Four Lions (2010)

four-lionsDirector: Christopher Morris

Writer: Christopher Morris, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Julia Davis, Craig Parkinson

 

Plot: Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Funny Comedy

 

Story: Four Lions starts as we meet four British Muslims working simple jobs in England, Omar (Ahmed), Barry (Lindsay), Waj (Novak) and Faisal (Akhtar) who want to going be Jihadists. Omar and Waj get the call to travel to Pakistan to go through the training with Barry keeping up the fight back in the UK recruiting Hassan (Ali).

When the group reunite, they plan their own terrorist attack in the UK but as things continue to go wrong with Barry’s extreme behaviour, while Omar wanting to be more calculated with his attack. When they finally put their difference behind them the group look to plan their attack with of course comical consequences.

 

Thoughts on Four Lions

 

Characters/PerformanceOmar is the calm leader who has the plan down perfectly and tries to do the right thing for his friend, Waj is the simple-minded character who is easily led astray by Barry and Omar. Barry is the true British extremist who enjoys the terrorist idea and wants to hurt as many people as he can, he is the true bad example of this whole film. we get to see the comic side of these hopeless characters who want to be terrorists.

Performance wise Riz Ahmed is brilliant in this role with Nigel Lindasy and Kayvan Novak being equally as entertaining through the whole film. I think the whole cast do a great job at how we can see the nativity behind the jihadists extremists.stars

StoryThe story shows us how naïve jihadists believe they can follow others into the terrorist’s idea when they are clearly just clueless about the whole situation. This is an advert about how people can be led astray by these extremist’s beliefs but never understand the true meaning of everything they are doing. The story is mostly parody which works all so well for the film.

Comedy/CrimeWe have laughs from start to finish in this film while the crime terrorist attack is being planned.

SettingsThe settings show how these men can come from everyday background to be the terrorists, we see whole London can be a target with the links to escape or find trapped.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used in small places but they all work well for the film.genre

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to comedy this is by far one of the best you will see and I think everyone could enjoy even with a sensitive subject.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the comedy fans out there.

Ratingrating

 

 

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Una (2016)

Director: Benedict Andrews

Writer: David Harrower (Screenplay)

Starring: Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tara Fitzgerald, Riz Ahmed

 

Plot: A woman confronts an older man, her former neighbour, to find out why he abandoned her after they had a sexual relationship when she was thirteen.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Watch Drama

 

Story: Una starts as we meet Una (Mara) a young woman with a troubled past after she was sexually abused at the age of 13. Una goes in search for the man Ray, now going by the name Peter (Mendelsohn) to learn why he did what he did. We get flashbacks showing the relationship between a young Una (Stokes) and Ray which started as friendship before it went too far, landing Ray in prison.

We follow how both Una and Ray have spent years dealing with the consequences of that moment, Ray believing he wasn’t a paedophile but branded one so much so that he had to get a new name and town, Una looks to get the closure she never received as a child and this night of conversation look like it will offer that.

 

Thoughts on Una

 

Characters – Una is the once sexually abused teenager but has spent the next 15-years wondering why, waiting for the chance to speak to the man again, we see how to confronts him to explain her feelings while dealing with the lack of closure she ever had with him. Ray was the man that sexual abused Una when she was 13, he served his time and started a new life with a new name, he also believes nothing was truly wrong with what he did.

PerformanceRooney Mara does give us an emotionally driven performance throughout the film, Ben Mendelsohn is great throughout showing us a true outline of a men living with regret.

StoryThe story does cover a taboo subject, sexual interaction between a minor and an adult, it plays along the idea that not everything is about the idea whether it was right or wrong but what the people involved must deal with later in life if it was just an encounter over abuse. There will be the questions asked about whether it was or wasn’t abuse but that will also be asked through the film otherwise this is a story that focuses on the victim not living a health life, the adult needing to rebuild his life and keep it together when the truth comes around. This is a slow burning story and isn’t going to be with the light hearted due to the sensitive subject but does show us the important message.

SettingsThe low key settings show us this could be everyday life for the people involved which is the highlight, as it never over victimises anyone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Breaking all the safety rules but not wearing hi-vis vests in a warehouse with forklifts operating.

Final ThoughtsThis is going to be a hard watch for many, mostly because of the subject matter. Away from this it also could play an important part to life looking at how the victims could be effected by anything that happens to them.

 

Overall: Important but slow drama.

