Daniel Craig Weekend – Defiance (2008)

Director: Edward Zwick

Writer: Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick (Screenplay) Nechama Tec (Book)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein, Tomas Arana


Plot: Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.

Tagline – Freedom begins with an act of defiance!

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Amazing Story of the Tragedy of War


Story: Defiance starts as the Bielski brothers Tuvia (Craig), Zus (Schreiber) and Asael (Bell) set up camp in the forests of Belarus for Jews during the war, knowing they would become slaughtered if the Germans came across them. Tuvia wants to make sure the group survive, while Zus wants to fight back against them.

As the conflict between the brothers becomes clearer, Zus joins the Russian resistance to fight back, while Tuvia continues to grow the group offering the only hope of survival for the men, women and children.


Thoughts on Defiance


Characters – Tuvia wants safety for the innocent people in the war, mostly the Jews of Belarus, he offers them shelter in exchange for labour to make their community whole, guards them from the dangers that could come from the war, he makes the difficult decisions others simply couldn’t decide on. Zus wants to combative defence against the German’s he will eventually clash with his brother before joining the Russian’s against the German, always being left to wonder if he made the right decision. Asael is the younger of the three brothers, he learns to grow up through this war and his action show that he has given his own older brother the hope he needs to survive. Lilka is one of the women saved from the ghetto, she becomes somebody that challenges Tuvia to make the right decisions through the difficult times he is going through. We have a lot of support character who are part of this journey to show just how difficult surviving the war would have been for the innocent or helpless.

PerformancesDaniel Craig takes the leading role and shows all his strengths as an actor, he makes us believe that he is struggling with each and every expression he makes, this is likewise for Schreiber as the two show even with conflict they can work together. Jamie Bell continued to show he was growing up into a great actor ready for the more adult roles and with a supporting cast that contains Oscar nominated stars, we see the abilities involved with the cast.

StoryThe story here shows the incredible story of the Bielski brothers that gave hope to thousands of Jews during World War II, while the two oldest might fight over ideas of how to survive the war, they both want the same thing, freedom and safety for their people. We have seen many different stories of people doing incredible things to survive the war and never ask for anything in return is always growing, it is an important part of history that should never be forgotten and this film’s story shows us just how impossible their stories seemed.

Action/History/WarThe action in the film shows us the fighting suffered through war, the sequences show how quickly the peaceful locations can become ruined and just how war made people do things they never thought they would. This is also an important part of history which simply shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

SettingsSet mostly in the forest, this shows how the victims of war would be in hiding just hoping they never got seen by anybody who would come after them.

Scene of the Movie –
The journey.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The faith side while important does seem to take over at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another amazing story of survival during the war, it showed how one family risked everything to make sure others were safe and shouldn’t ever be forgotten.


Overall: Powerful and important.




Intelligence Season 1

logoMain Cast: Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory, John Billingsley, P.J. Byrne, Michael Rady, Marg Helgenberger

Big Name Guest Stars: Tomas Arana, Lance Reddick, Faye Kingslee, Zuleikha Robinson, Peter Coyote, Will Yun Lee, Alan Ruck


Plot: Welcome to Cyber Command where the first man given a microchip in his head Gabriel Vaughn (Holloway) has connection to every computer system in the world. Cyber Command in ran by Lillian Strand (Helgenberger) while the science in looked after by father son team Cassidy’s Dr Shenendoah (Billingsley) and Nelson (Byrne). Gabriel has a bodyguard Riley (Ory) who is handpicked by the President from their secret service unit. Riley ends up being more of a partner in the end help Gabriel and the team solve crimes from all over the world.


Season Highlights: It is fair to say not much happens to create a true underlining storyline. We have a few bits that carry over and that revolves around political secrets with each organisation keeping things close to home. We have a rogue agent with a chip in her head Mei Chen who works for money who gets involved with the teams business throughout the seasons. Most of the first season was building the loyalty between the team hopefully leading to big and better stories.


Verdict: Smart Simple Action Show


Season Story: Even though I felt that the show starts slow with its desperate attempt to create a long term storyline for Gabriel only to throw it out the door after three episodes. Once you get pasted them we have a series of enjoyable episodes that just build the teams characters to lead to more later in the show. (7/10)


Main Cast Reviews


Josh Holloway: Gabriel the solider with the chip in his brain, brilliant trained in combat, Gabriel is a man that saves the day week in week out. Josh does very well with the role and shows he can be the lead in a show. (9/10)


Meghan Ory: Riley the secret service agent reassigned to Cyber Command to work with Gabriel. Meghan does a good job in the role in an investigation style team. (8/10)


John Billingsley: Dr Shenendoah the creator of the chip who also keeps the chip and Gabriel safe after he returns from the field. Good performance from John who plays the almost mad scientist but not quiet mad very well. (8/10)


P.J. Byrne: Nelson who looks after the computer side of the operation and constantly looks up to his father and wants to emulate his work. Good from P.J. who steals most of the scenes he is in. (9/10)


Michael Rady: Jameson part of the team, a great shot but rarely says or gets involved in anything. Good performance but his character isn’t used very much.(6/10)


Marg Helgenberger: Lillian Leader of Cyber Command who has to try and keep Gabriel in check as well as using her contacts through the government to help her and the team. Good performance from Marg who steps away from CSI very well in this show. (8/10)


Special Guest Star Reviews


Tomas Arana: DNI Adam Weatherly one of the people within the government to whom Lillian has contact with. Good typical government role appearing in 10 of the 13 episodes.  (8/10)


Lance Reddick: DCI Jeffrey Tetazoo another one within the government who is against the danger Gabriel could possess. Good from Lance who seems to play the role very well. (8/10)


Faye Kingslee: Mei Chen after getting a chip placed in her mind she ends up working as an assassin for hire who has learnt more of the chip abilities that Gabriel. Good performance from Faye who adds some mystery to the chip. (8/10)

 mei chen

Zuleikha Robinson: Amelia, Gabriel’s wife who was dead, then wasn’t then died in three episodes. Can’t blame the actress for the poorly written character. (4/10)


Peter Coyote: Leland, Lillian father who is also involved with the government who can’t tell her secrets but leads her in the direction she needs to go, is one of the mysteries to be solved if the show returns. Good performance to create a character with plenty of mystery about him. (9/10)


Alan Ruck: Jonathan Cain a wheelchair bound man who plans to release the same virus he has on a city wide population. Good twisted villain created here, player perfectly by Ruck.  (9/10)



Action: Plenty of action throughout the show. (8/10)

Thriller: Always keep you guessing on what will happen next. (8/10)

Chemistry: Good chemistry between the characters. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting is very different, but all work well for that particular episode. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would say give the show a go, it is gentle and easy to watch and doesn’t have the issue of trying to catch up if you miss one. (Try)


Best Episode: Size Matters Episode 7

Worst Episode: Red X Episode 2

Best Guest Star: Alan Ruck

Funniest Moment: Nelson’s lines during a serious scene.

Surprise Of The Season: Final Twist.

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of New Season: It is in the air at the time I am writing this.

Cliff Hanger Scene: Has a final cliff hanger for a returning season.

What to Look Forward to Next Season: What is Leland’s role? Will Mei Chen return?

Similar Too: Person Of Interest


Overall: Cyber Man to The Rescue

Rating 75