Paul Bettany Weekend – Firewall (2006)

firewalDirector: Richard Loncraine

Writer: Joe Forte (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Carly Schroeder, Jimmy Bennett, Mary Lynn Raskub, Robert Patrick, Alan Arkin


Plot: A security specialist is forced into robbing the bank that he’s protecting, as a bid to pay off his family’s ransom.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Solid Thriller


Story: Firewall starts as we see family man Jack (Ford), wife Beth (Madsen) and children Sarah (Schroeder) and Andy (Bennett). Jack works for a bank and prides himself on the software security. When Jack finds himself targeting first by online fraud he finds his late night meeting with Bill (Bettany) has alternative plans by taking his family hostage.

The plan is for Jack to go about his normal day while the kidnappers stay at Jack’s home to force him into helping them rob the bank. The problem comes with Jack as his bank is in the middle of a potential merger being handled by Gary (Patrick) who hasn’t taken too fondly of Jack.

While Jack tries to find a way to get his family safe he tests Bill’s patience while also trying to keep his career safe against the new take over can he make it all work out and save his family?

Firewall is a crime thriller that is a bank heist with a twist, yes we do get the idea where the bank worker has to do robbery, but what works here is the cyber side of the heist comes slightly original. The idea of having the family as bait also works but knowing the family will be killed means he has to fight back. The problem comes with a lot feelings of repetitive ideas which while solid easy to watch.


Actor Review


Harrison Ford: Jack has been working for a bank that he has helped grow from the ground up, on the verge of a merger that will have him and his partner having to make a difficult choice. With that going on Jack also finds himself being the victim of a plot to rob the bank where his family’s lives are put at risk. Harrison is good in this role but nothing we have seen it before from him.jack

Paul Bettany: Bill is the man holding Jack’s family hostage as he has carefully planned this, he comes of charming but equally as dangerous when it comes to tricks. He will kill his own men for being incompetent and will risk hurting Jack’s children to make sure he gets the money. Paul is good in this role where we get to see him take the role of British villain.bill

Virginia Madsen: Beth is the wife of Jack who has to spend the time with Bill’s men while protecting her children. Virginia is solid in this role without being too impactful.

Robert Patrick: Gary is the man planning the merger, he doesn’t like Jack after first impression which leaders to Jack having to impress him while protecting his family. Robert is good in this supporting role but I think we need a final scene with him.

Support Cast: Firewall has a supporting cast that you would expect to see in this type of film.

Director Review: Richard LoncraineRichard gives us an easy to thriller that doesn’t take enough risks.


Crime: Firewall enters us into the world of a bank heist that really shows both sides of the battle.

Thriller: Firewall keeps us one edge as we try to see how the Jack will solve the problem.

Settings: Firewall uses the settings to make everything simple for the story without making anything original.
Special Effects
: Firewall has a couple of solid effects when needed but doesn’t turn to them too often.

Suggestion: Firewall is one to try as it will tick all the basic ideas down correctly.  (Try It)


Best Part: Bill twisted message with the cookies.

Worst Part: Not much new.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Everything He loves Is About To Be Used Against Him.


Overall: Enjoyable thriller that never really tested.





Paul Bettany Weekend – Legion (2010)

legionDirector: Scott Stewart

Writer: Scott Stewart, Peter Schink (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S Dutton, Kevin Durand, Willa Holland, Kate Walsh, Dennis Quaid


Plot: When a group of strangers at a dusty roadside diner come under attack by demonic forces, their only chance for survival lies with an archangel named, Michael, who informs a pregnant waitress that their unborn child is humanity’s last hope.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Fantasy Horror


Story: Legion starts as we see Michael (Bettany) a fallen angel find himself on Earth, losing his wings he arms up for what looks like a big assault. We learn Michael has gone against orders before escaping. We move to Paradise Falls where Jeep (Black) (yes that is the name) and a pregnant Charlie (Palicki) in a small diner in the middle of nowhere.

The diner owned by Bob (Quaid) is filled with guests including family Howard (Tenney), Audrey (Holland) and Sandra (Walsh) and Kyle (Gibson) who is trying to get to court. We also have the loyal chef Percy (Dutton) making everything set with our characters to meet Michael who is there to protect Charlie.

Michael has to prepare the people in the diner for battle against something they don’t know anything about but soon turns out to be angels sent to take Charlie’s baby, we are left to see who will survive these waves of the undead lead by Gabriel (Durand).

