Quiz Show (1994)

logoDirector: Robert Redford

Writer: Paul Attanasio (Screenplay) Richard N Goodwin (Novel)

Starring: John Turturro, Rob Morrow, Ralph Fiennes, Paul Scofield, David Paymer, Hank Azaria, Christopher McDonald

 

Plot: Dick Goodwin (Morrow) discovers that a game show is being fixed so Charles Van Doren (Fiennes) is fed answers so he beats Herbie Stempel (Turturro). The producers of the show want a new face for the show as they feel Herbie is not the right role model for America while Charles would make a perfect role model.  Based on the true story, the events take place in the late 50s.

 

Verdict: Brilliant historical drama

Story: Following the investigation into the fixing while we see one man’s life unravel following his defeat and one man get taken over by the stardom bug. Each character gets a good chance to show the effects of the show and with the overall conspiracy being told all adds up to a great story of how America was tricked by early TV. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: John Turturro – Herbie champion of the quiz show until the ratings slip and they make him take a dive all while breaking the promises made to him. Good performance from John who gets all the character twists and turns to make a very interesting but bitter loser of the show. (9/10)

 herb

Actor Review: Rob Morrow – Dick Goodwin young lawyer who takes an interest in the quiz show case and goes to looking for proof of the fraud being viewed by millions. Good performance in the determined investigator character. (8/10)

morrow

Actor Review: Ralph Fiennes – Charles Van Doren the new contestant who becomes the winner and new face of the show. He does get fed the answers but the fame soon gets to his head. Good performance from Ralph who really shows what a great character actor he is. (9/10)

 ralph

Actor Review: Paul Scofield – Mark Van Doren Charles’ father who just like the rest of us believes his son is winning on his own merit and wants him to continue his teaching job following in his footsteps. Oscar nominated performance that is good but only a small part. (8/10)

 mark

Actor Review: David Paymer – Dan Enright the producer of the show who has to answer to whoever gives the orders while supplying the answers to constant. Good slippery producer performance that shows how important rating were in the early days of TV. (8/10)

 paymer

Director Review: Robert Redford – Great direction throughout showing how a good drama can be made. (10/10)

 

Drama: Great drama throughout showing how character’s lives have been effect by the quiz show. (9/10)

History: Good historical look at quiz show fixing case. (9/10)

Believability: Based on a true story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Each setting is authentic to the time setting. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: I think this is a good watch for all giving an insight into how early TV was run and how easily the audience can be tricked. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Charles speech.

Worst Part: Herbie comes off a bit whiny.

Trivia: Before filming began, Ralph Fiennes wanted to speak with Charles Van Doren in person to get his accent down for the role. However, the feeling was that Charles Van Dorenwould not want to help with the film at all. So Ralph Fiennes and one of the film’s staff drove to the town in rural Connecticut where Charles Van Doren lives. They found Charles Van Doren sitting on a chair outside his house, and Ralph Fiennes pretended to be a lost driver and asked him for directions.

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 4 Oscars

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: Fifty million people watched, but no one saw a thing.

 

Overall: Great historical drama

Rating 90

The Bay (2012)

logoDirector: Barry Levinson

Writer: Michael Wallach (Screenplay) Barry Levinson, Michael Wallach (Story)

Starring: Nansi Aluka, Christopher Denham, Stephen Kunken, Frank Deal, Kether Donohue, Kristen Connolly, Will Rogers

 

Plot: A reporter Donna (Donohue) it trying to expose the truth about an incident that happened in Chesapeake Bay Maryland. What follows is a series of found footage from every source of recording from the time of the incident. With all the panic hitting the town we will learn the fate of all the towns’ people.

