ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – V – The Doors (1991)

The Doors is under V because of Val Kilmer.

Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: Randall Jahnson, Oliver Stone (Screenplay)

Starring: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Kevin Dillon, Michael Wincott, Michael Madsen

 

Plot: The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.


Tagline – “There are things known and things unknown and in between are The Doors.” — Jim Morrison

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Proof of Wasted Potential

 

Story: The Doors starts when UCLA film student Jim Morrison (Kilmer) walks out of clash to follow the music and lyrics coming from his head, from his drug induced sessions, joined by Ray Manzarek (MacLachlan), Robby Krieger (Whaley) and John Densmore (Dillon) take their alternative music to the stage, making huge waves in the late 1960s.

After The Doors become an international sensation Jim starts to dive further down the hole of drugs and sex addiction which makes him even more reckless and an even bigger icon of the industry.

 

Thoughts on The Doors

 

Characters – Jim Morrison is the leader singer of the Doors, he spends most of his time high on drugs which helps him create the lyrics that made the band famous, he sleeps with every woman that shows his interest even when he tries to tell his girlfriend he is loyal, this might well be based on a man that could create amazing lyrics, his personal life makes him out to be a horrible person, that nobody should ever look to for inspiration. Pamela is the muse that first started to fall in love with Jim before he became a big star, she tries to stay on his side, even if she is tired of his cheating, she constantly falls for his lies which only makes her feel small in the world. we do meet the rest of the band, we see how some wanted to help improve the band, while others just wanted to live the same life as Jim.

PerformancesVal Kilmer is the star of the show, he commits to this wild character, showing u just how extreme he was, how much a problem he could have been to himself. Meg Ryan was great to see because it is a role you wouldn’t usually expect to see the clean-cut star take on. The rest of the cast are good enough without getting their chance to shine like you would expect them too.

StoryThe story follows the life of Jim Morrison from the time he was a student to his death after become a controversial music icon with his hippie mindset which only encouraged people to act against the normal causing a change in the mentality of the younger generation. This film doesn’t make Jim Morrison to be a nice person, it shows that he had the potential to be one of the biggest names in music, but his personal action only dragged him down to a new level showing just how drugs can take over life ruining the biggest parts of his life. This film mostly shows the downfall of his career over the best part of the man’s life which could have been somebody who could have changed music forever, instead of a short while.

Biopic/MusicThis is a biopic that mostly just shows the destructive side of Jim Morrison, not getting enough attention on the good he might have given the world.

SettingsThe film does use the 1960s settings to show us just how the musician grew up the ranks of the industry showing how the party continued to get bigger with the additional fame.


Scene of the Movie –
First song creation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Shows how much potential was wasted on drugs.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that could have put a bigger light on one of the best musical minds of a generation only for it to show just how much time was spent just getting high.

 

Overall: Career wasted, the downfall.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – W – World Trade Center (2006)

Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: Andrew Berloff (Screenplay) John McLoughlin, Donna LcLoughlin, William Jimeno, Allison Jimeno (True Story)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, Jay Hernandez, Jon Bernthal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: Two Port Authority police officers become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center.


Tagline – A True Story Of Courage And Survival

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: World Trade Center starts like every other day for police officers John McLoughlin (Cage) who sets the assignments for his department which include Will Jimeno (Pena) and Dominick Pezzulo (Hernandez). Today is going to change their lives, today is September 11th the day the World Trade Centers Twin Twos get hit by the planes, while being part of the rescue team the crew find themselves trapped.

When the dust settles Will and John are the only ones still alive with their loved ones Donna McLoughlin (Bello) and Allison Jimeno (Gyllenhaal) waiting to hear if they were in the towers when they went down. The two must support each other in hope that they would get rescued as New York and America comes together to rescue their own.

 

Thoughts on World Trade Center

 

Characters – All the characters in this film are based on real people, we have real victims from 9/11 being portrayed. John McLoughlin is the experience police officer that leads his men into the Twin Towers in a rescue attempt, he is a father of four which is one of his greatest motivations to survive once he becomes trapped in the rubble. Will Jimeno is the fellow officer that becomes trapped with John, he is a parent too with a second on the way, he is injured but uses the company of John to stay awake. We do have the wives and loved ones and fellow officers that helped in the rescues to being portrayed here showing the heroes involved on those days.

PerformancesNicolas Cage shows in this role that he still was a brilliant performer along with Michael Pena stepped to a leading role. We have fantastic performances from the whole cast if we are being honest.

StoryThe events of this day shocked the world like no other events, the stories of the survivors being found was a race for hope for anyone who might have had someone in the towers. We do focus on just two officers that became trapped as they fought to survive while waiting for rescue. Watching how the rescuers worked to save people trapped, the family waiting helplessly for news on their families, add this together and you get a powerful drama that showed the heroics during that tragic event.

