ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – O – The Opposite Sex (2014)

Director: Jennifer Finnigan, Jonathan Silverman

Writer: Mark Mussina, Steven Sessions (Screenplay)

Starring: Geoff Stults, Mena Suvari, Jennifer Finnigan, Josh Hopkins, Eric Roberts, Kenan Thompson, Josh Cooke

 

Plot: A Bet’s A Bet tells the story of Vince, New England’s most successful divorce attorney. To Vince, life is one big competition, and losing is unacceptable. This also applies in his dating life with his love ’em and leave ’em approach. Then Vince meets Jane, who is beautiful, successful and also extremely driven. Together they enter into a series of entertaining wagers with each other where the winner gets to decide the fate of the loser. After all, “A Bet’s a Bet!”

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Comedy That Misses Certain Jokes

 

Story: The Opposite Sex starts as divorce lawyer Vince (Stults) close yet another case, his reputation is growing and his nature is to search for women to sleep with, this doesn’t chance when he meets his best friend Kenny’s (Hopkins) girlfriend’s Stephanie (Finnigan) old friend Jane (Suvari) who is just as competitive as he is.

Vince wanting to prove he can be better than Jane at something all which will bring them closer together, while Kenny must learn to whether he can keep Vince in his life.

 

Thoughts on The Opposite Sex

 

Characters – Vince is a serial womaniser who happens to work as a divorce lawyer, he even sleeps with his clients, he has a competitive nature which gets shattered when Jane starts beating him at everything. he gets caught up in the middle of a string of bets, where he must learn to grow up. Jane is going through a hard time after a disastrous relationship, she has given up hope on men because of their behaviour. She is used to men just wanting one thing and pushes them away with ease not wanting to let them in. Stephanie and Kenny are the couple that introduce the two, they are both the opposite of the other two which has been waiting for a change in their own lives.

PerformancesGeoff Stults is good in this leading role, he can handle the comedy well even if the character feels like he is larger than life. Mena Suvari is always good for a leading lady in comedy and thrives in the competitive nature of her character. The supporting cast are all good too which add to the comedy.

StoryThe story follows a divorce lawyer that falls for a competitive woman who he just can’t beat at anything, this gives him a chance to learn to grown up and move on with life and start taking life more seriously. This does follow a generic arc that works for the film and while we do get two main stories, the couple one does take a back burner through the film at times. Some of the story gets ignored because we are trying to get jokes in that don’t work for the most part when it comes to moving the story along.

ComedyThe comedy does work at times, but sometimes we just get too many thrown in that are there for extra jokes over moving the story along.

SettingsThe film does keep us in the small city environment which does have clubs that out characters wouldn’t normal go to, to make sure they follow through with bets and try to prove their competitive nature.


Scene of the Movie –
Game night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain jokes are just here for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable enough comedy, it does have a nice message while still getting the point across about treating people correctly even if you need to learn.

 

Overall: Comedy that works well.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – O – One Missed Call (2008)

Director: Eric Valette

Writer: Andrew Klavan, Minako Daira (Screenplay) Yasushi Akimoto (Novel)

Starring: Shannyn Sossamon, Edward Burns, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ray Wise, Azura Skye, Johnny Lewis, Jason Beghe, Margaret Cho

 

Plot: Several people start receiving voice-mails from their future selves – messages which include the date, time, and some of the details of their deaths.


Tagline – What will it sound like when you die?

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Bad American Remake

 

Story: One Missed Call starts when one of a group of friends has been killed, believed to be suicide, Leann (Skye) receives a phone call from the friend which is dated in the future and is a recording of her death. not long after this Leann dies, leaving a message to another friend, this continues until Beth (Sossamon) meets detective Jack Andrews (Burns) who has seen his own sister killed in mysterious circumstances and her phone records show a connection to Beth’s friend.

The two team up to figure out what is going on as the latest friend Taylor (Talancon) turns to a spiritual miracle television from producer Ted Summers (Wise) for answers.

