We Make Movies (2017)

Director: Matt Tory

Writer: Matt Tory (Screenplay)

Starring: Jordan Hopewell, Matt Tory, Zack Slort, Jonathan Holmes, Anne Crockett, Matt Silver

 

Plot: A heartfelt and hilarious comedy chronicling the ups and downs of a group of college students who spend their summer making a movie for their town’s Film Festival.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Friendship, Filmmaking and Funnies

 

Story: We Make Movies starts as we follow the student director Stevphen (Tory) as he goes about preparing for his latest film with his best friend and odd jobber on set or associate producer Donny (Hopewell), the two are being followed by a film crew to learn how this film making process happens.

With his script in place Stevphen heads to his star Garth (Holmes) to recruit him once again, while getting a chance to work with a new method actor Leonard (Slort) and bringing in Jessica (Crockett) while waiting for a leading lady of his choice to come along.

This is a long summer of work preparing for the local film festival filled with plenty of ups and downs.

 

Thoughts on We Make Movies

 

Characters/PerformanceStevphen is the controlling ambitious director who believes he is the next big thing in movie making. Donny is the assistant and best friend of Stevphen who comes off very naïve to the world. Garth is the long-suffering star of Stevphen’s movies that just goes along with the idea. Leonard is a new acquired method actor that has high demands, poking full fun at the ideas of what we could see actors demanding silly things to be the star of movies. Jessica is the sent to stay with Donny and grabs the attention of all the guys, she does become the leading lady to keep herself busy for the summer.

Performance wise, I feel all 5 of the main cast all give good performances, handling the comedy which mostly comes in dead-pan style gets executed wonderfully to make us believe on what is going on.

StoryThe story follows the 5 friends as they set out to make a movie over one summer to enter into a film festival, we see the ups and downs, the friendships that will be tested to achieve this. Seeing the film making process taken to a tongue in cheek style works because we do follow the documentary team film the team at work and how things look from the outside.

ComedyThe comedy all comes from poking fun at the film making process, the over the top beliefs we have gotten to know from the star’s stories and everything that could go wrong along the way.

SettingsThe film is all set within the small town as it shows how the friends can work together to have fun and make movies through the long summer breaks.

Final ThoughtsThis was a fun a movie that does get the laughs, while the friends get to show off their creative minds.

 

Overall: This is one for the fans of comedy movie making.

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Studio Ghibli Weekend – When Marnie Was There

manirDirector: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Writer: Keika Niwa, Masahi Ando, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, David Freedman (Screenplay) Joan G Robinson (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Nanaki Matsushima, Susumu Terajima, Toshie Negishi

 

Plot: Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside, an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there – a girl who may or may not be real.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Roller-Coaster

 

Story: When Marnie Was There starts as we meet 12-year-old girl Anna Sasaki who has been struggling to fit in at school becoming distant from her whole family too. Looking for a cure Yoriko her Aunt sends Anna to the family Kiyomasa and Setsu on the coast with fresh air away from the busy city.

With the beautiful landscape becoming the inspiration for Anna’s latest artwork she becomes fascinated by a mysterious abandoned mansion on the marsh. Investigating Anna meets the girl who lives in the mansion Marnie.

The two become best friends but it soon leaves Anna wondering just whether Marnie is real or not because without this friendship Anna feels almost empty in this world.

 

Thoughts on When Marnie Was There

 

StoryThis story is one of the very best from Ghibli, it does lose all of the wild fantasy elements and at its core is one of the sweetest heartbreaking dramas you will see in recent years. The story focuses on the problems a foster child is suffering with through after her parents and grandparents all die, our character can’t find her way in the world but one summer changes all of that for her. How everything unfolds will bring a tear to your eye once you see the final outcome of this story.

Family/MysteryWhen you look at the family side of the story we get to see just how difficult being a foster child can be and you add in the mystery of just who is Marnie to this young girl real, imagine or a memory.

CharactersAnna is a perfect character for lead in a film, she is a struggling young girl who hasn’t understood her place in the world struggling with anxiety and depression with no one around she believes she can turn to for help. Marnie gives Anna the out she needed so much from her life bringing the positive she never knew she has in her. I will say the rest of the characters are mostly typical characters you would see around town who all help Anna with her problems.

SettingsThe animation gives us the most beautiful settings away from the busy lifestyle in the small country village.

AnimationWhen it comes to the animation Ghibli always give us such a perfect style of animation and this is no exception from the brilliant study.

Final ThoughtsThis has to go down as one of Ghibli’s best pieces of work a pure down to Earth story that will make you smile while the tears roll down your face and pure emotional roller-coaster.

 

Overall: Brilliant, Stunning Unforgettable, Tragic, Charming and Important all just a few words to describe this film.

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We Still Steal the Old Way (2017)

Director: Sacha Bennett

Writer: Sacha Bennett, Simon Cluett (Screenplay)

Starring: Ian Ogilvy, Julian Glover, Chris Ellison, Deborah Moore, Billy Murray, Patrick Bergin, Vaz Blackwood, Tanya Franks, Sacha Bennett, Jonathan Sothcott

 

Plot: The Archer Gang are back and doing a daring heist in London. Remanded in prison, they will try to break out their old friend Briggs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: British Gangster Prison Break Edition

 

Story: We Still Steal the Old Way starts with Richie Archer (Ogilvy) warning Sir Edward (Glover) that if he doesn’t return the money he stole from the innocent, he will be taking it. Putting his team together Richie engages in his crime only for getting caught to be part of the plan.

