Only the Brave (2017)

Director: Joseph Kosinski

Writer: Ken Nolan, Eric Warren Singer (Screenplay) Sean Flynn (Article)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell

 

Plot: Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.


Tagline – It’s Not What Stands In Front Of You, It’s Who Stands Beside You

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Man Versus Natural Story

 

Story: Only the Brave starts as we meet Eric Marsh (Brolin)a mountain hotshot firefighter superintendent with his trusted second lieutenant Jesse Steed (Dale) who get their chance to step up to the next level as the prepare for the wildfires which could take homes.

When Eric’s connection Duane (Bridges) gives his new which includes loud mouth Christopher (Kitsch) and recovering junkie Brendan (Teller) trying to prove his value to the team, they get their opportunity to prove their quality to the fire department as they end up battling one of the biggest wildfires in history.

 

Thoughts on Only the Brave

 

Characters – Eric Marsh is the leader of the group of firefighters, he has fought to get his team the chance to become a force known as hotshots, which means on the frontline, he will give everyone a chance to prove themselves, even if his own ideas could cause problems with their chances. His leadership skills make him the inspiration the unit needs. Jesse Steed is the second in command, providing the much-needed answers to questions he might be facing and advice to the crew. Amanda is the wife of Eric, the two have an understanding that shows she is prepared for him to not make it home one day, as she shows the independence needed as she works with helping horses which have been mistreated. Brendan is a young junkie, he becomes a parent and wants to turn his life around by joining the unit, this gives him the direction, mentorship and responsibility he had never focused on before in his life, this is shown with his relationship with Eric and with Christopher, the loud mouth of the unit that is willing to push Brendan as far as he needs to be pushed.

PerformancesJosh Brolin in the leading role fantastic, proving he can keep his performance reserved while showing he is the true leader of the group. James Badge Dale is always great in the supporting roles and this is clear once again. Jennifer Connelly also proves to be a great supporting performer here, even though part of her storyline isn’t as interesting as the firefighting. Miles Teller does continue to build up a reputation for giving good and different performances through the film. Taylor Kitsch also continues to rebuild his career after the reputation he once get branded with.

StoryThe story follows a mountain firefighting unit that prepare to become the next level, before they start battling the wildfires with each one giving them a new task to overcome. This is based on the real crew which became a close unit as they got closer to the action to try and protect the loved ones. This does show a lot of training, battling and preparing for a big fire and shows the bravery these men showed when it came to try to protect their town.

BiopicThe men involved in the firefighting unit are real, they risked their lives to save people and their homes. These men needed their story told and this gives them that.

SettingsThe settings used in the film show us the positions people will find themselves in when it comes to needing to protect their homes, we feel the intensity of the fires they are facing.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 20 minutes are must watch performance work.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is an amazing movie, I wasn’t expecting too much from this movie, but I was left drawn to the screen for the remaining of the film with the final 20-30 minutes being must watch.

 

Overall: Brilliant movie, a must watch for all.

Rating

 

 

American Assassin (2017)

Director: Michael Cuesta

Writer: Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshal Herskovitz (Screenplay) Vince Flynn (Novel)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Scott Adkins, Shiva Negar, Taylor Kitsch

 

Plot: A story centered on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.


Tagline – Assassins aren’t born. They’re made.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Action Blast

 

Story: American Assassin starts as normal American Mitch Rapp (O’Brien) sees his fiancée gunned down by terrorists and himself left for dead, 18 months later he has trained himself to eliminate the men responsible but little does he know that CIA agent Irene Kennedy (Lathan) has been watching his action.

When Kennedy arranges to save Mitch from a certain death, she recruits him for a special section of the CIA working under Stan Hurley (Keaton) who trains agents to go undercover but if caught or killed no one will come for them.

The first mission is to locate nuclear weapon components before former agent Ghost (Kitsch) can use or sell them giving somebody in the world a nuclear bomb that can wipe out millions.

 

Thoughts on American Assassin

 

Characters – Mitch Rapp is an American that loses everything at the hands of terrorists, he learns combat and language skills to go undercover in the terrorist cell for revenge, he gets recruited by the CIA where he must learn discipline but this is where he struggles because he always wants to go after the criminal. This character does feel like a young Jack Bauer because of his rule breaking attitude for the right reasons. Stan Hurley is the off the grid trainer who takes Mitch as part of his unit, he gets tired of the Mitch’s lack of discipline but knows he needs him to capture his former student. Irene Kennedy is the deputy director of the CIA, she sees the potential in Mitch forcing Hurley to take him on, but also falls into the standard CIA director figure that will risk their reputation to prove others wrong. Ghost is the former trainee of Hurley that is using all the skills gained to stay one step ahead of him while collecting the nuclear components.

