My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) Movie Review

Director: P.J. Hogan

Writer: Ronald Bass (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco, M Emmet Walsh, Rachel Griffiths

Plot: When a woman’s long-time friend reveals he’s engaged, she realizes she loves him herself and sets out to get him, with only days before the wedding.


Tagline – A comedy about finding your heart and losing your head.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple Rom Com

Story: My Best Friend’s Wedding starts when successful author Julianne Potter (Roberts) who learns that her best friend Michael O’Neal (Mulroney) is getting married, which turns the switch in her mind that she is still in love with him. Julianne decides to wants to try and break up the engagement, when she learns Kimberly Wallace (Diaz) is completely aware of the position Julianne will have in Michael’s heart.

As Julianne’s plan to try and win Michael back, things get complicated when her editor George (Everett) comes to support her, which leads to her panicking and claiming they are engaged.

Thoughts on My Best Friend’s Wedding

Characters – Julianne Potter is a successful author, she always put her career ahead of love, which is why her best friend is Michael and not her partner, she learns about his engagement and decides she wants to break them up, she is always planning on trying to stay ahead of the game, though she isn’t brave enough to say how she really feels. She doesn’t come off as likeable, which is the point sometimes selfish and always unsure about wanting to commit to anything. Michael is the best friend that is going to get married, he wants Julianne back to celebrate with him and must decide how to take the next stage of his life. Kimberly Wallace is the woman that is marrying Michael, she knows how important Julianne is to Michael, which will see her trying to watch over her action. George is the editor for Julianne that is trying to give her the best advice during her decision.

PerformancesJulia Roberts in the leading role is solid enough, it does seem to go against the nice woman characters that she is used to playing. Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz and Rupert Everett do a simple enough job in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that wants to break up her best friend before he gets married and must start to focus on her own life. This story does show how love can come and go, but will always be there, it is about whether you take your chances at the right times or whether you want to become the bad person by trying to take somebody else’s happiness. It shows just how far Julianne would go to make something out her past relationship no caring who she steps on. It doesn’t paint the main character as being very nice, because they are purely selfish.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy is basic through the film, it doesn’t get too serious with the laughs. The romance in the film is more about how Julianne believes she loves her friend and will try to fight for his love.

SettingsThe film uses the wedding preparation settings for the backdrop for most of the film, we get to see where the character would be and how they would look to get what they want.


Scene of the Movie – The lesson learned.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Julianne isn’t a likeable character.

Final Thoughts This is a basic rom com, it does show how people can try to make up for their mistakes in love, but in the end, it does end up feeling like nothing much happens.

Overall: Basic stuff.

McLaren (2017)

Director: Roger Donaldson

Writer: James Brown, Matthew Metcalfe, Glenn Standring, Tim Woodhouse

Plot: The story of Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. A man who showed the world that a man of humble beginnings could take on the elite of motor racing and win.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Interesting Documentary

Story: McLaren starts by showing us how Bruce McLaren was born to a family that enjoyed racing in New Zealand, this would see him being given a huge opportunity where Bruce would get a drive in Formula One, joining the Cooper team, becoming the youngest race winner in a championship winning team.

After proving himself in a car including winning the most difficult race in Monaco, Bruce learns that the sport isn’t as friendly after his first major accident, returning he sees one of his closest friends killed before deciding to make his own team McLaren in a new location America, where they would make better money from the sport. With his new success in design his racing career continued to shine, only he own personal illness struggled to improve giving him personal pain on a daily basis.

Thoughts on McLaren

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at one of the pioneers in motor racing, it showed that with talent came commitment, we do get to see parts of his racing career, which is all fascinating to see, though it does only seem to follow the positives from his racing career, minus the one big accident. We don’t get a full look at his formula one career and racing career around the world, instead focusing more on his ability to look to design a successful car in the sport. This does show how hard he went to work on becoming different from the financially more secure teams. The weaknesses in the film come from certain moments of editing which seem to show the film almost stop before heading to the next scene. This will show the basics of one of the most important people in motor sport, but doesn’t show us enough of what could have been seen from a documentary about in important career.