Rating

 

 

Rogue One (2016)

rogueDirector: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy (Screenplay) John Knoll, Gary Whitta (Story)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen

 

Plot: The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Franchise Filling

 

Story: Rogue One starts Galen Erso (Mikkelsen) and his family hiding on a planet from the Empire with Orson Krennic (Mendelsohn) hunting them down. Jyn (Jones) rescued by Saw Gerrera (Whitaker) grows up to be captured by the imperial guards.

With Jyn broken out of an Imperial labour prison by the rebels who want to use her to find her father who could be working on the Deathstar. Cassian Andor (Luna) is leading an attempt to stop the final preparation of the Deathstar with the connection with Saw Gerrera being important to finding her father.

What follows is the adventure before the saga begins, as the unlikely rebels must steal the plans for the Deathstar to stop the empire from rising to complete power in the universe.

 

Thoughts on Rogue One

 

StoryThis is the prequel to the loved trilogy that is actually a sequel to the disliked trilogy. We only get a snippet into the world of Star Wars with mentions of the force but nothing much going on around the force which is a good plus. This is does feel like a darker story to anything we have seen before with it feeling like a gritter side to the battle rather than the lightsabre action we are used too. Now I don’t want to be a negative person but if this was the first story in the saga I feel it wouldn’t be up to scratch with where the franchise goes, but if this was just a standalone space film it would feel empty of the final impact needed.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is all grand and what you would expect from the Star Wars universe with the adventure being something we are also used to seeing. The sci-fi world is all fine even though the film tries hard to stay serious and down to Earth throughout.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters do all feel like they are from the middle of a rebel fight all coming from different worlds to fight which is all good, the lead character Jyn well she is strong but she is no Rey so don’t go in there expecting a character that strong. The most annoying character to me was voiced brilliantly so nothing against Alan Tudyk but the robot character felt like it had been stolen from Interstellar’s Tars.  When it comes to the performances everyone does a good job throughout so I can’t complain or criticise them in anyway.

SettingsThe settings do all feel gritter making us feel like we are in the war without the force powers going on later in the saga but we do have too many planets to keep on top of which are relevant to later chapters in the story.

Special EffectsYou can’t fault any of the special effects because it is all brilliant like you would expect from a film of this reputation.

Final ThoughtsStretching the universe once more filling in the gaps that didn’t need filling to cover up the wait until the next chapter in the main saga. This is an easy watch but in the end, will struggle to make the top 3 of any Star Wars fans list.

 

Overall: Franchise filler that didn’t need to be made that doesn’t capture the spirit of this franchise.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jason Bourne (2016)

bourneDirector: Paul Greengrass

Writer: Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse (Screenplay) Robert Ludlum (Characters)

Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed, Scott Shepherd, Bill Camp

 

Plot: The most dangerous former operative of the CIA is drawn out of hiding to uncover hidden truths about his past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bourne There Seen That

 

Story: Jason Bourne starts when Jason Bourne (Damon) gets drawn out of hiding by his former contact Nicky Parsons (Stiles) who gives him information about his father and why he was selected to be a candidate in the program. With Jason wanting to find answers CIA Director Robert Dewey (Jones) wants to close the case on Bourne for good and with his Asset (Cassel) ready to pull the trigger it is the inclusion of ambitious agent Heather Lee (Vikander) that sees this operation as her chance to leap forward in her career.

Jason Bourne is the continuing story of Jason Bourne with yet another extension to the story of the man. We get all of the same action we have seen with an overall conspiracy to take privacy from the people. I personally feel this is kind of just more of what we have seen before as the story shows that whatever happens it will happen again.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Jason Bourne has been in hiding getting by using his skills but when he gets contacted by his former contact he comes out of hiding to try and put a stop to the whole system of recruiting the potential soldiers. Matt looks the part and feels like he has naturally aged the character.

Tommy Lee Jones: CIA Director Robert Dewey is looking to re-activate the program to see everyone’s personal information but once Bourne surfaces he looks to put an end to him and anyone who gets in his way. Tommy is what you would call the standard villain without being anything fresh to the series.

Alicia Vikander: Heather Lee is an ambitious agent that uses her skills to locate Bourne demanding to lead the team in taking him out but she classes in methods with Dewey. Alicia has made a big name for herself over the recent years and this could well be her easiest role where she doesn’t have to do too much to be a big part of the story.

Support Cast: Jason Bourne has a supporting cast which isn’t that big but in the end only one other character is really interesting and that is the Asset who has an old rivalry with Bourne.

