ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – X – My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) Movie Review

We are cheating once again with X, by picking this because of the X-girlfriend side of the story.

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Don Payne (Screenplay)

Starring: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Stelio Savante, Mike Iorio, Mark Consuelos

Plot: When a regular guy dumps a superhero for her neediness, she uses her powers to make his life a living hell.


Tagline – Hell hath no fury like a superwoman scorned.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Laugh

Story: My Super Ex-Girlfriend starts when down on his luck regular guy Matt (Luke Wilson) meets a stranger on a train, Jenny Johnson (Thurman) who he helps get her bag back, thinking he could be about to start a new relationship. Jenny has a secret though, she is G-Girl a superhero that protects the city from crime.

Jenny normally keeps her secret identity away from partners, that is until her arch nemesis Barry Bedlam (Izzard) starts trying to us Matt to get to Jenny and things get even more complicated when Matt breaks up with Jenny, as she doesn’t take the break up well.

Thoughts on My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Characters – Jenny Johnson is a shy timid lady, she keeps to herself, is awkward when it comes to interaction, only she has a secret, she is the city’s superhero. She does want to date and after Matt helps her, she wants to let him into her life, opening up unlike anyone has before, though this does make her angry when he moves on. Matt is a regular guy, he is down on his luck, needing to turn things around, until he meets Jenny, he is happy to start a new romance, but isn’t comfortable with the idea of dating a superhero. Hannah is the work colleague of Matt’s, the two do have good chemistry in everyday life and Matt starts to see this the more is sees Jenny’s darker side. Barry Bedlam is the arch nemesis of G-Girl, he knows about her past and wants the powers that his old friend Jenny has.

PerformancesUma Thurman gets to play into her action figure with this awkward superhero that is looking for love. Luke Wilson as the regular guy caught up in the middle of superhero battle. Anna Faris as the potential new love interest and all-around nice women works well, with Eddie Izzard and Rainn Wilson getting plenty of laughs along the way.

StoryThe story here follows a regular guy that finds out his new girlfriend is a superhero that has a crazy side, which sees her trying to ruin his life once he breaks up with her. This does take the idea of a crazy ex to new levels, with us having one with superpowers that can ruin and torment somebody’s life to a new level. We also get the spin on the women being the superhero, which often leaves the men needing to wait for the rescue to happen. We might well end up going to the extremes when it comes to how relationships are seen though.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy in the film does focus on how the superhero persona will get used to the idea of dating a normal person and vice versa, with the romance showing how no matter who you are, it can be difficult to find love.

SettingsThe film gives us a New York backdrop, which is a setting I will always praise for the use when it comes to life dramas in and out of love.


Scene of the Movie – The break-up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does go over the top too often for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a fun spin on the rom com, showing the women in the position of power, with the men left holding the fort, while she saves the world and shows just how crazy ex’s can be.

Overall: Fun Rom Com.

Jamie Foxx Weekend – Miami Vice (2006) Movie Review

Director: Michael Mann

Writer: Michael Mann (Screenplay) Anthony Yerkovich (TV Series)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong, Naomie Harris, Ciaran Hinds, Justin Theroux, Barry Shabaka Henley

Plot: Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.


Tagline – No Rules

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Safe and Simple

Story: Miami Vice starts with detectives Sonny Crockett (Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Foxx) working on their latest trafficking case in Florida, when officers are murdered, the case starts to become more personal, with the pair given the chance to go against procedure.

Sonny and Ricardo join forces with Montoya (Tosar) and his wife Isabella (Gong) who connect them with the people that will make them rich, while they are in the case the take down the drug lord, they must play the undercover roles until they get close to the evidence.

Thoughts on Miami Vice

Characters – Sonny Crockett is the flirty of the detective’s partnership, he finds himself getting close to Isabella which does risk everything with her being the wife of the drug lord. Ricardo is the straighter-faced part of the partnership, the smarter of the two and the one that is able to do extra research for any operation. Isabella is the wife of the drug lord that pair are investigating, she gets involved in an affair with Sonny which will see her risk everything and start to give up details of his shady operation. Trudy is Ricardo’s partner, she can handle herself in combat and is a valuable part of the team.

PerformancesColin Farrell and Jamie Foxx do a solid job in this film, though they don’t get to make the most out of these characters, which you feel need something to make them seem different. Li Gong and Naomie Harris both fill the love interest roles well without needing to do that much with what they are doing.

