1941 (1979)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale (Screenplay) Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, John Milius (Story)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson

 

Plot: Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.


Tagline – As They Roared Into Battle, Only One Thing Was Missing…The Enemy!

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simply Not Good Enough

 

Story: 1941 starts in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour, The Japanese are searching for Hollywood for their latest attack, while the army are planning to create a defence on the Californian coastline, Sgt Frank Tree (Aykroyd) leads his men in preparations while pilot Captain Wild Bill Kelso (Belushi) travels the country to support his troops.

The preparations bring us comical happenings which lead to what is going on between the Americans and the impending Japanese.

 

Thoughts on 1941

 

Characters – We have so many characters in this film it is hard to pick out the main ones, we will though, Sgt Frank Tree tries to keep peace between his soldiers and not letting them fight with the locals. Ward Douglas is the man that sees it has an honour to host the army for prime location for defence. Captain Wild Bill Kelso is a pilot that enjoys a drink, he heads across country to join the battle. Where we have too many characters it is hard to see which one we are meant to be follow the most.

PerformancesThe performances are affected by the mass cast because no one gets to show their best skills, we have the comical actors that want to joke, only for them to miss, then the serious actors not hitting their moments either.

StoryThe story follows the Americans as they plan for a potential next attack on America from the Japanese in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbour attack. The problem I see with this story, it showing us how we make light of a devastating moment in history with the Pearl Harbour attack and shows how America did panic but didn’t seem to take the events serious, well that is what the film gives us.

Action/Comedy/WarThe action plays into the comedy which gets basic laughs but most of the laughs seem to have dated badly and even just give us toilet humour, all with the backdrop of World War II.

SettingsThe film puts us in LA for the events of the film which shows how Hollywoodland would react to the impending war.


Scene of the Movie –
Plane sex.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the biggest misses of Spielberg’s career, it has too many characters and doesn’t manage to balance out the comedy and action well enough.

 

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – # – Cars 3 (2017)

Director: Brian Fee

Writer: Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, Mike Rich (Screenplay) Brian Fee, Ben Queen, Eyal Podell, Jonathon E Stewart (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer

 

Plot: Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.


Tagline – One last chance, One last dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Cars 3 starts as Lightning McQueen cruising his way to titles with two close competitors until hot shot rookie Jackson Storm with a brand-new model that increases speed and ability over Lightning and his older models which slowly go out of the sport, before he loses his spot on the grid.

Needing a make over, Lightning sees his team taken over by Sterling who could bring Lightning a new training program with trainer Cruz Ramirez, all to get back on the track and prove he hasn’t lost it.

 

Thoughts on Cars 3

 

Characters – Lightning McQueen is now one of the top drivers in the world, experienced on the field, that is until the next generation model comes through taking his spot on the track, now an aging star, his time might be up. He must prove he still has the skills to race against the younger cars, following the footsteps of many sport stars. Cruz is a trainer for Lightning new team, she helps young drivers prepare for racing without ever getting the chance to go on the road. She does have her own dreams and Lightning will help her learn these dreams. Jackson Storm is the hot shot new racer ready to become the star of the sport, he acts like he respects Lightning, only to be the cocky arrogant new driver. Sterling is the new owner and big fan of Lightning, he wants to give him a chance, the problem comes from needing to win and Lightning just won’t give his team that.

StoryThe story here sees Lightning McQueen reaching the end of his career, seeing the younger drivers taken his spot in the sport he loves. He must improve to compete, while learning valuable life lessons about stepping away from the spotlight on top on his own accord rather than being pushed out and forgotten. This story puts Lightning in a position that Doc Hudson had been and missed out on, his mentor manages to show him from his career the mistakes he made. This does always feel like an aging sports star sticking around longer than they should and ends up getting the same ideas that we see in the later Rocky movies. This does feel like the right sequel to the original with the time spent between the films.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Sport The adventure side of this film does take Lightning back to his roots to learn his next step in the driving world, the comedy comes from the events that happen to Lightning along the way, they will give you laugh when needed without being used to often. It would be fair to say the whole family can enjoy this one and get enjoyment from different moments of the story. the sports side of the film is big because it shows us just how a star of the game can be left behind too quickly.

SettingsThe film returns to older settings which show Lightning needing to go soul searching through different worlds away from the glitz and glamour of the normal racing world.

