ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – U – Unforgettable (2017)

Director: Denis Di Novi

Writer: Christina Hodson (Screenplay)

Starring: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Kai Rice, Alex Quijano, Sarah Burns, Whitney Cummings

 

Plot: A woman sets out to make life a living hell for her ex-husband’s new fiancée.


Tagline – For worse

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Fatal Attraction Failure

 

Story: Unforgettable starts as Julia Banks (Dawson) is getting questioned by the police, we learn about her past before jumping back 6-months to see her new promotion and moving in with her new boyfriend David (Stults), life seems perfect for the two.

With David having a child Lily (Rice) from his previous marriage Julia must get used to a new addition to the household at times, but the former wife Tessa (Heigl) isn’t letting David go without a fight as she starts to invade the personal life of Julia with devastating consequences.

 

Thoughts on Unforgettable

 

Characters – Julia Banks is hitting the high point of her, promotion and engagement to the man of her dream. She does have a past which is very secretive that even David doesn’t know about it. She does have a habit about losing stuff, well she starts too, her past can play into her downfall against Tessa. Tessa is the ex-wife of David, she is very controlling and hasn’t taken the idea of David moving on well, she wants him back and with her own demanding mother in her life she is acting the same towards her own daughter. She always feels distant from any human interaction as she is planning to make Julia’s life a nightmare. David is the man stuck in the middle of everything, he is trying to keep both women happy one for the new love in his life the other to keep his daughter part of his life.

PerformancesRosario Dawson is good in her role we needed to see more of the life falling apart around her though. Katherine Heigl has had a mixed reaction from the audience and business over the last few years, she does work in this role as you do get an uneasy feeling whenever she is on screen. Geoff Stults is fine, he never really gets too much to do through the movie.

StoryThe story follows an ex-wife that wants to make the new girlfriends life a living nightmare in an attempt to get her husband back. This does play out like all over the stalker films we have seen before and yes, we have moved along technologically making the moves against the victim more personally. This is an easy enough watch and playing into the idea that the victim has a past which could make her easier to frame does help even if the whole thing plays out just like you would imagine.

ThrillerThe film tries to give us the tension bound levels needed, only for the most part to feel like it was just being slowly building and any scenes involving Julia and Tessa feel empty for the first half of the film.

SettingsThe film puts us in high-life houses which shows how the family can cope with divorce easily, while this works, a lower class of victim would make this more intense and interesting.


Scene of the Movie –
The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There isn’t enough tension in the early part of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is the trademark yearly stalker ex movie, it checks the boxes well without needing to be anything special or dreadful.

 

Overall: Simple Thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Justice League Dark (2017)

Director: Jay Oliva

Writer: Ernie Altbacker (Screenplay) J.M DeMatteis, Ernie Altbacker (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rosario Dawson, Camilla Luddington, Jerry O’Connell, Jeremy Davies, Alfred Molina, Enrico Colantoni, Matt Ryan, Jason O’Mara, Nicholas Turturro, Roger Cross, Ray Chase

 

Plot: Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan.


Tagline – Every super hero has a dark side.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker Justice League Delight

 

Story: Justice League Dark starts when the people of the world start seeing demons in everyday life causing them to commit crimes including murder. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are doing their best to solve the mystery which leads them to work with John Constantine.

John is joined with his connection Zatanna and Boston Brand as Batman leads the investigation to the mysterious demons being seen by the people around the world. Destiny an ancient evil has returned and only Constantine’s dark magic can save humanity.

 

Thoughts on Justice League Dark

 

Characters – Batman must look outside of the normal Justice League for help on the latest mission, one that goes into the dark arts of magic, he must use his connection to find Constantine as they prepare to fight to save the world once again. John Constantine is the British dark arts expert, he doesn’t get on with many people, but knows each and every connection in the darker side of the universe. Zatanna is the connection between Batman and Constantine, she does have Boston around to help control bodies, which is what Boston uses his abilities for, Jason Blood is the one friend that John still has even if they do have moments where they don’t see eye to eye, as well as his own inner demon which does the fighting for him. Destiny is the demon that is trying to find his way back to Earth after being left in darkness after his failed invasion.

StoryThe story here takes Batman to a new group the dark magic group of the DC Universe which brings us the darkest story to date. We only have small appearances from most of the Justice League, this does let the new characters have the focus for the story which is important because we are in a world a dark magic. This does have twists along the way in the story which will keep you guessing along the way and if you don’t know most of these characters you will get a chance to learn with how they are introduced through the film.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action does fill the quota for a big superhero style fighting film, we have lots of explosion and destruction with each case getting bigger as the film unfold. Where this film uses the fantasy card is with the magic involved in the film, we get to see the creature from different universes appear and fight, with some showing us the horrors in these worlds.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the different places the magic can take us, we see the darkness and the normal, the homes of the new characters and the past of them too.

