ABC Film Challenge – Action – Z – Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

This is under Z for the ABC film challenge because of the director Harald Zwart.

Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Jessica Postigo (Screenplay) Cassandra Clare (Novel)

Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Sheehan, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Lena Headey

 

Plot: When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called the Shadow World.


Tagline – Worlds will collide August 21

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Young Adult Blah

 

Story: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones starts when normal teenagers Clary (Collins) starts seeing and drawing a mysterious symbol which her mother Jocelyn (Headey) knows more about, this draws attention towards her which sees her mother disappear and Jace (Bower) teaching her about her mother’s past as a warrior fighting demons.

Clary enters a mysterious world beneath New York City, where Jace shows her just how big the battle between the two sides is, with Valentine (Meyers) searching for Clary.

 

Thoughts on The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

 

Characters – Clary is the normal teenager girl that has started seeing a strange symbol in her everyday life, this takes her down a new path to search for her mother, only to learn about her own true identity which will see her learning that she is a warrior that fights demons. Clary is the typical young adult figure that we always see, she isn’t given anything new to make her look special in anyway. Jace is the young man that is a shadow hunter that looks to protect Clary from the other evil forces that what her information. He leads the strongest team, he also becomes a love interest for Clary. Alec and Isabelle are the two other members of the team, they are suspicious of Clary and what it might mean to the rest of the shadow hunters futures. We do have plenty of senior figure that help guide the younger characters along their way, some help, some have their own motives.

PerformancesLily Collins does the best she can in this role, it is hard to figure out the mindset of the character which part of the problem in the performance. Jamie Campbell Bower struggles to, because it is trying to be mysterious only to look uninterested in what is happening, this is a problem most of the cast suffer from with only Jemima West being watchable because she does get some funny lines.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that learns she has a connection to a battle between good and evil going on in our own world, where she is one of the most important parts of bringing an end to it all. This is one of those young adult stories that made such an impact, we somebody in this case Clary learn about a world she wasn’t aware of, where he presence in will change it for every side of the battle. We do get thrown into a lot of information here because we get to see just how big this world is meant to be and how many different types of creatures, demons and monsters are living with in it. This is also one of those frustrating opening chapters of a set of stories which is meant to be growing to become much large in the future, the film idea failed, but the story does get to go to the small screen for answers.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/RomanceThe action comes from the battles between the different demons in the world that are preparing to fight against each other, the fantasy world we enter should be a lot more entertaining because of the creatures involved. We get the cheap horror moments involved which never feel remotely scary in anyway. The romance is angle does get awkward in places and tries to build a love triangle too.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, which is fine, the idea that there is a world out there that we don’t know about should be a lot more entertaining and visual special too.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are the flashing lights involved in the fights, most work well, with the demons looking the best.


Scene of the Movie –
Demons pause.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not following instructions.

Final ThoughtsThis is another one of the young adult movies that just doesn’t do anything special and falls into the, ‘we have seen this before’ category.

 

Overall: Disappointing Young Adult Film.

Rating

 

 

Bad Samaritan (2018)

Director: Dean Devlin

Writer: Brandon Boyce (Screenplay)

Starring: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, Carlito Olivero, Jacqueline Byers, Tracey Heggins, Rob Nagle

 

Plot: A pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tennant is a Creepy Psychopath

 

Story: Bad Samaritan starts when two burglars Sean (Sheehan) and Derek (Olivero) are running an operation as valets who break into houses while people are eating their dinners. When they pick their latest victim Cale Erendreich (Tennant) with his flashy car, Sean leads the look through his house, finding all the goodies the pair want, before making a shocking discovery, Katie (Condon) chained up in an office.

Sean get caught between doing the right thing and helping the woman, only to find Cale is able to talk the police away and breaking back into the house, the woman is gone and now his has become a target for Cale.

 

Thoughts on Bad Samaritan

 

Characters – Cale Erendreich is rich man that isn’t afraid to show his flashy cars around town, he is rude to people that he sees beneath him and he has a woman locked up in an office at his house. He likes to correct people and after Sean breaks into his house, he becomes the latest target, showing us that Cale is doing what he thinks is the right thing. Sean Falco is the thief that gets more than he bargained for on his latest job, he end up getting caught in the middle of a game which will see him become the target for the killer, seeing his life start to fall apart around him, Sean shows us what it is like when somebody wants to make it and just how far they will go to clean up the mess left behind. Katie is the woman that is held captive that knows that she will be put in more danger if Sean does rescue her at the wrong time. Derek is Sean’s best friend who works with him to select who to rob only he could get in more trouble if he is ever caught.

PerformancesDavid Tennant is fantastic in this leading role, he brings us a creepy psychopath figure that is completely calm, while being calculated in each scene. Robert Sheehan is strong as his character is put through a moral dilemma and he shows us the desperation he is going through. Kerry Condon does what she can in her role, it is harder for her to do as much because most of role is tied up. Carlito Olivera does everything asked of him without standing out in anyway.

StoryThe story here follows a small-time thief that sees his latest job go crazy after the person he is robbing from turns out to have dark secret which sees his life get turned upside down. This story is an easy watch and does go against everything you would imagine it going, watching the cat-n-mouse style unfold is interesting to follow as see how each side tries to get the upper hand and slowly starts to learn what the other might know about. It does soon pan out and just become a bigger case which is fine if you would like to get to learn more about the opening sequence. We do get to see just how dangerous technology will be in the wrong hands.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film does show us Cale operates in this world, with the horror side of this coming from just how he can get away with anything if he knows how to.

