Franchise Weekend – Before Sunset (2004)

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke (Screenplay) Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan (Story)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

 

Plot: Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse’s book tour.


Tagline – What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Character Piece

 

Story: Before Sunset starts as Jesse (Hawke) is in Paris on his book tour, the one telling his story from 9 years ago, meeting Celine. When Celine turns up at the store, the twos spark is still there and today they have only hours to catch up and answer the big question, did they meet up in Vienna.

The two have seen their lives fly by as we learn how their careers have gone in directions that make them happy and the natural catch up just relights the fire they had, only now they have more responsibilities now they are in their 30s.

 

Thoughts on Before Sunset

 

Characters – Jesse is now a best-selling author, his book is about the time he spent with Celine, he has still has unanswered questions about what happened with Vienna. Married he has moved on with his life. Celine has followed her career choice, seen more of the world and has been left wondering if Jesse has ever made it to Vienna, after she hadn’t. the chemistry between the two is still strong, as we get to learn what happened in the last 9 years of their lives.

PerformancesEthan Hawke and Julie Delpy are back carrying this movie, they are involved in every scene and the chemistry between the two still shines and is something you can barely see in any movie, while this isn’t as strong as the first film because they feel even more comfortable than before when there should be moments of awkwardness.

StoryThe story sets up to answer the big question the fans of the first film had, did they meet up 6 months later. We do learn this answer and how the two didn’t meet, we learn how they have lived their own lives, forever changed by their time together. This story is told in real-time as the two only get a couple of hours together, to learn if the life had gone the way they had planned and whether they still think about that time they spent together, which is both brilliant and heart-breaking to watch. This story gives everyone that has ever thought they met the one a chance to see how things could have gone for them with a second meeting.

RomanceThe romance shows us how that one moment with someone magical can affect your life for many years to come.

SettingsThis time we are set in Paris, yet again we have a beautiful backdrop to discussing life for the two characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Boat trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Partly knowing what happening with Vienna 6 months later.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sequel, it gives hope to people that have had that one meeting with someone and it can happen again, but life is someone out there can change things.

 

Overall: Beautiful sequel.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Romance – N – The Notebook (2004)

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Writer: Jeremy Leven, Jan Sardi (Screenplay) Nicholas Sparks (Novel)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Sam Shepard, Joan Allen, James Marsden, Kevin Connolly,

 

Plot: A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Date Night Sorted

 

Story: The Notebook starts as Duke (Garner) a positive thinking elderly man is getting ready to continue a story to Miss Hamilton (Rowlands) at the home, this story takes us back to Noah (Gosling) who meets the 17-year-old Allie (McAdams), both from different backgrounds, Noah poor and Allie rich.

When the two fall wildly in love Allie’s parent’s don’t want her to spend her life with what they call trash, leading to a break-up of the loving couple. Years fly by the two live their own lives away from each other where Allie falls in love with a man her family approve off. While the two cross paths again the love they felt will always be there, but life always gets in the way.

 

Thoughts on The Notebook

 

Characters – Noah came from the wrong side of town, the side with no money or prospects, he earns everything he has to prove that he can escape this world, he makes it through war but his love for Allie will never stop being there. Allie comes from the rich part of town, she accepts Noah for being different but her parents stop her from following the true love she felt for him, while she does fall in love with another man she will always have that flame for Noah. Duke is the man telling us the story to Miss Hamilton who is listening to the story, we learn that they are a bigger part of the story too.

PerformanceGosling and McAdams both shine in these roles which will always be considered two of their more popular roles of their careers. James Garner and Gena Rowlands are both great in the older roles too.

StoryThe story focuses on two people who fell in love, they face stumbling blocks along the way be it personal or otherwise but the love they feel will be what no other can give them. We do flash between the story unfolding as it is being told that does give us hints to who the elder characters are which at times can be frustrating because the final reveal is the one that plays on the heart strings. This is a fairy tale love story, which the likely hood of every happening seems unlikely, but it gives the audience hope of true love.

RomanceThe romance in this film does show how two people can fall in love and it last forever even through illness, war and everyday situations.

