ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – P – Perfect Storm (2000)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: William D Wittliff (Screenplay) Sebastian Junger (Book)

Starring: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C Reilly, Diane Lane, William Fichtner, John Hawkes, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Allen Payne

 

Plot: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sea Worthy Disaster Adventure

 

Story: The Perfect Storm starts as Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney) has been hitting a dry patch when it comes to his boats fishing quota. Determined to turn this around Billy takes his crew Bobby (Wahlberg), Murph (Reilly), Sully (Fichtner), Bugsy (Hawkes) and Alfred (Payne) out again further than normal but also to a location which should have larger number of fish.

As the crew hit the ocean get go further than before, but they catch more than they could imagine, the problem they now face is getting home, which includes going through a hurricane the size no one has seen before.

 

Thoughts on The Perfect Storm

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Billy Tyne is a once successful fisherman but his luck has dried up, determined to turn it around he takes his crew out further than normal risking their lives. Bobby is the younger member of the crew who loves the adventure at sea but his girlfriend wants him to start a less risky job, this could be his last mission to sea. Murph is the divorced father that is dealing with the idea is son isn’t going to be seeing him as often as he would like to. Sully is the newest crew member, he seems difficult to work with but also loyal to the end and one of the best fishermen in own. We do also have the remaining crew who are loyal, other boats that get trapped in the storm, Linda Greenlaw a fellow fisherwoman that knows how capable Billy is and finally Christina, Bobby’s girl that waits for him back home.

Performance wise, Clooney shows here that he was ready to start being taken seriously by Hollywood here, we also get a good performance from Wahlberg here too, we also have a supporting cast we can always rely on to give us brilliant performance and they know their importance to the film.

StoryThe story is based on the true events of the 1991 hurricanes that hit off the coast of America, we follow the fishing boat primary but we do also have the coastguards being followed as they look to rescue other boats which at times does take away from the characters we get to have a good time meeting in the opening sequence of the film. away from that we get to see how the main boat must decide whether to stay safe or risk it all be going through the storm.

Action/AdventureThe action sequences through the storm are brilliant, they put us in complete location with the crew dealing with every single up and down they must face. The adventure shows us what the men must overcome to return home.

SettingsThe film is set all at sea which is fine because it is about the fishing boat that needs to battle the storm to make it home, but this makes us feel like we are in the middle of this adventure through the whole film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to make each and every scene look realistic and still do till this day.

Final ThoughtsOne of the films that shows us just how people will fight through storms to make money and how mother nature will not always be one your side.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat action thriller.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenageDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Evan Daughterty (Screenplay) Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman (Characters)

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Noe Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremey Howard, Danny Woodburn

 

Plot: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers Fun

 

Story: Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles starts as we learn of Shredder and his foot clan have the city of New York in terror when they keep up their attacks, with a mentor keeping his children underground until they are ready to fight back. We move on to meet ambitious reporter April O’Neil (Fox) who is trying to break a big story on the foot clan but must continue pointless stories with her cameraman Vernon (Arnett).

When April witnesses a failed Foot Clan robbery she believes there is a vigilante protecting the city and with Eric Sacks (Fichtner) leading the NYPD’s defence against the Foot Clan we are ready to meet the turtles Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello who are fighting back against the Foot Clan.

When the turtles become the new targets the true villain behind Shredder is revealed and the turtles are finally allowed to go out and fight against the criminals of New York City.

 

Thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

Characters/PerformanceWe all know the teenage mutant ninja turtles and all their different characteristics, with some we love more than others and here we have what we all remember from the turtles. April O’Neil is a strong reporter character that also has a connection to the turtle’s origins which is all good with her cameraman Vernon offering most of the comic relief through the whole film. Eric Sacks makes the typical villainous businessman role which is fine for this film.

