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Author Topic: "Drone" Reviews  (Read 2586 times)

Offline patch

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"Drone" Reviews
« on: April 24, 2017, 12:11:20 AM »
Retribution of a Pakistani Father? Drone, the movie

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“A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.

One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed”

Humans as a civilization have always tended to feed the bad wolf. You could make electricity with nuclear technology, but we decided a bomb was more urgent. Now there is another technology which could have been used differently the drone. Unfortunately, to the CIA every tool is a weapon of war. So, they equipped the drone with a missile. It could have been used for so many purposes but it wasn’t. So much so that at least in our country, drones have become a synonym for death. The times of war means that rules for journalism and reporting changes. The battle grounds are no go areas for obvious reasons. So, the official word is the final word. We are well accustomed to having this headline read out in our ever-repeating new bulletins ‘Drone strike in tribal area, x no of terrorists killed’. There is no inquisition, no investigation. There is no story there. That official line is the story.

 Until now that is. Directed by internationally acclaimed Jason Bourque, the movie Drone is a story of a father played by Patrick Sabongui, who lost his daughter and his wife in a drone strike. He plays a Pakistani men, who claims to be from Karachi. Now we are quite acquainted with mention of anything Pakistan in the Hollywood. It’s invariably linked to terrorism. This films is different by the face of it. It shows the pains of a Pakistani man. It shows him as the aggrieved party not the stereotypical aggressor. For a change, this seems to be a movie where nationalism seemingly trumps humanity. A spectrum where the story teller is able to look past the terrorism stereotype linked to Pakistan. In the trailer, mention of the Karachi, follows up with the line ‘where the Taliban are’. I particularly looking forward to this scene. By the looks of it, the director is looking for deeper questioning of the popular narrative.

It asks morale questions. Clearly the director is trying to raise questions of the Drone Campaign. The protagonist played by Sean Bean is challenged not just for his day job as a drone operator but the dual life he is living. The father is not there for a confession but for retribution. I am intrigued to see what line the story and dialogue writers have taken in drone operator’s defence if any.

The movie looks a roll coaster ride of drama, and action. However, for us as a country demands something more. It asks us if we value our own? It is questioning our artists, our journalist and our civil society that if we have given up. I understand the grave situation but still, in the face of extreme adversity, we have given up on justice and right not just with drone victims but also all other forms of violence victims. The state may be complacent but the society isn’t knocking them out of their slumber. As for the movie, you can see I have high hopes of it.
http://www.hipinpakistan.com/news/1152349/retribution-of-a-pakistani-father-drone-the-movie




« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 06:45:37 AM by patch »

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 12:18:58 AM »
Review: In ‘Drone,’ Confronting Sins and a Vengeful Visitor

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Jason Bourque’s modest, proficient thriller “Drone” scrutinizes the ethics of warfare by remote control, an issue dramatized with greater effectiveness in Gavin Hood’s “Eye in the Sky,” from 2016, and Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill,” from 2015. Those films examined the moral struggles of military personnel as they conduct missions with clinical precision while far removed from danger. “Drone” sticks to the home front, following Neil Wistin (Sean Bean), a drone pilot on assignments for a covert C.I.A. contractor in Washington State, and Imir Shaw (Patrick Sabongui), a visitor to his home with an ulterior motive.

Neil, an alcoholic who hides his actual job from the members of his family, is as removed from them as he is from the citizens in Pakistan he inadvertently kills with a missile controlled from his office. His wife, Ellen (Mary McCormack, solid), is having an affair. His sensitive son, Shane (Maxwell Haynes), bonded with Neil’s father as the old man was dying, while Neil can’t even compose a eulogy. When Imir stops by Neil’s house and offers to buy a boat he has inherited, Neil, touched by his gentle earnestness, invites him over for supper, only to learn that Imir knows Neil’s work history — and lost his wife and daughter in one of Neil’s aerial assaults.

The movie opens with a bravura sequence set in Pakistan, and the script, by Mr. Bourque and Paul A. Birkett, worthily strives to balance sympathies between American interests and humans written off as collateral damage. But overheated family confessions meet SWAT team conventions at the climax, and little resonates in their wake.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/movies/drone-review.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0




Review Thriller 'Drone' embodies its title and not in a good way
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Utterly dull thriller “Drone” tries to raise ethical and moral questions about modern warfare, but the audience can only dwell on the illogical plot and unsympathetic characters — if they can engage at all. The otherwise talented cast and the controversial issue itself deserve far better treatment than this film can provide.