 

Thoughts on One Missed Call

 

Characters – Beth is the young woman that starts seeing her friends die after receiving phone calls that are recordings of their deaths in the future. She teams up with a detective to get to the bottom of everything after she receives a call herself. Being a student to tries to use her qualification to psycho analysis what is going on and with a dark past which teases a connection we never see. Jack is the detective that has seen his sister die in the circumstances, he works with Beth to investigate the strange goings on trying to stop more victims from being killed, this is a strange cop character who for some reason thinks it is ok to bring a civilian into the case. We do meet the friends, though we learn nothing about most of them with  most being killed off within the first 30 minutes and the seedy tv producer which is a story arc which is forgotten within ten minutes.

PerformancesShannyn Sossamon is not the best in the leading role, she never makes us believe that she is scared in the film while also not being convincing in anything else, Edward Burns is likewise, not very good for what we know he can do, he might not have the best character to work with, but it sums up the weak acting through the film which includes wasting Ray Wise.

StoryThe story follows a group of friends that start receiving a recording that is them dying in the future. They must investigate what is going on before the time of the recording comes true. For me I like a good ghost investigation style movie, which this story tries to give us, the problems come quickly here, it is a remake of a much better told story from Asian cinema, the supporting characters are offed way to quickly and the side story that is meant to hint at something else seems to be a complete waste of time. It does rely on the twist ending which is drawn out too long because the false ending happens just over an hour into the film and we clearly know that isn’t the end of the film. the story has plenty of pacing problems which only leaves us disappointed.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from mostly bad CGI and the lack of ability to capture the same haunting feeling the inhaler had in the original films. The mystery side of the film is the highlight only it goes down too many false paths leaving us feeling flat by the end of the film.

SettingsThe film uses basic student housing, police station and creepy burnt out hospitals as the settings, none of which see to be able to capture any moments of tension.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, this is a giant miss too because the attempted creepy face just look way to fake to be able to strike up any fear in any sensible person.


Scene of the Movie –
One good inhaler jump scare.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The acting is very bad with no on being able to show fear.

Final ThoughtsThis is another one of those terrible American remakes of a truly scary movie, it lacks tension, fear factor and anything to make us scared.

 

Overall: Terrible remake.

Rating

 

 

One Night in Miami (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Regina King

Writer: Kemp Powers (Screenplay)

Starring: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr, Lance Reddick, Christian Magby

Plot: One Night in Miami is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: One Night in Miami starts as we meet the four influential black men, boxing champion of the world Cassius Clay (Goree), Malcolm X (Ben-Adir), American football star Jim Brown (Hodge) and musician Sam Cooke (Odom Jr).

The four come from their different worlds, to meet one night in a hotel room, to discuss what they are doing to help make a change in the world, seeing some clashes, while agreeing on other things, they know they will go down in history, they just want to make sure they are on the right side of it.

Thoughts on One Night in Miami

Characters – We get to meet four of the biggest names in black history, we know the boxing superstar of Cassius Clay who is showing off his cocky style in the ring, frustrating his trainers, but winning his fights, Malcolm X the leader who was changing the way the black man was treated, he is always looking over his shoulder, believing the white man is out to silence his ideals. Jim Brown is breaking records in the American football leagues, he is in a position where he can transition to another world of acting, while his movements are seen as groundbreaking for the rest of the community. Sam Cooke has seen his music rise up the charts, but he still can only perform to the biggest crowds of white people only, he wants his voice heard but doesn’t have the same crowds as the other three.

PerformancesWe have four actors here Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr who are all brilliant to watch, they all look the part of the famous figures they are playing, filled with the small mannerisms that they would have shown or can be seen in achieve footage.

StoryThe story here follows the fictional idea that four of the most influential black men in history once meant up in a hotel room to discuss what they are planning to do to make a difference for the black man in a modern world. This is a story that is fictional account of what could have happened if the four met, while we will never know the truth about anything they truly discussed together, this showed how determined they were to make a difference and highlights that even in a position of trying to make a difference, you will see people clash with what they want to change and how they want to achieve this change.

SettingsMost of the film is set inside the hotel room, showing that between the four walls, the ideas of change would have been discussed by the important people that could make a difference.


Scene of the Movie – The roof top.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not knowing my music, I didn’t have clue who Sam Cooke was going in.

Final Thoughts One Night in Miami is a very interesting drama that shows an idea of what could have happened if four of the biggest names in black history worked together for a change.



