Franchise Weekend – Goal! The Dream Begins (2005)

Director: Danny Cannon

Writer: Mike Jefferies, Adrian Butchart, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (Screenplay)

Starring: Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: The extremely talented Santiago Munez is given a chance at professional football, after being spotted by a scout who has ties with Newcastle United.


Tagline – Every Dream Has A Beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Excellent Sporting Drama

 

Story: Goal! The Dream Begins starts when Mexican immigrates move to LA to start a new life, Santiago (Becker) works for his father’s business, turning to football to relax, where he excels. When former scout Glen Foy (Dillane) sees him play, he believes he could make it professionally, turning to his old boss to give him a trial at Newcastle United.

Santiago makes the trip getting a one-month trial, here he must learn the more difficult side to football, to prove everybody including his father, who never wanted him to follow his dreams, while Newcastle have spent heavy on their new signing Gavin Harris (Nivola) a flashy player whose reputation of a playboy lifestyle follows him around.

 

Thoughts on Goal! The Dream Begins

 

Characters – Santiago Munez is an immigrate kid living in LA, grown up to work with his father to keep the family together, he is a brilliant young footballer though, which he plays in his free time. He gets spotted by a former player that wants him to travel to Newcastle for a trial, a moment which could change his life forever, first he must prove his worth, showing determination to go with his skills and learning how to handle the fame which fellow playboy player could show him the darker side. Glen Foy is the former Newcastle player and scout that see Santiago play football believing he could one day be a big star, he pushes Santiago into travelling, though he would make this happen for him. Gavin Harris is the playboy style footballer, a big money signing that is all flash on and off the pitch, he does show Santiago the wrong path, only to learn just as much from him. Roz is the nurse that Santiago falls for, she doesn’t like the celebrity status around footballers, which will see her have to question why she is interested in Santiago, only to see that he is different than most footballers.

PerformancesKuno Becker in the leading role is strong, while some of the footballing stuff isn’t great to watch, the determination his character needs to show through the difficult moment in his life. Alessandro Nivola as the playboy footballer is entertaining to watch through the film, in the supporting roles we see Stephen Dillane and Anna Friel both doing their roles with ease.

StoryWhen we look at the story, we have a cliched, but enjoyable rags to riches story of a young man whose life gets turned upside down when he gets offered a chance to play football for one of the biggest teams in the world. we see how he must learn to adapt to a new country and culture, be put in pressure situations of just new fame, while remaining grounded requiring the approval from his father. One of the key aspects that makes this story enjoyable is the fact we are not watching Santiago join a team about to win something, they are looking to achieve the next level of success. We know how this will end as a story because it does follow the trend of a sports drama without fail.

Romance/SportThe romance in the film comes from Santiago’s relationship with Roz, though it does take a backburner to the sports drama which is front and centre of this film.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different locations Santiago has come from, be it Mexico, the hot sunny street of LA or the cold muddy Newcastle, this will give him something to adapt too.


Scene of the Movie –
Making the squad.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Why is Gavin Harris taking a penalty with Alan Shearer in the team?

Final ThoughtsThis is a football fans favourite type of sports drama, an unknown comes to save your team in their moment of need become an overnight legend in their eyes.

 

Overall: Fun football drama.

Rating

 

 

Kurt Russell Weekend – Soldier (1998)

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaac, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: A soldier is dumped on a waste disposal planet and lives among a community of crash survivors on the planet and takes it upon himself to defend his new home when genetic engineered soldiers are ordered to eliminate the crash survivors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Universal Soldier, Wait No

 

Story: Soldier starts in a world where the military select babies to train into emotionless soldiers, Todd 3465 (Russell) is the best of the first batch of trained men but when Colonel Mekum (Isaacs) starts genetically creating his super soldiers with his star being Caine 607 (Lee), Todd finds himself defeat and dumped on a waste disposal planet.

On this planet Todd is taken in by a community that live there after they crash landed but soon his skills make him a threat to even them, forcing him to leave and become the lone traveller on the planet. This quiet group gets ambushed by the Colonel on a clean-up mission leaving Todd to defend the innocent from his replacements.

