ABC Film Challenge – Action – I – Immortals (2011)

Director: Tarsem Singh

Writer: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides (Screenplay)

Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Joseph Morgan

 

Plot: Theseus is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity.


Tagline – The Gods Need a Hero

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glossy Greek Muscles

 

Story: Immortals starts in a world where the immortals battled, the winners became Gods, the loser became Titans and buried under the mountain. With King Hyperion (Rourke) destroying village after villages in search for a stone that will grant him power. An average farmer Theseus (Cavill) trained in combat sees the war come to him, he is destined for greatness as the Gods watch over him with Zeus (Evans) knowing who will win the battle, but unable to interfere.

With the oracles including Phaedra (Pinto) knowing the truth about Theseus, she plans to release him and his fellow prisoners to go into battle against King Hyperion before becoming part of his plan.

 

Thoughts on Immortals

 

Characters – Theseus is from a quiet village that has lived in peace, but when the war comes to him, he must us his fighting skills to defeat the tyrant trying to conquer the land ad fulfil his destiny. He is the man that we see in many of these titles, a man that is meant to bring people together. King Hyperion has been taking control of the land of Greece, his armies are not taking prisoners in their conquering ways. This is a villain we are used to seeing because it is one that will go to any lengths to get what he wants. Stavros is a thief that joins Theseus and with this gets to plant the comical lines in places. Phaedra is the oracle that has seen the paths in which Theseus will take, believe he can bring the country to the freedom is deserves. Zeus is the all powerful God that is watching from the skies, he doesn’t want to interfere in this battle or any of the Gods to with the punishment of death.

PerformancesThe actors all have the look for their roles, so that won’t need discussing anymore. Henry Cavill is fine in the leading role, he doesn’t handle the emotion moments enough, but is saved with the fighting. Mickey Rourke is always good as a villain and he does a good enough job for the film. The rest are fine they just have nobody that sticks out long enough to be memorable.

StoryThe story plays into the idea of Gods and Titans that once ruled Greece, we see how they watched over the world waiting for the war which the humans will bring on themselves, now they must wait to see if the on man can fulfil the destiny. This is sword and saddles with what you are expecting to see after seeing 300. It all works fine but won’t become one of the more memorable within the genre.

Action/Fantasy/RomanceThe action is the highlight of the film, with plenty of big sequences that are left to see elements of the mythology. This dives us into the fantasy world we will be entering and there is a weaker romance side to the story.

SettingsThe film makes us feel like we are part of this world with ease, though most scenes look like they are from the same location and not looking special enough.

Special EffectsThe effects are nice to see because they play into this over the top style the film tries to make its own. Zeus coming to Earth is the highlight moment.


Scene of the Movie –
Hammer time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Feels long.

Final ThoughtsThis will keep the fans of the films like 300 will enjoy this one, this is an entertaining watch if you don’t need to want to think and can be enjoyed.

 

Overall: Simple saddles and swords.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Angel Heart (1987)

Director: Alan Parker

Writer: Alan Parker (Screenplay) William Hjortsberg (Novel)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Stocker Fontelieu

 

Plot: Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.


Tagline –  It will scare you to your very soul.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Mystery Horror

 

Story: Angel Heart starts as private investigator Harry Angel (Rourke) is hired by Louis Cyphre (De Niro) to locate a man Johnny, we follow Harry as he looks to track down this man using his skills along the way.

As the investigation continues Harry finds himself meeting Epiphany (Bonet) a lady that has a connection to the missing man and also deals in voodoo, taking Harry in a direction he never imagined he would go in, but can he solve the mystery before it is too late as everyone he seems to question ends up dead.

 

Thoughts on Angel Heart

 

Characters – Harry Angel is a private investigator, he gets the job done but is a shady in his methods, he gets hired to find a missing person but soon finds himself as the prime suspect in a string of murders with the people that have a connection to the missing man. Louis Cyphre is a mysterious man that hires Harry to search for the missing man but has an air of mystery about him. Epiphany is a young lady that has clues to the whereabouts of the missing man, but gets involved in a race hating state relationship with Harry while also practising voodoo.

