How It Ends (2018)

Director: David M Rosenthal

Writer: Brooks McLaren (Screenplay)

Starring: Theo James, Kat Graham, Forest Whitaker, Kerry Bishe, Nicole Ari Parker, Grace Dove, Lanie McAuley

 

Plot: A desperate father tries to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious apocalyptic event turns everything to chaos.


Tagline –  No One Survives Alone

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible Leading Character, Interesting Story

 

Story: How it Ends starts as we meet couple Will (James) and Samantha (Graham) who are trying to break the news to her father Tom (Whitaker) about wanting to get married, let alone that she is pregnant. With Will in New York to try and break the news Sam is left in Seattle.

The morning after an unknown event happens on the West coast of America, which leads to Will and Tom putting aside their differences to drive cross country to try and save Sam from whatever has happened.

 

Thoughts on How It Ends

 

Characters – Will is a lawyer I think, he has a job where he wants to start his own practise, he is dating Samantha and the two are now expecting a baby, when the event happens, he must travel across country with his potential new father-in-law, this character could well be the very worst of the year, he makes SOOOOOOOOOO many terrible decisions along the way, you will actually hate this character by the end of the film. Tom is the father of Samantha, he has spent years in the marines and seemingly is the only prepared for an event like this happening, he wants to keep things together on the journey, willing to do anything to save his daughter. Samantha is the daughter left to experience the event, we don’t know what she has gone through, she offers the motivation to go on the journey. Ricki is the engineer the guys pick up along the way, she offers moments of comedy in what is a serious film.

PerformancesTheo James is an actor that hasn’t struck much gold through the years, mostly because the characters he plays are awful, this is one of his better performances even if you hate his character. Forest Whitaker is good as the one prepared for everything, he gives us the calm persona we know him for. When we look at the rest of the cast we get solid enough performances with the actors doing the best they can with the time they are given.

StoryThe story here follows two men that must travel across America to save their daughter and girlfriend after an unknown event happens off the Western Coast of America. The side of the film that takes us to down the unknown mystery about what happened is the highlight of the story because we get filled with the speculation like you would imagine. As for the journey, well it is basic, travel, bump into group mostly likely trouble and have to figure out how to get out of the situation. This will pass for the fans of the potential end of the world films, even if it doesn’t address just what happened.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is by the book which is the odd chase and gun showdowns, we get to see the idea of an adventure of the two men travelling across the country. The sci-fi side of the film shows us just what would happen if an event could take out a whole coast in an instant.

SettingsThe film takes us on a road-trip after an unknown event, we get to see the back country between the two locations, nothing stands out as memorable even if the shots of the city look bleak.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are solid, they are never turned to, too often and when they do they come off short.


Scene of the Movie –
The visual of Seattle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing what caused the incident.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good idea for a film that doesn’t hit the levels it could do.

 

Overall: Strong idea that just doesn’t hit the marks.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Underworld: Blood Wars (2017)

underworldDirector: Anna Foerster

Writer: Cory Goodman (Screenplay) Kyle Ward, Cory Goldman, Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride (Story/Characters)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Lara Pulver, Charles Dance, James Faulkner

 

Plot: Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Final Nail in the Coffin

 

Story: Underworld: Blood Wars starts with backstory of Selene’s (Beckinsale) story and now that she is alone in the battle with nothing left to live for, she is hunted by the Lycans stills but does still have an ally in David (James).

With a new leader, Marius (Menzies) the Lycans want to put an end to the war with Semira (Pulver) the leader of the vampire covenant bringing in David’s father Thomas (Dance) one of the elders to bring Selene back into the fold to train the new vampire recruits ready for the war.

After what seems like a pointless training exercise, it turns out to be pointless training exercise as Semira has bought Selene into take her blood but when David finds a way to save Selene she must once again go into battle against both vampire and Lycans.

 

Thoughts on Underworld: Blood Wars

 

StoryOne of the biggest problems with the last film was that the story was difficult to make work, now we try to bring this out of sequence storytelling to the next chapter. This does feel like some part remake of the original and in the end the story does try to bring a bigger picture of a world we have finally had enough of now.

Action/HorrorMindless action and no horror, well that is the genre in a nutshell really.

Characters/PerformanceSelene is back yet again but you just don’t feel she is the kick ass heroine we have seen in the past, David continues to be just another leading man with nothing much going on, Marius does make for a slightly more interesting villain but again nothing special with Semira just being another power-hungry vampire character.

Performance wise it is nice to know Beckinsale has enough money now to go and make films she will be able to perform in, James has never proved himself as a leading man yet, Both Menzies and Pulver have studied up for the roles and just borrowed everything from the previous film without bringing an ounce of originality to their performances.actors

SettingsWe have the isolated style settings, I am not going to lie, I am confused with the timeline now, I thought the last film was in the future and nothing looked futuristic for the genre and returning to the coven war while good feels like nothing has evolved like the franchise should have.

