Ocean’s Eight (2018)

Director: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch (Screenplay) George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell (Characters)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Richard Armitage, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Dakota Fanning, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson

 

Plot: Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.


Tagline – The plan is priceless.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Heist Movie

 

Story: Ocean’s Eight starts when Debbie Ocean (Bullock) is released from prison, sister of Danny with the same habits, she heads to New York to connect with her oldest friend Lou (Blanchett) to put together a team to pull of a heist in the Met Gala. Debbie’s team includes celebrity Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), fashion designer Rose Weil (Carter), jeweller Amita (Kaling), computer hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina) and retired thief turned tradeswoman Tammy (Paulson).

With the team together we need to learn the plan as Debbie teaches us about the motivation for the heist, can Debbie follow in her brother’s footsteps and prove she can put a team together.

 

Thoughts on Ocean’s Eight

 

Characters – Debbie Ocean is the one that get released from prison, sister of Danny, the heist work runs in her blood too. She puts the team together showing the leadership needed, while also risking the job for her own personal reasons to be involved. There doesn’t seem to be much more about her character though. Lou is the best friend and most reliable person in Debbie’s life, she has been working on her own money making ventures, with this being her chance to make a big payday by bank rolling the plan. She does have the most connection to help the job happen. Daphne Kluger is the famous actress the women use to help transport the necklace, the only way to get it out, she gets to poke fun at the celebrity culture we know, even though she is never in the plan. Rose Weil is the clothing designer in a need of a financial boost, she joins the heist by becoming the designer for Daphne. Amita is the jeweller that gets bought into the team to help make sure the necklace can be replicated, she has good banter with Constance. Constance is the pick pocket that street hustler that can’t sit still and must be on the move. Nine Ball is the tech wizard that likes her code name and helps show the ladies about the new modern way of tracking criminals. Tammy is the retired member of the team, she doesn’t get involved anymore, which gives her a reason to get back out there because family life just isn’t keeping her entertained enough. The problem here is the man the heist is against just doesn’t get anytime on screen to make us hate him.

PerformancesThe performances from the eight ladies are good throughout, each gets there moment in the sun, with Bullock showing good leadership, Hathaway enjoying playing into the celebrity idea, Blanchett doing her best Brad Pitt impression and the rest of the supporting team only increase the eyes on their abilities.

StoryThe story here follows Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie who just like her brother can put a team together for a heist even with her own motivations. Now for an Ocean’s movie, this follows the basic heist idea, with the plan coming together and having to overcome problems. The story does lack a main villain, while we do have one, they are just bad guy, the previous films in the franchise have always made us hate them and they always had a feeling something was going on. It would be fair to say this is one of the more forgettable stories in the franchise with this falling into the third best in the franchise ahead of 12. The brief cameos from former members are fine, though it might have been nice to keep some of the bigger names around the franchise.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe slick action that we are used to in the franchise felt calmer and never gets us believing anything is going to go wrong. The comedy misses for the most part we get to see pokes at the previous films that never works. The crime world helps improve the film as we follow the check list for heist movies.

SettingsThe film is set in and around New York which shows us the big city will always be the big setting for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The full heist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of villain, the Ocean film have always made us hate the mark, this one doesn’t.

Final ThoughtsThis is another attempted cash in on the Ocean’s franchise, it is mostly an average heist movie, the lack of villainous figure just holds everything back.

 

Overall: Just an Average heist movie.

Rating

 

 

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Brain on Fire (2016)

Director: Gerard Barrett

Writer: Gerard Barrett (Screenplay) Susannah Cahalan (Memoir)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jenny Slate, Tyler Perry

 

Plot: A young, capable professional cannot explain her newly erratic behavior.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Drama

 

Story: Brain on Fire starts as we meet 21-year-old Susannah Cahalan (Moretz) she has her dream job working for the New York Times and has a steady relationship with musician Stephen (Mann), but her life starts to turn upside when her mind starts getting out of control, filled with blanks spells and erratic behaviour.

When Susannah starts suffering seizures the doctors don’t seem to be able to find anything wrong with her and as the decline increases so does her behaviour. Her parents Tom (Armitage) and Rhona (Moss) do their best to get her the best help and the doctors can clearly see there is something wrong, but the answers remain even more difficult to find.

 

Thoughts on Brain on Fire

 

Characters – Susannah Cahalan is a 21-year-old with her whole life ahead of her with her dream career at such a young age. Her life however takes a dramatic turn when she starts suffering from paranoia episodes which puts the strain on her personal and professional life with the doctors running out of options, this is her true story. Stephen is her boyfriend that uses his music to try and help ease her pain. Tom and Rhona fill the parental roles that both have different ways of handling their helplessness through the illness, as well as the friends that support her.

PerformancesChloe Grace Moretz is a great and talent young actress, but for this role you can see she is too young to truly understand the subject in question, remember this was film when she was 18/19 and the story is being told from perspective of someone in their early 20s, so you did need someone who would understand that age. The rest of the cast are fine without getting anything overly different to deal with.

