ABC Film Challenge – Crime – P – P2 (2007)

Director: Franck Khalfoun

Writer: Franck Khalfoun, Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur (Screenplay)

Starring: Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols, Simon Reynolds, Philip Akin, Stephanie Moore, Miranda Edwards

 

Plot: A businesswoman is pursued by a psychopath after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve.


Tagline –  A New Level of Terror

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Forgettable Horror

 

Story: P2 starts as businesswoman Angela (Nichols) starts running late to her family’s Christmas party after her work party, gets trapped inside her work structure after her car fails to start, leaving her at the hands of security guard Thomas (Bentley).

As the night unfolds Thomas puts Angela through a string off tests, before she tries to figure out a way to escape this psychopath.

 

Thoughts on P2

 

Characters – Angela is a businesswoman that finds herself working late too often becoming more distant from her family, while not starting her own. When another late night finds her car breaking down and missing her taxi, she finds herself locked in the parking structure being chased down by the crazed security guard. Thomas is the security guard that has his own plan for Christmas, to keep Angela locked inside completing his twisted ideas.

PerformancesA crazy Wes Bentley is always something we like to see, but even he doesn’t reach the levels we would like to see him get too. Rachel Nichols is fine in the leading role as the damsel in distress, trying to fight back.

StoryThe story is very simple, crazed man prevents girl from escaping her parking lot only to want to get involved in a game to se how far he can push her. There isn’t much more to this story, we get glimpses into the idea that he is doing this to protect her against men that have done wrong, but otherwise, it is a cut and dry story with little in the way of twists along the way.

Crime/HorrorThe crime comes from what Thomas does, which works for the film, the horror never reaches the levels he could do for where the film tries to go.

SettingsThe film is set inside the parking lot which does make for a good setting with no escape once locked in.

Special EffectsThe effects are used when needed, the film doesn’t rely on them, when it could easily do so.


Scene of the Movie –
Merry Christmas Thomas.

That Moment That Annoyed Me She would know how to drive a car.

Final ThoughtsThis is a crime horror that grabs the basic ingredients and does nothing interesting with the story to make it a stand out.

 

Overall: Not worth the time it takes.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – U – Unconscious (2014)

Director: Michael Polish

Writer: Amy Kolquist, Mike Le (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Wes Bentley, Olivia Rose Keegan, Shashawnee Hall, Richard Riehle, Patrick Bauchau

 

Plot: The story of a man who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife may not be his real wife and that a web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Unconscious starts when a man (Bentley) is involved in an accident, when he awakes his wife (Bosworth) looks to care for him through his recover, but he has lost his memory, meaning she must rebuild their relationship. Believing everything he is told the man goes along with everything until he makes the discover that the woman isn’t who she claims to be.

The man must find a way to survive becoming prisoner to this woman who just wants her own family and she will do anything to make this happen.

 

Thoughts on Unconscious

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters don’t have names they are only just known as man and woman, the woman keeps the man hostage inside her home as she looks to start a family, she is filled with useless information and always comes off distant and emotionless. The man is involved in an accident where he loses him memory, he believes what is being said until he learns the truth where he must do anything to survive.

Performance wise, Bosworth is great in this leading role where we see an emotionless psychotic character come out of what we have usually known as a bubbly actress. Wes Bentley is good but not to the levels we know he can reach.

StoryThe story here is very slow, we get parts borrowed clearly from Misery where a woman abducts a man for her own wishes, sure this does go into different motives but we see how the punishment for trying to escape can become more painfully as the man tries to escape. The pace is solid enough but the truth is I would have liked slightly more pace to this movie.  

Horror/Mystery The punishment the man must go through with the mystery being surrounding why the woman is doing this and what caused the accident in the first place.

SettingsWe have most of the film inside the house which is created to feel like a prison for our main character the man. It is designed so the woman knows and is prepared for anything.

