ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – C – Clue (1985)

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Writer: John Landis, Jonathan Lynn (Screenplay) Anthony E Pratt (Board Game)

Starring: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Colleen Camp

 

Plot: Six guests are invited to a strange house and must cooperate with the staff to solve a murder mystery.


Tagline – “Cluedo” isn’t just a boardgame anymore!

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliantly Fun Mystery

 

Story: Clue starts when six guests using fake names, Mrs Peacock (Brennan), Mrs White (Kahn), Professor Plum (Lloyd), Mr Green (McKean), Colonel Mustard (Mull) and Miss Scarlet (Warren) are invited for a dinner party, with butler Wadsworth (Curry), maid Yvette (Camp) and host Mr Boddy (Ving), they each have a secret that is about to get exposed, only tonight they can end their torment of  being blackmailed by Mr Boddy.

The problem comes when the lights go off and Mr Boddy is murdered by one of the seven, with the weapons Candlestick, Gun, Dagger, Rope, Wretch and Lead Pipe in the room, the eight joined by Yvette must figure out who the murderer is before they leave the house.

 

Thoughts on Clue

 

Characters – Wadsworth is the butler who is preparing everybody for the dinner, he does have a reason for his own reason for the whole party, he must keep everybody calm as he has been just as much of a victim in the film. when it comes to the guests we have the known figures from the game, they have all been blackmailed, we don’t learn too much about their personal lives as the only things we do learn are involved in the blackmailing going on.

PerformancesTim Curry is fantastic in this role, when he does the solving sequences in this film, we see the energy level in the film reach levels we have rarely seen in film. when we look at the rest of the cast, they are strong through each of the events of the film.

StoryThe story here follows the six iconic board games characters put into the middle of the mystery after one of the guests gets killed, they all have motives for being the ones that commit the crime and as the bodies continue to pile up they must solve the case before it is too late. Anybody that has played the game knows how this can be one of the fun games to play, we get the weapons, the characters and the rooms each being involved in the murders which this film offers up. We get a nice pacing to this film which does feel like you are helping to solve the case and with three different ending you will never know which one you will be getting.

Comedy/Crime/MysteryThe comedy in the film comes from word play, it is very quick witted and will get the laughs in the right places. The crime and mystery elements of the film go hand in hand, as we see the guests needing to solve the mystery of who committed the crime.

SettingsThe whole film is set in the house which is simple and effective, it shows us just what is going on with each chapter being unfolded in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Tim Curry’s energy in the reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Have the larger body count is strange.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully fun movie, you can enjoy what is going on with the characters with the crazy connections and be left to try and figure out the truth for yourself.

 

Overall: Fun and Enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

The Captain (2017) Movie Review

Director: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Robert Schwentke (Screenplay)

Starring: Max Hubacher, Alexander Fehling, Sebastian Rudolph, Max Thommes, Rike Eckermann

Plot: In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain’s uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he is trying to escape from.


Tagline – Follow the Leader

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Shocking War Story

Story: The Captain starts in the dying days of World War II, young soldier Willi Herold (Hubacher) has run from his unit, but when in hiding, he finds a Captain’s uniform, he disguises himself as a German Officer to travel around the last few days, staying out of combat, showing a more human side than many would expect from a Captain.

The more time Willi finds himself in this role, he sees just how easily he can have a sway on decisions, while witnessing the horrors firsthand, horrors he would be going through himself for deserting the unit.

Thoughts on The Captain

Characters – Willi Herold is a private in the German army who has deserted his unit, he wants out of the war, but when he finds a captain’s uniform, he decides to pretend to be a captain, which sees him crossing lines he never imagined taking advantage of the new position of power during the closing days of the war. We do meet plenty of different military officials, who are using their position of power for their own good too, while others that have been suffering through the motions in the war.

PerformancesMax Hubacher is wonderful in the leading role, he shows the true transformation the man goes through during his time as a captain, he is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, who don’t do anything wrong, just let him take centre stage.

