Derailed (2005)

Director: Mikael Hafstrom

Writer: Stuart Beattie (Screenplay) James Siegel (Novel)

Starring: Vincent Cassel, Clive Owen, Addison Timlin, Melissa George, Jennifer Aniston, RZA

 

Plot: When two married business executives having an affair are blackmailed by a violent criminal, the two must turn the tables on him to save their families.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Twist Filled Thriller

 

Story: Derailed starts as Charles Schine (Owen) is recounting the events of what happened, this starts the flashback as we see happily married Charles to Deanna (George) and their sick child Amy (Timlim) but he is tired of the routine. When running late Charles forgets his ticket for the train where beautiful banker Lucinda Harris (Aniston) pays for his ticket.

When the two look to engage in an affair they get attacked by LaRoche (Cassel) who knocks Charles out before raping Lucinda. Paying LaRoche off, Charles believes he is out but LaRoche isn’t finished with Charles yet, blackmailing him into giving him money to keep quiet about the affair and things continue to get worse from her for Charles.

 

Thoughts on Derailed

 

Characters/PerformanceCharles is a banker with a perfect little life, married with a child who is sick. He gets engaged in a potential affair only to find himself being blackmailed by the criminal who makes him risk his personal life, his career and even his own freedom. LaRoche is the criminal that blackmails Charles, he even gets personally involved in his life to make this happen. Lucinda is the woman that Charles tries to have an affair. Deanna is the wife Charles has back home, who spends as much of her time looking after their sick daughter.

Performance wise, Clive Owen is good in this leading role as the desperate man pushed to the limits, Vincent Cassel is always a good villain in any movie and this is no different. Jennifer Aniston does a good job in her role which goes in directions you wouldn’t have expect her to go too.

StoryThe story is a good watch as we see how one man must face consequences for action that he finds himself in after nearly getting involved in an affair. This is a good watch and flows nicely even if you don’t agree with everything that Charles is going the story has enough twists to keep you wanting to see more.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side is all blackmail based as the Charles must find a way to keep the blackmailer quiet and this keeps us on the edge of our seats to see where things will be going.

SettingsWe see the quiet home life Charles has to the busy life for the work. We see how the criminals can work in the shadow too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that is enjoyable and a good watch from start to finish.

 

Overall: Good thriller that keeps us on the edge.

Rating

 

 

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert (Characters)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orland Bloom, Keira Knightley

 

Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than Expected

 

Story: Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge starts as a young Henry Turner visiting and promising to break the curse on his father Will Turner (Bloom) against his father’s wishes because it means finding Jack Sparrow (Depp).

Move forward nine years and Henry (Thwaites) in part of the British Navy hunting down pirates in search of Jack Sparrow, when his ship heads into the Devil’s Triangle they find themselves attacked by the ghost Captain Salazar (Bardem), a man in search for Jack Sparrow who cursed his crew.

Finding himself locked up, Henry learns he is on the same island as Jack Sparrow and sets out on finding him as well as an astronomer Carina (Scodelario) who gets treated like a witch because of knowledge. The three team up with Jack’s crew to search for Poseidon’s Trident the one object that can break all curses in the ocean.

With Captain Salazar terrorising the ocean he joins the current ruler of the ocean Captain Barbossa (Rush) in the hunt for Jack as the pirates do battle to break the curses over the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Jack is back, but this time we get a mix of what we expect from the style of the character at times being fun and over times feeling like a parody of himself. Captain Salazar is a good additional villain to this franchise because he was once a man doing the right thing but now hunts the seas for any victim. Captain Barbossa does have the best story arc in this film as we see how he has become the wealthiest pirate at sea and always stays one step ahead of everyone else. Henry is good for this film because it brings us back into the original characters origins learning about Will Turner and now his son, even if the character feels just like a copy of his father, Carina is written to be a strong independent woman in the time of the film which she is but she does also turn into the normal damsel in distress when it comes to conflict moments.

Performance Wise, Johnny Depp does feel like he is doing what you expect but does have moments of parody. Javier Bardem is good and enjoys the villainous role. Rush continues to be good without excelling, Brenton and Kaya are good addition but they do feel like they were just creating a new version of Bloom of Knightley.