AnimationPixar are the leading team in visual animation, nothing in this movies look can be questioned as it looks perfect in every single shot.


Scene of the Movie –
The make it or break it race.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a very safe sequel.

Final ThoughtsThis is a safe and enjoyable sequel to the much-loved franchise, it gets the story correct for the time between this and the first film which helps by forgetting the second film.

 

Overall: Enjoyable respect filled sequel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Z – Zapped (2014)

Director: Peter DeLuise

Writer: Billy Eddy, Matt Eddy, Rachelle Skoretz (Screenplay) Leslie Margolis (Novel)

Starring: Zendaya, Chanelle Peloso, Spencer Boldman, Emilia McCarthy, Adam DiMarco, William Ainscough

 

Plot: When Zoey’s mom remarries, Zoey finds it hard adjusting to her new life – no longer the only kid in the family.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Movie 101

 

Story: Zapped starts when Zoey (Zendaya) moves after her mother remarries, she must get use to living with four guys suddenly, the school is different that she is used to with Rachel (Peloso) being the first to show her friendship and it doesn’t take her long to meet the school heartthrob Jackson (Boldman).

Zoey’s life changes after she downloads an app to try and control the family dog only for it to get amplified to being about to boys which she starts to use to her advantage to clean up the problems in her life.

 

Thoughts on Zapped

 

Characters – Zoey has lived a normal life with her mother, she must learn to change after her mother gets married and she must move in with his family which includes 3 boys. She must learn to adapt to her new school and turns to an app on her phone to control the men in her life. She is the typical new girl that doesn’t get the welcome she should from most, but soon learns her place in the school with her new app. Rachel is one of the few people that welcomes Zoey, she is an outsider nervous at times even if she is confident in herself. Jackson is the school heartthrob with mystery about him, he takes a shine to Zoey which only makes the other girls at the school jealous. Taylor is the dance team leader that doesn’t want to let Zoey be part of the team.

PerformancesZendaya takes the leading role and it is clear that this movie was built for her, she is good in the leading role showing both sides of her character. Chanelle Peloso gives us plenty of laughs in her role as the best friend. Spencer Boldman as the mysterious boy at school is good for the film. Emilia McCarthy does struggle to be the bad girl we need her to be, this is due to writing rather than acting though.

StoryThe story here shows how the new girl to a family and school struggles to deal with the boys in her life and when her phone gives her an app which can control them she uses it to make life easier, with the normal consequences. This teaches Zoey a life lesson that she must learn to change because not everything will go her way, no matter how much she wants to control things, it does show us how difficult starting a new school can be this almost shows how people can dream a way to move away from the struggle. We also learn about new family life, which is weird because the family on move in together after the wedding.

Comedy/Family/FantasyThe comedy in this film comes from how Zoey controls the guys and just what happens with different instructions. It is one the whole family can get a laugh out of because of the different moments of comedy with the fantasy side of the film coming from the idea a phone app can control people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around high school which puts us through the normal locations we would imagine seeing problems taking place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Dance off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Surely the family would have tried living together before getting married.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those Disney channel movies that will hit the target audience perfectly, it knows the strengths and plays into them.

 

Overall: The target audience will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas (2000)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Jim Cash, Jack Epp Jr (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, Kristen Johnston, Jane Krakowski, Joan Collins, Thomas Gibson, Alan Cumming

 

Plot: In this live-action prequel to the 1994 comedy hit, the Flintstones and the Rubbles go on a trip to Rock Vegas, where Wilma is pursued by playboy Chip Rockefeller.


Tagline – Get ready to rock!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not On the Same Level

 

Story: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas starts with Fred (Addy) and Barney (Baldwin) graduate into employment and head out to celebrate. Wilma (Johnston) is looking to escape her life from the rich friends and family she has lived in and finds herself meeting waitress Betty (Krakowski) becoming friends.

When the two friends meet they fall in love with Wilma’s past family being the rich gets the couples an invite to Rock Vegas for a holiday of a lifetime.

 

Thoughts on The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

 

Characters – Fred Flintstone is the working class citizen of Bedrock, he wants to meet a woman and he does meet Wilma, only to show us that he has a dark side when it comes to gambling. Barney is the bumbling best friend of Fred, which is strange because this time he is made out to be a bigger idiot than Fred. Wilma is escaping her life from the rich which leads her to Betty and then Fred while Betty is a waitress that falls in love with Barney. We don’t get the full character development we need for these characters this time around.

