ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – H – Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012)

Director: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Aaron Helbing, Todd Helbing (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Green, Anna Popplewell, Enisha Brewster, Ayelet Zurer, Masam Holden, Mike Dopud

 

Plot: UNSC Cadet Thomas Lasky must conquer his inner fears and join forces with super-soldier John-117 to take down a massive faction of the Covenant.


Tagline – The story of Halo begins at dawn.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Bad

 

Story: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn starts with one of the UNSC cadets Thomas Lasky (Green) following in his brothers footsteps in training to become a Soldier in the war. He doesn’t follow the rules which has left him getting questioned by his team and captain April Orenski (Brewster).

Thomas must battle his own personal problems before being sent into the field because his tactical knowledge has shown his potential, but the war isn’t everything they thought it would be.

 

Thoughts on Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

 

Characters – Thomas Lasky has had added pressure put on him after his brother fought in the war. He is rebellious in his actions often lead his unit into trouble, but his skill is there for all to see. We do have other cadets who just blend into each other too easily.

PerformancesThe performances are not strong here, the actors feel like they are playing too young of characters which shows in their weaker performances. Most of the performances feel like they are starring in a school level production.

StoryI will start this by saying I do feel you will ned to have played the games to have any idea just what the hell is going on because this does feel like a basic training to go into war against enemies they are not prepared to do battle against. This takes so long to get going with the escape being the only redeemable part of the movie.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action does feel like a mostly parody of most that you have seen, the adventure isn’t the best either while the sci-fi side of film feels just like the beginning.

SettingsThe settings could be any training location, nothing about what we see makes us feel like we are on a different planet.

Special EffectsThe effects are not used very often and don’t seem to look very effective once we get into the bigger battle


Scene of the Movie –
The Master Chief looks cool.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing seems to happen.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the game you might get something out of this film, but if you haven’t you will just find yourself being bored.

 

Overall: Bland and boring.

Rating

 

 

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2047: Virtual Revolution (2017)

Director: Guy-Roger Duvert

Writer: Guy-Roger Duvert (Screenplay)

Starring: Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, Jochen Hagele, Maximilien Poullein, Kaya Blocksage

 

Plot: Paris 2047. Most of the population spend all their time online, connected into virtual worlds, and don’t care anymore about reality. A shadow agent, Nash, working for one of the multinational companies behind these virtual worlds, is tracking down terrorists who threaten the system…


Tagline – The revolution did happen… Just not the way they thought it would.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Addition to the Sci-Fi World

 

Story: 2047: Virtual Revolution starts as we enter the world where people lock themselves inside to enter virtual reality worlds in the near future, 2047. When someone starts performing terrorist actions inside the game, Nash (Dopud) a shadow agent is hired by the company reporting to Dina (Badler) on his findings to do about the crimes.

To learn who is behind this terrorist attack inside the game Nash takes over an avatar of one of the terrorists and infiltrates the cell online, but not everything is completely what it seems.

 

Thoughts on 2047: Virtual Revolution

 

Characters – Nash is an off the grid shadow agent, he gets hired to find a terrorist that is killing people inside a virtual reality world, he uses his contacts to get the job done as he is one of the few people that doesn’t spend his whole time logged into the virtual reality world. Dina is the owner of a cooperation that is seeing her customers murdered, she hires Nash to find the people behind it. Stilson is part of the Interpol unit that is searching for answers too, looking at both the companies and the terrorists.

PerformancesMike Dopud in the leading role is good, he has the grittiness for his character of the detective that finds himself in the middle of a bigger battle. The rest of the cast are good and fit their characters well through the film.

StoryThe story takes into a world where people hide from reality in a virtual world everyday all the time. When a movement wants to end this a Shadow Agent must work his way through all the different parties to figure out who is doing the right thing for the world, for what he wants from the world and work out who the terrorists really are. This story does keep you guessing by having plenty of different twists in the story, different sides to the story and puts us into a future which could be a reality for some. We need to have a story that keeps us guessing here otherwise we will find ourselves feeling empty and the way this all unfolds does feel like something we have seen before, but does have enough twists to make it original too.

Action/Crime/Sci-FiThe action is steady, we have a mix of fights in both the real world and the virtual world with the second offer bigger chances to fight. There is a crime conspiracy going on and we must figure out who is the one that is guilty, the future world helps with the sci-fi concepts with the bleak world we enter and the virtual world we enter.

SettingsThe settings show both the bleak future world, mostly in backdrops though and the virtual world only seems to be a swords and armour battle location.

Special EffectsThe effects are limited for a world that could be all about the effects, this doesn’t mean they are bad just not needed to tell this world.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While this gets away without using effects, it could have had a couple to help show the bleakness of the modern world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart idea for a sci-fi film, it keeps you guessing from start to finish, it takes us into a modern world that works well with strong performances.

