Farhad Safinia makes his first full length feature film debut as writer and director, and nailed it. Produced by and also starring Mel Gibson - who was also great in his role, this film was directed exceptionally well, and the writing was good. I felt the screenplay was all over the place in a few areas, and the 124 min length a little too long for the story being told. I'm not a fan of slow paced films, but this one was just right. Casting was great, including Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer, but wow did Sean Penn give an Oscar-worthy performance in his role as Dr. Minor. Glad to see him back on the big screen. The score was perfect and the sets/costumes on point for the era.
This is by no means an action packed Hollywood blockbuster, but instead a historical biopic produced extremely well, and a must-see.
A well deserved 9/10 from me.
The screenplay was clearly written by someone who took too many drugs at a young age, is sexually frustrated (sperm troughs and a masturbation room lol?), and is clearly still on a wild hallucinating trip.
The plot had more issues than National Geographic. How does the first shuttle quickly go into the back hole, then fast forward to a teenager's age, and they do it again, all whilst the long mission from the beginning is to reach the black hole. And what genius launches another space ship filled with only dogs - and the smallest and cutest one survives? Let's also throw in some dumb sex scenes that would make Law and Order SVU cringe. Artistic? No, pathetic. A kindergartener could have written a better script. 95% of this film has mind-baffling plot issues of this scale.
The props, sets and costumes (e.g space suit) seemed to have cost the budget a mere $5k, and were all circa 1970 art department quality. Let's throw some old fish tank filters in a few rooms with padded walls and we'll call it a space ship set. Oh, and an air vent that needs a good punch to run, apparently with technology that can take a crew to a black hole. LOL.
The casting was a waste of talent, and I'd avoid this film on their resume, as their bland and pointless characters were far from artistic - or even necessary. As a parent, I ended up cringing every time the baby cried. Artistic? No, annoying - and unnecessary.
The almost 2 hour length felt like I lost an entire day. The pacing was ridiculously slow and anyone with A.D.D. will be looking for something shiny on the floor.
The only redeeming qualities were the amazing score throughout the entire film, the cinematography, and the stunning visuals - the rare times when shown.
This will be a forgettable film that I hate myself for watching until the end. A very generous 2/10 from me.
YouTuber Joe Penna makes his full length feature film debut as producer, writer and director - an nailed it.
This is a simple film with a simple story, that effectively presents the battle of survival between man vs. nature.
The directing was perfection, the cinematography on point, the visuals absolutely stunning, and the score just right. Mads Mikkelsen gave an Oscar worthy performance - and that's with pretty much zero dialogue.
My only critique was the films 98 min length. Although the editing was good, and the pacing decent, the 'meat and bones' of the story didn't fit the length. This film should have been a little shorter, or more conflict added to the story.
Nevertheless, Arctic is the perfect example of old-school, straight-up stellar film-making. Don't go into this expecting any Hollywood action or dramatics.. this is simple and natural adventure and suspense.
A well deserved 8/10 from me.
There's little story that actually makes any sense amongst a ton of buzz words no one will understand in the entire 105 mins of this film, and for that length of time, certainly some unnecessary scenes could've been omitted and others (including the buzz word scenes) elaborated upon. It was never made clear what Martins full duty was, or why he left the big city head office, and so on. It's as if a 5+ hour decent screenplay was shredded, and random pieces put together to total the final runtime. I could go on and on, but it's such a shame no one invested in a seasoned screenwriter to at least fine tune the script, as this production had many decent values to it. The pacing was also slow for my liking, and this film needed to be trimmed down to 90 mins (with a proper script) or played back at 1.2x speed.
The directing/camera work was well executed. The acting by all leads was spot on and convincing, but casting Beau Knapp as Martin was another big mistake. He didn't suit that role/character, and his acting was way too bland. He'd been better off being cast as one of the thugs, instead of pretty much sleeping in his suit trying to act like a white collar exec.
The score was too outstanding for this film... I mean top notch, and created some great tension and suspense, but seemed overbearing next to the convoluted plot.
Aside from that, unless you have any idea about crypto currency and forensic accounting (luckily I do, and I was still confused), you'll lose interest in this film pretty fast.
Really too bad considering everything else was done really well. Sadly, it's only a generous 6/10 from me.
Next, this film - outstanding perfection, wow! Anyone who gives this film anything less than a "I'm very hard to please" 7/10, knows nothing about properly critiquing a film. Comparing it as a remake is ludicrous, as in this day an age, original content is hard to find. Especially since the French original film was inspired by the true story about Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his French-Algerian caregiver Abdel Sellou, only discovered by the French directors after watching the documentary À la vie, à la mort. Therefore in evaluating any (this) film, it should be done from its own merits, as I will do below, and is how to properly - and accurately, rate this (or any) film.
The directing by Neil Burger was flawless. The third-ever screenplay by novice Jon Hartmere (this being his first full length feature film) was outstanding. The sound/score great. The films length of 126 mins flew by, and although the pacing was natural, no scene ever felt unnecessary or dragged out. I actually wanted another 10-15 mins added to the end, just to make this feel-good story feel even better.