StoryThe story is an important message about understand an illness which can be difficult to diagnose, and one people have been suffering with, this is her story about how she survived. One of the big problems is that we have scenes without her, so this can’t be from her memory, but second-hand account. For the subject involved we kind of understand how these stories will go and this doesn’t offer too much new to the genre. If this is something you enjoy watching you won’t be complaining, but it won’t make any of the top lists.

BiopicThis is Susannah’s story, you really can’t say a bad thing about her story, it just doesn’t truly feel film worthy.

SettingsThe film is set in New York and in hospitals, it shows the everyday life Susannah would have been living in at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Margo visits Susannah.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It felt like an episode of House.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough biopic that doesn’t offer too much new, it is watchable but not one that will be talked about for years to come.

 

Overall: Standard biopic without the impact.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – I – Into the Storm (2014)

Director: Steven Quale

Writer: John Swetnam (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Max Deacon, Nathan Kress

 

Plot: Storm trackers, thrill-seekers, and everyday townspeople document an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes touching down in the town of Silverton.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Storm Movie

 

Story: Into the Storm starts as we follow storm chasers led by Pete (Walsh) who is looking for tornadoes for the latest series of their show. Allison (Callies) is the latest member of team who uses the technology to track storms even if it hasn’t been the most successful so far. With the funding almost pulled Pete gives Allison’s choice one last chance which brings the team to Silverton. Silverton is the home of teenagers Donnie (Deacon) and Trey (Kress) who are assigned to film the graduation in time capsule at their high school for their vice-principal father Gary (Armitage).

As the team arrive in Silverton the tornadoes appear with devastating consequences as Gary must race across town to save Donnie and he works with the storm chasing team to save him and record the biggest storm from first time accounts of the people involved.

 

Thoughts on Into the Storm

 

Characters/PerformanceGary is the high school vice-principal and father of two students, he is distant because of the loss of his wife but loves them both, pushing them to achieve greatness will respecting their choices. Allison is the technology based storm chasers newer to the team that must prove her ability to predict storms for her boss and then for the people of the town of Silverton. Pete is the ambitious presenter of a storm chasing show, he will put his team in danger and will do anything to get ahead of the game, he is part asshole too in this film. the kids are what you expect finding themselves in danger needing adults to save them but also knowing a few tricks to save the day.

Performance wise, Richard Armitage is solid enough in the leading role and completely different to his Hobbit role he is most famous for, Sarah Wayne Callies does a good job in her role proving she has managed to get away from television in lower key movies. Matt Walsh does give us the type of character we know for this genre of film. the rest of the cast are all fine in this movie.

StoryThe story is routine here, we have a broken family needing to come together to survive with another single mother wanting to do the right thing while a greedy person looks to get famous. We also have very over the top tornadoes that are being chased, so this is simply one that doesn’t have the most difficult story to watch and is easy to watch, even if it is short as a survivor’s story.

Action/ThrillerThe action sequences are big, over the top and entertaining, this will give us a great thrill ride through the film.

SettingsThe setting is in and around a small town which shows how a small community can be effected by tornadoes which is something the film wants to tell in the story.

Special EffectsThe tornadoes all look fantastic through the film and must be applauded.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun, disaster movie that is way over the top but still just as enjoyable throughout.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Rating

 

 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

logoDirector: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay) J.R.R. Tolkien (Novel)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Scott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry

 

Plot: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Shortest of the Saga but Still Too Long

 

Story: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies starts with the effects of the previous film with Smaug entering into the town destroying everything in its way. Bilbo (Freeman) and the rest of the dwarfs watch on helplessly while Bard (Evans) tries to be hero the town saving his family along the way. Bard manages to put the beast down saving what is left of the town but away from the destruction we see how Gandalf (McKellen) is still captured.

We see the aftermath of the attack with the towns people ready to turn on each other before the dwarfs going onto their next chapter with Thorin (Armitage) starting to become obsessed with the newly discovered gold. Bard taking control of the town’s people must lead them to safety while Legolas (Bloom) but find out who is going to be interested in the newly discovered gold. The mountain has become the target for all of the powers in middle earth and they all come together for one long battle for the gold.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is based on five pages of a children’s book and turns out to be well over 2 hours long, let’s face it there isn’t much of a story here, nothing happens except a battle that goes on, and on and almost decides to go Fuck it lets put this animal in it see what happens. The opening of the film is confusing because if you forgot what happened last time it doesn’t make any sense and to make things worse the characters are so easily forgettable you don’t care what happens to them. This is simply put a terrible conclusion to a saga that over stayed its welcome. (2/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ian McKellen: Gandalf is the wizard who seems to have a calming influence on every side but even he can’t stop the battle from going on. Ian is in it but I don’t really know what he does, swings his stick a little and chats to Bilbo, could have had anyone do this really. (3/10)

 

