Jack Black Weekend – Shallow Hall (2001) Movie Review

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Sean Moynihan (Screenplay)

Starring: Gwyenth Paltrow, Jack Black, Jason Alexander, Joe Viterelli, Rene Kirby, Bruce McGill, Anthony Robbins

Plot: A shallow man falls in love with a 300-pound woman because of her inner beauty.


Tagline – True Love Is Worth The Weight!

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sweet Little Comedy

Story: Shallow Hal starts as we meet Hal (Black) who was given advice from his father to never settle always shot for the stars when trying to meet women. Now in adult life he is a nice guy but he only targets models, always striking out, even if his friends try to convince him to learn about the women first.

After getting trapped in an elevator with Anthony Robbins a television hypnotist, he pulls a trick on him to see women for their inner beauty, which sees him meeting Rosemary (Paltrow) seeing her as a beautiful women, when she is really a bigger women, somebody Hal would never give a second glance to, Hal’s best friend Mauricio (Alexander) is getting worried his friend has changed.

Thoughts on Shallow Hal

Characters – Hal saw his father die young giving him one piece of advice, never settle when it comes to the ladies. Keeping that in his mind he has only ever tried to date models, without much success. He gets hypnotised into seeing the inner beauty only which to meet Rosemary a bigger woman he only sees as a beautiful woman, which sees him learn the lesson in life that people are not just what the outside shows. Rosemary is the woman Hal sees as a beautiful model, but she is a bigger girl with a heart of gold, which under the spell that Hal is under he doesn’t see, she is reluctant to let Hal into her life, but eventually believes him to be good. Mauricio is the shallow best friend of Hal’s, they have both only tried to date the beautiful women, he sees something wrong with his friend and tries to fix it. Steve Shanahan is Rosemary’s father and Hal’s boss who sees the positives in Hal, but will protect his daughter at any cost.

PerformancesJack Black in the lead of a comedy like this works wonders, he can play both sides with ease being the charmer that isn’t afraid whether he strikes out or not. Gwyneth Paltrow is great too showing she can handle comedy without needing to be the one running with the jokes. Jason Alexander provides fun supporting role that shows his skills in comedy.

StoryThe story here follows a man Hal that believes he can only date models after being raised to never settle for less, when he gets hypnotised he learns to admire the inner beauty in women never seeing any of their outside flaws like the rest of the world, we are left to see if he can learn to just ignore everything once the spell wears off. This is an interesting look at romance, it shows us just how important trying to find love can be and getting to know a person is more important than anything else. This aside we do seem to have one flaw in the story and that is only some of the people change, while others remain completely the same, which does seem strange and it also only seems to show people that volunteer being less attractive, while the career driven women more than men are seen to be ugly inside. That aside we are focusing more on the struggles that Hal’s friend is facing with his change, more than Hal needing to learn about his changes.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy largely comes from Jack Black, while some of the lines seem awkward when we know the difference between the two Rosemary’s he delivers his comedy in such a confident way it shines through, with the romance being about how falling in love can happen with the person you least expect at times.

SettingsThe film is set in the big city and shows how people can be ignored at times, while other times they could be right there in your life.


Scene of the Movie – Leaving Party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do seem to imply that women who volunteer are beautiful on the inside, not career women.

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that hits most of its marks, it plays into Jack Black’s strengths proving that giving him the right material he can improve any movie.

Overall: Funny for the Most Part.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2019 – L – The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Brenda Chapman (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Donald Glover, Beyonce

Plot: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.


Tagline – Be Prepared.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Animation is Fantastic, the Rest is Terrible

Story: The Lion King starts as a young lion cub Simba learns about the kingdom his father Mufasa rules, he learns his place in the pride and just what he will need to do to be prepared to take over one day. As Simba continues to want to learn about his place, he only gets himself into more trouble, forcing him to leave.

As Simba grows up under the guidance of Timon and Pumbaa, he learns to take life more laidback until Nala finds him, getting Simba to return to end Scar’s reign of terror on the kingdom.

Thoughts on The Lion King

Characters – Simba is the young king to be, he is starts as a cub that is exploring his future kingdom, already wanting to break the rules, as a cub he attitude towards Scar doesn’t make their bond get any better. After he is forced to run and hide after his father’s death, he sees a new lifestyle, until he learns that he must learn his rightful place in pride rock. Scar is the brother to Mufasa, he was next in line to be king before Simba and he wants his chance of being king of the pride, he has always been planning his own ideas to take over, breaking the rules, close to be exiled. Mufasa is the king of pride rock, every animal looks up to him and he protects the land fairly. Zazu is very annoying, it sad that they decide to make more bout the voice actors stand up than an actual character. Timon and Pumbaa are the unlikely partnership of a warthog and a meerkat that helps Simba see life in a different way and want to use him as protection for their own life, they do have excellent chemistry though.

