ABC Film Challenge – Action – R – Risen (2016)

Director: Kevin Reynolds

Writer: Kevin Reynolds, Paul Aiello (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, Cliff Curtis, Maria Botto, Luis Callejo, Antonio Gil, Richard Atwill

Plot: In 33 AD, a Roman Tribune in Judea is tasked to find the missing body of Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead.


Tagline – Witness the manhunt that changed the course of human history

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Religious 101

Story: Risen starts as a Roman Tribune Solider Clavius (Fiennes) must take a younger soldier under his wing in Lucius (Felton) are killing the men of religious Christianity for the rules Pilate (Firth) with the latest crucifixion being Yeshua (Curtis).

When the body goes missing over the night, Clavius and Lucius are tasked with location the rest of the disciples demanding answers or facing death, was this the miracle believed or is it just the Christians fighting back against the Romans.

Thoughts on Risen

Characters – Clavius is the right hand man to Pilate, he oversees the crucifixions and the deposing of the bodies, when one of the biggest threats to the Roman army is killed, the body is placed in a secret tomb, but vanishes, leading Clavius to use all his skills to discover where the body is for Pilate or face punishment himself, this faithless man can now see the unexplainable for himself. Lucius is the young soldier assigned to work under Clavius, he has learnt a lot and must face a difficult decision when it comes to which side he will fight for. Pilate is the ruthless General for the Romans, he wants all the Christians killed including Yeshua, which is one murder that change the shape of history. Yeshua is the leader of the Christians, he has been killed for his people, but it is his body that vanishes and appears to help certain disciples find their way.

PerformancesJoseph Fiennes is strong in the leading role, he doesn’t show enough of the ruthlessness that he could from the early meeting of his character though, Tom Felton doesn’t reach the full potential of his character which does seem like it never gets the screen time required. The film does suffer from lack of screen time from certain performers as we get caught up too much in introducing too many figures at once.

StoryThe story here follows the events after the crucifixion of Jesus (yes we use a different name here) and his body vanishing, with the search for his body from the Romans and the disciples knowing this would happen, we see one man whose whole world gets turned upside down by his experience. This is meant to be another view point for the Jesus story following how the Romans dealt with the surprise disappearance and how one man went from having no faith to seeing the miracle happening and how he was involved in helping his once enemy. It isn’t the most engaging story and just doesn’t reach any level of intensity.

Action/Adventure/MysteryThe action is mostly chases or sneaking away from the enemy, the adventure does take us across the land in search for safety, with the mystery going on in the film being focused around just what happened to the body.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how the landscape could have been used to the advantage of the people trying to escape from the land.


Scene of the Movie – The discovery by Clavius.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It doesn’t seem to have much risk about what is going on.

Final Thoughts This is a simple movie that does deal with the basic of the rising of Jesus from another point of view, it tries to add some realism behind it, without being anything that fresh.

Overall: Basic religious film.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – A – The Apparition (2012)

Director: Todd Lincoln

Writer: Todd Lincoln (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Luke Pasqualino

 

Plot: A couple is haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment.


Tagline – Once You Believe You Die

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Horror

 

Story: The Apparition starts as we follow a college experiment where Patrick (Felton) and his team including Lydia (Guill) are trying to re-perform the Charles Experiments from the 70’s, but something goes wrong. We move onto meet young couple Kelly (Greene) and Ben (Stan) who are living in their parent’s investment.

When strange occurrences start happening around the home Kelly and Ben must look for answers, first believing it is the mould in the house, but then when Patrick gets hold of Ben we learn that they had summoned an entity in his house and it is still there haunting them. The couple must work with Patrick to stop it going entity before it becomes deadly.

 

Thoughts on The Apparition

 

Characters – Kelly is a trainee vet, she moves into one of her parent’s rental properties with her boyfriend where she starts experiencing the haunting events. Ben is the boyfriend of Kelly, he is a good handy man and searching for his career. It is his past that comes back to haunt them. Patrick is part of the team that did the experiment with Ben back in the college days and now he will help right the wrongs.

PerformancesThe performances, well this is fun and this is not just the actors performances that hold them back, the characters are written one dimension which gives the actors nothing to work with. If we look at the main three stars, they all struggle to make an impact and it shows through the film.

