Boogie Nights (1997)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C Reilly, William H Macy, Heather Graham

 

Plot: The story of a young man’s adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Drama About Success

 

Story: Boogie Nights starts as we meet high school dropout Eddie Adams (Wahlberg) working in a club for Maurice TT Rodriguez (Guzman) in his disco club. The club brings in porn director Jack Horner (Reynolds) with his number one star Amber Waves (Moore). When Jack sees, and hears the rumours about the size of Eddie’s penis he wants him to be the new star of his movies.

Leaving his home Eddie move in with Jack and it isn’t long before he becomes the hottest property in the porn industry as Dirk Diggler, as he learns that along with the fellow pornstars Rollergirl (Graham), Reed Rothchild (Reilly) and Becky Barnett (Parker) the production company dominates the industry through the late 70’s and early 80’s, but with the success come the darker side of the industry the drinks, drugs and knowing age could be an expire date in the industry.

 

Thoughts on Boogie Nights

 

Characters/PerformanceEddie Adams is the typical high school dropout that lands on his feet entering into the porn industry. The characters sum up how a young star can rise too quickly and become blinded in the overly famous. Jack Horner is the director of the films but also the man preparing the latest talent even if not everything is strictly legal. Amber Weeks is the experienced star guiding Eddie as well moving onto new thing. We do get a couple of well-developed characters in the supporting roles too who we can all learn about as we are invested in their supporting roles.

Performance wise, Mark Wahlberg burst onto the main stream with this impressive performance, Burt Reynolds in the star of the show here dominating the screen whenever he appears. Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, William H Macy, Nicole Ari Parker all are great in the supporting roles in this film.

StoryThe story shows the rise and fall inside of the porn industry, we see how some people get out and start a life outside the industry, others get consumed by the lifestyle, others never move forward with the times and others can struggle in the post industry life. I do think this brings us brilliant character development even if the story is slightly long at times but the afterlife outside the industry becomes fantastic viewing.

SettingsThe settings show us the time the film is set, the struggles the people are going through, I think each setting comes off perfect as we get to see the world we are entering.

Final ThoughtsThis is a long film but it is also a rewarding film too, it does a brilliant look into how lives can be ruined by a career choices.

 

Overall: Brilliant, haunting look at the porn industry.

Rating

 

 

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The Big Sick (2017)

Director: Michael Showalter

Writer: Emily V Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani (Screenplay)

Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar

 

Plot: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Romantic Comedy of the Year

 

Story: The Big Sick starts as Pakistan stand-up comedian Kumail (Nanjiani) meets Emily (Kazan) and the two hit it off, but Kumail must battle his own feelings towards Emily and his family that only want him to marry a Pakistan woman. After the two have a big argument the two go their separate ways.

Kumail finally gets his chance to go to Montreal but gets an emergency call to be at Emily’s side, this gives him a chance to meet her parents Beth (Hunter) and Terry (Romano) for the first time as the three must deal with her potentially life-threatening illness giving the three a chance to bond as Kumail discovers he can’t live without Emily.

 

Thoughts on The Big Sick

 

Characters – The characters are based on the true people so it is hard to go into details on them being good or bad, so I will just let you know about them in general. Kumail is the Pakistan stand-up comedian dealing with his parents trying to find him a bride but he doesn’t follow the same faith they do. He meets Emily which only makes his decisions harder on whether to follow his heart or not and spending time with her parents offers him the answer he needs. Emily is the student that walks into Kumail’s life, she becomes his light but when she becomes sick she brings him closer than ever to him even if she is in a coma for half the film. Terry and Beth are the parents of Emily, they are in full panic mode while she is sick but they get to bond with Kumail through the struggle.

PerformanceKumail Nanjiani plays himself in the movie, which is good to see him play a different character as we usually just seem him do a small moment in comedy movies but here he stars as a real person that could be one of the best performances in a comedy in years. Zoe Kazan is one of the actress that you can say, we need you in a romantic comedy drama, she will be on the top of every one’s list. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are both great in the supporting roles showing they can be great in parent roles.

StoryThe story is based on Kumail and Emily falling in love, it shows the religious sides holding up the Kumail being able to make a decision, while given the moment in his life where he must make the decision that he wants more than anything. This is a love story, not an easy one but a real one which is the most important one to see.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film is mostly stand-up and a defensive side to hide from the truth, the romance comes from how the two fall in love through difficult situation.

SettingsThe settings don’t go into too much details, we have the hospital to show the desperate mindset they are in, the comedy club shows a future Kumail could have and the apartments to show the normal lives they are both living.

Scene of the Movie – Parent’s watching the stand up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments at the stand-up show try to put too many jokes in.

Tagline – An Awkward True Story

Final ThoughtsThis is a romantic comedy with a heart that is based on a true story that shows us love can come from any direction even when you weren’t expecting it.

 

Overall: One of the Must watch movies of the year.

Rating

 

 

Believe (2013)

Director: David Scheinmann

Writer: Massimiliano Durante, Carmelo Pennisi, David Scheinmann (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Smith, Brian Cox, Natascha McElhone, Anne Reid, Philip Jackson, Kate Ashfield, James Callis

 

Plot: A young, gifted football player who gets into trouble for a petty crime is brought to the attention of former Manchester United coach Matt Busby, who comes out of retirement to help the boy and his teammates.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Experience

 

Story: Believe starts in 1984 Manchester as football mad Georgie Gallagher (Smith) is being dragged to a potential grammar school by his widowed mother Erica (McElhone) to be offered a working-class scholarship. Learning of a football tournament Georgie gets his mates together but finds himself stealing Sir Matt Busby’s (Cox) wallet.

