Bradley Cooper Weekend – Serena (2014)

Director: Susanne Bier

Writer: Christopher Kyle (Screenplay) Ron Rash (Book)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Sean Harris, Ana Ularu

 

Plot: In Depression-era North Carolina, the future of George Pemberton’s timber empire becomes complicated when he marries Serena.


Tagline – Some loves can never let you go.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painfully Slow

 

Story: Serena starts as we see how George Pemberton (Cooper) and his timber empire is struggling with money, meeting Serena (Lawrence) the two are married and her past in the timber industry helps George make decisions which will increase the profit he is making.

When George’s long term friend and first to turn to Buchanan (Dencik) starts to turn away from his ideas to work with the local Sheriff McDowell (Jones) who wants to stop the timber trade and make a national park, the life of George is turned upside down with only Serena to keep his head on straight.

 

Thoughts on Serena

 

Characters – George Pemberton is a timber tycoon, he has built up his empire and the work seems to be going well, though he is in financial hardship, friends turning on him and turning to methods which could bring down his whole empire. Serena is the woman from another world, daughter of a timber tycoon herself who tragically lost her family in a fire, she knows how to get the most out of a profit and stars to help run the business with George. Galloway is a tracker that works to help locate dangers for the crew, on the side job he makes sure that George can hunt the animals he desires. Sheriff McDowell is the man against George, he wants to turn the woodland area into a park which could one day bring tourists to the area.

PerformancesBradley Cooper is known more for his work in comedy, sure he has tackled dramas before and usually done a good job, in this he struggles to make any impact on the film, though he isn’t the only one. Jennifer Lawrence is no where near her best in this film as she struggles to make the impact her character seems to need to be having on the film. Rhys Ifans is the only one that seems to be interesting to watch in this film. I would say most of these comes from the poorly written characters.

StoryThe story here follows a timber tycoon who is about to lose his fortune until he meets Serena who only makes thing even crazier for him. Well that is what I got from the story, I am not going to lie, there isn’t much going on in this film, I don’t know if this is based on a real person who just the depression-era in general or even the time scale of the movie. We do seem to have a storyline about deforestation versus a nature park which for the most part is a back burner while also having a story about love I think. This is one of the weakest stories I have ever seen, it doesn’t capture anything we need to make us enjoy what we are seeing.

RomanceThe romance side of the film is a quickie marriage and learning that love happened before the wife arrived.

SettingsThe film is set in Colorado which was a big part of the timber industry, it works for the film without giving us too much to work with visually.


Scene of the Movie –
George saving the crew member.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of it being boring.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that drags along way to slowly without any meaningful storyline arcs going on, we have unlikable characters and nothing that captures our attention.

 

Overall: Dull is being nice.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Bruce Geller (Television Series)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley, Alec Baldwin

 

Plot: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.


Tagline – Some missions are not a choice.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Adrenaline Blast

 

Story: Mission Impossible: Fallout starts when Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team Luther (Rhames) and Benji (Pegg) have a mission gone wrong with plutonium falling into the wrong hands. CIA director Erica Sloan (Bassett) wants it back and her team to do the job, but know Ethan has everything lined up she assigns them her best man August Walker (Cavill) to join the team.

The mission is to retrieve the plutonium which leads them to cross paths with old allies and enemies before they can be used as a weapon that would devastate the Earth.

 

Thoughts on Mission Impossible – Fallout

 

Characters – Ethan Hunt is the man, agent the leader of the group, he will go into any situation with a plan, trusting the people behind him, this time his loyalty puts the world in peril and his must prove he can find a way to save the day without comprising his position. August Walker is a CIA agent, a fixer if you like, he will get the job done by shooting first asking questions later, which has led him to clash with Hunt, they have both made mistakes which could have got the job done earlier and now he is the one man you don’t want to fight against. Luther and Benji are the key components to Ethan’s team, they have the know how to get the job done and are two of the only people he will trust. Ilsa Faust returns and this time she crosses paths with Ethan turning up at the same locations on her own mission, still deadly and a figure that you will be on the fence about what side she is fight for. We have our authority figures in Alan Hunley and Erica Sloan who of course are clashing, as well as other figures that would be in the criminal world.

