latest mission seeing Kabede (Williams) rescued. Ari does become grounded, but isn’t willing to let more innocent people murder, he comes up with an idea that could see thousands rescued.

Ari puts together a team including Rachel Reiter (Bennett), Jake (Huisman), Max (Hassell) and Sammy (Nivola) with the plan to lease a hotel known as the Red Sea Diving Resort to use it to get refugees out of Africa back to Israel. This is one of the riskiest rescue attempts tried and one that will bring history to life.

Thoughts on The Red Sea Diving Resort

Characters – Ari Levinson is leading an Israeli group of agent, who are trying to rescue Ethiopian refugees by taking them through Sudan, giving them their only hope to make it out alive. He is willing to risk everything to make it happen by taking a mission which will risk their own lives to lead them out to see, remaining calm through the operations which will see them become targets of the local generals. Rachel is one of the team, just by being a woman she is risking even more than the rest, though her language skills are key to the whole operation. Kabede Bimro is the connection with Ari that leads the refugees to him, he becomes one of the most wanted men because of his actions, but will risk everything for his own family. Ethan Levin is the one that tries to control Ari on his mission, he doesn’t agree with most of what he does, knowing if he was to get caught it could create an international incident.

PerformancesChris Evans takes his first major role since leaving the role as Captain America, he does show he can handle the serious side of acting even though his character does feel like branch of what Captain America stood for. Haley Bennett is strong throughout, in a world that her character shouldn’t feel safe in. Ben Kingsley does what you would expect in his authority role, while Michael Kenneth Williams is the most interesting character though we could have spent more time with his character.

StoryThe story here follows an Israeli agent that risked everything to try and rescue as many Ethiopian refugees as he could using a Sudanese hotel as a cover to hide them and move them through to safety despite heavy pressure from the military forces in the country. This is another incredible story of how somebody and their team would do the right thing for the human race that would be left facing a future which would see them killed or forced into slavery if they couldn’t get free. It should be seen to highlight the continuing problems in the world along with the incredible work that was done. We are kept waiting to see how many will get rescued and how they will overcome the obstacles placed in their way, though it would be fair it wouldn’t be a story if they had failed.

HistoryThis is a moment in history which showed a country reaching out to help in secret when another country would rather butcher their own people.

SettingsThe film creates the realistic settings that only make this feel like we are part of the era it is set in, we see how much was being risked in what could be considered a calm location of a hotel.


Scene of the Movie – Runway.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The fact that his behaviour actually still happens in the world.

Final Thoughts This is a highlight on just what was risked to save thousands of stranded refugees, it has top class acting and shows that we can achieve great things if we worked together.

Overall: Brilliant look at bravery.

Rating

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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

 

 

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