StoryThe story here follows an experiment gone wrong and now there is an entity haunting the people who released it from whether it came from, it plays into the idea that you shouldn’t mess with the dead because they will come to haunt you. Anyway this story is simple enough, it is a survival horror against a ghost figure that doesn’t have too much going on about it. We have plenty of just dark sequences that seem to go nowhere or lead to false jump scares and before long it is over, I think. I can’t say the story offers too much for the horror fans or just film fans and it feels like it is flat by the end of the film

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is mostly false scares which just frustrate throughout, you are now looking to be on the edge of your seats, well this doesn’t give you any of that.

SettingsThe settings just feel like they went and grabbed the Poltergeist location and thought this will do, nothing makes sense for the entity and the hauntings though.

Special EffectsThe effects look poor throughout, it all looks like CGI which is poor to see in a modern horror.


Scene of the Movie –
Credits were good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Kelly criticising people who work in stores, these people work hard and deserve praise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor lazy horror that just doesn’t do anything for the genre and becomes dull quickly.

 

Overall: Boring horror that has no scares.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopics – U – A United Kingdom (2016)

Director: Amma Asante

Writer: Guy Hibbert (Screenplay) Susan Williams (Book)

Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton, Jack Davenport, Laura Carmichael, Terry Pheto

 

Plot: The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.


Tagline – The true story of a love that shook an empire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: A Untied Kingdom starts in 1947 England where Prince Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) of Bechuanaland (known today as Botswana) is in England studying law, he meets file clerk Ruth Williams (Pike) and the two fall in love.

With tension between Bechuanaland and South Africa high the idea of the soon to be King marrying a white woman would be unheard off. The British government doesn’t want him to become king and Seretse own family don’t want him to become king if he stays with Ruth. With the racial divide still going strong, Seretse pushed for equality over anything else, so he can unite his kingdom when he becomes king.

 

Thoughts on A United Kingdom

 

Characters – Seretse Khama is the prince of Bechuanaland he has been studying law in England to prepare for his time as king, he falls in love a white woman in Ruth Williams which throws tensions from his family, government in the air and to prove his love is more important than his traditions and bring the equality between the races together. Ruth Williams is an English clerk whose family has been working to teach Christianity to Africans, she meets and falls in love with Seretse and goes against everyone else’s desires and marries him. Rufus Lancaster is the British liaison in Bechuanaland who leads the opposition from the land, which only shows us just how the English were over controlling.

PerformancesDavid Oyelowo is wonderful in the leading role, showing us once again that he can lead any movie he wants too. Rosamund Pike shines to showing everyone that she can handle to calm roles after the psycho ones in Gone Girl. The rest of the cast are wonderful even if the British characters are as stuck up as you would imagine them to be.

StoryThe story follows the lives of King Seretse who marries an English white woman which puts the balance between the racial tension in his home land and British rule. We learn a lot from this movie, because we see how the country was being controlled from outside forces that only saw them as a piece of land. There is a lot to take in and the history lesson about this union that created a chance in the land.

Biopic/RomanceWhat King Seretse and his wife Ruth achieved for Botswana was incredible and this shows us how their love drove them to achieve this change.

SettingsThe settings show us the high society British look at an African country that was following its own traditions to become the independent from this style of rule.


Scene of the Movie –
Speech to the ‘tribe’ as the British called them.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing the English were this shallow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at how the world was once ruled by people who believe they are in the right to control countries affairs and how their union would change everything.

 

Overall: History is always worth learning.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – B – Belle (2013)

Director: Amma Asante

Writer: Misan Sagay (Screenplay)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Tom Felton, Miranda Richardson, Sam Reid, Penelope Wilton

 

Plot: The mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Look a Historical Change

 

Story: Belle starts in 1769 when Captain Sir John Lindsay (Goode) father’s a child with a slave girl who has died. He begs his Uncle Lord Mansfield (Wilkinson) and Lady Mansfield (Watson) to care for Dido Elizabeth Belle. Facing the difficult decision Lord Mansfield accepts Belle into the household as a new friend for their other niece Elizabeth, but for the social order they must wait and see.

Belle (Mbatha-Raw) and Elizabeth (Gadon) grown up to their 20’s as Belle learns of her father’s death and potential suitors for Elizabeth with Dido staying away from visitors because of her skin colour. When Lord Mansfield agrees to take vicar’s son John Davinier (Reid) under his wing to defend the rights of the slaves after a tragic event led to the death of them on board a transport ship by the captain.

With the case running in the background Belle uses this to work with Davinier to bring down the slavery industry running through Britain while dealing with the society marriages she has found herself involved with.

