The Sweeney (2012)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love, John Hodge (Screenplay) Ian Kennedy Martin (Source Material)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Plan B, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh, Paul Anderson Alan Ford, Damian Lewis

 

Plot: A hardened detective in the Flying Squad of London’s Metropolitan police. Based on the ’70s UK TV show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Sweeney starts as we see just how efficient DI Jack Regan (Winstone) and his team known as the Flying Squad taking down the criminals in any way they know how. Along with his team including rookie George Carter (Plan B) and the woman he is having a fling with DC Nancy Lewis (Atwell).

After a group of criminals that leave one woman dead which leads to the Sweeney needing to get to the bottom of this crime by any means necessary, which will be the toughest case of Regan career with his boss DCI Haskins (Lewis) on his back.

 

Thoughts on The Sweeney

 

Characters/PerformanceDI Jack Regan is a nonsense detective who always gets his man no matter how much he is risking making this happen while also balancing an affair with a young colleague. Carter is the youngest member of the unit and one that is destine to rise through the forces if he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of Regan. Nancy is the younger officers that is married but involved in an affair with Regan, she is a good cop and loyal to the unit.

Winstone does suit this role with just how you could imagine the man fighting crime. Plan B is fine without excelling because you can tell he is not the fully trained actor with Hayley Atwell doing a good job.

StoryThe crime story is what you would have come to understand because it is just another one of these stories where rough cop who pushes the boundaries slightly too much faces his toughest crime to solve. It does have twists along the way but in the end, does have a very British street feeling about it all.

Action/CrimeThe action is all fine with a basic car chase down a country road and some wild shoot outs around London with the crime side of the story focusing on the idea this could be the toughest case Regan has faced.

SettingsLondon makes for a great setting because it shows how tight knit the crime groups are as well as how difficult it could be o get to the truth for the cops.

Final ThoughtsThis is a gritty crime thriller that could be great but I feel the audience won’t quite enjoy it to the levels expected.

 

Overall: Does everything I needs to for the small target audience.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Ripley’s Game (2002)

ripleyDirector: Liliana Cavani

Writer: Charles McKeown, Liliana Cavani (Screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (Novel)

Starring: John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Chiara Caselli

 

Plot: Tom Ripley persuades a man to commit a murder for a large sum of money. The situation goes out of control, and that man must escape trouble.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing Sequel

 

Story: Ripley’s Game starts as we see an older Tom Ripley (Malkovich) trying to make a deal that his partner on this case Reeves (Winstone) has ruined the full amount on. 3 years later Tom is back in Italy in his mansion.

Trying to live a quiet life Ripley’s old partner is back Reeves wants Ripley to help him with a problem back in Germany with Ripley looks at his neighbour Jonathan Trevanny (Scott) to do the dirty deed as a final attempt to help Jonathan financial future with his sickness.

When Jonathan does the job, he has to deal with the consequences that has Reeves continue to contact him to do other jobs for him but has he found himself in the middle of a deadly game that only Tom can save him from.

 

Thoughts on Ripley’s Game

 

StoryThis is a follow up to the 1999 film taking place years after the events in that film. Ripley is in full control of his abilities now and his ability to complete any job required. The problem I have with the story this time is that it feels like a heist film gone wrong rather than a smart slick con-artist film. I just don’t think this film clicked on the levels of the first film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of the story does in fact feel bigger throughout this film it just doesn’t balance with the thrilling side of the story leaving the crime elements feeling average because Ripley is designed to be slick with his actions.

Characters/PerformanceMalkovich is always an interesting performer and his grabs this role and makes it his own but when it comes to both the performance of Scott and Winstone they feel out of place to the world created making it hard to be pulled into the world we are watching this time around.

SettingsThe first film captured the background if Italy perfectly this time around everything just feels slightly messy with not a single scene being iconic when it comes to seeing what we do with the character’s decisions.

Final ThoughtsThis is really a sub-par sequel that never reaches the heights of the Talented Mr Ripley.

 

Overall: Heads in the wrong direction for what the film had created.