“Drone” begins in Miranshah, Pakistan, when a remote-delivered weapon explodes in the quiet of the small town, shown in saturated color and beautiful aerial cinematography from Graham and Nelson Talbot. Exactly a year later, CIA contractor Neil (Sean Bean, sporting a muddled American accent) has hidden his work as a drone pilot from his wife (a flat Mary McCormack) and son.


Strangely, Neil invites mysterious Pakistani man Imir (Patrick Sabongui) to dinner after the stranger appears on their doorstep. As the meal is served and the wine flows, Neil’s secrets and Imir’s true purpose are revealed to the family.

The unsubtle screenplay from Paul A. Birkett and director Jason Bourque both plods and struggles to fill a mere 91 minutes, with the only drama arising in the film’s final moments. The plot points in “Drone” are exercises in extremes, either entirely predictable or wholly unbelievable. The thinly sketched characters might earn more sympathy if we knew more about them, but the only knowledge we have actively distances the audience from them — and from the movie as a whole.
 
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-mini-drone-review-20170525-story.html




« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 01:24:53 PM by patch »

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 12:44:40 AM »
Film Review: Drone
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Neil Wistin (Sean Bean), his wife Ellen (Mary McCormack) and their 16-year-old-son Shane (Maxwell Haynes) live in a pretty suburban house in Renton, Washington. Ellen and Shane believe he works in IT for some boring corporation, but Neil is actually a civilian contractor for the military. He and Gary (Joel David Moore), his partner, coordinate drone strikes from their home offices, consciences protected by the rhetoric of neutralizing targets and the fact that the closest they get to the front lines is watching video images of bad hombres getting what they deserve, relayed from half a world away. The business of killing seems barely more real than the first-person shooter games Shane plays on his phone.

Despite their comfortable lifestyle, the Wistins are less than blissfully happy: Neil's father has just died and he can't think of a thing to say to his younger brother (Kirby Morrow) or about his father—which is doubly awkward in that Neil is supposed to be writing his dad's eulogy while trying to sell his beloved boat, the portentously-named Amazing Grace, which is currently shrouded in canvas and occupying most of the Wistins' front yard. Enter Oxford-educated Pakistani businessman Imir Shaw (Patrick Sabongui), a man so gentle that he literally won't harm a fly. But he's driven by poisonous sorrow, and it isn't hard to figure out what's brought him to Neil's doorstep in the guise of a potential buyer for the hulking boat.

You could be excused for thinking that Drone must have started life as a play: The story's core is a fraught confrontation between two fathers united by grief but divided by everything else (religion, nationality, circumstance) and nothing that takes place outside the Wistin house—whether in Pakistan or just down the street—really needs to be seen. In fact, much of the film's screenplay feels like padding; to be honest, it might have been more effective as a one-act stage piece.

Though Drone comes wrapped in the trappings of a home-invasion thriller, it's less interested in ratcheting up the tension than scoring debate points about the moral implications of scrubbing the sweat and dirt from the act of killing. That would be laudable ambition if the film lived up to it, but while Bean is admirably abrasive as the simultaneously selfish and self-loathing Neil, the rest of the cast is stuck playing one-note roles that leave viewers far too much opportunity to start asking distracting questions about the plot's dubious mechanics.
 
http://www.filmjournal.com/reviews/film-review-drone



DRONE Brings About a Debating Story
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In theatres this week from director Jason Bourque and Screen Media Films is a story that will bring about debate when it comes to a DRONE.

Neil Wistin (Sean Bean) works secrets as a drone contractor who flies missions that target terrorists. His wife Ellen (Mary McCormack) and teenage son Shane (Maxwell Haynes) believe he is in the IT business. Keeping his work life and home life separate is difficult on everyone.

When Neil’s father dies there is definitely a tension at home as Shane finds it difficult to deal with his grandfather being gone. In their driveway sits a constant reminder in the form of a large sailing boat with a for sale sign plastered across its bow.

While working at home Neil sees a man standing in the driveway. He introduces himself as Imir Shaw (Patrick Sabongui) and shows interest in buying the boat. Happy about it, Neil invites Imir in so they can discuss the price and paperwork.

After some talk Neil invites Imir to dinner with Mary and Shane. Casual conversation about work and culture are pleasant enough until an uncomfortable tension comes between them all.

What happens next will have everyone talking!

 Bean as Neil is a man who is pressured by the work he does, the death of his father and a family that doesn’t talk to one another. When the stranger shows up it is inevitable that feelings will rise to the surface and secrets slip out under pressure. Watching Beans’ character juggle everything through a bottle of wine was a train wreck waiting to happen.