PerformancesMickey Rourke does a great job as the private investigator showing the down and out figure needed for the desperate mindset his character ends up in. De Niro shines in the supporting role here giving a chilling performance where we only see him a few times but we are left haunted by his screen time. Lisa Bonet is great too as the young lady that knows some of the answers.

StoryThe story here does start with a standard looking investigation but it soon takes a twist involving different religious beliefs where one man must question his own sanity about what is happening. The investigation side of the film is what you would expect but the change it takes in the final act is the reward you get because things get built up nicely. This is a good mystery thriller that keeps us engaged from the start to the finish.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the truth that comes out in the final act but the mystery we are watching unfold is what drives this film.

SettingsThe settings take us around America at times as we search with Harry about the truth.

Special EffectsThe effects come in the form of practical as we see just how the kills look once the killer has finished with the bodies.


Scene of the Movie –
Final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I wanted more De Niro.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great mystery horror that does keep us guessing and taking us into a direction you wouldn’t see coming.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Mystery horror.

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

 

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

logoDirector: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Frank Miller (Screenplay) Frank Miller (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven

 

Plot: Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Long A Wait

 

Story: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For starts by introducing us to Marv (Rourke) waking up from a car wreck trying to piece together how he ended up where he was. He gets into trouble as always when he interferes with some frat boys leading him and his friends to build a body count.

As we know we will get a couple of stories so we pick up on Johnny’s (Gordan Levitt) story, an ambitious poker player finally making it to the big time. He gets to play in the big game in the city along with Senator Roark (Boothe). Johnny cleans up putting his own life in danger because you simply don’t mess with the Senator.  Senator Roark has a familiar enemy in Nancy (Alba) which gives us a small tease of a Hartigan (Willis) reunion. Back to Johnny who gets taught a lesson but Roark.

Time for the third story and we follow Dwight (Brolin) who spies on Joey (Liotta) and his affair with Sally (Temple), saving her from Joey. Ava (Green) one of the connection of Dwight’s calls up for help, she doesn’t give enough away but gives enough to make sure Dwight wants to follow. Dwight ends following against his better judgement only to find out that Ava is trapped in a loveless marriage that she is trying to escape from. Recruiting Marv the two go into a battle against the odds to save Ava once and for all, but not everything is as it seems.

The final story centres on Nancy (Alba) as she teams up with Marv to take down the Senator for the death of Hartigan (Willis). She is haunted by the loss of her father figure who saved her from the Senator’s son.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has three stories much like the first one did to make things more confusing we have a prequel and a sequel. I do feel one of the three was stand out which was the Dwight one because it actually felt well rounded and the most intense. Nancy just felt like an extension to the big story from the first one and was way too short. The story that really didn’t feel like it fitted was Johnny’s because it was split into with the better one around it and then just ended suddenly. All round this was a lacklustre addition to what was once one of the ground breaking films. The story being told in narration by its main character continues to be a good touch though. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Mickey Rourke: Marv who is the brute of the city who spends his time in the bar watching over the dancers making sure none of them get into any trouble. He joins in on a couple of stories but doesn’t have a main one revolving around him this time around. Mickey does a solid job in the role that really is one that will be remembered. (6/10)

 marv

Jessica Alba: Nancy dancer at the bar where she is the main attraction, she wants to avenge the death of Hartigan but she is losing control. Jessica does a ok job but really doesn’t get used enough. (5/10)

nancy

Josh Brolin: Dwight private eye who gets called to help an old flame but soon finds himself getting manipulated by the beauty of her. He survives an attack and plans on getting revenge on her. Josh does a good job raking over from Clive Owen. (8/10)