 

Overall: Good sci-fi movie that deserves attention.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Altitude (2010)

altitudeDirector: Kaare Andrews

Writer: Paul A Birkett (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Lowndes, Julianna Guill, Ryan Donowho, Landon Liboiron, Jake Weary, Mike Dopud

 

Plot: After a mysterious malfunction sends their small plane climbing out of control, a rookie pilot and her four teenage friends find themselves trapped in a deadly showdown with a supernatural force.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror in the Sky

 

Story: Altitude starts when Sara (Lowndes) looks to put her demons of losing her mother as a pilot to rest as she aims to become a pilot herself, one of her first solo flights involves taking her friends Mel (Guill), Cory (Donowho), Bruce (Liboiron) and Sal (Weary) across country. We get the usual problems between the friends with Sara and her boyfriend Bruce going their separate ways after school, while Sal is being the traditional asshole of a horror film.

During the flight a routine procedure leads to the plane getting stuck in the middle of a storm where they have to make difficult decisions as they could be overloaded. To make matters worse Sal believes he might have seen it something in the storm but the truths of their friendships really come to surface as they have to survive against an unknown beast of the sky.

Altitude is a horror film that puts all of the fear in the sky, where there is no escape from the horrors. We do get the generic storylines around the characters fighting between themselves. We don’t see the creature chasing them through the storm, but the highlight of this film is in the final act where the film really shines. In the end this is just a solid good horror film that is a good watch.

 

Actor Review

 

Jessica Lowndes: Sara is our rookie pilot who is following in her mother’s footsteps who died when she was young. She is taking her friends across country before they have to move on with their lives. She has to deal with all of the plane problems alone but only being a trainee she also keeps everything calm. Jessica is good in this role where she is in control.

Julianna Guill: Mel is one of the friends on the plane, her boyfriend is Sal but really she is in love with Cory, she wants to document everything going on during this adventure. Julianna does a solid job but almost gets forgotten during the film.

Ryan Donowho: Cory is one of the members on the plane, he is braver than the rest and in love with Mel, when the problems start happening he risks his life to save the rest. Ryan does a good job for his limited time in the film.

Landon Liboiron: Bruce is Sara’s boyfriend but he has a secret as he was there in the plane when her mother died, he has fallen in love with Sara but never told her the truth about what really happened and never wants to leave her. Landon does a solid job in this role but doesn’t get to levels you would like it to be.

Jake Weary: Sal is the asshole on the plane, he pushes everyone’s buttons the wrong way. He is the one character you take an instant hate towards as he slowly starts to look after himself with what is going on. Jake is good in this performance because his character puts everything in danger and it is always hard to make you hate a character.

Support Cast: Altitude only really has a supporting cast that appears in the flashbacks as we see what happened to Sara and Bruce in the past.

Director Review: Kaare AndrewsKaare gives us a film that keeps us guessing from start to finish while offering a horror in the air working on so many levels.

 

Horror: Altitude puts the horror in the air with nowhere to run which is great for the genre.

Mystery: Altitude does leave us in a mystery as we don’t know what is happening through the storm.

Sci-Fi: Altitude gives us a sci-fi twist in the final act of the film.

Thriller: Altitude does keep you guessing to what is going on bringing us to the edge of our seats.

Settings: Altitude keeps all of the action on the small plane in the storm giving our characters nowhere to go for help.
Special Effects
: Altitude doesn’t have the best effects but they are on a consistent level throughout.

Suggestion: Altitude is one for the horror fans to try, you may enjoy this by the end. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final Twist.

Worst Part: Special effects.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: Fear Is in the Air.

 

Overall: Horror in the skies that makes you check every window next time you fly

Ratingcard

The Package (2013)

logoDirector: Jesse V. Johnson

Writer: Derek Kolstad (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Keenleyside, Mike Dopud, john Novak, Kristen Kerr

 

Plot: Tommy Wick (Austin) a courier for a mobster Big Doug (Keenleyside) gets an offer that will wipe his brother’s slate clean. Tommy has to deliver one more package to The German (Lundgren), seems like an easy job. Things start to go wrong as gangsters are trying to kill The German as well as other trying to hunt down the package.

