Hostiles (2017)

Director: Scott Cooper

Writer: Scott Cooper (Screenplay) Donald E Stewart (Manuscript)

Starring: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Wes Studi, Jesse Plemons, Stephen Land, Rory Cochrane

 

Plot: In 1892, a legendary Army Captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.


Tagline – We are all… Hostiles.

Runtime: 2 Hour 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Riddled Western

 

Story: Hostiles starts in 1892 when Army Captain Joseph J Block (Bale) is assigned to escort Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk (Studi) and his family back to their land so he can die in his home territory, he is reluctantly to do this mission because of his battles with the Cheyenne, but threaten with court martial, he puts a unit together including Master Sgt Thomas Metz (Cochrane), Corp Henry Woodson (Majors), Lt Rudy Kidder (Plemons) and others.

Along the way the party stumbles upon Rosalee Quaid (Pike) whose family was butchered by a tribe leaving her three children including a baby dead, Joseph offers to take her on the journey as she has nothing left. The journey will take them through dangerous territories where Joseph must learn that the battle between man isn’t as simple as he once thought it was.

 

Thoughts on Hostiles

 

Characters – Captain Joseph J Blocker is a legendary soldier that’s reputation is respected, he is assigned a mission he has no interest in, being forced to escort a Cheyenne Chief home or face consequences including losing his pension. He is the best translator and knows the best paths, making him the best man for the job which will see him face his toughest mission yet. Rosalee Quaid saw her whole family butchered by a tribe invading her home, broken she is alone until the party discover her and take her on the journey. She learns that not both sides of the party are evil, just the human kind. Chief Yellow Hawk is one of the leaders of the Native American people, he is known for his blood lust, but near his death bed he shows Joseph are not as evil as the people believe showing he is against some of the natives and their actions too. We do get to meet plenty of different soldiers with different opinions on the mission which only make things more difficult along the way.

PerformancesChristian Bale in the leading role is brilliant showing he can take on nearly any role, he has the permanent look of reluctance on his face while showing us he can make his character do the right thing. Rosamund Pike is wonderful too as the grief-stricken mother and widow that gets to learn to live again on the journey. Wes Studi continues to show us just how us just he is the go-to guy for any Native American character. The whole cast is great through the film without putting a place a foot wrong.

StoryThe story shows us how the two rivals through a war that must put their difference aside to go through dangerous territory where people from both sides can come to kill them. This story shows how the battles through America built divides that caused extreme behaviour and just how being more restrictive could be a smarter answer. The journey shows how the two sides learns to work together and that they do want the same thing in life and the blood shed isn’t the best answer. The pace is surprisingly great because it will never go too slow for the 2 and half hour runtime. We learn a lot about how to treat people here as we are nearly the same.

Adventure/WesternThe adventure takes the party across America which shows the different style of mindset across the country. The western themes are heavy through the film which brings back the old way of life in America.

SettingsThe settings look beautiful which show us how the countryside in America was one of the most amazingly visual location in the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Final Showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not fully understand the distance needed to be travelled.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good modern era western that shows the final few moments on the old west where differences needed to a side their problems to make the future.

 

Overall: Enjoyable western.

Rating

 

 

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The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Director: Michael Mann

Writer: Michael Mann, Christopher Crowe (Screenplay) James Fenimore Cooper (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means, Eric Schweig, Jodhi May, Steven Waddington, Wes Studi

 

Plot: Three trappers protect a British Colonel’s daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.


Tagline – The first American hero.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good, but Hard to Follow

 

Story: The Last of the Mohicans starts in the middle of the French Indian war raging through America we meet trapper Hawkeye (Day-Lewis) who doesn’t want to get involved in the war when the British try to recruit support in the battle. Major Duncan Heywood (Waddington) is preparing to escort the General’s daughters Cora (Stowe) and Alice (May) across the country, hoping he can marry Cora one day. When the group get ambushes, Hawkeye guides them to safety but then finds himself in the middle of the war he was trying to avoid. Hawkeye falls in love with Cora and soon finds himself needing to free himself from the British who treat him like a war criminal even after what he did for the British and continues to do when Cora is in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Last of the Mohicans

 

Characters – Hawkeye is the adopted child of an Indian family raised to be one of their greatest trappers, he along with his family would like to stay out of the war, but he gets dragged into the battle after rescuing the British General’s daughters. He shows the strength to lead an army, determination to win a battle and the love it feels for Cora. Cora is the daughter of a British general trapped in a world at war, she becomes the love interest for Hawkeye who spends most of the film trying to rescue her. If I am honest, I found it hard to tell any of the British apart or any of the Indians, which at time made it confusing to follow who was on the good side and bad side.

PerformancesDaniel Day-Lewis is good in the leading role, which is something you would have come to expect from him, but his combat scenes don’t seem to click at times. Madeleine Stowe is good to as is the whole cast who are good without being great and not being bad through the film.

