Anton Yelchin Weekend – Charlie Bartlett (2007)

charlieDirector: Jon Poll

Writer: Gustin Nash (Screenplay)

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr, Hope Davis, Kat Dennings, Tyler Hilton, Mark Randall, Dylan Taylor

 

Plot: A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant High School Film

 

Story: Charlie Bartlett starts as Charlie (Yelchin) finds himself expelled from a private boarding school for making fake driving licences, returning to live with his mother Marilyn (Davis) as he agrees to try a public school. Charlie makes an impression on his first day with his naïve nature to the high school experience, where he shakes off the bully and not having social status to continue his kind nature.

Charlie continues to find ways around his problems with Susan Gardner (Dennings) being the love interest, Murphy (Hilton) as the bully he confronts to deal with the problem where he comes up with the idea of selling his medication. Charlie’s new plan does become more difficult when the Principal Gardner (Downey Jr) installs cameras in the student lounge. Charlie starts his own business as a psychiatrist for the students holding sessions in the boys room fast tracking him to the most popular kid in school.

 

Thoughts on Charlie Bartlett

 

StoryThis story is a high school comedy drama about one boy coming from a wealthy family who enters the public high school system and using his own intelligence to help the kids with problems no one is listening to. We do get the typical situations going on with bullying, anti-social behaviour to certain students and a relationship between students with one being the principal’s daughter. The story really does look at how difficult the high school experience can be on the students and if the students could talk the problems through themselves they can help each other find what they want from life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy going on through this film feels very much like a modern Ferris Bueller which all works because none of it feels forced. The romance is pretty much what you would call a standard high school romance angle.

Characters/PerformanceAnton Yelchin gives what could easily be considered his best performance of his career as the character shows confidence through each situation even if he is dealing with his own problems. Robert Downey Jr shows he can easily play a supporting character with this Principal character that works well because he is open to help with the problems. As for the rest of the cast each performer gives great performances making the character’s work for the story being told.

SettingsNearly all of the film is set in and around the high school setting which of course is all that is needed for a high school comedy drama.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most underrated high school comedy dramas I have ever seen, the character of Charlie shines through to be one of the most important characters in high school films I have ever seen with the power of Ferris Bueller but the smarts to keep everyone together.

 

Overall: Easily the most underrated high school movie out there.

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Already Dead (2007)

alreadyDirector: Joe Otting

Writer: Joe Chappelle (Screenplay) Robert Archer Lynn, David Alford (Story)

Starring: Ron Eldard, Til Schweiger, Patrick Kilpatrick, Geoff Pierson, Marisa Coughlan, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: When Thomas Archer’s happy & successful life is all but ruined following a horrific attack he is presented with a perfect opportunity to exact physical revenge upon the man who caused all his grief. However the immediate consequences of his actions and inactions are much more complicated than he imagined. Who will survive ?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Thriller

 

Story: Already Dead starts as we see Thomas Archer (Eldard) having to follow instructions by mobile as he is looking to get his son back from a kidnapper. We continue to watch Thomas take instructions as he runs the events of the night when his son was taken through his mind.

As the night continues he gets put through tests by the man on the phone including being able to get revenge on the man that killed his son, but are these just tests where they criminal is getting this man to do his dirty work. We watch how the twists are laid into plan for this film as they come thick and fast.

Already Dead gives us a story which asks you the question just how far would you go to get revenge on the person who took and killed your son, but it also throws a twist in their where we have to deal with the idea the cops have created a game to rid the streets of criminals of people they don’t want or can’t deal with through legal reasons. I would question certain character decisions because after what happens would these two men be friends, I think not.

Onto the acting and what can I say, this doesn’t have the best acting from any of the people involved with the lead struggling to make any sort of impact in the screen and most of the supporting cast barely doing anything of merit.

 

Overall: Thriller that lacks all the punches it needs to truly stand out.

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August Rush (2007)

august-rushDirector: Kirsten Sheridan

Writer: Nick Castle, James V Hart (Screenplay) Paul Castro, Nick Castle (Story)

Starring: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, Robin Williams, William Sadler, Marian Seldes

 

Plot: A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Touching Fantasy Drama

 

Story: August Rush starts as we meet Evan Taylor (Highmore) a young boy at an orphanage who believes in the music to life as he dreams of finding his long lost parents. We flashback to the night Evan’s parents Lyla (Russell) a member of an orchestra and Louis (Meyers) a rocker from England.

Evan is determined to find out about his parents and sets out on an adventure with music guiding him to learn just who his parents really were. On his adventure Evan meets Wizard (Williams) who has been guarding other orphans in the big city who all have dreams of becoming musicians on their own and it is here where Evan learns to play the music he has only ever heard before.

August Rush plays into the idea music can bring everyone together regardless of the style it is always about just how it is played. We get to see how you can regret moments in life but the ones that are most important are were always meant to be. We get a story that shows us all how you can believe in your own dreams no matter who stands in your way. We also get a great performance from Freddie Highmore along with great performances from the supporting cast. This a film that went right under the radar and does deserve the time to go out and watch.