 

Verdict: Found Footage outbreak horror

Story: I like a found footage film and this takes a slightly different twist on a very over used idea. I did like the idea of using the footage to cover many different people’s accounts before seeing how they met the demise in the outbreak. The negative of this is that we have zero character development so we don’t really care about the characters involved. The overriding truth of the incident isn’t the most original and quite clear from the opening narrative. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Kether Donohue – Donna the main storyteller and survivor of the outbreak. The only character I could figure to put on here and like everyone else just doesn’t get the screen time you need to make an impact in a film of this impact. (3/10)

 report

Director Review: Barry Levinson – It would be fair to say I would expect better from this director. He does well creating a few shocks but not enough to make a good impact. (5/10)

 

Horror: A few shocks but mainly just trying to create build-up. (5/10)

Thriller: Tries to create a build-up but skips to separate story before using it well. (6/10)

Special Effects: Some good uses of special effects and good use of multiply camera usage. (7/10)

The creature behind the outbreak

The creature behind the outbreak

Believability: Depends how much you believe in cover ups. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: A town that is well known in America that gets a cover up as big as this but the outbreak side is good setting as it shows how an outbreak can happen so quickly. (8/10)

 

Suggestion: I would suggest watching only if it is on while you are bored it offers nothing that you haven’t seen before. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: The overriding conspiracy.

Worst Part: Each scene is too short.

Kill Of The Film: The divers.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Poor found footage film that doesn’t give enough for what is going on

Rating 59

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

logoDirector: Ben Stiller

Writer: Steve Conrad (Screenplay) James Thurber (Short Story)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly, Kathryn Hahn, Terence Bernie Hines, Adam Scott, Paul Fitzgerald, Grace Rex, Sean Bean, Patton Oswalt

 

Plot: A day-dreamer Walter Mitty (Stiller) escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-workers are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. All by trying to track down the final negative for the final copy of the magazine taken by Sean O’Connell (Penn)

 

Verdict: A daydreamer’s adventure

 

Story: Being a day dreamer I would find that this could be something I could relate to, but this is not as much as I thought, I do believe the sense of adventure makes this a good film and the meaning of taking the chance while you still have it works well. Everything works out to be a fun adventure but not as adventurous as I would have liked even though it is a believable adventure. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Ben Stiller: Walter the day dreamer who gets pushed to finally take his own adventure to find a missing slide for the final edition of the magazine while everyone around him is being laid off by the new management for an internet magazine. Stiller is good in the lead role and apart from some of the daft day-dreams gives a very believable performance. (8/10)

 mitty

Kristen Wiig: Cheryl a potential love interest and co-worker of Walter, who helps him on his adventure. Kristen offers a good supporting role to Walter’s adventure. (7/10)

wigg

Adam Scott: Ted the new man in charge of the company who takes an instant dislike to Walter, he is the typical business man who never learns about the company before changing things. Good performance creating a regular businessman you instantly dislike. (8/10)

 scott

Director Review: Ben Stiller – Good direction from Stiller who creates some beautiful scenes to go with a great story. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Good sense of adventure from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting works wonderfully well and each location adds a beauty to the scene. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Good special effects in some of the dream sequences as well as the real events on the adventure. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would only be suggesting trying this, it was quite what I thought but still enjoyable. (Try it)

 

Best Part: The adventure

Worst Part: First few day dreams

Action Scene Of The Film: Volcano

Believability: Tries to relate to people who don’t take chances that could. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Stranger Than Fiction

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $187,360,535

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Stop Dreaming, Start Living.

 

Overall: Dreaming of Adventure, Start One

Rating 78

Spring Breakers (2012)

logoDirector: Harmony Korine

Writer: Harmony Korine (Screenplay)

Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane, Heather Morris

 

Plot: Brit (Benson), Candy (Hudgens), Cotty (Korine) and Faith (Gomez) have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for Spring Break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper Alien (Franco) promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.