 

Thoughts on Solider

 

Characters – Todd 3465 is an emotionless soldier trained from a baby to be the best in the field, he doesn’t say much but when he gets replaced he finds himself using his training to protect the innocent. Caine 607 is the new genetically advanced soldier who has replaced Todd, he is faster, stronger and deadlier than Todd. Colonel Mekum is the man that has bought out the replacements to deal with the bigger problems in the universe, not caring about the original models.

PerformanceKurt Russell is solid in this role, he got himself into shape for it but in the 90s the action stars were more physical presence while Russell doesn’t get the full chance to be the guy we know from the 80s. Jason Scott Lee is solid too in his performance, he has the look of the typical enemy our hero must face in combat to achieve his redemption. Jason Isaacs will always be a good choice for a military role and often finds himself working with this director.

StoryThe story is simple to follow, we have modified soldiers that have been replaced by the newest models and the older model must use his skills to defend the people who took him in against the new and improved model. It is a simple story it does feel like Universal Soldier for the most part too.

Action/Sci/FiThe action sequences are mostly the generic ones we have come to know from the soldier versus soldier film but nothing stands out. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the idea the soldiers are trained and built to fight in a futuristic war.

SettingsTh settings are easy to use with most being used in the montage to show Todd’s war record, the most part of the film is on a waste planet which puts our characters on the world there are desperate to escape.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects are fine but parts of them have dated through the years.

Scene of the Movie – Todd versus the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a Universal Soldier rip off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch action film that does feel like just another branch of the Universal Soldier universe.

 

Overall: Easy to watch actioner.

Rating

 

 

Dog Soldiers (2002)

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson

 

Plot: A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Werewolf Films

 

Story: Dog Soldiers starts as we follow military unit led by Sgt Harry Wells (Pertwee) on a training mission in the Scotish wilderness, in his team is Private Cooper (McKidd) who has been rejected by the special forces Captain Ryan (Cunningham) but this does make him the strongest member of the unit.

When the men get attacked they learn Captain Ryan has been on a mission within in same location hunting something down and they soon meet these creates, werewolves hunting at night in the wilderness of Scotland, this is no longer a training mission and the men must show their skills to survive the night.

 

Thoughts on Dog Soldiers

 

Characters – Sgt Wells is running his military unit through a routine training exercise, he shows his strength in leadership even if Cooper is the best soldier in the unit. Private Cooper is soldier who missed out on special forces even though he has all the skills to be one of their best, returned to the small unit he must take control of the situation when the werewolves attack. Megan is seemingly a random woman in the woods but she has a connection to the bigger picture studying the werewolves. Captain Ryan is the leader of the special forces unit and has been involved in hunting the werewolves down, he is fully behind the cause over the right thing.

PerformanceSean Pertwee in the lead soldier role is something he becae famous for because he talks the shit needed as well as getting the respect from his unit and in the early 2000s no one did it better. Kevin McKidd is great is the super soldier that knows how to battle against anything thing that gets in his way. Emma Cleasby is an actress that seemed to fall of the face of the Earth after this performance which she did a good job in. Liam Cunningham as the villainous soldier is something we know he can do and we all like to just sit and listen to him talk.

StoryGroup of soldiers must fight against werewolves over a one-night period, well that is the core of this story and it works perfectly, keeping things simple. We do have a couple of twists along the way which work and are fine for the story but overall we didn’t need to see anything overly complicated for this movie.

Action/HorrorThe action is all bullets flying and blood spattering off the walls, this is a good use of the action horror genre because we might not get jump scares but we have the threat to the soldiers in werewolf form.

SettingsMost of the film is set in one location, a house in the middle of the woods, we make sure the communications are lost and the nearly location is too far away to make this a fully enjoyable isolated location for our characters.

Special EffectsFilled with most practical effects we see our soldiers and werewolves in battle in what is one of the best uses of the mix since American Werewolf in London.

Scene of the Movie – House goes Boom.

I always get annoyed by one thing in a movie, this is that moment In the opening sequence we have campers killed, then we move back 2 hours earlier in a different location before going forward 4 weeks. This just seems like overkill.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best modern-day werewolf films if not the best.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror rush.