History/ThrillerThe events of this movie are one of the most if not the most famous terrorist attack in modern history, seeing how the two officers just had to rely on hope to survive shows us just how the country was bought together to find a people which does make this edge of your seat waiting to see if they make it or not.

SettingsJohn and Will are trapped for the most part of this movie, it shows how hopeless the situation looked for the men, outside we see the aftermath of the attack.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the movie are fantastic to show the horror of the moment the towers came crashing down on the people inside to the surviving in the rumble and re-creation of the devastation.


Scene of the Movie –
For the visual the collapse is shocking to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is still hard to watch because of the shock of the event.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful drama that shows how the city came together during the time of need.

 

Overall: This is a must watch but it is hard to re-live those moments.

Rating

 

 

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: John Logan, Oliver Stone (Screenplay) Daniel Pyne, John Logan (Story)

Starring: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jams Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine

 

Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the life-and-death struggles of modern-day gladiators and those who lead them.


Tagline – that women would eat her own children

Runtime: 2 Hours 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Football Movie

 

Story: Any Given Sunday starts as we follow a Miami franchise American Football team going through a losing streak, coach Tony D’Amato (Pacino) is now considered old school and after losing his star quarterback Jack ‘Cap’ Rooney (Quaid) to injury he is facing the pressure coming from the owner Christina Pagniacci (Diaz).

Turning to his third-choice quarterback Willie Beamen (Foxx) who struggles at first but soon becomes an overnight sensation as he changes his mind set when it comes to the fame. With the team’s form turned around, Tony is left with the difficult decision as the play-offs approach on whether to have his leader Rooney or the loose cannon Willie, along with the rest of the difficult decisions that goes around being a coach.

 

Thoughts on Any Given Sunday

 

Characters – Tony D’Amato is the coach of the Miami Sharks, he has been for years and has won plenty of trophies, now he is being tested and questioned about his ability as the game continues to evolve. He is given difficult decisions like any coach to make it through the season, the one which could be his last. Christina Pagniacci is the owner of the club, she has gained power after her father’s death and is determined to make her team great again, she is ruthless in business and challenges Tony unlike her father did. Jack Rooney is the legendary quarterback of the team, he does get injured which leaves him questioning his own decision to stay in the game. Dr Mandrake has been keeping injuries quiet from Tony putting the players heath and even lives at risk. Willie becomes the overnight sensation as the replacement quarterback, he starts as the hard working nervous player but thrown into the limelight he thinks he is the real deal turning his back on his loved ones not being able to handle the fame. Julian is a known mercenary player, he will work for the money but not harder than he needs to. We have such a big cast, we can’t go into all of them though, the characters all fit into the American Football world.

PerformancesAl Pacino was already an Oscar winner here so we know he is one of the best in the business, here he shows us why as he is brilliant in the desperate aging coach role. Cameron Diaz shows us all that she is a talent actress in this role where she gives us a dominate performance as the owner. Dennis Quaid is good in his role as the aging star. James Woods plays the role you could imagine him playing in this film style. Foxx makes for a great egotistical player that struggles to handle the fame. The whole cast looks like the person they are aiming to play in the film.

StoryThe story follows a fictional American Football team as they are aiming for the play-offs to regain the status as one of the elite teams in the league. We have the small details about what has been going on in the club, the coach questioning where he stands in the game, the new owner desperate to become a powerhouse in the game, the cocky player the aging veteran and even the medical question marks about what has been putting players lives in danger. This is a unique way of telling the story, it is one man changing the team, but instead we see how the team must come together to become legends in their own right.

SportsThe American Football sequences are the heart and soul of the action in the film, they are as brutal as the game is led to believe to be.

SettingsThe film takes us around the high life of the American Football scene, seeing how they go from quiet moments and the wild parties.


Scene of the Movie –
Pre-Game Speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many cuts.

Final ThoughtsIf you want to see how American Football world operates, this could easily be one of the most important version of the world.

 

Overall: A Must watch American Football Movie.

Rating

 

 

Joseph Gordon Levitt Weekend – Snowden (2016)

snowdenDirector: Oliver Stone

Writer: Kieran Fitzgerald, Oliver Stone (Screenplay) Anatoly Kucherena, Luke Harding (Book)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nicholas Cage, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Shailene Woodley, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Olyphant, Scott Eastwood, Rhys Ifrans

 

Plot: The NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency’s employees, Edward Snowden, in the form of thousands of classified documents distributed to the press.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important but Slow True Story

 

Story: Snowden starts as we follow documentary film maker Laura Poitras (Leo) and journalist Glenn Greenwald (Quinto) meet Edward Snowden (Gordon-Levitt) who is a private contractor for the NSA giving his interview to why he did what he did.

