ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Z – Zapped (2014)

Director: Peter DeLuise

Writer: Billy Eddy, Matt Eddy, Rachelle Skoretz (Screenplay) Leslie Margolis (Novel)

Starring: Zendaya, Chanelle Peloso, Spencer Boldman, Emilia McCarthy, Adam DiMarco, William Ainscough

 

Plot: When Zoey’s mom remarries, Zoey finds it hard adjusting to her new life – no longer the only kid in the family.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Movie 101

 

Story: Zapped starts when Zoey (Zendaya) moves after her mother remarries, she must get use to living with four guys suddenly, the school is different that she is used to with Rachel (Peloso) being the first to show her friendship and it doesn’t take her long to meet the school heartthrob Jackson (Boldman).

Zoey’s life changes after she downloads an app to try and control the family dog only for it to get amplified to being about to boys which she starts to use to her advantage to clean up the problems in her life.

 

Thoughts on Zapped

 

Characters – Zoey has lived a normal life with her mother, she must learn to change after her mother gets married and she must move in with his family which includes 3 boys. She must learn to adapt to her new school and turns to an app on her phone to control the men in her life. She is the typical new girl that doesn’t get the welcome she should from most, but soon learns her place in the school with her new app. Rachel is one of the few people that welcomes Zoey, she is an outsider nervous at times even if she is confident in herself. Jackson is the school heartthrob with mystery about him, he takes a shine to Zoey which only makes the other girls at the school jealous. Taylor is the dance team leader that doesn’t want to let Zoey be part of the team.

PerformancesZendaya takes the leading role and it is clear that this movie was built for her, she is good in the leading role showing both sides of her character. Chanelle Peloso gives us plenty of laughs in her role as the best friend. Spencer Boldman as the mysterious boy at school is good for the film. Emilia McCarthy does struggle to be the bad girl we need her to be, this is due to writing rather than acting though.

StoryThe story here shows how the new girl to a family and school struggles to deal with the boys in her life and when her phone gives her an app which can control them she uses it to make life easier, with the normal consequences. This teaches Zoey a life lesson that she must learn to change because not everything will go her way, no matter how much she wants to control things, it does show us how difficult starting a new school can be this almost shows how people can dream a way to move away from the struggle. We also learn about new family life, which is weird because the family on move in together after the wedding.

Comedy/Family/FantasyThe comedy in this film comes from how Zoey controls the guys and just what happens with different instructions. It is one the whole family can get a laugh out of because of the different moments of comedy with the fantasy side of the film coming from the idea a phone app can control people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around high school which puts us through the normal locations we would imagine seeing problems taking place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Dance off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Surely the family would have tried living together before getting married.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those Disney channel movies that will hit the target audience perfectly, it knows the strengths and plays into them.

 

Overall: The target audience will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Good Kill (2014)

Director: Andrew Niccol

Writer: Andrew Niccol (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.


Tagline – If you never face your enemy, how can you face yourself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Look at the Side Effects of Modern War

 

Story: Good Kill starts as we meet our unit, Major Thomas Egan (Hawke) who leads the younger unit, Zimmer (Abel) Christie (Kenin) and new team member Airman Vera Suarez (Kravitz) who are drone pilot watching over Afghanistan taking out persons of interest that would be threats to America.

Thomas wanting to return to active duty must work with Colonel Jack Johns (Greenwood) with this plan, but when the CIA want to conduct operations with the unit, the whole unit must face difficult decision when follow orders.

 

Thoughts on Good Kill

 

Characters – Major Thomas Egan is a former active duty soldier, he served his time and now he works on drone unit, killing the enemy from a computer screen back in Vegas, he wants to return to active duty and soon his latest missions involve morally questionable decisions which only leaves him questioning his own role in the war and his personal life. Molly is Thomas’s wife, she like having her husband close to home and is finding her husband feeling distant from her. Airman Suarez is the newest member to the unit, she questions nearly every decision they must make, not sure whether they are doing the right thing at all.

PerformancesEthan Hawke is great in this leading role, he makes his character feel distant which helps us understand his mindset where things are not going the way he feels comfortable with. January Jones is fine in her role without being a complex with her performance. Zoe Kravitz continues to show she is coming along to become a major name in the acting world.