SettingsThe settings give us a clear difference in class the two come from and just how the love they feel can bring people together from different background

s.

Scene of the Movie – Swans and rain.

 

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think they give away a twist too early.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the all time most popular date night movies, you can see why because it does work on the love side of things.

 

Overall: This is a bitter sweet love story that plays for tears.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – L – Laws of Attraction (2004)

Director: Peter Howitt

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna, Robert Harling (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Michael Sheen, Parker Posey, Frances Fisher, Nora Dunn

 

Plot: Amidst a sea of litigation, two New York City divorce lawyers find love.


Tagline – Getting married is a great way to fall in love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com

 

Story: Laws of Attraction starts as we meet divorce lawyer Audrey Woods (Moore), she has never lost a case for her clients and has her own strict style to getting business done and personal life, when her latest case brings her up against laid backed lawyer Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan) that throws her off her game, with his style and the fact he has never lost a case doesn’t help.

As the two fight their obvious attraction to each other, the battle in the courts breaking each other’s undefeated streaks before getting their hands on one of the biggest divorce cases in the public eye, rock star Thorne (Sheen) and fashion designer Serena (Posey), which brings the two lawyers closer together.

 

Thoughts on Laws of Attraction

 

Characters – Audrey Woods is the most successful divorce lawyer in New York City, undefeated and the one that the rich and famous turn too. Away from the court she lives a very closed off life not dating and using her spare time watching the weather channel. She is the complete opposite to Daniel, she is neat and tidy borderline OCD. Daniel is the untidy lawyer that has returned to New York and goes against Audrey in the courtroom, he is as successful as Audrey which shows the two clashing in court. The two characters show how opposites can attract in the strangest times. Thorne and Serena are the typical over the top celebrities that should never have gotten married in the first place, that show Audrey and Daniel about love.

PerformancesJulianne Moore is great in this leading role, her chemistry with Brosnan is good throughout and her timing for the comical moments works for her character. Pierce Brosnan is great opposite Moore, he is always great as the laid back figure in any movie and this is no different. The supporting cast are good too with Michael Sheen, Parker Posey and Frances Fisher getting plenty of laughs through the film.

StoryThe story here follows two lawyers that start against each other in court but soon start having sparks between them as they are against each other with one of their biggest cases going on in the court room. This does play into the idea of opposites attracting through an unlikely situation and plays out the idea of career versus love at time, for the most part this is a safe romantic comedy that does the humour when needed and the serious moments when needed too.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this movie does hit well, most of it comes from the supporting characters with Michael Sheen being the highlight of them. The romance side of the film shows us just how opposites could attract and that you could find love in the strangest places.

SettingsThe film has a couple of main locations, New York which would explain the careers for both the lawyers and the fish out of water location in Ireland which offers Audrey a chance to loosen up.


Scene of the Movie –
To the Airport.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Audrey isn’t the nicest of characters with the way she treats Daniel.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable romantic comedy that does feel very safe, but doesn’t need to over complicate anything. You will get the chuckles needed too.

 

Overall: Safe and enjoyable romantic comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – E – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Director: Michel Gondry

Writer: Charlie Kaufman (Screenplay) Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth (Story)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson

 

Plot: When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.


Tagline – Replace my memory.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Look at Relationships

 

Story: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starts as we follow two strangers Joel (Carrey) and Clementine (Winslet) who meet on a train, fall in love, but darkness soon falls over Joel’s life when for some reason Clementine doesn’t remember him and dates someone else.

Clementine has had Joel erased from her memory, Joel is never meant to know this, but when he learns about this, Dr Mierzwiak (Wilkinson) performs the same procedure for Joel and with the technicians Stan (Ruffalo), Patrick (Wood) and Mary (Dunst) help Joel through the destruction of the memories.

 

Thoughts on External Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

 

Characters – Joel is the man that fell in love with Clementine, but sees his life fall to pieces when she goes through a procedure to erase him. Joel broken up about this follows through with his own procedure and now his mind is living through the nightmare of losing his memories and trying to save them. Clementine is the woman Joel falls in love with, after they break up she has him erased and we see how they had their ups and downs through their time together. Dr Mierzwiak is the man behind the technology and his work makes it possible for memories erased. Patrick is one of the technicians working on Joel, he has done an unethical thing when performing the procedure before. Stan is the main man working on Joel, he sees it as an easy job, but this case because more difficult than he could imagine and his reckless behaviour with Mary the receptionist causes more problems than they needed too.

