Tag Archives: action

Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


PHeVyBYeK0Ajif_1_lBased off the book series by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith is the live adaptation of a love story taking place during a zombie apocalypse. As a plague devastates an English village of Meryton, Elizabeth Bennett is determined to rid of the zombie infestation while also falling for Mr. Darcy. With relationships turning on every corner, trust soon turns to desperation as England rages against the ill born disease. The film is directed by Burr Steers and stars Lily James, Sam Riley, and Matt Smith.

Curious going into the movie I was intrigued by the trailers over the last month; especially with Lily James starring as the lead role. James did a great job in last year’s live adaptation of ‘Cinderella‘ and returns here to bring another book to life. If you go into ‘Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies‘ thinking your going to get an action packed movie then you will be sorely mistaken. This unfortunately is what took me by surprise as having not read the book I wasn’t sure what to expect. With that said, the movie is a mess.

screen_shot_2015-10-09_at_12.41.55_pm_0

Starting with the narrative we’re introduced to a village within England that has come to be populated with zombies. As the opening credits hits we are given a backstory to the events that led up to the plague and how local cities are dealing with the zombie apocalypse. Then we see Lily James who plays Elizabeth Bennett, who with five sisters stands side by side as they clean up the outbreak when it shows up. Not too long later we get a love story developing between Ms. Bennett and Mr. Darcy which then leads to the entire movie focusing on them and not so much zombies.

pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-sam-riley

Some of the positives I’ll give is the fact that the film suits the time period of 17th century London. The performance by Lily James as the heroine ass kicker is also to be commended. Having started on television and then working her way onto the big stage with ‘Wrath of the Titans‘, ‘Broken‘, James is getting on peoples radar as she should be. Her co-star in Sam Riley who plays Mr. Darcy was good and nothing more then that. His ability to play the male version of James’ role worked out well as they each possessed qualities that brought friction as they fought for each other’s love.

Having said the positives we now delve into the negatives of the film. There was very little action or suspense which came as a surprise considering the movie was ultimately a love story. There was more dialogue that took place over action that literally you could have taken the zombie component out altogether. Sometimes your thinking what was the reason for having zombies when it’s the living that’s causing more trouble. And the romance between Lily James and Sam Riley seemed neutral. I wasn’t rooting for either one of them that by the end of the movie your forced to accept the outcome. The buildup could’ve been better with more to be at stake. Then a love triangle looked like it was starting to shape up and that’s when I was over the movie entirely. The movie didn’t know what it wanted to be; thus lacking an identity.

pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-lily-james-matt-smith-jane-austen-movie-review-2016

As confusing as the movie was with poor editing and fast cuts that denied you the pleasure of watching the action in full your left dissatisfied. I do not recommend ‘Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies‘ if your looking for an action zombie flick. Instead you will get a romance glossed over by mild violence and a tame script.

Rating: 5/10

13476359851958638477thumbs-down-icon-red-hi-md

What do you guys think? Do you plan to watch ‘Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies‘? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Advertisements

The Finest Hours (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


The_Finest_Hours_posterSet in 1952, an oil tanker is split in two off the coast of Massachusetts during a powerful storm as the crew rides the seas fighting to stay afloat. All the while Bernie Webber and three men from the Coast Guard set out to rescue the survivors of the sinking fleet. The movie is based on a true story and is considered one of the smallest rescue missions in Coast Guard history that saved 32 lives. Director Craig Gillespie helms the action drama along with stars Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, and Holliday Grainger.

The movie focuses on a sinking ship with Captain Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) directing his guys to safety. We also follow Bernie Webber, played by Chris Pine, who gets engaged to marry Miriam and the risks that come with being in the Coast Guard as it takes its toll on their relationship. By going out to sea on the rescue mission it doesn’t guarantee that Bernie or his men will come back alive. There being transitions between scenes on the oil tanker and the Coast Guard helped to not slow down the pace as we are constantly watching drama unfold.

maxresdefault

It’s difficult to discern who had the better performance between Casey Affleck and Chris Pine because they both equally shared screen time. Both were solid in their roles although Affleck as Ray Sybert had more of an edge since he had to find ways to keep the stern of the ship afloat. In a situation where half the boat is gone and waves are pummeling the ship he was strong, calm, and determined that essentially got him and his crew saved. For Chris Pine, the story of him falling in love with Mariam which then leads them to getting engaged felt uneven at times. This would continue on as Webber must head out to sea which didn’t sit well with Mariam as she felt it was too dangerous. So much focus was put on their relationship that the narrative wasn’t as focused as it could have been.

Your engaged while watching the movie and are entertained by it as well. Many people may not know about ‘The Finest Hours‘ but if you stumble upon it and decide to catch it you will find it enjoyable to watch. Even though the movie may not linger in your mind for a very long time it just so happens to be a small story with just enough production value to recommend.