McCormack as Ellen is clearly unhappy with family life but tries to reach her husband and son. Hayes as Shane is a young man who wants to send off his grandfather in his own way. Keeping to himself, Shane’s parents are not quite sure how to help him.

Sabongui as Shaw is a man with his own demons. Wanting people to understand everything he’s been through and his sadness becomes difficult when it’s done through fear. Sabongui uses everything from his delivery of words to the expression on his face to bring the audience in.

Other cast include Joel Moore as Gary, Viv Leacock as Agent Barker, Sharon Taylor as Agent Jenkins, Bradley Stryker as Ted Little and Kirby Morrow as Dave Wistin.

brings about the question of who is behind the controls and how it affects us all. This is a story that not only deals with the home life of a man who is not being truthful with his family but another man who feels justified in his actions.

Yes, that seems cryptic to say but this is a film that must be experienced so that the conversation about drones has a starting point. We live in a world of bad guys who imbed themselves around innocent people. We also live in a world were decisions aren’t always so cut and dry and in this film it all comes to a head for both.

The cast is what keeps the story on its feet with Bean, McCormack and Sabongui meshing it all together with emotional shock and awe and knowing our secrets can be used as a weapon.

In the end – choose your target!
https://patch.com/california/imperialbeach/drone-brings-debating-story



Drone (NR)
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Canadian filmmaker Jason Bourque (Classified: The Edward Snowden Story) wants you to know that drone strikes are, you know, really bad. Unfortunately, he does this with a well-meaning but ultimately ham-handed dysfunctional-family drama, into which he has shoehorned some stuff about drones.

Instead of focusing on the lives that have been wrecked by the thousands of drone strikes in Pakistan, Bourque turns our attention to a stateside family, led by an IT guy (a meek-as-hell Sean Bean) who's actually an on-the-down-low contractor for the CIA, targeting terrorists from his safe workspace. He's not the only family member keeping secrets. His wife (Mary McCormack) is having an affair, while his son (Maxwell Haynes) has been distant after the death of his grandfather. Their world eventually gets rocked when a well-mannered Pakistani gent (Patrick Sabongui) shows up at their door looking to buy the late granddad's boat. But you already know he's there to let everyone know how dad brings home the bacon.

Bourque and his writers have decided that the best way to hip audiences to the countless civilian deaths overseas is to have the horror and tragedy show up right on our shores. Yet Bourque, who moodily shoots this film as though the suburbs were scarier than the Middle East, seems more interested in portraying Americans as selfish, ignorant asshats, way too preoccupied with themselves to see the hell they're putting people through a world away. And while that's mostly true, how is that more meaningful than showing us the families we've devastated? This movie is basically Ordinary People if Donald Sutherland killed Pakistanis for a living. 
http://www.laweekly.com/movies/drone-8122583



Review: ‘Drone’ is an Exploitative and Haphazard Thriller
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The pitch “after a drone bombing in Pakistan, a Pakistani man flies to America to seek vengeance on the operator of the drone and his family with a bomb in his briefcase” is one that is steeped in hot button exploitation, and eye-rolling tackiness. Regardless of what twists and turns of morality are presented therein, that core conceit — the one that perhaps draws one to the film — will stand under this framework of fear-mongering and xenophobia. That’s a steep hill to climb for Canadian filmmaker Jason Bourque with his latest thriller Drone. This isn’t to say it’s not a hill worth climbing, if the filmic structure tackles the subversion of expectations, therefore using the initial pitch as bait to indulge people’s fear of the other before showing them why it is wrong to think this way.

Within the first act, it seems rather clear which side of the coin Drone falls on. What should be a simple narrative with complex ideas about the gray areas of war and perspective, is morphed into a muddled layer cake of thin story strands and half-formed thoughts. Before 30 minutes is up, we already know (deep breath): a Pakistani man is stalking Neil’s (Sean Bean) family, his wife is cheating on him, his son has trouble at school, he needs to write a eulogy for his dead father, he wants to sell his boat, and, of course, he operates drones. This is all after an opening that begins to set up a Pakistani family before bombing the father and then quickly jumping to America. With that sordid collection of ingredients, one is already left questioning how Bourque plans to wrap everything up with an hour to go — and tell a meaningful story in the process.

To put it plainly, the answer is that he doesn’t. Almost every single one of those aforementioned elements barely reach a climax. When they do, it is about the extent of a line of dialogue with no consequences, or is briefly brushed over, leaving a head-scratching narrative that feels utterly devoid of complexity. Things are set up that don’t pay off, and moments that should hold weight and impact the characters are forgotten for the very fear-mongering the film should be critiquing. 

