Taps (1981)

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Darryl Ponicsan, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay) Devery Freeman (Novel)

Starring: George C Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise


Plot: Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Little 80’s Movie


Story: Taps starts as we meet our Military Cadets with Cadet Major Brian Moreland (Hutton) getting the promotion to this rank for his final year at the academy from General Harlan Bache (Scott). Bache informs the students this will be their final year before the academy is going to be knocked down for development.

When there is an altercation outside the grounds Bache accidently kills a young civilian. The consequences of this are that the base is going to close early but Moreland brings together the cadets with his Captains Alex Dwyer (Penn) and David Shawn (Cruise) to hold the base so they can have their final year and prove the academy is important for the community.


Thoughts on Taps


Characters – General Harlan Bache runs the military academy, he has done for years and enjoys developing the next generation of soldiers, when he is accidently involved in a shooting of a civilian he is removed from the base ending up in hospital. Cadet Major Brian Moreland leads the cadets, he was handpicked by the General and once the General is off the base, he leads the defence of the base from the incoming developers. Cadet Captain Dwyer is the closest friend Moreland has on the base and does clash with Shawn at time over clash of styles. Cadet Captain David Shawn is the fellow captain that is determined to prove the cadets can handle themselves, he acts quicker than Dwyer which leads to their tension at times.

PerformanceThe performances are great throughout, George Scott is your big name draw for the time and is good in his role, with Timothy Hutton here right after his Oscar win that is great throughout. Tom Cruise and Sean Penn both show their skills in the supporting role where they easily becoming big stars.

StoryThe story does follow the cadets who look to defend their school after an accident that is about to be getting closed. It shows how they were trained to handle themselves and stand up for what they believe in a bigger cause than themselves. It does have moments where you think it is a kids movie but the reality war is never just this tone and you also couldn’t see both sides fighting for what is mostly property.

SettingsMost of the film is set at the academy which shows how the young men worked together to stand up for what could build on a generation of future soldiers.

Scene of the Movie – Escape the locals.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This does seem like fighting for almost nothing, even if it is mostly tactical building up to a potential battle.

Final ThoughtsThis film shows us three young talented actors who all went onto bigger project in a film which shows the meaning behind being a solider from a young age, working together and understanding when to stand up for something you believe in.


Overall: Good drama showing us plenty of military tactics.





ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – M – Milk (2008)

Director: Gus Van Sant

Writer: Dustin Lance Black (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill


Plot: The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official.

Tagline – His life changed history. His courage changed lives.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Important Figure in History


Story: Milk starts as we meet Harvey Milk (Penn) an openly gay man in the 1970s that moves to San Francisco with his boyfriend Scott Smith (Franco) to start a business, he soon becomes a leader for businesses who don’t decimate against homosexuals.

Tired of the abuse they are getting Harvey decides to run for office to help get equal rights for homosexuals, this gets him attention from the haters, who start targeting him. Soon he makes a movement to make gay right count across America.


Thoughts on Milk


Characters – Harvey Milk is telling us the story of how he rose the political ladder, being a gay man made this difficult because he is not fight just for his rights but for all homosexuals in America, he was a real man that helped change the civil rights in the 70s. Cleve Jones is one of the young men that Harvey takes in to help run the campaign, he has an ability to bring communities together in the movements they want to fight for. Dan White is one of the politicians that opposes Harvey, he doesn’t want to work with him because of his religious beliefs.

PerformancesSean Penn won an Oscar for his performance in this film, you can see why, he is fantastic in the leading role where he commands the screen. Emile Hirsch is unrecognisable in this role which shows us the talent he has but doesn’t always give us. Josh Brolin is good in his role, while the rest of talent is good through the film too.

StoryThe story follows Harvey Milk as he rose to political power in a civil rights movement for the homosexual people. This shows the struggles he must go through to help make this go through and the team that supported him in his battle for this civil right. This shows us how people have always fought for their rights the right way no matter what they must overcome.

Biopic/History/RomanceThe biopic side of this film shows us Harvey Milk and just how important he and his team were to the civil rights movement. It shows us how important this moment in history was for civil rights movements too. The romance side shows how difficult it was for Harvey to keep a relationship while running for office.

