40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)

40Director: Michael Lehmann

Writer: Robert Perez (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Paulo Costanzo, Adam Tree, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Vinessa Shaw, Maggie Gyllenhaal

 

Plot: After a brutal break-up, a young man vows to stay celibate during the forty days of Lent, but finds the girl of his dreams and is unable to do anything about it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: 40 Days and 40 Nights starts as we meet Matt (Hartnett) who has been struggling with his break up from Nicole (Shaw), this has led Matt to a string of one night stands that lead to him having visions of a black hole. Matt’s brother John (Tree) is in training to become a priest where Matt learns about lent and vows to give up all sexual activity for 40 days and 40 nights.

When his roommate Ryan (Costanzo) decides to spread the news about the vow a betting pool opens up and to make Matt’s life more difficult when he finally meets the perfect woman Erica (Sossamon). Matt has to learn to balance his vow while starting a new relationship where sex is out of the question.

40 Days and 40 Nights is a film I did enjoy watching even if I can see big flaws in the story, this mostly comes from the idea that it is written that every guy is obsessed with sex and couldn’t possible go 40 days without having it. The problems comes where everyone is against Matt rather than having even just one person supporting him through his self-improvement idea. I do however feel the story works for what it is trying to be even if it comes off unbelievable throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Josh Hartnett: Matt Sullivan is a struggling man who can’t get over his ex-girlfriend Nicole. Running through a string of one night stands he wakes from these with a vision of the world coming to an end. Coming up with the idea to give up sexual activity for lent his life becomes a game for people around the world who has bet on when it will end and the perfect woman come into his life his whole life becomes difficult. Josh shows with this performance he can handle comedy.

Shannyn Sossamon: Erica has been struggling to find the right guy and her job doesn’t help. She meets Matt and see him as a different guy to the normal ones she meets but doesn’t fully understand the vow. Shannyn is good in this role being a strong leading lady.

Paulo Costanzo: Ryan is Matt’s roommate who is always looking to go out and meet girls for sex. He keeps watch over Matt after telling everyone about the vow. Paulo is solid as this supporting friend even if this generic.

Adam Tree: John Sullivan is the priest in training brother of Matt’s who doesn’t believe he can achieve his vow because he knows how difficult it is to go through. Adam is solid but in the end is just another supporting character.

Support Cast: 40 Days and 40 Nights has a supporting cast which includes plenty of different characters that are trying to make Matt break his vow with not a single person actually supporting him.

Director Review: Michael LehmannMichael gives us a fun comedy even if it is very one sided with the reactions and mind set people are meant to be in.

 

Comedy: 40 Days and 40 Nights has moments of comedy which mostly surround people trying to make Matt break the vow.

Romance: 40 Days and 40 Nights does try to tackle relationships by trying to make it more about how sex isn’t the most important part of the relationship.

Settings: 40 Days and 40 Nights keeps the settings around San Francisco which is always a great visual location for a film.

Suggestion: 40 Days and 40 Nights is one to try it does have good moments of good comedy but it also has a story which seems to be very much sex is all people think about. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Hartnett works for comedy.

Worst Part: Not everyone is sex obsessed.

Romantic Moment: No contact date.

 

Believability: The way things go I would say no.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $17 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline:  It’s Easy to Say But Harder To Do! 

 

Overall: Simple comedy that does work well for what it is trying to achieve.

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John Leguizamo Weekend – Moulin Rouge! (2002)

moulinDirector: Baz Luhrmann

Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Garry McDonald

 

Plot: A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Flamboyant Musical Stunner

 

Story: Moulin Rouge starts as a young English writer Christian (McGregor) moving to Paris for dreams where he finds himself having to work on a play Spectacular Spectacular, but he needs to be passed off as a famous writer to impress Satine (Kidman).

When Christian gets mixed up with The Duke (Roxburgh) the two fall in love but when the Duke discovers them they must arrange a new play to prove they are just rehearsing for the latest play throwing Christian into the biggest show in town.