Performance wise Megan Fox is good in this role, she brings the added beauty needed for this film to stop it become just another turtle film with Will Arnett getting all the comedy he needs to make us smile. William Fichtner is always reliable for this type of role too.stars

StoryThe origin for the turtle’s story is never going to be perfectly but do we care? No we just want a film to be fun and this is just nonsense fun when you look at the story. we get the ambitious journalist, check, the easy to defeat villain, check, comic sidekick check, and the turtles check all mixing together to make a watchable film you don’t need to think about.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is big, over the top and fun for the casual film can to enjoy, the adventure shows the team working together for the first time. The comedy comes when needed without burying the whole film.

SettingsNew York City the main attraction for newly every single comic book origin story, we get everything we need from the city apart from the random mountain which feels out of place.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good in the film with the mix of the CGI turtles with the human world.genre

Final ThoughtsSometimes you just need a film to be entertaining and this film does that, it will have a target audience that will enjoy and get the most out of it.

 

Overall: Switch off your brain and enjoy the movie.

Ratingratinng

 

 

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

independenceDirector: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Nicolas Wright, James A Woods, James Vanderbilt (Screenplay) Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Nicolas Wright, James A Woods (Story)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Jessie T Usher, Bill Pullman, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, William Fichtner, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Patrick St Espirt, Vivica A Fox

 

Plot: Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horrendous

 

Story: Independence Day: Resurgence starts by taking us to a world 20 years after the first one where we have embraced and uses the alien technology. We then have to meet the returning faces and this will take a while because we have so many characters. David (Goldblum) who has spent the 20 years learning the technology preparing for a return, Dylan Hiller (Usher) yes this is a grown up version of Steve Hiller who is dead being an elite pilot who is best friends with Patricia Whitmore (Monroe) who works for President Lanford (Ward) while caring for her father the former President Whitmore (Pull) who is slightly paranoid now. Continuing the character introduction because there are this many we have bad boy Jake Morrison (Hemsworth) who is stuck on the moon, we also have a string of other characters who are easily forgettable.

When we move into the actual story the humans are now in a position in which they believe they can defend the Earth from any alien invasion but when a strange orb turns up, an attack on that brings the aliens back to finish the harvest of the planet and the humans must face off against the aliens once more but this time the old tricks no longer work on the aliens who have wised up.

Independence Day: Resurgence is the sequel to the hugely popular 90s movie and tries to follow in the reboot sequel trend we have been getting later. The problems for this story start very early, we have way to many character to either catch up on as well as a host of new ones to introduce us too. We get the aliens returning more prepared and the usual battle to save Earth. We have pointless sacrifice of characters whose death are non-actual sacrifices. The story comes off very boring as we jump between too many characters that we don’t actually care about now.

 

Actor Review

 

Liam Hemsworth: Jake Morrison is the bad boy soldier that is stuck on the moon, he has caused an accident with Dylan which has left him on the moon while his fiancée Patricia is back on Earth. He is the closest to a Will Smith we get. Liam is no 90s Will Smith, hell I was more entertained by his brother in the Ghostbusters Trailer.

Jeff Goldblum: David Levinson is back studying alien technology which he has worked on to help defend Earth. He finally gets a chance to get into an African Warlords base who have never let any outside world enter their base. Much like the first one we get to see David to try and be the voice of reason in any decision. Jeff should have just stayed away from this one because the character just ends up being a boring scientist losing what made him fun.

Jessie T Usher: Dylan Hiller is the stepson of Steven Hiller the Will Smith character who has followed in his step-father’s footsteps becoming a fighter pilot. He leads the attack back against the aliens putting aside his differences with Jim. Jessie is no 90s Will Smith and feels like just a background characters considering he is meant to be a leading man.

Bill Pullman: President Whitmore is struggling with his nightmares from his connection he had with the aliens. He knows something bad is coming but no one wants to believe him but can he finally get through to the people. Bill has the most interesting character in the film but doesn’t get enough screen time.

Support Cast: Independence Day: Resurgence has a huge supporting cast who are a mix of returning characters and new who all don’t get enough screen time because there are just so many to remember what is going on.

Director Review: Roland EmmerichRoland seems to have lost the fun aspect the first film had which turns this into an overcomplicated mess.