Any plot thread that does reach an end is handled with such blunt force that they may as well add a silent film-era text card that tells you what the point is, just to be clear. There are indicators early on that subtlety isn’t the chosen path as multiple characters get quick flashbacks to literally point to their emotional state at that moment, suggesting a lack of genuine characterization.

In one scene, a white suburban man and a Pakistani man sitting in a children’s park. The former says, “In this country, we don’t like strangers. Especially strangers like you. Why don’t you go to a Mosque and read that little book of yours.” Within the context of this narrative, it is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the temple. It is the sort of attempt at closed-system writing and thematic resonance that comes across as a hand so heavy it can barely lift itself to turn the page. By the time the climax rolls around, and the tension mounts, it is hard for the entire thing to not feel like parody. With the thinly-sketched characters and minimal amount of effort thrown behind the plot, very little feels genuine. There is a well-directed and brutal scuffle, but it is so out of place that the eventual bloodshed is a ghastly indication of the film’s own confusion with its material.

A film at odds with itself, at times it is a familial drama and at others a high-stakes parlor-room thriller, leaving each to feel underdone. Bean’s naturalism and ease helps a lot (he is really quite good), but it is not enough to carry a film that feels this narratively exploitative and haphazard. If awareness and empathy is trying to be taught, a documentary would perhaps be more poignant, and less painstakingly obvious. In the middle of the film, Sean Bean states about his eulogy, “I just need a good opening. Then the rest will follow.” By this indicator, perhaps Drone was destined to crash.

Drone is now in limited release and on VOD.
 
http://movieandtvcorner.com/review-drone-is-an-exploitative-and-haphazard-thriller.html



« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 02:45:34 PM by patch »

Offline patch

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 02:16:10 PM »
DRONE – Review
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A few weeks before movie goers are immersed in Christopher Nolan’s recreation of one of the greatest World War II battles with DUNKIRK, and a few days before a certain Amazonian princess and her sisters join the fight in the previous world war, this new film takes a look at modern warfare. Much as with the recent films like 2014’s GOOD KILL and last year’s critically lauded EYE IN THE SKY, this new work focuses on a way of combat that’s, for want of a better word, impersonal. You don’t have to breathe in the same air as your enemy, you don’t ever have to set foot on the battlefield. You can sit in an air-conditioned office or cubicle, sip a cool drink while watching a near silent video transmission on your monitor. Killing is much more civilized (?), when you’re pushing a few buttons and command a DRONE. There’s no blood literally on your hands, just a risk of carpel tunnel.

This story starts a year ago in a bustling crowded city in Pakistan. A man enjoys a modest meal with his mother, wife and teenage son before heading away to work. He bids them good day and walks outside to his motorcycle (more of a scooter). As he sits, two women stroll pass, and before he starts the motor, death rains from the sky. The flames shoot through the kitchen window, searing the wife as she waves to him. Cut to today, suburban Washington state, USA. Neil Wistin (Sean Bean) has a lot on his mind as he readies himself for work. He’s tasked with writing a eulogy for his recently departed father. His sixteen year-old son Shane (Maxwell Haynes) is distant. Wife Ellen (Mary McCormack) is of little help. Plus Neil has to sell pop’s old sailboat, which is taking up most of his driveway. As Ellen leaves for her college teaching job in her own vehicle, a car follows her. After dropping off Shane at the high school, Neil heads to his “I.T.” job. But Ellen has a detour to work. She has a brief romantic tryst with another faculty member. As they exchange goodbye kisses in the parking garage, that car is lurking nearby. We then find out the nature of Neil’s real job. He’s part of a company hired by the CIA to man drone planes. We see him and his co-worker Gary (Joel David Moore) track and fire on a “hostile target” (Pakistan again). Cut to soft-spoken Imir Shaw (Patrick Sabongui) reading at a picnic table as children play in the park. An irate father tells him to vacate just as Imir notices two men in a car watching him. After work Neil meets his estranged brother at their father’s old nursing home. While packing his things, Neil notices a newsletter with a photo of his dad and son on the cover (Shane had visited ‘Gramps’ a lot). Driving home, Neil hears of an NSA security breach on the radio. Upon arrival, he’s back at his laptop, struggling with the eulogy. He hears something outside. Someone’s looking over the boat. Imir introduces himself to Neil. Is he really a prospective buyer, or are the events of the day somehow connected?

