Franchise Weekend – The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman (Screenplay) Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Nick Chinlund, Adrian Alonso

 

Plot: Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California’s pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) — and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) — to take action.


Tagline – This Fall, adventure begins with a Z.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Become a Parody of Itself

 

Story: The Legend of Zorro starts as Don Alejandro (Banderas) is still riding under the mask of Zorro, his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) wants him to retire the mask and be the father to their son Joaquin (Alonso), with his desire to continue to help California prepare for the statehood, has put a strain on their relationship.

When the two go through a divorce, Elena starts dating Armand (Sewell) from Spain looking to make a vineyard only he has other plans which only Zorro could stop.

 

Thoughts on The Legend of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro is Zorro, he has been working on trying to retire, but America needs him, he is left with a hard choice on whether to protect the land or be there for his father. He choices wrong and ends up falling back in the same circle he once did, before needing to put the mask on again to save California. Elena is the wife of Alejandro that wants him to give up the life, when he doesn’t, she divorces him to go under cover with an old family friend that has moved to the area, who has his own ideas. For some reason this character goes in a different direction from the stronger figure we met in the first film. Armand has moved to California to open a vineyard, he has stolen Elena from Alejandro and now he has bigger plans for America, which brings Zorro out of his retirement.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas has all the right parts to make this character legendary, he just struggles to make the impact we know he can this time, this follows Catherine Zeta-Jones who disappoints too as we know she could lead the film with ease. Rufus Sewell does a solid enough job in the villainous role, though he never makes his character feel like a threat.

StoryThe story takes place 10 years after the first movie, this does work for the film because it takes us to a time where the couple have a child and must decide what to do (following in the Mummy’s footsteps here) with their future adventures. The decision-making process shows us just how important the figure of Zorro has become to the people and just how difficult walking away from it would be for the city. The problem comes with the tone of the story which seems to just spend more time watching the couple bicker it just takes everything out of the life of the story.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action continues to bring us the sword swing fights we are used to seeing from the Zorro character, with a stronger final chase, this doesn’t seem to offer much new to the western action genre, with the adventure that we go on, never seeming like it will go anywhere new for the characters. the romance is the most annoying part of the film because it just focuses on the bickering between the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in the early stages of California which never looks out of place for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Train chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The bickering.

Final ThoughtsThis is not on the same level as the previous film, it feels like it wants to be taken seriously, only for it to become somewhat of a parody of itself.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – W – Where the Devil Hides (2014)

Director: Christian E Christiansen

Writer: Karl Mueller (Screenplay)

Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Rufus Sewell, Thomas McDonell, Adelaide Kane, Leah Pipes, Jennifer Carpenter

 

Plot: When young girls start to go missing within a religious cult, older followers fear a long-told prophecy while the younger members suspect abusive elders are killing them off.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror Enjoyment

 

Story: The Devil’s Hand starts in a religious community away from the world still using non-technology based that live in fear of a prophecy involving the teenage girls of the community, Mary (Debnam-Carey) is one of these girls that suffers from fits that her friends are all aware of how to prepare for, but when they start becoming more common she gets horrifying visions too.

To make matters worse the girls start vanishing in the community leaving the girls coming together to figure out what the secret within the community is with local boy Trevor (McDonell) who isn’t part of the community.

 

Thoughts on The Devil’s Hand

 

Characters – Mary is one of the six girls born on the sixth day of the sixth month approaching her 18th birthday. When some of the girls start going missing the Mary must learn about the myth about her birth, her mother’s death and just how twisted the cult like life she is living in. Jacob Brown is Mary’s father, he has clashed with leader before and will do anything to keep his daughter safe from all the twisted ideas the community might have to stop the curse from coming true. Trevor is from the normal world, he helps where he can to try and being the Sheriff’s son is more of a convince than anything else.