StoryOne of the strongest points of any pirates movie is being able to tell us a continuing story, Black Pearl entered us into this world very nicely and the next two chapters continued the story along building on the characters legacy, when it came to Stranger Tides things went off the rails and the film came off boring. This story brings us back to the original arcs and continues to build on them like we enjoy seeing. This isn’t the overall best but it certainly isn’t the worst of the Pirates films and if you enjoyed the stories in the first couple you will enjoy this one.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is all fun, we get a couple of rip off ideas from bigger action franchises, most notable the bank heist, the sword fighting is fine but does become inconstant by the end of the film as ghosts can’t have sword fights. the adventure is the highlight here because this time you do feel like you are back where you want to be. The fantasy side of the film continues on nicely as we dive into the myths of the ocean.

SettingsEach setting looks perfect for a pirates film as we can continue to enjoy the visual experience of a pirates movie.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good, I did like how the deliberate slow flow of Salazar’s hair almost becomes a characteristic of its own too.

Final ThoughtsSure this film will get slammed but it doesn’t need to be, if you just go in look for some fun you will find yourself enjoying this one enough.

 

Overall: Sit back, switch your brain of and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Michael Mann Weekend – Collateral (2004)

collertalDirector: Michael Mann

Writer: Stuart Beattie (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Javier Bardem

 

Plot: A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slick Thriller

 

Story: Collateral starts as we see stranger Vincent (Cruise) arriving in Los Angeles for a job. We also meet mild-mannered cab driver Max (Foxx) who knows all the streets in Los Angeles, the two end up on a collision cause as Max gets talked into taking Vincent around Los Angeles for the night, that is until Max learns that Vincent is a hitman.

Vincent forces Max into taking him around town as he completes his missions as he looks to avoid trouble, but also offers him a chance to teach him about standing up for himself and the morals about the murders he is committing. The two end up getting caught up in the middle of a cat and mouse chase around Los Angeles all in one night.

Collateral is a thriller that fills all the cat and mouse we love to see, nothing is overplayed and with everything taking place over one night we get a real feel for the timing side of the story. I do feel the supporting characters do get neglected which does end up working on both scales, we get more time with the leading two but doesn’t make us care about them. Overall this is a good slick story that all works for the genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Vincent is the hitman who has come to Los Angeles to complete a job over the course of one night, he ends up using Max as his taxi service for the night. He kills anyone who gets in the way but he also doesn’t want to kill anyone he doesn’t need too. He comes off like a good guy and is always good at his job. Tom gives us a great performance in this role as hitman.vinceent

Jamie Foxx: Max is the mild-mannered taxi driver who knows every single street in Los Angeles, he ends up picking up Vincent who puts him through the middle of the worst night of his life as he had to assist him on his killing spree or be killed. Jamie goes toe to toe with Tom which is always difficult for any big named actor.max

Jada Pinkett Smith: Annie is the hot shot lawyer that happens to be a passenger in Max’s cab before Vincent, the two get flirting and we get the potential love interest for Max in the future. Jada does a solid job but doesn’t get the screen time we would like to see.

Mark Ruffalo: Fanning is one of the cops hot the trail of what is happening on the night when one of his men went missing, he puts things together faster than the rest of the authorities. Mark does well in this supporting role but doesn’t make a big enough impact in the end.fanning

Support Cast: Collateral doesn’t get the supporting cast enough screen time to make much impact in the final outcome.

Director Review: Michael MannMichael brings his style to the hitman film which all works for the final cat and mouse between Max and Vincent.

 

Crime: Collateral has a good crime story going on with the bigger picture to what Vincent is up to.

Thriller: Collateral keeps you on the edge of your seat while you watch all interaction between Max and Vincent.

Settings: Collateral use the one night in Los Angeles for the story which all looks very cinematic throughout.
Special Effects
: Collateral has good effects with the kills but doesn’t turn to them too often.

Suggestion: Collateral is one to watch for all the crime thriller fans out there. (Watch)

 

Best Part: First kill reaction.

