Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Bride of Chucky (1998)

brideDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Alexis Arquette, Gordon Michael Woolvett, John Ritter

 

Plot: Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funniest of the Franchise

 

Story: Bride of Chucky starts as Tiffany (Tilly) bribes a police officer to bring her the body of her former lover Chucky who is still stuck inside the good guy doll. We move onto meet our teenagers Jade (Heigl) her boyfriend Jesse (Stabile) and their good friend David (Woolvett) who are sneaking off to prom with, her Uncle Chief Warren (Ritter) wanting to stop Jade being with the wrong guy.

With Tiffany using her voodoo to bring Chucky back to life it isn’t long until he gets his first victim, but things are not as smooth as Tiffany remembers as the two fall out and soon she becomes a doll too. Wanting to come back to life in a human bodies Tiffany recruits Jesse into driving them to Chucky’s body, this gives Jesse a chance to run away with Jade and start a new life.

This becomes the road trip from hell for the young couple but a bonding experience for Tiffany and Chucky as they set out to one up each other on the killing side.

 

Thoughts on Bride of Chucky

 

StoryThis is the return of the Chucky doll after nearly 10 years away from us and this time we build on the Chucky pre-doll character as we learn about the relationship he had before he was killed. I like how this show added another dimension to the horror comedy where we have the dolls almost commentating on what is going on through the film as they see the younger versions of themselves in the young couple. The story does feel fresh to the slasher genre of horror and works on all the right levels.

Horror/ComedyWhen it comes to the horror side of this story I feel this one does fall slightly short of anything scary but on the comedy side of the story this could easily be the funniest of the franchise to date.

Characters/PerformanceChucky is easily one of the most entertaining serial killers in film franchise history and teaming him up with Tiffany only works to improve him to the next level, both the voice work from Dourif and Tilly is excellent throughout. When it comes to the human characters they all feel very basic and don’t get the full development Chucky and Tiffany receive.

SettingsTaking Chucky on a road trip for the kills gives us plenty of comedy to go with the body count but in the end this just makes us want to see what happens on the road next.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work perfectly for the style of film going on through the film adding comedy to the kills throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis takes the films into a different direction as we get to see Chucky in a new light building on the family of doll serial killers which helps enjoy the franchise which could have gotten drowned in the sequels like others have in the past.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sequel that can live long in the memory.

Rating

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Bethany (2017)

bethanyDirector: James Cullen Bressack

Writer: James Cullen Bressack, Zack Ward (Screenplay)

Starring: Stefanie Estes, Zack Ward, Tom Green, Shannen Doherty, Anna Harr, Leon Russom

 

Plot: Claire and her husband find themselves moving back into Claire’s childhood home only to have the abusive and traumatic memories of her mother come back to haunt her. As her husband starts to get more work, Claire finds herself mixed up in a fog of past and present with a mysterious figure haunting her memories. What is this small figure that is trying to reach out to her, and what does it want?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Horror

 

Story: Bethany starts when married couple Claire (Estes) and Aaron (Ward) move back into Claire’s childhood home, this brings out all the memories of her disciplined mother Susan (Doherty). The two want to try and start a new life here but the visual nightmares Claire starts to suffering bring back the memories of her invisible friend Bethany.

As the Bethany figure continues to haunt Claire it becomes clear that the spirit is trying to makes Claire hurt herself, but with Aaron never seeing the spirit he is left to watch her own wife dive into madness and even the family friend Dr Brown (Green) can’t see the haunting side of the story.

 

Thoughts on Bethany

 

Characters/PerformanceClaire is a character that has grown up with a tortured youth which is still affecting her to this day, she has had a stillborn and now she is looking to recover with a new life with her husband. Having these elements mixed together leaves us being torn between whether she is being haunted or really just losing her mind, this is a newly found common trend in horror and I like it. Aaron is the husband who wants to move on after their personal tragedy and only knows one way to make this happen, keeping busy. Dr Brown does what you need, finds the answers, while Susan is the strict mother.

Performance wise Stefanie Estes does a good job in the lead role dealing with the mix of emotions she must go through, with Zack Ward doing well as the husband. Tom Green and Shannen Doherty also do well even if they are the bigger names within the film they are only the supporting cast.stars

StoryThe story does borrow from a mix of other horror films, I liked how the well-designed idea of is it real or is it her head works really well in horror, other parts will include spoilers but there is enough in the mixture to make a fresh feel for the most part in this film.

HorrorThere was good moments of horror with a mix of special effects offering gore in place that could turn heads. There are a few suspense moments but once you figure out the story you can feel comfortable with the horror moments.

