Hot Air (2018) Movie Review

Director: Frank Coraci

Writer: Will Reichel (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Coogan, Taylor Russell, Neve Campbell, griffin Newman, Pico Alexander, Tina Benko, Lawrence Gilliard Jr

Plot: A right wing talk show host’s life takes a sudden turn when his 16 year old niece comes crashing into his life.

Tagline – We all have a voice. Just be careful how you use it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Family is Important 101

Story: Hot Air starts when Tess (Russell) heads to New York City to find her estranged Uncle Lionel (Coogan) a right wing talk show host. While Lionel isn’t happy about Tess turning up on his doorstep, he reluctantly lets her stay because she has nowhere else to go, he even offers her a job, while he gets used to being in the city.

As Tess learns about Lionel’s show, she starts to question why he speaks and act the way he does, shooting down everyone he goes against his right wing opinions.

Thoughts on Hot Air

Characters – Lionel is a right wing talk show host, he will put anyone back in their place, if they go against his beliefs. He has become distant from his family and his ruthless attitude sees people working in fear of him. He isn’t interested when his niece comes to visit him, seeing him being the only family member left in her life, he opens up to her unlike many other people, while seeing his career needing saving from a younger rival. Tess is the 16-year-old niece who comes to Lionel, her uncle, as her mother has checked into rehab, she has a brilliant future at her feet, with her intelligence, being something that Lionel shows more respect for than most people around him. Val is the partner of Lionel, she supports him and is the one that will talk him into letting Tess stay around, giving Tess the family experience for the time together.

PerformancesSteve Coogan is great in the leading role, he brings to life a character that isn’t afraid to stop before saying something controversial. Taylor Russell is filled with the innocence nature through the film, it helps her shine in the film too. Neve Campbell does hit the support role well through the film to complete the cast well.

StoryThe story here follows a 16-year-old girl that turns to her Uncle while her mother is in rehab, the two have never met and now have a strange relationship, which sees the walls to his brutally honest lifestyle, while she is constantly trying to remain strong through the difficult situation in her life. This is a story that focuses on the importance of family and how no matter how distant they are, they will find a way to be there for you. It isn’t the most original in how everything is presented, but is an easy watch for a story.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, which in the eyes of Tess is big and new, filled with opportunity, a chance of something great.

Scene of the Movie – Still my show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough is made of the first meeting.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book drama, but one that is elevated by the performances of Coogan and Russell, with the heart piece on celebrating family.

Overall: Performance Driven Movie.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – U – Unlovable (2018)

Director: Suzi Yoonessi

Writer: Charlene deGuzman, Sarah Adina Smith, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlene deGuzman, John Hawkes, Melissa Leo, Paul James, Ellen Geer, Jake McDorman, Gigette Reyes

Plot: A sex and love addicted woman learns what real intimacy is when she starts making music with a reclusive man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Friendship Story

Story: Unlovable starts as we meet Joy (deGuzman) who is a sex and love addict, she is constantly scared of being alone in life, despite having a boyfriend in Ben (James), she works in children’s television and has turned to a support group for help.

Reaching breaking point Joy turns to Maddie (Leo) to help her with her problems, which sees her moving to a new apartment for a month where she is cut off from everybody or any temptation, here she meets Jim (Hawkes) and she gets to learn to channel her addiction into music.

Thoughts on Unlovable

Characters – Joy is the love and sex addict, she has always needed a man in her life and even when she has one, she will go behind their back when she is lonely, she seeks help from a support group, but finds it hard to get over her problems until she finds music, which gives her a new outlet in life, to help her move on in life. Jim is the neighbour at the support group, he does have his own problems and cares for his grandmother, his outlet is music and he lets Joy into his world through a new friendship. Maddie is the sponsor at the support group that offers Joy a place to stay to get over her addictions, even if she isn’t happy with the new friendship between Joy and her brother. Ben is the boyfriend that Joy can’t get over, he doesn’t like her cheating on him, but he doesn’t give her the time required, he suggests her to get help.