StoryThe story here follows a young lion cub that sees his father killed and must learn his place in the world to reclaim his rightful place as king. This is a remake of the 1994 version of the film, with the story offering little to nothing new to what we saw back then in storytelling, it does seem to make more out of the villainous ways of Scar, with him always holding a grudge against Mufasa, knowing he could never replace him. Simba however is made to feel a lot more annoying as the cub, he is an entitled character who only seems to care about himself. If you want to see the same story, it is a lot easier and more reward to watch the 1994 version.

Adventure/MusicalThe adventure is showing how Simba must learn about his future even after running from his past., the musical side of the film, well we are going to go through the songs comparing them to the originals,

  • The Circle of Life – Weak

  • I Just Can’t Wait to be King – Lacks the Sparkle

  • Be Prepared – Serious what was this?

  • Hakuna Matata – Passable, the best of the songs so far, but still not on the level of magic as the original.

  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Cut too short.

  • Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Oh, Boy this was bad.

  • Spirit is a new song and is the only one that seems to fit this film.

SettingsThe film does recreate the original settings, well but this is more about just how good the animation really is.

AnimationHowever much we can talk about the weaknesses in this film, the one true standout part of the film is the animation which looks beautiful and the team involved should get all the praise in the world.


Scene of the Movie – Timon and Pumbaa’s entrance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Simba is more annoying this time around.

Final Thoughts This is such a pointless remake that only gets the praise for the pure quality of the animation being used, otherwise it just does nothing.

Overall: Just Terribly weak outside of the Animation team.

Hex (2017) Movie Review

Director: George Popov, Jonathan Russell

Writer: George Popov, Jonathan Russell (Screenplay)

Starring: Suzie Frances Garton, Daniel Oldroyd, William Young

Plot: During the English Civil War, two opposing soldiers find themselves trapped in a forest controlled by a Witch.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Uneasy Filled Tension Experience

Story: Hex starts as the English Civil War has seen another battle, two soldiers Richard (Oldroyd) and Thomas (Young) from different sides continue their pursuit of each other through a forest, where they try to stay ahead of each other, until they hear and see a strange figure wondering the forest.

As the two continue their pursuit, they come to the conclusion they must work together to get out of the forest, with the woman, a witch (Garton) holding them within the location and only putting aside their differences could give them a chance to escape.

Thoughts on Hex

Characters – Richard fights for King and Country, willing to use his sword until the end in battle, more in shock that he is the last man standing of his troopers from the battle, he will not believe in any supernatural within the forest. Thomas fights for God, opening with prayer after surviving the battle, would rather hide than fight, as well as understanding the evil that is holding the men in the forest. The Witch appears from a distant, she is controlling what the men see, hear and feel, with her motivations unknown to the soldiers who are desperate to escape.

PerformancesDaniel Oldroyd and William Young do have most of the screen time, they do show both the different backgrounds their characters are from, while also showing the growing paranoia growing within them as the film unfolds.

StoryThe story here follows two soldiers from rival sides of the English Civil War that find themselves trapped by mystical forces in a forest and have to put aside their differences to overcome them. When it comes to battle related stories, we have seen supernatural thrown into sides needing to work together before, mostly around the World Wars, using the Civil War, gives the same effect because we learn about how the soldiers are almost forced into the battle, while deep down they might have different beliefs, they just want to survive and live, this is once again shown in the story. When it comes to the haunting side of the story, we do get everything we would expect, with the past being the easiest thing for them to be haunted by. We do get plenty of slowly built up moments in the story, with some being more effective than others, we do get a lot of walking through the forest, over trying to unlock the truth.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from first the effects of the war, and secondly how the two soldiers are being controlled by the evil forces from a witch, we get a couple of slowly built up moments, which will have horror outcomes too.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the forest, it will keep the two men trapped, provide cover and double takes, to make sure they are seeing thing correctly, everything about the location only helps build the paranoia the two are suffering through.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are kept to the minimal, when they are needed, we get the shock moments in the film.


Scene of the Movie – Why haven’t you taken your shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do have too many just walking in silence moments.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that is easy to watch, it does try to build us up with unease and tension with some moments coming off very well, while others might well just fizzle out.

Overall: Nice Horror.