PerformancesDylan O’Brien is an actor that got into the young adult films but this role showed an adult character, showing he could go onto action films without looking like the complete actions star. Michael Keaton looks like he did enjoy the mentoring role while also getting the action role he isn’t known for. Sanaa Lathan is good in her role even if the character is very generic. Taylor Kitsch does seem to be on the recovering his career tour showing everyone just how talented he is in the villainous role.

StoryThe story does play out like an origin story for Mitch Rapp in the CIA, we see what motivated him to accept the offer, we see what makes him different from other potential agents. We have the standard level of threat, potential nuclear weapon and a story of needing to learn discipline to become a top agent while keeping his unique traits. This is an easy to watch but could easily be an over the top pilot for a television show.

Action/ThrillerThe action starts out brutal with the terrorist attack, we also fall into the car chases, fights and shoot outs which are fun to watch, the final action sequences is just popcorn wow.

SettingsThe settings take us on a tour of Europe which is fine and is giving us an iconic location moment, which is easy to locate for us.

Special EffectsThe effects in the opening sequence are brutal but then it just becomes by the book stuff.


Scene of the Movie –
Speed Boat fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it started with violent level, it did turn into Jack Bauer origin feeling.

Chances of Sequel: Easily could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that is fun but not one of the greatest of the year.

 

Overall: Fun action packed blast.

Rating

 

 

Taylor Kitsch Weekend – Battleship (2012)

battleshipDirector: Peter Berg

Writer: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber (Screenplay)

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson

 

Plot: A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Nonsense Action Film

 

Story: Battleship starts as we learn the we have found a planet in space that could have life form and we try to communicate with them. We move on to meet flaky Alex Hopper (Kitsch) who is spending his birthday with his brother from the Navy Stone Hopper (Skarsgard), Stone always tries to talk Alex into joining him in the Navy but when Alex screws up he forces him into joining the Navy.

Years pass by and Alex has reached the level of Lieutenant and Stone is at the level of Commander. Alex is also involved with Sam (Decker) the Admiral’s (Neeson) daughter. Alex has always shown his skills but his attitude is about to get him kicked out of the Navy. During the Navy war games, the signal gets answered as they find themselves having to battle the unknown alien invaders where the Navy gets to prove all their skills.

Battleship is one of the easiest action movies to watch, it is based on the toys and follows the Transformers trend. We get the over the top action spectacle which makes us forget the weak story. The story is very generic with a reluctant hero that needed to do the right thing for once. We get the idea of opposites working together and nearly all the characters get to prove themselves by the end. The story is weak, the film is fun just sit back and enjoy.

 

Actor Review

 

Taylor Kitsch: LT Alex Hooper starts off as a screw up before being forced into the Navy by his brother. Once in the Navy his skills come off brilliant but his attitude continues to get him in trouble, entering into the annual wargames which might be his last Alex finally gets to prove himself to everyone when he must lead his ship in battle against an alien invader. Taylor does a good job in this role.alex

Alexander Skarsgard: Commander Stone Hopper is the responsible brother of Alex, he has been in the Navy for years and wants to take his brother in there to join him and learn responsibility. He is one of the most respected men in the wargames having led his team into winning previous years but this year is his biggest test to date. Alexander is good in this role but we don’t see enough of his character.stone

Rihanna: Petty Officer Weps is one of the toughest officers standing next to LT Hooper, she is deadly with a weapon and loyal till the end. Rihanna fits this role well as the bad ass with the gun.weeps

Liam Neeson: Admiral Shane is running the wargames, he is desperately trying to get inside the alien shields but isn’t willing to waste resources until they can. He is your typical Admiral that hates the guy dating his daughter and expects the best from everyone under his ranks. Liam does a good job in his supporting role we needed to see more of.

Support Cast: Battleship has a large supporting cast that all help make this a good watch as they help fight the aliens in their own ways.

Director Review: Peter BergPeter gives us something very easy to watch and full of entertainment.

