ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – The Patriot (2000)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Robert Rodat (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Techeky Karyo, Rene Auberjonois

 

Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.


Tagline – Some things are worth fighting for. 

Runtime: 2 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long War Epic

 

Story: The Patriot starts where peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Gibson) sees the American Revolution coming towards his doorstep with his eldest son Gabriel (Ledger) fighting about the British. When the British reach his doorstep they end up killing one of his sons, Col William Tavington (Isaacs) makes an enemy he can’t prepare to fight against.

Benjamin prepares his own militia to fight back against the British, one that has experience fighting on this land, one that has already won a war, all this to get revenge on the man that took his son in a cowardly action.

 

Thoughts on The Patriot

 

Characters – Benjamin Martin was once a feared general in the military, now he is a quiet farmer looking after his children after his wife’s death. when the American Revolution comes to his home, he loses a son to a ruthless Colonel. Returning to the force he leads the militia in battle against the English showing all the tricks he has learnt through the years, in his mission for revenge. Gabriel is the eldest son of Benjamin’s he is the first to go into war and after it returns home, he will serve under his father to show the pride he has standing next to him. Charlotte is the sister-in-law that protects the children from the war while the men go off to fight. Col William Tavington is the man that kills Benjamin’s son in cold blood, he doesn’t want to give a calm peaceful end to the war and is willing to and wants to kill anyone against him.

PerformancesMel Gibson might well have a few personal demons, but when it comes to this style of film, he never looks out of place on the big screen, easily be the star of this film. Heath Ledger continued to show the world just how talented he was going to become with a wonderful supporting performance and Jason Isaacs gives us a villain from a war movie we are going to hate.

StoryThe story follows a once deadly war general who is forced back into battle after his son is killed during the American Revolution, this follows his revenge in the battle which does give us a fictional story to a real war that changed America at the time. Now this does have a reality in how the men would be losing family members to the ruthless British, though this does make out that the British were the worst of the worst when it came to battle. This is a movie designed to make the American audience feel extra patriotic and does show the two sides of war, the respectful way and the dirty tactics people will use to win.

Action/History/WarThe action is large scale war sequences, each one gets bigger with the number of bodies piling up as we go along. The historical side of the film focuses on the real war over the real people involved in the war which is fine, we only need the historical side as a backdrop for the personal battle.

SettingsThe film does make the realistic settings for the time the war took place in each location does play a key part in the film be it a battle, the moment which will leave people wanting revenge or safety.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Being overly patriotic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the long war epics that is designed solely to make America look great, it does end up going down the revenge line which gives an edge to the battles, which will be the highlight of the film.

 

Overall: Patriotic 101

Rating

 

 

Tommy Lee Jones Weekend – Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Director: Irvin Kershner

Writer: John Carpenter, David Zelag Goodman (Screenplay)

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia, Frank Adonis, Lisa Taylor

 

Plot: A famous fashion photographer develops a disturbing ability to see through the eyes of a killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Lil-Murder Mystery

 

Story: Eyes of Laura Mars starts as we meet fashion photographer Laura Mars (Dunaway) who is on top of the world with her work taking over the city, but her life is about to change when she seems to get visions of murders.

When she comes forward believing she saw the latest murder, detective John Neville (Jones) takes the case only to learn that Laura’s photos are strikingly similar to recent murders. When Laura starts to become paranoid about her visions she teams up with Neville to uncover the truth.

 

Thoughts on Eyes of Laura Mars

 

Characters/PerformanceLaura Mars is one of the most famous fashion photographers in the business, taking things to a new risky level. She finds herself seeing murders of her friends and must deal with trying to solve. John Neville is the nonsense detective that is working on the case and one of the few people that comes to understand what is happening to Laura.

Performance wise, Dunaway and Jones both show their full talents here showing how they can capture everything in their emotions through the different situations they are put through.

StoryThe story gives us a good mystery to solve as we only see the crimes committed through the eyes of our lead Laura Mars, we are left to guess who it could be as we are introduced to plenty of different suspects, while also diving into a potential morale question about how the fashion industry can be over sexualising the models.

Mystery/ThrillerWe are left on edge trying to figure out who the murderer is, we are given plenty of suspects which all could be the villain which is all we want from a mystery thriller.

SettingsThe big city is always a great setting for a murder mystery which is great but in the modern era of cinema would be very difficult to get the body count they do.

Special EffectsThe effects are all good through the film, whether it be the kills which are the main attraction for this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller that has a mystery you just get drawn into trying to solve.

 

Overall: This is a film that should be watched by all the mystery fans.

Rating

 

 

The Cat Returns (2002)

catDirector: Hiroyuki Morita

Writer: Reiko Yoshida, Cindy Davis Hewitt, Donald H Hewitt (Screenplay) Aoi Hiiragi (Comic)

Starring: (Voice Talents in English) Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Judy Greer, Andrew Bevis, Kristen Bel, Rene Auberjonois, Andy Ritcher, Peter Boyle, Elliot Gould, Tim Curry

 

Plot: After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Fantasy

 

Story: The Cat Returns starts when Haru a school student who has no luck saves a cat from a traffic accident only to find out that the cats have their own kingdom. As a reward for save Prince Lune the King Cat goes out of his way to make sure Haru gets everything she wants but this also includes marrying the Prince Cat.

Haru knowing how crazy this idea is must find the Cat Bureau a turn to Baron to find a way out of the arranged marriage as we learn about the cat underworld.

The Cat Returns is a film from the amazing Studio Ghibli that gives us a fairy tale that has elements of Alice in Wonderland going on throughout. We get what is a simple storyline about one girl not fitting in her own world finding herself in the middle of another one. I will say this is one of the weakest of the film I have seen from Ghibli but in no way is it a bad film.

 

Overall: Solid addition to the works of Ghibli that will for the cat lovers out there.

Rating60