As The Duke becomes jealous he forces the director Harold Zidler (Broadbent) to sign a contract where he has exclusive rights to Satine and the Moulin Rouge, this throws the love between Satine and Christian up in the air because her chance to become the next big actress could be ruined.

Moulin Rouge is a flamboyant romantic musical that opens with all singing and dancing and never holds back from the over the topness of the songs being used. Going in completely blind I was left shocked with the choice of songs which include versions of Nirvana, The Sound of Music and David Bowie which all work apart from the creepy version of ‘Like a Virgin’. The setting is beautifully re-created with each performance embracing the location perfectly. The love story starts with the tragic ending which is against the normal as we are leading to find out what happened.

Kidman and McGregor are both brilliant in the leading roles but it is the supporting character which in places get left behind as The Duke comes off strange with the rest all coming off letting the main to shine in this performance. This is big, bold and breath-taking in places with anybody with the love for these songs finding a way to enjoy.

 

Overall: This is one of the most over the top style films with glorious use of music throughout.

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Original v Remake Weekend – Rollerball (2002)

rllerDirector: John McTiernan

Writer: Larry Ferguson, John Pogue (Screenplay) William Harrison (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn, Naveen Andrews Oleg Takarov

 

Plot: The big thing in 2005 is a violent sport which can have some pretty serious consequences… like dying.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Social Commentary 101

 

Story: Rollerball starts as we see aimless extreme sports lover Jonathan Cross (Klein) taking part in a boarding race through the streets of San Francisco only to be saved by his old friend Marcus Ridley (Cool J) who offers him a chance to take part in Rollerball in Central Asia where he can make a fortune for a couple of seasons work.

The sport is mostly hosted in Kazakhstan which while isn’t related to the film this does sum up big sports being offered major deals in Asia in the likes of football and cricket. Anyway, back to the story, Jonathan has become an overnight success in the sport and new favourite for owner Alexis Petrovich (Reno) with the sponsorship money pouring through Jonathan becomes the star for the whole crowd.

When the sport continues to draw a large audience with the violence we get to see just how deadly this sport can become as Jonathan’s popularity sky rockets he gets to live the life of luxury, fast cars, beautiful women and parties, but looking past this life Jonathan can see the problems within the country and with the sport he has become the star off.

 

Thoughts on Rollerball

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan being made out to be the naïve extreme sports player works for this version of the film because he is the one that can see the problems in the sport he is the star of but isn’t able to take on what could easily be a dictator for the nation involved. Marcus is the best friend in the sport that is wiser to the country as well as happier to turn away from the problems he has seen. Aurora is your standard love interest with a dark past where she finds from the world. Alexis is the all powerful owner of the sport and what feel like the country that is desperate to be as rich as possible.

Performance wise Chris Klein does struggle to be the lead this film needs in places, but does pull the naïve side off well just not the action man lead. LL Cool J is fun as the best friend role while Rebecca Romijn does work for the love interest. Jean Reno does a good job as the power-hungry owner too. The rest of the supporting cast are all good without being scene stealers.stars

StoryThe story here is different in enough places from the original to only really use the sport as the remaining elements from the original. This time the sport has only just started to take off, the money is in it but the story focuses on the idea the sport is about to become the biggest sport in the world because of the nearly acquired blood lust of the audience, with the star player seeing this and wanting out and to stop this change to the sport. We get the feeling the rest of the world gets when they see the billionaires in similar countries spending money on sports when the rest of the country is struggle to make ends meet.

Action/Sci-Fi/SportsThe action is bigger and bloodier than the original film which shows how the fans will be drawn to the blood sport. The sports side is all entertaining for the fans.

SettingsThe settings are based in Asia showing how that is the new future for high paying sports owned by corrupt billionaire.

Special EffectsThe special effects for this film are all good but the night shot tries to be different and looks very difficult to watch.genre

Final ThoughtsI do have a personal soft spot for this movie and I can see why people don’t like it, but this is one film you can switch your brain off and enjoy the mad over the top entertainment.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable sports action movie.

