Paul Newman Weekend – The Color of Money (1986)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Richard Price (Screenplay) Walter Tevis (Novel)

Starring: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver, John Turturro, Bill Cobbs, Forest Whitaker

 

Plot: Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.


Tagline – The Hustler isn’t what he used to be, but he has the next best thing. A kid who is.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Smart Sequel

 

Story: The Colour of Money starts when cocky young pool player Vincent Lauria (Cruise) arrives in Fast Eddie Felson (Newman) bar hustling pool against his best player Julian (Turturro). Eddie takes a shine to Vincent and talks his girlfriend Carmen (Mastrantonio) into going on the road to hustle teaching him the ropes.

As Eddie and Carmen try to control Vincent, Eddie learns that Vincent’s flare will keep taking over as he constantly wants to show off, the game has changed too, but this does give Eddie the desire to make a comeback.

 

Thoughts on The Colour of Money

 

Characters – Fast Eddie Felson is now out of the pool game and moved onto the liquor business, when he see Vincent in a bar he wants to take him under his wing and show him the art of the hustle, he is strict with his instructions and gets dreams of a comeback one day, to a life he walked away. Vincent Lauria is the hot shot young pool player that shines in the 9-ball game, he is overly confident and doesn’t follow instructions given to him with his own decisions being his downfall at making the big money early on. Carmen is the girlfriend of Vincent, she understands the rules of the hustle and needs to learn to control Vincent to achieve the highest return on the investments.

PerformancesPaul Newman returns to the character of Fast Eddie Felson, he returns with a bang and shines from the opening scene to the closing as we see his character go through retirement to getting obsessed with a game that nearly ruined his life. Tom Cruise is great as the overly confident player, we see that he is going to be a big star with this role. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is great too, we see how the she can control her player and stand up and be counted in the mostly male world.

StoryThe story follows the return to Fast Eddie Felson, a man we met in The Hustler, we see how he is out of the game now and still making money in his field as a salesman. We see how he sees potential in a new player to help him get back on the road and hustle again, maybe not the playing side, but the investing side. We get to focus on a veteran returning to the sport he loved to prove he is still the best, proving at any age you can return to the sport you love. Seeing how the game has changed from the straight pool style we knew to the 9-ball is the biggest change.

SportsThe table is the same, the game has changed, the pool is now 9-ball a faster version of pool, one that is a lot harder to hustle in because of the increased lucky involved at times, this doesn’t get addressed enough for me because I know how this game can play out and I will admit there is skill involved, this isn’t as skilful as the straight pool we saw in the first film.

SettingsThe film shows us the different styles of pool halls where Eddie tries to teach Vincent, we get the feeling everyone is a local in the hall too.


Scene of the Movie –
The tournament.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Which I know more money can come from hustling, I never understood why Eddie doesn’t go pro.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great sequel to one of the best films of all time, Paul Newman showed us all that he will always be one of the coolest and best actors we ever had, while Cruise makes the big impact.

 

Overall: Strikes the right buttons all game long.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Best of 2018 – # – Eighth Grade (2018)

Director: Bo Burnham

Writer: Bo Burnham (Screenplay)

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Daniel Zolghadri, Fred Hechinger

 

Plot: An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Surprising Look at Middle School Life

 

Story: Eight Grade starts as we meet teenage girl Kayla (Fisher), she has her own YouTube channel where she tries to provide confidence to her viewers while being brand the ‘quietest’ girl in school on her final week of eighth grade before moving onto high school.

We see how Kayla decides to make the most of the final week, by becoming more confident and even attending a party which is against anything she would normally do. Kayla is preparing for high school while battling her own problems inside, being confident on camera and a nervous wreck in person.

 

Thoughts on Eighth Grade

 

Characters – Kayla is in her final week of eighth grade, she is a quiet student, shy from her fellow students, but in her home, she puts herself forward as a confident YouTuber trying to promote people to be themselves not worrying about what people think or say. She is branded the quietest girl in her grade which makes her depressed and alone because of the lack of friends in her life. She does befriend her high school shadow believing life could be different when she gets to high school, but like all school kids they are addicted to their phones. Mark is Kayla’s father that is trying his hardest to let her have her space grow up on her own, he does however want to make sure she is safe in her own life, he does have to take a lot of abuse from his daughter who won’t open up to him. Olivia is a high school student that Kayla must shadow for a day, she is one of the first people that opens up to Kayla about being herself in life. Gabe is one of the few people her age that talks to her like nothing is different between them, willing to be away from their phone.