PerformanceAlycia is making a name for herself in the horror genre now with this being the third horror based entertainment material I have seen her in and she does work for this film well. Rufus Sewell is good in the supporting role in this film with Thomas McDonell being good as the by the book love interest. It is the supporting performances that do come off the greatest with Jennifer Carpenter and Colm Meaney both being the best characters.

StoryThe story follows a small community that still live by the religious beliefs away from the technology of the world, they come together for the most part but when a legend and myth takes over the community the 5 remaining girls find themselves being targeted by something running riot through the community. The story does follow the traditional ideas of a potential evil or is it just someone evil idea which pushes the extremists away from the strict leader as everything turns into a control of power.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror side of this film splits between slasher as the girls seem to get picked off and the idea the devil is coming into our world.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the community which shows us how the beliefs of the people could be tested to new levels when they have never been able to experience the new world.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used at times and all well, they are no pointless CGI thrown in here which helps us understand just what is going on.

Scene of the Movie – The vision realization.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Everything just feels like nothing has happened until this moment for nearly 18 years.

Final ThoughtsThis does work as a horror thriller, it keeps us on edge, offers us twists and most of all balances the religion to reality beliefs.

 

Overall: Horror that sure works well through the film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T -The Tourist (2010)

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes (Screenplay) Jerome Salle (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

 

Plot: Revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This was Rather Boring

 

Story: The Tourist starts as we watch Inspector John Acheson (Bettany) track Elise Flifton-Ward (Jolie) across Europe in search for a mysterious Alexander Peirce. While travelling to Venice Elise is assigned to find someone who looks like Alexander, which brings in Frank Tupelo (Depp) an American tourist travelling through Europe that ends up enjoying the company of Elise.

When Acheson knows that Frank is a nobody in his case, he continues his case tracking Elise but crossed information leads to Frank finding his own life in danger from a gangster who is searching for Peirce too.

Frank must escape and stay alive but Elise needs to get her job done but now wants to keep Frank safe with multiple people after them, you know what I lost the plot here.

 

Thoughts on The Tourist

 

Characters/PerformanceElise is a mysterious woman that has connection to a known and wanted criminal, she finds herself trapped in the middle of saving an innocent man she has gotten in the middle of her misleading plan or getting the job done. Frank is the widowed American tourist who gets pulled into the world of criminal activity all while being innocent.

Performance wise, Depp clearly is in the middle of his pay day run here never reaching the heights we know he can while Jolie isn’t too much better in her role.

StoryThe story is mostly about a femme fatale trying to keep everyone away from her boss but soon learns that this random man has stolen her heart. We have twists turns but you just don’t care about the operation going on through the film, which just makes everything come off plain.

Action/RomanceThe action is very basic and you wouldn’t expect any tension through the film with the romance almost getting thrown down our throats too much without being believable.

SettingsVenice makes for a beautiful setting but the film just doesn’t capture everything in its full.

Special EffectsThe special effects are again all basic never pulling you into the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a star driven action borefest, we rely on the idea that Depp and Jolie could pull in any audience member but then forget to give us an interesting story.

 

Overall: Easily forgotten movie

Rating

 

 

Christmas Holiday Weekend – The Holiday (2006)

Director: Nancy Meyers

Writer: Nancy Meyers (Screenplay)

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell

 

Plot: Two women troubled with guy-problems swap homes in each other’s countries, where they each meet a local guy and fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Feel Good Christmas Film

 

Story: The Holiday starts as we see Iris (Winslet) a wedding columnist who is madly in love with a co-worker Jasper (Sewell) but discovers he is now engaged to a fellow co-worker destroying what she wanted in life. We move to LA where we meet Amanda (Diaz) who finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her.

Both women want to spend Christmas away from home and the stresses of their lives find themselves swapping homes for a couple of weeks. Both women find themselves like a fish out of water, with Amanda befriending Iris’ brother Graham (Law), while Iris meets composer Miles (Black) and her 90-year old neighbour Arthur (Wallach) who is just as lonely as she finds herself.

With the story unfolding the two women get to learn a new way of life they could never imagine and find themselves learning they could one day love again.