StoryThe story here follows the Miami Vice squad going undercover to track down a drug lord running riot in Miami, which seems them going across the boarders to get the truth to take them down. This is based on the popular television show, one I never saw, so I can’t compare it, the idea is cops going undercover in search for the truth, though it is played out with style of substance which only ends up making us feel distant to the events of the film. This is like what we have seen both, while it tries to be edgy, it doesn’t get that either and just becomes like an over long version of what we would have gotten from most cop dramas through the years.

Action/CrimeThe action is simple too, which focuses more on the ideas of trying to add style to police break ins, which is what the crime side of the film does too, as it makes us want to see just how the world can operate.

SettingsThe film uses the Miami settings to show how it could be easier to export or import drugs into the area from the island surrounding it.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do look weaker with on explosion being one that looks particularly bad.


Scene of the Movie – Breaking in.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – That explosion.

Final Thoughts This is another desperate attempt to bring a much loved television show back to life on the bring screen, it doesn’t capture any of the magic and just ends up feeling like a generic action film.

Overall: Basic TV Remake.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – H – The Host (2006) Movie Review

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Won-Jun Ha, Chul-hyun Baek (Screenplay)

Starring: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae, Ko Asung, Dal-su Oh, Jae-eung Lee

Plot: A monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and begins attacking people. One victim’s loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.


Tagline – It is Lurking Behind You

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent Creature Feature

Story: The Host starts as we meet the family Hie-bong (Byun) who runs a snack hut with his immature son Gang-Doo (Song) with his granddaughter Hyun-seo (Asung) staying with them, watching Nam-Joo (Bae) perform in competitive archery. That day, a busy day on the Han River, a monster appears and starts attacking people, causing chaos and taking Hyun-seo with it to the depths.

Believing Hyun-seo to be dead, the family is joined by Nam-il (Park) as they go through the mourning process as the government look to contain the problem, only for it to become clear that Hyun-seo is still alive calling her father, which sees the family look to escape the quarantine to save their youngest member.

Thoughts on The Host

Characters – Gang-Doo is the immature father that often sleeps on the job for the family business, he is on sight when the first attack happens, losing grip of his daughter moments before the creature takes her. He does have a tragic story for why he is how he is, he will do anything to try and save his daughter, even if that means he must suffer more heartache. Hie-bong is the father of the family, he runs the business, while keeping Gang-Doo in a safe place. He leads the planned rescue of his granddaughter. Nam-il is the alcoholic member of the family who tries to put the blame on Gang-Doo and is willing to help find his niece. Nam-Joo is the sporting member of the family, she just misses out on a gold medal and will use her talent to fight back. Hyun-seo is the daughter that gets taken, thought to be dead, she survives in the lair of the creature, trying to find a way to communicate with the outside world.

PerformancesKang-ho Song is fantastic as the helpless father doing everything he can to get to his daughter, while the rest of the cast get their strong moments, he shines above everybody else with ease through the film.

StoryThe story follows a monster attack near the Han River in Seoul, where the youngest member of a family is taken, forcing the rest to escape the quarantine they were placed in, in an attempt to save her. We do get a very clear message about pollution with this film, which is important to know about going in, you do learn this from the opening scene, as this creates the creature. We focus mostly on how family will come together to try and save one another, which shows in the emotional arcs the characters must go through during the film and we do get to see how a city can become panicked by what is happening with a sudden creature attack and potential virus outbreak.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film follows the creature attack, which is one of the most intense scenes of the film, with the rest of the action feeling a lot tamer, but still effective, while the horror is the true creature feature, with a terrifying creature that is mutated.

SettingsThe film is set in Seoul showing how the effects of pollution could create unknown mutations, with the sewers making excellent lair for the creature.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film work well, the final showdown might look the weakest, but the rest shows just how horrific the situation would be.


Scene of the Movie – The creatures first attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The final battle, while it works for the fight, the effects do seem to have dated.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent creature feature that can be enjoyed by everyone, it brings a creature that comes from human’s own carelessness, which only shows the reality of pollution.

Overall: Creature Feature Galore.

Franchise Weekend – The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines (2006)

Director: Jonathan Frakes

Writer: Marco Schnabel, David N Titcher (Screenplay)

Starring: Noah Wyle, Gabrielle Anwar, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtain, Olympia Dukakis, Erick Avari

 

Plot: Librarian-turned-adventurer Flynn Carsen endeavors to find King Solomon’s mines.


Tagline – New Continent. New Adventure. Still No Clue.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Acceptable Sequel

 

Story: The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines starts one year after the events of the first film, Flynn (Wyle) has started getting used to his adventures around the world, when the latest quest sees him receive a mysterious scroll that could hold the location of King Solomon’s Mine, he must travel to Casablanca for answers.