Legion is a film that is very much based on the another look at how the world could end when a God figure decided to end his creation. Well that is what I can take from it but while the film is unfolding we get to see how the fantasy world of angels and demons came from. It feels like it could be just a fun film that is easy to watch without being overly serious. The story isn’t the most original but works well.


Actor Review


Paul Bettany: Michael is a fallen angel going against the orders of God to protect the pregnant Charlie. He is prepared for the fight and has to bring the people in the diner together to fight his fellow angels. Paul is good in this role showing he can handle an action genre well.micharl

Adrianne Palicki: Charlie is the pregnant woman working in a diner in the middle of nowhere, the father is nowhere to be seen and she us just thankful to Bob and Jeep for support. She becomes the target of the angels as the baby is the only thing that can save mankind. Adrianne is solid in this role where most of the supporting cast are very much average.

Lucas Black: Jeep is the slightly slow young man working for his father as a mechanic. He is in love with Charlie and is always trying to find a way to supporting her. This fight will give Jeep the chance to finally step up to be the man he could become. Lucas is solid in this role.

Dennis Quaid: Bob is the owner of the diner and Jeep’s father, he has no faith as we have seen his wife leave him. He will do anything to make sure his son is safe though. Dennis is solid in this supporting role where you would have liked to have seen more from.bob

Support Cast: Legion has a very average supporting cast with mostly generic characters being used throughout.

Director Review: Scott StewartScott gives us an easy to watch action horror that is fun to watch once you suspended your disbelief.


Action: Legion has plenty of action throughout with fights, gun battles and car chases being used.

Fantasy: Legion enters us into the world of fantasy between angels and demons.

Horror: Legion does have the elements of horror with how the enemies are created for our heroes.

Settings: Legion keeps most of the action within the diner making it have an isolation feel while dealing with a siege.
Special Effects
: Legion does use some good special effects when it comes to dealing with all the threats coming to attack the diner.

Suggestion: Legion is one you can watch if you are looking for something easy to watch giving you nothing to worry about when it comes to being overcomplicated. (Easy Watch)


Best Part: Petrol Pump bullet.

Worst Part: Slightly predictable.

Funniest Moment: Having a character question that Charlie is a strange name for a girl while one of the characters is called JEEP.

Kill Of The Film: Percy


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: When the last angel falls, the fight for mankind begins.


Overall: Enjoyable fantasy horror that is easy to watch.




Paul Bettany Weekend – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

beatfulDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Akiva Goldman (Screenplay) Sylvia Nasar (Book)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Christopher Plummer, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas, Jason Gray-Stanford, Judd Hirsch


Plot: After a brilliant but asocial mathematician, John Nash, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Beautiful Drama


Story: A Beautiful Mind starts as we see John Nash (Crowe) start his time at Princeton University where we meet fellow students Sol (Goldberg), Hansen (Lucas), Bender (Rapp), Ainsley (Gray-Stanford) and his roommate Charles (Bettany). Struggling to find his place in the University it takes an everyday occurrence for John to final start rolling on his theory.

After becoming the brightest student John moves onto becoming a teacher while secretly working for the government on code breaking reporting to Parcher (Harris). While teaching he meets the beautiful Alicia Nash (Connelly) and the two strike it off before starting their lives together.

When it becomes apparent John is struggling to manage both live the people that care about him with Charles returning to his life, Parcher pushing him too much and his wife wondering what he is up to, but this beautiful mind is about to be tested when Dr Rosen (Plummer) a psychologist enters his life.

A Beautiful Mind is a wonderfully drama showing us the story of one of the greatest minds of our generation. We see how difficult the life was for John before learning of his mind being damaged due to his schizophrenia. We follow from his time in school until his Noble Peace Prize. We see John deal and learn with his condition to still go on achieve greatness in his life. This is such a brilliant story that shows how success you can achieve your potential regardless.


Actor Review


Russell Crowe: John Nash is the brilliant mathematician that believes he has been working for the government cracking codes, but when we and he learns the truth we discover this beautiful mind is damaged in other ways. We see John’s life from early Princeton till his final acceptance in the scientific world. Russell gives the best performance of his career her where he shines in the drama.john

Ed Harris: Parcher is the man John believes works for the government as he lives the life of mystery and code breaking John believes he is part of. Ed is great in this supporting role.parcher

Jennifer Connelly: Alicia Nash starts off as a student of John’s before being the only person that sees there is something wrong with his mind, she supports him through every decision in their lives. Jennifer is brilliant in this role of the patience wife.

