ABC Film Challenge – Romance – # – 500 Days of Summer (2009) (Revisited)

Director: Marc Webb

Writer: Scott Neustadter, Micheal H Weber (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Grace Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Patricia Becher

 

Plot: An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn’t believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.


Tagline – Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn’t.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Relationship Movie

 

Story: 500 Days of Summer starts as we meet Tom (Gordon-Levitt), he has just broken up with Summer (Deschanel), this is the 248th day of these 500 Days of Summer. Tom’s sister Rachel (Moretz) is called to help him with the recover process by his best friends McKenzie (Arend) & Paul (Gubler). We proceed to the how Tom and Summer, met started dating along with the aftermath of their relationship.

As the story unfolds, we see the ups and downs the two have through their relationship, showing us how the modern day relationships are more difficult than people think they are.

 

Thoughts on 5000 Days of Summer

 

Characters – Tom is a greeting card writer with unrealistic visions of love, he is coasting through life with this job, even though he has a degree in architecture. When he meets Summer, he believes he has fallen in love and we see him at the best and worst moments of the beginning and aftermath of the relationship which will redefine his life. Summer is the new girl to the city and workplace of Tom’s, she isn’t looking for a serious relationship, though she does want friend, which sees her befriend Tom for a casual relationship. She does make this clear from the start which we do see from the subtle signs she is making that this isn’t for the serious moment in life, not ready to follow in her parent’s footsteps. McKenzie and Paul are the two best friends of Tom’s who have been through different relationships, one doesn’t date the other met their wife at a young age. Rachel is the older than she should be younger sister of Tom’s, she is still in school, but seems to know more about relationships then Tom. Vance is the Tom’s boss who treats his staff very well, willing to see they might be going through problems and discussing them with their staff.

PerformancesJoseph Gordon-Levitt gives one of the best performances in any romantic comedy film that you will ever see, he makes his character feel like an everyday person that we can relate too. Zooey Deschanel is fantastic too, she has always been able to play the girl-next door with ease and this is no different. The supporting cast compliment the two leads excellently giving us the moments of comedy that we need while handle the serious moments too.

StoryThe story here paints the modern relationship through the eyes of Tom, somebody who believed in love only to end up in a relationship with a lady that doesn’t believe in it. We see the beginning where everything is going smoothly and the aftermath, which shows us just how romance isn’t going to be easy to get over. For me this is one of the most realistic looks at love because it shows just how you can fall in love, you can be coasting through life and you need moments in life help put you back on course to reach your own potential. This is easily the most relatable stories you will ever see, it tells us just how difficult love can be in the modern world and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film mostly comes from the supporting cast, it all hits well giving us the laughs we need to lighten the mood without turning into a laugh out loud scene. The romance in this film shows us just how difficult love can be in the modern world.

SettingsThe film is set in the big city, which show how people can come from around the country to be together in the unlikely outcome.


Scene of the Movie –
You Make My Dreams Come True.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The girl at the interviews name, always has pissed me off.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most perfect romance movies in modern cinema, it shows the realistic vision of love unlike most of the romantic movies that are getting thrown out there.

 

Overall: Must watch romance.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – U – The Ugly Truth (2009)

Director: Robert Luketic

Writer: Nicole Eastman, Karen McCullah, Kirsten Smith (Screenplay) Nicole Eastman (Story)

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner, Eric Winter, Nick Searcy, Jesse D Goins

 

Plot: An uptight television producer takes control of a morning show segment on modern relationships hosted by a misogynistic man.


Tagline – The battle of the sexes is on.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable & Funny

 

Story: The Ugly Truth starts when an uptight television producer Abby (Heigl) sees her ratings on her morning show getting beaten by nearly every show, her show manager Stuart (Searcy) wants to change the show, his idea is to hire Mike Chadway (Butler) a misogynistic man who hosts a show known as ‘The Ugly Truth’ which tells the brutal truth about relationships.

As the two learn to work together, Mike helps Abby in her pursuit for the perfect man who just so happens to move in next door Colin (Winter), where she must learn what men want, while we learn more about Mike real life away from his brash personality.

 

Thoughts on The Ugly Truth

 

Characters – Abby is the uptight television producer that has put her career ahead of her dating life, where she has always been searching for the perfect guy, which sees her scary most away. When she does meet the perfect guy, she must learn to change working with new host of the show. Mike is the brash host of a show called The ugly Truth which calls out relationships and how men should get women and how women should let men in. He sends the ratings for the show way up and helps Abby come out of her shell, showing you can’t judge a book by its cover. This film mostly focuses on the two main characters, we get the assistant, the news anchors and Colin the doctor that Abby starts dating.

PerformancesKatherine Heigl is an actress that did make an impact in the romantic comedy genre, she does a do well in this role, it is Gerard Butler that gets the most interesting performance because we believe his character and just how he has the broken heart in his character with each glance he shows. The supporting cast do add to the comedy in this film for the most part.