Director Review: Paul GreengrassPaul gives us a standard sequel to the much loved series which just doesn’t hit all the points needed.

 

Action: Jason Bourne has brilliant car chases and hand to hand combats even if the camera is way too shaky.

Settings: Jason Bourne pretty much takes us on a world tour through the film never staying any location long enough.
Special Effects
: Jason Bourne has good effects when needed without using too much CGI.

Suggestion: Jason Bourne is one for the fans to watch but it really isn’t one of the strongest in the series. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final car chase.

Worst Part: Shaky Cam

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Maybe

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $120 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: You know his name

 

Overall: Just another chapter in the series really.

Ratingcard

 

 

Nightcrawler (2014)

logoDirector: Dan Gilroy

Writer: Dan Gilroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed

 

Plot: When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wow Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: Nightcrawler starts by showing Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) working to thief stealing and selling metal. Louis is looking for career in life but it struggling to find his calling in life, but witnessing a car crash recovery Louis meets Joe (Paxton) who race to the scene of the crime to get raw footage so they can sell it to whoever pays the most. This leads to Louis starting his own chase to the crime scene with his first Police radio and video camera.

After getting his first footage he sales it to cut throat news veteran Nina (Russo) who explaining what her station is after as well as handing out tips for him to improve his style in the future. Starting off Louis hires an assistant Rick (Ahmed) to learn the codes to help navigate through the city of Los Angeles. Louis continues to improve his style he gets drawn into world, improve his equipment, car as well as starting to become more daring in pushing the boundaries including make the scenes look better on camera. With ratings week happening Louis has to prove he is all he claims and going up against Joe and his multi van team he has been losing out, now Louis will go to new levels risking not only his own life but his assistant’s life. Louis starts going dark crossing lines he should never be to make sure he gets the perfect footage.

Nightcrawler is very much one of the most interesting films of the year, I have not seen a film that focuses on the subject that this one does before. We get to see how Louis slowly becomes obsessed with this fascination on the perfect film as well as learn more about what drives him to perfection. We get to see how close the boundaries people will go and we then get to judge on what is too far for ourselves. We get morals questioned from the first moment to the final but with the new world’s obsession with reality these guys would be considered right even though it is very wrong how far they go. The story is fresh, the story is original and the story pulls you in. (10/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jake Gyllenhaal: Louis Bloom starting off as a thief but when he learns about ‘Stingers’ who go around looking to get the first footage of crime scenes he gets interested in starting his own recording service. As the time continues he becomes obsessed with getting the best and along with his relationship with news veteran grows as does his reputation. Jake gives his best performance of his career here and it will stick with you afterwards too. (10/10)

 luis

Rene Russo: Nina Romina a veteran news director who is on the lowest rated channel, she gets involved with using Louis footage and sees the rating rise but she gets caught up in negotiating on the footage as each one rises to breaking the budgets. Rene gives a great performance as the aging news lady. (9/10)

rene

Bill Paxton: Joe Loder a fellow stringer who shows Louis the world before becoming competition against him. Bill does a good job offering the a supporting role here without doing too much. (7/10)

 

Riz Ahmed: Rick assistant to Louis who constantly starts wanting more money but keeps getting shot down because of the demands of Louis, who eventually gives him the raise but only when Rick starts risking more. Riz does give a great performance as the slacker in need of money. (9/10)

riz

Support Cast: Nightcrawler doesn’t have the biggest support cast with most involved are part of the news team and we see how they start to know and respect Louis the more he brings them to work with.

 

Director Review: Dan Gilroy – Dan does a great job directing this making the film edge of the seat from start to finish. (10/10)

 

Crime: Nightcrawler shows the dark side of the crime world where people films what has been happening for money. (9/10)

Thriller: Nightcrawler is one of the most edge of your seat films that you will ever see. (10/10)

Settings: Nightcrawler uses the settings of Los Angeles brilliant to show the difference in the neighbourhoods as well as the people you will meet. (10/10)

Suggestion: Nightcrawler is just a must watch for everyone. (Just Watch)

 

Best Part: Car Chase.

Worst Part: Hard to find one.

 

Believability: These people are real but this extreme maybe not. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: This could very well have a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for Golden Globe Best Actor and Nominated for four BAFTAs including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

Oscar Chances: Could get nominated for Oscars.

Box Office: $38 Million

Budget: $8.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: The City Shines Brightest at Night

 

Overall: Thriller of the Year

Rating 94