SettingsThe settings show how Harvey rose through he ranks, starting with just a street, before a district and moving onto political offices.

Scene of the Movie –
The rallying call.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a frustration about why people acted like this holding people back.

Final ThoughtsThis is an important movie about how the civil rights movement was important for everyone involved, it needed to change, it did thanks to this man Harvey Milk at his beliefs.


Overall: Important drama for all to see.




The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

casting cardDirector: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly

Writer: John Cohen, Mikael Hed, Mikko Polla, Jon Vitti (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Sean Penn, Kate McKinnon


Plot: Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to three unlikely outcasts – Red, Chuck and Bomb – to figure out what the pigs are up to.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Animated Film


Story: The Angry Birds Movie starts as we follow Red on the island on flightless birds who always finds himself getting into trouble finding himself in anger management run by Matilda where he meets over birds with anger issues with Chuck, Bomb and Terence.

When the mysterious green pigs led by Leonard turn up on the island Red becomes suspicious about what they real plan for visiting is. When the pigs steal all of the eggs the birds must turn to Red and his angry side and go into battle with them.

The Angry Birds Movie does create a story from the phone app that actually works really well. The story follows how the games play where the pigs steal the eggs and the birds attack them be angry if you want. The story is filled with bird related puns which all works keeping everything light hearted even if a lot of ideas are taken from other films.


Character Review


Red: Red is your typical angry bird living in a world where all the other birds are happy go lucky. He likes to isolate himself from the rest of the birds but when the pigs turn up he instantly questions their motive while the rest of the birds welcome them. Red leads the battle against the pigs to bring the eggs back home. Red is an important and strong leading character even if I did feel like he was Brian Griffin from Family Guy.

Chuck: Chuck is the yellow and fast bird all keeps getting in trouble for speeding. He is very hyperactive and gets fully involved in help Red just because he wants something to do. Chuck gets most of the laughs in this film.

Bomb: Bomb struggles with being able to control his explosions and with the help of Red and Chuck he does learn as the film unfolds. Bomb is a good character that has good odd couple chemistry with Chuck.

Matilda: Matilda is the anger management councillor that is help the three with their issues but deep down she is really just as angry as them. Matilda is also a good character that works well as the supporting character for laughs.

Support Characters: The Angry Birds Movie has a great set of supporting characters with Leonard being a good villain and Terrence getting plenty of laughs.

Director Review: Clay Kaytis, Fergal ReillyThe directors give us all we need without really pushing the story to the elite level of animation story.


Animation: The Angry Birds Movie has almost flawless animation throughout.

Comedy: The Angry Birds Movie has jokes that will work for all different audiences that watch this.

Family: The Angry Birds Movie is something you can show the whole family where everyone can enjoy it.

Music: The Angry Birds Movie uses music very well to show the mood of each scene.

Settings: The Angry Birds Movie creates the islands which all come off looking like what you would expect form the game.
: The Angry Birds Movie is one for the family to enjoy. (Family Time)


Best Part: The story actually working.

Worst Part: Quicksilver rip off scene.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $73 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Playtime’s over


Overall: Enjoyable and simple to watch animation film.




Tim Robbins Weekend – Mystic River (2003)

logoDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay) Dennis Lehane (Novel)

Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Kevin Chapman, Tom Guiry, Emmy Rossum, Spencer Treat Clark

Plot: With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Mystery Film

Story: Mystic River starts with three childhood friends Jimmy, Dave and Sean just doing what kids do, trying to have fun but get caught by a police officer where Dave is taken away in a car to explain what happened, but what happens to Dave will change the friendship forever.

Move forward in time Dave (Robbins) has a child of his own but is still haunted by what happened on that day, Jimmy (Penn) has his own family, while Sean (Bacon) becomes a highly respected detective on the posher side of the city along with his partner Whitey (Fishburne).

When Dave comes home drunk and shaken and covered in blood he tries to talk about what happened and being mugged. When Sean gets the shocking new his daughter Katie (Rossum) hasn’t turned up for work we also hear the news of a blood in a car, here car which brings Sean back to the town to figure out what happened.

