James Bond Month – GoldenEye (1995)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay) Michael France (Story)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane

 

Plot: James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.


Tagline – When the world is the target and the threat is real, you can still depend on one man. 

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Most Action Packed Bond

 

Story: GoldenEye starts with James Bond (Brosnan) joined by 006 Alec Trevelyan (Bean) on the latest mission, one that goes wrong, seeing Alec executed and James escaping. James starts his latest mission 9-years-later investigating a Georgian woman Xenia Onatopp (Janssen) who has connections to a criminal group operating in Russia.

When the group launch their first attack, James must search for the lone survive Natalya Simonova (Scorupco), first to find out what was being worked on in the apparent abandon satellite facility and soon stop an old friend that has changed sides.

 

Thoughts on GoldenEye

 

Characters – James Bond still sees himself, charming the ladies, completing the missions, enjoying a drink. This latest mission will see him come face to face with an old friend, which will see him face his toughest enemy, a man he once trusted. Alec Trevelyan is the fellow 00 agent who James believed died in action. He didn’t and now he has been working with the Russians to become richer than God (his words), he does hold a grudge against James, with this being a chance to kill two birds with one stone, he will become the most difficult enemy to face because of his knowledge of how James operates. Natalya works in the satellite facility, she becomes a target after not being killed, which makes her one of the few people in the world that could disarm the bomb that is being planned to be released. Xenia Onatopp is the henchwoman in this case, military trained, willing to kill anybody, she even enjoys killing her victims.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan in his first outing as Bond is great to watch, he mixes the charm of the most popular, with the action presence needing to make the character his own. Sean Bean brings us one of the best villains to the franchise, he makes his character feel like a try terrorist over super villain. Famke Janssen as the henchwoman is strong, she does make the character her own, but it is the lack of character behind Izabella Scorupco that struggles the most in this film.

StoryThe story here sees James take on one of his closest enemies, in Alec a former agent turned terrorist that is planning on sending England back to the stone age. This story does seem to bring everything into a more personal level for James, it feels fresh from the last few outings, it does have the longest gap between the film to date. We do seem to have the most realistic battle between hero and villain because Alec could easily be James himself if he was to turn, they know each other’s tricks. For me this is easily the most entertaining story we have seen, as we do start to lose some of he sexist behaviour James was known for.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film is easily the best the franchise has offered to date, we have the tank chase through St Petersburg before the train collision with a tank, even the fight sequences feel more intense in this film. The adventure takes James around the world once more, this time we go through Russia and Cuba to save the world.

SettingsThe settings takes us to the known locations we are used to seeing, this does however have one of the most memorable endings in any Bond film with the hidden satellite dish.


Scene of the Movie –
The old friend returns.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Alan Cumming’s generic Russian accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the best Bond movie in the franchise to date, it has the most intense villain for James to face and a personal story for James to take on.

 

Overall: Pure action entertainment.

Rating

 

 

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Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010)

Director: Chris Columbus

Writer: Craig Titley (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Peirce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan, Sean Bean, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T Jackson, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A teenager discovers he’s the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.


Tagline – Worlds collide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief starts when struggling high school student Percy Jackson (Lerman) learns about his mysterious father, when a teacher turns into a monster of sorts, Percy is a demi-god and is being targeted by the Greek Gods who believe he has stolen Zeus Lightning.

Percy’s life changes when he is taken to a secret location for all demi-gods by his protector Grover (Jackson), where he must learn to fight like the rest of the demi-gods as he is joined by Annabeth (Daddario) on an adventure to learn who has the stolen the lightning.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

 

Characters – Percy Jackson is your average struggling high school student, raised by his mother with no clue about his father. His life is about to change forever when he learns that he is a demi-god and must prove he isn’t the person responsible for the potential war between the gods and learn his place in the world. Grover is the protector of Percy in the real world and helps guide him through the world. Annabeth is the best warrior of the demi-gods in training, she hasn’t been to go on quests before and sees this as her chance to experience the world. Zeus is in search of his lightning bolt with the gods believing it is Percy. Chiron trains the demi-gods in battle, he keeps them safe while they are preparing to any encounters. We do have the gods we know too with Athena, Hades and Poseidon being involved in the adventure.