Special EffectsWe have the special effects we have all come to know for this film, it isn’t on the strongest level with wildly over the top action, annoying amount of flashbacks through drinking blood memories.genre

Final ThoughtsHow has this series turned into an Uzi battle between vampires and Lycans, that is the biggest questions out there.

 

Overall: Painfully awful sequel that we didn’t need.

Ratingrating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Underworld Awakening (2012)

underDirector: Mans Marling, Bjorn Stein

Writer: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, J Michael Straczynski, Allison Burnett (Screenplay) Len Wiseman, John Hlavin (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Sandrine Holt, Charles Dance

 

Plot: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Sequel

 

Story: Underworld: Awakening starts with back story in case you missed the first three films Selene (Beckinsale) explains to us the audience where we are in the story now, the story she thought she had won, but no humans are now the enemies. Humans are now tracking down both vampires and lycans killing any they find.

After being captured Selene returns to where she last remembers being only to discover it was 12 years ago, and her beloved Michael is missing. Selene goes on a killing revenge mission to discover the truth behind the reason why the humans kept her alive all this time. Selene works with fellow vampire David (James) as she learns just what remains of both species now.

Underworld: Awakening brings a new enemy in humans only to forget that issue quite quickly into the film by going back to the vampire and lycan battle. We get a massive middle finger to what the originals had by just going fully blown Resident Evil mode by having genetically enhanced lycans for the bigger opponent in battle, come on really? The special effects actually feel like a step back from the first films too while the action is just wildly over the top like before.

Beckinsale being back is a huge plus because she is just as ruthless as we remember her to be. James is just a poor replacement for Michael but that is down to character development no James’ performance, much the same could be said Ealy’s cop character who just helps with a solo scene to explain and no rival cop to contend with either and finally Stephen Rea is the doctor character you expect him to be, Charles Dance gets added for an experienced elder character while the rest are just generic almost extras.

 

Overall: All action no story with a love character just thrown into this story.

Ratingcard

 

 

Divergent: Allegiant (2016)

alligentDirector: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Noah Oppenheim, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage (Screenplay) Veronica Roth (Novel)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q

 

Plot: After the earth-shattering revelations of Insurgent, Tris must escape with Four beyond the wall that encircles Chicago, to finally discover the shocking truth of the world around them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just End It Please

 

Story: Divergent: Allegiant starts with Evelyn (Watts) closing the walls, has something to do with the last one. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are on the outskirts and Four is going to try and change the mind of Evelyn. When Evelyn starts acting the same as the former leader Tris and Four along with the other friends Caleb (Elgort), Christina (Kravitz) and Peter (Teller) plan their escape.

Over the wall they only find destruction before being rescued by David’s (Daniels) people the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who created the world they started in. This time Tris gets the chance to save the world not just a city, but can she trust everyone around her this time?

Divergent: Allegiant is the third instalment of the franchise with at least one more to go, great. This time we meet yet another group of people who want control of the city that Tris ends up having stop. The plan seems very familiar oh yeah it is the basic plot of Batman Begins, wanting to spread gas in a city to kill/infect everyone. I am getting tired of these because what happens is they hire a well-respected actor only to make them the BAD GUY yet again. Simply put this is nothing new.

 

Actor Review

 

Shailene Woodley: Tris having opened the box to the outside world last time escapes the city only to learn that the city is part of an experiment to find genetic perfection which is why they search for the Divergent in the first place. Tris is the most powerful Divergent, purest if you like that must represent the success of the experiment.  Shailene is working her way through the contract where we know she can do better.tris

Theo James: Four for is the boyfriend, fellow Divergent and son of the new dictator of Chicago. When he escapes he finds himself being separated from Tris for not being pure finding it hard to adjust to the change. Theo improves from last time out but let’s face it his body got him this role.

Naomi Watts: Evelyn is the new dictator in Chicago that has continued in the ways the ruler before had, she is ready to fight anyone who goes against her. Naomi is wasted in this role where you would expect to see a lot more from her.

Jeff Daniels: David the running the Bureau of Genetic Welfare who have been watching Chicago for years, he sees Tris as the first case of purification to come out of the city proving their experiment has been working at last. Jeff is the star of the show without being too impressive.david

Support Cast: Divergent: Allegiant has a big supporting cast with some returning and a few more added but it is hard to keep up with who is work with who.

Director Review: Robert SchwentkeRobert gives us some very good shots but the story is very bland.

 

Action: Divergent: Allegiant has very basic action sequence you would expect to see now in the young adult genre.

Adventure: Divergent: Allegiant continues an adventure I guess.

