ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – I – I Do… Until I Don’t (2017)

Director: Lake Bell

Writer: Lake Bell (Screenplay)

Starring: Lake Bell, Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Amber Heard, Wyatt Cenac, Dolly Wells

 

Plot: An ensemble comedy about the meaning of matrimony.


Tagline – Happily Ever After Is a Lot to Ask

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Relationship Comedy

 

Story: I Do… Until I Don’t starts as we meet Vivian (Wells) who is trying to make a documentary about relationship believing people should have the option to opt out of a marriage after seven years, she needs couples to make this, which leads us to follow Alic (Bell) and Noah (Helms) who are trying for their first child, Cybil (Steenburgen) and Harvey (Reiser) that has been together for 30 plus years and Fanny (Heard) and Zander (Cenac) who have children and an open relationship.

As the documentary comes together we get to see the problems the couple are going through in everyday life and how they look to overcome them or whether these problems could be the end of their relationships.

 

Thoughts on I Do… Until I Don’t

 

Characters – Alice is at the stage of her marriage where she is thinking about children, while balancing the regrets of not following through with her life’s dreams, she is asking herself the big questions, while dealing with the sister that has a child, while still living the wild way. Noah is Alice’s husband who has been struggling to keep the family business together, while trying to support his wife in preparing to plan for a baby. Cybil is part of the older couple that has been waiting for the spark to come back to her life, with this documentary giving her new visions on life. Harvey has been going through the mid-life crisis with Cybil, getting a motorbike and trying new things outside the normal.

PerformancesLake Bell does take the role as one of the couples, while also handling writing and directing duties, she does fit her role well, which is going to go for most of the cast here. Ed Helms is never let off his leash like you would like to see from him. Mary Steenburgen gives us the performance we have seen her make her own in this type of role, with Paul Reiser rounding off the main cast. One of the biggest problems with the performances is that we just don’t let the cast get long enough to shine.

StoryThe story here follows three different couples at different stages of their relationships, each being documented by a filmmaker, we see the ups and downs the couples go through along with the connections to each other’s lives. The idea of following couples isn’t the most original, but this story doesn’t break the strongest parts of this idea either. The way to stories connect is clever as we see how each person first gets to interact with each other. The story is one of the most average one you will see though, we can pick out where things will be going without them looking out of place.

ComedyThe comedy isn’t too heavy, it does have its moments which will get a laugh or two through the film.

SettingsThe film takes us to the everyday locations of the couple without making them feel iconic, though they do feel lived in locations.


Scene of the Movie –
The final scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The couples are too everyday.

Final ThoughtsThis is a relationship comedy that does get a laugh or two, but ends up feeling too serious to be enjoyable enough.

 

Overall: Relationship film 101.

Rating

 

 

I Hate New Year’s (2020) Movie Review

Director: Christin Baker

Writer: Kathryn Trammell (Screenplay) Ashley Arnold, Christin Baker, Danielle Jablonski, Kathryn Trammell (Story)

Starring: Dia Frampton, Ashley Argota, Candis Cayne, Andrew Brennen, Kelly Lynn Reiter Tamiko Robinson Steele

Plot: Rising music star Layne heads home to Nashville for New Year’s Eve to break her writer’s block, but sometimes you find inspiration – and love – where you least expect it

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: I Hate New Year’s starts when rising music star Layne Price (Frampton) decides to visit home in Nashville for New Years as see her best friend Cassie (Argota) who has been waiting for her to return to home to tell her how she feels about her.

As Layne is looking to find a creative spark, she starts to look at a former love and her old band, while missing what was right on front of her, which will also see her fame continue to rise, with her in-person performances.

Thoughts on I Hate New Year’s

Characters – Layne Price is one of the hottest rising stars in music with her debut year, she is struggling with finding inspiration for a new song, needing to return home to Nashville, where she started her rise to fame in the music industry, she gets to spend time with her best friend, and spend the time trying to find her lost love, only building on her celebrity status with her random appearances performing. Cassie is Layne best friend, they grew up together and is a country singer in her own right. She wants to tell Layne how she feels about her, only she can’t bring up the courage to and decides to help Layne look for her lost love over the night, however much that will hurt her seeing her being left alone. On the journey over the night we meet a overly wise driver that always knows what to say, connections in the music world that have help Layne reach the level she has and her manager who is struggling with the sudden trends about her.