PerformancesCharlene deGuzman is strong in this film, she does show the addiction taking over her character’s life and the regret after slipping off the wagon. John Hawkes is the best performer in the film, where he shows his class throughout the film, Melissa Leo is great too, showing that her character is going through her own struggles.

StoryThe story here follows a sex and love addict whose addiction has cost her, her relationship, job and house, seeking help she must learn to control her urges and find something to keep her busy in life, which she does in music. This story might well come up a little short in length, but does show us how addiction can control somebody’s life to an extent that it will cost them everything, the friendship angle and bond through music is the strongest part of the story because it shows us that we could find a mutual passion for something outside our own comfort zone. As mentioned the length of the film is short, which does take away from some of the real-world side of the film, like how Joy could afford a new apartment after losing her job, does she get a new job, what is her skills etc.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy does fall slightly short here, most of the comedy comes from Joy being embarrassed more often than not. The music comes from how the two bond.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in one location where Joy goes to recover from her addiction, it does show two people can meet to help each other.

Scene of the Movie – The first song together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Joy is very nosy.

Final Thoughts This is a good look at how friendship can come from the least likely place, it shows us that we can all help each other through the toughest times in life.

Overall: Friendship drama 101

Endless (2020) Movie Review

Director: Scott Speer

Writer: Andre Case, Oneil Sharma (Screenplay) Andre Case (Story)

Starring: Alexandra Shipp, Nicholas Hamilton, DeRon Horton, Ian Tracey, Catherine Lough Haggquist

Plot: When madly in love high school graduates Riley and Chris are separated by a tragic car accident, Riley blames herself for her boyfriend’s death while Chris is stranded in limbo. Miraculously, the two find a way to connect.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Endless starts high school graduates Riley (Shipp) and Chris (Hamilton), they believe they are going to be together forever until Riley gets accepted into a college outside of town, with the pair needing to sort out their future, the drive home will take a tragic turn when they are involved in an accident, with Chris being killed and caught up in limbo, while Riley is left filled with the guilt of what happened.

While Riley is caught up feeling lost and alone after the death, Chris is learning to adapt to limbo with Jordan (Horton) guiding him around, Chris does start to watch over Riley, with a faint connection between the two, could it be more than just a connection.

Thoughts on Endless

Characters – Riley is an art student who is about to get into Georgetown, which will see her need to move into a long distance relationship with the love of her life Chris, only for him to die in a car crash, one where she was driving, left filled with the guilt about the accident, she doesn’t know what to do with her life, until she gets to have the message from Chris, giving him a connection she desperately wants. Chris finds himself stuck in limbo after his death, he wants to watch over Riley, being guided by another man stuck in limbo, he does start to connect with her once again, but it comes at a price, one he isn’t willing to pay. Jordan is guiding Chris around Limbo, he has been there for decades now, with his story about his death being kept away from the Chris until the time it is needed for motivation. We do have the friends of the couple that are trying to support Riley, while having her own problems with what happened, as well as the parents who have seen the shocking incident.

PerformancesAlexandra Shipp is wonderful in the leading role, showing us all the pain, she is going through after coming off filled with life before the accident. Nicholas Hamilton does work well with Alexandra in their scenes, but not always the best in the solo sequences. The rest of the cast do work well through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that get separated after a car accident, one left with guilt, with the other stuck in limbo, the pair look to reconnect, but this connection would come at price. This is a look at just how difficult losing a loved one would be, first on the survivor of an accident, filled with guilt, while the one stuck in limbo doesn’t know how to say goodbye, we get moments that do feel like ghost, but deep down we are trying to pull on the heartstrings more than anything else. The story will want to be emotional impact on the audience.

RomanceThe romance in film shows how a couple who are separated by death will be left being drawn together again, despite being away from each other.

SettingsThe film uses a lake setting as one of the most important for the connection, while the home life shows how the lives have been changed.

Scene of the Movie – The first lake meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough about why Jordan is still in limbo after all these years.

Final Thoughts Endless shows us how love will last forever in the right minds and lovers will be drawn together even in the afterlife.

Endless will be available on Digital Download from 23rd November and can be a pre-ordered here