Jem and the Holograms (2015)

Director: Jon M Chu

Writer: Ryan Landels (Screenplay) Christy Marx (Animated Series)

Starring: Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayler Kiyoko, Molly Ringwald, Isabella Kai Rice

 

Plot: As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.


Tagline – very Generation Needs a Voice

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good for the Target Audience

 

Story: Jem and the Holograms starts as Jerrica (Peeples) is coming to clean to her fans on the internet, we learn how she and her sisters Kimber (Scott), Shana (Perrieneau) and Aja (Kiyoko) become the internet sensations after Jerrica final came out of her shell and is picked up by producer Erica Raymond (Lewis) who wants to make them the biggest ‘It’ of the time.

Jerrica is recreated as Jem she becomes the biggest mystery in music and they become the biggest act in the planet, but can they handle the additional pressure in life.

 

Thoughts on Jem and the Holograms

 

Characters – Jerrica is one of the four sisters, the quiet and shiest one, she is also the most gifted musically, writing songs, performing privately, she creates Jem to be stay anonymous and remembers her father’s guidance everyday. She is telling the story of the rise to fame and how it made her feel. Kimber is the younger sister of Jerrica, she is social media addict, spending all her time posting on social media about anything and everything, she leaks the video of Jem and enjoys coming along to the new role in the band. Shana is one of the adopted sisters, she is a fashionista that always wanted to help the girls of the house have their own unique look. Aja is the other adopted sister, she is the true genius of the four, though she does have a habit to borrow from people without asking and can become the bad girl image. Erica Raymond is the ruthless producer that is always out to make as much money from as many different corners as possible.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances I feel it is unfair to go through any of the four sisters in any different ways because they are all good and you do believe the family chemistry between them.

StoryThe story here shows us how quickly a life of an overnight YouTube sensation can change for the good and the bad. We get to see how the idea of making money to save the family home can bring the biggest divide between the sisters after seeing just how special the rise and first show was for them. For the weaknesses in this film we have a lot, first it based on an animated series I had no idea existed, secondly, it happens so fast we can easily miss what is going on, we never really get an indication of days/weeks or months that we are following. The final negative comes to the issue of trying to show how YouTube can be turned to for fame, it will never happen this quickly.

Adventure/Fantasy/Music/Romance/Sci-FiThe genres this film tries to cross are all getting effected by lack of opportunity, the only one that truly gets the right time is the music side because that is the heart of the film. the fantasy sci-fi side of the film feels like an attachment to the main story.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which is always going to be the right choice for an American film about glitz and glamor.


Scene of the Movie –
The first show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it is meaningful, the sci-fi fantasy side story is just left in the back burner.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that will keep the target audience happy, it doesn’t offer too much for the casual fans of the genre and can get lost trying to do too much.

 

Overall: The good and the bad of YouTube success.

Rating

 

 

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Tom Hiddleston Weekend – I Saw the Light (2015)

Director: Marc Abraham

Writer: Marc Abraham (Screenplay) Colin Escott, George Merritt, William MacEwen (Book)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, Cherry Jones, Maddie Hasson, Wrenn Schmidt, David Krumholtz

 

Plot: The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks That Interest Factor

 

Story: I Saw the Light starts as we see Hank Williams (Hiddleston) slowly making his name in the music industry in the mid 40’s, his new marriage to Audrey (Olsen) does get questioned because she doesn’t have the singing voice he does and this shows early on when he must decide whether to supporting her singing or make his own career.

We follow how Hank continued to rise in fame but struggled with his own alcohol problems, his rocky marriage and his womanising, which led to his early death.

 

Thoughts on I Saw the Light

 

Characters/PerformanceHank is the famous country singer who rose to fame in the late 40s to become an icon, he has his own personal demons of drinking, womanising and rocky marriage. Audrey is the wife of Hank, she does want to be part of the singing but she doesn’t have the talent Hank has with brings a strain to their marriage.

Performance wise, well where do we start? Hiddleston is fine in this role as is Olsen and do the best with what they can with the story.

