Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

Director: Jake Szymanski

Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root, Stephanie Faracy

 

Plot: Two hard-partying brothers place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by an uncontrollable duo.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Comedy

 

Story: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates starts as we meet brothers Dave (Efron) and Mike (Devine) who are full party animals but when their reputation puts them in a hard place when it comes to their sister’s wedding, the two told if they don’t bring dates to the wedding they can’t go to the wedding. On the other side of town, we meet the party animals in Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza) who recently lose their jobs.

Mike and Dave put an add up on craigslist looking for dates, this goes viral and they go through all the creeps, but when Tatiana and Alice learn about the ad, they go out of their way to get selected for the holiday to Hawaii for the wedding. Can the boys behave themselves for one weekend and keep the girls under control.

 

Thoughts on Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

 

Characters/PerformanceDave is the slightly more sensible of the two brothers’ but he has always followed his brother’s lead. Mike is the loud mouth brother who always finds himself talking into trouble but because of his better-looking brother his confidence remains high. Alice was once a nice girl but since she was left at the alter she has become depressed needing to turn to drink always getting both her friends together. Tatiana is the one that miss-leads Alice with her attitude believe she has the power to control any guy. These characters are a nice mix with Mike and Tatiana being the extra over the top supporting pairing. Dave you can see is a character with dreams he just needs someone to push him forward and Alice is a very confusing character because around Dave she is a broken woman but around Tatiana she is the a stoner character which seems too opposite.

Performance wise, Zac Efron is good in this role because he does end up going through a wider range of comedy through the film. Anna Kendrick does struggle with this role because she doesn’t have the look to come off as a stoner type of character, she is usually the sweet girl. Adam Devine and Aubrey Plaza both give us the performance we expect from them both where the jokes do most of the work.

StoryThe story should focus more on the brothers learning they need to grow up when their own sister is getting married but we focus too much on the party animals involved in the story. we struggle to focus on any side of the story enough and the strong ending doesn’t come off strong enough once we get there.

Adventure/Comedy/RomanceThe adventure is the holiday which I all what you expect, the comedy is a mix of raunchy sex comedy which sometimes hits and other times goes too far. The romance side is loose but doesn’t click for the characters enough.

SettingsHawaii will always be a beautiful setting for the film and gives us the sun, sea for the holiday around the wedding.

Final ThoughtsThis comedy is easily in the middle of the road when it comes to the raunchy side, it goes passed Wedding Crashers but doesn’t go full Rogen.

 

Overall: Raunchy comedy that isn’t going to be for everyone.

Rating

 

 

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Black Panther (2018)

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letita Wright, Sterling K Brown

 

Plot: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.


Tagline – The Avengers have a new king.

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Specular Visual Superhero Movie

 

Story: Black Panther starts after the events of Civil War, T’Challa (Boseman) returns Wakanda to claim his throne as the king of Wakanda after his father’s death. going through the ceremony with the rest of the people including his ex-love Nakia (Nyong’o), most trusted general Okoye (Gurira), little sister Shuri (Wright) and leaders Ramonda (Bassett), Zuri (Whitaker) and W’Kabi (Kaluuya).

Being the new king of Wakanda his first mission is to track down former enemy Ulysses Klaue (Serkis) who is planning to sale a Wakanda weapon which brings back an old friend Everett Ross (Freeman) and a strange who believes he has the right for the throne in Erik Killmonger (Jordan), can this battle be the one that shows T’Challa his rightful place as the king and the Black Panther.

 

Thoughts on Black Panther

 

Characters – T’Challa is the new king of Wakanda, he wants to continue the calm peaceful reign like his father, but will need to face his father’s past to bring the new future for the technological advanced society. He has the expert combat skills, the calmness to be a leader and following rituals like the leaders of his past have. Erik Killmonger is a mercenary that knows he has a right to the throne and will go to any lengths to take the throne. He has an impresses kill count in battle which makes him a deadly enemy. Nakia is the former partner of T’Challa, she returns to support him and wants to see him open the technology of Wakanda to the world after her work as a spy around the world. Okoye is the greatest warrior in Wakanda, she must stay loyal to the throne regardless of if she believes in the leader of not. Shuri is the younger sister of T’Challa, she works on the weapons being the bubbly gadget lady that makes the most jokes and easily steals the scenes she is in. we have plenty of other characters with some being inside Wakanda, others being enemies and others being friends in waiting.

PerformancesChadwick Boseman is wonderful in this leading role, he bought us everything we got from Civil War and made us only want more from his character. Michael B Jordan gives us a great villainous performance that is as complex and he is deadly. Lupita is good in her role as she offers Chadwick a difficult set of decisions. Dania gives us the kick ass character and one we know she can play well. For me Letita Wright is the breakout star from this movie, being able to steal nearly every scene is something that will get people talking. In fairness the whole cast is great throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows T’Challa and his rise to be the king and the next Black Panther, he must come to face the new challenges of being a leader, be it the conflict within or the conflict from the outside world. He must make the difficult decisions which could bring his people to a new stage to the world. This is a good introduction to this character and his world, which does have moments which you will have seen in other movies, but works enough to make this stand out on its own.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action sequences are wonderful to witness, we have brilliant camera work which will make one certain moment truly seem original and stand out. The adventure takes us to this new world, technology advanced from the rest of the world. The sci-fi world we enter isn’t like anything we could imagine seeing in the middle of the rain forest.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to make every location feel different from the last, this helps us enjoy the environments we are entering.