PerformancesTom Cruise, what more can say about this guy, when it comes to action he commits big time and this is no different, the action sequences he puts his body through and even the emotional factors included in this film show just how talented he is, with this easily being one of his best action performances of his career. Henry Cavill, I haven’t always been a fan of because Superman is kind of boring, in this film however, we get to see that this man is a talent, we believe he will kick your ass if you crossed him and the moments of emotionless moments are key to his character. Pegg and Rhames do have great chemistry and the comic relief, while Ferguson returns to keep enough mystery about her character for long enough in the film. Bassett and Baldwin will always make good authority figures and to see Vanessa Kirby fresh from The Crown in a big movie, she is great to watch here.

StoryThe story here follows Ethan on his latest mission, this time we get to see what could happen if the by the book mission goes wrong for his own personal reasons over a traitor in the group like the normal opening. The idea he needs to work with an outside isn’t new, the idea that he could be the traitor in the eyes of the authority isn’t new, but it has been tried and tested. Making this feel like a direct sequel is new though, the previous instalments have always felt like, just another mission, this one references previous stories and that increases the peril even if everything plays out to not completely mock certain aspects, but poke a tiny bit of fun at them.

Action/AdventureThe action, the reason we go to these films, while you do get a glimpse of nearly all the sequences in the trailer, the length and intensity to them isn’t shown there and you will be watching from the edge of your seat just to see where or what Hunt does next. The adventure side of the film does take Ethan across the world to save it before it is too late.

SettingsThe film uses key locations, with have Paris, London and Kashmir, each one offers a different action sequences to take place.  

Special EffectsThe effects show us just how committed or crazy Tom Cruise is, while they are prepared stunts everything is practical and looks it in every single scene.


Scene of the Movie –
London chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening credits give snippets of the action we are about to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is another quality addition to the Mission Impossible franchise, it is going to go down as one of the best usages of practical stunts for years to come and shows how they can still be used to this day.

 

Overall: Pure rush of an action film.

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 Horror – Creep (2004)

creepDirector: Christopher Smith

Writer: Christopher Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Franka Potente, Sean Harris, Vas Blackwood

 

Plot: Trapped in a London subway station, a woman who’s being pursued by a potential attacker heads into the unknown labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city’s streets.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Horror Thriller

 

Story: Creep starts as we see party girl Kate (Potente) wants to head into London looking for a night out with the potential of meeting George Clooney. Her night takes a turn for the worse when see falls asleep waiting for her train only to find herself locked inside the underground with a mystery killer after her.

Kate has to navigate her way through the tunnels with help from other trapped people including George (Blackwood) and Jimmy (Rattray) as they come face to face with a disfigured killer that roams the tunnels.

Creep is a horror film that follows our leading lady trying to survive against a creature hunting her down in a tunnel like situation which we have seen plenty of times before. The story is simple and offers nothing in the way of twists along the story, my problem with this film is that we just seem to have a very inconsistent killer one minute he kills the next he captures then we have added in random torture, the overall character doesn’t make any real sense. To make matters worse the Kate character makes all the dumb decisions when the simple answer would have been setting off the fire alarm.

 

Actor Review

 

Franka Potente: Kate is the party girl looking for a good night out in the centre of London but when she falls asleep missing her train she finds herself trapped. Not used to being in the situation she must tur to whoever she can for help to make it out when a deranged killer starts chasing her down. Franka does all she can with a weak script.

Sean Harris: Craig is the killer in the tunnels disfigured and blood thirsty he hunts down his victims at night. Sean is good in this role as the killer something he would become known for.

Vas Blackwood: George is fresh out of jail when he gets a job in the sewers as we see him meet the creature early on when learning the ropes. He helps Kate along the way in the battle for survival. Vas is solid as this supporting character without doing too much in the role.