Martin Freeman: Bilbo Baggins is on his biggest adventure and always tries to do the right thing even if it makes enemies of friends. Martin becomes the supporting character in a film about his own adventure but he does a solid job. (5/10)

bilbo

Richard Armitage: Thorin is the dwarf king who is losing control because of his hold over the gold, this is making him isolated from his friends and leaving him making rash decision. Richard does a solid job but is he happy or sad oh wait I don’t know. (5/10)

 rich

Orlando Bloom: Legolas is our returning hero who completes his appearances in all of the sagas with an investigation mission to who is preparing for battle for the mountain. Orlando clearly needed an extra pay day so he can go back to the shit movies he has been making here. (3/10)

 

Luke Evans: Bard is the warrior fighting for his city and saving it from the dragon Smaug before holding everything together trying to find a peaceful conclusion to the gold in the mountain. I personally thought Luke played the most interesting character of the whole film but that was because he got to kick ass at the start. (6/10)

bard

Support Cast: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has so many supporting characters I just didn’t remember the names of it is unbelievable really, none of the made an impact enough to make you care about them.

 

Director Review: Peter Jackson – Peter has finally slipped off the top of the mountain after the success of his first trilogy we get a very complete lacklustre one. (4/10)

 

Adventure: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies doesn’t really have much adventure because no one seems to do any travelling in this one. (0/10)

Fantasy: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies puts us in a fantasy world where they seem to just put any creature they like on screen. (6/10)

Settings: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies have a very CGI world to battle in with location that make for assistance in battle. (5/10)
Special Effects
: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has very poor special effects for the budget the film has. (3/10)

Suggestion: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is one for only the fans to see and even then I think they will feel disappointed with the final product. (Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Opening Dragon attack.

Worst Part: The Rest

Action Scene Of The Film: The Battle looks epic but I don’t know who is who.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Box Office: $955 Million

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: Witness the defining chapter of the Middle-Earth saga

Trivia: In the book, the whole Battle Of The Five Armies takes place in just one chapter, and is described to the reader after the fact. While in the film, the battle takes up nearly half of the running time.

 

Overall: This has to go down as a bad, boring film that really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities.

Rating 30

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

logoDirector: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro (Screenplay) J.R.R. Tolkien (‘The Hobbit’ Novel)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Lee Pace

 

Plot: The Hobbit Bilbo (Freeman), the Wizard Gandalf (McKellen) and 13 dwarfs led by Thorin (Armitage) continue their journey to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Along the way they encounter the skin changer Beorn; giant Spiders of Mirkwood; Wood-elves led by Legolas (Bloom), Tauriel (Lilly) and King Thranduil (Pace); and a mysterious Man named Bard (Evans); who smuggles them into Lake-town. Finally reaching the Lonely Mountain they face their greatest danger – the dragon Smaug (Cumberbatch).

 

Verdict: Adventure Continues

 

Story: The adventure carries on following the heroes as they quest to restore a rightful king. Mixing all the different races together to fight for one common good before darkness takes over the world. This is nothing new to the original Lord of the Rings trilogy and much like them it is way too long to tell what simple story is being told. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Ian McKellen: Gandalf pledges to help the dwarfs on their quest only to go off on his own quest to get ready for battle in the next film. Good performance from McKellen but it is fair to say he isn’t involved as much as people will think. (8/10)

mckellen

Martin Freeman: Bilbo the Hobbit hired to be the gloried burglar for the dwarfs, battles the power of the ring while trying to complete his quest. Good from Martin adding some light hearted comedy to an overly serious film. (8/10)

 bilbo

Richard Armitage: Thorin the rightful dwarf king who is out to reclaim his kingdom. Good determined leader performance fills in very much for the Aragon role from the first trilogy. (9/10)

 kinf dwarf

Orlando Bloom: Legolas the elf archer who protects his people with his superior combat skills. Good for the fight scenes and timing but otherwise seems a bit pointless for the quest. (5/10)

 bloom

Evangeline Lilly: Tauriel elf warrior who has a connection to one of the dwarfs is also good for combat. Good performance with a character that offers more than Legolas. (7/10)

 lilly

Luke Evans: Bard/Girion mysterious stranger who helps the dwarfs get to their next part of their quest but and what cost? Good performance introducing a mystery character to the final chapter. (8/10)

 

Director Review: Peter Jackson – Doesn’t pull you in as much as previous instalments but this comes off more interesting than the first Hobbit. (7/10)

 

Adventure: The adventure the dwarfs go on is very good and you want to see how they get on the whole time. (9/10)

Fantasy: It is all pure fantasy. (10/10)

Settings: Each setting adds much to the overall story. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Some of the effects are brilliant, but too many are so clearly CGI it takes all what the first series had to make it special. (5/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the fans only, no casual fan will enjoy this too much as the characters are all too similar and hard to tell a part. (Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Smaug battle

Worst Part: So long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Smaug battle.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Final chapter out at the end of the year.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Awards

Box Office: $949,946,593

Runtime: 2 Hours 41Minutes

Tagline: Beyond darkness … beyond desolation…lies the greatest danger of all.

 

Overall: Fans Fantasy Adventure Only

Rating 70