StoryThe story follows the life of a drone pilot who used to serve in active combat, we see how he wants to get back into this because he doesn’t enjoy having to do the kills from a distance. This shows us a new type of PTSD which soldiers will be facing when having to kill from their own land, it also shows how the soldiers will not open up about the horrors they are seeing and being involved in.

War/ThrillerThe war elements of this film shows us how the war can be fought from behind closed doors rather than the battlefield, it shows the effects of this too.

SettingsThe film is set in and around Vegas, showing the war is now being fought from the air being controlled back home.


Scene of the Movie –
Thomas final actions with the drone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While we see how Thomas is affected, I feel we had just as much time to focus on Suarez coming into this world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the modern warfare, it shows how difficult the battle has become, but the effects will still haunt the people.

 

Overall: Good thriller on modern war.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – P – Pride (2014)

Director: Matthew Warchus

Writer: Stephen Beresford (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox, George MacKay

 

Plot: U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.


Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: Pride starts in the summer of 1984, the miner’s strikes are on and the Pride movement is taking over London, Mark (Schnetzer) one of the leading campaigners joined by shy college student Joe (MacKay) in a movement known as ‘Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners’ after Mark sees that they are struggling through the same problems from the authority figures.

Dai (Considine) is part of one of the mining communities in Wales, he is the only person that will even consider taking the money raised by the support group, with the group heading to Wales, they are welcomed by some including the head of the committee Cliff (Nighy), but not everyone is as welcoming as the rest.

 

Thoughts on Pride

 

Characters – Mark is the leader of the Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners group, he believes if the two work together they could one day stop the problems they are facing, he inspires his group, builds bridges between the communities become one of the most iconic members of the movement. Joe is a young gay that is still in the closest, he wants to support the group and joins in the activities only to need to keep things secret from the rest of his family. Dai is the man that is willing to listen to the group, he welcomes the group to the village. Jonathan is one of the oldest members of the group, he has lived with the taboo for his whole life and will help the group make the right connections. Cliff is one of the miners that welcomes the group with open arms not seeing them to be different in anyway. Hefina is one of the committee that will push for any rights to help her community that has suffered for so long.

PerformancesBen Schnetzer in the leading role is fantastic, showing the charisma required as well as giving us the feeling that he doesn’t know what will happen. George MacKay continued to show he is going to be a big name in the future with his withdrawn and important performance in this film. Dominic West is good in his role which shows us just how much range he has. Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton both shine in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story here shows us how the Lesbian & Gay community came together even against their own battle to help the minders in their own strike against the government. We are shown how communities would have needed to come together to be given their chance to just have equality in the world, this both frustrates because of what was around and shows the support needed to make things happen and how easily minds can be changed. We get to see the people that made a difference in the world, the people that held them back and just how important each and every person that supports equality can be. This is one that could show us how the country changed, came together and most importantly showed us how difficult the steps can be for the people who are struggling.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film shows us how the people who were truly involved showed the courage to stand up for what they believe in. the comedy comes from the actions from both sides of the fight and how they remained confident and broke barriers.

SettingsThe film uses two main settings, London where we follow the LGB community with their own fight and in Wales as we see the miner’s village which has been struggling with their problems with the strike.


Scene of the Movie –
The march

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing this was still a problem in 80s.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the powerful biopic that shows us just what people can achieve by working together to make a difference in the world.

 

Overall: Must watch.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – J – Just Before I Go (2014)

Director: Courteney Cox

Writer: David Flebotte (Screenplay)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Garret Dillahunt, Kate Walsh, Kyle Gallner, Mackenzie Marsh

 

Plot: On the verge of giving up on life, a guy travels to his hometown to make amends.


Tagline – Ending it all was only the beginning.
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Moving Story

 

Story: Just Before I Go starts as Ted Morgan (Scott) fills in the reasons why he returned home to kill himself, the average life he has been living and the recent break up, first he wants to return home to confront the people that pushed him back in his hometown, before he goes.

Staying with his brother Lucky (Dillahunt) and his family, he sets his plan in motion until he meets Greta (Thirlby) who wants to document this situation.

