ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – N – Nebraska (2013)

nebrakaDirector: Alexander Payne

Writer: Bob Nelson (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach

 

Plot: An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Comedy Drama

 

Story: Nebraska starts as Woody Grant (Dern) an elder man who believes he has won the Million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes and wants to travel from Montana to Nebraska to receive his prize. The problem comes where he keeps trying to walk the journey which drives his wife Kate (Squibb) and two adult kids David (Forte) and Ross (Odenkirk) crazy.

After it becomes clear he just won’t give up on this journey David agrees to travel cross country with him in a journey which will bring the two closer than they have been in David’s life. While the story continues to unfold, we learn that this trip means more than the money to Woody and as the news spreads he might have won the money people from his past come out of the woodwork trying to stake their own claim to a piece of it all.

 

Thoughts on Nebraska

 

Characters/PerformanceWoody is an elderly man who just wants to know his place with the people who knew dying and his memory going, Woody just wants to go on this journey to have one last memory of something he achieved in his life. David is the younger son who is the softer of the two brothers, he sees this journey as his last chance to be with his father, learning about his past in a journey he never got to experience as a young boy. Kate is the wife of Woody who is getting tired of all the trouble Woody has been causing, you can see the love between the two as they have been spending years together through the good and bad moments.

Bruce Dern is fantastic in this role that deals with all the problems the character is dealing with. Will Forte who I only knew from comedy was also fantastic in this role with June Squibb getting nearly all of the laughs with her character’s rants.stara

StoryLooking at the story we see one man’s search for an extra memory before he feels he will finally lose his memory. This is a road trip movie that shows the bon between father and son can reach new levels at any age. I feel the story gives Woody a chance to look at where he grows up, where his friends from his youth are and put the past behind him once and for all.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure the family go on while simple is a cross-country journey, we have great light-hearted comedy going on throughout the film.

SettingsThe small town America setting shows how people can live full lives without getting out and when you return you can see how much you have escaped.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is one film I was always unsure of watching, I never got any good vibes from it but this was easily one of the best I have seen from the year of release.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama that you can understand every moment the characters feel.

Ratingrating

 

 

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Underdogs (2013) Guest Review

Underdogs (2013)

Metegol (2013)

Foosball is one of the most popular game tables in the world. Unfortunately, it is not as popular as the game it was made from but it has fans all over the world. I know that I can’t compare soccer and foosball and I can’t expect it to be as popular as soccer because it is a game table, but I do have my hopes up. J

 In movie history there are only a couple of pieces made with the main topic – foosball and today, I want to share with you the latest piece. It is a cartoon made in 2013 and when you look at the title – “Underdogs”, you wouldn’t have guessed it is about foosball. I like the fact that the name suits the game table because it is an underrated game.

The Plot: The plot of the cartoon is suitable for the title. There was a group of kids in a small town who had to kill time playing a different game. One kid, in particular, was different and most of his time he played foosball in a local bar. That kid was bullied by local kids and his only friends were the foosball players.

Fast-forward about 10 years and it seems like nothing changed. That kid, now a young man is still playing foosball and the bully is an international soccer star. The soccer star returned to his hometown with one intention – to demolish it and build the biggest stadium in the world.

And that is where the action begins and you can see why the name of the movie is Underdogs. I don’t want to spoil much but let me just say it has elements of foosball and soccer because the entire town ends up playing soccer against their bully.

Now, you are probably asking where is foosball in all that? Well, those foosball players from the table come to life and help their little hero in the fight against the bully. The cartoon shows what team is all about, it teaches about passion, love and not giving up.

Conclusion: If you are looking for a cartoon to watch with your kids and you are sick and tired of all Frozen, Ice age or Tangled style of cartoons I would suggest this one. It is a refreshing cartoon with original story because it revolves around foosball. Also, every foosball player has its own accent and personality which shows the variety other movies don’t have.  I don’t like the quality of the cartoon (it is made digitally), but that is my personal opinion.

Director: Juan José Campanella

Writers: Eduardo Sacheri, Gastón Gorali, Juan José Campanella, Axel Kuschevatzky, Roberto Fontanarrosa, David Burgess

Runtime: 1 hour 46 min

Overall score: 7,00/10

Author bio:

The movie review is written by Mark Cop, a foosball fan and a player who has a blog about foosball. He wants to make foosball popular like it was before so he is helping people pick the best foosball table by writing interesting mini foosball table reviews.

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Frankenstein Theory (2013)

Director: Andrew Weiner

Writer: Vlady Pildysh, Andrew Weiner (Screenplay) Mary Shelley (Characters)

Starring: Kris Lemche, Roger W Morriessey, Timothy V Murphy, Heather Stephens, Christine Lakin, Luke Geissbuhler

 

Plot: What if the most chilling novel of all time was actually based on a true account of a horrific experiment gone awry? When he is suspended from his university job for his outlandish ideas, Professor John Venkenheim leads a documentary film crew to the rim of the Arctic Circle in a desperate effort to vindicate his academic reputation. His theory: Mary Shelley’s ghastly story, “Frankenstein,” is, in fact, a work of non-fiction disguised as fantasy. In the vast, frozen wilderness, Venkenheim and his team search for the legendary monster, a creature mired in mystery and drenched in blood. What they find is an unspeakable truth more terrifying than any fiction…a nightmare from which there is no waking.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Idea, Generically Told

 

Story: The Frankenstein Theory starts as Jonathan Venkenhein (Lemche) is looking to lead a documentary film crew including Vicky Stephens (Stephens), Brian (Henderson), Eric (Zuckerman) and Luke Hill (Geissbuhler) to the Arctic in search for his grandfather research that claims that the story of Frankenstein is in fact real.