PerformancesDia Frampton and Ashley Argota in the leading role are both great to watch, they both show how down to Earth two musicians can be, how love with haunt them and how hope of love can leave someone wanting more.

StoryThe story here follows a rising musician that returns home for inspiration for new songs by seeing her friends who helped her get to where she is, along with dealing with an old love in her life. This is a story that shows us how musicians will need to take a break to find inspiration and that you could find love from the people closest to you in life. This does everything that makes you feel happy, with music performances, seeing all the positive moments on life and will leave you with a smile.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the different moments that are going on through the night, with moments from Cassie flirting often getting a few extra laughs, with the romance being a lot of looking back at what could be, while not taking advantage of the opportunity right on front of you.

SettingsThe film is set in Nashville, which helps us feel like we are in the home of country music, showing us the community will be open to everything positive.


Scene of the Movie – The New Year’s performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts I Hate New Year’s is a fun rom com that will get plenty of laughs, delightful musical performances and a love story you want to succeed.



ABC Film Challenge – Horror – I – In Fabric (2018) Movie Review

Director: Peter Strickland

Writer: Peter Strickland (Screenplay)

Starring: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, Hayley Squires, Gwendoline Christie, Jaygann Ayeh

Plot: In Fabric is a haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Weird

Story: In Fabric starts as we meet divorced mother Sheila (Jean-Baptiste) who is seeing her son Vince (Ayeh) prepare for college with his muse Gwen (Christie) slowly taking over the house, Sheila is looking for love in the personal ads with her needing to by a brand-new dress.

Soon after wearing the dress for the first time, Sheila notices strange things happening around the house as the tensions between Shelia and Gwen continue to rise. Shelia’s life gets turned upside down, which only escalates the more she investigates the original model of the dress.

Thoughts on In Fabric

Characters – Sheila is a divorced single mother who works as a banker, she is trying to move on with her life, as her son is about to be moving on with his life, she is gets a new dress, which only starts to increase the troubles in her life. Gwen is the older woman dating Sheila’s teenage son, she is slowly taking over the house being very disturbing with the tension filled interaction with Sheila. Reg is on a stage-do which sees him get the dress to wear, he is preparing for his own wedding, starting to see his own life spiral out of control, with Babs being the wife-to-be that is still preparing the wedding.

PerformancesMarianne Jean-Baptiste is great for her part of the film, this is mainly because the film is split into two stories with eh dress, Marianne has the first one and shows the struggles she would be experiencing. When it comes to the rest of the cast, it does feel too late into the movie to get truly invested in the second set of actors story.

StoryThe story here follows two different people that come in contact with a mysterious dress that has its own abilities to ruin their lives, we are left to guess just what is causing the pain to happen and why this dress is acting the same way around people. This story is flat out weird to follow, mostly because we have two different stories that might well be connected, they are separate enough to leave us with different ideas for each family to deal with. The story doesn’t seem to give us enough answers about the dress itself and with on fleeting images of the store it came from, which only ends up leaving us feel like we could have had more from the story.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film comes from just how outside the box the idea is, while the horror comes from seeing how the dress acts and what it causes to people’s lives.

SettingsThe film tries to keep the locations down to everyday ones, be it the two homes, the store or the employment locations, it shows how the weird events of the characters lives happen without anything needing to come from outside the box.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the film as they show different levels of damage being caused.


Scene of the Movie – The fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough behind the mystery of the dress.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that can be described with one key world, weird, it is filled with strange moments that only leave us with more questions than answers.

Overall: Very Strange.

ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – # – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) Movie Review

This is under the numbers because of the fact it is a sequel.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Jeffrey Boam (Screenplay) George Lucas, Menno Meyjes (Story)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover

Plot: In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler‘s Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.


Tagline – Have the adventure of your life keeping up with the Joneses

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade starts when Indiana Jones (Ford) learns his father Professor Henry Jones (Connery) has gone missing in search of the holy grail, his life’s work, this returns Indiana to Europe where he meets Elsa (Doody) and comes face to face with the Nazis once again.