SettingsAll the horror side of the film takes place inside the home which works for the story going on through the film and is important to the final outcome of the film.

Special EffectsThis film is very hit or miss with the special effects, certain ones look great the others you can see the CGI.genre

Final ThoughtsThis horror plays into all the right boxes for where it wants to go which is all good but you can figure out the ending slightly too early.

 

Overall: This is a good horror that will easily gain fans but like all horrors if this isn’t your style of horror you won’t enjoy.

Ratingrating

 

 

John Travolta Weekend – Blow Out (1981)

blowDirector: Brian De Palma

Writer: Brian De Palma (Screenplay)

Starring: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz, Peter Boyden, Curt May, John Aquino, John McMartin

 

Plot: A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Horror Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Blow Out starts with Jack Terry (Travolta) a sound engineer that has been working on his latest film, a low budget horror film. While working on finding the latest sound effects Jack witnesses a car accident saving Sally (Allen) from drowning. Learning that the potential future President was killed in the accident Jack is ask to forget about saving the girl for the Governors family.

Learning this was no accident Jack sets out to prove he recorded the murder only to find himself and Sally in danger from the people responsible for the murder and cover up. Jack finds himself being tracked down by hitman Burke (Lithgow) who is out to clean up any loose ends with the cover up.

Blow Out is a conspiracy thriller that was showing just how easy it could have been to cover up a crime for the time it was made. We get a scandal that can ruin a Presidential campaign which is just the beginning of the story but when he is killed we get the next chapter as one man must prove this was no accident. The film is filled with tension from early on which drives us to want to see what will happen to our characters.

Travolta is great in the leading role show he was still at the top of his game in the early 80s, while Nancy Allen does well with what is a very weak female character written to be very naïve and not used to the world. John Lithgow is fabulous as this cold-hearted killer which we do get to see much later in his career with performance in Raising Cain and Dexter. The rest of the supporting cast ends up being very generic not making too much of an impact on the final film. This is easily one of the most underrated films of the 80s and can still be watched today as if it was a fresh release.

 

Overall: One of the most underrated films I have seen, tense from start to finish.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jason Bateman Weekend – Bad Words (2013)

badDirector: Jason Bateman

Writer: Andrew Dodge (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Steve Witting, Beth Grant

 

Plot: A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Comedy

 

Story: Bad Words starts as we meet Guy Trilby (Bateman) a 40-year-old man who has decided to enter into the national spelling-bee for children. He finds a loop-hole for his entry and working with Jenny Widgeon (Hahn) his national sponsor to take on the authorities.

After qualifying for the national championships Guy gets frowned upon while making friends with Chaitanya (Chand) a contender whose parents leave him alone. Jenny tries to learn the story behind Guy’s decision to enter the tournament.

Bad Words is a comedy that takes on the spelling bee culture going around America and how if you study rules you can make any tournament eligible for entry. We get to see a sad back story which has driven Guy to act the way he does which is all good for why he is taking part in the spelling bee. The unlikely friendship also works because Guy sees himself in Chaitanya making him change over time. But on the negative the subject matter isn’t going to be for everyone and in the end could turn people away.

 

Actor Review

 

Jason Bateman: Guy Trilby is a 40-year-old man who wants to enter a spelling-bee for kids after finding a loop-hole. He doesn’t care who he offends by entering this tournament and is a terrible example for all the kids involved. Jason gets to use all his comedy chops here

Kathryn Hahn: Jenny Widgeon is a reporter trying to write a story about Guy’s story of entering the spelling-bee. She is also his sponsor for the tournament with her news outlet funding his journey. Kathryn is solid in this supporting role.

Rohan Chand: Chaitanya Chopra is a young Indian boy who is also entering the spelling-bee who befriends Guy along the way he is the only person that shows Guy any sort of light on his dark path. Rohan is great and working opposite Jason.

Philip Baker Hall: Dr Bowman is running the bee and takes an instant dislike towards Guy but he does try to keep everything together in difficult tournament. Philip works well in this role.

Support Cast: Bad Words has a supporting cast which do all help the way the story eventually ends up going.

Director Review: Jason BatemanJason does well directing this easy to watch film with the comedy being where needed.

 

Comedy: Bad Words has good moments that do get laughs without being full blown laugh out loud moments.

Settings: Bad Words keeps the settings in and around the spelling bee without having anywhere too iconic.
Suggestion
: Bad Words is one to try that does have moments of enjoyment but might not be for everyone. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Jason and Rohan have good chemistry.

Worst Part: Certain racial jokes which miss the target.

Funniest Scene: Final showdown.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: The end justifies the mean.

 

Overall: Enjoyable but not memorable comedy.

Rating

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