Kinky Boots (2005) Movie Review

Director: Julian Jarrold

Writer: Geoff Deane, Tim Firth (Screenplay)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jane Potts, Jemima Rooper, Nick Frost, Linda Bassett, Robert Pugh

Plot: A drag queen comes to the rescue of a man who, after inheriting his father’s shoe factory, needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat.


Tagline – How Far Would You Go To Save The Family Business?

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable

Story: Kinky Boots starts as we meet two men Charlie (Edgerton) and Lola (Ejiofor) who have grown up under the shadows of their father’s that wanted them to follow in their footsteps. Charlie is forced to take over his family’s show making business, finding it about to go under unless he can find a new idea, which sees him making a chance meeting with the drag queen Lola, who has a full show in London.

Charlie sees a chance to grab his company into a new niche market, by producing shoes for drag queen, seeing how they are struggling to find heels that could support a man’s weight, Charlie risks his whole company on this, while needing to deal with the homophobia shown towards Lola in Northampton.

Thoughts on Kinky Boots

Characters – Charlie is the son of a show maker, the business has kept the community together for generations and despite his decision to leave the area, he is drawn back after his father’s death. He is facing the hardest decision of his life once he learns that the business will need to close, but risks everything to take a chance on a new niche market, where he has to put his uncertainties behind him. Lola is a drag queen in Soho, they take centre stage on a daily show, even if they deal with the haters in life, a chance meeting gives them a chance to design heels for drag queens, both characters have been struggling with father’s that are disapproving in their life choices. Lola has also been dealing with discrimination for years. Lauren is one of the employees that is being made redundant, but pushes Charlie into finding a niche market. Nicola is the fiancée of Charlie who is set for a move to London, who does try to support him through his decisions, but pushed to the limits when he puts their own home on the line.

PerformancesChiwetel Ejiofor gives us a brilliant performance committing to the character through the whole film. Joel Edgerton is great too, in a role that shows him looking a lot weaker than his normal tougher guy roles. Sarah-Jane Potts and Jemima Rooper complete the main supporting cast where everybody does a great job.

StoryThe story here follows a struggling shoe company owner that makes a drastic design to turn his factor into a place where they make heels and shoes for drag queens after meeting with one on a trip in London. This is a story that is based on a true story, which showed an unlikely partnership saved a factory from closure even if Charlie had to risk everything to make sure his employees have a job and put aside his feelings towards drag queens. We do get the deeper story about how people will have their own desires and interests that people shouldn’t judge them on.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy in the film mostly comes from the different reactions to Lola, while some are positive, others are negative, but it is Lola’s respond that gets the laughs, with the musical side of the film coming from Lola’s performance.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, first London where people are more accepting and Northampton where they aren’t used to seeing drag queens, the settings show the different mindsets.


Scene of the Movie – Milan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The factory workers mentality.

Final Thoughts This is a fun musical that does put out the important messages about how to treat people in life because you never know how important they could be to your own future.

Overall: Important Comedy.

Killbird (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Zanetti

Writer: Jessi Thind, Joe Zanetti (Screenplay)

Starring: Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas, Elysia Rotaru, Stephen Lobo, Jesse Inocalla, Reese Alexander

Plot: When a young woman’s car breaks down in back country Oregon, she finds herself at the mercy of a paranoid conspiracy theorist, who assumes she’s a government agent.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Keeps You Guessing

Story: Killbird starts when a woman Taylor (Rotaru) is on a birding adventure when her car breaks down, with the only house she can find being the remote cabin of Riad (Lobo), a man that is very uneasy to let her into his house, the two look to get to know each other, while Riad clearly has a secret, he believes Taylor to have one too.

What follows is a battle of wits between the two, as Riad is trying to discover if Taylor is telling the truth or not, while Taylor is trying to hide her own reason for being here.

Thoughts on Killbird

Characters – Taylor is a woman that is birding, when she gets stuck in a remote location, where she finds herself being held captive by the owner, she is trying to get information, while trying to understand his point of view. Riad is the lone man living in the cabin in the woods, he has been living there for years, working on something bigger, he has been working on a bigger conspiracy theory that has been left in place for years in America, with his own one he believes in, involves avenging his brother who took the fall for a major disaster.

PerformancesElysia Rotaru in the leading role is great to watch, we does keep us on edge about whether her character is innocent in everything or playing the bigger game, while Stephen Lobo shows us just how on edge his character is meant to be through the film.