Final ThoughtsThis horror does have a pacing issue which does make us wonder what direction things will be going in, it never reaches a fully intense level which I feel it needs to and falls into the slow burning thriller that needs a twist to save it.

 

Overall: This thriller comes off short.

Rating

 

 

Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Bruce Geller (Television Series)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley, Alec Baldwin

 

Plot: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.


Tagline – Some missions are not a choice.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Adrenaline Blast

 

Story: Mission Impossible: Fallout starts when Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team Luther (Rhames) and Benji (Pegg) have a mission gone wrong with plutonium falling into the wrong hands. CIA director Erica Sloan (Bassett) wants it back and her team to do the job, but know Ethan has everything lined up she assigns them her best man August Walker (Cavill) to join the team.

The mission is to retrieve the plutonium which leads them to cross paths with old allies and enemies before they can be used as a weapon that would devastate the Earth.

 

Thoughts on Mission Impossible – Fallout

 

Characters – Ethan Hunt is the man, agent the leader of the group, he will go into any situation with a plan, trusting the people behind him, this time his loyalty puts the world in peril and his must prove he can find a way to save the day without comprising his position. August Walker is a CIA agent, a fixer if you like, he will get the job done by shooting first asking questions later, which has led him to clash with Hunt, they have both made mistakes which could have got the job done earlier and now he is the one man you don’t want to fight against. Luther and Benji are the key components to Ethan’s team, they have the know how to get the job done and are two of the only people he will trust. Ilsa Faust returns and this time she crosses paths with Ethan turning up at the same locations on her own mission, still deadly and a figure that you will be on the fence about what side she is fight for. We have our authority figures in Alan Hunley and Erica Sloan who of course are clashing, as well as other figures that would be in the criminal world.

PerformancesTom Cruise, what more can say about this guy, when it comes to action he commits big time and this is no different, the action sequences he puts his body through and even the emotional factors included in this film show just how talented he is, with this easily being one of his best action performances of his career. Henry Cavill, I haven’t always been a fan of because Superman is kind of boring, in this film however, we get to see that this man is a talent, we believe he will kick your ass if you crossed him and the moments of emotionless moments are key to his character. Pegg and Rhames do have great chemistry and the comic relief, while Ferguson returns to keep enough mystery about her character for long enough in the film. Bassett and Baldwin will always make good authority figures and to see Vanessa Kirby fresh from The Crown in a big movie, she is great to watch here.

StoryThe story here follows Ethan on his latest mission, this time we get to see what could happen if the by the book mission goes wrong for his own personal reasons over a traitor in the group like the normal opening. The idea he needs to work with an outside isn’t new, the idea that he could be the traitor in the eyes of the authority isn’t new, but it has been tried and tested. Making this feel like a direct sequel is new though, the previous instalments have always felt like, just another mission, this one references previous stories and that increases the peril even if everything plays out to not completely mock certain aspects, but poke a tiny bit of fun at them.

Action/AdventureThe action, the reason we go to these films, while you do get a glimpse of nearly all the sequences in the trailer, the length and intensity to them isn’t shown there and you will be watching from the edge of your seat just to see where or what Hunt does next. The adventure side of the film does take Ethan across the world to save it before it is too late.

SettingsThe film uses key locations, with have Paris, London and Kashmir, each one offers a different action sequences to take place.  

Special EffectsThe effects show us just how committed or crazy Tom Cruise is, while they are prepared stunts everything is practical and looks it in every single scene.


Scene of the Movie –
London chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening credits give snippets of the action we are about to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is another quality addition to the Mission Impossible franchise, it is going to go down as one of the best usages of practical stunts for years to come and shows how they can still be used to this day.

 

Overall: Pure rush of an action film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – W – Welcome to Me (2014)

Director: Shira Piven

Writer: Eliot Laurence (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, James Marsden

 

Plot: When Alice Klieg wins the Mega-Millions lottery, she immediately quits her psychiatric meds and buys her own talk show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Good Drama

 

Story: Welcome to Me starts as we meet Alice Klieg (Wiig) who idolises Oprah studying all the tapes of her shows, she lives an isolated life but that is going to change when she wins the $86 million on the lottery. Believing the money has changed herself she drops her Dr Moffet (Robbins) who has been treating her for multiply personality disorder and heads off to Vegas with her best friend Gina (Cardellini).