Mystery: Divergent: Allegiant add mystery to where everything is going but really is milking it now.

Sci-Fi: Divergent: Allegiant brings us into a sci-fi of the future but too bright for the bleakness.

Thriller: Divergent: Allegiant doesn’t really keep us on the edge like it should have done.

Settings: Divergent: Allegiant continues to expand the world in this universe without really giving us enough.
Special Effects
: Divergent: Allegiant has some good effects without being anything breath taking.

Suggestion: Divergent: Allegiant does improve on Insurgent but still going the wrong way, skip. (Skip)

 

Best Part: Peter is so funny.

Worst Part: More of the same.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Hunger Games Mockingjays.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: Break the boundaries of your world

 

Overall: Yet another bland sequel to a franchise which has gone on too long.

Ratingcard

 

 

Insurgent (2015)

lgoDirector: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback (Screenplay) Veronica Roth (Novel)

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslett, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Cynthia Barrett, Justice Leak, Lyndsi LaRose, Charlie Bodin, Naomi Watts

Plot: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Maze Runner – Science Edition

Story: Insurgent starts with Jeanine (Winslett) with a news report about what happened in the first film making all the Divergent people the villains while the other factors have to follow her. We see Tris (Woodley), Four (James), Caleb (Elgort) and Peter (Teller) searching for help after escaping oh wait dream sequence.

The Divergent people are now living of the land and face a brand new threat when Jeanine finds the message that can bring down the system, Four’s father Marcus (Stevenson) tries to warn Tris and Four and what could happening lead to us to the next battle. With Jeanine’s army after the Divergent Eric (Courtney) the nemesis of Four seems t be leading the pack and showing a higher level of intelligence than the rest.

When the Faction-less lead by Four’s mother Evelyn (Watts) who will try to unite the forces to take down Jeanine and take back over the city and uncover the truth.

Insurgent manages to bring us to the conclusion of the training film which we saw the first time, we now end up coming up with the beginning of the war which I am glad we didn’t get only the build up. But when it comes to the end it was just a joke because it is yeah we won now we see the prize. This feels like such a forced battle that really doesn’t really just go nowhere but has a couple of solid action sequences. (4/10)

Actor Review

Shailene Woodley: Tris is the teenage girl leading the revolution against Jeanine but first she must regroup and find allies in her battles where the truths of the first film will come back to haunt her. Shailene does seem to lower her level because we know just how good see really can be. (4/10)tris

Theo James: Four is the partner of Tris who has to help drive the force to combine the factions, he shows his combat skills in every battle but refuses to make the right decision for the good of the battle. Theo is basically the eye candy for the ladies, he is no leading man. (3/10)four

Kate Winslett: Jeanine is the leader of her faction trying to take over, she has hunted down equipment to add themselves an advantage in the battle but she has to find Tris to unlock that power. Kate brings the best performance to the film even if it is only a supporting character in a villainous role, she does also give the feel she is the teacher to the kids. (6/10)jeaine

Jai Courtney: Eric is the leader henchman for Jeanine who has a personal vendetta against Tris and Four but when he starts taking things too far he ends up falling fowl to his own tricks. Jai does his typical character who should be great but Jai makes it weak. (4/10)

Miles Teller: Peter is the back stabbing friend who betrays Tris, Four and Caleb to guarantee his own safety from the rest, but is it just an undercover job being played by him? Miles was in Whiplash and was incredible but this is such a small supporting role that you know where the character are going. (5/10)

Naomi Watts: Evelyn is Four’s mother who has been waiting for her time to raise the faction-less people in the war against Jeanine. Naomi does a solid job but I think we will see a lot more from her character in the second outing. (5/10)everlyn

Support Cast: Insurgent has a large supporting role that includes all of the factions and the people trying to figure out what is going on and who to side with.

Director Review: Robert SchwentkeRobert gives us a disappointing outing that ends up being just another training video with too many dream sequences. (4/10)

Adventure: Insurgent is adventure, are you sure? (0/10)

Sci-Fi: Insurgent brings us into a world we have destroyed with fancy technology with the lone survivors. (5/10)

Thriller: Insurgent doesn’t keep you guessing because you know Tris will last until the end and you don’t care about the rest of the characters. (4/10)

Settings: Insurgent creates a generic setting for the style of film but nothing stand out. (3/10)
Special Effects: Insurgent uses great effects for the dream sequences and tests. (8/10)

Suggestion: Insurgent is one to watch if you are a fan of the genre but otherwise you will be disappointed. (Fans Watch)

Best Part: Test sequences.

Worst Part: Dream sequences.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Will have one

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $130 Million

Budget: $110 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline:  One Choice Can Destroy You

Overall: This might as well be technology version of Maze Runner

Rating 30