ABC Film Challenge – Romance – L – Laws of Attraction (2004)

Director: Peter Howitt

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna, Robert Harling (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen, Parker Posey, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn

 

Plot: Amidst a sea of litigation, two New York City divorce lawyers find love.


Tagline – Getting married is a great way to fall in love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com

 

Story: Laws of Attraction starts as we meet divorce lawyer Audrey Woods (Moore), she has never lost a case for her clients and has her own strict style to getting business done and personal life, when her latest case brings her up against laid backed lawyer Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan) that throws her off her game, with his style and the fact he has never lost a case doesn’t help.

As the two fight their obvious attraction to each other, the battle in the courts breaking each other’s undefeated streaks before getting their hands on one of the biggest divorce cases in the public eye, rock star Thorne (Sheen) and fashion designer Serena (Posey), which brings the two lawyers closer together.

 

Thoughts on Laws of Attraction

 

Characters – Audrey Woods is the most successful divorce lawyer in New York City, undefeated and the one that the rich and famous turn too. Away from the court she lives a very closed off life not dating and using her spare time watching the weather channel. She is the complete opposite to Daniel, she is neat and tidy borderline OCD. Daniel is the untidy lawyer that has returned to New York and goes against Audrey in the courtroom, he is as successful as Audrey which shows the two clashing in court. The two characters show how opposites can attract in the strangest times. Thorne and Serena are the typical over the top celebrities that should never have gotten married in the first place, that show Audrey and Daniel about love.

PerformancesJulianne Moore is great in this leading role, her chemistry with Brosnan is good throughout and her timing for the comical moments works for her character. Pierce Brosnan is great opposite Moore, he is always great as the laid back figure in any movie and this is no different. The supporting cast are good too with Michael Sheen, Parker Posey and Frances Fisher getting plenty of laughs through the film.

StoryThe story here follows two lawyers that start against each other in court but soon start having sparks between them as they are against each other with one of their biggest cases going on in the court room. This does play into the idea of opposites attracting through an unlikely situation and plays out the idea of career versus love at time, for the most part this is a safe romantic comedy that does the humour when needed and the serious moments when needed too.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this movie does hit well, most of it comes from the supporting characters with Michael Sheen being the highlight of them. The romance side of the film shows us just how opposites could attract and that you could find love in the strangest places.

SettingsThe film has a couple of main locations, New York which would explain the careers for both the lawyers and the fish out of water location in Ireland which offers Audrey a chance to loosen up.


Scene of the Movie –
To the Airport.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Audrey isn’t the nicest of characters with the way she treats Daniel.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable romantic comedy that does feel very safe, but doesn’t need to over complicate anything. You will get the chuckles needed too.

 

Overall: Safe and enjoyable romantic comedy.

Rating

 

 

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Final Score (2018)

Director: Scott Mann

Writer: Jonathan Frank, David T Lynch, Keith Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Bautista, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Stevenson, Martyn Ford, Ralph Brown, Victoria Broom, Lucy Gaskell, Lara Peake

 

Plot: After deadly terrorists abduct his niece at a soccer match, an ex-soldier with lethal fighting skills wages a one-man war to save her and prevent mass destruction.


Tagline – 35,000 lives. 90 minutes. No extra time

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night Action Delight

 

Story: Final Score starts when Michael Knox (Bautista) visits his niece Danni (Peake) in London to take her to the last ever game at the Boelyn Stadium for West Ham in a European Semi Final (This is hilarious because West Ham haven’t been near one in decades) against a Russian team called Dynamo FC.

With his niece going to be with her boyfriend, Michael must search for her, which just so happens to become locked down by terrorist Arkady (Stevenson) who wants to use the game to kill his brother Dimitri (Brosnan), when Michael learns of the problem, he must become a one man fight to save the stadium.

 

Thoughts on Final Score

 

Characters – Michael Knox is a soldier that has travelled the globe fighting the good cause, his brother was lost in battle and he watches over his niece taking her to football matches. He sees that there is a big problem and uses his training to save his niece and the people in the stadium. Arkady is the terrorist that has taken over the stadium, the former war criminal will do anything to get his hands on his brother even if it means killing everyone in the stadium. Dimitri is the brother that recreated his life after leaving his brother to be destroyed and bring peace to their home country, he is now the target for the nights terrorist actions. In the rest of the characters we get the typical men working for Arkady, the one that is bigger than Michael, the bad ass woman and the tech heavy one etc, we also have the rebellious teenager and the quick talking steward.

