ABC Film Challenge – Action – J – Jarhead Law of Return (2019) Movie Thoughts

Director: Don Michael Paul

Writer: Don Michael Paul (Screenplay)

Starring: Amaury Nolasco, Devon Sawa, Jeff Pierre, Ben Cross, Amos Taman, Yael Eitan, Robert Patrick

Plot: Ronan, a fighter pilot and Israeli by Law of Return, is shot down and captured in Syria after a mission. As he’s a US senator’s son, a joint Israeli US squad’s sent in to rescue Ronan within 36 hours.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Jarhead: Law of Return starts when fighter pilot Ronan (Sawa) is shot down in Syria, the US know the problem with him being captured because he is the son of the US Senator Jackson (Patrick), the US look to send in GySgt Torres (Nolasco) and his squad, joined by a specialist Israeli squad to go behind enemy lines to rescue Ronan.

What we see is the unit working together to plan a rescue, while Ronan must use his training to keep his true identity secret from the world.

Thoughts on Jarhead: Law of Return

Final Thoughts How the Jarhead movies have turned into some loosely connected franchise is beyond me, each one brings a brand new story, this time it mixes Behind Enemy Lines with the Jarhead soldiers, seeing a unit needing to rescue a captured pilot. This doesn’t bring anything new to the military movies, it does everything it needs to, to be watchable, without giving us any truly engageable characters. The performances in the film are fine without anyone looking out of place, with the squad showing strong chemistry together, while most of the action is plenty of flying bullets without being anything but a lot of shaky cam to deal with the movements. This isn’t going to go down as one that will be remembered long after seeing and it doesn’t come close to any of the previous ‘save a soldier’ style movies.



ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – U – Das Boot (1981) Movie Review

We are under U because Das Boot is about a U-Boat.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Wolfgang Petersen (Screenplay) Lothar G Buchheim (Novel)

Starring: Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge

Plot: The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.


Tagline – Hitler sent out 40,000 men aboard German U-Boats during World War 2. Less than 10,000 returned.

Runtime: 2 Horus 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant

Story: Das Boot starts as a war correspondent Lt Werner (Gronemeyer) joins the crew of Captain-Lt Henrich Lehmann-Willenbrock’s (Prochnow) U-Boat during World War II, looking to create a story about the success of the U-Boat side of the war, the crew are a rowdy group, if they are not drinking on shore leave, they are pull pranks on the newest crew members.

Once out at sea, the crew must face the reality of the dangers of war, destroyers roaming the open water, attacks to the ship and showing just how deadly being in a submarine through the war would have been.

Thoughts on Das Boot

Final Thoughts When is comes to wartime movies, we know we need to get to know a crew, unit and soldier before going forward with the story, here we meet the crew, we have the typical line up, where we have the stricter, jokey and the nervous ones, each gets there moment to show why they are making certain decision during the journey. We get the high level of peril when the attacks happen, showing us just how claustrophobic the environment would be for the crew, how much they ricked to get the upper hand, while showing us the important information that three quarters of U-Boat crew never returned home from the war. This is on the epic scale because we do spend time learning more about the crew, while they might come off reckless, when it comes to dealing with the operation to survive they will show the loyalty to win the battles they find themselves in.

Overall: Epic War Movie.

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 10 – War

The Crown – Season Four – Episode 10 – War

Plot: Amid growing challenge to her power, Thatcher fights for her position. Charles grows more determined to separate from Diana as their marriage unravels.


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: War starts when prime minster Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) sees one of her closest follows turn on her in the houses of parliament, leaving her position of power in jeopardy, while Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) is looking to finally end his marriage to Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) after it becomes clear Diana has started having an affair again. As Margaret Thatcher is shown the door, her respect from the Queen is finally earned, putting aside their differences which have plagued her time as Prime Minister, while Charles and Diana finally end their marriage showing their true colours, with Charles finally admitting he always wanted to be with Camila and never Diana.

Thoughts on The Crown – Season Four – Episode 10 – War

Thoughts – War brings the season four to a close by bringing everything full circle with the relationships between Prince Charles and Princess Diana falling apart, and Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s respect shining through their differences. We get the lead four stars of the season, Olivia Colman, Gillian Anderson, Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor, giving the strongest performances of the season to date. This season has focused more heavily on relationships more than anything else, which will see how many of them have gone from strength to strength, while others have been shattered over time.

Final Thoughts War completes a wonderful season giving the major players their final chance to shine in the season, reflecting the seasons theme of relationships. 5/5



Summerland (2020) Movie Review

Director: Jessica Swale

Writer: Jessica Swale (Screenplay)

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay, Lucas Bond, Dixie Egerickx

Plot: During World War II, an Englishwoman (Gemma Arterton) opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him in this moving journey of womanhood, love and friendship.


Tagline – Love. Magic. Hope.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Summerland starts when a bitter at the world author Alice (Arterton) learns she is meant to be taking in an evacuee Frank (Bond) during World War II, something she isn’t prepared for, or willing to do, reluctantly accepting a week until they can find him a new home.