Paul Bettany: Charles is the roommate John has at Princeton that helps him break out of the problems he has been suffering through but we learn the truth about Charles once we learn John’s mental state. Paul put himself on the map with this great supporting role.charles

Support Cast: A Beautiful Mind has a brilliant supporting cast that all give performances worthy of this subject matter.

Director Review: Ron HowardRon shows that he can handle the serious films that are important to see the greatest people in human history.


Biographical: A Beautiful Mind shows the struggles John Nash had with his own sanity to achieve unlocking all of the potential inside his mind.

History: A Beautiful Mind is one film that shows the mind of someone so troubled achieving so much.

Settings: A Beautiful Mind uses the real life location re-created for the story to be unfolded in.
: A Beautiful Mind is one for everyone to watch at least once. (Watch)


Best Part: The Pen scene.

Worst Part: Slightly too much time on the imagined side of John’s life.

Favourite Quote: Dr Rosen ‘Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?’


Believability: Based on the John Nash and his amazing story.

Chances of Tears: Maybe a few nearer the end.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress with another 4 Nomination including Best Actor.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

Tagline: The Only Thing Greater Than the Power of the Mind is the Courage of the Heart

Trivia: John Nash is shown smoking in the film. In reality, he was a militant anti-smoker.


Overall: Brilliant Biographical film that is a must watch for all.




Captain America: Civil War (2016)

casting cardDirector: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Characters)

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Daniel Bruhl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt


Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: The Best So Far


Story: Captain America: Civil War starts as we see Captain America (Evans) and his team Black Widow (Johansson), Falcon (Mackie) and Scarlet Witch (Olsen) taking down a criminal unit with their own villain in Crossbones (Grillo). But this does lead to a mistake happening as the heroes cause more damage than they should.

With the government looking to close down the Avengers while Zemo (Bruhl) is making his moves against Hydra.

Tony Stark (Downey Jr) and Captain America both clashing on whether to sign the document that will put a limit on the Avengers action and with this the lines start getting drawn between the two men. Tension increases when the peace talks get attacked with all the fingers pointing at the Winter Soldier (Stan).

Captain America not accepting that Winter Soldier is behind the attacks goes against the new deal finding himself arrested and branded a criminal. Once free the sides are drawn and battle between the superheroes is about to be unleashed.

Captain America: Civil War is the best Avengers movie we have seen to date, this is a simple fact that we have nearly all of the Avengers bar Thor and Hulk in this one with addition too. We have the heroes dealing with the consequences of their actions in previous films. The best addition to this story I would say is that villain, now without giving too much away it is his motivation which is great but while this is great it is also a negative because we don’t get enough time to focus on his side of the story because we are dealing with the battle from within for too long. Fresh off the back of once of the most average superhero films in recent years Batman v Superman this uses the character battles better making each moment a potential end for anyone of the character which really adds the tension needed in this film and I can safely say this is the one that could be saving the Marvel Cinematic Universe from becoming average.


Actor Review


Chris Evans: Captain America is leading his own team of Avengers that ends with innocent people being killed. This brings in a new world agreement that the Avengers only worked when called upon but Captain isn’t playing by those rules as he wants to prove his old friend Bucky the Winter Soldier is innocent of attacks. He draws his lines against Tony Stark leading to battle between the Avengers themselves. Chris gives his best performance in this film franchise to date.

Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark is willing to sign the agreement because he is feeling the effects of the innocent lives they have lost. He clashes with Captain making him the law in the battle for superhero supremacy. Robert is good in this role against Captain America which works very well.

Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow is one Captain America’s team but when the agreement is made she finds herself torn between the two men who are forcing fellow superheroes to pick sides. Scarlett does well with her performance but sadly she is very underused through the film.

Sebastian Stan: Winter Soldier is Captain America’s good friend that is being framed through the film, Steve stands by him through the battle making him the one that is causing the friction between the heroes. Sebastian is great in this supporting role being the middle man for the bigger picture.

Support Cast: Captain America: Civil War the biggest cast so far with each character getting their moment in the battle and the story, we also get new characters like Black Panther and Spiderman introduced like they have been part of this universe from the very start.

Director Review: Anthony Russo, Joe RussoAnthony & Joe give us the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.