 

Action: Battleship has massive action sequences that all help make this a fun watch.

Sci-Fi: Battleship has the alien invasion with technology we can’t fight against all being used well.

Thriller: Battleship does keep us on the edge as we wait to see what will happen next.

Settings: Battleship uses mostly Hawaii as the setting make for good visual looks throughout.
Special Effects
: Battleship has a mix of good and bad effects through the film with the aliens being the bad side.

Suggestion: Battleship is one to sit back and enjoy but only if you’re not looking for something serious. (Brain Off Enjoy)

 

Best Part: The battles look great.

Worst Part: Aliens look terrible

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $209 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

Tagline: The Battle for Earth Begins at Sea

 

Overall: Over the top action that is easy to watch

Ratingcard

Taylor Kitsch Weekend – John Carter (2012)

posterDirector: Andrew Stanton

Writer: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon (Screenplay) Edgar Rice Burroughs (Story)

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston

 

Plot: Transported to Barsoom, a Civil War vet discovers a barren planet seemingly inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Woola and a princess in desperate need of a savior.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Enjoyable

 

Story: John Carter starts by giving us the backstory of Barsoom known to us as Mars where a peaceful life is turned upside down. We move to 1880s where John Carter (Kitsch) is avoiding by captured but leaving his story to his nephew Edgar Burroughs (Sabara). In his story John tells how he was transported to Barsoom while avoiding his time in the army.

John finds himself captured by Tars Tarkas (Dafoe) and his barbarians as he finds himself in the middle of a war where Matai Shang (Strong) is leading Sab Than (West) in a quest to take over the planet. Sab has made a deal to marry the princess Dejah (Collins) to create peace between the opposing sides.

John Carter must lead the fight against Sab Than to save the princess and free the people of Barsoom from his terror bringing peace back to the planet once more.

John Carter is a film that I avoided for years having only heard negative things about it but now I have gotten around to watching it I found myself enjoying this one. I will say there are good and bad things about this story so we will start with the good. I liked how the story reflected the Earth story with Mars, we had a reluctant hero that learnt to stand up for himself proving he isn’t the coward the Earth through he was. On the bad side we do spend slightly too long building up to the transportation to Mars, we also do spend too much looking at the jumping ability Carter has. I did find the final twist very smart and fitting for the film ready for any sequel too. This is a very good story that can be enjoyed.

 

Actor Review

 

Taylor Kitsch: John Carter is from 1860s, he doesn’t want to get involved in the war going on in America only to find himself transported to Mars where his ability to jump and fight put him in the middle of a war on Mars. He must lead the people in a fight for peace. Taylor proves he is a good actor with this role that could have been a lot more successful.john

Lynn Collins: Dejah Thoris is the princess of Mars, she is forced to wed the evil tyrant taking over the planet but when she meets John Carter she learns that he could be the one to save her and her people. Lynn is good in this role without being too original in character.princess

Samantha Morton: Sola is the daughter of Tars, she has been disgraced by her species her only chance to redeem herself if to help John Carter on his mission to create peace on the planet. Samantha is good in this role even if we would have like to have seen more from the character.sola

Willem Dafoe: Tars Tarkas is the leader of the barbarians that first find John Carter, he believes John Carter has something different about him and uses him to help with his leadership even if it leaves him against his kind. Willem gives us the performance we have all come to know from the actor.

Support Cast: John Carter has a huge supporting cast that all give good performances when it comes to the final story.

Director Review: Andrew StantonAndrew gives us a good sci-fi action film that is all enjoyable without being too difficult to watch.

 

Action: John Carter has good action sequences throughout with most being massive battle scenes.

Adventure: John Carter puts our character John Carter on an adventure of a lifetime.

Fantasy: John Carter brings us into a fantasy world on Mars.

Sci-Fi: John Carter takes us to Mars and has an impossible travel idea for the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: John Carter creates a beautiful looking setting for the story to take place in on Mars.
Special Effects
: John Carter has great effects to create the mixes of species involved in the story on Mars.

Suggestion: John Carter is one that should actually be tried by all. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Mars side of the story.

Worst Part: What is with all the jumping?

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It could have one but poor Box Office returns means we won’t get one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $263 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline:  Lost in Our World. Found in Another.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sci-fi adventure that comes off fresh

Ratingcard