PerformancesJim Carrey is great in his leading role, we get to see a new level because he shows that his serious ability is taking over now, Kate Winslet works here because she gets to be the quirky girlfriend while also feeling like an everyday real woman. We have an excellent supporting cast that all give great performances too.

StoryThe story here plays into the idea that sometimes relationships don’t go the way you would plan them too, but in this world you can erase the person you have fallen out of love with. This is a smart idea, because how often have people fallen in and out of love with the heartache of the break up holding people back, this answers this with a solution people could turn too. Only watching it from Joel’s point of view is good and bad, because he is the one that must witness the idea of being left, ignored by the person he once loved.

Romance/Sci-FiThe romance side of the film shows us just how relationships can play out, they always start amazing but soon they turn into the normality that can put people off where things are going which leads to what happens. The sci-fi elements are smartly used as we see just how the technology used can create everything that happens.

SettingsThe settings try to keep us in everyday life and memories, which help Joel find the moments he needs to erase.

Special EffectsThe effects are effortless because you barely notice moments as the world falls apart in the memories of Joel.


Scene of the Movie –
Escaping the world collapsing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technicians are too reckless for me.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of films people are always hyping over, I have struggle to watch this before, but made it through this time and did enjoy for the most part as it looks at how relationships are not always as planned.

 

Overall: Smart romance movie.

Rating

 

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-fi – C – Cube Zero (2004)

Director: Ernie Barbarash

Writer: Ernie Barbarash (Screenplay)

Starring: Zachary Bennett, David Huband, Stephanie Moore, Martin Roach, Terri Hawkes, Richard McMillan

 

Plot: A young man whose job is to watch over the Cube endeavours to rescue an innocent woman trapped in one of its rooms.


Tagline – The first experiment in fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Never Hits the Levels It Could

 

Story: Cube Zero starts with the latest of the events going down, we watch engineers Eric (Bennett) and Dodd (Huband) watch over the latest game. Cassandra (Moore) is the latest player to join in as she is joined by others trying to navigate their way through the twisted games.

When Eric learns that Cassandra hasn’t agreed to take part in this experiment, he decides to break the rules to help her escape, risking his own life against the very people that have employed him.

 

Thoughts on Cube Zero

 

Characters – Erik is the former boy genius, he works in the engineering office of the Cube complex, he does start to question just what they are doing and enters the game to stop who he thinks is an innocent victim of the game. Dodd is the senior engineer that is trying to keep Eric in line, he is a company man that will do anything to keep his head down. Cassandra is one of the players in the game, she is one person that Eric doesn’t believe should be in the game, she has been taken and forced into playing the game.

PerformancesThis being the third movie in the series tells us something about the level of performances we will be receiving Zachary Bennett is solid enough in the leading role, with Stephanie Moore being the good leading lady in the game.

StoryThe story here takes us behind the curtains of the games we have seen previously, this does return to the darker levels of the original. The idea the victims are placed into a game of life and death is back, but we look at the outside looking in from the engineers point of view. This does add something to the film because we couldn’t just do another version of the game, it shows just how many people would be involved in the game too. This helps and hinders the movie because we do end up following the players at time but this just takes away the puzzle solving side of the film.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror is good to watch, we have gore filled deaths which the franchise is known for. The mystery of solving how to get out alive is taken away because of us being taken behind the curtain. The sci-fi elements come from the technology behind the game.

SettingsThe film remains inside the enclosed cube rooms with different traps, unlike the previous sequel we return to the dark feeling setting and the officers match this too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the practical effect kills this movie seems almost flawless, when you look at the CGI moments, you will have to raise an eyebrow at the clear use of the CGI.


Scene of the Movie –
The first kill is gory and memorable.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The game doesn’t feel as original as before.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good chapter in the Cube franchise even if it doesn’t hit the marks it could.

 

Overall: We like the franchise.

Rating