Once Matt tracks down Georgie he makes his deal to coach the team for the tournament but Erica wants to continue pushing Georgie into taking the grammar exam. Matt still haunted by the events of Munich where he has spent his life wondering why he survived over the talented younger men on the plan.

 

Thoughts on Believe

 

Characters/PerformanceGeorgie is what all young boys who love football wish they could have, the skills to play, the desire to become the next star of the sport. He is easily distracted at school because of his dreamer side but deep down he is broken because of the death of his father. Sir Matt is one of the most iconic football managers of all time, looking at an older version of the man shows how haunted he is by the tragedy he made it through. Erica is the protective single mother who does want the best for her son but is also struggling with her own past.

Performance wise Brian Cox is great throughout with Natascha McElhone gives us a great supporting performance. Jack Smith along with the other boys are all great here working to make us believe their own dreams.

StoryThis is a story about follow your dreams even if you are being haunted by tragedy in your own life, be it Georgie losing his father or Sir Matt after the plane crash. This is mostly family based film that shows how you can’t just give up on dreams as long as you give them everything you can.

Drama The drama in this film is about how grief can fuel dreams with each character dealing with their own problems to make it the story of never giving up.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around Manchester and is completely in the time the film is set in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film you can easily enjoy from start to finish if you are a fan of football.

 

Overall: Football fans enjoy this one.

Rating

 

 

By the Sea (2015)

by-he-seaDirector: Angelina Jolie

Writer: Angelina Jolie (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Melanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup

 

Plot: A couple tries to repair their marriage while staying at a hotel in France.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Painful

 

Story: By the Sea starts as Roland (Pitt) and Vanessa (Jolie) arrive at a small French hotel on the coast, to help Roland find inspiration for his latest novel but mainly to repair their marriage which with Roland’s alcohol problem and Vanessa’s depression.

The two find unity once more when they find a way to spy on the young couple in the room next door Lea (Laurent) and Francois (Poupaud), this brings the two closer as they watch the sexual activities of the pair for a peep hole.

 

Thoughts on By the Sea

 

Characters/PerformanceRoland and Vanessa are literally ripped out of the generic textbook for a struggling married couple looking to rekindle their love, we have the struggle writer and the bored housewife, yawn. The young couple also comes from a textbook of the being similar to our main couple in their younger days.

Performance wise this is all well below average for the big names involved, it is almost like Jolie and Pitt just filmed their own holiday and decided to make their own feature film with it all.stars

StoryThis is a play by play ABC struggling couple using a holiday away to try and save their relationship, there isn’t too much of a draw in this story because it is turns into a middle aged couple just spying on their neighbours for love they can no longer feel for each other.

RomanceJust trying to give us a real-life romance between the two middle-aged people who have started to go their own ways isn’t the most interesting love story by any means.

SettingsThe setting is beautiful with the whole film being set in and around a stunning coastal hotel, which is beautiful to see the scenery.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is incredibly slow from start to finish and you will find yourself struggle to get drawn into this story at any point in the film.

 

Overall: Way to slow for the casual audience out there and dare I say, failed Oscar bait.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Boss (2016)

Director: Ben Falcone

Writer: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory (Screenplay)

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson, Tyler Labine, Kathy Bates

 

Plot: A titan of industry is sent to prison after she’s caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mixed up Comedy

 

Story: The Boss starts as we see how Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) who has become one of the most powerful businesswoman who is self-centred and builds by stepping over the people including her business rival Renault (Dinklage). Michelle’s power is shattered when she is arrested for insider trading and spending 5 months in a luxury jail.

Once released from prison Michelle learns all her assets have been seized and the only person from her old life that will give her any time is her former assistant Claire (Bell). Michelle comes up with the idea of using Claire’s cooking ability to build her own cookie company working with Claire and her daughter Rachel (Anderson).

 

Thoughts on The Boss

 

Characters/PerformanceMichelle is a powerful businesswoman that loses her power after being be convicted of insider trader. She wants to rebuild her empire but must deal with her former business associates have turned against her. This character does become annoying very quickly and doesn’t fit between the ruthless businesswoman or the joke turning lady, we only needed one of these characteristics. Claire is the hard working assistant of Michelle that is the only one that would take Michelle in but her responsibilities to her daughter means she isn’t taken the risks Michelle can afford. Renault is the business rival and former lover of Michelle’s, he wants to see her crash and burn on every business venture.

Performance wise, Melissa McCarthy continues to play characters that just don’t seem to fit the film needed, we don’t need her to go this over the top for a story with meaning. Kristen Bell is good in her role knowing how to play this type of character well. Dinklage gets to have a lot of fun playing his role which can be over the top because of the rivalry created.

StoryThe story itself is about a ruthless businesswoman that steps on everyone who must go on a redemption story, this is all fine, it is the wildly over the top, jokes that make no sense to the context of the story that makes this all fall flat on its face.

ComedyThe comedy is weak, very weak throughout most of it just comes off awkward at times too.

SettingsThe settings are simple and show the different business world for Michelle to go through.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that doesn’t manage to send over the correct message and just turns a failed attempt to make McCarthy funny.

 

Overall: Lazy comedy.

Rating