ABC Film Challenge – Random – I – Inherent Vice (2014)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay) Thomas Pynchon (Novel)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short

 

Plot: In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 2 and Half Hours too Long

 

Story: Inherent Vice starts as private investigator Larry ‘Doc’ Spotello (Phoenix) who gets a visit from his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Waterston) needing his help dealing with the latest job she is on with her boyfriend Michael Z Wolfmann (Roberts). When he goes missing Lt. Det. Christian F ‘Bigfoot’ Bjornsen (Brolin) leads the case which also sees Shasta go missing too.

As the case continues to unfold Doc finds himself meet a string of different characters who all have different pieces of information that will help solve the case.

 

Thoughts on Inherent Vice

 

Characters/PerformanceDoc is our main character and he is a hippie private investigator that has connections all over town and finds himself in the middle of a big cast.

Performance wise, Phoenix is good but to be fair due to the slightly boring story the actors don’t have much to work with.

StoryThe story here is a crime story as we watch how a PI must solve a missing persons case and what the bigger picture to everything is, it would be fair to say this is very boring and not interesting in anyway.

Comedy/CrimeThere is no comedy in this film, I am pretty confident in saying that, the crime story is fine but not very interesting either.

SettingsThe settings look fine for the time period in question but otherwise nothing comes off truly memorable.

Final ThoughtsThis was a boring story with an all-star cast that don’t get the chance to show their abilities.

 

Overall: Sometimes you just need to miss a film and this is one of them.

Rating

 

 

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I, Tonya (2017)

Director: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Steven Rogers (Screenplay)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale, Bojana Novakovic, Caitlin Carver, McKenna Grace, Julianna Nicholson

 

Plot: Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.


Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uniquely Told Biopic

 

Story: I, Tonya starts as we have the interview set up so we can learn from Tonya Harding (Robbie), her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Stan), her mother LaVona Golden (Janney) and other people that were involved in the incident.

We flashback to learn how Tonya came from an abusive mother that pushed her to the limits in figure skating, her abusive relationship with her husband Jeff and how her dreams of ever being a gold medallist get thrown into turmoil after what happened with fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan (Carver).

 

Thoughts on I, Tonya

 

Characters – Tonya Harding was a natural born figure skater, she had talent from a young age, but came from a redneck family. Even after making it to national competitions she still gets looked down upon. It is her relationships with show her resilient side from her abusive mother to her husband and her involvement with the Nancy Kerrigan incident that could ruin her reputation. Jeff Gillooly is the man that Tonya married, they have a good spark, but his violent nature kept pushing her away and his charming nature could bring her back too. LaVona Golden is Tonya’s mother that sacrificed to make her daughter the best figure skater in the world, she does push her to the limits while not being afraid to physical harm Tonya to get the best out of her.

PerformancesMargot Robbie is fantastic in the leading role even as we follow her through mid-teens to early 40s and never not looking the part for the age. Sebastian Stan is great in the supporting role showing how quickly men like his character can change in the blink of an eye. Allison Janney one again comes into a supporting role and shows just how she can step into any role without looking out of place.

StoryThe story follows how Tonya Harding came from a redneck family to being involved in one of the most controversial moments in figure skating history. It shows how sports can become too much for certain people to handle, be it the pressure to perform or the friends and family going too far to help one succeed. The story is told in an interview format, which while is different to other films, it does take away from certain moments in the film.

Biopic/SportsSeeing the rise and fall of Tonya Harding a figure skater that’s career is one that never got ruined by injury, but by controversy. The skating sequences do all look great through the film though, as we see how it was a sport about where you came from not your talent.

SettingsThe settings show us the different times that our story takes place in, how the lesser known sports will rely on work to go with their talent.


Scene of the Movie –
Triple Axel.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sometimes the interview style does become too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at how Tonya Harding’s career was a rollercoaster for anyone that followed her and even if they didn’t, they would have known where her career went.

 

Overall: Biopic for the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

Irreplaceable You (2018)

Director: Stephanie Laing

Writer: Bess Wohl (Screenplay)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman, Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon, Claire Holt, Jacki Weaver, Steve Coogan

 

Plot: A couple who have known each other since 8 are destined to be together until death do them apart.


Tagline – Don’t focus on what if. Focus on what is.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tissues Ready

 

Story: Irreplaceable You starts as we meet the perfect couple Abbie (Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Huisman), who met as young kids and now getting prepared to marry and starting a family, but when tragedy hits Abbie as she learns she has cancer.

Facing her own mortality Abbie starts to prepare for the worst and how she is going to see Sam continue his life without her around. She has the support of fellow cancer sufferer Myron (Walken) who teaches her how to deal with the situation she is facing, being one of the only people that truly knows what she is going through.

 

Thoughts on Irreplaceable You

 

Characters – Abbie is one half of the couple, narrating the story to us after her death (this is the opening sequence, no spoiler here), she is diagnosed with cancer and now must face the reality that the love of her life will live most of his life without her and tries to help guide him before she goes. Sam is the fiancée of Abbie that wants to support her through any ideas she must help her come to terms with her situation, this character is a good look at the person that will be left behind in an adult relationship. Myron is a fellow sufferer that supports Abbie through the treatment, trying to help her understand the importance of time.

PerformancesGugu Mbatha-Raw has been making waves for years now, this is the highlight of her career to date, one of the best performances of the year, real, honest and one you fully understand her characters feelings. Michiel Huisman is great too, he shows us just how difficult his characters position would be. Christopher Walken gives us the wonderful supporting performance too.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of a couple in the final months of Abbie’s life, showing us how she is dealing with the news and how she plans to make her one true love life without her. The story does deal with cancer and the effects it will have on the loved ones and takes it on to the same level as 50/50, which doesn’t play too heavy on the downs, while trying to show us how moments of normality including humour can help the victim. We know the end of the film from the opening sequence, so this is preparing us to for the end.

