ABC Film Challenge – Romance – B – The Bounty Hunter (2010)

Director: Andy Tennant

Writer: Sarah Thorp (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerald Butler, Jennifer Aniston, Gio Perez, Joel Marsh Garland, Jason Kolotouros, Matt Malloy, Jason Sudeikis, Adam Rose

 

Plot: A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure.


Tagline – It’s a Job. It Isn’t Personal. Well, Maybe a Little 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rom Com 101

 

Story: The Bounty Hunter starts when bounty hunter Milo Boyd (Butler) is in need of money gets given a chance for a new bounty, his ex-wife reporter Nicole (Aniston) who has skipped bail for an assault charge.

Once Milo catches up with Nicole, he goes through the difficult task of getting her across country, while her creepy work colleague Stewart (Sudeikis) tracks them and the story Nicole is investigating has people trying to clean it up before it gets released.

 

Thoughts on The Bounty Hunter

 

Characters – Milo Boyd is an alcoholic bounty hunter and former cop that gets his latest assignment, his ex-wife, his gambling and drinking problems cause problems along the way as the relationship between the two only takes them off guard. Nicole is a reporter that is looking into a suicide that doesn’t add up, she has gotten herself in trouble over an assault charge and by not attending court a bounty is placed on her head, she is determined to uncover the truth in her story even with her ex-husband tracking her down to put her back in jail. Stewart is co-worker that believes he is in a relationship with Nicole sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. The rest of the characters are the people involved in the case.

PerformancesGerald Butler and Jennifer Aniston were two of the biggest rom com stars at the time of release, they are both good through the film without doing anything great. The supporting cast add the laughs where needed without any of the character being too quirky for the film.

StoryThe story follows an ex-married couple who are thrown together as the husband must bring in the wife who skipped bail to investigate a story for her paper. We get the typical bickering between the couple which gets laughs when needed, we have a side story about what is being investigated which could have been give a lot more spotlight than it gets. We also deal with people trying to track down both of the couple for other reasons and by the end it all ties together to be watchable for the audience. It would be fair to say we have one too many side stories going on and the bickering gets old quickly showing us why they should never be a couple in the first place. we also miss out of learning more about what drove Milo to bounty hunting over his police job which he is clearly very good at.

Action/Comedy/RomanceThe action is a mix of chases and accidental gun fights which is fine we don’t need the action to be too intense in this film. the comedy comes from the romance side of the story which shows us just how difficult the couple can be at times.

SettingsThe film takes place in different American cities, none of them do feel that iconic with most just becoming generic city number one then two etc.


Scene of the Movie –
Strip club.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many side stories going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a watchable rom com, it does the basics well uses the star power well and will entertain without being the best of the year.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Chatroom (2010) Movie Review – Coming to Amazon Prime 3rd July

Director: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Edna Walsh (Screenplay) Enda Walsh (Play)

Starring: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard, Hannah Murray, Daniel Kaluuya

Plot: 5 teenagers are introduced to each other in a chatroom called “Chelsea Teens!”, all with different personalities. But when one shows its darker side, it threatens the life of the others.


Tagline – Control. Alter. Delete.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening

Story: Chatroom starts as William (Taylor-Johnson) opens up a new chatroom called ‘Chelsea Teens’ which sees four fellow teens Mo (Kaluuya), Jim (Beard), Emily (Murray) and Eva (Poots) join, while they are still on their laptops, we are show how a giant hotel has different chatrooms, for people to join for an open conversation.

Outside the chatroom, the five teens have their own problems, using their time in the chatroom to focus on dealing with the problems, escaping the pain of their everyday life, only are they being truthfully in the chatroom.

Thoughts on Chatroom

Characters – William sets up the chatroom, he does this to escape his overbearing parents that are trying to control his life, he does show a confidence in the chatroom, which will let people follow his instructions, suggestions to improve themselves, he does have hacking skills, which could make him a threat, but outside of the chatroom, he is on suicide levels of depression. Jim is a lonely teenager, he can’t communicate with people very well, which sees him finding any social interaction uncomfortable. Mo is nervous about being in the room, he is having a difficult mindset about a crush on an underage girl, where he knows it is wrong, only he is tempted to look into the ideas. Emily is from a posh family, she is being prepared for life in a proper manner, only she is becoming angry about the location she is in, turning to the room for a chance to find someone to talk to, becoming more rebellious along the way. Eva is a model that is tired of being looked down upon by the fellow models, she wants a change, which William starts to offer, while helping Emily out of her own slump, preparing her to open up more in the world.

PerformancesWe have an excellent cast here, most of these actors have gone onto bigger projects and you can see why, being showing us how talent the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Daniel Kaluuya, Imogen Poots and Hannah Murray are, add in Matthew Beard, we have a cast that shows just how difficult growing up can be.

StoryThe story here follows five teenagers that turn to chatrooms to help them deal with the problems in their lives, until they see it become more of a personal issue. When looking at this story we must remember it was made in 2010, when chatrooms were still a bigger thing, the dangers of them had become clearer and here we see how certain rooms can be used in other methods, to create the events through the film. The real life issues of depression and using the chatroom for escape, we see how isolation happens, with technology becoming the place you turn, which can cause even more pain. Showing us just how depression can consume people without the right people around them.

