ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – A – Allied (2016)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris

 

Plot: In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.


Tagline – Deception is an art. Truth is a test. Is love a lie?

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks the Suspense

 

Story: Allied starts as Canadian Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Pitt) lands in Morocco to work with French Resistance Fighter Marianna Beausejour (Cotillard) as they pretend to be married as they complete their mission. The two fall in love for real and return to London to get married against the his superior Frank Heslop (Harris) opinion.

After a year of marriage Heslop comes to Max believing Marianna is indeed a spy, this leaves Max questioning, which side of the story to believe and what is the truth.

 

Thoughts on Allied

 

Characters – Max Vatan is Canadian intelligence working in Africa, highly skilled he can blend into his environment, but he does fall in love with his undercover wife. When he gets informed she could well be a spy, his life is turned upside down with doubts about what is the truth. Marianna is the French resistance fighter working with the Canadian Max as his fake wife, but she also falls in love with Max and returns to start a family with him. We don’t learn too much apart from that she is a loving wife and mother though.

PerformancesBrad Pitt is good for the opening mission, you believe his every decision, but when he becomes the family man, he just doesn’t reach the levels you know he can. Marion Cotillard is good without being her breath-taking best in this role.

StoryThe story here follows love and spies during World War II, we see how two people from different sides of the war fall in love and they must decide which side of the war they are supporting. This film doesn’t become as intense as it could be because seeing it from both sides could have heighted the experience and by the end it just doesn’t feel like it reaches the levels it should.

Action/Romance/WarThe action during the film is tame with very little being used or looking overly real. The romance doesn’t feel whirlwind like you think it should be either, but the war side comes off strong as we see how the tension between the sides cause most of the issues in the lives.

SettingsThe settings look authentic for the time, which does work well for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just fizzles out in the second half of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a war romance film that just never reaches the levels it should do, it just seems to go on and becomes one of the average films that you forget by the end.

 

Overall: Average and disappointing.

Rating

 

 

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Bradley Cooper Weekend – Burnt (2015)

Director: John Wells

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay) Michael Kalesniko (Story)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander

 

Plot: Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Cooking Drama

 

Story: Burnt starts as we see Adam Jones (Cooper) a chef who has worked under the best before he blew it all with drinks and drugs, he cleans himself up, earns enough money and returns to London to take down Tony (Bruhl) restaurant and hotel.

Turning to his old friend Conti (Goodman) and working Michel (Sy), Helene (Miller), David (Keeley) and Max (Scamarcio) Adam goes in search for the next top chefs around London to work in his kitchen after saving Tony’s ass when the top food critic Simone Forth (Thurman) visits his restaurant. Adam is in search for his third Michelin Star.

 

Thoughts on Burnt

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam Jones is the typical aggressive competitive chef, he wants to be known as the very best but is also on a redemption story. he walks the very thin line between being the best and being a complete ass toward the people who work for him. Helene is the next top chef without a reputation in London, a single mother that keeps her reach all her potential that Adam sees in her. Tony is a friend of Adam’s who reluctantly gives him a chance to turn his kitchen around once more. I do think the rest of the characters all play into the story perfectly too.

Bradley Cooper is great in this role, he gets to show he confidence, aggression and emotions through the film. Sienna Miller is good throughout but like the rest of the cast who all give good performance, they all do get over shadowed by Cooper’s performance.

StoryWhen you are a skilled person with talent can easily come off the rails and search for another chance in life. This is a story of redemption at the core showing you will not be able to run from your past but you can always change your future and the people you work with.

Comedy/DramaThis is a comedy drama that does take a serious matter and add little moments of comedy without being a laugh out loud attempted film.

SettingsMost of the film is in and around the kitchens the chefs work in, this is good because we get to see how chaotic the kitchen can be.

Final ThoughtsThis film was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be, I do think people can enjoy but I can also see why people will find it hard to get through.

 

Overall: Cooks up a delight that can be devoured by the fans.

Rating

 

 

Seventh Son (2014)

seventhDirector: Sergey Bodrov

Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight (Screenplay) Joseph Delaney (Novel) Matt Greenberg (Screen Story)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounou

 

Plot: When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantasy Film ABC

 

Story: Seventh Son starts when evil witch Mother Malkin (Moore) escapes her prison and only Master Gregory (Bridges) can stop her, but this time she is stronger than ever. We move to meet small town farm boy Tom (Barnes) who is struggling with visions and he just happens to be the seventh son of a seventh son which brings Master Gregory to take him on his adventure.

As Gregory trains Tom, Mother Malkin prepares her troops which include her niece Alice (Vikander). We watch as both sides are coming together for a final showdown but Tom and Alice feel almost lost in the middle of the battle not understand why they are both involved.

Seventh Son is a fantasy film that really follows the ABC of basic fantasy but doesn’t make us sit back and go wow like other films have. This is slow running and with the heavyweight cast I think it would be fair to say we would expect more from stars of this calibre. There are some good moments but like a lot of films at the moment this really is just a builder for a franchise and doesn’t hit the marks needed.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeff Bridges: Master Gregory is the warrior that has been battling witches for decades, he is the last remaining fighter against them and is training an apprentice. He selects Tom his next apprentice who is the seventh son of a seventh son making him the best choice. Gregory has a history with Mother Malkin which makes their battle even more personal. Jeff gives a good performance what was it with that accent.greg

Ben Barnes: Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and selected by Master Gregory to be his latest apprentice in the fight against witches. He is the son of a witch trained to fight against them while also falling in love with a witch. Ben struggles to make as much impact as the rest of the bigger named stars.