Offensive (2016) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Ford

Writer: Jonathan Ford (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Floyd, Lisa Eichhorn, Fred Adenis, Timothy Morand, Angela Dixon, Etienne Fouillade

Plot: A retired couple are targeted by a cruel gang of street youths . A new breed of technological psychopath. This is the old generation vs the new.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Disturbing & Unsettling

Story: Offensive starts when a retired couple Bernard (Floyd) and Helen (Eichhorn) inherit a small villa in a village in France, with the stipulation that they must live there for one year, they meet a lonely widowed neighbour Patrick (Morand) before learning quickly about the youths in the area, that cause chaos, with franks, name calling and acts of violence, film their actions for their own entertainment.

Soon both Bernard and Helen start getting targeted by the thugs, with the police doing next to nothing to help, even accusing Bernard of starting more of the trouble himself.

Thoughts on Offensive

Characters – Bernard is a retired teacher who inherits a house in France from a family friend whose father fought with his in World War II, he sees this as a start with his wife for a healthy retirement, only once he learns about the troubles and gets targeted, he is torn between trying to walk away or fight back. Helen is the wife that tries to stop him getting revenge on the thugs, she wants to walk the moral line, trying to let the police solve the problems. Jean-Baptiste is the police officer trying to keep the peace, not knowing what is right about what is going on, trying to play everything down the line. Patrick is a neighbour that welcomes the couple, he has been clashing with the thugs, with what happens to him being the catalyst for Bernard to react.

PerformancesRussell Floyd in the leading role is great, because he is playing somebody that is trying not to fight back and somebody that looks like he could be an easier target for the thugs. Lisa Eichhorn does well, though her character seems to be more about the moral decision behind everything going on. The young actors playing the thugs are disturbingly great to watch because you want them to get what is coming to them.

StoryThe story follows a retired couple that find themselves being targeted by the villages group of thugs, which soon sees thing starting to get out of hand. Bought to us in the same kind of tone as ‘Eden Lake’ this shows us how the youth of today could start getting out of hand to new extremes, with violence being used in numbers, with the idea that technology lets them replay the footage again and again, this does make us get some horrible characters that you are wishing to be wiped of this Earth. This is all great to watch, when we start getting into the moral decisions going on, this just gets bogged down, nobody in their right mind would defend any of the actions done to these thugs it isn’t even worth a talk. For a revenge like horror this is one you can get behind what is happening, feeling complete sympathy for the retired couple and nothing for the thugs.

HorrorThe horror here comes from the actions the couple must first live through and then proceed to get revenge for, the wounds we see suffered are brutal and feel like it is real, you may need to look away at times.

SettingsThe film is set in a small French village, it shows the divide between the youth and the older generation, with just how they act towards them.


Scene of the Movie – The first fight back.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The talk about moral right thing.

Final Thoughts This is a brutal horror that plays into the revenge like mentality, it has the same tone as Eden Lake, with us only caring about the retired couple.

Overall: Brutally Disturbing Horror.

One More Orbit (2020) Movie Review

Director: Terry Virts

Plot: As a tribute to Apollo 11 which took off 50 years ago -former astronaut Col. Terry Virts and crew depart from Cape Canaveral in an attempt to break the round-the-world speed record for any aircraft flying over the North and South Poles.

Runtime: 1 Hour 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: One More Orbit starts as we meet former astronaut Col Terry Virts, who is looking to honour the Apollo 11 mission by putting together a team of pilots to try and break the world record for round-the-world speed flying over the North and South poles.

We get to see the plan and follow the crew on their attempt, which will see them having to face different problems along the way.

Thoughts on One More Orbit

Final Thoughts One More Orbit is a documentary that will put focus on the vision of trying to break world records, using the memory of one of the greatest achievements of all time Apollo 11 mission as the motivation to target this mission. The plan is set out, with moments to look at each locations historical impact of the Apollo 11 mission, being part, we have the international crew, proving that working together will be the reason any of this could be achieved, not one country should get the credit for what was trying to be achieved. The biggest problem with the mission, is the fact that everything runs smoothly, it is a record that doesn’t have any major peril moments, it is just a routine attempt to break a record, which isn’t going to be the most thrilling thing we could expect to see. We can’t take away the record itself, it is an incredible achievement, that we could have all watched along during the attempt and is the movie that spends the most time in Mauritius that I have ever seen.

Head over to the website for more information on the journey and check out the movie yourself from 6th October.