Rating: 6.5/10

thumbsup

What do you guys think? Do you plan on watching ‘The Finest Hours’? Comment below and share your thoughts?

The 5th Wave (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


5th-Wave_posterBased off the three book series, ‘The 5th Wave‘ stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a young girl named Cassie, who after the arrival of an alien race finds herself racing to save herself and her little brother after a series of deadly events plagues earth. The film is directed by J. Blakeson and also stars Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, and Liev Schreiber.

It’s yet another book to film series where youths must race to fight back against the enemy, except this time its aliens. Having not read the books I will solely be reviewing the movie as it is. With these young adult adaptations the market for these book to film transfers is high, given we already have ‘The Hunger Games‘, ‘Divergent‘, ‘Maze Runner‘, and now ‘The 5th Wave‘. The idea of an alien race coming to earth and setting off a chain of events is different from what we’ve seen in the other franchises. So already you get invested and are curious as to what will happen next.

There are five waves that cripple the earth, starting with an electromagnetic pulse that shuts down power. The second wave is a series of large waves that destroys coast lines around the world. The third wave is a plague-like disease that spreads to infect the remaining populations which is followed by large swaths of death. The fourth wave is where “the others”, as they’re called, take over human hosts and blends in with the human population. And lastly the fifth and final wave is how “the others” will manage to make earth their new home by eradicating the remaining survivors.

1the-5th-wave

In a nut shell that is the gist of the movie and what is to be expected. Unfortunately, the movie does a terrible job of keeping the viewers focus as the pacing and script are unbalanced. We see the ramifications of the alien invasion at the start of the film where we see Chloe Grace Moretz’s character, Cassie, fend for herself after losing her family and venturing to save her brother. I didn’t feel as if this role was a good fit for Moretz, let alone uncomfortable, as she looked out of place compared to other films she had starred in. There were moments where Moretz tries to show off fear or strength but never did it pay off because of her reactions to certain situations. Chloe Grace Moretz is a good actress who’s proven that in ‘Kickass‘, but compared to a Jennifer Lawrence in ‘The Hunger Games‘ it’s a bit of a disappointment.

Unknown

We also see Nick Robinson who plays the leader of the fifth wave and is friends to Cassie and her brother Sam (Zackary Arthur). He didn’t bother me as much as Moretz’s character does where for Robinson his role actually suited him as being a leader. I feel as the though the series will surround Chloe Grace Moretz as the main player, however, I could see Robinson play a much bigger role as time goes on. Then we get to the lull of the film as we mention Alex Roe who plays as Cassie’s love interest Evan Walker. Neither impressed or entertained by his presence, he seemed like a wasted opportunity. The same could be said for the film as whole.

286954

There are sure to be differences from the book and the movie, but I have to say the execution for the first book is abysmal. It can be sensed from just the first 45 minutes that the studio was saving all the best parts for the next entries. And that in case is the problem I had because very little is revealed about who “the others” are and what they look like. Now it’s okay not to give everything away in the first installment because you want to carry the momentum into the next film; however, so little is given to keep the audience invested that you wonder if the movie was justified being made where so little happens. A good portion of the movie, primarily the middle section, is focused on Cassie getting to her brother and her development with Evan that it took away from the alien race itself.

Bottomline, this wasn’t a good start to the series. With very little to get excited about and a slow and drawn out drama with Moretz’s character of Cassie chasing after her brother your itching for way more. The studio took a safer bet but ended up suffering for it with a lack of suspense or action. Let’s just hope ‘The Infinite Sea‘, as the second book is called, will give us everything we want and then some.

Rating: 5/10

13476359851958638477thumbs-down-icon-red-hi-md

What do you guys think? Are you planning to watch ‘The 5th Wave‘? Comment below and share your thoughts on the movie.

Ride Along 2 (2016) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


Ride-Along-2-PosterPatrol Officer Ben Barber is about to marry to James Payton’s sister Angela. But when an encrypted hardware leads to a drug dealer it forces James to go to Miami, however he’s not so sure about Ben tagging along. Ben wants to prove himself to James that he’s cut out to be a police officer and to Angela that he can be taken seriously. Director Tim Story returns to the helm the sequel after a successful $154.5 million* run at the box office with 2014’s ‘Ride Along‘. Both Ice Cube and Kevin Hart come back along with a few additions in Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong.