StoryNow I like watching bio-pics even if I don’t know who the film is centred around. I don’t know who Hank Williams is or what his most famous song was which I am not using as an excuse for not enjoying this film. I found the story way too long with very little happening and no focus on the music Hank has been making.

Biography/MusicThe story telling takes away from where the bio-pic side of the film should be focusing on where the music is all fine without being anything special.

SettingsThe settings are all fine for the time period in question which is all we need from the story of late 40s early 50s.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very weak bio-pic that doesn’t give us enough to like about the musician Hank Williams to look back and go, he was an interesting guy. The storytelling side of the film comes off confusing and doesn’t give us enough time on the music side of the film.

 

Overall: Weak bio-pic that lacks everything that is needed.

Rating

 

 

Oliver Platt Weekend – One More Time (2015)

Director: Robert Edwards

Writer: Robert Edwards (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Walken, Amber Heard, Kelli Garner, Hamish Linklater, Ann Magnuson, Henry Kelemen, Oliver Platt

 

Plot: A New York City crooner plots his comeback.


Tagline – The hardest act to follow is your father’s.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Finding Yourself Movie

 

Story: One More Time starts as an aspiring young music Jude (Heard) returns home to her successful father Paul (Walken) one of the biggest musicians that has faded away. We go through the family dynamics as we learn what has caused problems between them before.

When Pau gets his chance to make his comeback he grabs it and as he is taking his chance he is trying to push his daughter Jude into letting the world see her talent, the talent he thinks the world would love.

 

Thoughts on One More Time

 

Characters – Paul Lombard was once the biggest name in music, he drew crowds from around the world, now his light has faded and he wants to re-create himself once again, the ability he has shown through the years, he is terrible when it comes to dealing with the women in his life and tries to push his talented daughter to follow in his footsteps. Jude is the daughter of Paul, she has the talent but isn’t willing to let the world see her talent, she doesn’t want to take the chance and be branded his daughter, she is lost in life never really knowing where to go next. Corinne is the daughter that has her head screwed on running a business starting a family the complete opposite to Jude. Alan is the long time manager of Paul that has always had his best interests at heart, close friends to the family and even trying to help Jude with her career.

PerformancesChristopher Walken would have jumped at this role with the music side letting him show us his talents, he is good through the film even showing both sides of his character. Amber Heard is good as the lost musician that is trying to find herself. Kelli Garner is strong too as we see the distant her character needs to have from the Paul and Jude relationship. Oliver Platt is good in his supporting role which is one we always like to see him in.

StoryThe story here follows two different musicians from different generations, the father who made his name and lost his fame and his daughter that is trying to figure out her place in the world. we get to go through the family dynamics about sounds they could both have and how they need to put personal problems behind them to make sure they can be the best they could be, but by the end of the film it doesn’t feel like anything was truly resolved with the problems with either Paul or Jude knowing their place in the music world now.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy in the film doesn’t seem to be very effective in anyway, it is here but it doesn’t seem to hit, the music is the strongest part of the film as here different sounds through the film.

SettingsThe settings are used well, but don’t help the film because Paul has the money to support Jude’s dream, it would have been more interesting if he had hit hard times too and they do need to work as well as playing the music.


Scene of the Movie –
Editing the Wikipedia page.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing overly original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough finding yourself movie, it does help that the family has money behind them so the struggle never feels desperate in anyway, though the music works well.

 

Overall: Solid enough

Rating

 

 

Bradley Cooper Weekend – Burnt (2015)

Director: John Wells

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay) Michael Kalesniko (Story)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander

 

Plot: Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Cooking Drama

 

Story: Burnt starts as we see Adam Jones (Cooper) a chef who has worked under the best before he blew it all with drinks and drugs, he cleans himself up, earns enough money and returns to London to take down Tony (Bruhl) restaurant and hotel.

Turning to his old friend Conti (Goodman) and working Michel (Sy), Helene (Miller), David (Keeley) and Max (Scamarcio) Adam goes in search for the next top chefs around London to work in his kitchen after saving Tony’s ass when the top food critic Simone Forth (Thurman) visits his restaurant. Adam is in search for his third Michelin Star.