PerformancesLogan Lerman is good in this leading role, when it comes to this genre, we need a young actor that can bring the energy and the acting which Logan brings. Brandon and Alexandra give great supporting performances which bring together both the comedy and the brains needs to guide Percy. We have the A-listers here too with Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan having fun in the role.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely high school student that finds himself learning his true identity as a demi-god and must go on his first adventure with the Gods searching for him. This is a wonderful introduction to the character of Percy and the people will be working with or fighting against. We go through the learning curve with Percy which also brings the mythology of the Greeks to different location around America. We do get darker moments in the story even though it is just as fun as it needs to be for vision of the Greek Gods in modern society. The flaw in the story comes from the fact that Percy does seem to get out of each situation too easily as a lot are dealing with the idea of Gods he wouldn’t know how to battle against.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes Percy into a world he had no idea of, Annabeth into the real world and the two needing to advise each other through the battles they will face. The fantasy world of Gods and monsters is front and centre here, mixing with he modern day world wonderfully well.

SettingsThe film brings the mythology of the Greek Gods to America where we learn just how the two become one with the iconic locations from history being reimagined in America.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good, we have a lot that could come off terrible, but this is a success for the ambitious ideas behind different moments in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hades meeting in the underworld.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too easy for Percy to escape certain situations.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun adventure film that is a great introduction to a much bigger series of stories we could see coming in the future.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Outlaw (2007)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Bob Hoskins, Rupert Friend, Sean Harris, Lennie James, Sally Bretton

 

Plot: A group of people who feel betrayed by their government and let down by their police force form a modern-day outlaw posse in order to right what they see as the wrongs of society.


Tagline – There will be no excuses. The guilty will be punished. No one is above OUTLAW

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal British Action Film

 

Story: Outlaw starts as we meet five everyday working guys, returning soldier Danny Bryant (Bean), office worker Gene Dekker (Dyer), broken victim Sandy Mardell (Friend), security guard Simon Hillier (Harris), lawyer Cedric Munroe (James) and former police officer Walter Lewis (Hoskins) who have seen the effects of the violence behaviour going on in London.

Simon recruits Danny to build a group they get Gene, Sandy and Cedric to prepare to be fight back against the thugs and criminals in the world. Walter helps feed the information needed to get the job done cleanly, will there be a price for what they are doing.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw

 

Characters – Danny Bryant is a soldier returned from his tour in Iraq, he finds his life gone with his wife moved on, he sees the abusive behaviour of the people and builds a team to fight back. He does control how far the men go. Gene Dekker is an office worker that suffers a beating after an accident which drives him join to fight back. Simon Hillier is a security guard, he is the loose cannon of the group, he wants to push things too far, but he also brings the guys together. Cedric is a lawyer who has his wife and unborn child killed by his latest case, he does offer the biggest moral compass about whether to go through with the murders. Walter Lewis is a former police officer, he has been reduced to pick ups and offers inside help to help clean up the streets.

PerformancesWe have a great British cast here, Sean Bean in the leading role gives us a demanding performance where we always want to see what his character does next. Danny Dyer is giving his best Danny Dyer performance, do well but not offering anything new. Bob Hoskins is good too he shows how people will have been affected by what happened in the past well. Lennie James and Sean Harris show us both sides of the scale as they could take their characters to either side of the fence.

StoryThe story shows us how crime rates are going up with the criminals not facing the consequences, we see the men that got pushed too far and decide to fight back. We have everything you would imagine with an outlaw move would take place, yes we are in London during modern day which adds something new, to the tried and tested formula.

Action/CrimeThe action is thug related behaviour which comes off a brutal as it needs to for the movie, sometimes it will be harder to watch. The crimes are brutal to watch as the behaviour is shown to be out of control.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, this shows the high crime rates, which helps the countryside showing the hiding places for everyone to hide.


Scene of the Movie –
The preparations.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It seems like Gene isn’t quite like the rest.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the British fans of action films, it keeps us feeling like we are seeing real crimes committed and the idea of an outlaws helps make us understand their motives.

 

Overall: One for the British action fans.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Black Death (2010)

Director: Christopher Smith

Writer: Dario Poloni (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Carice Van Houten, John Lynch, Tim McInnerny, Andy Nyman, Kimberley Nixon

 

Plot: Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Medieval Horror

 

Story: Black Death starts with the plague sweeping across England, a young monk Osmund (Redmayne) is starting to question his own faith when the chance to join a group of soldiers led by Ulrich (Bean) who are requesting a man of faith on their latest mission. Ulrich and his men of colourful characters, that include a torturer, a family man and a man who would be happy to cut someone in half.

The mission is to search for a small group of people who don’t have the Black Death but are meant to be using the dark arts and sacrifice to keep them safe. As the journey continues the group learn that the plague isn’t the only thing that could kill them.