StoryThe story follows a woman that finds herself in a remote cabin in the woods, where a lone man lives, off the grid away from the world, the two clash on who could be telling the truth and just how is in control of the situation. The story does keep us guessing to everything that is unfolding, we are not sure who to believe about what is happening, you never can put your finger on which one is telling the truth, or doing the right thing, which is refreshing. The biggest weakness, would be that we are focusing on the incident that is nearly 20 years old, it also doesn’t help that we focus on a real event, because it could become too personal for certain audience members.

ThrillerThe thriller side of the film focuses on just how the two are trying to keep ahead of each other, never letting us know who is truly in control.

SettingsThe film takes place in one location, the cabin in the woods, it shows how someone would live off the grid while working on a bigger idea, only for the problems of being away from the world could make you a bigger threat.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The incident being real could be seen as too personal.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting thriller that could show how a conspiracy theory could spiral out of control with what could be true or not.

Overall: Conspiracy Theory 101

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – K – Kills on Wheels (2016) Movie Review

Director: Attila Till

Writer: Attila Till (Screenplay)

Starring: Szabolcs Thuroczy, Zoltan Fenyvesi, Adam Fekete, Monkika Balsai, Lidia Danis, Dusan Vitanovics, Zoltan Mucsi

Plot: wo disabled teenagers looking for a reason to live, team up with a wheelchaired hitman.


Tagline – Hit men roll in when you least expect them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Movie

Story: Kills on Wheels starts when Rupaszov (Thuroczy) gets out of prison, he has seen his life spiral out of control after getting injured during his firefighting job, leaving him in a wheelchair, depressed, turning to whatever work he can get, with his latest one being a hitman.

Rupaszov meets young disabled men Zolika (Fenyvesi) and Barba Papa (Fekete) and starts to show them more about life, giving them a way into the world he is in, to prove that being disabled isn’t a weakness and the men should use it as a strength.

Thoughts on Kills on Wheels

Characters – Rupaszov was once a firefighter with the perfect life, this became shattered after an accident leave him paralysed and turning to a life of crime, now out of prison, his depression just as bad as before and the only work he can find in being a hitman, though he takes to young disabled men under his wing to show them that there is more to life. Zolika has recently become wheelchair bound, he is still getting used to the change in his life, wanting to use his creative mindset to bring to life his time with Rupaszov, with his best friend Barba. Barba Papa is the best friend of Zolika, the two do everything together, helping each other deal with the obstacles they are facing in life.

PerformancesSzabolcs Thuroczy does the emotional side of the film of the troubles he is facing with his change in life, while Zoltan Fenyvesi shows that an actor could be strong in a film even with his disability, showing great chemistry with Adam Fekete.

StoryThe story here follows a depressed disabled hitman that recruits two young men to help him get on with his life and show them that there is more to life. This is a unique styled story because we could have easily seen the ideas of an older disabled character trying to motivate younger ones, which would be an easy sell, only to have the twist of them being put into a world of hitmen and gangsters, does feel refreshing to see. This story does mix everything together well, to make us find an enjoyable story.

Action/ComedyThe action does bring a newer style with the wheelchair action being used through the shoot outs, while the comedy comes from how the three deal with problems in life.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to show us the different meeting locations, we see the home the young men are learning about their changes in, with the rehab around them, right down to where the gangs operate in.


Scene of the Movie – The day out.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Dog dies.

Final Thoughts This is a fun movie that shines an important light on the disabled people and how much they could achieve in life no matter what the problems they might be facing.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Katie Says Goodbye (2016)

Director: Wayne Roberts

Writer: Wayne Roberts (Screenplay)

Starring: Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Olivia Cooke, Mary Steenburgen, Jim Belushi, Keir Gilchrist, Chris Lowell

 

Plot: A kind-hearted seventeen-year-old in the American Southwest turns to prostitution to fulfill her dream of a new life in San Francisco.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heart-Breaking De-Construction of a Young Woman

 

Story: Katie Says Goodbye starts as we meet kind-hearted Katie (Cooke) who works as a waitress and prostitution on the side to get enough money to get out of the small trailer park see lives with her mother Tracey (Enos). Katie wants to move to San Francisco and after meeting Bruno (Abbott) a recently released prisoner, trying to keep his head down, who also doesn’t say much.

When Katie get exposed by Bruno, she must give up this life choice, hoping to make sure she can still leave, only to find herself in a relationship which doesn’t see her smile coming and her hope starting to come crashing down.