 

Thoughts on Burnt

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam Jones is the typical aggressive competitive chef, he wants to be known as the very best but is also on a redemption story. he walks the very thin line between being the best and being a complete ass toward the people who work for him. Helene is the next top chef without a reputation in London, a single mother that keeps her reach all her potential that Adam sees in her. Tony is a friend of Adam’s who reluctantly gives him a chance to turn his kitchen around once more. I do think the rest of the characters all play into the story perfectly too.

Bradley Cooper is great in this role, he gets to show he confidence, aggression and emotions through the film. Sienna Miller is good throughout but like the rest of the cast who all give good performance, they all do get over shadowed by Cooper’s performance.

StoryWhen you are a skilled person with talent can easily come off the rails and search for another chance in life. This is a story of redemption at the core showing you will not be able to run from your past but you can always change your future and the people you work with.

Comedy/DramaThis is a comedy drama that does take a serious matter and add little moments of comedy without being a laugh out loud attempted film.

SettingsMost of the film is in and around the kitchens the chefs work in, this is good because we get to see how chaotic the kitchen can be.

Final ThoughtsThis film was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be, I do think people can enjoy but I can also see why people will find it hard to get through.

 

Overall: Cooks up a delight that can be devoured by the fans.

Rating

 

 

Christmas Movies – Santa’s Little Helper (2015)

 Director: Gil Junger

Writer: James Robert Johnston, Bennett Yellin (Screenplay)

Starring: Mike Mizanin, AnnaLynne McCord, Saraya-Jade Bevis, Eric Keenleyside, Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Geoff Gustafson

 

Plot: After getting fired from his job, a slick, fast-talking businessman (The Miz) is thrown into an elf competition to become Santa¹s next second-in-command. Put through a series of rigorous training exercises to prepare for the contest, The Miz and another aspiring elf go head-to-head in the hopes of becoming Santa’s Little Helper.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Christmas Movie

 

Story: Santa’s Little Helper starts with fast talking businessman Dax (Mizanin) who will happily throw people out of their homes and work places around Christmas time who loses his job, he loses everything facing ruin. When Santa Claus (Keenleyside) visits him he comes up with a plan.

Santa needs to hirer a replacement for an important role for him, he sends his trusted assistant Billie (McCord) who does have dreams of the same role, to recruit Dax and show the value needed for the role, all while daughter of the retiring role Eleanor (Bevis) believes she is entitled to the role. Can Dax learn the valuable lessons before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Santa’s Little Helper

 

Characters – Dax is our version of Scourge in this film, he has been putting people out on the streets for years with his ruthless attitude towards people, he gets fired and loses everything, he must prove his value to Santa for a high-ranking role under him even if it means facing a moment from his past. Billie is one of Santa’s assistants, she is assigned to recruit the next person in Dax even though she wants to role herself. She doesn’t understand the pick but will follow his wishes. Eleanor believes the role is hers and doesn’t care for anyone taking the role she believes she was entitled to. Santa is who we know he is, he wants to guide Dax back on the right path after knowing just how special he was meant to be.

PerformancesMike Mizanin or The Miz for WWE fans has been going through the movies for WWE Studios, he is good in his roles and this is no different. AnnaLynne McCord is good in her role too needing to be excitable at times, Saraya-Jade Bevis is solid enough in her role, she does well when we see her, but her character isn’t involved enough. The rest of the film are good without needing to take many difficult moments away from The Miz.

StoryThe story takes a fresh spin on needing to get the Christmas spirit to help turn one person’s life around. We follow our main character Dax who isn’t a nice person that needs to learn the error of his way before his whole life falls apart, for a family film this is completely by the book for what you need things to do as in lessons to be learnt. The sub-plot about the job applying for is here and never feels like it is the most important part of the film.

FamilyThis movie keeps the jokes that can be enjoyed by the whole audience, we get moments the kids and parents will enjoy through the film.

SettingsThe film doesn’t really give us an iconic location as for city and when it comes to the competition it should have felt more North Pole based.


Scene of the Movie –
The final lesson.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The course.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book Christmas movie, it will keep the family happy without being the most memorable of all time.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Family film.

Rating