Overall: Interesting, but not as big of a documentary as it could have been.

Rating

Kevin Costner Weekend – McFarland (2015)

Director: Niki Caro

Writer: Christopher Cleverland, Bettina Gilois, Grant Thompson (Screenplay) Christopher Cleverland, Bettina Gilois (Story)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar

 

Plot: Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach. He sees that some of the students are worth starting a cross-country team and turns seven students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sports Drama

 

Story: McFarland starts as high school football coach Jim White (Costner) goes too far trying to motivate his team, which leads him to lose his job, needing find a new job, Jim relocates with his family wife Cheryl (Bello) and kids to McFarland a small town populated with mostly Mexican families.

Moving to this town opens Jim’s eyes to a potential cross-country team to help the children with little hope of a big future to aim for something, he takes Thomas Valles (Pratts) the fastest, Danny Diaz (Rodriguez) the slowest, Jose (Ortiz), David (Martinez), Johnny (Duran) and Victor (Avelar) and attempts to make them a champion cross-country team.

 

Thoughts on McFarland

 

Characters – Coach Jim White is a fallen man having lost his temper with an over privileged team not performing, needing to redeem himself he moves his family to the only place that would give him a chance McFarland a mostly Mexican neighbourhood. Here we see Jim believe he can turn 7 kids into a champion cross-country team using his ability to learn the new culture and give the kids hope they never thought they would get. Thomas is the star of the team, he has natural speed, but he has not been given too much hope with his future after school, he now gets a chance that could bring him a college dream he could never even consider. Danny is the slowest member of the team but he never gives up showing improvement on every single run.

PerformanceKevin Costner shows us here that he does still have it and most of all can handle being the mentor figure for the young actors. The young actors playing the runners all give great performances show us just how anyone could be given a chance to be the next big thing. Maria Bello is potentially the weakest of the main performers but we don’t get too much for her to do.

StoryThe story of one coach needing to get redemption for his actions is one idea we have seen before. It works here and mixing it with entering into a neighbourhood that has been given no hope of a future until they are shown a new way out of the town. This is based on a true story which shows how real people’s actions were important for this community. This shows how people working together can achieve any dreams.

Biopic/SportsThe real people are show in this movie should be used as inspiration for anyone who has dreams and it helps show people can make them happen. The running is chopped together to be fine but isn’t the most engaging part of the film.

SettingsThe small-town setting shows how difficult life would be for this families living here, it also shows just how together the neighbourhood is when supporting any success that could come their way.

Scene of the Movie – Bridge talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Due to not knowing Spanish I didn’t understand slight words other people would.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantastic look at how one man changed the hopes for a small town, it shows how every kid should be given a chance to prove themselves for a future and gives us a true story that could inspire.

 

Overall: Enjoyable, Inspirational story.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – M – Miss Bala (2019)

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Writer: Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Screenplay)

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Mackie, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Aislinn Derbez, Matt Lauria, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Abarca

Plot: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.


Tagline – Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Miss Congeniality 3?

Story: Miss Bala starts when makeup artist Gloria (Rodriguez) visits her friend Suzu (Rodlo) in Mexico only for a night out to end up with a shoot out and Gloria finding herself being dragged into the criminal world by Lino (Cordova) threatening to kill her and Suzu if he doesn’t help.

Gloria is also recruited by the DEA and she is caught in the middle of both worlds trying to decide what is best to do, while she just wants to keep her loved ones safe.

Thoughts on Miss Bala

Characters – Gloria is a simple make up artists that is always dreaming of getting higher up the business, she has friends both sides of the American border, which sees her visiting Mexico a lot, including seeing her best friend. She gets caught up in the middle of a shoot out and becomes the target for the Mexican cartel who want her to help them transfer across the border. She needs to do what she can to remain alive, whether it be illegal or not. Lino is the runner that has the ruthless gang that forces Gloria into working for him, he offers the most human emotions of the people trying to push her around. Jimmy is one of the connections on the American side, he believes there is a problem within the gang.

