ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – T – Tombstone (1993)

Director: George P Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre

Writer: Kevin Jarre (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston

 

Plot: A successful lawman’s plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.


Tagline – Justice Is Coming

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Good as Wyatt Earp

 

Story: Tombstone starts when the successful lawman Wyatt Earp (Russell) has hung up his gun moved with his brothers Virgil (Elliott) and Morgan (Paxton) to Tombstone to follow in the silver boom. Wyatt does get his hands in plenty of pots, helping the town turn to their successful ways.

When the Marshall is killed by the cowboys the mayor turns to the Earp’s with Virgil and Morgan try to bring order to the town Wyatt reluctantly agrees to join them, which will see them come face to face with the deadly cowboy gang who want control of the town.

 

Thoughts on Tombstone

 

Characters – Wyatt Earp’s reputation precedes him as he cleaned up the town of Boulder, now he wants to put his gun away and head to Tombstone to start a business life with his brothers, he knows how the get a deal done, which will see him need to get rid of the cowboy gang running through the town causing chaos. Doc Holliday is the gambler that will and has stood by Wyatt’s side in combat, he will drink a lot even if he does face health problem that will slowly make his life harder. Virgil and Morgan are the brothers that take the roles in the law enforcement which will see them put their own lives at risk.

PerformancesKurt Russell does do a solid job in the leading role, the action scenes are where he shines the best. Val Kilmer does well making his character feel like he is standing out more in the film at times. We do get plenty of actors in this film, most do what is needed without being on the top of their games.

StoryThe story follows Wyatt Earp in his time in Tombstone only which does show how he was trying to live a non-conflict life only to be drawn back into the old ways which saw him become the legendary lawman. The story is difficult to watch after recently seeing the ‘Wyatt Earp’ film, which does cover a larger amount of his life, including the Tombstone time, we just don’t seem to get enough focus on the life outside of the battle in the town, which fails to give the wives required screen time in the story or show us what led to Wyatt becoming the famous lawman. This will give us the simple look at the battle with the cowboys which is good to see, but we would always want to learn more about the character involved.

Action/BiopicThe action in the film does see bullets fly around like we are used to, for a western, the biopic side of the film only shows us the Tombstone stage of Wyatt’s life which does focus more, only it doesn’t explain why he is such a famous figure.

SettingsThe film does create the authentic setting for the western genre, which is does make us feel like we are watching the story unfold with the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Stand off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning enough about Wyatt’s life before Tombstone.

Final ThoughtsThis is the weaker of the two Wyatt Earp biopics that hit the cinema in the same year, it might have more entertaining action, but it just misses too much of his life out.

 

Overall: Disappointing biopic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – Q – Gene Quintano – Sudden Death (1995)

Director: Peter Hyams

Writer: Gene Quintano (Screenplay) Karen Baldwin (Story)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J Barry, Whittni Wright, Ross Malinger, Dorian Harewood

 

Plot: A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.


Tagline – Tonight, 17 thousand hockey fans have been taken hostage…but just one of them knows it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hugely Entertaining Action Film

 

Story: Sudden Death starts as we meet firefighter Darren McCord (Van Damme) who is involved in a tragic rescue resulting in a young girls death. 2-years-later McCord has got a job as a fire inspector for the city ice hockey team as they are preparing for the seventh game in the Stanley Cup, taking his two children Emily (Wright) and Tyler (Malinger) to the game.

With the game under way Joshua Foss (Boothe) executes his plan to hold the Vice President (Barry) hostage along with the rest of the arena threatening to kill the hostage unless he gets paid, McCord becomes the only person that can save the arena and redeem his reputation.

 

Thoughts on Sudden Death

 

Characters – Darren McCord is a former firefighter who lost a young girl during a rescue, 2-years-late he is now a fire marshal for the ice hockey arena, he takes his kids to the game only for his daughter to be taken by the terrorists. He must use his fighting skills to stay ahead of the terrorists and save not only his daughter, but the vice President and the rest of the spectators in the arena. Joshua Foss is the leader of the terrorists, he wants money and lots of it, knowing where to take it from, he will kill anyone who is involved in the plan, he will kill hostages being a man of his word knowing he has a full arena of victims. Vice President is the man being held hostage by Joshua, he remains calm knowing that the situation doesn’t need to get out of hand no matter how many people Joshua executes. We do have Darren’s kids who are both just what you would expect with the members of the terrorist group completing the mix with the generic ones we know.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is one of the biggest icons in action, this could very well be one of his best roles, he looks like an everyday man with his own problems acting like a hero and showing us the fighting skills which have made him famous Power Boothe is great in the villainous role, he calmness makes his character fell disturbing throughout the film and is easily on of the underrated villains of the action genre. The rest of the cast are good, while the main two steal the show.