 dwight

Joseph Gordan-Levitt: Johnny slick gambler who goes into the biggest game in the city and cleans up, leading him to make an enemy to one of the most powerful people in the city Senator Roark. Joseph does a good job but his story seems too short. (7/10)

 johnny

Eva Green: Ava the beautiful old flame of Dwight’s who has come up with a plan to get everything she wants by using her beauty and body to seduce any man. Eva does a great job where she is shines with her pure sexiness and beauty. (8/10)

 ava

Powers Boothe: Senator Roark who runs the city he never loses and if you try to beat him you will end up paying for it. He also appears in the Nancy storyline as a man out for revenge after what happened to his son in the first film. Powers does a good job and makes for a good villain through the film. (7/10)

 senator

Support Cast: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has many supporting characters in with each turning up in different stories, many we have met before but the new ones usually just become disposable.

 

Director Review: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez – I feel they kept the atmosphere the source material created but I do feel the story telling took a step back. (6/10)

 

Crime: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For creates a crime riddled world where we will see crime around every corner. (9/10)

Thriller: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For doesn’t keep you fully interested like the first film did. (5/10)

Settings: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For creates a brilliant setting with its world of crime. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For uses the brilliant effects with the technology used for filming. (10/10)

Suggestion: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is one to try, I feel the fans of the original will not like this as much as the first one and I feel the casual fans will not enjoy this because of the confusion of the prequel, sequel idea. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Dwight’s story

Worst Part: Nancy’s story is way too short.

Action Scene Of The Film: Marv and Dwight attack Ava Lord’s house.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It might but struggled in the Box office

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $39 Million

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: There is no justice without sin.

 

Overall: Typical Sequel, uses the same characters but not the same level

Rating 60

Killshot (2008)

logoDirector: John Madden

Writer: Hossein Amini (Screenplay) Elmore Leonard (Novel)

Starring: Thomas Jane, Diane Lane, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Hal Holbrook

 

Plot: When psychopathic criminal Richie Nix (Gordon-Levitt) tries to rob a real estate agency his plan goes wrong. Working with ageing hit man Armand ‘Blackbird’ (Rourke) they have to clean up loose ends. Wayne (Jane), Carmen (Lane) Colson a divorcing couple get taken into Federal Witness Protection program, but the killers won’t stop until they finish tying up all the loose ends.

 

Verdict: A good crime thriller

Story: With crime based films you need to have a villainous character that you will remember as it will be what they do to drive the good guys. Having the breaking relationship between the married couple adds interests to the story. While the weird older brother relationship between Richie and Blackbird all this adds up to make a thriller where you just don’t know what will happen next. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Thomas Jane – Wayne down on his luck with job hunting and his marriage has to fight back to save his wife. Good performance but really doesn’t get enough action for what he is capable off. (6/10)

 jane

Actor Review: Diane Lane – Carmen real estate worker and recently separated lady who becomes a target after seeing Blackbird’s face. Good woman in distress performance. (7/10)

lane

Actor Review: Mickey Rourke – Blackbird a quiet hit man for a mob but just wants to escape the business. Take the young man under his wing to try and teach him how to improve. Good leading performance that seems to get overlooked. (8/10)

 rourke

Actor Review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Richie Nix the psychopathic killer criminal who seems to get pleasure out of committing his crimes. Good performance that really shines and improves the image of the character Blackbird. (9/10)

 nix

Director Review: John Madden – Good direction from the Oscar nominated director. (8/10)

 

Crime: Good crime throughout and giving us the ability to not know what will happen during the crimes. (8/10)

Thriller: Thrilling throughout. (8/10)

Believability: Hit men would go to extremes to cover up their tracks. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: no (0/10)

Settings: A few good setting but not many that are important to the story. (7/10)

Suggestion: I think crime fans will enjoy this but not many casual film fans will. (Try It)

 

Best Part: A sudden death

Worst Part: Bit slow

Action Scene Of The Film: The real estate robbery.

Kill Of The Film: Richie Nix

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: A smart slow moving thriller

Rating 70