PerformancesGina Rodriguez does a solid enough job in the leading role, though it does seem like she doesn’t know this world is happening in her character. Anthony Mackie does feel more like a cameo that an important role in the film. Ismael Cruz Cordova is the best performer in the film

StoryThe story here follows a makeup artist that gets drawn into a criminal world where she is forced to complete illegal actions to make sure her friends are kept safe, while learning more about the corruption within the world she has been thrown into. This does show us how one person can be thrown into a world they know nothing about, while it also shows us just how the world is both corrupt and one that can swallow people whole if they don’t fight back in their own way. We do only learn what is happening through the eyes of Gloria, which helps keep certain parts more of mystery, though being a remake, it does seem to lose a big part of the story.

Action/CrimeThe action is just wild shootouts which don’t feel like they are as tactical as both sides think not being the most entertaining, while the crime world is everything people imagine the cartels to be.

SettingsThe film does show us just how close the two worlds could be despite being two different countries.


Scene of the Movie – Final shootout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We have seen this story before.

Final Thoughts This is an unimaginative action crime that we have seen before, it doesn’t reach any levels of intensity which it should, with the performances just not making the film any better.

Overall: Basic Action.

The Mule (2018) Movie Review

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Nick Schenk (Screenplay) Sam Dolnick (Article)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Taissa Farmiga, Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena, Austin Freeman, Laurence Fishburne

Plot: A ninety-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran turns drug mule for a Mexican cartel.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

Story: The Mule starts as Earl Stone (Eastwood) a horticulturist that has spend too much of his life on the road away from his family, missing the major events in his family’s life. After he doesn’t cope with the changes in the market, he is left with nothing and looking like failing his granddaughter Ginny (Farmiga), only for her fiancée Mike (Freeman) offer him a chance to just drive.

With Earl taking the job, it turns out he has been transporting drugs, with Agent Colin Bates (Cooper) and Agent Trevino (Pena) trying to track down anyone smuggling drugs across the border. How long can Earl keep this up before he gets caught, even though he is spending the money on helping the community.

Thoughts on The Mule

Characters – Earl is a horticulturist, he has spent his whole life in this business, which has seen him sacrifice major family events, making him distant to most of his family. He loses his job and is given a chance to become a driver for a cartel, which he soon becomes the most successful in the industry he even gives the money back to the community he has seen struggle for years. Mary is the ex-wife that has finally become tired of the let downs that Earl has left the family with. Ginny is the granddaughter that has been promised money and doesn’t care as long as her grandfather is willing to be there for her on the big days. Agent Bates is fresh to the force he is tasked to try and stop the smuggling and spends most of the time trying to learn about the new mysterious mule for the cartel.

PerformancesClint Eastwood is a joy to watch in this film, he comes off like an everyday older person that just wants to be willing to help people around his life, even though he is filled with regret about his family life. Bradley Cooper doesn’t really get too much time to shine or do anything in his role, while the rest of the cast don’t seem to get that much time to show off their characters.

StoryThe story here that follows a retirement aged, he has worked his whole life and ends up becoming a drug mule for a cartel, which sees him becoming one of the most wanted men in America. This is based on a real man that took this role because he enjoyed driving, he isn’t like anybody else they have worked for, but his style makes him harder to track down. The story does use the themes of regretting losing time in life which is clear in the behaviour from Earl along the way. We do have a few plot holes with how the cartel carry out their jobs, because this just seems to end, without any consequences, why would they give up the success they were having too.

CrimeThe crime side of the film does feel like just somebody casually taking part in the drug mule business, he is only ever put to a test once he needs to decide his own future.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the locations that Earl stops along the way, which does make him harder to track.


Scene of the Movie – The last run.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing seems to happen to the cartel.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch crime story that shows just how one person can casually commit crimes without anybody noticing them.

Overall: Easy Watch.