Though he may be type casted as we’ve seen in the last few go arounds, Kevin Hart is a good entertainer that with the right people he can pull off some good fun. Same can be said for Ice Cube and with both personalities your sure to get some good laughs, right? With ‘Ride Along 2‘ you get the typical good friends with one of them being the smartest and the other not so much. Let’s be honest, if we had officers like Ben Barber we’d all be in trouble and the faith in the law would be in question. Where I found a disconnect was the chemistry between Hart and Ice Cube. At times you found there relationship to be at odds and for much of the first half of the movie the focus was put on Ben’s wedding while the villain in this case was saved for the second half. When things shifted to Miami is when the fun is to be had.

ride-along-2

Unfortunately for the sequel it’s a step back from what we got in the original. There really wasn’t a story to it or even to serve a purpose. What’s meant to be a comedy the movie tried to be dramatic with the wedding angle and it didn’t fare so well. There wasn’t a problem with Ice Cube because he plays a decent undercover detective and when things went down you could take him serious. However Kevin Hart’s character just didn’t mix well and feels more like a miscast. One of the funniest moments took place when Barber, Payton, and Maya (played by Olivia Munn) arrive at the home of Antonio Pope (Benjamin Bratt) where an event is taking place while undercover. A dispute over their names not being on the party list leads to a few punches between Payton and Barber that to me was the funniest bit of the entire movie. As a whole the laughs just wasn’t enough to salvage the fun which is too bad because I expected a little more.

ridealong

In what could’ve been a great follow-up to the first ‘Ride Along‘, we’re left with a thin plot and not much to enjoy. The theater I went to had a couple of laughs from the audience but for the majority of the runtime it was dead silent. One thing that was cool to watch was a quick appearance by Tyrese Gibson who in the  beginning rolls in with James Payton in what felt like a ‘Fast and the Furious‘ moment so that’s something to keep an eye out for. What had potential to be a great follow-up turned out to disappoint. Nothing could’ve salvaged the film and won’t leave you with much to remember.

Rating: 4/10

13476359851958638477thumbs-down-icon-red-hi-md

What do you guys think? Do you plan to watch ‘Ride Along 2‘? Comment below and give us your thoughts.

*Source: Box Office Mojo

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2015) Review

Published by: Anthony Wallace


MV5BMjU3OTQ5NDc3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTEwNTkxNzE@._V1_SX214_AL_It was September 11, 2012 when a U.S. compound in Libya was attacked by armed militants where a U.S. Ambassador and four others were killed. Based on a true story, Director Michael Bay takes on the Benghazi event and how it unfolded as six CIA Operatives bravely tried to rescue their fellow commarades. With uncertainty which Libyan citizens are to be trusted, the CIA feverishly try to gain footing on a battle that may not be won.

There has been so much speculation about the Benghazi story that even till this day we are finding out little by little of what actually led up to the attack. But leaving politics aside, we focus solely on the movie at hand. Michael Bay is very well known for making blockbuster action films such as ‘Bad Boys‘ (1995) and ‘The Rock‘ (1996) to the lesser received ‘Armageddon‘ (1998) which would mark the peak of his career. Since then it’s been a hit or miss over the last 15 years with so much effort put into the Transformers series where he’s held an iron grip. One thing he has going for him is that Bay can pull your attention from the start. He’s not shy in the amount of action he displays on screen. Which is why going into production on an action drama where there’s so much unrest in the Middle East is different from what we’ve come to see from Bay.

benghazi-bay

For the purposes of this review we won’t need to reference the actors by name because most of the film is centered on a U.S. compound being attacked. The characters we follow all have some kind of likability to them and as is in all Bay films we get plenty of comic relief when it’s needed. Some of the action sequences are pretty intense with there being plenty of bullets to shed on screen. There are even some scenes that aren’t for the squeamish towards the latter end of the film. What’s done effectively is that when you assume things are cooling off your only to be fooled and the action picks right back up again. This happens a few times during the film which helps to carry things right along.

13-hours-secret-soldiers-benghazi.jpg

There were a few problems with the movie and the first thing that will be mentioned is the runtime. At two and a half hours the movie had difficulties balancing the heavy action. There’d also be points where dialogue between characters would carry on way too long as we are waiting for something to happen. It’s not that we don’t like to see people converse about their families or stories from their pasts but a lot of the film struggles to balance it out. In what could’ve been a 90 minute affair it unfortunately turns into a drag out experience where your just waiting for the white flag to be raised. Also, for a movie that’s supposed to be taken seriously you get a lot of comic relief moments. It was a little bizarre to see a city go into turmoil to only see somebody watching a soccer game and not be phased by it; almost like it’s a norm. And finally, with so much going on and you trying to understand who is and who aren’t the good guys your left at times being confused.

13-Hours-Benghazi-Film-Paramount-640x480

For those who are into action films you may find this appealing to watch even if it does have it’s fair share of problems like a bloated runtime. But with characters you come to like over time you do root for their survival and hopes that things will get better as the film goes on. Although Michael Bay has put out better efforts with more clarity in his films you kind of already know what to expect if your somewhat familiar with the Benghazi story. If not, some viewers may be put off by the back and forth chatter about how we got to this point. There’s plenty to admire in ‘13 Hours‘ but the execution is what hurts this experience which ultimately leads to a weak recommend.

Rating: 6/10

thumbsup

What do you guys think? Are you planning to watch ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.