StoryThe story is what people branded ‘Die Hard, in an Ice Hockey Arena’ that is the best way to describe it, a former hero needing to redeem himself from a past mistake and when the chance presents itself in the ice hockey arena he must save the people from a criminal. It uses the real-time feeling as the have the game being the countdown through the events which does help show the rush to save the day as well as dealing with a villain that is cold-hearted and has been planning this job for years. For action we don’t always need the deepest of stories, this shows us what we can have achieved within the time period in question.

Action/CrimeThe action shows McCord going up against different henchman in different locations around the arena, even if the kitchen one against the penguin suit is the one you will most likely remember. The crime shows how a robbery can be put together to work like clockwork even if things don’t always go to plan.

SettingsThe film is set in the ice hockey arena, the action needs to remain here for the whole game giving us a tidy timeline to deal with through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
McCord versus the penguin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We miss the comic relief needed for the bonkers side of the idea.

Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable action film that shows us just how entertaining Jean-Claude Van Damme can be if we are allowed to let him off his leash to fight.

 

Overall: Action film to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Red Dawn (1984)

red dawnWith the challenge returning Rob pick Red Dawn for me to watch

 

Director: John Milius

Writer: John Milius, Kevin Reynolds (Screenplay) Kevin Reynolds (Story)

Starring: Patrick Swayze, C Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Darren Dalton, Jennifer Grey, Brad Savage, Powers Boothe

 

Plot: It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: Red Dawn starts when a military group parachute into a small American town as we follow a group of high school student including Robert (Howell), Matt (Sheen), Daryl (Dalton) Danny (Savage) and older brother Jed (Swayze) escape the attack looking to find safety during the attack.

Heading into the mountains Jed has to unite the boys as they look to survive in the mountains. When the boys learn how serious everything is and World War III is happening they have to take care of two girls Erica (Thompson) & Toni (Grey) who join their battle against the soldiers who have taken over their home town with the instructions from Colonel Tanner (Boothe).boy

Red Dawn is one of those stories that puts us into a hypothetical situation where we are left to wonder how we would act if something similar would happen. Saying this I would like to say it shows how this kids start weak and become warriors trying to protect their own country. I do think this is one that will stick in the memory and also offers a new twist to the war genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Patrick Swayze: Jed is the older brother to Matt and the one who takes charge of the teenagers through the fight back against the invading enemy. He keeps calm while the rest just want to break down and turns them all into soldiers. Patrick showed that he is a great leading man in this story showing great leadership.

 

C Thomas Howell: Robert is the friend of Matt, he isn’t as tough as the rest but he quickly learns to fight back after hearing what happened to his parents during the invasion. C Thomas does a good job in this role and is easily the biggest development in the character.

 

Lea Thompson: Erica is one of the two granddaughters of a local who is forced to join the boys for safety, she is the tough one of the two and won’t let the boys walk all over her as she wants to join the fight and proves to be a powerful ally. Lea does a good job in this role showing she was going to be a name for the future.

 

Charlie Sheen: Matt is the younger brother to Jeb who has the survival skills but not the fighting skills, he does learn in the shadow of his brother. Charlie I think struggled to look the part in this role never really looking like he fits in.

 

Support Cast: Red Dawn has good supporting cast that all look like they are struggling to cope with the situation we are in.

 

Director Review: John MiliusJohn does a good job directing a film that will live long in the memory.

 

Action: Red Dawn has good war time action throughout.

War: Red Dawn brings us a nice twist on the war genre.

Settings: Red Dawn shows us just how a small town can fall without knowing of invasion.
Special Effects
: Red Dawn has good war time effects through the film.

Suggestion: Red Dawn this is one film to watch through the course of time. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The development of the boys.

Worst Part: Charlie Sheen doesn’t seem to fit in.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No, but a remake.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Tomorrow When The War Began

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: . A Gang of high-school kids become the last line of defence.