Joined by local guide Karl McCallion (Murphy) the team head in from Canada to the Arctic circle. As the group spend time together we learn more about the case they are investigating which could be just a bear that has been attacking people or could the creature be real and are these film makers ready for what they find?

 

Thoughts on The Frankenstein Theory

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan Venkenhein believes his ancestor was the real-life creature of the Frankenstein’s creature and now he wants to head off with a team to learn the truth, he is fully committed to believing his story putting his professional and personal life on the line. Vicky is the one hosting the documentary hoping it will be her big break. Karl is the guide that is filled with the warning about being in the wilderness alone. The rest of the team is who would expect, the cameraman, sound man and co-producer.

Performance wise, The cast are all good in their roles without any being brilliant but nobody being bad.

StoryI must say this story comes off like a smart idea because we always can have somebody look into a work of fiction and dive into the truth behind the story. This time we look at the idea that Frankenstein’s story is real and the creature is still lurking in the Arctic. With the idea in place and being something that is interesting, we do end up going down the Blair Witch route of just having ideas borrowed from other found footage films and the Creature acting just like Bigfoot.

Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi The fantasy idea of this film comes from bring the fictional story into reality, the horror side comes from all the found footage material we have seen before, the sci-fi side comes from the idea that this once again isn’t just a fictional story.

SettingsBeing set in the Arctic is fine because our characters have nowhere to run with all the terror going on and it shows the environment the creature could be living in.

Special EffectsMost of the violence happens off came so we do get good use of effects on the remains but the film doesn’t need them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid addition to the found footage genre as the film does feel like it flows nicely.

 

Overall: Found Footage 101.

Rating

 

 

The Maid’s Room (2013)

Director: Michael Walker

Writer: Michael Walker (Screenplay)

Starring: Paula Garces, Annabella Sciorra, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger

 

Plot: THE MAID’S ROOM is a psychological thriller that explores the complex relationships between truth and justice, hubris and power, wealth and fear.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lifetime Movie 101

 

Story: The Maid’s Room starts as the Crawford family Mrs (Sciorra), Mr (Camp) and their son Brandon (Ettinger) hire a maid Drina (Garces) to keep their weekend residents clean, offering money, room and board for Drina.

When Drina is left alone with Brandon, he is involved in an accident resulting in a death, the family tries their hardest to pay Drina off to stay quiet but hold her prisoner as the family look to cover up their own crimes.

 

Thoughts on The Maid’s Room

 

Characters/PerformanceDrina is an immigrant from Columbia working as a maid for a rich family, she wants the best for her family but finds herself in the m idle of a moral question about what to do when asked to cover up a murder. Mr and Mrs Crawford will do anything to cover up their son’s crime while Brandon is the typical rash rich kid that thinks he can get away with anything.

Performance wise, this doesn’t have anything great in it, we have solid enough performance without being scene stealers from everyone involved.

StoryIf I am being honest, this film feels like it is a special in a soap opera, it tries to play itself of as a thriller and does have a fresh twist in its own way but that twist sucks all the life out of the film make you not really care what is going on.

ThrillerTries to keep us guessing but in the end, is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Settings – Nearly the whole film is set in and around the rich resident house which works but also adds to the soap opera feel.

Final ThoughtsIf I wanted to watch a long version of a soap opera I would watch one but in the end this doesn’t offer too much of a mystery and whichever direction is goes you are left think ‘so what, do I care’

 

Overall: TV movie that sky seems to be showing.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Night of the Living Deb (2015)

Director: Kyle Rankin

Writer: Andy Selsor (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Thayer, Michael Cassidy, Julie Brister, Nan’l Meiklejohn

 

Plot: After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but she can’t remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Comey

 

Story: Night of the Living Deb starts as Deb (Thayer) is on a girls night with best friend Ruby (Brister), this night Deb finally goes after a guy she wants in Ryan (Cassidy). After spending the night together Ryan tries to get rid of Deb but her trip home turned into a nightmare as the undead have risen.

Deb and Ryan must put aside their difference to rescue their loved ones and make it to safety before becoming the victims of the zombie apocalypse.

 

Thoughts on Night of the Living Deb

 

Characters/PerformanceDeb is considered a geeky woman who finds a guy considered out of her league in Ryan, now her geek knowledge will help her fight the zombies. Ryan is a free-thinking son of a rich family, but his own beliefs will change how Deb thinks of the world. The rest of the characters including the family of Ryan who are involved with what is happening.

Performance wise, Maria Thayer is great in the leading role, she is funnier hitting on nearly all the comical moments in the film. Michael Cassidy is good in this role too but in places doesn’t click as well as Maria. The rest of the cast all work well with Ray Wise fitting the style of film very well.

StoryThe story is pretty much a routine by the book horror comedy with a zombie background. The idea that our characters know what a zombie apocalypse is does help the story but otherwise the only original angle is the opposites needing to work together. But this is fun and all we need it to be.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy hots for the most part here, we get plenty of pop culture reference and movie lines that add to the comedy too but on the horror, scale the attempts of horror fall into the idea that things are almost comically horror rather than scary.

SettingsThe small-town setting shows us just how the outbreak could happen with people not being able to escape if things got covered up.

Special EffectsThe film doesn’t use many special effects but the few times it does they are fine.

Final ThoughtsIf you like a good zombie comedy that completely understands what it wants to be this is for you to enjoy.

 

Overall: Horror Comedy Fans Watch.

Rating