Support Cast: Creep has a small supporting cast with most only appearing in the odd scene not doing much other than being another victim.

Director Review: Christopher SmithChristopher gives us a very standard horror that can get enjoyment for fans but doesn’t reach the true heights it could have.

 

Horror: Creep tries to put us into a horror situation but the suspense is non-existent and the kills all come off too random.

Mystery: Creep puts us into the mystery of what is going on without giving us any suspicious on what it could be.

Settings: Creep should use the settings to a newer level where we could see suspense being filled but the location just doesn’t get used enough.
Special Effects
: Creep has solid effects when it comes to the kills and make up needed for them.

Suggestion: Creep is one for the horror fans to try, it is a blood filled horror. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: The train attack works well.

Worst Part: The lack of suspense.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Tagline: Evil Dwells Underground

 

Overall: Horror that lacks that X-Factor to make it reach all of its potential.

Ratingcard

 

 

’71 (2014)

71Director: Yann Demange

Writer: Gregory Burke (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris, Sam Hazeldine, Killian Scott

 

Plot: In 1971, a young and disorientated British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Behind Enemy Lines – Ireland

 

Story: 71 starts as we see Gary Hook (O’Connell) going through his training with his regiment before they get deployed to Belfast to deal with the riot situation. In Ireland the regiment receive their instructions and onto the Catholic side of the war. When the riots get out of hand Gary finds himself on the wrong side of the barrier alone and unarmed in the Irish territory.

With tensions rising Gary finds himself in the middle of the battle not knowing which side to trust as both side are preparing to attack each other as Gary learns the harsh reality of what these riots are causing.

71 puts us into the middle of the Irish riots showing just one soldier’s experience behind enemy lines, this works well. My issue with the story is unless you know the history which I only know the basics you are left kind of wondering why the riots are happening in the first place. Another problem I found was telling what was going on with the supporting characters like who was on whose side which I do understand adds to the mystery but in this situation we should be able to identify them easily. As a film about survival in an urban setting this is great though.

 

Actor Review

 

Jack O’Connell: Gary Hook is the young soldier who is on his first mission on the streets on Belfast during the riots of 71, trying to receive a lost weapon he gets separated by his unit and stranded alone behind enemy lines never sure who to trust. Jack is great in this leading role in what was an outstanding year for the young actor.gary

Sam Reid: Lt. Armitage is one of the men that wants to start searching for Gary but constantly gets put down Captain Browning. Sam is solid in this role but doesn’t get enough screen time.

Sean Harris: Captain Sandy Browning is the man running the situation he knows that Gary is alive but really is playing both sides of the battle. Sean is also solid but only in a supporting role.

Killian Scott: Quinn is one of the leaders out trying to kill Gary, he takes his men and boys out on the streets on the hunt for him and will hurt anyone who gets in his way. Killian is good in what seems like one of the primary villains.

Support Cast: 71 has a large supporting cast but working out which side they are on gets confusing at times.

Director Review: Yann DemangeYann gives us wonderfully shot sequences throughout but not enough back story to the events on the film.

 

Action: 71 has intensely shot action sequences involved.

Thriller: 71 keeps us on edge as we watch Gary trying to survive the warzone.

War: 71 puts us into a warzone as we see Gary trying to avoid conflict seemingly around every single corner.

Settings: 71 puts us in the warzone of the Belfast streets which really works to pull us into the story.
Special Effects
: 71 has great effects when needed without having to just go overboard with them.

Suggestion: 71 is one for fans of the genre but otherwise people might find it slightly hard to keep up with. (War Film Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Bomb shock.

Worst Part: Not enough history of the events.

 

Believability: The riots were real but story is fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Behind Enemy Lines

 

Awards: Nominated for One BAFTA.

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Trivia: Most scenes within the film were shot in Northern England, not in the film’s setting of Belfast.

 

Overall: Good history war thriller that is intense but never fully drags you into believing everything.

Ratingcard