PerformancesMark Addy does fit the Fred Flintstone role well and to be honest the performances are not bad they just don’t have much to work with even if they do look the part more than the first cast.

StoryThis is a prequel and looks at how the couples met, which is fine, but not something we needed to see, we know how this story is going to end which also takes away from the story because we know Fred and Wilma and Barney and Betty end up together, so any mistakes made along the way mean nothing. We also focus on the idea of trying to do too many parodies of modern times.

Comedy/Family/RomanceThe comedy seem thicker than last time out, mostly because it comes too often with too many pop culture references which have dated badly, the family will struggle to enjoy this because there are not enough jokes for the older audience, with the romance being here working even if we know how it ends.

SettingsThe look of Bedrock still looks great and the idea of Rock Vegas works for the fil showing the bigger idea the movie wanted to give us.

Special EffectsThe practical effects do work for the film but when the CGI get used we see the short comings the film has.


Scene of the Movie –
The Viva Rock Vegas number.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Playing a romance angle on characters we know get married.

Final ThoughtsThis movie doesn’t hit on the same level as the first, the performances are fine, but the story just falls flat on its face.

 

Overall: Substandard sequel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Y – Yes Man (2008)

Director: Peyton Reed

Writer: Nicholas Stoller, Jarred Paul, Andrew Mogel (Screenplay) Danny Wallace (Book)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby, Danny Masterson

 

Plot: A man challenges himself to say “yes” to everything for an entire year.


Tagline – One word can change everything.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Comedy With Laughs

 

Story: Yes Man starts as we meet Carl (Carrey) a banker that doesn’t like to socialise with his friends, co-workers or seems to always say no to everything. when Carl bumps into an old friend Nick (Higgins) who has turned his life around by always saying ‘Yes’ to everything in life.

Carl ends up joining the same group deciding to take the whole year just saying yes, in this time he meets Allison (Deschanel) a musician who is completely different to himself and gets closer to his best friend Peter (Cooper), one of the few people that still encourages him to go out, the question remains just how extreme everything will go.

 

Thoughts on Yes Man

 

Characters – Carl lives a very restricted life, mostly because of his divorce and life not going any direction he is enjoying. This has made his friendship group dwindle down, after being encouraged to take the risk of the ‘Yes’ motivation group, he starts saying Yes to everything, from helping a homeless person to approving a bank loan to a stranger. Allison is the woman that Carl meets in the year after saying yes to something he never would, she is different to anything he would usually go for, being spontaneous on every opportunity. Peter is the best friend of Carl’s the one that will always try to push his friend to get out there and enjoy his life, he has been let down by Carl before and the friendship is what keeps them close together. Nick is the man that inspires Carl to follow through with the idea to say yes, he used to be like Carl and now he is enjoying his life.

PerformancesJim Carrey in the leading role is good for the most part, the problem with this is that he lets too much of his slapstick comedy going on and this role would have bern fantastic for a straight-faced actor to pull off. Zooey Deschanel is good as the love interest, she always is great to see as the girlfriend and she gets to show her singing skills at times too. Bradley Cooper was continuing to make a name of himself in supporting roles where he once again gets his timing right. The supporting cast all get good laughs through the film.

StoryThe story follows a man who believes his life isn’t going well stuck in a rut which he is happy enough with, when he gets given a chance to take chances he starts saying yes to everything which opens up his life to new opportunities. This does show us the meaning of life even if we see the extremes of it here, we get to see how taking chances with make for an enjoyable life however mad certain parts might be. We do see moments of people who will take advantage of that person, which isn’t ever addressed enough especially when one is a close friend, overall this story shows us just how important living life is, taking chance because you never know what you might find in life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the reactions and participation in the events that Carl get put through, we do get laughs from the supporting cast with Rhys Darby as Norman getting the most. The romance side of the film comes from taking a chance, Carl had been divorced and not wanting to take a chance on meeting new people which saying yes offers him.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which is fine, it could have been set in any city because none of what is achieved makes a different to the actual settings.


Scene of the Movie –
Close stage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Carrey sometimes goes to slapstick too quickly.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun motivational movie, sure it becomes a basic comedy and could have been better with somebody not known for comedy in the leading role, but it does everything it needs to.

 

Overall: Fun comedy.

Rating