The plan is to help George Briggs (Pergin) get out of prison so he can spend time with his dying wife. The plan has a spanner thrown into the works when Vic Farrow (Murray) gets himself transferred to the same prison so he can kill and get revenge on Richie. Can the plan still come together the way Richie has planned.

 

Thoughts on We Still Steal the Old Way

 

Characters/PerformanceRichie is the confident London gangster who always has a plan, he has loyal friends as well as respected by the higher ups within the crime world. Richie is happy to have a respect filled conversation and doesn’t enjoy the new world youth that is full of disrespect. Vic comes from the same world as Richie but has become the great rival against him, he is serving time waiting for his revenge to come. The rest of the characters are a mix of different associates within the crime world.

Performance wise we have good performance from Ian Ogilvy as Richie with Billy Murray being the great villain of the piece. All the performances are good with most of the cast being the guys you would expect to see in the gangster style movies. Vaz Blackwood does give us a scene stealing performance in this film too.

StoryThe story is a sequel to ‘We Still Kill the Old Way’ and this time we continue to see how Richie can keep everything under control, the story revolves around breaking one man out of prison with the problems that could intel. We do get to have moments where we see the older character’s poke fun at how things have changed in the game they have made their own.

CrimeThe crime world has been created in the first film, this is the next chapter as we see old enemies and friends work together in this gritty crime thriller.

SettingsMost of the movie takes place inside the prison which shows how the two worlds are similar for the characters involved.

Final ThoughtsNot being the biggest fan of the British Gangster films, I did find myself enjoying this because of the colourful characters not being to extremely stereotyped and the heist side of the film.

 

Overall: Gritty British Gangster movie that can be enjoyed by the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

Will Reading (2017)

will-readingDirector: Jamie Insalaco

Writer: Jamie Insalaco (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Insalaco, Dan Conrad, Greg Vorob, Katie Weigl, Marc Seidenstein

 

Plot: Friends reunite to join their buddy’s widow in searching the house for money he hid from the IRS.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laughs Bordering Poking Fun at Twist Bait Thrillers

 

Story: Will Reading starts as Wendy (Weigl) prepares dinner for her widowed twin brother Wayne (Insalaco) and his close friends Dave (Conrad), Steve (Vorob) and Tom (Seidenstein) to read his final will. The dinner leads to the five re-living the moments they had with Will along with all the different feelings about his death.

Will’s will turns out to be a treasure hunt for the friends to work together to discover what is really in the will as he was covering any money he had from the IRS. As the search continues the truth about Will’s death comes out.

 

Thoughts on Will Reading

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all filled with their unique characteristics, Wendy is the widow that has been struggling with the death of her husband, Dan is the one that doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, Wayne is the laid-back brother, Tom is a doctor and easily fills the calming the storms situation with Steve being the one who spent his life wishing he could have been with Wendy. The five all mix together very well to add to the situation of dealing with the loss and family or friend.

Performance wise everybody is good with their roles reaching the levels of quirky they all need to have to make the characters work.tars

StoryWhat starts out as a look into friendship turns into a search and battle to find the money left in the will, this all makes for a good story that is easy to follow, taking a comic look at the twist bait thrillers. We do get a group of friends that are all easy to understand their motives which helps along the story.

ComedyWe all know by now comedy is very much a hit or miss for me, so any film that gives me a couple of laughs is a success, this film uses plenty of humour I enjoy watching, references to other forms of entertainment with Tom’s solo outside scenes making me laugh the most.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside the home which works for the low budget side of the film and also keeps the events of the movie being over the one night.genre

Final ThoughtsYou want to see a comedy that has moments of quirkiness, pop culture references and a story that brings friends together this one is for you.

 

Overall: Fun comedy that has laughs through the film.

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The Warriors (1979)

warriorsDirector: Walter Hill

Writer: David Shaber, Walter Hill (Screenplay) Sol Yurick (Novel)

Starring: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler, David Harris, Tom McKitterick, Marcelino Sanchez

 

Plot: In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Cult Classic

 

Story: The Warriors starts in New York City where the Warriors a gang get called for a meeting with Cyrus who wants to unite the gangs, the meeting must go down unarmed and the Warriors are not the only gang called on for this meeting.

When Cyrus is assassinated the gangs split and the Warriors are framed forced to run from the police but in the what makes a more dangerous threat, the rest of the gangs in the city are targeting them. Each neighbourhood they enter becomes more dangerous with the gangs building to come after them can this small-time gang make it home and clear their name before it is too late.

The Warrior is an action thriller that follows a very simple idea which is one gang having to survive all the odds to get to safety from all the other gangs. The gangs are all filled with colourful characters that make each gang feel different with their own trademarks. The only bad side is that you don’t really know which ones are good gangs or bad gangs as the Warriors are made out to be the bad ones in the eyes of the rest.

The settings are all great with each location coming off as different gang territory which all again has its own look. The performances are all good from each member of the cast with the gang having a natural feel about their relationship throughout. The fight scenes are al designed well to make us see how united our lead gang really it. Overall this is the cult classic people see it as and one I think everyone can enjoy.

 

Overall: When you hear the term cult classic this is one of those films that will be the first on anybody’s list.

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