Special EffectsThe effects can’t be faulted once, they all look spectacular making this one of the best visual experience of the year so far.


Scene of the Movie –
South Korea fight sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I felt moments of comedy missed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful addition to the MCU, we get to learn more about The Black Panther character and the world he is from, which only makes us want to see more of this in the future.

 

Overall: Brilliant addition that still stands out as one.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – N – Nebraska (2013)

nebrakaDirector: Alexander Payne

Writer: Bob Nelson (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach

 

Plot: An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Comedy Drama

 

Story: Nebraska starts as Woody Grant (Dern) an elder man who believes he has won the Million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes and wants to travel from Montana to Nebraska to receive his prize. The problem comes where he keeps trying to walk the journey which drives his wife Kate (Squibb) and two adult kids David (Forte) and Ross (Odenkirk) crazy.

After it becomes clear he just won’t give up on this journey David agrees to travel cross country with him in a journey which will bring the two closer than they have been in David’s life. While the story continues to unfold, we learn that this trip means more than the money to Woody and as the news spreads he might have won the money people from his past come out of the woodwork trying to stake their own claim to a piece of it all.

 

Thoughts on Nebraska

 

Characters/PerformanceWoody is an elderly man who just wants to know his place with the people who knew dying and his memory going, Woody just wants to go on this journey to have one last memory of something he achieved in his life. David is the younger son who is the softer of the two brothers, he sees this journey as his last chance to be with his father, learning about his past in a journey he never got to experience as a young boy. Kate is the wife of Woody who is getting tired of all the trouble Woody has been causing, you can see the love between the two as they have been spending years together through the good and bad moments.

Bruce Dern is fantastic in this role that deals with all the problems the character is dealing with. Will Forte who I only knew from comedy was also fantastic in this role with June Squibb getting nearly all of the laughs with her character’s rants.stara

StoryLooking at the story we see one man’s search for an extra memory before he feels he will finally lose his memory. This is a road trip movie that shows the bon between father and son can reach new levels at any age. I feel the story gives Woody a chance to look at where he grows up, where his friends from his youth are and put the past behind him once and for all.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure the family go on while simple is a cross-country journey, we have great light-hearted comedy going on throughout the film.

SettingsThe small town America setting shows how people can live full lives without getting out and when you return you can see how much you have escaped.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is one film I was always unsure of watching, I never got any good vibes from it but this was easily one of the best I have seen from the year of release.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama that you can understand every moment the characters feel.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Shape of Water (2017)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor (Screenplay) Guillermo del Toro (Story)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones

 

Plot: At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.


Tagline – Based on an idea by Daniel Kraus And Guillermo del Toro

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Spectacularly Beautiful

 

Story: The Shape of Water starts as we follow lonely mute woman Elisa (Hawkins) who works as a janitor in a secret government facility with her trusted friend Zelda Fuller (Spencer), Elisa’s silence helps the government know the secrets won’t get released with only her neighbour Giles (Jenkins) being anyone outside of work for her.

When a new creature Amphibian Man (Jones) is bought in with strict security officer Richard Strickland (Shannon) as the facility looks to experiment on the creature. When Elisa strikes up a friendship with the creature, she will do anything to make sure he stays alive and safe once the facility decides they want to examine his organs.

 

Thoughts on The Shape of Water

 

Characters – Elisa is a mute lonely woman that works as a janitor and only has one friend in her personal life. When a creature gets bought into her facility she sees the loneliness he is feeling and wants to save him, believing it to be her purpose. Amphibian Man is a creature taken from his home to be experimented on by the Americans, he is lonely and finds communication from Elisa comforting in his captivity, even though he is highly dangerous to anyone who gets too close. Richard Strickland is the man in charge of the operation with the creature, he wants to do harm and tries to intimidate the people who don’t want to follow his orders. Giles is the trusted neighbour that Elisa turns to for help, he is similar to him with his loneliness in the world too, while Zelda is the one co-worker that Elisa has to turn to and the one that translates her sign language. Dr Hoffstetler is the man that doesn’t want to see the creature hurt, for science and his true alliance in the world.

PerformancesSally Hawkins is fantastic in this role, her emotions are shown in every movement and expression on her face in a role with no words. Doug Jones has spent his career performing the odd roles being able to transform himself, this is his biggest and easily his best role to date. Michael Shannon in the villainous role shines just like we know he can every time. Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg complete the casting wonderfully playing the supporting roles just how they need to be.

StoryThe story follows unusual attraction, finding someone that accepts you to make you feel safe and how government will do anything to learn from an unknown creature. This is both magical, tragic and special from start to finish. Each side of the story shows how different people didn’t fit in during the early 60s and just how love truly works. This is an original story that plays on as many different emotions as it possible can.

Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThis is an adventure like never before, it shows the risk taken to do the right thing for love, which helps play into this unlikely love story that captures you from the first moment, showing just how love can change you in a second. The fantasy elements are full blown what you would have come to expect from a del Toro movie now, both magical and fantastical.

SettingsThe settings keep everything safe, we have a faceless city with a secret facility which works because we wouldn’t have this facility in a big city.

Special EffectsThe effects used through the film keep everything looking fantastic through the film, nothing seems to look out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Bathroom flood.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I actually think this is flawless.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most perfect movies I have ever seen, if has heart in every scene and just makes you feel on edge to just where it will go.

 

Overall: Brilliant, stunning and fantastic.

Rating

 

 

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