AnimationThe animation is of good quality here and fits the style of the film giving us the action and horror we deserve.


Scene of the Movie –
Swamp Thing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slight short again.

Final ThoughtsThis is a much darker comic book movie with the big name of Batman involved, it works with the worlds colliding giving each side the battle they are looking for.

 

Overall: Darkest Justice League story.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)

Director: Sam Liu

Writer: Bryan Q Miller, Alan Burnett (Screenplay) Bryan Q Miller (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rosario Dawson, Christopher Gorham, Shemar Moore, Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara, Stuart Allan, Jake T Austin, Taissa Farmiga, Sean Maher

 

Plot: Robin is sent to work with the Teen Titans after his volatile behavior botches up a Justice League mission. The Titans must then step up to face Trigon after he possesses the League and threatens to conquer the world.


Tagline – Two teams. One epic battle.

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Justice League Movie

 

Story: Justice League vs. Teen Titans starts as Robin’s behaviour on the latest mission sees him disappointing his father Batman and letting down the Justice League, being forced by Nightwing, to work with the Teen Titans, Raven, Blue Beetles, Beast Boy and Starfire.

With Robin needing to bond with people his own age, the evil spirit Trigon finds a new host in Superman, one deadlier than the Justice League is ready to handle, leading to the Teen Titans needing to assist in the defence of the planet.

 

Thoughts on Justice League vs. Teen Titans

 

Characters – Robin is the son of Batman, he has been getting tired of going on the mission and not getting involved in the action, he ends up being sent to the Teen Titan headquarters to learn about teamwork, here he discovers that his abilities will make him a great leader. Starfire runs the Teen Titans, she is from another universe which has seen her become like a guardian to the teens. Raven is another inter-dimension being that has called Earth home, she has a connection to Trigon showing she is the only one that knows how to stop him. Beast Boy, Blue Beetle and Nightwing complete teen titans. The Justice League do take a step back for Robin to learn, with Batman being the disappointed father, Superman being the one that gets taken over first, with Trigon as the demon villain wanting to destroy the Earth.

StoryThe story here shows that Robin needs to learn his place in the world of superheroes as he isn’t ready to be a part of the Justice League and will need to be ready to lead another team of young heroes, the Teen Titans. This does show how the Justice League can’t always be turned to, to fight evil and how the past of the young teens will show they will be best to fight against the enemies that will come to Earth. This does build on everything we have meant in the genre bringing the adventures the popular characters into the animated world which can make things bigger too.

Action/ComedyThe action is big fight sequences which show what each hero is capable off, the comedy in the film comes from how the teens react to the superhero world they aren’t fully prepared for.

SettingsThe film uses the basic big city settings, while going to other worlds to learn the bigger pictures.

AnimationThe animation is this film is good without reaching the levels of Pixar levels of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The trip to hell.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too short really.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun animation that brings the Justice League into new light which is refreshing to see.

 

Overall: Justice League animation to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – F – The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002)

Director: Mick Jackson

Writer: Jon Favreau, Gary Tieche (Screenplay) Po Bronson (Novel)

Starring: Adam Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Jake Busey, Enrico Colantoni, Ethan Suplee, Anjul Nigam

 

Plot: Andy, a successful marketing guy quits his job, because he feels disconnected with the values about work he learned from his father. He gets a new job at a top notch research facility, where he quickly makes a powerful enemy who makes him volunteer for a nearly impossible project: The $99 Personal Computer. He recruits the only available guys at the lab, three sociopaths. Together they really compile a revolutionary PC for $99, but then they become the victims of a venture capitalist and Andy’s old foe from the research lab. Can he and his new friends find a way to overcome the problems?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Comedy

 

Story: The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest starts when marketing man Andy Kasper (Garcia) decides he wants to get back to his inventing ways by being transferred to the developmental department. Not being welcomed to department by Francis (Colantoni) on the main project, he accepts what seems like an impossible project, a $99 laptop.

Andy is joined by the outsiders of the developmental department Salman (Nigam), Curtis (Suplee) and Darrell (Busey) as they look achieve the impossible in the limited time.