The casting was absolutely perfect - I can't imaging casting anyone else for these roles, especially Kevin Hart. Bryan Cranston was as expected, amazing, and Nicole Kidman was great. But the heart and soul of this film was the unexpected and surprisingly perfect performance by Kevin Hart. I have never seen him in a serious film, and he nailed this one - mad props! The scenes between him and Cranston were heart-wrenching, heartwarming and their chemistry very convincing. The humor was perfectly executed and unexpected - mainly because of Hart's natural ability to make humor out of any moment. I literally laughed out loud many times.
As far as I'm concerned, this film was simply perfect in every aspect. I can't find anything negative to critique, and thus is a perfect 10/10 from me. Whether you've seen the original French version or not, this one stands out all on its own, and I recommend you ignore all the infantile negative reviews and judge for yourself. Would I see it again? Yes, with friends and family. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! Now get the popcorn and tissues, and watch it!
The first 1/4 of the film was decent enough to suck you in, but then it was just random dumb camera shots (literally, 5 second scenes jumping all over the place - to no where) and some decent (but useless) Parkour acrobatics.
Clearly the concept was taken from many other films, but I didn't care about that. What bothered me was writer/director/producer Suzie Halewood's poor attempt to create a decent story/screenplay. It almost seems like of the 5 hours total of decent filming, it was edited down to random 5-10 second scenes that were repetitive and ended up no where. Major plot issues with lack of any real story, and even worse dialogue. How do two brothers meet again after 10 years, have a one-sided 5 second conversation about nothing, then onto the next scene? Jamie Draven as Harden needed much more dialogue, instead of all these irrelevant scenes on buildings.
I get this was a low budget film, and I really enjoyed the low budget effects, but the problem here is the very amateurish writing and terrible screenplay with useless scenes, jumping in and out of nowhere. Halewood's directing behind the camera was not bad, but her editing the film to its final cut was atrocious. A 5th grader could've written a more solid story.
Nevertheless, ignore the clearly fake 8-10/10 reviews. This film had a great opportunity that Halewood blew trying to wear all these hats. It's a 4/10 from me, strictly for the decent low budget effects and the acting.
I think Max Martini wore too many hats with this film. His acting was great, directing (camera) decent, but the pacing and length needed work. The screenplay is where this film had problems, with plot issues and too many long dragged out scenes, that along with the slow pace, dragged down this film's entertainment value. The delusional comrade (of which the content of the conversations were mainly boring and unbelievable) and all that narrating (again, mainly boring) were unnecessary, and I feel it really toned down and took away from the film. Directing his cast also needed work.
This film's production felt like one of those Hallmark/Lifetime films, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, but had it been edited down to 80-90 mins instead of its long 125 min runtime, it would have been more enjoyable.
Omari Hardwick, Gary Sinise as well as the rest of the supporting cast were good, but I felt Lily Rabe was over the top to the point of annoying in her opening scenes.
Nevertheless, an underwhelming film with a great story that should have been told better.
Still, mad props to Max Martini for putting his all into this film, and still pledging 30% of the film's proceeds to three charities that support veterans suffering from TBI, PTSD, and veteran homelessness.
Would I see it again? No. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you can get past the productions issues to see the reality of how PTST affects veterans. More of a Yes if you pay to see this film to pass on the financial support pledged to the Vets.
The directing and cinematography were perfection. The score on point. The acting needed improvement, but I'll give that a pass and say it was meant to be the characters. But the long 139 min run-time - of which the pacing was great, needed to be toned down of its over-plotted and extremely convoluted story, and excessive melodramatic scenes. Otherwise a real treat to watch with great suspense where there was suspense, and great action scenes. Much better than I expected, but certainly could have been nearly perfect of the writing was tighter. Nevertheless, a well deserved 8/10 from me.
This film is based on true events and was filmed primarily in Albania and Bulgaria, and thus the international setting was a refreshing change. The score was sheer perfection and maintained constant tension throughout the entire film.
Novice director William Kaufman was fairly impressive with this film, although I could have done without the shaky-cam moments. Otherwise his camera work and directing his cast was amazing. The cinematography and color choices where perfect for this films setting and story.
The first-ever writing/screenplay debut by Marco Balsamo was outstanding, who was also cast and produced this film. The pacing was perfect and the 103 min length flew by with the constant suspense of the story.
Louis Mandylor shined in his role and was convincing throughout. It was great to see Armand Assante, and he did fit his characters role, but I did have trouble understanding some of his dialogue. The rest of the cast also performed quite well, especially since I've never seen or heard of them.
An all around excellent suspenseful film I found very realistic and produced excellently. A well deserved 8/10 from me, and if anyone is questioning this review as being fake, click on my user name and you will see my 1000+ ratings and 600+ reviews.
I spent most of the film's running time hoping that these famous martial art pros get to work together again in a film worthy of their talents, instead of this ridiculous script that had more plot issues and was more predictable than a soft porn film. A 5th grader could've written a better story that made actual sense.
The fight choreography was excellent, especially towards the end, but also limited with the screenplay that needed work from its muddled narrative about criss-crossing allegiances, noble billionaires, shadowy criminal enterprises, and one guy out for vengeance that had dozens of opportunities from the get-go, but instead risked and/or allowed civilians to die before the obvious end result.
Don't see it for the plot, see it for the fight scenes... these guys all deserve a better story. It's a very generous 6/10 from me - solely for the all star cast and their multiple martial-arts discipline fight scenes.