Rating

 

 

Event Horizon (1997)

logoDirector: Paul W.S. Anderson

Writer: Philip Eisner (Screenplay)

Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Richard T. Jones, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee

 

Plot: A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned…with someone or something new on-board.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Closest To A Sci-Fi Horror Equal to Alien

 

Story: Event Horizon starts by filling us in on the time and events of the film, we are in 2040 where a Deep space research vessel called The Event Horizon has disappeared after passing past Neptune becoming one of the biggest disasters on record. 7 years later we see a devoid of gravity space craft that haunts Dr Weir (Neill) as he still struggles with the loss of his wife. We are on the Lewis & Clark the rescue mission to find the Event Horizon. Our team includes Captain Miller (Fishburne), Med Tech Peters (Quinlan), Lt Starck (Richardson), Cooper (Jones), Justin (Noseworthy), DJ (Isaacs) and Smith (Pertwee) each has their own specialist use on the mission. We get the simple hyper sleep idea for the long distance travelling which continues to feed the nightmares Weir is having.

The mission involved learning what really happened to the Event Horizon because it was part of a secret experiment to create a faster travelling system through space. Investigating the ship the crew find nothing but a ghost ship, with signs of a previous struggle with blood and body parts floating around. When an unexplained event happens the crew have to all move onto the Event Horizon while they try and fix their own ship. It isn’t long before the crew start seeing things around the ship which simply can’t be explained with rational science. The crew has 20 hours of air before they will end up dying to fix their ship and make it home.

Event Horizon is a sci-fi film that is nearly 20 years old and still feels like it could be considered fresh compared too many films that attempted and failed to reach the same level of atmosphere and pure horror. We get the deep space which instantly creates the idea that the characters are going to be alone. I will look at few negatives that got me, the first would be that they don’t discuss the mission until they are about to get there meaning there isn’t a way to go back. The second would be even after seeing this film a couple of times now I still don’t fully know what to believe about the Dr Weir character whether he is good or always bad. Overall this is a very good story and the negatives are really just nit picking instead of just praising the film. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Laurence Fishburne: Captain Miller is the leader of the rescue mission, he will look out for every one of his crew and involve them all in the decision making process but will never leave one behind. Laurence does a good job in this leading role playing the strong but equal leader. (7/10)

 miller

Sam Neill: Dr William Weir is the creator of the Event Horizon who gets taken over by the life force inside the ship wanting to take advantage of the newly discovered machine. Sam ends up going through a brilliant and frightening transformation as this film rolls on and ends up being almost unrecognisable. (8/10)

weir

Kathleen Quinlan: Peters is the med tech who first starts getting vision showing her greatest fear. I do have issues with this character because she should be the most logical when it comes to seeing the vision because she off all the people should know it is only in their minds. Kathleen does a solid job with what she has to do, it’s not her fault her character makes bad decisions. (6/10)

 

Joely Richardson: Lt Starck is the member of the crew trying to uncover everything that happened to the original crew and along the way she learns the pure terror the crew will be in for. Joely does a solid job in this role but really doesn’t get as much screen time as the character should get. (7/10)

 

Richard T Jones: Cooper is one of the engineers who gets all the best lines while the mission is taking place, he also goes through the most including being blasted off the ship and having to find his own way back. Richard ends up playing the character you want to see on screen most because he is so funny. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Event Horizon does have a couple more members of the crew that all end up becoming disposable characters as they rest try to escape the terror on the ship.

 

Director Review: Paul W.S. Anderson – Paul does a great job here and shows he knows how to pace a film to have enough scares and tension to keep us fully behind the film from start to finish. (8/10)

 

Horror: Event Horizon has to go down as one of the best horror films of the 90s but will always end up getting eclipsed by Alien. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Event Horizon takes place in space and challenges scientific theory to make the story’s events unfold. (9/10)

Settings: Event Horizon works perfectly for horror as it creates isolation instantly and the crew have to find their own way to safety because no one can rescue them. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Event Horizon does have a small weakness because a lot of the gravity based effects have dated but the rest all look great consider how many years have passed. (6/10)

Suggestion: Event Horizon is one for all the horror fans to watch, it is easily one of the most enjoyable of recent years. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Weir’s Transformation is scary and frightening all mixed up to make it horrific.