Worst Part: Lack of support character time.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Budget: $65 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: It started like any other night

Trivia: The seating of the two leads was crucial to certain scenes. For their more intimate exchanges, Cruise would sit directly behind Foxx, out of his peripheral vision and therefore making him more vulnerable and uncertain of his opponent.

 

Overall: Very enjoyable thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat as Cruise shines yet again.

Ratingcard

I, Frankenstein (2014)

logoDirector: Stuart Beattie

Writer: Stuart Beattie (Screenplay) Kevin Grevioux (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Socratis Otto, Aden Young, Catlin Stasey

 

Plot: Doctor Victor Frankenstein dies frozen to death and the creature buries him at the cemetery of his family. However he is attacked by demons but he kills on of them and Gargoyles save him and take him to a Cathedral where the Gargoyles Order gathers. The Queen of the Gargoyles Leonore (Otto) keeps Doctor Frankenstein’s journal together with the treasures of the Order and gives the name Adam (Eckhart) to the creature. Then she explains to Adam that there is an ancient war between the Gargoyles that are angels and demons under the command of the Prince Naberius (Nighy). She also invites Adam to join the Gargoyles in the war against demons, but Adam prefers to isolate in a remote place. Two hundred years later, Adam returns and finds a modern society. Soon he learns that Naberius has the intention of creating an army of soulless corpses to be possessed by demons. The scientist Terra (Strahovski) is researching a process to create life and Naberius is seeking Doctor Frankenstein’s journal to help Terra and raise his army.

 

Verdict: Action CGI style

 

Story: The old good versus bad battle that the human don’t see that escalates into a destructive battle when one believes they can get the overall control. Add in Frankenstein’s monster to the see which side of the battle will he fall on. Let’s face it this is not the most original idea and in the end feels like just another member of the almost something special, but unfortunately is just plain. It is watchable, but nothing special. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Aaron Eckhart: Adam the creature wanting to live on his own but the constant attack from demons means he wants to end the war between the two. Adam is a skilled fighter who battles to stay on the good side of the battle, which he struggles to see when the Gargoyles have to hide things from him. Good performance from Aaron showing he can lead a film. (8/10)

 adam

Yvonne Strahovski: Terra a human scientist who is working on re-animating dead things for a rich man. She is in it all for the science but once she learns the truth she is reluctant to help. Bit of a disappointment in the support female role, she really doesn’t pull of scientist role very well. (3/10)

terra

Miranda Otto: Leonore the Queen of the gargoyles who keeps Adam alive hoping he would return to save them in the war, but soon turns on him when he opens the war out for the humans to see. Simple supporting performance, not offering anything to a role. (5/10)

 miranda

Bill Nighy: Naberius the prince demon who wants to use Frankenstein’s diary and monster to create a new army. Good villain performance from Nighy who gives the basic evil without exceling the position. (7/10)

 bill

Jai Courtney: Gideon the most loyal warrior of the gargoyles, who never trusts Adam but has to trust what his Queen thinks. Basic support role that offers conflict within the good guys.(6/10)

 jai

Socratis Otto: Zuriel one of Naberius’ generals who has been hunting down Adam for over 200 hundred years, he is a skill fighter and will sacrifice his soldiers to stop Adam. Good supporting performance, but never gets the full time to show the whole character. (6/10)

 zuriel

Director Review: Stuart Beattie – Basic directing really, never offering anything new to the genre but following some of the basics well enough. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of fights used throughout, but a lot of them in CGI. (9/10)

Fantasy: The fantasy war going on behind the humans back is good and shows how intense it has become. (9/10)

Settings: Good use of settings trying to use gothic ones to try and keep the story in the dark underworld. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Standard effects as some of the CGI come off very simple during the transformation but once they are established they are fine. (7/10)

Suggestion: I think this is only one to try, it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre but has some good fight scenes. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The battles are good.

Worst Part: Weak supporting performances.

Action Scene Of The Film: The demon attack on the cathedral.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could have one, but Box Office results may stop it.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $71,154,592

Budget: $65 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: In the battle between good and evil, an immortal holds the key.

 

Overall: Dark Action Film Without Enough Bite

Rating 60