PerformancesElsie Fisher is outstanding in the leading role of this film, she shows every moment of anxiety a school student could be going through with each decision process her character must go through. Josh Hamilton is wonderful in the father role, he shows us how parents can be there without interfering with their child’s life, giving us the perfect expressions to deal with the situations. The rest of the cast do fit their generic school figures without being involved in anything different.

StoryThe story here follows Kayla a middle school student that hasn’t got any friends about to get through the high school with her final week being her time to take the risks she had never imagined taking, all this while she tries to discover her place in the world. this is a surprisingly look at how school kids even as young as Kayla operate with mobiles pretty much glued to their hands, not wanting to have a conversation with an actually person. This does show us how difficult school can be for an outsider and how people need to be accepting people whoever they are.

ComedyThe film does offer us laughs at times, they blend well with the serious moments which show us just how difficult this moment in life will be for Kayla.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us any major solo setting we mostly follow the different locations that Kayla visits to be outside her normal self.


Scene of the Movie –
The last video.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The back seat.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard hitting look at school life for you Kayla, we see how difficult her time can be and how she gets through without letting anybody bother her.

 

Overall: Harsh reality of school exposed.

Rating

 

 

Cecil (2019)

Director: Spenser Fritz

Writer: Spenser Fritz (Screenplay)

Starring: Sark Asadourian, Jason London, Jenna von Oy, Valeria Jane Parker, Christa Beth Campbell, Aaron Munoz, Avary Anderson

 

Plot: It’s 1996 and 4th grader, Cecil Stevens, is reminded of his terrible lisp every time he says his name. To avoid social travesty, Cecil decides to change his hard to pronounce name to the one and only, Michael Jordan.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Will Make the Kids Laugh

 

Story: Cecil starts when Cecil Stevens (Asadourian) starts a new school, joined by Abby (Campbell) who fills him in with the dos and don’ts of school to make it through the day, which includes trying to help Cecil with his lisp which makes his name impossible to say without showing his lisp. Abby suggests using a different name, the one he picks is Michael Jordan.

Michael soon rising in popularity in the school, which starts a trend for the kids to change their names, while working with Abby to learn a deeper problem within the school hierarchy.

 

Thoughts on Cecil

 

Characters – Cecil is the new kid in school, he has a terrible lisp which sees him becoming an easy target for bullies, he does discover he can change his name, which helps him fit in more. Cecil must learn to accept his difference and being friends with everyone in the school isn’t going to be easy. Abby writes the school newspaper and helps Cecil learn the lay of the land of the school, while she investigates why the school is going through the number of cuts it is. Tim and Lorrie are the parents that are going through their own problems which has led to Cecil needing to change school.

PerformancesSark Asadourian and Christa Beth Campbell as our leading children performers are both strong in their roles because we can see they are enjoying themselves while being these characters. the adult actors know when to be over the top which will help the target audience enjoy the film.

StoryThe story here focuses on the school life of young Cecil Stevens as he must adapt to a new school with a lisp which the bullies are taking as an easy target. We deal with issues such as popularity in school, accepting your own imperfections and the friends who are true to you in life. Sure, the story is targeted towards the young audience, which explains certain storytelling decisions going on through the film. We get to learn about the struggles of personal lives of children who are in the middle of their own parent’s relationship problems too. It would be easy to argue that one of the teachers, Ms Baker is way too much to take for any student.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy in the film comes from the mishaps from the school, it might not be for the older audience, but the kids will enjoy the laughs coming from the film.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the school setting which shows how big and complicated life can become for any of the kids growing up at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
The name montage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The principal is completely unrealistic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that hits the perfect target audience, the kids will get the laughs required and learn the life lessons about treating people equally.

 

Overall: The kids will enjoy this one.

Rating