The story begins back when Snowden was training to be a soldier only to be discharged on medical grounds and entering a career into the CIA. We see how Snowden meet his love Lindsay (Woodley) but on the other side of this life he gets to see how the minds of different people inside the CIA work leaving him questioning each decision within before he went onto exposing all the secrets from around the world.

Snowden is the story of one of the biggest whistle-blowers in American history, he gave up his whole life to show the secrets of America and other intelligence communities. This is an important part of history we haven’t fully seen the effects of yet which makes this film almost feel too early. The film moves at a steady pace but can get complicated when certain technological talk going on.

Joseph gives his ever-reliable performance as Snowden without ever looking out of place in the role. When it comes to the reporters exposing the story they all come off great without shining or coming off badly. The rest of the government characters all work well too. The truth is no one lets the film down on performances it is another film that can get caught up on tech talk.

 

Overall: This is an interesting look at how one of the biggest leaks in intelligence history happened.

Rating

 card

 

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

logoDirector: John Milius

Writer: John Milius, Oliver Stone (Screenplay) Robert E Howard (Characters)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman, Ben Davidson, Cassandra Gava, Gerry Lopez, Mako

 

Plot: A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his tribe and his parents whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his warriors when he was a boy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Adventure

 

Story: Conan the Barbarian starts with the message ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. We start by meeting a young Conan being told the stories about the Gods and man’s battles and how the secret of steel. We see the soldiers lead by Thulsa Doom (Jones) destroy young Conan’s village killing everyone leaving Conan the only survivor. The children are all forced into slavery and it is here where Conan (Schwarzenegger) becomes a man.

Conan is used in fights due to his considerable size and strength where he gets trained in the art of combat where he stays loyal to his steel respect. When Conan gets set free of his slavery demands he starts his own quest to avenge his parent’s death. Along the way Conan meets a string of characters that help and hinder his journey but most off all test him. Conan befriends himself with Valeria (Bergman) and Subotia (Lopez) where they start to become the most notorious thieves in the land. The reputation growing the group gets given a quest by King Osric (Von Sydow) to retrieve his daughter from the Thulsa Doom for as much as they can carry.

Conan the Barbarian really does fill the tick boxes needed for a good adventure film, we get the unlikely friendships out to stop an evil leader. We get the idea of a cult like leader which makes his army deadly because they will die to protect him, we also end up going through the whole slave to a king storyline around Conan. The story is easy to follow because everything just unfolds and the narration keeps everything that would be difficult to film informing us the important information. This is what you would expect it to be easy to watch action film so just enjoy. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Conan is the slave who gets his freedom where he becomes a thief before entering on a quest that will end up putting him on a path for revenge against the man who killed his parents. Arnold continues to show why he continued to reach the next levels in the acting world with this role. (7/10)

 

James Earl Jones: Thulsa Doom is the leader who killed Conan’s parents before putting him into slavery, he leads an army that’s only desire is to die fighting for him but little does he know what type of man Conan has turned into. James does a good job in the role showing his talents shining through in the villainous role. (7/10)

 

Sandahl Bergman: Valeria is a fellow thief that becomes a love interest of Conan as they both get the chance to collect their biggest pay day as he goes for revenge. Sandahl does give a solid performance as the warrior like fellow fighter. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Conan the Barbarian has a large supporting cast that fight both for and against Conan which gives us the sidekick characters needed to make Conan stay on the serious side of the film.

 

Director Review: John Milius – John does a good directing an enjoyable action adventure film. (7/10)

 

Action: Conan the Barbarian is filled with combat scenes that keep becoming large and more important as the film unfolds. (8/10)

Adventure: Conan the Barbarian puts our characters on a quest that will take them across the land to fight against the enemies. (8/10)

Fantasy: Conan the Barbarian puts us into a fantasy world with certain beliefs from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: Conan the Barbarian puts us into a world that we believe we are inside the world. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Conan the Barbarian has solid effects but it would be fair to say they have dated now. (5/10)

Suggestion: Conan the Barbarian is one to try, I personally felt it was a little bit too long but otherwise it is all fun. (Try it)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel and a remake

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won a Golden Globe for New Star in Motion Picture.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $37.5 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

Tagline: He conquered an empire with his sword. She conquered HIM with her bare hands.

Trivia: James Earl Jones was a last minute addition to the cast because of his commitments on Broadway. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger became friends on-set; Schwarzenegger helped Jones stay in shape and Jones coached Schwarzenegger on acting; so did Max von Sydow.

 

Overall: Conan is an enjoyable adventure that can still be enjoyed over 30 years later.

Rating 70