StoryThe story here follows a private in the German army that while on the run finds a captain’s uniform and decides to use the remaining time to take control of every situation, he finds himself in. this is a very interesting look at how one solider looked to survive and thrive in the late stages of the war. It shows how a position of power can make people do things they would never imagine, going places they didn’t think were possible. It does show us the horrors of war through a different set of lights.

History/WarThe war side of this film shows us just how horrific war was, what people would do to survive and how much it will change people.

SettingsEach setting makes us see that the world will be set up to look as if we were with Willi during this war time.


Scene of the Movie – The trial.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The camp scenes are hard to watch.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at a war movie from the point of view of somebody who pretended to be an officer to escape getting put in a camp himself, slowly becoming corrupted by the power it gives him.

Overall: Surprising War Drama.

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Will Smith Weekend – Collateral Beauty (2016)

Director: David Frankel

Writer: Allan Loeb (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore

 

Plot: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.


Tagline – Connect to the beauty of life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Dramatic Study of Grief

 

Story: Collateral Beauty starts as Howard’ (Smith) business is flying, but tragedy hits his life, when his daughter dies. 2 years later, Whit (Norton), Claire (Winslet) and Simon (Pena) the partners in the business are facing difficult decision as Howard still can’t make decisions and won’t make decisions and his business is suffering.

To try to help Howard, the three partners hiring three actors Brigitte (Mirren), Amy (Knightley) and Raffi (Latimore) to visit Howard to answer the letters her has written to ‘Love’ ‘Death’ and ‘Time’ each while dealing with their own problems. Can this idea fix the problems in Howard’s life to help him move on and accept the truth.

 

Thoughts on Collateral Beauty

 

Characters – Howard is a successful businessman, he is on top of the world, until his daughter dies. Now he spends his time at work building domino structures avoiding human contact and writing letters to Love, Death and Time, hoping for answers to help him deal with his grief. Whit is one of the business partners with Will, though he gave up part of his share in the couple because of his own mistakes in love, as he must pay off his ex-wife. Claire is another member of the business that int fully behind the idea, though we rarely learn anything else about her. Simon is the final member of the three that hire the actors, he does have his own questions to ask about life. Brigitte, Amy and Raffi are the actors that take the job of playing Love, Death and Time, each shows the character that Howard must talk to, to understand the grief he is going through. Madeline runs a support group for parents that have lost children, much like herself, she does try to get through to Howard in a simpler way compared to the friends.

PerformancesThis is a film that is hard to criticise the performances from any of the actors, the questions come from the amount of screen time certain actors are given. Will Smith gives up his normal charismatic performance to make us believe us that a man that would be filled with confidence could feel after losing everything. Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Pena show the sacrifices people would have made in business. Helen Mirren does look like she is enjoying her role the most, while Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore show they are great at rounding off this cast. Naomie Harris’ performance can’t be overlook either with the impact in the final scene.

StoryThe story here shows us how one man has struggled with the grief of losing his daughter with his business partners needing to find a way to push him out of the hole he has created. This does pose the question of just what is time, love and death mean when you lose a loved one, it may well have too many side arcs because each of the partners has a story that need to be addressed which don’t get enough time to make the impact needed, compared to the story that Howard is going through. The way grief is shown in this film is strong because people would create barriers in life which would only push people away in the time you most need someone around you.

RomanceWhile romance might be the wrong genre for most of the film, it does show us how love can be ruined when a tragedy strikes.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which is used very well because it shows us just how many different people you could run into along your day.


Scene of the Movie –
Christmas Eve.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Each of the partners has a problem in their life, which only gets skipped over.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly dramatic story of grief which wants to take focus on the idea that people have closed off from life.

 

Overall: Grief shown strongly.

Rating

 

 

Catwoman (2004) Movie Review

Director: Pitof

Writer: John Brancato, Michael Ferris, John Rogers (Screenplay) Theresa Rebeck, John Brancato, Michael Ferris (Story)

Starring: Halle Berry, Benjamin Bratt, Sharon Stone, Lambert Wilson, Frances Conroy, Alex Borstein, Michael Massee

Plot: A shy woman, endowed with the speed, reflexes, and senses of a cat, walks a thin line between criminal and hero, even as a detective doggedly pursues her, fascinated by both of her personas.