 

Thoughts on Belle

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is the black woman in higher society England, only she isn’t accepted in all the ways the white high society people are. She lives in the rich homes but not welcome to the dinners but doesn’t understand the difference until she comes of age, she is a strong minded woman whose short memories of her father motivate her into wanting to make a change to rid England of slavery. Lord Mansfield is drawn into how society is meant to be but also wants the best for his adopted daughter. John Davinier is the idealistic young man who is in search for the change in slavery who sees how Belle also wants to change.

Performance wise I do feel Mbatha-Raw gives her best performance of her career to date here with Tom Wilkinson always showing us his acting class. Sam Reid is also great throughout with the rest of the cast all performing their roles just how you need them to be.

StoryThe story is showing an important part of history as we see how England had it’s first case that could bring down slavery in the country. The story unfolds showing how difficult it was for Belle in this time because of her blood line, skin colour and social standing. I think this is an unknow and important part of history that should be known.

Biography/RomanceLooking into this woman’s history was fascinating because we get to see how her choice in love help change a nation look at slavery.

SettingsEach setting looks perfect for time the film is set showing how the upper class looked at the life they had.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I wasn’t sure about but found myself enjoying from start to finish.

 

Overall: This is a good film for all history buffs to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

logoDirector: David Yates

Writer: Steve Kloves (Screenplay) J.K. Rowling (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Domhnall Gleeson, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall

 

Plot: Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: It ends with a bang

 

Story: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two starts by reminding us of the closing scene in Part One with Voldemort taking Dumbledore’s wand from his grave. Harry (Radcliffe), Hermione (Watson) and Ron (Grint) continue in the quest to stop Lord Voldemort (Fiennes). The plan to find the final item of the three Deathly Hallows items takes our heroes down to Bellatrix Lestrange vault. After which they must sneak back into Hogwarts to meet up with the former classmates as they have to work together to uncover the next Horcruxes that Lord Voldemort is searching for to make him stronger.

Hogwarts is under a new head master Severus Snape (Rickman) who threatens the whole school both students and staff only to finally get confronted by Harry and taken out of the picture at Hogwarts. Voldemort tries to get the students to turn Harry over but united they stand ready for the final battle against Voldemort and anyone who stands with him.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two complete the saga we have seen for a grand total of ten years. We FINALLY get to see a proper battle instead of a small five minute one which most of the films have had. We do get more causalities and a conclusion that any saga would be happy with, we get some twists we don’t see coming that will bring our opinions on certain characters around. We get rewarded for sitting through the other films that developed the characters so we don’t have to waste time with anymore preparation. In the end all the fans will be rewarded with a conclusion that we deserved. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter going through his final preparation to face Lord Voldemort in a battle that will define him. Daniel gives a great performance in his final outing as the wizard hero. (9/10)

 harry

Emma Watson: Hermione along with Ron work on their own plan to stop Voldemort. Hermione helps in the battle by letting Harry focus on the main one ahead of him.  Emma gives a good performance. (8/10)

emma

Rupert Grint: Ron along with Hermione work on a plan to stop Voldemort and final show each other how they feel about one another. Rupert gives a good performance in the supporting role. (8/10)

 ron

Ralph Fiennes: Lord Voldemort along with his army is out to take down Hogwarts and kill Harry once and for all. Ralph makes for a great villain through the last couple of films and finally gets a chance to be the full force villain we have been waiting to see. (9/10)

 voldemort

Support Cast: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has a huge supporting cast for the battle which sees old friends return, enemies exposed and true alliances revealed. They all help in the final battle with each offering something we didn’t expect from them.

 

Director Review: David Yates – David does a good job directing the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. (9/10)

 

Family: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two remains one for the growing family to enjoy but this one would be too much for the younger audience. (8/10)

Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two keeps its fantasy elements going with the magical battles. (8/10)

Mystery: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two doesn’t have much mystery about it anymore as we solved most of the mystery in the previous film. (5/10)

Settings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two cuts its setting down but that works because we don’t need many as the battle takes place at Hogwarts. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two has great special effects throughout that keep everything looking very real. (10/10)

Suggestion: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two should only be watched by the fans who have seen the previous films, if you don’t you won’t get the full reward with this one. (Watch After the Rest)

 

Best Part: Hogwarts battle.

Worst Part: 19 years later doesn’t fit in at all.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hogwarts battle

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: The end for now

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Box Office: $1.3 Billion

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: It All Ends

Trivia: Daniel Radcliffe reportedly broke 80 wands throughout the series because he used them as drumsticks.

 

Overall: Great Conclusion to the Saga

Rating 90