When Alice gets to know Frank, she starts looking back on her past love Vera (Mbatha-Raw) which changes her mind, as she looks to help someone in need, while the rest of the village always frowns on Alice, Frank starts to see the good in her.

Thoughts on Summerland

Characters – Alice is the village spinster, well that is how the village sees the reclusive author, she has suffered her own heartbreak and when an evacuee turns up on her doorstep, she isn’t willing to help, until she starts to get to know the boy, she puts aside the differences that the village has against her to try and teach the boy about life. Frank is the evacuee that Alice takes in, he is from the middle of London and like most, he is scared of what is happening to himself and his parents, he starts to open up over time, learning that life might be filled with heartache, showing the highs and lows a child might go through. Vera is the ex-lover of Alice, she is the reason Alice is considered an outsider, with their relationship being looked down on, she did leave her, but is stuck in Alice’s memories everyday. We do meet the other locals, with Mr Sullivan the headmaster, Edie the school friend that Frank makes.

PerformancesGemma Arterton in the leading role is fantastic showing a serious side we don’t always get from her roles, with Gugu Mbathe-Raw being an excellent supporting cast member. Lucas Bond gives us a great child star performance too to complete the main cast.

StoryThe story here follows a reclusive author that gets sent an evacuee during World War II, one she doesn’t want and slowly over time starts to welcome into her home, all while being filled with the memories of what could have been, with he village believe she could be a problem in the war effort. The story here does show us just how difficult the wartime was on people who were either taking in evacuees or being the evacuee taken away from their family. It shows that people will always shave their own struggles, people were still being frowned upon because of what people would expect. The story is filled with plenty of heart and heartbreak that will completely make you understand the struggles the characters are going through.

Romance/WarThe romance side of the film does show us something that could once have been, while the war side of the film, looks at the people would be left behind, needing to spend more time hoping they could be reunited once the war is over.

SettingsThe film uses the beauty of the Kent countryside to help us see the escape Frank could have from the horrors of the war in the big city.


Scene of the Movie – Chase to London

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How the village reacts to Alice.

Final Thoughts Summerland is a beautifully shot movie that will bring to life the struggles of war for the helpless, the children who were left with strangers who had to give them hope of a future, a film where Gemma Arterton shines in.

AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS FROM 5TH OCTOBER 2020

AND ON DVD FROM 12TH OCTOBER 2020



Escape and Evasion (2019) Movie Review

Director: Storm Ashwood

Writer: Storm Ashwood (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh McConville, Rena Owen, Hugh Sheridan, Firass Dirani, Bonnie Sveen, Steve Le Marquid

Plot: After his men are killed in Burma. A lone soldier returns home in search of solace. Hiding a dark secret and confronted by an unrelenting journalist, he’s forced to face the ghosts of his past one last time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Escape and Evasion starts when journalist Rebecca (Sveen) decides to go in search of answers, as to what happened to her brother Josh (Sheridan) in his time in Burma, where only one person returned, Seth (McConville), a troubled man, who is still suffering the nightmares of his time in the war.

As the two get to know each other, Seth slowly start to relive the final moments of his team in a battle they shouldn’t have been caught in the middle of, helping Rebecca get the closure she needs, as well as helping Seth himself fight his own demons.

Thoughts on Escape and Evasion

Characters – Seth was the lone survivor of his unit, this has left him broken back home in Australia, the one thing keeping him on the right path, is his daughter, his sunshine in a world of darkness. He suffers nightmares of his time, seeing the fallen soldiers in everyday life and struggling to handle his aggression. He gets a chance to finally exorcism his own demons when he meets Rebecca. Rebecca is the sister of one of the soldiers who was lost in war, Seth’s best friend, she wants to know the truth about what happened to her brother, which sees her getting close to Seth, letting him open up for the first time since his return. Josh was Seth’s best friend, the two served together for years and knew how to trust each, but he never returned after their latest outing.

PerformancesJosh McConville does give us an excellent leading performance, showing the damaged caused by being involved in war, showing the inner conflict he is suffering through, being torn up by his time, but wanting to be the man he once was. Bonnie Sveen does bring the grieving sibling to life well through the film, with the rest of the cast doing everything they need to, to make us understand what happened to them.

StoryThe story here follows a war veteran who was the lone survivor of his unit, he is torn up with what happened to him suffering nightmares, but when one of the siblings of his unit wants answers, he will need to confront the truth about what happened. When it comes to this story, we get to see the aftermath of war, when only one survivor returns, left being filled with nightmares of his time in conflict, struggling to get his life back on track. It is important to show us how difficult surviving war can be, how it will have made people do things they should never have had to do and how difficult the recovery process will in fact be.

WarThe film shows us how one person surviving war will leave them broken, while showing us what happened during his time, will focus more on the basic conflict of losing people.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us where Seth is in life now, struggling to hold things together in life, with dreams of a better life, along with the moments during the war.


Scene of the Movie – The light at the end of the tunnel.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t see the help Seth gets to improve.

Final Thoughts This is an important drama that puts a highlight on just how difficult post-war can be on a soldier that is left to fend for himself.

Escape And Evasion will be released on Digital Download from September 28 and on DVD from October 26, both can be pre-ordered now: