Category: Crime

Summary: A cop seeking redemption finds himself the only thing protecting a group of people in a condo building from a gangster on a deadly mission.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 13th August 2020 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 30th June 2020 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Michael Polish

Screenwriter: Cory Miller

Cast: Kate Bosworth (Troy), Will Catlett (Griffin), Stephanie Cayo (Jess), Blas Sien Diaz (Migs), Leslee Emmett (Mrs. Gradisher), Mel Gibson (Ray, Rey Hernandez (Lt. Cunningham), Emile Hirsch (Cardillo), Jesy McKinney (Babie), Jerry D. Medina (Chuy), Ryler John Olson (Dillon), Jasper Polish (Jasmine), Anil Raman (Aaron), Joksan Ramos (Cruz), Jorge Luis Ramos (Bergkamp), Geoff Reeves (Greg), Xavier Reyes (Ernesto), Johanna Rosaly (Mrs. Consuelo), Luillo Ruiz (Super Louie Joe), Swen Temmel (Hodges), Sebastian Vasquez (Pride), Julio Ramos Velez (Bennie), David Zayas (John The Baptist)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), R (USA)

OUR FOCE OF NATURE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Force OF Nature Review:

Mel Gibson! Even a mention of his name is enough to divide cinema lovers around the world. You have some people who have blacklisted him – they don’t want to watch anything he is involved with because in their eyes he committed an unforgivable sin. Then on the flipside you have some film fans who have to the conclusion that Gibson, as both an actor and a director, has created some of his best work after being ‘unofficially’ made untouchable in Hollywood.

Love him or hate him Gibson (Braveheart) is back on the big screen this time playing retired and terminally ill cop Ray in the brand new crime thriller Force Of Nature. Gibson though isn’t the centre-piece of this film, far from it actually. No, that role is filled by Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild)who plays Cardillo, a disenchanted Police Officer who moved to South America after a tragic workplace accident that he has never been able to recover from.

Cardillo uses the excuse that he doesn’t speak Spanish to ensure that he is kept behind a desk as he can’t ‘trust’ himself back out on the street again. That all changes though when a hurricane bears down on the city where he is stationed and his boss orders him onto the street alongside the ambitious Jess (Stephanie Cayo – Yucatan) who tells him that all they have to do his help people evacuate. That plan goes to hell though when they are called out to a disturbance that soon sees them arrive at the condo building where residents including Ray and his daughter, Troy (Kate Bosworth – Blue Crush), are refusing to evacuate – but that becomes the least of their worries with the arrival of ruthless criminal John The Baptist (David Zayas – Skyline) who knows a secret about the building – a secret that he is willing to kill for.

Okay, let’s be honest Force Of Nature is a ‘dumb’ film. It is the kind of film that you can watch and completely tune out of without having to think too much… and there is nothing wrong with that. Yes, the screenwriter, Cory Miller (Just One Look) tries too hard to make this a serious film by putting in stories that trace back to Nazi Germany, but somehow the director, Michael Polish (Northfork), salvages the film and makes it watchable.

Polish makes the condo building feel like a claustrophobic tomb and somehow uses ridiculous plot elements, which include a giant, ferocious, man-earitng cat in an apartment, work. He knows that deep down at the core of this film there is a basic story. A cop seeking redemption has to save the day against the bad guys. Somehow, Polish pushes all the most ridiculous things about the film to the side and makes this a simple shoot em’ up where the audience wants to see Ray win the day and get the girl – it doesn’t matter if it is Jess or Troy… he just needs to get the girl.

Polish’s aim is made even easier by the fact that Hirsch brings his A-Game as he slips into the boots of Cardillo. Hirsch makes Ray likable and someone obviously forgot to tell him that this is a dumb B-Grade movie because between falling off balconies, shooting bad guys and scaling the sides of his buildings he manages to put in some moments of great acting that have no right being in a movie like this. The same can’t be said about Gibson though who coughs and wheezes his way through his role with one of the most unconvincing coughs in cinematic history… a surprise given what an amazing actor Gibson usually is.

Force Of Nature is nowhere close to an award winner, but if you are looking for a straight-forward action thriller that isn’t going to make you think too much – then it is perfect. Polish’s slick directing gives the film the feel a TV show like Miami Vice while the screenplay is overly-ambitious but works when it needs to. It’s a wild and often wet (thanks to the hurricane) ride but it certainly won’t leave you bored.

Dave’s Rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Force of Nature (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Force Of Nature Reviews:

Nil

Trailer:

Summary: A successful bank robber wants to start a new life with the woman that he loves. But dobbing himself into the FBI doesn’t go as he had planned.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 5th November (Australia), 13th October (Thailand), 23rd October (UK), 16th October 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Mark Williams

Screenwriter: Steve Allrich, Mark Williams

Cast: Jai Courtney (Agent Nivens), Jeffrey Donovan (Agent Meyers), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Beth Hall), Liam Neeson (Tom), Patty O’Neil (Sharon Baker), Robert Patrick (Agent Sam Baker), Anthony Ramos (Agent Hall), Kate Walsh (Annie), Birol Taran Yildiz (Boss Mike)

Running Time: 99 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 15 (Thailand), 15 (UK), Pg-13 (USA)

OUR HONEST THIEF REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Honest Thief Review:

At 68 years of age you could forgive actor Liam Neeson if he wanted to slow down. The good news for film lovers is that Neeson isn’t showing any sign of wanting to jump out of the fast lane any time soon. In fact while most actors have been starved of cinema time in 2020 Neeson is so hard working that he has two films released despite the pandemic.

Earlier this year we had a chance to watch his comedy Made In Italy and now we see him return to his more familiar crime thriller genre with Honest Thief. But be warned if you are expecting to see Neeson pull out his acting A-Game like he did in Schindler’s List or turn all Taken action star – think again. Honest Thief is very much a film that wasn’t too sure what it wanted to be.

Directed by Mark Williams (A Family Man) Honest Thief finds Neeson playing Tom, a gifted bank robber who has amassed $9 million in takings from a decade long crime spree that has left the FBI completely bewildered.

That all changes though when Tom meets the lovely Annie (Kate Walsh – Grey’s Anatomy) when she sells him storage space. He instantly falls in love and as the pair decide to settle down Tom hatches up a plan that will see him dob himself into the FBI and hand back all the money that he stole in return for a short two year jail sentence. It all sounds great in theory and probably would have worked if the Agent who turned up to make the deal wasn’t the corrupt Agent Nivens (Jai Courtney – Terminator Genisys).

Yes, reading through the plot you can see that Honest Thief sets itself up to be a Fugitive style thriller, but sadly something went horribly wrong in the screen-writing of this film. It seems that somewhere along the line the team of screenwriters, Williams and Steve Allrich (The Canyon) became unsure whether this should be a thinking person’s thriller or an all action affair with car chases and shootouts. The result is a film that has a confusing, mixed pace to it that closely resembles more of the B-Grade films that Allrich normally writes than a film that is worthy to have acting royalty like Liam Neeson in it.

Don’t get me wrong – the story does work and characters like Tom, Annie and Nivens are interesting enough but there is a huge problem with the pace of the film. It will go from a heart-pounding tense scene with Tom facing off against Nivens straight into a six minute dialogue driven snooze-fest scene between Tom and Annie. It feels like lighting a campfire and then pouring water on it before anyone has time to cook the marshmallows.

That certainly wasn’t what I was expecting from a film with Williams at the helm. Over the past couple of years Williams has shown with his producing that he is normally attracted to gritty projects. Shows like the amazing Ozark and the amazing Ben Affleck led The Accountant have led us to expect quality product with Williams attached to it, but with Honest Thief you are left wishing that more grittiness could have been injected into it.

The lacklustre screenplay means you never really get to see Neeson in full flight but he does enough to make you like Tom as a character and you are hoping that justice is served in his favour. The real winner here is Courtney. Like he did with Buffaloed earlier this year he relishes the opportunity to play the bad guy and is never over-awed with the scenes that he shares with Neeson. With the body of work that he has amassed over the past few years Courtney is becoming one of the most intriguing actors in Hollywood at the moment.Honest Thief is certainly not one of Liam Neeson’s best films but some Neeson is better than no Neeson at all, right? In a year where we have all been starved for cinema release films Honest Thief may just attract more fans than it normally would.

Dave’s Rating Out Of 5:

Kyle McGrath’s Honest Thief Review:

Kyle’s Rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Honest Thief (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Honest Thief Reviews:

You can read our review of Honest Thief that appeared in The Phuket News here.

Trailer:

 

Summary: When a disgraced Police Officer accidentally kills a suspect in a kidnapping case it is up to him and a young blogger to try and find the kidnap victim before it is too late.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 13th May 2020

Country: UK, USA

Director: Steven C. Miller

Screenwriter: Jeremy Drysdale

Cast: Elijah M. Cooper (D’Brickshaw D’Martin), Courtney Eaton (Ava Brooks), Aaron Eckhart (Frank Penny), Giancarlo Esposito (Volk), Lindsay Garrett (Walter), James Hutchison III (Max Keller), Betsy Landin (Maya Prinz), Jessica Lu (Clover), Mason McCulley (Fletch), Ben McKenzie (Dean Keller), Dina Meyer (Ruth Carter), Gary Peebles (Bunny), David Shae (Telescope), Nikola Shreli (Hendrix), Nishelle Williams (Claudia)

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: TBC

 

 

OUR LINE OF DUTY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Line Of Duty Review:

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Line Of Duty Review:

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Line of Duty (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Line Of Duty Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

Summary: A young woman decides to break free of the debt-culture that her family has created by ironically setting up her own debt collection agency.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 9th September 2020

Country: USA

Director: Tanya Wexler

Screenwriter: Brian Sacca

Cast: Raymond Ablack (Prakash), Nicholas Carella (Mitch), James M. Connor (Clip), Jai Courtney (Wizz), Zoey Deutch (Peg), Jayne Eastwood (Rhonda), Jennifer Farrugia (Tammy), Jermaine Fowler (Graham), Barbara Gordon (Mrs. Cooney), Judy Greer (Kathy), Alex Harrouch (Darren Meedham), Bill Lake (Judge Connor), Jonathan Langdon (Chris Stephens), Ilarion Michaels (Young JJ), Kate Moyer (Young Peg), Lorrie Odom (Backer), Noah Reid (JJ), Brian Sacca (Sal), Carolyn Scott (Henrietta), Lusia Strus (Frances), Tammie Sutherland (Jacquie Walker), Paulyne Wei (Jin), Nicole Williams (Prison Guard Cheryl)

Running Time: 95 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

 

 

OUR BUFFALOED REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Buffaloed Review:

In these days and times you could be forgiven for thinking that films only work if they have big name stars and are full of super-heroes. That certainly isn’t the case though and sometimes it takes a small film like Buffaloed to remind you that all you need for a great film is a talented cast and an intriguing screenplay.

Set in the city of Buffalo the films follows Peg (Zoey Deutch – Before I Fall), a young woman who has dreamed about escaping the city for her entire life. With her Dad gone out of her life since a very early age Peg watched as her mother, Kathy (Judy Greer – Jurassic World), struggled to make ends meet and ultimately ran up so much debt that calls from debt collection agencies are almost a daily occurrence.

Peg does all she can to try and educate herself in an attempt to break out of this lifestyle and when she watches her brother JJ (Noah Reid – Schitt’s Creek) open up his own bar she decides that it is time to live her own dreams. But after a small misdemeanour she finds herself put into jail by prosecutor Graham (Jermaine Fowler – BoJack Horseman). Upon her release life is even more surprising as she finds herself having to work for a debt collection agency under the control of the ruthless Wizz (Jai Courtney – Suicide Squad).

The power of Buffaloed comes from its witty and original screenplay that is brilliantly brought together by director Tanya Wexler (Girl With No Name). In a lot of ways Buffaloed is played out with the intensity of a stage play. There are many dialogue driven scenes that pack the punch of an action film whether it be Deutch going toe to toe with unrecognisable Jai Courtney or moments of true realisation when Peg realises that her life is a mess and that it isn’t going to be easy to fix.

The true power of this film though comes from the characterisation. Despite her obvious flaws, and criminal activity, Peg is a likable character. I never in my life thought I would see a movie where a debt collector was made likable but somehow screenwriter Brian Sacca (The Definition Of Sex) does just that. You want to see Peg win in life but you also understand the obstacles that she must face. What seperates Buffalo from so many of the ‘feel-good’ movies out there is that not everything in her life is easy to overcome and the obstacles that are placed there are believable. Sure the film might be making a statement about ‘debt culture’ but it is also showing that there are ways out of it if you put your mind to it.