 

Overall: Delightful story that can be watched by all the dreamers out there.

Rating75

 

 

Anthony Hopkins Weekend – Fracture (2007)

ractureDirector: Gregory Hoblit

Writer: Daniel Pyne, Glenn Gers (Screenplay) Daniel Pyne (Story)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Cliff Curtis, Fiona Shaw, Bob Gunton

 

Plot: An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Courtroom Thriller

 

Story: Fracture starts when Ted Crawford (Hopkins) finally challenges his cheating wife Jennifer (Davidtz) about her affair before shooting her, Ted is a genius so he has been planning this for a while now and has come up with the perfect cover as the man who she was having the affair with is a negotiator for the LA police department Rob Nunally (Burke).

We got onto meet Willy Beachum (Gosling) who is a high rising lawyer working in the District Attorney Office under Joe Lobruto (Strathairn) who doesn’t think Willy should take his new job offer.

When one of his final cases see, Willy having to go against Ted the two find themselves having to go face to face in the courtroom as Ted decides to represent himself. What looks like an easy case soon becomes Willy’s biggest test of his career against one of the smartest men on the planet but who will come out on top?

Fracture is a crime mystery thriller turned cat and mouse style courtroom drama which follows the genius trying to show off against a young hot shot lawyer, sure we have seen this before but the fact we 100% know how guilty Ted is really tips the scales here. The case does take a few twists and turns along the way but it is the lengths that Willy will go to win this case against his own career.

The cast shine with Hopkins versus Gosling is delightful to watch whenever they go against each other on the screen. The supporting cast really don’t get the chance to shine like the lead two which does disappoint in places.

 

Overall: Courtroom thriller that does it’s best to keep us guessing without that final punch needed.

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Movie Reviews 10 Midnight Horror – w Delta z (2007)

wazDirector: Tom Shankland

Writer: Clive Bradley (Screenplay)

Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Ashley Walters, Tom Hardy, Paul Kaye, John Sharian, Selma Blair, Sally Hawkins

 

Plot: A calculating killer coerces a detective to pay for his previous mistakes.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Crime Horror

 

Story: w Delta z starts as a rookie detective Helen Westcott (George) get her first crime scene where she works with seasoned veteran Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) who knows the streets like the back of his hand. When the bodies start piling up the detectives figure they are after a serial killer who is carving WAZ into the bodies.

When Eddie learns that it is Jean Lerner (Blair) behind the crimes it becomes clear who he is targeting and why in what is a careful thought out revenge on gang led by Pierre Jackson (Hardy) who brutally attacked her years before. The race is on to stop the body count getting to high but the truth will come out.

W Delta z is a crime horror thriller that follows the lines of the ‘Saw’ franchise but having a killer that pushes the limits of what a body can handle. For the crime side and revenge side of this movie this is all very effective on the negative side we just don’t get enough suggestion of anyone else’s involvement as we learn the killer very early. While the film is very bloody most of these does happen off camera which does help with us trying to deal with the horror involved. This is a dark story that can be enjoyed by the horror fans out there.

 

Actor Review

 

Stellan Skarsgard: Eddie Argo is the seasoned detective that has to work with the rookie tracking down a serial killer, it isn’t long before he learns of his previous connection to the killer. Stellan is good as the grizzled older cop.

Melissa George: Helen Westcott is the rookie detective thrown into this new case with a new partner. She has to learn about the departments secrets to uncover the truth about what is happening. Melissa is good but sadly falls to just a supporting role in the second half of the film.

Selma Blair: Jean Lerner was a victim of a horrendous home invasion gang rape attack that has been planning her revenge on everyone involved for years. Her plan is to put each person involved in the attack through the same decision she had to face. Selma makes for a great villain in the horror genre unlike many we have seen before.

Tom Hardy: Pierre Jackson is the leader of the gang who did the attack, he is psychotic with how he picks acts willing to shot first killing anyone who gets in his way. Tom is solid in this role which is only a supporting role before he became a bigger name.

Support Cast: W Delta z has only a couple of other important characters who are victims of the killer as well as police involved in the original crime.

Director Review: Tom ShanklandTom gives us a very dark crime horror that does come close to matching Seven and Saw.

 

Crime: W Delta z follows our detectives looking for a serial killer that is also out to get revenge for a crime they were a victim off.

Horror: W Delta z gives us a serial killer that doesn’t know when to stop until they get everything they want.

Thriller: W Delta z keeps us guessing to where the story will end up going by throwing us straight into the first murder.

Settings: W Delta z makes each scene feel gritty from the wrong neighbourhood showing what the killer sees as the low-lives who are her victims.
Special Effects
: W Delta z had great effects when it comes to the body horror going on through the film.

Suggestion: W Delta z is one for all the horror fans out there to watch, if you were a fan of Saw or Seven this is for you. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Killer’s motives.

Worst Part: Not enough mystery about who the killer is.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Would you kill the one you love to save yourself from death?

 

Overall: Twisted, gritty and dark crime horror film

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