Indiana and Henry must put aside their differences and get to get to the holy grail first and stop it getting into the hands of pure evil.

Thoughts on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Characters – Indiana Jones returns to his double life of a history professor teaching about fact and the adventurer that goes in search of treasures, only this time he will need to go in search of his father, he must deal with the fact his dad was distant from him growing up and now he must continue his fight against the Nazis. Professor Henry Jones is Indiana’s father and has been studying the Holy Grail his whole life, to which Indiana believes is only paperwork, but his time in the field is now causing more problems for Indiana. Marcus is the smart friend of the Jones family, only he is useless in the field, usually gets laughs along the way. Elsa is the Austrian scientist working for the Nazis looking to get the book belonging to Henry, we are never sure completely which side she is fighting for though.

PerformancesHarrison Ford continues to be wonderful to watch in this role, showing excellent chemistry with Sean Connery who brings us the older figure that is played for laughs we never thought he could handle. The rest of the cast are entertaining to watch through the film, bringing to life their different roles with ease.

StoryThe story here follows Indiana Jones on his latest adventure to help search for his missing father who went in search for the holy grail. This does bring Indiana back to his fights with the Nazis who want to use historical religious artifacts for their own benefit, this time the holy grail. We continue to build the world here, with an on going rival for Indiana to face, one that he has been up against for his whole life, one that is greedier, but one Indiana has started to get ahead off, along with a father son relationship that needs fixing despite knowing there is love between them.

Action/AdventureThe action sequences continue to follow what we know from the Indiana Jones trilogy, we have big chase sequences, one through Venice, one through the skies above Germany and the desert tank one is brilliant too.

SettingsThe film takes us around the world on the adventure as we get to see each location with history being used to help lead the path to the answers.


Scene of the Movie – The Holy Grail.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing in this one.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent conclusion to the trilogy, one that builds a bigger world for Indiana and returns to a familiar foe for him to face.

ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – I – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Movie Review

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone

Plot: In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom starts as Indiana Jones (Ford) looks to escape from Shanghai, which sees him joined by singer Willie Scott (Capshaw) and kid Short Round (Quan), only for them to end up crash landing in India.

Once in India Indiana finds himself trying to help a small village locate a stolen stone, only to find himself in the middle of a secret cult mixed up with enslavement and human sacrifice.

Thoughts on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Characters – Indiana Jones is back, taking part in shady deals with criminals, making narrow escapes, before showing his true nature helping a small village respect their history. He knows how to handle himself in a fight and will always be ready for his next daring escape. Willie Scott is a famous singer in Shanghai, one that is a complete diva, not wanting to be away from the glitz and glamour, she ends up being part of the team, spending more time screaming than doing anything else. Short Round is the quick talk, quick handed young boy that helps Indiana, he seems him as a father figure that could help him have a better life after his own parents death. Mola Ram leads the cult, believing they will get the power if they control the stones.

PerformancesHarrison Ford is always going to be remembered for the role of Indiana Jones, he bought the character to life with ease being one of the most iconic characters in film. Kate Capshaw does get annoying in her role, with the pure amount of screaming she puts us through, this is more about the script than her though. Ke Huy Quan does bring us the loveable sidekick for Indiana, getting laughs through the film. The villainous side of performances do well, giving us very dark characters that are prepared to do anything for their own cause.

StoryThe story here brings us another adventure of Indiana Jones as he finds himself in India trying to stop an evil cult from gaining power, after they start using the local children as slaves. This might well be a much darker tale than the first Indiana, which does make it even more enjoyable, it shows us how Indiana will do the right thing without a monetary incentive being involved, it shows him in a light that history is the most important thing to him. The idea of the secret cult of evil is very dark, it is important to reflect the darkness they are trying to create, which we see through the film. The story does leave us wanting more adventures from the Doctor.

Action/AdventureThe action involved in the film is fights, chases, daring escapes, everything you would expect to see in an adventure, with the bridge sequence being the true highlight of the adventure.

SettingsThe film uses the settings excellently, to show us the hidden world of the cult, the trap tunnels an adventure would find himself in and each location is added to the environment of the adventure sequences we follow.


Scene of the Movie – The bridge sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The crocodiles look so out of place.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent sequel that often gets overlooked compared to the other two in the trilogy.