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Tracker (2010)

trackerDirector: Ian Sharp

Writer: Nicolas Van Pallandt (Screenplay)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Temuera Morrison, Gareth Reeves, Mark Mitchinson, Daniel Musgrove, Andy Anderson, Mick Rose, Jodie Hillock

 

Plot: An Afrikaner veteran of the Boer War has just immigrated to New Zealand and is hired to track a man accused of killing a soldier. While hunting through the countryside he captures his fugitive, only to learn that he’s innocent of the crime. When faced with the life changing decision to turn him in or set him free only one man will walk away alive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow but Solid

 

Story: Tracker starts in the aftermath of the Boer War where we see Major Carlysle (Reeves) trying to keep the peace between both sides. When Arjan van Diemen (Winstone) arrives in New Zealand he gets recruited to find Kereama (Morrison) a local man accused of killing a soldier that we all see Saunders (Mitchinson) really killed.

When Arjan catches up with Kereama the two men realize they are not so different as they try to outsmart each other and return to the British soldiers.

Tracker show how honour between men can be the beginning middle and end of where the characters end up going. Everything does play out slowly but complete between the characters who all believe in their own way they are doing the right thing which is a good thing. If this was cut down slightly we could have got the same message without having all the side tracked visuals though. This is solid for what it is trying to tell though.

 

Actor Review

 

Ray Winstone: Arjan van Diemen is a South African soldier who has moved to New Zealand to start a new life after losing his family. He is an expert tracker that Major Carlysle recruits to find a wanted criminal only to find himself bonding with the native who share a similar enemy in the British. Ray is good in this role that is filled with regret throughout.

Temuera Morrison: Kereama is the native who gets falsely accused of murdering a British solider, having to go on the run he gets tracked down by Arjan but he uses all his tricks to keep his safety on his native land. Temuera is good in this role and works really well of Winstone.

Gareth Reeves: Major Pritchard Carlysle is trying to keep the peace between the two sides after the conflict in New Zealand, when he sees the aftermath of the crime he searches for the man to get an honest answer to the crime. He does come off the most reasonable of all the soldiers in this film. Gareth plays a good honest character but comes off overly genetic.

Mark Mitchinson: Saunders is the drunken soldier that gets into a fight with Kereama leading to him killing the soldier and putting all the blame on Kereama. Mark is solid enough in this supporting role.

Support Cast: Tracker has a small supporting cast with most just being the fellow soldiers searching for the wanted man.

Director Review: Ian SharpIan does a good job directing this getting s beautiful shots of the landscape to let the story unfold within.

 

Action: Tracker is filled with action that is mostly chases and hand to hand combat moments.

Adventure: Tracker throws our character into an adventure where they must adventure across the New Zealand landscape.

Western: Tracker plays out like an old school western.

Settings: Tracker uses the landscape to fully immerse us into the film.
Special Effects
: Tracker has solid effect when needed but never ends up turning to them.

Suggestion: Tracker is one I do think is worth a try but it does have moments of being very slow. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The two leads come off nicely.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $6,5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Never Stop Running!

Trivia: After the first day of pursuit, Arjan van Diemen is in his camp site. He is seen holding his pocket watch in his right hand. From his viewpoint, his fingers point from 6 to 12 on the watch face. viewed from the front, he holds the pocket watch so that his fingers point from 3 to 9 on the clock face.

 

Overall: Solid little action western showcasing the beauty of New Zealand.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Devil’s Tomb (2009)

casting card

 

Plot: An elite group of soldiers on a covert mission to retrieve a scientist from an underground lab encounter an ancient evil in the facility.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just a Mess

 

Story: The Devil’s Tomb starts as Wesley (Perlman) is recording the work he is part on inside the tomb and how things started to get out of control needing to get cleaned up. The man they turn to is Mack (Gooding Jr) who has an elite unit including Doc (Manning), Hammer (G), Nickels (Ward), Hicks (London), Click (Fobbs) and Yoshi (Jacobsen) to rescue Wesley.

The site under lockdown so after breaking into the site they find themselves up against an enemy they have never seen before having to find a way to fight against an evil that guns can’t kill.

The Devil’s Tomb is a film that could easily put Doom in the Oscar worthy lists around the world and that is saying something, this is just messy from start to finish with a storyline that just rips off many films around the same genre. This is one of the most predictable too and has big name actors in the most random small parts too.

 

Actor Review

 

Cuba Gooding Jr: Mack is the Captain of the unit of men sent into the tomb to rescue Wesley. He has only just taken over the unit after their leader has recently died. He wants to keep his unit safe and wants in and out as quick as possible. Cuba must get a nice pay check for this performance.