Bean,best known as a swashbuckling hero in TV and film, gets to show his acting range with his take on an average American “Joe”, albeit one that’s hiding a dark, dark secret. With his unkempt hair and clumsy manner, Neil is trying hard to show the world that all is normal, while he slowly unravels, knocking back a few too many beers and too much wine at dinner. McCormack as Ellen is working at keeping up appearances also, playing the dutiful wife and mother while juggling an affair that twists her in too many directions. Masking his emotions seems to be the usual demeanor for Haynes as their son Shane, still stinging from the loss of a grandfather he respects and perhaps loves more than his own papa. And then an outside element is thrown into this repressed, but still volatile mix with Sabongui as the ethereal Imir. He’s a tad jittery, nervous about hiding his true purposes. He avoids an altercation at the park, only to spring into action mode, when cornered. Soon after their first meeting, Imir is almost a therapist for Neil, helping him deal with his family loss. But later, he’s exposing this “happy family” . a real embodiment of the “chickens coming home to roost” adage.

Director Jason Bourque attempts to organize several ongoing narrative threads that never really merge. The script he worked on with three other writers wants to be an “edge of your seat” thriller, political “message”, and family drama. Subplots (Ellen’s affair, the Shane/Grandfather secret, Neil’s strained ties to his brother) are left dangling in the wind. Even the big showdown, the suspenseful meeting of Neil and Imir is undercut by sluggish pacing as they engage in a long meandering “dance” to the big reveal. And what of this whole dour atmosphere? Seeing the Canadian production credits, I wondered if this was a commentary on the US from its Northern neighbors. Maybe many their think they live above lots of violent repressed bigots (I hope they think we’re a bit better than these characters). The casual racial slur Neil’s co-worker Gary spews after finishing a “job”, then the Islamaphobic threats to Imir at the park contribute to this tone. There’s another unresolved story bit about a shooting at Shane’s school, so we can seem walk past a flower memorial before getting “wanded”by security. Again, no follow-through. But this is all a build-up to a final denouncement and “twist” ending that’s no real surprise to anyone. DRONE has a lot to say about the consequences of this brand of “clean” warfare, but it fumbles the final drop of its dramatic “payload”. Target missed.
http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/2017/05/drone-review/





Offline patch

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 12:29:43 AM »
Thanks to Janice1066

A Thoughtful Thriller
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Personally I considered this film to be well-paced and intelligent, with nice cinematography as well as some good acting, particularly from Sean Bean as a drone operator whose wife and son know nothing of his occupation and Patrick Sabongui as a Pakistani who lost his own family in an unmanned airstrike. Those who consider it "boring" may have been expecting an action picture, when in fact it's more of a psychological drama. Rather than simply play into our paranoia, it points out that cultural conflicts are not necessarily as clear-cut as they seem and raises uncomfortable questions concerning prejudice, morality and accountability. Sabongui's character is not some contemporary caricature; he is a wounded human being whose purpose is not so much to avenge himself on the American family he confronts as to awaken its conscience. "You seem like honest people," he remarks early on, only to proceed to drive them to expose the dishonesty behind the appearances. If you don't mind a film that blurs the boundaries of convention and wants you to think a bit, by all means give this a chance. 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R33IFQ36H1W0FA/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B06ZY9XQF3



« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 01:57:52 AM by patch »

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 01:44:47 AM »
A Thoughtful Thriller
Very accurate review.
Thanks Patch

Thanks Janice1066 )
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 02:06:38 AM by Clairette »

Offline patch

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 10:44:55 AM »
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Drone
 Starring Sean Bean, Patrick Sabongui. Co-written and directed by Jason Bourque. Opens Friday at Carlton Cinemas. 91 minutes. 14A

Sometimes the geopolitical becomes personal.

That’s the premise of a nifty thriller by Canadian filmmaker Jason Bourque.

Sean Bean plays family man Neil Wistin, a CIA consultant who literally holds the joystick while missile-armed drones wipe out enemies of the U.S. in far-off lands from a lofty height.

But collateral damage happens, as we see when two women are inadvertently killed in Pakistan. A year later, a mysterious foreigner on a mission arrives in Wistin’s hometown.

The story is divided into the two sections, the first giving up a close-up look into in the Wistin family’s troubled lives. Part two unfolds when Imir Shaw, carrying a briefcase, expresses an interest in buying the sailboat in the Wistin family’s driveway. Neil is so pleased, he invites the man in for dinner. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues.

The performances are solid all around, especially Patrick Sabongui as Shaw.