 

Action: Independence Day: Resurgence has plenty of mindless action going on throughout making it almost impossible to know what is going on.

Adventure: Independence Day: Resurgence, no it is not an adventure film.

Sci-Fi: Independence Day: Resurgence has the alien invasion and alien technology going on to which we have no embraced.

Settings: Independence Day: Resurgence moves onto the moon for parts of the film but I found myself confused that the world rebuilt the same landmarks over homes first.
Special Effects
: Independence Day: Resurgence has the special effects that are nearly all CGI which doesn’t help because the first has a few practical effects we could relate to.

Suggestion: Independence Day: Resurgence is one to just miss it really is a mess. (Skip Avoid Run)

 

Best Part: UMMMMMMMMM

Worst Part: Too many characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: NO WAY

Budget: $165 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: They want only one thing . . . DESTRUCTION!

 

Overall: Terrible mess really.

Ratingcard

 

 

John Hurt Weekend – Contact (1997)

contactDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: James v Hart, Michael Goldenberg (Screenplay) Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan (Story)

Starring: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, David Morse, William Fichtner, James Woods, Angela Bassett, John Hurt, Rob Lowe, Jena Malone

 

Plot: Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: It Is All What You Think

 

Story: Contact starts by showing us Ellie Arroway (Malone as young and Foster as main) as she spends her life searching in space for answers especially after her father Ted (Morse) dies when she is young. She clashes with fellow scientists who try to make her show her own potential in David Drumlin (Skerritt).

After Ellie and her team make the discovery that will change the world forever she gets thrown into the world of politics rather than her comfort zone of science. The world has come together with this new discovery and once they uncover the message the worlds smartest minds have to build the machine while selecting the one-person pilot to finally answer the questions being sent through space and time.

Contact is a sci-fi film that gives us the idea of communication from outside our own known radio waves. I liked how this only looks at the science versus the religion, there is no silly looking at destroying like most alien films. There is a lot of science talk which is one of the few negatives in this film but it is needed. When it comes to films like this I can see people getting bored even though it I a rewarding watch by the end.

 

Actor Review

 

Jodie Foster: Eleanor Arroway has spent her life searching space for any sort of communication, many scientists in her own field question her motives as they see so much potential and wasted talent. When she finally makes contact she is forced to team up with the very people that tried to stop her but she will finally get the answers she has been looking for. Jodie does a great job in this role as we see her clash with different obstacles in her way.ellie

Matthew McConaughey: Palmer Joss is an author who has been working on a book trying to question science’s impact on the religious world. Believing in different things than Ellie the two make for a very interesting couple. He gets left with a big decision which could change his relationship with Ellie. Matthew does a good job in this supporting role without really exceling.

Tom Skerritt: David Brumlin is the head of scientific research that knows Ellie has potential even after pulling the plug on her work. When the discovery happens he tries to take the praise and ends up going up against Ellie to be part of the mission. Tom is good in this role playing a character that is always out for himself.

John Hurt: S R Hadden is the financer behind all of Ellie’s work, he is very secretive but is willing to make appearances to fill in the gaps on her works. John gives us a very good cameo like performance as the mysterious millionaire.

Support Cast: Contact has a big supporting cast that all offer different opinions on the situation at hand, we get to see how each opinion could affect what is going on.

Director Review: Robert ZemeckisRobert brings his brilliant style to this film to tell a story that could become complicated or even boring but flows lovely throughout.

 

Mystery: Contact gives us plenty to question as we wonder are we alone in the solar system.

Sci-Fi: Contact enters us into the idea that space isn’t as empty as we once thought.

Thriller: Contact does pull us in as we simply don’t know what will be found going into the machine.

Settings: Contact uses the settings well to show us in the scientific world would be dealing with if everything became a reality.
Special Effects
: Contact uses great effects to show how the machine actually works but otherwise doesn’t turn to them.

Suggestion: Contact is one I will always recommend as I like to see how people will answer the question. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Journey.

Worst Part: Slightly long

Favourite Quote: Ellie ‘I’ll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Interstellar

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar for Best Sound.