Taryn Manning: Doc is a member of Mack’s unit and by her name you can work out she is the medic of the unit, she goes missing early on but is the most trusted soldier to Mack. Taryn is one of the only goodish thing in this movie because she wasn’t a known star at the time.

Ray Winstone: Blakeley is the former Captain of the unit but has been killed in action, he haunts Mack through the film. Ray is completely wasted in this role and I have no idea what the actual point of his character is.

Ron Perlman: Wesley is the man running the site that has lost control of the situation. He has become obsessed with what is in the tomb so much so he records every single moment in there. Ron just isn’t involved in enough for this role until the end really.

Support Cast: The Devil’s Tomb has a supporting cast that are all typical soldier characters involved.

Director Review: Jason ConneryJason gives us a horror that is very easy to follow, leaving very much a been here seen that film not getting the best out of a good cast.

 

Action: The Devil’s Tomb has very forgettable action with most just being guns shooting the undead.

Horror: The Devil’s Tomb tries to give us a horror story but it really just doesn’t happen in this one.

Sci-Fi: The Devil’s Tomb enters into a world a science fiction with what is going on within the tomb.

Settings: The Devil’s Tomb does keep nearly all the action in the tomb which should work because they are trapped too.
Special Effects
: The Devil’s Tomb has very forgettable effects being used which are all poorly put together.

Suggestion: The Devil’s Tomb is one that could easily be skipped though. (Skip)

 

Best Part: There was an advert I really liked in the copy I watched.

Worst Part: It is a mess really.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: An evil entombed for 2000 years… until now.

 

Overall: Big Names, Big Idea, Poorly Made and Poorly Acted.

Ratingcard

 

 

Reckless (2015)

recklessDirector: Mora Stephens

Writer: Mora Stephens, Joel Viertel (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cho, Dianna Agron, Christopher McDonald, Alexandra Breckenridge

 

Plot: A family man has it all until he risks losing everything due to his inability to fight off his obsessive temptation for other women.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Thriller

 

Story: Reckless starts as we meet Federal Prosecutor Sam Ellis (Wilson) who is on the verge of a bright political future. When Sam’s latest case may require the witness to be a high earning former escort he finds himself drawn into the website and with his wife Jeannie (Headey) away takes the risk and calling for an escort.

When Sam decides to move on with his political career to become District Attorney but his obsession with the escorts leaves him hiding from his wife to fulfil his sexual needs but how will this affect his career?

Reckless puts us through the political campaign of one man who also has an obsession with sex. This film shows how this affects his personal life with the victims being his family but how they will need these sort of things covered up. The thriller side of the story keeps us guessing on how long it will be until Sam gets exposed and just how much damage it will do to his career.

 

Actor Review

 

Patrick Wilson: Sam Ellis is the brilliant prosecutor who about to enter into the race for district attorney but after discovering the high end escort service Sam puts his own career and personal life at risk to fulfil sexual desires. Patrick is great in this leading role where we get to see his descent into obsession.

Lena Headey: Jeannie Ellis is the wife of Sam who has been loyal to him from the start of campaign and is pushing him to take the next risk in his career. As Sam’s problems mount up she find herself having to make a difficult decision about their son. Lena is strong as the wife to Sam where we do get to see a different character from her Game of Thrones iconic role even with the same motives.

Ray Winstone: Coaker is a reporter that wants to write a story on Sam, he is friends with Jeannie side of the family and intimidates Sam. Ray is good in this role where we get to see a subtle side of his abilities.

Richard Dreyfuss: George Hiller is leading the campaign for Sam and with his reputation of getting the job done but also doing things the dirty way Sam has to risk it all by doing this. Richard is good in this supporting role but we only see him in a few scenes.

Support Cast: Reckless has a supporting cast that includes most of the different escorts and co-workers that work with Sam.

Director Review: Mora StephensMora gives us a thriller that shows the thin line between temptation and desire.

 

Thriller: Reckless keeps us on edge as we are left to wonder just what will happen to Sam’s career and life.

Settings: Reckless keeps the settings showing both sides of the world Sam finds himself involved.
Suggestion
: Reckless is one I do think people can enjoy but it won’t be as slick as everyone will be liking. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Wilson shines in this role.

Worst Part: Won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

 

Believability: Part could be.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: Why Take the Risk

 

Overall: Good thriller showing the darker side political world.

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