 

Thoughts on The Holiday

 

Characters/PerformanceAmanda is a movie trailer cutter who breaks up with her boyfriend and goes searching for a getaway from her life, she finds herself in England meeting Graham who shows her a new way of life. Iris is an English woman that has found herself trapped hoping that one day she will end up with one co-worker. She agrees to go on the house swap to LA where she meets a man whose getting older and feels forgotten by his work as well as a man in Miles who is going through the same problems is. Graham is a single father trying to balance any sort of relationship with a career and raising his children. Miles is a music composer for movies that offers friendship for Iris but connection on the levels,

Performance Wise, Diaz shows once again she is great for romantic comedies, with Winslet showing here that she can handle comedy, Law shows he is always good for this type of role and Jack Black steps up to go toe to toe with true A-listers.

StoryThe story is about love, how we these women go through a bad patch but will find a way to be stronger once they come through it. While it is all very much created to say there will always be a quick fix after a break up, we do get to experience the joy they go through. By the end of the film you will have said you enjoyed the journey we go through.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy isn’t too heavy but comes off when it needs to, with the romance side of the story tackling break ups, letting people go and most of all taking a chance on someone new.

SettingsThe settings are used well to show the different worlds both Amanda and Iris have come from and how they get used to the new lives they are living for two weeks.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great Christmas film that gives us all hope when it comes to love even when we think we might have lost it all when it comes to hope.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Christmas film for all to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Deadly Game A.K.A All Things to All Men (2013)

logoDirector: George Isaac

Writer: George Isaac (Screenplay)

Starring: Toby Stephens, Rufus Sewell, Gabriel Byrne, Gil Darnell, Ralph Brown, James Frain, Tom Davis

 

Plot: A thief is caught up in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between a maverick cop and London crime boss.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dreadful

 

Story: The Deadly Game starts by showing a robbery and the clean-up job. When the police hear of the robbery they start investigating what looks like the most likely suspect. Parker (Sewell) leads the investigation as they look to close the case. Parker and his men are using this case to get to mob boss  Joseph Corso (Byrne) where they will offer his arrested son freedom if they complete a job for them. The job requires the skills of Riley (Stephens) to complete.

With the team together the job is being set up with the three interested parties not liking the rest. When they get a surprise with the amount they get stolen things start to heat up when Riley gets double crossed. Parker is also very much an undercover officer playing the field trying to catch whoever he wants by baiting who he wants.

The Deadly Game is a film that tries so hard to keep you guessing you just stop caring by the time the first twist comes along. It does seem to have a twist of some sort in every interaction and has a cast of hugely unlikable characters. It does nothing to add anything to the genre and will end up making you switch off or question how you made it to the end. I really couldn’t find a single positive thing to say about this film. (0/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Toby Stephens: Riley thief who gets bough in on a job he has no interest in taking part of just to avenge his brother I think. Toby gives a bland performance to a character that should be the most interesting and likable. (3/10)

 

Rufus Sewell: Parker the corrupted undercover cop trying to pull the strings but I don’t really know what his character was about by the end. Rufus shows why he makes straight to DVD films here. (2/10)

 

Gabriel Byrne: Joseph Corso mobster who gets pulled into the game and I think ends up being the innocent party for what is going on. Gabriel must have needed some money to do this role. (2/10)

 

Support Cast: The Deadly Game support cast really doesn’t add anything to the story and I’m not sure what side they were on.

 

Director Review: George Isaac – George fails to offer anything in this film making everything come off boring and confusing. (2/10)

 

Crime: The Deadly Game does enter into a crime world well showing the entire double crossing etc. (7/10)

Thriller: The Deadly Game should keep you on the edge of your seat but doesn’t. (3/10)

Settings: The Deadly Game uses London as its prime setting which should work for the idea. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Deadly Game is one to miss and I mean that. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: It is short.

Worst Part: It is still 1 hour 20 odd minutes

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Please God No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

Overall: Awful Crime Drama

Rating 5