Alan Tudyk Weekend – Tell (2014)

Director: J.M.R. Luna

Writer: Timothy Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Katee Sackhoff, Jason Lee, Robert Patrick, Alan Tudyk, John Michael Higgins, Faizon Love

 

Plot: Ethan Tell is a small time crook who makes a big-time score when he steals 1 million dollars. Ironically, his life radically changes for the worse when he discovers that stealing the money was the easy part and he now must keep his partner, his wife, his parole officer, and two corrupt detectives from stealing it from him.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Con-man Playbook Passed

 

Story: Tell starts as a robbery Tell (Ventimiglia) is trying to get out off organised by Ray (Lee) his wife’s Beverly (Sackhoff) brother goes wrong, with Tell locked up for three years, with two cops Ashton (Patrick) and Morton (Tudyk) trying to get their hands on the money along with the parole officer Dwight (Love) as Tell is released from prison.

Out of prison Tell tries to get on with his life, but soon the familiar faces return to his life, Ashton, Morton, Beverly and Ray as he needs to stay one step ahead of them as he looks to collect the money before it is gone for good.

 

Thoughts on Tell

 

Characters – Tell is your standard crook, he always talks about having a normal life, but wants to steal his way to it. He isn’t likeable in anyway and even after getting shot and serving time in prison he still needs to stay ahead of the people that want the money he is meant to have taken. Beverly is the ex-wife of Tell that remarried when he was locked up to help raise their child, she wants to money because she dreams of the life of luxury. Ray is the partner in crime and brother to Beverly, he is left for dead at the crime scene and now has returned for the money, he feels like a loose cannon with crazy ideas. Ashton and Morton are the two cops that are hounding Tell for the money from the robbery.

PerformancesThe performances are mixed because of allowed screen time. Milo doesn’t give us a likeable character and feels like he is cruising through the film for the most part, Katee Sackhoff is solid enough as the wife figure, always after the money, for me it was Jason Lee who shines the best in this film as we just never know what he is going to do next. Patrick and Tudyk both seem to enjoy playing the crooked cops which is good to see.

StoryThe story follows a crook that is trying to collect the money from his previous heist though he has people from the heist, cops and an ex-wife that also want the money. This story follows the heist gone wrong paths well and the whole released from prison people will want what was never recovered, while never addressing the bigger issue, that Tell wants to live a normal life after his time in prison. This isn’t the most engaging story, be it the generic characters, by the books story or overly slow pacing.

Action/CrimeThe action we see in the film is a couple of shoot outs mixed with the punch or strike to get someone’s attention, the crime side of the film shows how the characters are mixed up in a world they shouldn’t be involved in.

SettingsThe film never uses the settings enough to make us understand where we are and even the backgrounds of the characters involved.


Scene of the Movie –
What happens after the opening sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It offers nothing new to the genre of the heist movies.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard by the book heist film, it checks the boxes without being anything you will remember enough to suggest this to heist fans.

 

Overall: Heist movie that falls slightly flat.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Static (2012)

staticDirector: Todd Levin

Writer: Gabriel Cowan, Todd Levin, John Suits (Screenplay) Gabriel Cowan, Andrew Orci, John Suits (Story)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, William Mapother, Sara Paxton, Dominic Bogart, Oz Kalvan, Luke Barnett, Oz Kalvan

 

Plot: A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their life together further complicated by a mysterious visitor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burning Final Twist Saving Film

 

Story: Static starts as we meet author Jonathan Dade (Ventimiglia) and his wife Addie (Shahi) who are grieving the loss of their son in their own way. Trying to work on their relationship they get interrupted by stranger Rachel (Paxton) who claims to be followed by some masked men.

Questioning her story only builds the tension between the couple until the lights go out and the intruders set their sights on getting into the house to take Jonathan and Addie too. Can they survive the night and what is the motives behind this invasion?