StoryThe story follows two career man, with a female television producer and a male talk show host that both have different views on love and they teach each other about how to open their eyes to the other’s view point. While it does follow a traditional storyline it does all work to make the extremes of love feel believable. The only negative side from the story comes from just how the rest of the characters don’t seem to have lives outside our main two characters.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes from seeing how the two characters believe in different versions of love which only gets reactions from the characters, this helps with the romance because seeing different views of love could change them.

SettingsThe film is set in a small city that shows that both of the characters want to be away from the busy cities which can see people lost in the shuffle.


Scene of the Movie –
Balloon time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Why order drinks and leave the table before they arrive?

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable, fun comedy that lets the cast shine and shows love.

 

Overall: One to enjoy for rom com fans.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – W – Woochi (2009) Movie Review

Director: Dong-hoon Choi

Writer: Dong-hoon Choi (Screenplay) Ho-min Ju, Park Myeong-Chan (Comic)

Starring: Dong-won Gang, Soo-jung Lim, Yook-seok Kim, Hae-jin Yoo, Young-chang Song, Sang-ho Kim

Plot: Jeon Woo-chi, an undisciplined womanizing Taoist from the Joseon era, ends up in present day Korea causing mayhem with his knack for magic.


Tagline – World beware. The wizard is coming.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Fantasy Adventure

Story: Woochi starts as we enter a world of goblins which become life sized animals like rats or rabbits and wizard of ancient times, where Woochi (Gang) a mischievous wizard that has great power to calmly take over the king if he needs to, he is wanted amongst the world with his trusted sidekick Chorangyi (Yoo) who could be transformed into any animal.

On Woochi’s latest quest he comes to save a widow Seo IN-kyeong (Lim) only to find himself in the middle of a battle between the goblins and the pipe that would give them control of the world, with Master Hwa-dam (Kim) the most powerful wizard in the land trying to take the pipe.

When Woochi is trapped within a painting for five centuries, he is summoned back after the goblins have returned for the pipe, now in the modern day Woochi must continue to master his skills to save the world from destruction from the Archgod.

Thoughts on Woochi

Characters – Woochi is a young wizard, he likes to cause trouble with his powers, he believes he is the most powerful wizard in the land, even though he isn’t and wants to use his powers to do the odd criminal action against bad people, he does get put in his place by his master, and trapped in a world that he isn’t prepared for needing to fight for the right thing once again. Seo In-kyeong was the widow in the ancient times, the woman Woochi falls for, in the modern era she is an assistant to an actress who finds herself caught in the middle of the battle, having no knowledge of what could come her way. Hwa-dam is a master wizard, the most powerful in the land, he does become consumed by the power the goblins could give him, wanting the pipe for himself, it is against him Woochi must prove his own power. Chorangyi is the sidekick to Woochi, he is a dog that has been turned into a human, with the ability to turn into other animals too, including the trust horse.

PerformancesDong-won Gang as Woochi is great to watch, he embraces the cocky side to his character which only is meant to make him look foolish, without being a fool and makes us see that the confidence he brings to the role helps his character overcome the odds. Soo-jung Lim gets to play two different characters both from different eras which does make her show off the change in how the woman was perceived between the eras. Yoon-seok Kim does well through the film as the evil master wizard, showing his ability to adapt to both worlds too, while Hae-hin Yoo will bring us the most laughs through the film as the dog figure.

StoryThe story follows a cocky young wizard that gets caught up in the middle of a battle between humans and goblins for control in the world, where he gets frozen in time to continue the battle five centuries later. This is a story that is based in fantasy and does established early on and is one we can take into what we are getting into. The idea of moving to different era does help add something to the story because of the fish out of water idea and with the lack of belief in the former traditions or mythical enemies that could come towards the modern day. We do have a character that needs to learn his place in the world and learn to use his power for good instead of just being cocky about what he could do.

Action/Comedy/FantasyThe action in this film is entertaining, it is big just like you would expect it to be, using the fighting techniques to increase everything, while using elements of the comedy to lighten the mood and the fantasy to show us the world we are in.

SettingsThe film does use to eras for the settings, first the ancient world before hitting the modern era which helps show how out of place the Woochi looks in it.

Special EffectsThe effects are wonderful to see, we get to see just how many are used for the fights which do include the elements being used, transformation through flat services too.


Scene of the Movie – The first goblin fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does have a moment of confusion in the final battle.

Final Thoughts This is a fun adventure that embraces the fantasy world we are entering and with make you laugh along the way.

Overall: Entertaining from start to finish.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – Valhalla Rising (2009) Movie Review

This is under N because of the director Nicolas Winding Refn.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn, Roy Jacobsen (Screenplay)

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Alexander Morton, Stewart Porter, Maarten Stevenson, Matthew Zajac, Gordon Brown, Gary McCormack

Plot: Forced for some time to be a fighting slave, a pagan warrior escapes his captors with a boy and joins a group of Crusaders on their quest to the Holy Land.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: What Was This?