StoryThe story follows a neutral trapper in the middle of the British and French battling in America who gets caught up in the middle of the war because of his love for a British woman who needs protecting. This does play into moments of history without being anything special if we are being honest, we try to learn more about the history of the early battles in America without us knowing too much going in, we barely learn anything afterwards too.

Action/Adventure/Romance/WarThe action while massive on scale can become plenty of well placed battle moments searching for shock value, the romance drives Hawkeye to fight and save during a war backdrop, one he never wanted to be part of.

SettingsThe settings show the clash of worlds, the Indian beliefs, the British forts and the French forts which shows us who will be comfortable in different battle situations.


Scene of the Movie –
Ambushes number two.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Figuring out who was on which side, just gets confusing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is filled with praise before I went into it, by the end I found it just to be fine, I wouldn’t consider it a great and in fact not one I would be watching again.

 

Overall: Overly hyped movie.

Rating

 

 

The Condemned 2 (2015)

condemnedDirector: Roel Reine

Writer: Alan B McElroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Randy Orton, Eric Roberts, Wes Studi, Steven Michael Quezada, Bill Stinchcomb, Alex Knight, Dylan Kenin, Michael Sheets

 

Plot: A former bounty hunter who finds himself on the run as part of a revamped Condemned tournament, in which convicts are forced to fight each other to the death as part of a game that’s broadcast to the public.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Action Film

 

Story: The Condemned 2 starts when Cyrus Merrick (Studi) is entertaining his people with twisted games in which his people bet on. Will Tanner (Orton) brings elite team of bounty hunters Harrigan (Stinchcomb), Cooper (Knight), Travis (Kenin), Lange (Sheets) and Michaels (Bicknell) to capture wanted criminal Cyrus things get out of hand leaving Cyrus dead and Will under arrest.

After getting off with just a suspended sentence Will returns to his father Frank (Roberts) as he looks for where to turn next, a real job as a tow truck operator. Will’s new job doesn’t start smoothly when Michaels comes after him as it turns out that he is now part of a revamped version of The Condemned game run by Raul Baccaro (Quezada) where his team are all being threatened into killing him.

The Condemned 2 goes in a different direction to the first one, it does show the respect by mentioning how that one went but this tried to evolve the style with the technology we have. This would be similar to watch Hostel 3 did for that series of films. I do think this could have been anything really it doesn’t need to just be a sequel and I would find it hard to see Will’s team turn so quickly on him. I will say I am disappointed with the lack of threat from colourful character which was one of the stand out moments in the first film but the skill sets each member of the team has does help. In the end everything comes off very simple and doesn’t give us much to guess with what is going on.

 

Actor Review

 

Randy Orton: Will Tanner is the bounty hunter who after a mistake leaves a target dead and his team disbanded. Avoiding jail, he returns home to start an honest living only to find his former team coming after him one by one as he finds himself the latest target in the revamped Condemned game. Randy gives us a performance you would expect from a wrestler turned actor but the action stops any short comings for him.

 

Eric Roberts: Frank Tanner is the father of Will who is embarrassed by Will having to stop the family business but sticks by him through the challenging events Will finds himself in the middle of. Eric gives us a good performance even if only in a supporting position.

 

Steven Michael Quezada: Raul Baccaro takes over the games and holds the contest between the bounty hunter team. This is his way of extracting revenge for Cyrus’ death by making Will face his own team. Steven makes for an average villain that is all threats but never threatening.

 

Bill Stinchcomb: Harrigan is one of the team and the only one that doesn’t turn on Will in fact he helps explain what is going on and helps him try and find a way to survive the rest of the team. Bill gives us a solid supporting performance that answers all the questions being asked.

 

Support Cast: The Condemned 2 has a small supporting cast which is mostly the rest of the team each with a different skill that Will must come up against.

 

Director Review: Roel ReineRoel gives us a basic action film that doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

 

Action: The Condemned 2 has basic fight scenes and easy explosions for the action side of the story.

Thriller: The Condemned 2 keeps you wondering which one will come up against Will next but doesn’t really leave you guessing what the rest are up to as you know Will won’t die.

Settings: The Condemned 2 tries to make the whole everyday life be the new target for the game.
Special Effects
: The Condemned 2 has basic effects for the explosions being used in the film.

Suggestion: The Condemned 2 is one for the action fans to try, it has basic action which will be enjoyed enough by all. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Gas station fight.

Worst Part: Worst sniper ever.

Action Scene Of The Film: Gas station.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It can happen.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

Overall: Basic Action that is a non-stop ride.