The end result is a suspenseful and satisfying thriller that forces the audience out of its complacency to confront some painful truths about the toll of conflict
https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2017/06/01/reel-brief-mini-reviews-of-graduation-tanna-werewolf-score-drone.html

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 07:00:15 PM »
Thank you Patch for posting this review. I really liked this movie. It starts out slower than most movie made today. So it's more like the older films I grow up with. Which is what I use
To LOVE ABOUT MOVIES, because they were made with more dialogue and less ACTION. This gives the audience more time to know and understand these characters before the story
becomes MORE TENSE and DANGEROUS. By the time you realize that the there's a BOMB in the house, your STRESS level is though the roof !! The SUSPENSE is heightened by the
fact that your very EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED with these people !! So (unlike most movies today) you do CARE about what happens to them. Even the so-called VILLAIN !! Just watch DRONE and see !! Also GREAT ACTING !!! SEAN and PATRICK are AMAZING in this film.

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 12:10:56 AM »
Review: Drone is a simmering, on-target drama with a few plot twists
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Drone-warfare films tend to carry the message that bomb-dropping jockeys are so far away from “battlefields” that they’re removed from the consequences of their remote-control actions. We get that in Drone, a taut Canadian thriller from the Vancouver-born director Jason Bourque. Veteran actor Sean Bean is an American civilian contracted to obliterate Pakistanis from an office chair in suburban USA. His recently deceased father, we learn, “dropped bombs on Hitler.” The scriptwriter’s math is off: Bean’s middle-aged character is too young to have a father of such vintage. More importantly, we’re being pushed this notion that dropping bombs from an airplane is morally superior to drone strikes. We got this in 2014’s Good Kill, but there’s a good case to be made that it’s a poppycock narrative. That aside, Drone is a simmering, on-target drama involving a visiting Pakistani businessman whose motive and briefcase are both suspicious. Played adroitly by Patrick Sabongui, this guy wouldn’t hurt a fly. Or would he? A couple of nice plot twists overshadow the predictable sound-of-sorrow ethnic wail that closes the film.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/film-reviews/review-drone-is-a-simmering-on-target-drama-with-a-few-plot-twists/article35179358/


Offline Clairette

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 01:42:19 AM »
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His recently deceased father, we learn, “dropped bombs on Hitler.” The scriptwriter’s math is off: Bean’s middle-aged character is too young to have a father of such vintage.
Why? If his father died at the age of 92 to 95 years of age, he could fight in world war II, and then give birth to a son at the age of 40-45 years. Now his son would be 50-55 years,  "Bean’s middle-aged character".  Trivial arithmetic

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 02:44:29 AM »
Review: ‘Drone,’ starring Sean Bean

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Filmmaker Jason Bourque’s Drone is named after the controversial, remotely piloted aircraft that the film’s main character operates, but it’s more appropriately the best word to describe the tone of this lifeless, inert thriller. More of an underdeveloped reflection on loss and internalized suffering than a trenchant indictment of the current state of modern warfare, Drone never figures out what to do with what little it has, making it one of the dullest films of the year thus far.

Neil Wistin (Sean Bean) works in upstate Washington at a top-secret facility carrying out drone strikes in Asia. He has recently lost his father, his wife (Mary McCormack) is stressed out, and his sullen teenage son (Maxwell Haynes) isn’t handling things well. As he prepares for his father’s funeral, he’s visited at home by Imir (Patrick Sabongui), a reserved Pakistani businessman who says he wants to buy a boat that Neil is trying to sell. The family invites Imir to dinner, and the man’s true reasons for being there reveal themselves.

That’s the plot of the Drone, but none of that plot starts to come in until almost a full hour into an 85 minute movie. The first two-thirds of Borques’ film have little to nothing to do with drone warfare, and it barely gets to the heart of what Neil and his family are going through. It doesn’t even get to the heart of what drives Imir, the more interesting character that should have been followed from the start, until way too late.

Drone is the kind of film where everyone says a banal, overwritten line of dialogue that no human being would ever say under any circumstance, and after each of these lines there’s a lengthy pause or a thoughtful sigh. I would venture to guess that a quarter of the film’s total running time is comprised of pauses and sighs. It’s all set in a world where everything looks like it has been artfully tinted blue or yellow to place visual emotion where dramatic emotion fears to tread. Every minute of Drone reeks of maximum effort being expended for minimal payoff.

Borques, who also co-wrote, leaves his film hovering for so long that he can only manage about twenty minutes of tension and topical discussion at the end of his film. The first hour of Drone plays as a misguided bit of slow cinema where Bean struggles to find the pathos (and American accent) of his character. When the film’s obvious, visible from high altitude twist finally does arrive, Drone becomes a different, sillier sort of thriller. The last twenty minutes are more satisfying, but It really just exists to explain what the audience probably figured out in the first ten minutes, and very unfortunately Haynes and McCormack are forced to overact surprised in the hammiest of ways. Bean and Sabongui do what they can, but nothing can save this.