 

Verdict: 90 minute music video

Story: The story to use simple words is terrible, the script as worse and this could have just been a music video. All bar one unlikeable characters all just being drunk, stoned and stupid how did this get made? (0/10)

 

Actor Review: James Franco – Alien wannabe gangster who likes to brag about what he has. Franco is a great actor he does create a twisted character but really why is he wasting his time with this? (4/10)

 franco

Actor Review: Selena Gomez – Faith the ‘good’ girl of the group who realizes that things have started to go wrong, leaves a smart character in a film about drinking what is this? The only likeable character and still manages to keep her innocent persona for pop career. (5/10)

gomez

Actor Review: Vanessa Hudgens – Candy one who lasts till the end gets drawn into the world to escape her boring life. Vanessa can do a lot better than this rubbish, but her performance may give her more adult roles now. (3/10)

 vanessa

Actor Review: Ashely Benson – Brit enjoys the escaping of boring life. Like the rest why waste time with this performance. (2/10)

 brit

Actor Review: Rachel Korine – Cotty enjoys the escape until it gets too real. Another wasted chance to show talent. (2/10)

 cotty

Director Review: Harmony Korine – Just terrible direction most of it pointless montages of drugs, drinks, guns and partying. (0/10)

 

Crime: Flimsy use of crime story. (2/10)

Drama: Poor drama (0/10)

Believability: The people on spring break do all sorts this might be too far to look though. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Most settings are just drunk parties or dark scenes at the college. (2/10)

 

Suggestion: it is just rubbish, I am sure someone has made this same ‘story’ in a dance music video some when. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Faith being smart enough to leave.

Worst Part: The script.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: Wish You Were Here

 

Overall: Just watch paint dry for an hour and a half you will enjoy it more

Rating 5

Homefront (2013)

logoDirector: Gary Fleder

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay) Chuck Logan (Novel)

Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth, Marcus Hester, Clancy Brown, Winona Ryder, Omar Benson Miller, Rachelle Lefevre, Frank Grillo

 

Plot: When a bust goes wrong for DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham), he decides to move to a quieter lifestyle. Along with is daughter Maddy (Vidovic), But when a school bully pushes her too far, she fights back Phil gets called in to answer questions. Furious parents Cassie Bodine (Bosworth) and Jimmy Klum (Hester) approach him about the action and get the same treatment.

 

Looking for more of their own justice Cassie gets in contact with her brother Morgan ‘Gator’ Bodine (Franco) the local meth drug lord. When Morgan learns about Broker’s past, what starts as a simple set of mind games turns into a deadly battle to survive after Morgan sees a chance to make his business grow he reaches out to people from Broker’s past. Deadly Cyrus Hanks (Grillo) kidnaps Maddy, Phil uses all his skills to get her back and make the people pay for what they have done.

 

Verdict: No nonsenses action

 

Story: When you hear the outline of this story you will feel like you know what to expect in the end. One of the strong points for the story is that it lets it all brew up before finally unleashing it all at once. This could be a negative for some stories but for this one it works because of Broker character that is only about self-defence. The whole thing starts from something so very petty but the escalation takes it from a small feud and turns in to a war. In the end this is a simple story that gives action fans enough to enjoy. (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Jason Statham: Phil the DEA agent who wants a quiet simple life with his daughter. When his old life gets caught up on him he has to bring back his old ways to save his family. Good performance from Jason doing what he does best. (8/10)

 jason

James Franco: Morgan the small time meth drug lord wanting to make it big and once he finds a way he loses control of the situation. Good performance from Franco who steps into the crazy role ambitious role with ease. (8/10)

franco

Izabela Vidovic: Maddy the daughter of Phil who has self-defence skills that lead her into trouble. Good performance from the young actress. (7/10)

 daughter

Director Review: Gary Fleder – Good direction showing how to make a very good action thriller with a happy ending. (8/10)

 

Action: Plenty of action be it fights, gun battles or chases. (9/10)

Crime: Good elements of crime using a former DEA agent as lead. (8/10)

Thriller: Good thriller as it builds up nicely before unleashing it all. (9/10)

Settings: Good settings that offer a remote idea but don’t truly change the films overall feel. (8/10)
Special Effects
: (/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the action junkies it will fill all the marks for them, but the casual non action fan will not enjoy this too much. (Action Junkies Watch)

 

Best Part: Most of Statham’s fights.

Worst Part: It all ends up being over reaction that starts it all.