ThrillerThe film does create a thrilling side, by seeing how William is becoming consumed with wanting to use the power he seems to have gained through his action.

SettingsThe film uses the setting of everyday to show the difficult lives the characters are living through, this is everything you would expect to see, what is the stand out of location, would be the hotel like structure that the chatrooms are designed to look like, the halls, the doors, each room fits the theme created.


Scene of the Movie – The meetings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The Mo side of the story doesn’t get enough exploration.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting thriller that hits hard on the dangers of the modern world obsession with social media, showing how people could spiral out of control as they look for help in the wrong places.

Overall: Great Thriller.

Signature Entertainment presents Chatroom on Amazon Prime July 3rd

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – W – The Wolfman (2010) Movie Review

Director: Joe Johnston

Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self (Screenplay) Curt Siodmak (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Rick Baker, Hugo Weaving, Simon Merrells, Gemma Whelan

Plot: Upon his return to his ancestral homeland, an American man is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf.


Tagline – When the moon is full the legend comes to life

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Gothic Horror

Story: The Wolfman starts when Gwen Conliffe (Blunt) travels to London to locate Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) to ask for his help to locate his brother and her fiancée Ben (Merrells) who mysteriously disappeared, Lawrence returns to his family home to face his estranged father Sir John (Hopkins) to pay his respects to his brother after his brother’s body is discovered.

Learning the rumours of a terrifying creature lurking the woods, Lawrence isn’t allowed to return home one night, finding himself involved in a hunt through a gypsy camp, where he faces the creatures, using his expert shooting skills, only to find himself bitten. With the curse passed onto Lawrence learns that the legend of a wolfman is real and now he is that wolfman, with the town searching to hunt him down and put an end to his terror.

Thoughts on The Wolfman

Characters – Lawrence Talbot is a stage actor in New York City, one of the most popular in the city too, he gets called to return home to help is his brother’s death and soon finds himself bitten by the mysterious creature that took his brother. Lawrence must learn to control the new curse placed on him, while the rest of the village wants him dead. Sir John Talbot is his father that has been distant from him because of traumatic event from his childhood, he has lived over looking the village for years now, he will protect Lawrence even if he knows the truth. Gwen is the fiancée of Lawrence’s brother, the one that comes to him in search for help, she knows the problems between Lawrence and John, but believes he could be the only one to help with the mystery about his brother. She is the only one willing to help Lawrence once things start to get out of hand. Aberline is from Scotland Yard investigating the attack that happened to Lawrence, his reputation is around how he was once involved in the Jack the Ripper case and now he has been left to hunt down Lawrence.

PerformancesBenicio Del Toro in the leading role is strong in this film, we get to see just how much his character must got through during the film and he shows all the emotional range required for the character. Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt complete the main cast where neither put a foot wrong in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows a stage actor that must return home to search for answers about his brother’s death, only to find himself in the middle of hunt for a creature that has gone onto infect him with the curse. This is a remake of the classic universal monster collection, we get the gothic feeling to the story, in a time when legends would feel like they are true stories that small villages would believe to be true. We get to see the uncomfortable relationship between a father and son, as well as seeing the horrors of the wolfman being released upon the world. This is an entertaining story to watch, which is one that would be enjoyed by the horror fans.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy horror side of the film shows us just how the wolfman has come from, playing into the first real horrors of the silver screen too.

SettingsThe settings used in this film does bring us back to the Gothic era, which helps elevate the film to the next level, being it the buildings or the mist layered woodland area.

Special EffectsThe effects might well be more CGI focused when it comes to the transformation, but they still feel just as terrifying as they should be, if you were a witness to the event.


Scene of the Movie – The wolfman unleashed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Gwen is still just a damsel in distress.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining blood covered horror that brings a familiar character back to the bring screen, we have a strong cast and nice pacing which will keep the action flowing.

Overall: Blood Filled Horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – F – The Fighter (2010)

Director: David O. Russell

Writer: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson (Screenplay) Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Jack McGee, Melissa McMeekin, Bianca Hunter

Plot: Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.


Tagline – Every dream deserves a fighting chance.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant

Story: The Fighter starts as we meet Micky Ward (Wahlberg) as he is preparing to follow in his brother’s footsteps Dicky Eklund (Bale) with a camera crew following them around because this is meant to be Dicky’s big return to the boxing world after his famous win as Sugar Ray Leonard.

Micky is meant to have an easy win fight, but a surprise change leaves him defeated once again, he starts to date Charlene (Adams) a local bar maid, who pushes him into standing up to his pushy family of Dicky who is always at a crack house and his mother Alice (Leo) that always believes she knows what is right for Micky, can he still create his own chance or not.

