Ashley Jones is Perfectly Normal (2021) Movie Review ‘Charming Comedy’

Ashley Jones is Perfectly Normal – Charming Comedy

 

Director: Thomas Bangert

Writer: Thomas Bangert, Kev Stock (Screenplay)

Starring: Hana Yuka Sano, Loa Allebach, Chris Yeschenko, Coby J Marcum, Hallie Newcomer, Marc Herrmann

Plot: Desperate to get her life back to normal after a surprisingly uncommon medical diagnosis, Ashley Jones is forced to examine what “normalcy” really means in a world of mistaken identities, very old, old friends, and poisoned meatballs.

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Ashley Jones is Perfectly Normal starts as we meet Ashley Jones (Sano) a reporter whose is living with Larry (Yeschenko) living a perfectly normal life of routine. Ashley’s life is about to change when she wakes up with Foreign Accent Syndrome, with a thick Japanese accent she never had before.

As Ashley sees her stable life start to fall apart, she starts to try and adapt to the changes, giving her a chance to recreate herself in the process after a chance encounter with Evie (Allebach) who claims to be over 500,000 years old.

Thoughts on Ashley Jones is Perfectly Normal

Characters & Performances – Ashley Jones is reporter, she has a perfectly normal life with her partner, her routine and her job, where everything ticks by as she plans. Here life changes when she gets the unexplained medical condition, Foreign Accent Syndrome, losing her American accent, now having a Japanese one. This will put her career, relationship and friendship position in question, as she looks to adapt to the changes, learning there is something better in life than being perfectly normal. Hana Yuka Sano is great in this leading role, where she must go through a range of emotions as she tries to find the cure to what is happening in her life. Evie is the stranger that Ashley meets, she claims to be 500,000 years old, having knowledge about history that not everyone should know, creating a mystery about whether she is telling the truth of not. Loa Allebach adds the mystery about her character, while balancing another side which could be more of the reality about her. When we look at the rest of the cast, we have Larry who is the partner of Ashley, who fills the routine life perfectly, Bruce is Ashley’s boss aiming to ratings over anything else.

StoryThe story here follows a reporter who has a perfectly normal life until one day she has a new medical condition, which will see her needing to figure out what happened, creating a new version of herself along the way. This is a story told with narration, which does give us the ‘500 Days of Summer’ vibe about certain moments, while the main story will be a story of self-discovery, that highlights how easily people can get caught up in the middle of a safe normality life, never wanting to walk outside their comfort zone. The story will have plenty of cuts to different visions of life through the eyes of Ashley along the way.

ThemesAshley Jones is Perfectly Normal is a comedy that will look to bring everyday life, as Ashley looks to learn about the change, with her imagination taking over how life could go for her, some will be darker than others, which are filled with cheer. Expectation vs reality if you like.

Final Thoughts Ashley Jones is Perfectly Normal is an enjoyable comedy that will show how life doesn’t need to be perfectly normal.

tick, tick…Boom! (2021) Movie Review ‘A Truly Exceptional Movie’

Tick, Tick…Boom! – A Truly Exceptional Movie

 

Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Writer: Steven Levenson (Screenplay) Jonathan Larson (Musical)

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesus, Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry, Jonathan Marc Sherman

Plot: On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City.


Tagline – How much time do we have to do something great?

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Tick, Tick…Boom! Starts as we meet aspiring playwright working in a small diner Jon (Garfield) as he looks to complete the play he has been working on for years, starting to think he is getting too old to make the impact many others have in the industry.

As Jon is given a chance to build his latest musical, he starts to turn heads in the industry, but it will come at a price, as he starts to see his friendship, relationships being put on the backburner, as the pressure grows to become a success.

Thoughts on Tick, Tick…Boom!

Characters & Performances – Jon is about to hit 30-years-old chasing his dream in New York city of becoming a playwright, he has surrounded himself with fellow dreamers, but has doubts over his potential to become the star he wants to become. He has been working on his project for years now, before he gets the shot to present it, seeing it as his last chance to make that impact. Jon must see his friends pass away around him, his girlfriend drifts away, while his best friend starts to take his life more seriously, giving up on his dreams, piling the pressure on Jon to ignore the warnings around him. Andrew Garfield gives a career best performance here, where he brings this man to life in the creative genius he was. The story is Jon’s here, we do meet the supporting people in his lives, his girlfriend Susan, best friend Michael and new star Karessa who all have their own problems in life, problems that Jon didn’t make time for and have different reactions to his involvement in their lives. The supporting cast are excellent too, with Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesus and Vanessa Hudgens shining through their big musical numbers.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Jon Larson an aspiring playwright who believes he is running out of time to succeed on his breakthrough play, as he turns his dream into his latest play telling the story of the difficult years. This is a brilliant way to tell the story, using the concept of the shorter play to transition into the different moments that led us to this play. The idea that people who are reaching 30 can start questioning their lives, from chasing dreams t taking the time to give up on them for a safer future. This gets to highlight how talent can be trapped behind potential that others might not see, where people might give up on but the support around you is the thing that can push to the succeed.

ThemesTick, Tick…Boom! Is a musical biopic that will bring some of the biggest musical numbers of the year, while showing the struggle playwright Jon Larson is trying to make the impact in the industry, struggling under the pressure to succeed. The songs are going to be ones that will stick for days, weeks or even months, making us want to return to them for a second or third round.

Final Thoughts Tick, Tick…Boom! Is a joyful vision of how dreams are always worth chasing.

ABC Film Challenge – Adventure – S – Sorcerer (1977) Movie Review

Director: William Friedkin

Writer: Walon Green (Screenplay) Georges Arnaud (Novel)

Starring: Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou, Ramon Bieri, Peter Capell

Plot: Four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitro-glycerine across dangerous Latin American jungle.


Tagline – WANTED. Four men willing to drive a cargo of death to escape a life in hell.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Sorcerer starts as we meet Scanlon (Scheider), Victor Manzon (Cremer), Nilo (Rabal) and Kassem (Amidou) who are all running from their past to avoid criminal repercussions in a small South American village.

After the village suffers a tragedy involving the nitro-glycerine, many of the locals are killed, leading to the owners needing people to step up to restore the supply, with the four men being pushed into the job that could secure their freedom or at least fund their next few years.

Thoughts on Sorcerer

ThoughtsSorcerer is a movie that will put four criminals, from four different worlds together in a position where they will need to work together to transport a highly explosive material across South America, needing to work together to solve the problems they find along the way. This is an interesting concept for a film, showing us just how an unlikely group of people will need to be able to work together to solve problems while risking their lives. The performances are strong throughout from the four leads, but it does fall into the position of not giving us enough about why this journey needed to become so dangerous, if it is so important, they should have made a safer route by now. We do get the tense scenes when the four are in a difficult spot, needing to get through before it is too late, which are easily the best parts of the film.

Final Thoughts Sorcerer is an intense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.