 

Thoughts on Static

 

StoryStatic goes down the home invasion angle for the story telling which is always going to be hard to top the big ones out there like The Strangers, The Purge or even Panic Room. This film clearly doesn’t reach these levels as it focuses on other trauma side to a couple’s relationship but I will say is saved by the final twist I didn’t see coming.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror in this story comes from the idea behind everything the unknown home invasion which works in parts but when it comes to the horror rules they all get broken with bad decision making. The mystery comes from just not knowing what is going on and why first Rachel and then the couple have been targeted. The thrilling side of this story comes from the attempts to make us uneasy about what could happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters put into this situation are generic ones as we see the grieving couple trying to make things work out which means this night could re-build their relationship while the intruders just come off very outsiderish which does help make us feel uneasy whenever they come onto the screen. The Rachel character does feel slightly out of place because why wouldn’t the couple know their neighbours. When it comes to the acting well this isn’t the highlight of the film and I am a fan of all the four leading actors (Mapother is barely even in the film) in this film but there just seems to be zero chemistry between the couple. Each character does make sense by the end of the film though.

SettingsThe film takes place in nearly the whole time in and around the house which makes it all feel isolated because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and adding in the darkness builds the atmosphere needed.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to special effects we don’t have or need many but the few we get all come off well enough for the final story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a home invasion film that has everything nicely put together for a good feel but due to poor acting and chemistry it just doesn’t come together to the level it should do. The twist on what the intruders want seem like it is waiting to happen from early on but ends up giving us a twist I didn’t see coming.

 

Overall: Saved by the final twist because getting there is very slow.

Ratingcard

 

 

Rocky Week – Rocky Balboa (2006)

balboaDirector: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Antonio Tarver, Geraldine Hughes, Milo Ventimiglia, Tony Burton, A.J. Benza

 

Plot: Thirty years after the ring of the first bell, Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement and dons his gloves for his final fight; against the reigning heavyweight champ Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Chapter in Saga

 

Story: Rocky Balboa starts with Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Tarver) with yet another title defence but the fans are bored of him fighting easy opponents and are calling for a real challenger. We meet an older Rocky (Stallone) still in the neighbourhood with Paulie (Young) but now Adrian has died. Rocky still struggles to build his relationship with his son Robert (Ventimiglia) who is all grown up working in business.

When a sports channel runs a simulator to see who would win in a fight between Rocky and Dixon it gets the world talking about a potential showdown between the two. When the talk turns into a reality Rocky comes out of retirement to face Dixon in an exhibition match for one time only.

Rocky Balboa is a touching tribute to the original Rocky, we get to see Rocky back to where he is vulnerable without Adrian. We do get the old story of underdog versus the champion which works for this film, I do think a lot of people didn’t enjoy this movie because it is slow moving but I do think this really works well for where the story needs to go. It is nice seeing how an aging sports star is struggling with fulfilment in his life in his older years. Sure it isn’t the most original but it is all well worth the watch after the originals.

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: Rocky is now retired; he owns a restaurant with Paulie but misses Adrian every day after her death. He continues to look after the neighbourhood with Marie being the latest person to helps. Rocky still has desire to compete in the ring even if it is only at low level but he gets put into an exhibition match against the champion. Sylvester does a good job in this role which reflexes his acting career to his iconic character.rocky

Antonio Tarver: Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon is the champion the fans all hate as they don’t believe he has ever beaten anyone of any merit. He ends up having to face Rocky in a no win fight to prove he can beat a true competitor. Antonio is good as the rival fighter but isn’t to the levels of the previous ones.

Geraldine Hughes: Marie is a local lady that Rocky once helped when she was young, Rocky looks to her to support her. She pushes Rocky to believe in his dreams of returning to the ring. Geraldine is a good addition to the cast which helps bring out the human side of Rocky.

Milo Ventimiglia: Robert Balboa Jr is Rocky’s son who has moved into business world he seems very distant from Rocky always avoiding him but when his father returns to the ring he ends up standing next to him in the fight. Milo is good but doesn’t get enough character building.

Support Cast: Rocky Balboa has the basic supporting cast we have all got to know from a Rocky film.

Director Review: Sylvester StalloneSylvester does well directing this, his story of his character on his journey at the next level.

 

Sports: Rocky Balboa is a film showing how difficult it is to get on with life after sports fame along with being the champ when the fans are against you.

Settings: Rocky Balboa uses the same setting from previous outings.

Suggestion: Rocky Balboa is one for the fans to watch to complete the series. (Franchise Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Aging sports star struggling is a good story to watch.

Worst Part: Slow moving.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one in Creed

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $24 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: 30 years ago, “Rocky” became the Academy-award winning movie of 1976. Now, Rocky’s back in the 21st Century.

 

Overall: Solid conclusion to the in ring outing for Rocky

Ratingcard