 

Overall: A true classic in the war genre that shows how everyone will act during the desperate time

Ratingcard

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

logoDirector: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Frank Miller (Screenplay) Frank Miller (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven

 

Plot: Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Long A Wait

 

Story: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For starts by introducing us to Marv (Rourke) waking up from a car wreck trying to piece together how he ended up where he was. He gets into trouble as always when he interferes with some frat boys leading him and his friends to build a body count.

As we know we will get a couple of stories so we pick up on Johnny’s (Gordan Levitt) story, an ambitious poker player finally making it to the big time. He gets to play in the big game in the city along with Senator Roark (Boothe). Johnny cleans up putting his own life in danger because you simply don’t mess with the Senator.  Senator Roark has a familiar enemy in Nancy (Alba) which gives us a small tease of a Hartigan (Willis) reunion. Back to Johnny who gets taught a lesson but Roark.

Time for the third story and we follow Dwight (Brolin) who spies on Joey (Liotta) and his affair with Sally (Temple), saving her from Joey. Ava (Green) one of the connection of Dwight’s calls up for help, she doesn’t give enough away but gives enough to make sure Dwight wants to follow. Dwight ends following against his better judgement only to find out that Ava is trapped in a loveless marriage that she is trying to escape from. Recruiting Marv the two go into a battle against the odds to save Ava once and for all, but not everything is as it seems.

The final story centres on Nancy (Alba) as she teams up with Marv to take down the Senator for the death of Hartigan (Willis). She is haunted by the loss of her father figure who saved her from the Senator’s son.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has three stories much like the first one did to make things more confusing we have a prequel and a sequel. I do feel one of the three was stand out which was the Dwight one because it actually felt well rounded and the most intense. Nancy just felt like an extension to the big story from the first one and was way too short. The story that really didn’t feel like it fitted was Johnny’s because it was split into with the better one around it and then just ended suddenly. All round this was a lacklustre addition to what was once one of the ground breaking films. The story being told in narration by its main character continues to be a good touch though. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Mickey Rourke: Marv who is the brute of the city who spends his time in the bar watching over the dancers making sure none of them get into any trouble. He joins in on a couple of stories but doesn’t have a main one revolving around him this time around. Mickey does a solid job in the role that really is one that will be remembered. (6/10)

 marv

Jessica Alba: Nancy dancer at the bar where she is the main attraction, she wants to avenge the death of Hartigan but she is losing control. Jessica does a ok job but really doesn’t get used enough. (5/10)

nancy

Josh Brolin: Dwight private eye who gets called to help an old flame but soon finds himself getting manipulated by the beauty of her. He survives an attack and plans on getting revenge on her. Josh does a good job raking over from Clive Owen. (8/10)

 dwight

Joseph Gordan-Levitt: Johnny slick gambler who goes into the biggest game in the city and cleans up, leading him to make an enemy to one of the most powerful people in the city Senator Roark. Joseph does a good job but his story seems too short. (7/10)

 johnny

Eva Green: Ava the beautiful old flame of Dwight’s who has come up with a plan to get everything she wants by using her beauty and body to seduce any man. Eva does a great job where she is shines with her pure sexiness and beauty. (8/10)

 ava

Powers Boothe: Senator Roark who runs the city he never loses and if you try to beat him you will end up paying for it. He also appears in the Nancy storyline as a man out for revenge after what happened to his son in the first film. Powers does a good job and makes for a good villain through the film. (7/10)

 senator

Support Cast: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has many supporting characters in with each turning up in different stories, many we have met before but the new ones usually just become disposable.

 

Director Review: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez – I feel they kept the atmosphere the source material created but I do feel the story telling took a step back. (6/10)

 

Crime: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For creates a crime riddled world where we will see crime around every corner. (9/10)

Thriller: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For doesn’t keep you fully interested like the first film did. (5/10)

Settings: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For creates a brilliant setting with its world of crime. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For uses the brilliant effects with the technology used for filming. (10/10)

Suggestion: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is one to try, I feel the fans of the original will not like this as much as the first one and I feel the casual fans will not enjoy this because of the confusion of the prequel, sequel idea. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Dwight’s story

Worst Part: Nancy’s story is way too short.

Action Scene Of The Film: Marv and Dwight attack Ava Lord’s house.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It might but struggled in the Box office

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $39 Million

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: There is no justice without sin.

 

Overall: Typical Sequel, uses the same characters but not the same level

Rating 60