Tagline – CATch Her In IMAX
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Just Bad

Story: Catwoman starts with aspiring artist Patience Phillips (Berry) who works for the Hedare cosmetic company in advertisement, Laurel (Stone) is stepping down as the face of the company, while her husband George (Wilson) is planning for the future. When Patience tries to make a deadline, she overhears the side effects of the latest product, she is targeted by security leaving her dead.

Patience doesn’t stay dead, with the cats bringing her back to life with heighted sense. As Patience’s tries to remember what happened that night, she is left to learns that she has been chosen to be a Catwoman and uses her new powers to fight crime before setting her targets on her former employers.

Thoughts on Catwoman

Characters – Patience Phillips is the woman that dreams of more from her life, works too much to get anything else out of her life until she finds herself murdered by her bosses for learning a secret. Bought back to life, Patience has new skills ones that make her a threat to anybody that crosses her path, becoming Catwoman and more confident in life. Tom is the cop that walks into Patience’s life, she wants to get to know her only for him to get caught up trying to understand the crimes of Catwoman. Laurel and George Hedare run the cosmetic company that Patience works for, they both hate each other and will do anything to cover up the truth about what is happening when they get targeted by Catwoman who wants to expose their greed.

PerformancesThis is a hard movie to criticise the actors for trying to do something with such a weak story or poorly directed movie, you can see Halle Berry try and makes something of Patience, while going way overboard with Catwoman side of thing. Benjamin Bratt is fine without getting much more to do, while Sharon Stone does what she can with the villainous role.

StoryThe story here follows a nice shy quiet lady who gets killed by her employers only to get resurrected by the cats that turn her into catwoman who will help fight crime and take down her evil bosses. In the early 2000s comic book movies were just starting to become a major thing, pre-Marvel explosion on the scene, we saw studios trying to bring different characters to centre stage, Catwoman made sense as a decision because it would bring a female lead to the world, sadly the story is told so badly it just doesn’t help the genre, it is strange because the basics of the origin story are here and easy to see, though the dialogue is appalling throughout. This will have to go down as one of the weak to poor stories in comic book history.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is awful to watch, with the fight sequences all looking like they are slow downed through each fight, with most of what we see coming off flashy over tough.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which does help with the big company coming off filled with corruption and makes for the shadows a criminal or Catwoman could hide in.

Special EffectsThe effects are bad here too, with most of the flying sequences only coming off this way to add some form of flash to the movement, though it looks terrible.


Scene of the Movie – Cats revive.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The fights.

Final Thoughts This is a poor excuse for a comic movie, the actors try their best, but the directing is just so bad.

Overall: Completely Awful.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – C – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) Movie Thoughts

Director: David Soren

Writer: Nicholas Stoller (Screenplay) Dav Pilkey (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal, DeeDee Rescher

Plot: Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.


Tagline – Putting the “Mighty” in “Tighty Whitey”

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: One for the Youngest Audience

Story: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie starts as two school best friends George and Harold find themselves getting into trouble, known for pulling pranks with their principle Mr Krupp always trying to expose them and put them back in line.

After the latest prank, the pair have been threatened with being separated at school, which see them hypnotize Mr Krupp into thinking he is a superhero, Captain Underpants, their creation from years before.

Thoughts on Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Final Thoughts When it comes to animated movies, we know we will see the youngest audience entertained the most, if we can get entertainment to the older audience, it is always a bonus and usually succeeds on the level of family comedy levels, this one doesn’t appeal to the older audience and ends up sinking to the lowest form of comedy, toilet humour, which is even jokes about along the way. There is a message about friendship and how the two must do anything to remain friends through anything that comes their way, but if we are honest, this is one that should have remained in the comic books never becoming more.

Overall: Toilet Humour Animation.