 

Thoughts on Katie Says Goodbye

 

Characters – Katie is a 17-year-old waitress that sleeps with the customers for some extra cash to help pay her family’s rent and chase her dream of escaping, she is an always positive person, that lets her kind nature guide her in the right direction. We see her start a relationship with a mysterious man, which sees her needing to give up the side ventures in hope that she can leave to follow her dream. In this time we see how the ever positive Katie sees her whole life come crashing down completely breaking this kind person. Tracey is Katie’s mother, she has given up most hope on herself, letting her daughter do most of the work for her, she admits she wasn’t a good mother and shows little love towards her own daughter. Bruno is the new man in town, working as a mechanic who takes the eye of Katie, the two do start dating with him being a man of little words, he does have a temper which can come to light at the wrong times and will see him getting to a level of dangerous without ever hurting Katie. Maybelle is the owner of the diner, she treats Katie like a daughter, always offering to be there for advice, never letting anything get in their friendship’s way.

PerformancesOlivia Cooke gives one of the best performances of the year 2016, it is clear that not enough people saw this movie to be talking about her raw, performance that shows how her character gets complete deconstructed through the film. Mireille Enos and Mary Steenburgen both prove to be brilliant supporting stars, while Christopher Abbott proves to bring us an unsettling mysterious man needed in the film.

StoryThe story follows the young woman that is still in her teenage years that dreams of a better life away from the small town where the dead end lives have taken its toll on the locals and she remains the last beckon of light in the town, until even her life comes crashing down around her. For the story here we get one of the biggest deconstruction of a character I have ever seen, she goes through so many different problems that completely take her life apart and it will show how the positive side of somebody can be broken without any fault of their own. Certain parts of the story do however feel slow and we do get too many scenes which are just the same as earlier which fill like they are just filling time to extend her pain.

SettingsThe film is set in a small American town, it gets to reflect the life that Katie has grown up in and wants to escape, facing the reality here she can’t deal with, showing her positive nature to help her escape, the diner, trailer park and open space that nobody visits.


Scene of the Movie –
Katie says goodbye.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does repeat itself with certain scenes at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant look at how a person can have their life turned upside down and seeing it spiral out of control, with a special performance from Olivia Cooke.

 

Overall: Brilliant character study.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – K – Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)

Director: Greg Mottola

Writer: Michael LeSieur (Screenplay)

Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt, Ming Zhao, Matt Walsh

 

Plot: A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.


Tagline – License to kill. License to chill.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Keeping Up with the Joneses starts when average married couple Jeff (Galifianakis) and Karen (Fisher) who live in a quiet neighbourhood get new neighbours. This is the buzz of the cul-de-sac and the Jones’ Tim (Hamm) and Natalie (Gadot) are not like the normal in the area.

Karen believes that the Jones’ are not normal and starts spying on them, for good reason as Jeff becomes the pawn in an espionage mission for the undercover agents.

 

Thoughts on Keeping Up with the Joneses

 

Characters – Jeff is the everyday human resource man for a government facility, he has a normal life with his wife in a quiet suburban neighbourhood and tries to stay positive. He reluctantly finds himself in the middle of espionage where he learns that not everyone in his life is who they believe they are. Karen is his wife and an interior designer that works from home giving her a birds eye view of the new neighbours, to whom she doesn’t trust. Tim Jones is the secret agent that befriends Jeff when he is searching for criminals, he is tired of the life of crime. Natalie is his wife and weapons expert who enjoys the life even though she doesn’t fit in the suburban neighbourhood.

PerformancesZach Galifianakis in the leading role of the couple works very well, he knows how to give us everyday comedy and his weight loss is fantastic. Isla Fisher is good to feeling like they have great chemistry together. Jon Hamm is great as the agent being the slick figure you would imagine he would need to be, while Gal Gadot shows us that she is capable of the kick ass woman we saw in 2017  with Wonder Woman.

StoryThe story shows how a quiet neighbourhood can be turned on its head by new neighbours and them being spies only causes our main couple finding new excitement in their life. It shows how this field will be the hardest to blend into for the spies and how the everyday person could get in their hearts and job. There is an espionage story which can get lost at times which doesn’t feel like the most important part of the story.

Action/ComedyThe action when used is generic easy to put together to keep things safe, we have a car chase which is the highlight of the action. The comedy is mostly the reactions to what is happening to characters which will get chuckles in places.

SettingsThe film is designed to make the spy genre being set in the suburbs, which gives us everything we need it too.

Special EffectsThe effects work when needed and add to the action sequences.


Scene of the Movie –
The car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain is almost no existence

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun action comedy that hits the marks it needs to without being one of the greatest, it easily isn’t one of the worst.

 

Overall: Fun throughout.

Rating