PerformancesDave Bautista has been steadily getting on with the action genre, he does a good job once again as the reluctant hero of the situation, handling the combat scenes well and looking like the uncle that would only scare boys away from the niece. Ray Stevenson in the villainous role is good to never letting his accent drop through the film. Pierce Brosnan is good even though he doesn’t really do too much in the film, as are the rest of the cast working well through the film.

StoryThe story here follows one man that must stop a terrorist attack within a certain amount of time, 90 minutes well 105 minutes if you include half time. This is simple enough for a story and by having the countdown helps us feel like part of the action. This does follow the trend of any action film which can be compared to Die Hard, only this time in a football stadium. When we look at the villains motives we get mixed feelings as it seems simple to start with only to become overly complicated when we get the mass numbers outside the stadium trying to stop anything happening. Overall the story isn’t challenging, it is watchable and enjoyed which is all we want to see.

ActionThe action in the film comes from the fights, which all play into Dave Bautista’s strengths, with the highlight of the film being the motorcycle chase through the stadium, which shouldn’t work only to be brilliant.

SettingsThe film is set inside Upton Park, now this could be easy to say this is Die Hard in a football stadium and it is, but having the match going on at the same time gives us a true look at the time rolling by and just how difficult it would be to stop people from knowing what is going on.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film don’t always look good, but strangely enough fit the movie well.


Scene of the Movie –
Motorbike chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too hard to believe West Ham would be in a semi-final in European football.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that gets most things right to make us enjoy what we are seeing, easy to watch and shows Bautista to be a good action star.

 

Overall: Action packed fun.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – No Escape (2015)

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Writer: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle (Screenplay)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare, Pierce Brosnan

 

Plot: In their new overseas house, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape from an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.


Tagline – Blood for water

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action Thriller

 

Story: No Escape starts as the Dwyer family moves to an unknown Asian country for the father’s work, Jack (Wilson) has bought his wife Annie (Bell) and girls Lucy (Jerins) and Beeze (Geare) to hopefully start a new life, luckily for them they meet man that knows the area Hammond (Brosnan).

On the first morning Jack learns that the country is about to be nothing like they had ever imagined as the locals are creating a coup which is against the foreigners that have come into their country. Jack must now do everything to get his family out alive before they are murdered.

 

Thoughts on No Escape

 

Characters – Jack is a mechanic sent to this unnamed Asian country, to take over the local water company, he has bought his family along and feels this will be a fresh start for them. He must show his determination as he finds his family in danger during a coup in the country. Annie is the wife of Jack, that has supported him in his decision to move across the world, she helps Jack try to get their family out alive. Hammond is a man that has been to this country a lot, he enjoys a drink and a fight, he also knows the best way to survive against this deadly enemy.

PerformancesOwen Wilson is not known for this style of movie, this helps us understand his helpless to what is happening because anyone that can handle a fight would look out of place in this film. Lake Bell is good in her role because she does at times play the victim, while Pierce Brosnan as the shady guy that can handle a gun offering protection does what he does best.

StoryThe story becomes one of the simplest and most effective one for any action film, a family needing to survive against the locals of a new country that are trying to kill any American people they can get their hands on. This starts early in the with the action and the only thing that matters is getting out alive. We don’t need detailed back stories for anyone else in the film, a history of employment, we just need to see their love is going to be driving them to survive.

ActionThe action is war based, we have a coup happening which will put the characters in danger and needing to survive, each situation is surrounded with tension as the peril always feels real.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us the name of the country, which works because it shows how a country could rise up against the people taking their jobs.


Scene of the Movie –
The beginning of the coup, shot so well.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do meet characters seemingly just to be killed off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that just doesn’t stop, it is a must watch for action fans because you will be left needing an extra breath.

 

Overall: Action Fans Watch

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – F – The Foreigner (2017)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: David Marconi (Screenplay) Stephen Leather (Novel)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, David Pearse, Michael McElhatton, Katie Leung, Rufus Jones

 

Plot: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.


Tagline – Never push a good man too far

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chan Shines in Political Action Thriller

 

Story: The Foreigner starts as Quan Mgoc Minh (Chan) is getting ready to buy his daughter Fan’s (Leung) graduation dress in London, but this peaceful moment is shattered when a bomb goes off killing many, including Fan, with UDI claiming responsibility. England is now in locked down searching for the people responsible, while Quan has lost everything, a broken man.