Story: Valhalla Rising starts as One Eye (Mikkelsen) is forced into fights to prove his owner has the strongest fighter, waiting for his chance to escape, he does joined by The Boy (Stevenson) the two go in search for something more, when they join Kare (Lewis) as a Crusader heading to the Holy Land.

As the journey continues, One Eye slowly sees the Crusaders start to lose their own minds, believing they are doing God’s will, with their blind following, while One Eye proves just how dangerous he is.

Thoughts on Valhalla Rising

Characters – One Eye is a slave in early mankind, he is forced into fights, where he always kills the enemies, after he escapes, he becomes a warrior that leads people in a direction they aren’t ready to go down. He doesn’t say a word. Kare, Gorm and Eirik are Christian Vikings from the Crusades looking for the Holy Land, they each believe there is something different in the message sent to them with One Eye, which sees them lose control between themselves.

PerformancesMads Mikkelsen is the highlight of the film here, he keeps his character looking mysterious, while also being deadly. The rest of the cast might handle the dialogue which fills in a lot of the story, they don’t do much else in the film.

StoryThe story follows a slave kept for fighting that breaks free going on his own adventure leading a group of Crusaders into the depths of a place they haven’t been to before. This is a story that doesn’t seem to get very deep, with most of the story being travelling and see how blind the Crusaders would be in their beliefs and see one man break free and becoming a leader, the ending will leave you scratching your head though.

Action/FantasyThe action in the film follows the fight sequences that One Eye goes through, though a lot of action is being held back from what could happen, with the fantasy side of the film showing us just how the world doesn’t seem as real as the characters believe it is.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the new discoveries that the character go on along their journey.

Special EffectsThe effects are used for the brutality of the fights, which show us just what is going on in the fights.


Scene of the Movie – One Eye’s first fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is a lot of walking.

Final Thoughts This isn’t the most engaging film you will see, it seems to have plenty of walking and symbolism around the early era of the Crusades.

Overall: Something or Nothing.

Michael Caine Weekend – Harry Brown (2009) Movie Review

Director: Daniel Barber

Writer: Gary Young (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Charlie Creed-Miles, David Bradley, Iain Glen, Sean Harris, Plan B, Jack O’Connell

Plot: An elderly ex-serviceman and widower looks to avenge his best friend’s murder by doling out his own form of justice.


Tagline – The law has limits. He doesn’t.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense and Gritty

Story: Harry Brown starts as we meet mild-mannered ex-marine and widower Harry Brown (Caine) who is living on a London estate where his only friend Leonard Attwell (Bradley) spend time in the pub where they play chess at get worried about the local youth that are always causing chaos, from small harassment to murder.

After Leonard is murdered by the gang, the police Alice Frampton (Mortimer) and Terry Hicock (Creed-Miles) visit and inform Harry of the news, which soon turns Harry into wanting his on form of defence, which sees him looking to take on the gangs, while Alice is charged with trying to find the mysterious vigilante.

Thoughts on Harry Brown

Characters – Harry Brown is trying to live a quiet life of retirement, hoping his wife gets better, having one friend on the London estate, after losing his wife and his best friend gets murdered, Harry uses his past as a marine to look for answers, taking out anybody he sees as part of the problem. D.I Alice Frampton has just been transferred to the area, she comes off more approachable than most members of the police force, she is trying to get things done without needing to turn to name calling. She seems to be the only person trying to solve the case. D.S Terry Hicock has been working the estate for years, he has become warned down with the crimes, making him distant in his behaviour towards the incidents. Leonard Attwell is the best friend of Harry’s the two spend most afternoons together in the pub, though Leonard has started to fear for his life more as he is being targeted by the youth in the neighbourhood.

PerformancesMichael Caine is fantastic in the leading role showing a grittier performance than we are used to seeing from him. Emily Mortimer does show us a much calmer officer than we are used to seeing in the police force. In the supporting roles everyone is strong with the younger cast getting their chance to shine.

StoryThe story here follows a retired marine that decides to come and take a stand against the local youth problem that murdered his friend. We have seen the vigilante taking a stand before and it is nice to see a version that still kept the story looking fresh, with a new spin on it, by having a veteran needing to fight back against young people causing troubles, this could reflect real life with the gangs keep giving problems to the local people. The way everything unfolds is given a nice slowly built up moment which shows how Harry’s rage can be seen growing slowly too.

Action/CrimeThe action is kept in a more tame realm, though this is good for the film because it is meant to be a tighter enclosed environment for the events of the film, while the crime shows us just how the youth have started to take over.

SettingsThe film keeps the film in and around the London estate, it shows the different people living on it and how their lives will be affected by what is happening there.


Scene of the Movie – The underground.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The police don’t seem that helpful.

Final Thoughts This is a great action vigilante movie that shows just how far somebody could go to clean up their streets when they see nothing happening, where Michael Caine truly shines.

Overall: Brilliant.