Ratingcard

Heat (1995)

logoDirector: Michael Mann

Writer: Michael Mann (Screenplay)

Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Diane Venora, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Mykelti Williamson, Wes Studi, Ted Levine

 

Plot: Neil (De Niro) and his professional criminal crew hunt to score big money targets, Banks, vaults, armour cards and are in turn hunted by Lt Vincent Hanna (Pacino) and his team of cops in the robbery/homicide police division. A botched job puts Hanna onto their trail while they regroup and try to put together one last big retirement score. Neil and Vincent are similar in men ways, including their troubled personal lives. At a crucial moment in his life, Neil disobeys the dictum taught to him long ago by his criminal mentor ‘Never have anything in your life that you can’t walk out on in thirty seconds flat, if you spot the heat coming around the corner’ as he falls in love thus that stage is set for a suspenseful ending.

 

Verdict: Crime Saga Brilliance

Story: When you see a cat and mouse film you usually have a very plan story where one side is always considered good while the other is considered bad. This offers you a chance to see into both their personal lives and see they are very similar and when it comes to their work they are also results driven. Learning more about not just the lead two we also look into the supporting characters lives giving us a chance to route for whoever we feel is right. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Al Pacino – Vincent Hanna the detective whose personal life is challenged by his falling apart marriage while in pursuit for a man who may well be smarter than him. Solid from Pacino, as we are used to from him, becomes one of the most iconic roles in the 90s films. (9/10)

 pacino

Actor Review: Robert De Niro – Neil a seasoned thief you does everything by the book using only people he trusts. Great from De Niro who shows why he is the king of crime villains. (9/10)

deniro

Actor Review: Val Kilmer – Chris second hand man to Neil who does a lot of the dirty work and watch out for his sniper skills. Good from Kilmer showing that a killer can be a good person. (8/10)

 kilmer

Actor Review: Jon Voight – Nate the man who helps set up the jobs but never gets his hands dirty. Good supporting role but only seems to be there for advice. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Tom Sizemore – Michael another member of the crew who is very loyal but not as smart as the other two. Good supporting role showing that Sizemore was a good actor before his personal problems. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Supporting Cast – With a huge supporting cast of well-known actors it is hard just to pick all of individual they are all excellent and perfectly cast.

 

Director Review: Michael Mann – Creates a brilliant crime sage with great shots, characters and story. (9/10)

 

Action: Great gun fights throughout. (9/10)

Crime: Great crime saga used throughout. (10/10)

Believability: Pacino and De Niro both portray characters based on real people. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: All the settings are used to great effect as the story unfolds mostly Los Angeles. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: This is one for all the action film fans, most of the more casual fans will find this a bit slow but if you are a fan of the genre you will enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final shoot out.

Worst Part: Slow in places.

Action Scene Of The Film: Bank Robbery.

Trivia: First onscreen meeting between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: An L.A. Redemption

 

Overall: Brilliant Crime Saga

Rating 90

Deep Rising (1998)

Director: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J O’Connor, Wes Studi, Derrick O’Connor, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis, Clifton Powell, Trevor Goddard, Djimon Hounsou, Una Damon, Clint Curtis

Starting out on a luxury cruise ships maiden voyage owner Simon Canton (Anthony Heald) has a celebration with guests including Captain Atherton (Derrick O’Connor) and jewel thief Trillian St. James (Famke Janssen). After stopping her stealing the jewels they lock her in a storage cupboard until they reach the next port. Something then attacks the ship and we are left to wonder what has happened.

Next we meet John Finnegan (Treat Williams) a boat for hire who takes any job for the right money and his two workers Joey (Kevin J O’Connor) and Leila (Una Damon). The have been paid by Hanover (Wes Studi) and his mercenaries Mulligan (Jason Flemyng), Mamooli (Cliff Curtis) Mason (Clifton Powell) T.Ray (Trevor Goddard) Vivo (Djimon Hounsou) and Billy (Clint Curtis) a truly international group from all corners of the Earth. They have paid to be taken to the middle of nowhere with a large amount of weapons.

Upon arriving at the destination which is the cruise ship which they are due to hijack they find the ship abandoned. With the ship they arrived on damaged they must search the abandoned ship for tools to fix theirs or a way to get the cruise ship moving again. While searching they find Captain Artherton, Simon and Trillian but they start hearing noises from the creature that seems to have attacked the ship. How will our heroes get out of this one?

This action horror is Stephen Sommers first go at the action genre and he has a very simple idea to work with a group of people on a boat in the middle of ocean. It has a atmosphere which Aliens created not to the same level of tension tho. The dialog is tongue in check with lots of one liners to cover how serious the situation is actually meant to be which makes the film enjoyable because as a stand alone horror this film would really fail.

If you enjoyed Stephen Sommers other movies you will enjoy this and he creates very similar characters and like using his relecutant heroes with almost comic relief side kicks. Also you see some of the creation of The Mummy visual effects with some of the death scenes.

My overall Rating a very enjoyable 86%