Worst Part: Certain effects have dated.

Oh My God Moment: The footage showing what happened to the original crew.

Scariest Scene: The reveal of what has happened to Dr Weir.

Favourite Quote: Dr Weir ‘Where we’re going, we won’t need eyes to see.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Sunshine and Pandorum

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26.6 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Infinite Space – Infinite Terror

Trivia: Paul W.S. Anderson’s initial cut of the film ran to 130 minutes and was quite graphically violent, so much so that both test audiences and the studio baulked at the finished product. Paramount ordered him to cut the film by 30 minutes and tone down some of the violence, a decision he now regrets.

 

Overall: Event Horizon is one of the most shocking sci-fi horrors of all time and a must watch for all the horror fans out there.

Rating 89

Equilibrium (2002)

logoDirector: Kurt Wimmer

Writer: Kurt Wimmer (Screenplay)

Starring: Christian Bale, Dominic Purcell, Sean Bean, Sean Pertwee, William Fichtner, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson

 

Plot: In a Fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotionless Action

 

Story: Equilibrium starts by telling us that we will have a third world war and to stop a fourth man has lost its humanity taking the idea that we can feel away from us. We meet elite team John Preston (Bale) and Partridge (Bean) who eliminate anyone caught with any items that could cause emotions. We see how they take out a whole hideout of ‘criminals’ (known as sense offenders) in an all guns blazing, picture burning style. We enter into what is a cult like city run by Father (Pertwee) who keeps the people on their drug Prozium which will cut out any emotion the people will ever have.

Discovering that his partner might have turned into a sense offender Preston has to locate and find out why he has changed and to give him a mercy killing rather than letting the leaders do it. (Yes Sean Bean does die again) this introduces Preston’s new partner Brandt (Diggs), we know have the rookie joining up with the experienced officer cliché. Preston haunted by the loss of his wife to sense offending. The latest bust finds involved a mysterious lady Mary (Watson) who starts to push Preston while he tries to discover who she is working with. After missing a dose of his medicine Preston starts to understand why everyone he was killing didn’t care because they were actually living but can he survive in a world where everyone knows when you are feeling and bring it down from the inside?

Equilibrium was doing the futuristic revolutions before any of the teenage ones we get flooded with now. I do feel the story has plenty of plot holes like how everyone seems to be on the plan for Preston and not a single person gives it away. I also do have an issue with the end, with the leader taken out and revolution happened why they saw it fit to butcher everyone who is only stuck on mind control rather than show that they had the mercy side to the humanity which they were fighting for. I also found the idea that Preston started doing everything that his partner did like he was the backup plan. On the positive I found the costumes very good with Preston starting in all black before turning to full white once he goes through the change. In the end it does lack certain storyline issues but is a simple action film. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Christian Bale: John Preston at first the best agent against sense offenders who fast turns into the very person they are hunting. He ends up fighting for the resistance against the very people he has worked for. Christian gives a good performance and shows the basic emotionless performance before he starts turning to emotions. (7/10)

 bale

Taye Diggs: Brandt rookie who is assigned to work with Preston but soon picks up on the emotions he has started to feel and leads the offensive against Preston and the resistance. Taye gives a good performance but fails to match Bale’s performance. (6/10)

 taye

Support Cast: Equilibrium has a group of supporting members who all have few scene that seem to help the story unfold.

 

Director Review: Kurt Wimmer – Kurt does a good job directing to make a new style of combat but the story telling falls flat. (7/10)

 

Action: Equilibrium has jaw dropping action with fight scenes, gun battling that comes thick and fast. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Equilibrium paints a future that we have seen before just with slightly different motives and crimes. (7/10)

Settings: Equilibrium settings are all well created to show the uniformity on wide side and the freedom on the other. (9/10)

Suggestion: Equilibrium is one for the action fans to enjoy, it has plenty going on but don’t think about enjoy any major story. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final Showdown battle.

Worst Part: Brutal killing of the innocent, but I know it was needed to show how villainous they are.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Kill Of The Film: The sword finale

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Ultraviolet

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $5 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Two men. One battle. No compromise

 

Overall: The Matrix Knight Rises

Rating 60