It’s a long, boring walk devoid of any sort of human or ethical subtext that hasn’t been done better in more fully realized films about the nature or drones or family dramas about grieving. Drone is a mash-up of two overdone genres that could work well together with a bit more development, but in its execution it seems more suited for the community theatre stage than the big screen.
 
https://www.thegate.ca/film/028877/review-drone-starring-sean-bean/


Review: Drone
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Private contractor Neil (Sean Bean) works as a drone operator performing strikes against terrorist targets for the CIA. His family, son Shane (Maxwell Haynes) and wife Ellen (Mary McCormack), are unaware of what he actually does for work. One year after a strike in Pakistan, Imir Shaw (Patrick Sabongui) arrives on Neil’s doorstep looking to buy his boat, but with news of classified documents revealing the names of contract workers for the government, it may be more than a boat that Imir is searching for.

Director Jason Bourque brings a solid, if somewhat expected thriller to life with Drone. Although a majority of his work is in television films, you would never know this was the case when it comes to Drone. The story, co-written by Bourque and Paul A. Birkett, keeps things relatively simple, placing the characters inside of Neil’s home for basically the entire movie. This gives the film a feeling of claustrophobia and terror that wouldn’t be achieved if everything had been placed anywhere else. Imir invades the home of Neil and his family, the one place where they can truly feel safe. This echoes the way in which civilians in areas where drone strikes occur would feel as well. That’s a key point to the film, and it’s something that is slowly driven home as the film moves towards a surprising ending.

It does take a little bit for the film to finally sink into a place of uncomfortable tension, as well as bringing together the various plot elements that are explored in the opening scenes. Not all of these opening moments feel necessary, but they do set up some visual similarities that are fascinating to watch. Neil’s drone follows a suspected terrorist as he drives through the streets, which is mimicked as we watch Ellen drive back to her home after work one day. It’s interesting to watch, but really sets up the terrible journey that Neil and his family are going to go through in the film. It also creates an impression of where we believe the film will wind up, which is cleverly flipped by the time we get there.

It’s the outstanding performances from Bean and Sabongui that really bring success to the film though. Drone works so well because of the convincing characters they build. As time passes, little bits of their characters are revealed. At times, these go against what we expect from what we’ve previously learned of them, while others show the characters that we were expecting. It helps keep viewers on their toes, but also keeps things realistic. Rarely are people always what we expect them to be, and the same can be said for Neil and Imir. McCormack and Haynes aren’t quite as lucky though. Ellen and Shane are rather typical, and even when we learn the few secrets they keep, it never adds anything to their characters. Neil and Imir morph as the film progresses, but Ellen and Shane simply continue to be exactly the same as they were in the beginning. It’s a bit of a shame that their characters couldn’t be as fully developed as the others, but it never holds the film back.
 
Is Drone opening weekend worthy?

It does take a little bit to really get going, but once Drone settles in at Neil’s home, the tension begins to ramp up and holds on until the surprising ending.
 
Drone opens Friday, June 2, 2017 at Carlton Cinema. Check their website for more information.
 
http://thetfs.ca/2017/06/02/review-drone-2/



In a long line of similar thrillers, Drone offers a limited range and nothing new
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Any film that features both Sean Bean and drone warfare immediately raises one important question; does Bean’s character die, as he does in so many other films?

I won’t spoil the movie, mostly because Drone already does an excellent job of spoiling itself. Ploddingly plotted and devastatingly simple when it comes to global politics, terrorist motivations and extra-territorial assassination, Drone imagines a tense meeting between a U.S.-based civilian drone operator and a shady Pakistani businessman.

Bean plays Neil, the drone dude, firing Hellfires as part of his top-secret day job, then heading home to try to write a eulogy for his recently deceased father. His teenaged son (Maxwell Haynes) is even more upset at the old man’s death, while his wife (Mary McCormack) is consumed by a secret love affair. Into this powder keg walks Imir Shaw (Montreal-born Patrick Sabongui), whom we already know has more on his mind than making an offer on the family’s boat.

Director and co-writer Jason Bourque punctuates the camerawork with long overhead shots of Neil’s suburban neighbourhood, as though the entire movie were somehow under aerial surveillance. Also, points for making a metaphor solid when we see one character who literally won’t hurt a fly.
 
http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/movies/in-a-long-line-of-similar-thrillers-drone-offers-a-limited-range-and-nothing-new



Drone really drones on
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Drones are part of the conversation about war now, and the moral and ethical implications of unmanned murder vehicles flying around with minimal oversight have led to a number of thoughtful, intriguing films like Good Kill and Eye In The Sky. Jason Bourque’s new movie, Drone, isn’t one of them.