Action: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant action sequences going on from start to finish as we see the heroes fight each other.

Adventure: Captain America: Civil War puts our heroes on the adventure that will put their alliances to question.

Sci-Fi: Captain America: Civil War throws us into the middle of a sci-fi battle with superheroes.

Superhero: Captain America: Civil War could actually be the best use of superheroes we have seen in the Marvel world.

Settings: Captain America: Civil War uses the settings to make the action happen, but with most of the fighting only being between the heroes we end up in locations where innocent people can’t be hurt.
Special Effects
: Captain America: Civil War has brilliant special effects to make all of the battle sequences look breath taking.

Suggestion: Captain America: Civil War is the Marvel film I think people should be going to watch first now. (Watch)


Best Part: Airport battle.

Worst Part: The villain is excellent but we don’t see enough of him.

Action Scene Of The Film: Airport Battle.

Funniest Scene: Airport Battle.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: Yes


Oscar Chances: Special effects nomination should be heading this films way.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

Tagline: Whose side are you on? 

Trivia: This is the live-action debut of T’Challa, the Black Panther, one of the first African superheroes.


Overall: This is the best film from the marvel cinematic universe to date.




Oscar Season Challenge – Legend (2015)

Movie Rob and I are continuing our journey through potential Oscar contenders with this one Legend.


legendDirector: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay) John Pearson (Book)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Paul Bettany, Taron Egerton, Christopher Eccleston, David Thewlis, Colin Morgan, Paul Anderson


Plot: The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organised crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Gangster Biographical Picture


Story: Legend starts as we meet Reggie Kray (Hardy) the calm polite of the twins as he goes about his everyday routine being followed by detective Nipper Read (Eccleston). We also meet Ronald Kray (Hardy) who upon his time in jail he ends up in mental home after being declared insane showing the difference between the two.

We get to see the Kray twins start off as just men running the East end to rise up to become the most notorious gangsters in London as well as being untouchable within the City, but what rises always falls all told from the love of Reggie, Frances (Browning).

Legend gives us a look at two of the most famous gangster that ruled London in the 1960-70s that show how the rise of power became too much for the twins. Their different styles really are what makes this interesting see how one being calm and the other on edge shows that the two complement each other nicely. When it comes to the gangster side of the story I do think this will come off slightly short for the fans because we learn more about the men than what they did. We have enough different versions of this story following these characters and this is the only one I saw so I can’t judge how well this stands up against others.


Actor Review


Tom Hardy: Ronald and Reginald Kray, Ronald is the psychopathic brother that wants to be a real gangster, Reggie is the calm business like side of the twins who wants to rule London but follows the calmer approach. They can both handle themselves in fights and have very different interests in life but they both are part of the most notorious gangsters London has ever seen. Tom is brilliant in this role playing both these brothers.kray

Emily Browning: Frances Shea is the love interest of Reggie Kray she is from a normal family and is the sister of his driver. She helps keep him from becoming like his brother but will not stay with him if he keeps returning to jail. Emily is good in this role playing the narrator to the story.fracis

David Thewlis: Leslie Payne is the public relations man for the Kray’s while Reggie picks him Ronny doesn’t get along with his ways of doing things. David is good in this supporting role.

Taron Egerton: Teddy Smith is one of Ronny’s boys that also is his love interest, he is happy to get his hands dirty when it comes to doing the dirty work for Ronny. Taron is great in this supporting role showing he can play two different roles after his performance in Kingsman.

Support CastLegend has a great supporting cast that all help show the storyline of the brothers.

Director Review: Brian Helgeland Brian gives us a good look at two iconic men in British history.


Biographical: Legend shows us two iconic men in British gangster history very well.

Crime: Legend brings us into the criminal underworld of the Kray Twins.

Settings: Legend recreates the settings to show us London for the same time period.  

Suggestion: Legend is one for all the gangster to enjoy without being too graphic. (Gangster Fans Watch)


Best Part: Hardy is brilliant.

Worst Part: We don’t see enough of what the two get up to in the crime world.


Believability:  Based on the real criminal brothers.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Not likely but could have an outside shot.

Runtime: 2 Hour 11 Minutes

Tagline: Power. Fear. Family.

Trivia: Tom Hardy actually brought his wife to the film premiere as his date. They both also brought their dog.


Overall: Gangster film that really ends up showing two men in a positive light rather than the true criminals they really were.