 

Thoughts on Just Before I Go

 

Characters – Ted Morgan was a dreamer in high school, but he was bullied and as soon as he was old enough he left town, he lived a normal life, in a normal employment role, but after his wife cheats on him, he decides he wants to confront his past before killing himself. Ted is the average man that never became the guy he thought he would, middle-aged and alone facing a reality he doesn’t want to be here anymore. Greta is a stranger to Ted, she wants to record document the motivation behind Ted’s choice and to try and help him find a direction. Lucky is the older brother that never put his arm around his younger brother when he was younger. This movie has wonderful characters that have affected Ted’s life in different ways.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is an actor I grew up watching his comedies, but he seemed to fade away, this performance seems to be a career highlight for him, he keeps everything calm through the film which is something that is important for this role and something new for him. Olivia Thirlby is great in the supporting role too which is the type of role we can see her doing a lot. Garret is an actor you can always find in good supporting roles and this is no different.

StoryThe story here follows one man who sees his life going nowhere and wants to face his past before killing himself, this is a simple side to everything, we end up dealing with a lot of everyday issues about treating people equally, dealing with the fine line between loneliness and emptiness, as well as showing that other people close to you will have their own problems. For me this is one of the most underrated stories I have seen and having been through elements of these issues I could relate to as well.

ComedyThe movie has moments of comedy, but doesn’t rely on the comedy which is something I was happy with, the drama was the main part of the film.

SettingsThe film takes our character back to his own home town which shows how many people might not leave and still make a life for themselves, the settings work for the going down memory lane.


Scene of the Movie –
On top of the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The sister-in-law is difficult to talk seriously and we don’t need her weakness.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that hit home hard for me, I can understand Ted’s mentality and difficulties which makes this a film I wish more people could see.

 

Overall: Must watch for anyone that has had a hard time.

Rating

 

 

Dolph Lundgren Weekend – Puncture Wounds (2014)

Director: Giorgio Serafini, James Coyne

Writer: James Coyne (Screenplay)

Starring: Cung Le, Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones, Gianni Capaldi, Briana Evigan, James C Burns

 

Plot: After returning home from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq, John finds himself struggling with PTSD. What little peace he had managed to build around him is shattered one fateful day when he rescues a local call girl from a group of violent Aryan Brotherhood pimps. Having killed several of the high-ranking brotherhood during the rescue, John and his family are now the prime targets of Hollis, the ruthless criminal leader of the group.


Tagline – Pain Runs Deep

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Straight to DVD Action Standard

 

Story: Puncture Wounds starts as we meet John (Le) a former soldier suffering from PTSD, he wants to get his life back on track before returning to his family, making him a highly skilled weapon. When he breaks up a fight involving a woman Tanya (Evigan) in the parking lot of his motel, he kills the men.

These men happen to be working for Hollis (Lundgren) a violent pimp that uses his connection to hunt down John and everyone he loves.

 

Thoughts on Puncture Wounds

 

Characters – John is a former soldier that returns from war with PTSD, h wants to put his life back in order, but his good deed of protecting a woman, now he uses all his combat training to take out the people that took everything he loved. Hollis is the ruthless pimp that forces his girls to work with promise of drugs, he kills anyone that gets in his way and his money. This is quite a generic villain that has no remorse for anybody or anything he does. Bennett is a drug smuggler that works as most of a middle man for Hollis, but not for him.

PerformancesCung Le can handle the combat scenes well, he doesn’t need to give the best acting performance because his character is generic as they come. Dolph Lundgren is a good villain, much like Le he handles the combat well, but the acting isn’t the most difficult part of the film.

StoryThe story is the by the book action movie, it is good guy does the right thing only to find himself stuck in the middle of a bigger battle with a crime lord that will stop at nothing to kill him. This is an action movie that follows the rules and never tests the audience, it is easy to watch for the fans of the genre and will keep you entertained for the time it runs through.

ActionThe action is everything you expect, we have good hand to hand combat and moments of shooting, it works for the genre of the film.

SettingsThe film takes place in the big city that is riddled with crime, it shows the crimes happening in the world and how the people can hide away from it.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It can be forgotten easily.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch action film that plays the books well for action film fans, nothing too memorable and fun enough.

 

Overall: Easy to watch nonsense action film.

Rating