SettingsThe film is set in Portland which shows how difficult the life can be for people that are struggling to make ends meet.


Scene of the Movie –
You talk too much.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has a problem when it comes to learning about Cale’s back story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a crime horror that goes full-blown cat-n-mouse which does keep us guessing to just who will end up on top in this battle.

 

Overall: Interesting Cat-n-mouse chase.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge Comedy – M – Moonwalkers (2015)

Director: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet

Writer: Dean Craig (Screenplay) Antoine Bardou-Jacquet (Story)

Starring: Rupert Grint, Ron Perlman, Robert Sheehan, Stephen Campbell Moore, Eric Lampaert

 

Plot: After failing to locate the legendary Stanley Kubrick, an unstable CIA agent must instead team up with a seedy rock band manager to develop the biggest con of all time-staging the moon landing.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Comedy

 

Story: Moonwalkers starts we follow the unstable CIA agent Kidman (Perlman) travel to the England in an attempt to track down legendary film director Stanley Kubrick to help the American film the moon landing in case the Apollo 11 mission goes wrong. While in England quick talking band manager Jonny (Grint) who is in desperate need of money.

When the two clash through mistaken identity Jonny pretends to know Kubrick, he gets his friend Leon (Sheehan) to get a deal done. When Kidman catches up with Jonny and learns he was conned, the two must team up to film the fake moon landing with artistic director Renatus (Audenaert).

 

Thoughts on Moonwalkers

 

Characters – Jonny is the quick talking manager of a small band who is in need of money, he will cut any corner to get money which includes crossing paths with CIA agent, we see his drive through the film as he is a man who just wants to get rich quick. Kidman is the CIA agent that will kill anyone that gets in his way, but he is unstable because of his time in Vietnam, he is assigned to get the film made and ends up dealing with the drug scene on 60’s England. Leon is the friend of Jonny that is stoned through the whole film, he claims to be an actor and gets his chance with the film being made.

PerformanceRupert Grint is good in this leading role and it is good to see him doing leading roles post Harry Potter. Ron Perlman is the star here because we don’t normally see him in a comedic role and he does nail this with his performance here. Robert Sheehan is a lot of fun to watch here too.

StoryIt was always a conspiracy theory that the moon landing was faked and this film shows the comedic attempts to have a backup in case the landing didn’t happen. The story does follow an if it could go wrong it did go wrong formula which does for the film. it is a fun watch but don’t take too much seriously in this story.

ComedyThe comedy is mostly stonner comedy which is fine, it has its market out there and this will reach that market.

SettingsThe late 60s England makes for a great setting because of the drug culture that seemed to be running rampant during the time comes off well.

Scene of the Movie – Kidman’s trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many just stoned jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple comedy that will have the market that will enjoy this movie, it pokes fun at a conspiracy in the fake moon landing too.

 

Overall: Good background comedy.

Rating

 

 

Mute (2018)

Director: Duncan Jones

Writer: Michael Robert Johnson, Duncan Jones (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd, Noel Clarke, Justin Theroux, Robert Kazinsky, Seyneb Saleh, Robert Sheehan, Dominic Monaghan

 

Plot: A mute bartender goes up against his city’s gangsters in an effort to find out what happened to his missing partner.


Tagline – He doesn’t need words.

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tonally Confusing

 

Story: Mute starts as we meet Amish man Leo (Skarsgard), working as a bartender in a futuristic world, filled with technology, to make his life harder he is a mute, he is reluctantly being bought into the technology world by his girlfriend Naadirah (Saleh), a waitress at the club they both work in.

When Naadirah goes missing, Leo goes on a mission to learn the truth about what happened to her, this includes dealing with gangsters, the fetish fans of the world and secret surgeons Cactus Bill (Rudd) and Duck (Theroux).

 

Thoughts on Mute

 

Characters – Leo is a mute Amish bartender that falls in love with a waitress, he isn’t happy to embrace technology as the rest of the world, which only holds him back, but he has taken to some which goes against his Amish ways. When his love goes missing he dives into world of gangsters to learn the truth. Cactus Bill is one part of the underground surgery team, he is loud doesn’t care who he insults as he is preparing to leave. He does the talking to cover up the reality that Leo can’t. Duck is the partner of Bill that performers the operations, he has a bad vibe about his charming personality.  We have plenty of colourful characters here which only bring us moments which are meant to stand out.

PerformancesThe performances are hard to fault in this movie, the actors do the best they can do with what they have. Alexander Skarsgard plays the role that is shown with his emotions and body language well, while Paul Rudd does the fast talking character well. We don’t get enough of most of the colourful characters we meet which doesn’t give them the time to shine.

StoryThe story is a mystery needing to be solved by an outsider to a criminal world. This is the basic side to everything as the colourful characters make each meeting feel like a clue for Leo, but this ruins the flow of the tone of the film as none of these characters remotely feel like they are from the same world. The story does contain twists, but they are not difficult to figure out and it goes on for too long being over two hours.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in the film follows us as we see if Leo can figure out what happened to Naadirah in a futuristic look at Berlin.

SettingsThe film does have a good look, trying to be futuristic, but more about being eco-friendly for the look.

Special EffectsThe effects for the movie are good for the most part without being used as often as you would imagine.


Scene of the Movie –
Final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many ends that just don’t need to be here.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing sci-fi movie that had all the interesting ingredients needed to make this stand out more, but it only ends up being basic with too many tonal issues.

 

Overall: Disappointing sci-fi film.

Rating