It’s a paper-thin thriller that positions itself as a movie about the consequences of drone warfare, but it’s really just a threadbare domestic drama with delusions of contemporary relevance.

After a prologue set in Pakistan, the focus shifts to the Seattle suburb of Renton, where American family man Neil Wistin (Sean Bean, struggling with the accent) is trying to cope with the death of his father after a long illness. He’s also living a double life: his wife (Mary McCormack) and teenage son (Maxwell Haynes) think he works in IT, but he’s really a top-secret military contractor operating an unmanned aerial vehicle out of a base in the Seattle suburbs.




One afternoon, Neil’s comfortable routine is derailed by the arrival of a polite but very focused man (Patrick Sabongui) with an enigmatic but definitely grim agenda. Over the course of a few hours, everything about Neil’s life will be turned inside out.

There’s a good idea in here – and maybe a great short film – but Vancouver director Bourque (Bird Co. Media, Black Fly) buries it, pulling focus from the story’s key conflict by padding out the movie with bland and dull peripheral subplots about Wistin’s fraying home life and his struggle to deal with his father’s death.

Worse, Bourque shoots most of Drone like a TV show, which makes the occasional use of overhead shots feel like a cheap device rather than an aesthetic choice. When Andrew Niccol switched to a God’s-eye view in Good Kill, it created a discomfiting sense of constant surveillance. Here it’s just a random tic borrowed from a better movie. And Good Kill wasn’t that great to begin with.
https://nowtoronto.com/movies/reviews/drone-really-drones-on/




« Last Edit: June 02, 2017, 12:05:29 PM by patch »

Offline patch

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2017, 01:45:20 AM »
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#Drone starring Sean Bean hits UK store shelves today on DVD! Here's our review - http://crashlanded.co.uk/drone-dvd-review.php … @SeanBeanOnline @JasonBourque1
https://twitter.com/icrashlanded/status/881763005146574848

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The most patriotic Sheffielder in the land - Sean Bean - returns to our homes, playing an American UAV operator in the war on terror; with Drone, the latest film from Canadian director Jason Bourque.

If there’s one thing to be said about Sean Bean - aside from the fact he dies in practically all of his movies - is that he can act his arse off, and Drone is no different in that aspect.

Playing a subdued - one could even call Neil a weak - character, whose emotional state isn’t present, instead left to fester beneath the surface - almost drone-like - is a difficult task, and whilst the little said about Sean Bean’s fluctuating American accent the better, his performance remains a joy to watch unfold on screen.

Likewise Patrick Sabongui as Imir strikes you as being immediately queer from the get go, with the audience unsure of how to take his strange peculiarities, whether he's truly a bad guy, and what exactly his intentions for the Wistin family are.

It’s a shame then, that the slowburn setup whilst intriguing, instantly evokes a final act that shoots Drone down like a lead balloon. Drone feels entirely like an opening act, as we get to know the Wistin family, through a day of their grief and the secrets they are hiding from one another; but once Imir shows up on the doorstep, Drone steps into its final act and ends quickly. In essence Drone is missing a second act, to ratchet up that tension and to make its conclusion all the more impactful.

 On Crash Landed I regular evoke the need for films to cut down their runtime - feeling bloated and minimising their overall impact - Drone is the opposite in that sense, a portion felt entirely missing.

The notion of collateral murder via airstrikes isn’t entirely new to the cinematic front either, with 2015’s Eye in the Sky handling the morality of the situation much better. And whilst Drone does indeed start to create some political underpinnings through its fantastical meeting, it sadly doesn’t lead to much. In fact, Drone works much better as a piece on grief, of two families on the opposite ends of the spectrum coping with their recent loss.

Unfortunately a second act is not the only thing missing from Drone.

Alas the dreaded 'no special features' surprise rears its head once again, making the home release of Drone feel entirely worthless when given the option to stream the film. And it’s a shame too - as whilst any moral message is a bit of a write off - there’s some beautiful moments of cinematography within Drone, a great use of imagery and even a particular long take at its climax that I would have loved the director to shed more light upon. Sadly it’s not to be.

http://crashlanded.co.uk/drone-dvd-review.php

Offline Rebecca

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Re: "Drone" Reviews
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2017, 01:54:08 AM »
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If there’s one thing to be said about Sean Bean - aside from the fact he dies in practically all of his movies - is that he can act his arse off, and Drone is no different in that aspect.

... his performance remains a joy to watch unfold on screen.

 On Crash Landed I regular evoke the need for films to cut down their runtime - feeling bloated and minimising their overall impact - Drone is the opposite in that sense, a portion felt entirely missing.

Agree with all of the above.