Box Office: $100 Million

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Tagline: A message from deep space. Who will be the first to go? A journey to the heart of the universe.

Trivia: Just like their characters in the movie, in real life Jodie Foster is an Atheist and Matthew McConaughey is a devout Christian.

 

Overall: Scientific film that truly will keep you wondering about what you want to believe

Ratingcard

Strange Days (1995)

logoDirector: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: James Cameron, Jay Cocks (Screenplay) James Cameron (Story)

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, Glenn Plummer, William Fichtner

 

Plot: A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a police conspiracy in 1999 Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Story In Future World

 

Story: Strange Days starts by giving us a form on found footage robbery. This only is an introduction to our protagonist Lenny (Fiennes) who deals in these memories that people can buy to experience moments they wouldn’t be able too. We are introduced to the world of 1999 where the world is starting to go downhill with armed police on the streets. We follow Lenny around while he works seeing the different types of recordings he sells. We watch as police officers Burton Steckler (D’Onofrio) and Dwayne Engelman (Fichtner) chase down one of Lenny recorders, before we see how Lenny looks back on his own memories with Faith (Lewis). With the millennium approaching the world is getting slightly paranoid by the idea of 2k and movement leader Jeriko One (Plummer) warns people before getting assassinated.

Lenny’s final night of the millennium gets intense when he receives a mystery recording which turns into the rape and murder of one of his very own clients. He now has to team up with Mace (Bassett) and former police partner Max (Sizemore) to try and figure out who was responsible. Lenny can’t go to the police and tries to protect his old flame Faith whose new lover Philo Gant (Wincott) could have involvement. With the police after them they are stuck trying to figure out what is going on with new clues within each recording Lenny picks up.

Strange Days has a very basic story looking at the idea of police corruption with a base look America on the edge of riots. We do get a nice look at adding future elements with the technology to pass around memories to let people feel what others feel. I do feel it goes on a little bit too long and takes too long to get into the main story but thanks to Ralph Fiennes it just about gets away with it. The idea of the future where police cause riots because of their over the top policing is actually a reality which could happen and we have seen in real time. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ralph Fiennes: Lenny Nero the lead salesman on the black market of the memories of other people, he is the best in the business and goes out to always find the next level without looking into snuff ones. Ralph gives a great performance with his constant attempts to try and talk his way out of things keeping your attention together throughout. (8/10)

 ralph

Angela Bassett: Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason loyal friend of Lenny’s who met during his time working for the LAPD who ends up working with Lenny to bring out the truth. Angela gives a good performance as nonsense lady. (8/10)

angela

Juliette Lewis: Faith Justin old flame of Lenny’s who is now with one of the men who is trying to cover up everything. Juliette gives a solid performance but is out of the picture too much as we only learn of her involvement. (6/10)

 

Tom Sizemore: Max Peltier a friend of Lenny who used to work with him on the police force but goes undercover close to Gant. Tom showed that he was always a top supporting star before his legal troubles. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Strange Days has a support cast that keeps us guessing with one group after our heroes and another who is out to help them uncover the truth. They all help the story flow having impact on the story’s final outcome.

 

Director Review: Kathryn Bigelow – Kathryn does a good job turning what could be a very simple idea and making it very complex. (8/10)

 

Action: Strange Days has a couple of action moments which move the story forward but doesn’t rely on its action. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: Strange Days uses the technology as its sci-fi element which is very interesting concept. (8/10)

Thriller: Strange Days keeps you guessing on what will happen throughout the film not giving too much away and only letting us learn as much as our protagonist. (8/10)

Settings: Strange Days creates a slightly dark world we live in now, but it all comes off very nicely. (7/10)

Suggestion: Strange Days is one to be trying, even though the story seems simple it doesn’t come off as simple as it should for the most causal viewer. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Technology idea is how found footage should be done without being a found footage film.

Worst Part: Slightly too long.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won Best Actress and Best Director at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $8 Million

Budget: $42 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Tagline: Strange days are coming

 

Overall: Good Sci-Fi Thriller

Rating 76