 

Thoughts on Black Death

 

Characters/PerformanceUlrich is a leader of soldiers who fight against the unholy for the bishop’s cause, he takes his work seriously and will kill anyone who crosses him or his men. Osmund is a young monk who has given his heart to a woman who gets stuck between his own faith and the woman he loves. Langiva is the leader of the small village who has the power to bring the dead back to life using her own ways to tempt the men away from their God. The rest of the soldier all fit the generic requirements with the villagers also fitting in them too.

Performance wise, Sean Bean is the star performer here showing he can carry any film, Redmayne is good but you can see how he was still learning with this performance, while Carice van Houten does make for a good seductive villain.

StoryLooking at the story, we get elements of how the world feared the Black Death and would turn to God or lose faith in him all together turning to another form of belief. That is the core part of this film as the soldiers refuses to give up on what they have come to believe to stop what is meant to be a wave of terror surrounding a small village. This does everything it needs to but does have moments that could come off original but others that you could see things coming.

Action/Horror/MysteryThere is small bursts of action mostly sword fighting, the horror comes from what could be happening and any torture scenes which are all off camera torture, the mystery does keep us going as we are left to wonder what is the truth.

SettingsEach setting makes us feel like we are in the current time this movie is set which is during the Black Death which is all we require and isn’t over used for any added horror.

Special EffectsThe special effects are mostly practical ones when it comes to the deaths, torture and potential witchcraft going on through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good medieval horror film, it does look at the idea of religion being good or bad as well as how deeply away from it you could go. It is also good to see a young Eddie Redmayne in one of the leading roles.

 

Overall: This is a film well worth checking out even if it isn’t the absolute best in the genre.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – The Hitcher (2007)

casting card

 

Plot: A serial killer pins his crimes on two college students who gave him a ride.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bad Remake

 

Story: The Hitcher starts as we follow college sweethearts Grace (Bush) and Jim (Zachary) traveling cross country for vacation. The trip gets interrupted when they clash with John Ryder (Bean) a hitchhiker that enjoys killing people, luckily they escape him for a while only to find themselves being chased across the dessert like environment.

When the two start getting framed by John they find themselves on the run not only from him but from the State Police run by Lt Esteridge (McDonough) who believes they are involved with killing all of the police officers. The game of cat and mouse leads to final showdown between the four.

The Hitcher is a remake that isn’t able to do anything original with the idea. It feels like it wanted just to do a shot for shot remake but then tried to do a fresh spin that didn’t create anything. The fact the film is incredibly short doesn’t help because nothing gets built up enough to make us care. I don’t understand the remake happening when he has an interesting sequel a few years before.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Bean: John Ryder is the Hitcher looking for a ride, but what he really wants is to go on a killing spree. When Grace and Jim refuse to stop to help him he takes everything personally and starts targeting them and he just won’t give up. Sean is one of the good things in this movie as you believe he will be this crazy throughout the film.

Sophia Bush: Grace is our leading lady of the college student couple that always needs a pee break, she has to wait for instructions and is written to be plain as stupid. Sophia tries her best with such a badly written character.

Zachary Knighton: Jim is the boyfriend of Grace that is preparing to meet her friends on their cross country journey. He wants to help John but doesn’t get involved because Grace says no, he then has to try and keep her safe through the experience against John. Zachary is ok but you will soon forget about his character.

Neal McDonough: LT Esteridge is the state police officers trying to bring everything to an end, he doesn’t believe Grace and Jim are involved but has to follow the evidence. Neal is a standard police officer authority figure you will forget too.

Support Cast: The Hitcher has only a disposable supporting cast with barely any of the ones you meet actually making it to the end of the film.

Director Review: Dave MeyersDave gives us a simple horror film that has one brilliant scene but otherwise is forgettable.

 

Crime: The Hitcher puts us in a crime battle between good and evil as the couple battle the hitchhiker.

Horror: The Hitcher has easy horror elements that just don’t get the point over because of lack of tension aiming for just a body count.

Settings: The Hitcher keeps most of the film set in the dessert showing how alone the couple are but they always seem to find somewhere to hide.
Special Effects
: The Hitcher has a mix of good and bad effects, with the CGI coming off terrible but the truck scene look great.

Suggestion: The Hitcher is one I think you could easily just watch the original. (Watched Original)

 

Best Part: Truck scene.

Worst Part: Grace is written so badly.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

Overall: Poor remake that loses the horror elements needed.

Ratingcard