When the body is found it is up to Sean to solve the crime, while the old friendships start getting tested after they all went their separate ways and fingers start getting pointed.

Mystic River is a brilliant murder mystery that shows how far friends can end up from each other after spending their childhood together. We don’t get many clues about who it was and the fingers pointing in one direction seems to obvious for it to have been them. I do feel we needed to see potentially different options to who committed the murder but how Jimmy handles it his own way shows just how far a man would go to find the person responsible. The overall tone of the film is edgy because each character could end up blowing a fuse. (9/10)

Actor Review

Sean Penn: Jimmy Markum is the tough guy in the neighbour he runs the shop and has connection with everyone. It is his daughter that gets murdered and because of his connections he could end up blowing the case out of the water but the truth is the thing that will shock him the most. Sean gives a brilliant performance showing a full range of emotions. (10/10)jimmy

Tim Robbins: Dave Boyle who was abducted when he was a child but seems to have grown up to be slightly different, very timid and still haunted by the past. He comes back home after a night out covered in blood claiming to have been mugged, but is he really involved in the murder? Tim gives a great performance showing how haunted his past really is. (9/10)dave

Kevin Bacon: Sean Devine is a detective who moved away from thee neighbourhood, he has to return to solve this murder that will bring up moments fro the past that no one wanted to come back. Kevin gives us a great performance as the detective with a past that could go wrong but also knows how a crime could end up. (8/10)sean

Support Cast: Mystic River has a supporting cast that are people who don’t know who did the crime but only see to offer discussion to the main three characters.

Director Review: Clint Eastwood Clint gives us this brilliant mystery that keeps us guessing to who was really responsible for the crime. (9/10)

Crime: Mystic River has a murder that has to be solved, but also has the after effects of a child molestation as a child for one of our grown ups. (9/10)

Drama: Mystic River shows how three childhood friends have all gone their own way. (9/10)

Mystery: Mystic River does create the mystery about who committed the crime all the way through. (9/10)

Thriller: Mystic River pts you on the edge of your seat once the investigation starts because you just don’t know what reaction is happening. (9/10)

Settings: Mystic River uses the tight community to show how close everyone is when the tragedy strikes. (10/10)

Suggestion: Mystic River is a must watch for any film fans out there. (Must Watch)

Best Part: The three main character performances.

Worst Part: Not too many supporting suspects.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars nominated for 4 More including Best Picture

Box Office: $90 Million

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 18 Minutes

Tagline: The river has many depths. Let it wash over you.

Trivia: Sean penn and Tim robbins both won oscars for best actor and best supporting actor respectively. This was the second film to win both of these awards after Ben hur (1959).

Overall: Murder mystery perfectly pieced together

Rating 92

Trailer Alert – The Gunman

Plot – An international spy must clear his name in order to save himself from the organization that he used to work for.

Release Date:  20th February 2015


  • Sean Penn (Milk, Mystic River, 21 Grams) – Not known for his action roles but can he pull off a full blown Liam Neeson here?
  • Javier Bardem (Skyfall) – No stranger to the villain role, can he continue to make unique villain looks?
  • Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Luther) – Looks like a supporting role and we don’t get too much information from the trailer about his role.
  • Ray Winstone (The Departed) – Looks like he will be the loyal trusted friend to the protagonist.
  • Mark Rylance (Blitz)

Director: Pierre Morel (Taken) With Taken next to his name we expect good things but with ‘From Paris with Love’ we know it could turn out bad.

Highlight of the Trailer:  Nothing stood out as great, they did a good job keeping the best moments for the full release.

What Looks Good? Sean Penn is leading role so we can get the strong acting between the action.

What Looks Bad? It looks like it could get confusing with all the twists just form the trailer.

Summary: The Gunman looks like it could be a solid action thriller it could be a chance for Sean Penn to redefine himself in a new genre, along with the potential of a new franchise. I do expect to see an entertaining action film but I don’t expect to see something great.

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating –70%

My Guess Rating – 70%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No