Elizabeth Banks Weekend – Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Katie Morgan, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Justin Long, Brandon Routh

 

Plot: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.


Tagline – What would you do to get out of debt? 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raunchy Comedy Fun

 

Story: Zack and Miri Make a Porno starts as we meet two friends Miri (Banks) and Zack (Rogen) from high school struggling to make ends meet in their apartment. When twos debts continue to rise they turn to one idea, to make a porno.

Zack, Miri and their friend Delaney (Robinson) set out for audiences and move forward with this idea hiring Lester (Mewes), Stacey (Morgan), Barry (Mabe) and Bubbles (Lords) and set off to make their own Star Wars porn parody, until things take a turn and they must come up with a new plan, but it works out better for them.

 

Thoughts on Zack and Miri Makes a Porno

 

Characters – Zack is a coffee barista that lives with Miri, he isn’t the most ambitious just wants to have a good simple life, he suggests making a porn movie to raise the money for bills, but this plays into his deeper feelings for Miri. Miri lives with Zack, she did want more from her life, but for now she is happy enough, she doesn’t believe she could have feelings for Zack which soon start changing when the two will need to have sex.  Delaney is the co-worker of Zack’s married since high school who jumps at the chance to produce the porn movie. The rest of the characters we meet are the stars of the porn movie they are making, but we don’t learn too much from them.

PerformancesSeth Rogen had this role written for him, you can see that in his performance where he might be typical funny Rogen which is what we wanted from this movie. Elizabeth Banks is good here, she is always good at comedy, but this is her raunchy side we hadn’t seen before and she delivers. The supporting cast get their laughs when needed which shows how comic timing works at certain times.

StoryThe story follows two close friends that need to find a way to make ends meet which turns into a porno, like you do. It plays into the idea that men and women would struggle to remain friends after sex when it was one of the only options to make ends meet after growing debt. The story doesn’t hit the heights it could but for the most part if you are going into a Seth Rogen comedy you know it isn’t going to be the deepest off films.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does hit for the target audience it is on a raunchy level, which does take away from the romantic side of the film which doesn’t work to level it should for where the film aims to go.

SettingsThe settings show us how you could go around making your own home-made porn movie with a small group of friends. It shows you can make it in the right locations without having to pay extra.


Scene of the Movie –
Zack and Miri sex scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It goes too heavily into the raunchy side at times.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a raunchy comedy this will keep you happy, but if you don’t want to see a sex heavy comedy you will not enjoy and most likely being skipping this one.

 

Overall: Rogen Fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Cassidy Red (2018)

Director: Matt Knudsen

Writer: Matt Knudsen (Screenplay)

Starring: Abby Eiland, David Thomas Jenkins, Jason Grasl, Jessy Knudsen, Gregory Zaragoza, Rick Cramer, Lola Kelly

 

Plot: Cassidy Red is a western romance set against the backdrop of the 19th century American southwest. The film follows the headstrong daughter of a prostitute who returns to her hometown, seeking vengeance against the corrupt lawman she believes murdered her lover.


Tagline – Hell hath no fury…

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Western Adventure

 

Story: Cassidy Red starts with the town’s storyteller Cricket (Zaragoza) telling Quinn (Knudsen) the story of Joe Cassidy (Eiland). Joe is out for revenge on her ex-fiancée Tom Hayes (Jenkins) that has killed her new fiancée Jakob (Grasl). The story isn’t as simple as this though, the three grow up together, Tom and Jakob going from different backgrounds and we see the training Joe must go through to prepare for her own vengeance.

 

Thoughts on Cassidy Red

 

Characters – Joe Cassidy is a woman that grew up to with both Tom and Jakob, after falling in love with one she only finds herself going on a revenge mission after the other kills the one she fell in love. This is a strong character, we focus on how she was loyal to her mother, dealt with her father’s flaws and would follow love over money. Tom is the son of a rich member of the town, he has seen his family kill for their own success, but the one thing he can’t buy is Joe’s love, which cause him targets them both. Jakob is an apache boy that gets adopted by Tom’s family only for him to steal Joe’s heart from under Tom. He shows Joe a different life of happiness over money.

PerformancesAbby Eiland in the leading role is one of the two strongest performances in the film, she shines in this leading role. David Thomas Jenkins does give us the second strong performance, as the villain of the piece, he gives us a performance which feels just as twisted as his character needs to be. While I don’t think Jason Grasl gets enough time to show everything he has, this is mostly done to wanting to make the Joe character a stronger force than the Jakob one.

StoryThe story here throws us into a love triangle in the old west that is spiked with revenge, while this does sound like it should be a tried and tested formula that we all know and enjoy, this story takes a spin on this which does make things feel refreshing, but does feel like an extra chapter in the ‘Red Dead Redemption’ game franchise, as we follow the steps which become more challenging as the story unfolds. This is a fun story to watch along with even if moments of the timeline can jump in places.

Action/Adventure/Romance/WesternThe action is the gunslinger style we know, it works, but isn’t the most original to the genre. The love triangle gives us the motivation for the story, with the western genre being used to show us the environment we are watching the battle unfold in.

SettingsThe film is set in the wild west, the town could be any because in that time, the towns nearly all look the same and ran the same.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are used sparingly which helps because we don’t have any over the top bloodshed for the gun battles.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning to shoot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One twist comes too early.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good western that gives us a good love triangle to see unfold, with twists along the way and a strong final showdown.

 

Overall: The western stands strong.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – K – Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Director: Robert Benton

Writer: Robert Benton (Screenplay) Avery Corman (Novel)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry, Howard Duff, George Coe

 

Plot: Ted Kramer’s wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple’s son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.


Tagline – There are three sides to this love story!

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterclass

 

Story: Kramer vs Kramer starts as Joanna Kramer (Streep) walks out on her businessman husband Ted (Hoffman) leaving him to raise their child Billy (Henry). Ted must learn how to be a single parent while also keeping his career on path because he is on the verge of one of his biggest moments of his career.

15 months later Joanna reappears in the Ted’s life wanting custody which leads to a heated custody battle between the parents while Ted must deal with his own career problems.

 

Thoughts on Kramer vs. Kramer

 

Characters – Ted Kramer is a busy marketing man whose wife walks out on him leaving him to raise his child alone, the added responsibility of raising his son, his work starts to get comprised but it is when his wife returns, where Ted must fight for full custody of his own son. Joanna is the wife that walks out on the family, when she returns she wants to have custody of her son again, we don’t learn much else about her during the time which disappoints. Margaret is the neighbour that is there for Ted during his tough times. Billy is the child that finds himself in the middle of the custody battle after 15 months with just his father.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman gives us an acting masterclass here showing he can give us an Oscar worthy performance given the right material. Meryl Streep is fantastic in the supporting role showing us just how good her talent was going to be. Justin Henry gives on of the best child actors performances too in this film.

StoryThe story follows one man needing to learn to be a better father once he is left alone with his son, before turning into a custody battle, which has become an all too often event in the modern world. Seeing how the custody battle unfolds brings us into the reality of how difficult a job being a single parent holding down the job on demanding success level can be. We learn how wrong the system appears to be in one of the most powerful films you will see.

SettingsThe New York setting shows how busy the lives of the people involved would be.


Scene of the Movie –
The aftermath of the case in the park.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel we could have learnt a lot more about Joanna’s motivation during the 15-months too.

Award Wins: Won 5 Oscars

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most powerful, perfectly acted movies you will ever see, the emotions you will feel will leave you broken for what is one of the best films ever made.

 

Overall: Easily one of the greatest films of all time.

Rating