Action Scene Of The Film: The attack on the Broker’s house.

Believability: People will go to measure to protect their family. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes it could.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: None

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $43,058,898

Budget: $22million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: How far would you go to protect your home?

Trivia: originally developed screenplay for Rambo film series.

 

Overall: Good Old School Action

Rating 76

Trailer Alert – The Rover

A loner (Guy Pearce) tracks the gang who stole his car from a desolate town in the Australian outback with the forced assistance of a wound guy (Robert Pattinson) left behind in the wake of the theft.

Release Date:  22nd August

Questions:

Could this be Robert Pattinson’s breakout after Twilight?

Looks very intense much like Animal Kingdom can the director deliver again?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 65%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Trailer Alert – The Green Inferno

A group of student activists travel from New York City to the Amazon to save a dying tribe. Unfortunately, they crash in the jungle and are taken hostage by the very natives they protected.

Release Date:  UK N/A, USA -5th September

Questions:

Eli Roth has huge reputation for great shock horror, will this continue his directing legacy?

Cannibal films are very much hit or miss, will this be a hit or miss? I think this will be a hit.

How graphic will the violence be? With Eli Roth behind the camera I think the violence will be very graphic.

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating –75%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

New Releases – 18th April

The Amazing Spiderman 2 – Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of super villains against him, impacting on his life. Look out for Electro, Green Goblin and The Rhino.

spiderman 2

My Guess for Rating – 89%
My Anticipation Rating – 90%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – Yes

Locke – A single phone call causes the life of a successful construction manager to unravel during his drive home. Tom Hardy starts in what looks like the thriller of the year.

locke

My Guess for Rating – 94%
My Anticipation Rating – 99%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Magic, Magic – A naïve young tourist’s road trip across Chile with friends turns into a waking nightmare. Michael Cera in a none comedy, let’s see how he does.

magic magic

My Guess for Rating – 68%
My Anticipation Rating – 50%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Love Punch – A divorced couple scheme to recover the retirement money that was stolen from them.

My Guess for Rating – 70%
My Anticipation Rating – 30%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

We Are The Best – Three girls in 1980s Stockholm decide to form a punk band, despite not having any instruments and being told by everyone that punk is dead.

we are the best

My Guess for Rating – 87%
My Anticipation Rating – 60%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Sea – The story of a man who returns to the sea where he spent his childhood summers in search of peace following the death of his wife.

My Guess for Rating – 77%
My Anticipation Rating – 20%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Trailer Alert – A Most Wanted Man

A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror. Based on a John le Carre novel, and starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman this looks like it could be a contender to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Release Date:  2014.

Questions:

One of the last Philip Seymour Hoffman performances, we it be one that will be remember as a great one? It looks like it could be.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was brilliant; will this be able to stand on the same level?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 87%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Top 5 Sean Bean Roles

Sean Bean with 105 credits to his name Sean is usually the go to guy for a villain as it is well known he has one of the highest totals of screen death in film history. His tough guy persona only builds up when you hear the story of when he was stab and just went back to the bar for another pint. Today I will look at my favourite roles of his.

5. Doctor Bernard Merrick – The Island

5

The Michael Bay action film sees Sean play the villain behind creating human clones so that when the human version of themselves need body parts they take them out of the clone. Merrick has to recruit a team to track down two such clones that have escaped.

4. Ned Stark – Game Of Thrones

4

Ned Stark is one of the potential kings in waiting in the mystical world, Sean was one of the draws for the start of the show and after his shocking death in season one his performance will always be remember.

3. Boromir – Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring

3

Boromir is one of the warriors went to protect Frodo on his adventure to destroy the ring, but when he sees the power he wants it for himself.

2. Partridge – Equilibrium

2

It might only be a small role as Christian Bale’s partner who has started to feel emotions in an emotionless state but his character delivers the catalyst for the future events.

1.       Alec Trevelyan – Goldeneye

1

Bond villain who turns on the service, who ends up with one of the most iconic bond villain deaths.