 

Thoughts on The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest

 

Characters – Andy Kasper is a top marketing guy, making money that could keep him happy for his whole life, beautiful girlfriend, he gives this all up to get back to the developmental side of things, where he uses his leadership and motivation skills to build a revolutionary computer. Alisa is the new neighbour for Andy that is a dreamer like him, that welcomes Andy and his team to the duplex to make their own idea. Darrell is the loud aggressive genius that is part of the team, he is also afraid of germs which making any connect with humans. We have the normal characters involved here too, the shy one, the traditional one, the enemy that wants to steal ideas and the rich one that only cares about money too.

PerformancesAdam Garcia is good in the leading role, he has the image of marketing guy which helps his need for the leadership required. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it seems to just be love interest 101 character. Jake Busey, Ethan Suplee and Anjul Nigam are all good at the team, they work well together to get certain laughs.

StoryThe story here focuses on one man wanting to focus on what he loves, designing and development. He gets to follow his dream using his motivational skills he brings the world something fantastic, but in the dot com boom era, he learns the brutal truth behind the business. The story here has aged in places because the technology boom that this focuses on has past in places, but it almost plays out like a documentary in places too.

ComedyThe comedy is good for the most part, it ticks the basic boxes without being anything over the top, just little moments that will make you chuckle.

SettingsThe film shows how tech firms can offer the resources, but the smaller garages offer the ideas, showing the different locations inventions can be made.

Scene of the Movie – The big answer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It could escape the generic characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that proves that the dream of invention can drive people to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Comedy well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – W – Welcome to the Jungle (2003)

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: R.J. Stewart, James Vanderbilt (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Walken, Ewen Bremner, Jon Gries

 

Plot: A tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster’s son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure.


Tagline – Bulls, guns, whips, gold and one sacred cat

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Blast!

 

Story: Welcome to the Jungle starts as we meet debt collecting enforcer Beck (Johnson) that is working to get buy his own restaurant. Getting pushed to his limits he gets offered one last job, he must travel to the Amazon to bring back his bosses son Travis (Scott) and his dream of chasing El Dorado.

In Brazil Beck finds Travis and believes this job is going to be easy until the owner of the land Hatcher (Walken) that wants the information Travis has in his head, which leads Travis and Beck needing to put their differences a side to make it out alive.

 

Thoughts on Welcome to the Jungle

 

Characters – Beck is a debt collector, he can find anyone and handles himself in a fight, being able to take on multiple enemies, he does want out of this world and dreams of having his own restaurant, he must do one final job which will put his outside his comfort zone and taking on an army forcing him to resort to guns, the weapon he doesn’t want to be using. Travis is the son of the boss that employees Beck, he has been treasure hunting in Brazil in the middle of a battle between ruler Hatcher and the rebels looking for freedom, he is wise cracking which has lead to him finding himself in trouble more often than not. Beck and Travis work well as they are different on many levels with their bickering offering the laughs, but they are both dreamers in their own way too. Mariana is the bar tender in the town, she keeps both sides in peace while watching as her town gets pushed around. Hatcher is the owner of the town, well he claims to be, he is working the residents into slavery searching for gold that he can make money, he will do anything to make his fortune.

PerformancesDwayne Johnson was still making his first few steps in movies with this role and you can see all the potential he had in the action genre, he shines like always in the fight sequences and while moments of his performance were still in need of work, you can see what he was working towards. Seann William Scott was fresh off the American Pie franchise and one of the hottest comical actors, this showed us that he knew the moments to go that little bit crazy and the moments to hold back, he does have great chemistry with Johnson too. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it does end up not being as strong of a character as it should have been while Christopher Walken enjoys his role as the villain, where he gets to break loose and have some fun.

StoryThe story here plays out like one we have seen before, an enforcer for a criminal wants to do one last job before leaving the business behind, only this time it will be the most dangerous one of his career. This is a by the book story it works and plays into the comedy needed between the lead two characters while also offering us the fish out of water routine for the organised professional. We have elements of a treasure hunt which are fun to watch too. It would be fair to say this story is an easy to follow film that gets the kicks it needs without being anything too complicated.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action plays into the hands of Dwayne Johnson’s talents, plenty of combat sequences and the use of weapons to increase the peril level, the adventure takes Beck out of his comfort zone to deal with the battle he is about to face. The comedy for the film comes from the bickering between Travis and Beck.

SettingsThe film takes place in Brazil for the most part, the Amazon to be more exact, this proves to be uncomfortable for Beck that is used to being in the cities, this adds comedy and unexpected moments to the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well, not needed often but the team creates good moments when needed.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain parts are not subtitled, which is annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good fun action blast that puts Dwayne Johnson in the position of action hero, a position he will carry for years to come, it had good laughs throughout and action sequences that are fun to watch.

 

Overall: Action movie fans will enjoy this one.

Rating