Deputy Irish Minister Liam Hennessy (Brosnan) looks to investigate what happened using his power with the Irish government to try to get a deal between the two countries done. Quan will not rest until he learns who killed his daughter, he turns up at the police station everyday for answer before turning to the former UDI member Hennessy.

Refusing to accept we don’t know as answer Quan takes matters into his own hands, sending a warning to Hennessy, which soon turns into a cat-n-mouse chase around Ireland as we learn the truth about the bombing.

 

                 Thoughts on The Foreigner

 

Characters – Quan Ngoc Minh is a humble restaurant owner in London, his only daughter is about to graduate after losing the rest of his family years before, she is killed in a bombing leaving him empty and broken. He just wants names to see justice for those responsible and will use the training he has to get those answers. Liam Hennessy is the deputy Irish Minister who does have ties with UDI, he remains the on the peaceful side of the battle trying to find a solution, but the question remains just whether he is truly involved or not. The rest of the characters are the British police trying to solve the crime, The UDI members that have been working towards re-igniting the war between the two.

PerformancesThis is easily Jackie Chan most serious English Language role, he never let’s on to have any comic timing which is refreshing to see, the emotionless performance is just what we wanted to see. Pierce Brosnan is great too, he shows us how we imagine politicians to be like during the tension being shown in the film.

StoryThe story is where the things get interesting, the trailers made us believe we are heading into an action heavy movie about one man’s revenge mission about his daughter’s death. What we get is a thriller that looks at the tension between the British government and the Irish who still show the tension because of the difference between the two sides. We do have the revenge angle don’t worry if you want action you will get it, just be aware we balance the two stories very well to make this a thriller you will want to see the next chapter of the story.

ActionThe action lets Chan show off his skills in what is mostly a more serious style and includes him using a gun, which is something we rarely see him do in the English Language movies.

SettingsThe two main settings are London, which in real life has been a target of bombings and is a location which would make the biggest statement for any terrorists and the Irish farm where Quan is picking off anyone who tries to stop him.


Scene of the Movie –
The takedown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does fizzle out in the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a surprisingly entertaining action thriller, you will want to see everything unfold, while also getting rewarded by the action sequences that are only used sparely.

 

Overall: Strong action thriller.

Rating

 

 

Butterfly on a Wheel (2007)

Director: Mike Barker

Writer: William Morrissey (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello, Gerard Butler, Emma Karwandy, Claudette Mink

 

Plot: A perfect family’s dynamic is ruined by a kidnapper’s brutally efficient plot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Thriller

 

Story: Butterfly on a Wheel starts as we meet successful business man Neil Randall (Butler) and his wife Abby (Bello) live their perfect little life where everything is comfortable for them, with Neil on the verge of a promotion to partner, the two head off the weekend.

The weekend takes a turn for the worse when Tom Ryan (Brosnan) holds the couple hostage with one of his partners keeping their daughter as a bargaining tool. Tom makes the two follow tasks around the city as we learn the motives of Tom’s ideas.

 

Thoughts on Butterfly on a Wheel

 

Characters/PerformanceNeil is an advertising man, family man but distant husband, he is about to get a promotion for all his hard work but once he is forced into playing the games we see his true nature unfold. Abby is the wife of Neil who has given up her career but with a new chance to start she finds herself being forced into playing the games. Tom is the man behind the games, he is forcing the couple to do everything he wants but the question remains why? This air of mystery makes him a very interesting character.

Performance wise, Brosnan is great as the cold-hearted man behind what is going on, Maria Bello is good too through the film showing she can be part of the leading lady in the film and Butler is strong throughout.

StoryThis story does follow the trends of the how far would you go to save your daughter routine, this does leave us with a good mystery about what we are expecting and happy to throw a twist or two our way. I feel the final twist is the saving grace of the film because we must rethink everything we have seen which is always a nice feeling with a film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of this is kidnapping and abducting which work perfectly for the story and we are kept on edge through the film wondering just what are the motives.

SettingsEach setting unfolds to tell us the truth about what has been happening which works as we learn pieces of the puzzle.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that went under the radar, it is a good watch and one well worth watching if you are a thriller fan.

 

Overall: Enjoyable thriller with plenty of twists.

Rating