Flynn meets archaeologist Emily Davenport (Anwar) who is working on her latest dig in the same location as the answers Flynn is looking for, which starts his latest quest, one that will be deadlier than his last.

 

Thoughts on The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines

 

Characters – Flynn is now feeling more experienced as the Librarian, he is enjoying going around the world now, he has his own apartment, with his latest quest seeing him head to Africa, he teams with an archaeologist who helps him on his latest quest which will become more personal than he had imagined. Emily Davenport is an archaeologist working in Casablanca, she reluctantly ends up joining Flynn as he unlocks secrets she has been searching for, for years. Judson and Charlene are both still teaching Flynn about responsibility which he will still need to learn in his role. The film does lack a villain for the most part, we do get one in the end, but they never seem like a threat.

PerformancesNoah Wyle is still strong in the role, he has grown into playing with he sense of adventure that his character has. Gabrielle Anwar is fun in the supporting role, which sees her replacing Sonya Walger where she does make her character different enough from hers. The rest of the cast don’t do much wrong, but they don’t get to do much either.

StoryThe story takes Flynn on his next quest this time to Africa where he must locate King Solomon’s mine and stop the latest threat that comes the worlds way. This being a sequel does mean that Flynn has become more experienced and aware of his adventures, he does need to learn more about himself along the way, when it comes to the quest, it is largely forgettable because we focus too heavily on Flynn and Emily, not giving the villainous side of the story enough time to make them feel like a threat. This is still fun enough to watch without being in the same league as the previous film.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is once again basic, it is also weaker than before and feeling very basic this time, the adventure does take Flynn around Africa on his quest, which is a quest full of basic adventure. The comedy does seem to start drying up in this film which does aim at being more serious.

SettingsThe film is mostly set across Africa which does give us a new location, which does play into the legends of King Solomon.


Scene of the Movie –
The mine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get enough focus on the villains.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple sequel that is just safe without being a new threat to the whole Librarian figure, it has simple adventure and solid enough acting.

 

Overall: Simple and easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

Samuel L Jackson Weekend – Black Snake Moan (2006)

Director: Craig Brewer

Writer: Craig Brewer (Screenplay)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S Epatha Merkerson, John Cothran, David Banner

 

Plot: A God-fearing bluesman takes to a wild young woman who, as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it.


Tagline – To save his soul he must save hers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Redemption Story

 

Story: Black Snake Moan starts as we see how God-fearing Lazarus (Jackson) who has his own problems with his family, he does always look after people who help him knowing the struggle they are going through and the support hard work deserves. Rae sees her boyfriend Ronnie (Timberlake) has gone to war and with her reputation around town of being a party animal that enjoys drugs, drink and sex with anyone until one night she gets left beaten on the side of the road.

Lazarus finds her and takes her back to his house to help clean her up only for Rae to make things a lot more difficult than he first thought they would be, can he help her even if he is keeping her captured in his own home.

 

Thoughts on Black Snake Moan

 

Characters – Lazarus is the local God-fearing man, he has always been good to the people that help him around town, while having issues with he family. He wants to help Rae get back on the right path and end her destructive ways. Rae is the party animal, hooked on drugs, drink and sex with anyone and seemingly everyone. She is left for dead on the side of the road after a sexual assault, where she is rescued by Lazarus who tries to help her, she must learn to clean herself up to realise her own worth in the world. Ronnie is her boyfriend of Rae, he went to war leaving her behind and couldn’t make it there.

PerformancesSamuel L Jackson is wonderful in the leading role of this film, we can believe his characters struggles with and without his alcohol problems. Christina Ricci shows us just how she has transformed herself from the child star we knew to the grown woman with a risqué and brave role with the extra sexuality bought onto her character. Justin Timberlake is fine without being overly used in the film as we focus on the two main stars.

StoryThe story here follows an unlikely man helping an unlikely young lady that is on a path of destruction, both from the same background, though from different sides of the tracks, both are in need of saving in their own way and spending the time together they learn the lessons in life they have been searching for. The story does show us how two people who are on the last legs with the rest of the world giving up on them can fall into each other’s lives without needing a relationship just friendship to put their lives back on track.

SettingsThe film is set in the deep south where you can still see the divide between the white and black families, while we don’t see the racial hate between the two either. This shows the struggle both are having with lives in a dead end feeling town.


Scene of the Movie –
Performing live.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We learn snippets of the past, but not enough to make us truly understand the motives in the younger life.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good redemption story that shows the struggle of small town America, how two different people can come together to help each other through their struggles and showing the right path can come from an unlikely source.

 

Overall: Redemption is what we want to see.

Rating