Julianne Moore: Mother Malkin is the Queen of the evil witches who wants complete rule over the world, she has been locked away by Master Gregory but with the blood moon arising she is ready to claim her throne winning a life time battle against Master Gregory. Julianne is making a habit of this villainous roles give the performance you expect but you would have to say this could be one to help fund her braver performances else.mother

Alicia Vikander: Alice is the niece of Mother Malkin, a good witch trying to understand why there is a war between the two sides, she falls in love with Tom but will she turn to the dark side of make her own path. Alicia uses this performance to show what she is capable of with such a poorly written character.

Support Cast: Seventh Son has a very creditable supporting cast of well-respected stars that all play basic supporting character clearly wasting their talents.

Director Review: Sergey BodrovSergey doesn’t give us the most convincing fantasy adventure film, with basic easy to make action sequences.

 

Action: Seventh Son has the action you would expect to see and in the most part have seen before.

Adventure: Seventh Son tries to take us on this big adventure that we really just don’t get excited about.

Fantasy: Seventh Son has a world full of fantasy creatures throughout.

Settings: Seventh Son puts us into a fantasy world we have seen plenty of times before.
Special Effects
: Seventh Son has great effects with the shapeshifting creatures al coming off looking very realistic.

Suggestion: Seventh Son is one that only fantasy film fans might like, this isn’t one of the best but far from being the worst. (Fantasy Fans Try)

 

Best Part: The effects are good.

Worst Part: Wasting top talented stars.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $95 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: When darkness falls, the son will rise

 

Overall: Basic fantasy film offering nothing new to the genre

Ratingcard

Hummingbird (2013)

logoDirector: Steven Knight

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Statham, Agata Buzek, Vicky McClure, Benedict Wong, Ger Ryan, Youssef Kerkour, Anthony Morris

 

Plot: Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London’s criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another man’s identity — transforming into an avenging angel in the process.

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Action Drama

 

Story: You see the name Jason Statham you think it will be all action not much story, this changes that theory. He gets a few action scenes but the film is based on a broken man trying to redeem himself after his past actions have left him alone in the world. We show how he looks after the people who supported him, but also take advantage of the chances given to him. He might not gain full redemption but he gets a chance to do right to the people he has wronged. It is a slow moving story but well worth a chance because anyone can change if they want it enough. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jason Statham: Joey the ex-special forces solider who know lives on the streets looking to get by, but when he stumbles into a chance of money he takes his life more serious to make up for his wrongs. Good performance from Jason showing he has some dramatically skills under his fighting skills. (7/10)

 jason

Agata Buzek: Cristina a nun who helps out the homeless but when Joey starts to repay her she opens up about her life, but also wants to run away quicker. Good performance from Agata. (7/10)

christina

Director Review: Steven Knight – Good direction to show how a man can change his character once his motives have changed. (7/10)

 

Action: Some good small fights but not all about the action. (6/10)

Settings: London always makes a good setting for people being left behind in a faster life. (9/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one to try, just don’t expect Statham to be all action like you would be used too though. (Try)

 

Best Part: Joey meets a man he has been hunting.

Worst Part: Bit slow.

Believability: People look for this sort of redemption all around us but will they get to level Joey does, no. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: All roads don’t lead to salvation.

 

Overall: Dramatically Statham Role

Rating 71

Locke (2013)

logoDirector: Steven Knight

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hardy

 

Plot: Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.

 

Verdict: Engrossing Film

 

Story: Such a simple story unfolding watching Locke try and make up for one mistake in his life but ends up losing everything in the process. Nothing that unfolds is unbelievable which creates a very real feel to everything and watching it through the eyes of only Locke pulls you in to each problem he is facing. There really isn’t anything else to talk about, it is just one man’s problems and how he is facing them. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Hardy: Ivan Locke high ranking successful foreman on a construction site, family man who has made a mistake by having a one night stand with a lady who decided to keep the baby. He has to walk away from the biggest moment of his career, tell his wife the truth, all while trying to get to the hospital to see his new baby be born. Great performance from Hardy who is the only person on screen and keeps your attention from start to finish talking about such simple life matters. (9/10)

 hardy

Director Review: Steven Knight – Great direction to create a simple story that pulls you in from start to finish. (8/10)

 

Drama: One man dealing with such real problems works perfectly. (9/10)

Settings: All set within Locke’s car as he is making his journey. (10/10)

Suggestion: When I suggest this I am not going to lie, I was expecting a thriller like he had committed some sort of crime, I was hugely surprised with what we got but also impressed with it too. I would suggest trying it as I feel it won’t be for everyone. (Try it)

 

Best Part: Hardy’s performance

Worst Part: You could nit-pick on length.

Believability: Could easily be a real situation. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Tagline: No Turning Back

 

Overall: Brilliant Drama

Rating 87