When Alice meets studio team Rich Ruskin (Marsden), Gabe Ruskin (Bentley), Dawn Hurley (Cusack) and Deb Moseley (Leigh) wanting to create her own talk show which Rich sees this as a chance to save their studio. As the money being spend increases the show reaches new levels of popularity but can the studio continue to extort Alice’s mental issues to make money.

 

Thoughts on Welcome to Me

 

Characters/PerformanceAlice is a very unstable woman that has struggled through all her mental health problems for years, but after winning the lottery she gets her own show on television show where she can deal with all her problems, but can she deal with this new fame. Gabe is one of the studio producers that is willing to help Alice, but is one of the only ones that does want to help rather than use her. Gina is the best friend that gets left behind as Alice becomes obsessed with her own show. We also have the rest of the studio team that see this as a big payday.

Performance wise, Kristen Wiig is fantastic in this leading role showing she is capable of the serious performance away from the full comedy she is known for. Wes Bentley continues to turn his career around with another good performance. Linda Cardellini is also good throughout the film and the other highly respected stars also good great jobs with James Marsden being hugely memorable.

StoryThe story shows how people with mental health issues will find life difficult, but if you add money they can’t explain to themselves to the mix they will get taken advantage off by greedy people, but it also shows how money shouldn’t change friendships but it will. This is a film that has a story which is very important to show how difficult living with mental health issues can be.

Comedy/DramaThe comedy works in the limited moments because the story isn’t a full laughing matter. The drama shows the issues Alice must live with along with her new money.

SettingsThe settings are important because they show the world that Alice comes from to where she finds herself with all her money.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good movie that tells a very important message for the people who struggle with the mental health issues.

 

Overall: Very impressive film I feel people might not have heard off.

Rating

 

 

John Malkovich Weekend – Jonah Hex (2010)

jonahDirector: Jimmy Hayward

Writer: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor (Screenplay) Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor, William Farmer (Story)

Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, John Gallagher Jr, Michael Shannon, Wes Bentley

 

Plot: The U.S. military makes a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head an offer he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Bad as I Thought

 

Story: Jonah Hex starts as we see soldier Jonah Hex (Brolin) has to pay for killing Quentin Turnbull’s (Malkovich) son during the war, branded with a QT on his face Jonah witness his family burnt alive. Going on the rampage to find Turnbull he only discovers he has died and Jonah becomes a bounty hunter that can communicate with the dead.

When Turnbull returns from the grave or never got killed the President turns to Jonah Hex to stop Turnbull and his plan to build the deadly weapon that could become the biggest threat in American.

Jonah Hex is an adaptation from a comic book series which like most I have never read so I can’t judge how accurate the version is. The story is shot like it has been ripped from the pages of a comic because we get very little background story of any characters in more than quick flashbacks. The special effects do come off looking bad in places where you can clearly see the CGI being used throughout. The settings all come off looking like the time which isn’t a problem and potentially the highlight of the film. The action side of the film is all average without a truly memorable scene being used either and the inclusion of the fantasy elements where Jonah can talk to the dead comes off looking good and is something I would have liked to have seen more.

The cast is an interesting one because Brolin as Hex works well, Malkovich as the main villain is like finding a cheap version of Cyrus the Virus from Con Air, Megan Fox clearly brings the sex appeal but doesn’t get much of the actual acting done here. It is Michael Fassbender that stands out in this role where he goes full crazy with his character being the most memorable but I am not sure if it is for the right or wrong reasons. All the other supporting cast are almost wasted in small roles that barely get more than one scene.

 

Overall: I was expecting terrible but this is an easy watch without being great.

Ratingcard