When it comes to characterisation Sacca’s script also brings the minor characters into play in a big way. Like so much of this movie the relationship between Graham and Peg is believable even if it is freshly unexpected. The fact that the team that Peg brings together to form her company is each given a character trait shows the power of Sacca’s writing, as does the fact that Peg’s brother JJ is so three dimensional that he becomes another character that you find yourself barracking for.

Sacca’s screenplay also allows for some amazing performances in the film. There is no doubting that Deutch makes a massive statement in this film. She is often cast in the ‘supporting role’ spot in films like Zombieland: Double Tap but people have forgotten just how good she was in films like Before I Fall. Here though Deutch takes a huge step and breaks out of that ‘teenage’ role stigma. She is strong, confident and shows Hollywood that she is more than ready to be a leading lady with a performance that needs to be seen to be believed.

Likewise Jai Courtney also takes that big step we knew that he was capable of. Sure he has had some big roles in movies like A Good Day To Die Hard and Terminator Genisys but here Courtney gets a chance to show off his real acting ability. His character acting style that he brings to the character of Wizz is something that we haven’t seen from him before. He is sensational in the role and makes Wizz a truly menacing antagonist.

With its powerful script Buffaloed is one of the genuine finds of 2020. Not only does it show a different side to the acting of Zoey Deutch and Jai Courtney but also announces the arrival of Tanya Wexler as a director to look out for the in the future. Witty and heartfelt this may well be one of the most underrated films of 2020.

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Buffaloed (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Buffaloed Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

The trailer for New Zealand’s newest comedy crime caper Lowdown Dirty Criminals has today been released ahead of its nationwide theatrical release on August 20 by Monster Pictures.

Directed by Paul Murphy (Second Hand Wedding, Love Birds)the film features an all-star cast led by James Rolleston (Boy, The Breaker Upperers) and Toi Whakaari graduate Samuel Austin. The lead duo are joined by Rebecca Gibney (Wanted, Packed to the Rafters), Robbie Magasiva (Sione’s Wedding, Wentworth), and Cohen Holloway (Hunt for the Wilderpeople).

Produced by Lowdown Productions and written by David Brechin-Smith (The Insider’s Guide to Happiness, The Cult)Lowdown Dirty Criminals follows two young men in search of a better life, encountering unsavoury situations and people along the way. When Freddy (James Rolleston) loses his job, he and his best buddy Marvin (Samuel Austin) naively conclude a life of crime may lead them to the wealth and standing they desire.

But when they mess up their first job, a sequence of hilarious and violent events snowball out of control, leading them to their most intimidating enemy yet, The Upholsterer (Rebecca Gibney). The ensuing chaos caused by her two henchmen Semo (Robbie Magasiva) and Roy (Cohen Holloway) on their hunt to find the boys forces them to reconsider their careers as criminals.

Excited to get back onto the big screen as a lead and bringing the same charm and innate sense of humour he brought to BOY, James Rolleston comments on the film: “I could imagine myself playing the character of Freddy as soon as I read the script. It was absolutely awesome working with such a talented cast and crew. There were a lot of laughs on set and I’m really grateful to be a part of such a fun film.”

Robbie Magasiva adds: “I can honestly say I have never had so much fun on set – we were constantly laughing. This cast and crew put a smile on my face every day.”
For Logie award winner Rebecca Gibney, the role of The Upholster, changed from a male to a female with her in mind, was unlike anything audiences have seen her in. In fact, it was the first time in her career she has said the F-word on screen. “The script is so wonderful, it just jumps off the page. I’m relishing every line I have to say!”

Director Paul Murphy is also looking forward to sharing the film with Australian audiences, commenting: “Bringing Lowdown Dirty Criminals to life on the big screen was an absolute joy right from the start. It was a privilege to work with such a stellar cast and crew and I’m confident audiences are going to love this buddy-comedy and its eclectic characters.”

Filmed on location in Wellington, Lowdown Dirty Criminals is financed by the New Zealand Film Commission, with additional support from Avalon StudiosGlobal Film Solutions and Hell Pizza. It is produced by Robin Murphy and Sadie Wilson for Lowdown Productions, and executive produced by Catherine Fitzgerald (Bellbird, OneThousand Ropes, The Orator). The film is distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Monster Pictures with international sales handled by MPI Media Group.