Comedy/RomanceThe romance in this movie shows us just how cancer can ruin love, but it also shows just how people will be there to support you, even if they know the next chapter. We have sprinkles of comedy, which mostly comes from Abbie as she is dealing with everything.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, the city with many stories, we get to see certain locations which are important to the characters involved.


Scene of the Movie –
The party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Final narration, pick one person to read not both.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that will play with your emotions testing you on every level while telling an important story about how people will be facing the reality of cancer.

 

Overall: Wonderful movie that tells such an emotional story.

Rating

 

 

Elizabeth Banks Weekend – Invincible (2006)

Director: Ericson Core

Writer: Brad Gann (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Conway, Michael Rispoli

 

Plot: Based on the story of Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender from South Philadelphia who overcame long odds to play for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in 1976.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Sports Movie

 

Story: Invincible starts as substitute teach Vince Papale (Wahlberg) is struggling to make ends meet in Philadelphia in 1976, the American football team is considered the worst in the league. When Vince losses his teaching job he only has the bar work to fall back on, but when coach Dick Vermeil (Kinnear) has an open day Vince takes a chance even at the edge of 30.

Vince gets called into the final pool of potential new signings but he struggles to make a name for himself and starts to even question if it is worth it, but coach Vermeil doesn’t want to give up on him yet and this soon becomes a success story for the Eagles.

 

Thoughts on Invincible

 

Characters/PerformanceVince Papale is the struggling man in Philadelphia, he struggles to make ends meet and enjoys a drink with his friends watching the football team, he gets a chance to play for his team becoming a media sensation. Coach Dick Vermeil has been struggling to keep his team together after another terrible season, he takes a chance on Vince one that goes against his whole coaching staffs. Janet is a new bartender that works with Vince that does become a love interest after certain things in their lives work out.

Performance wise, Mark Wahlberg is solid in the leading role, he doesn’t turn to his trademarks we know he is can turn to. Greg Kinnear is good in his role while Elizabeth Banks proves to be a good love interest through the film.

StoryThe story here does down as one of the great success stories in sport, it shows us that if you were to dream you could get a chance even at a later age but it is all about the effort you put into achieving your dreams. This is a slow moving story and unless you care about American Football you might not enjoy this on the levels you would if it was a sport you understand.

Biography/SportsSeeing how the people involved in this season shows us just how sport can inspire people, create legends and most importantly bring hope to the people struggling through life, the football scenes are shot nicely but as I don’t watch I am not sure how accurate they are.

SettingsThe film looks like it is set in the 70’s and the settings help us feel like we are part of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow sports drama that doesn’t click if you don’t follow American Football.

 

Overall: Simple sports drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – I – In the Name of the Father (1993)

Director: Jim Sheridan

Writer: Terry George, Jim Sheridan (Screenplay) Gerry Conlon (Book)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Pete Postlethwaite, John Lynch, Corin Redgrave, Beatie Edney

 

Plot: A man’s coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.


Tagline – In the name of truth… In the name of justice… In the name of love.

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful & Provoking

 

Story: In the Name of the Father starts as Gareth Peirce (Thompson) an English lawyer is listening to the story of Gerry Conlon (Day-Lewis) as he tells his story of why he was in England at the time of the bombing Gerry from Belfast during the middle of the battle between the Irish and the English, but not part of the IRA. He gets himself in trouble at home and gets sent to England to lay low.

When a bomb goes off in London Gerry gets blamed and coerced into confessing to the bombing by the overly aggressive English police, along with his father Giuseppe (Postlethwaite). Gareth is the only one that will stand up for him through the courts, can he have his name cleared.

 

Thoughts on In the Name of the Father

 

Characters – Gerry Conlon is a rebellious young Irish man that finds himself in London when one of the IRA bombs went off, being Irish he becomes a prime suspect in this terrorist attack and is forced into confessing to the murders he might not be the best-behaved man in the world, but he knows he isn’t a terrorist. Giuseppe Conlon is Gerry’s father that has always tried to teach his son the best and to be best he can be, he stands next to his son on trial while facing the same offences while being innocent. Gareth Peirce is the English lawyer that looks to prove the innocence of Gerry and Giuseppe, she is being told the story before putting her case together.

PerformancesDaniel Day-Lewis is as always fantastic in this role, he fully commits to the role like he does every time he gets a role. Pete Postlethwaite is wonderful in the supporting role despite only being 11 years older than Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson is good in her role through the film.

StoryThe story follows the wrongfully convicted Irish family that are sentenced to long term prison time for an IRA bombing attack they were never involved in. We see how the English police forced a confession out of the suspects giving proof that the nearly included terrorist Protection act.  The story does show us the panic created between the two countries during this time and how people will jump to quick answers to solve the problem in the short term.

BiopicThe movie shows the struggle the Conlon’s faced when facing and serving long prison sentences for crimes they have never committed, with only one lawyer that will try to support their case.

SettingsEach setting shows us where the characters have been during the events of the film, how they were not near the bombing but still blamed.


Scene of the Movie –
The prison tribute.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact not everything follows the truth about what happened.

Final ThoughtsThe story of Gerry Conlon and his fellow friends and family that were wrongfully imprisoned is another case of panic to solve the problem rather than solve the case, we have a character that starts off flawed in places before maturing into a man facing reality.

 

Overall: Powerful performed biopic.

Rating