 

The Package

The Package

Verdict: Steve Austin kicks ass in this simple action film

Story: A brother working off another brother’s debt is always the easy way into the mobsters and gangsters action film stories. This pays the simple entrance fee and gives a good but routine storyline and how one man can overcome odds to win any fight and escape any situation. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Steve Austin – Tommy out to work of a debt with a strong fighting background. Steve continues in his low budget action films where he leads, takes no prisoners and kick ass. It is about time Austin got the step up to main stream action. Action Star Award, Kick Ass Award (8/10)

 austin

Actor Review: Dolph Lundgren – The German who is dying and expecting a package. Over the top with how he acts around hostages and has a darker side with a hidden agenda. Lundgren is great but doesn’t get enough screen time which is a little bit disappointing as he is one of the most interesting characters in the film. (8/10)

doplh

Director Review: Jesse v. Johnson – Good direction throughout but doesn’t create a high level of suspense before a battle. (7/10)

 

Action: Some good fights and shoot outs. (8/10)

Thriller: Lacks the thrills this type of film could have had in them. (4/10)

Believability: Gangsters after each other just how far they go is what is left to you to make the decision. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Some good small town settings but mainly only closed off areas for fight scenes. (7/10)

 

Suggestion: This is a good action film which action junkies will enjoy but the film doesn’t offer enough for the non-action fans or the casual film fan which bigger productions like Die Hard have in the past. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The shootout in the grocery store.

Worst Part: No build up in the fights.

Action Scene of the Film: The cross roads leading into the grocery store fight/shootout.

Kill Of The Film: Anthony (Michael Daingerfield)

Funniest Scene: The German’s Mango talk

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: it could have a sequel but I don’t it will have one.

Similar Too: Hunt To Kill, Steve Seagal Films.

 

Overall: Good action film but never reaches its potential

 

Rating 71

White Noise (2005)

logoDirector: Geoffrey Sax

Writer: Niall Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Chandra West, Deborah Kara Unger, Ian McNeice, Sarah Strange, Nicholas Elia, Mike Dopud, Marsha Regis

 

Plot: Jonathan Rivers (Keaton) believes he is having a great day when he finds out his wife Anna (West) is pregnant. His day takes a dramatic turn for the worse when his wife doesn’t return home, before long it turns into a missing person report before later her body is found. After a surprise visit from Raymond Price (McNeice) who claims he can communicate with Jonathan’s dead wife from beyond the grave. Months past and before long Jonathan starts getting communications of his own which leads him down the path of learning about EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) before this obsession starts to take over his life.

 

The warning signs are all around us

The warning signs are all around us

Verdict: Supernatural tale of going too far into the darkness

Story: Using elements of multiply ideas in story telling this uses the ideas of obsession and supernatural to create a story that will keep you guessing as well as leave you wondering. It also uses the idea that after losing a loved one you will try anything to get one more conversation with them, but shows that entering the world of the supernatural could have consequences you don’t know how to handle. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Michael Keaton – Jonathan who enters a world of obsession that leads him to go too far into the afterlife world. Good performance but sometimes as admitted by himself mails in the performance but with his talent you can see he didn’t need to be at 100% to give a solid enough performance. (8/10)

 keaton

Actor Review: Chandra West – Wife of Jonathan who dies early on and only scenes are bleak recordings on the EVPs. Doesn’t have enough time to work with so we don’t get to see the full potential of the character. (6/10)

Actor Review: Deborah Kara Unger – Sarah who has also lost a loved one and found a way to comminute with them from beyond the grave and starts working with Jonathan to find some answers. Good supporting role offering enough support to guide Jonathan as well as question how far he is getting into trouble. (9/10)

 unger

Actor Review: Ian McNeice – Richard who provides the information for Jonathan to learn about EVPs. Good supporting role gives enough detail to help the main character but that is all he offers. Not enough screen time to shine. (7/10)

 richard

Director Review: Geoffrey Sax – Creates a very nice horror with enough to make it feel like a real story without taking away too much of the horror side of the story. (8/10)

 

Drama: Instead of over the top horror jumps we get simple build up in this investigation like horror and the drama is shown in how the characters have dealt with the loses of loved ones. (8/10)

Horror: Simple jump scares but the real horror lies in the communication with the dead. (8/10)

Thriller: Some nice suspense that lead to small jumps but when you think you need to build more you gets a jump to early. (6/10)

Special Effects: They start well but the final act comes off a bit messy. (7/10)

Believability: The whole EVP technology is used to try and prove a lot in real life so certain elements of this film could be believable. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: Some dark areas but not many scenes that fit the usual horror locations. The fitting side of the locations come with how they fit drama of losing someone very home based locations and showing how people want to be alone while they grieve. (7/10)

Suggestion: It has been a few years since I watched this first time and going back and watching for a second time I can see how well made the idea is. I would be suggest this to horror fans who like a good story as well as fans of potential real life phenomenon. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Even though I found the effects a bit messy I did like the final act.

Worst Part: Some people will find the scares not very impressive.

Scare Of The Film: Computer screen banging.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel.

 

Overall: Very good horror thriller which focus on simple scares over anything too over the top.

 

Rating 80