Ratingrating

 

 

DJ Qualls Weekend – The New Guy (2002)

Director: Ed Decter

Writer: David Kendall (Screenplay)

Starring: DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel, Jerod Mixon, Parry Shen, Lyle Lovett, Eddie Griffin, Sunny Mabrey

 

Plot: A high school senior branded uncool in the ninth grade gets himself expelled so he changes his image to cool kid at the town’s other high school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: The New Guy starts on the first day of senior for Dizzy (Qualls) and his band mates Nora (Deschanel), Kirk (Mixon) and Glen (Shen), they are blips in the social group but in the end he gets fully embarrassed in front of the whole school. Continuing his spiral out of control Dizzy ends up in prison where he meets Luther (Griffin) who teaches him how to be tough and al Dizzy needs to do is get expelled.

Starting his new school, with a new look, he makes an instant impact taking out the big dog of the school yard. Dizzy uses this new image to help change the school, grabbing the attention of head cheerleader Danielle (Dushku) along the way but how long can he keep this up.

 

Thoughts on The New Guy

 

Characters/PerformanceDizzy is the typical outsider in high school, he dreams of fitting in but the truth is he never will, he does all he can to make himself stand out and he does make an impact but he also faces the idea of leaving him friends behind to be popular. Danielle is your standard cheerleader dating the high school asshole but also designed not to have her own mind and just date the popular kid. Nora, Kirk and Glen are the old friends that are there to support Dizzy but also be part of the band. We have the full group of typical high school students which all make for the laugh for the story.

Performance wise, DJ Qualls followed up his scene stealing performance in Road Trip with this lead performance where he once again builds on the idea of an outsider changing a mentality. Dushku fits the role very well but isn’t the most developed character. We also get an early from Zooey Deschanel who brings her quirky style to this film and shows off her singing abilities.

StoryThe story follows the idea of one boy wanting to fit into high school, he changes to fit in only to turn on his friends. He learns from his mistake to make a difference at the high school showing everyone that they need to treat each other with respect to achieve everything you could in the early time of life. This is a good look at high school life but is one people could learn from.

ComedyWe have plenty of comedy in this film which is all enjoyable for the audience watching even if most of the humour is based on teen comedy.

SettingsThe high school settings are great because of the morale in the story as the characters learn their lessons about how to treat each other.

Final ThoughtsI grew up watching this film, I loved the story so much that I made the film my username on most things I used, it works on every level it aims for.

 

Overall: This is a worthy addition to the teen comedy genre.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Below (2002)

belowDirector: David Twohy

Writer: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky, David Twohy (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Davis, Bruce Greenwood, Holt McCallany, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Chinlund, Olivia Williams, Scott Foley, Andrew Howard, Christopher Fairbank

 

Plot: Strange happenings occur on a WW II submarine.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror Film

 

Story: Below starts in the year 1943 as the USS Tiger Shark submarine must respond to a stranded group of survivors where Captain Brice (Greenwood) and his crew must make the save of the British survivors including the only female now on the vessel Claire (Williams). Brice’s crew including Loomis (McCallany) and Odell (Davis) start to look at the attack on the British ship which doesn’t seem to make sense to Odell.

Discovering that one of the survivors is a Germany and that someone has put the crew at risk we see the tension rise on the ship which has just survived an attack from a Germany battleship. When strange things continue to happen on the ship we are left to wonder whether the submarine is cursed or not, but it could well be something outside this world causing the strange occasions on the ship.

Below is a horror mystery thriller that follows the crew during World War II, it starts with coincidence going on before it dives into the supernatural, while I liked the early side of the being superstition between the soldiers I found the dive into 100% supernatural really doesn’t help the second half of this film. The jump scares are easily to see coming and while it does end up in a cover up style film I appears to feel very forced.

The cast are solid without being truly stand-out with Matt Davis struggling in the leading man role because he comes off too young for the character in question, Greenwood is great as the captain with McCallany and Williams filling up the main stars with good performances. It is the supporting cast of actors you would know else like Fairbank, Flemyng and an early role from comedian Zach Galifianakis which surprised me the most in this film, not because he is the best or worst thing more that I wouldn’t have pictured him in this style of film.

 

Overall: Tension filled horror playing on wartime experiences.

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