Thoughts on The Fighter

Characters – Micky Ward is the uprising boxer who is preparing for a big fight, he is trained by his older brother who has his own addiction, Micky lets his family guide him, mostly down the wrong roads, he meets a new woman in Charlene that helps him push back to restore his family’s name. Dicky is the older brother and former boxer, he feel out of the spotlight with his drug addiction and is looking to bring his brother into the light by being his trainer, the problems start by the fact he can never arrive on time and is letting his drug addiction control his life, breaking the law to try and do the right thing. Charlene Fleming is barmaid that Micky falls in love with, she tries to help him go after his own path instead of letting his family hold him back. Alice Ward is the mother of the boxers, she is their manager, but doesn’t always have their best interest in mind

PerformancesMark Wahlberg gives one of his career best performances of his career here, he doesn’t turn to any of the wise cracking which is often his trademark either. Christian Bale once again proves he can adapt to any role which will see him do a body transformation. Amy Adams and Melissa Leo complete the brilliant performances in this film which shows us just how talented this cast truly is.

StoryThe story here follows Micky Ward the brother of a former professional boxer that is looking to make his way to the top in boxing too, he is being held back by his controlling mother and fame seeking crack addict brother, until his girlfriend comes along to help put him back on the right path. This is based on the real boxers from the mid-90s and how they had to overcome their own personal problems to make it in boxing, we do a follow more of the family drama behind everything, how Micky was torn between who to take help from and how Dicky was full of himself due to his addiction. This does show us just how family can take life in negative directions if you let them take over your own potential if you let them and finding your own path can make you a success.

Biopic/SportsThe biopic side of the film shows just how difficult it can be to live in the shadow of a former professional and follows the family who have been through a lot, meaning the fighting is now for family honour. The boxing is limited till the final fight which is the longest any fight last and shows just how realistic you can be on the body.

SettingsThe film uses the settings that the family is from a very close neighbourhood which idolises Dicky and want to be behind Micky on his rise, they help each other and support their local heroes.


Scene of the Movie – Title fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – You could have seen more from the recovery process for Dicky.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent fighting drama that shows how family can be the best and worst part of any boxer’s life when they are going to try and make history.

Overall: Brilliant drama.

Jack Black Weekend – Gulliver’s Travels (2010) Movie Review

Director: Rob Letterman

Writer: Joe Stillman, Nicholas Stoller (Screenplay) Jonathan Swift (Book)

Starring: Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Chris O’Dowd

Plot: Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Lilliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens.


Tagline – A magical land. A comedy of epic proportions.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Insults a Classic Novel

Story: Gulliver’s Travels starts when New York magazine mailman Lemuel Gulliver (Black) wanting to impress the travel editor Darcy (Peet) accepts an assignment that everyone refuses, which sees him head towards the Bermuda Triangle.

This trip sees him end up in Lilliput where he is giant compared to the residents including King Theodore (Connolly), the stuck up general Edward (O’Dowd) along with Princess Mary (Blunt) and peasant Horatio (Segel), in the land where Gulliver becomes a hero of the land.

Thoughts on Gulliver’s Travels

Characters – Lemuel Gulliver has been living inside his safety zone, where he works in a mail room for a magazine, not looking to get out of the lowest level of the magazine, seeing people come and go through the office, he doesn’t have the guts to ask out the woman of his dreams, taking an assignment he has no qualifications to be part of. Gulliver travels to a new land where the people are tiny, where he starts a revolution taking advantage of their generous natures. Horatio is a peasant that has been locked up for trying to speak to the princess, who he loves and wants to be with, he is the one that helps Gulliver learn about the world he is now part of. Princess Mary believes she is meant to be marrying the man who earns her love, rather than being allowed to get to know the person. Darcy is the travel editor for the magazine that Gulliver wants to impress, she is willing to let people in the office have an opportunity to prove them.

PerformancesJack Black brings his routine of comedy which is too immature for this story, even if he can handle the heart to heart moments well. Jason Segel does all he can with his role, while Emily Blunt clearly decides to make this over the top because of how little she wanted to be part of the movie. Chris O’Dowd is arguably the only strong part of the film when it comes to the acting, knowing he is playing an over the top villain.

StoryThe story is meant to show a slacker that travels to a hidden royal kingdom where the people are tiny, here he helps take the people to the next level of the lives breaking them out of their royal ways. The problem with the story, is that it is based on a classic, which would have the same themes, only for this one to make everything about pop culture references that have completely dated becoming almost insulting to everything that it could have been. The story could easily have been about a slacker that wants to start achieving more from his life, instead of continue to show how much of a joke he is.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film does take Gulliver to a new land he would never have imagined getting too, though his nervous approach to travelling gets forgotten too quickly here. The comedy is mostly immature jokes that won’t get many laughs in anyway.

SettingsThe film does start with New York before moving to Lilliput, the problem with the setting here is the lack of scale, one minute it is just a palace, the next it feels like a big village or city, we just never learn how big this world is meant to be.

Special EffectsThe effects do look clunky with how the worlds are put together trying to create the fact that Gulliver is massive in this world.


Scene of the Movie – Mail room talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy.

Final Thoughts This is an insulting movie that just never reaches the heights it could when it comes to telling the incredible story of Gulliver’s visit to Lilliput like the book does, we end up with immature comedy that misses more often than it hits.

Overall: Disappointing and bland.