ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films of 2018 – N – November

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films of 2018

N

November

Why I’ve Picked this choiceThis is an Estonian movie that is beyond the weird and wonderful, it has uniquely created creatures that are both fascinating and terrifying all at once. This is easily one of the most unique films you will ever see and feels like a throwback to what we saw in the early days of horror films. This is simply put as one you will never forget seeing.

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Oliver Platt Weekend – The Oranges (2011)

Director: Julian Farino

Writer: Ian Helfer, Jay Reiss (Screenplay)

Starring: Alia Shawkat, Hugh Laurie, Oliver Platt, Allison Janney, Catherine Keener, Leighton Meester, Adam Brody

 

Plot: The enduring friendship between the Walling and Ostroff families is tested when Nina, the prodigal Ostroff daughter, returns home for the holidays after a five-year absence and enters into an affair with David, head of the Walling family.


Tagline – Sex. Betrayal. Scandal. Make yourself at home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funny Family Drama

 

Story: The Oranges starts as we meet two neighbouring families, the Walling and Ostroff who are best friends, husbands David (Laurie) and Terry (Platt), wives Cathy (Janney) and Paige (Keener) and children Vanessa (Shawkat), Nina (Meester) and Toby (Brody) who all come back together for the first time in years for Thanksgiving.

This weekend goes wrong when David starts having an affair well a kiss with Nina which causes problems as each side when everyone finds out breaking all the relationships between everyone involved.

 

Thoughts on The Oranges

 

Characters – David is the head of one of the two families, he is in a falling apart marriage that sees him staying in the pool house, he is best friends with Terry which sees him jogging plenty of times a week. He gets involved with Terry’s daughter which sees his wife leave him, his friendship shattered and his daughter wanting to turn on him. Nina is the wild child daughter of Terry that has spent years away from home, she used to be Vanessa’s best friend and has spent her time exploring the world. she returns home after a bad break up and gets involved in an affair of sorts with David, this is partly because it is something new and partly to get at her mother. Vanessa is our narrator that is recalling the events, she is the daughter of David that has always planned for a future that hasn’t happened yet, she is the opposite to Nina with her life, not taking the chances she always thought would come her way, she does struggle to deal with new relationship mostly because her life hasn’t taken off. Terry is the father of Nina that is struggling to deal with the new relationship, not only because it is his best friend and his daughter, but ends up finding a new lease for life himself. Paige is the wife that moves out after David’s affair which sees her book up a full bed and breakfast as part of her plan to get back at him. Cathy is the interfering mother of Nina’s that always wanted to see her daughter happy and ends up trying to set her up more than she should.

PerformancesHugh Laurie stepped away from House with his role, he gets to continue to show that he is a talent actor in the leading role and once again showed that he does work very well with Leighton Meester who is also very good in her role. Oliver Platt, Allison Janney and Catherine Keener are staples of any ensembled cast showing they can get their moments in smaller moments in any film and Alia Shawkat gives us a performance which many people can relate to.

StoryThe story here shows us how mid-life crisis happen, they show us what would happen if a father started dating his best friends daughter. It sparks changes in everyone’s life showing how much the parents are getting older and not taking the chances they once thought they had and the young adults learn to take the chances they hadn’t found themselves doing. The story does pose the question about love and whether age should be a problem. We also get to play into the idea of the holiday period being chaos in America with the secrets of family can come out as the strain between them becomes more apparent. It is interesting seeing the effects on the affair on everybody which makes this movie more interesting to watch.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film fits in nicely, it isn’t designed to be a laugh out loud comedy, but have moments that will make you laugh. The romance shows us how an affair between a father and daughter of best friend can be nice to start with and soon show the truth about real feelings.

SettingsThe settings are New Jersey with two houses opposite each other showing us just how close the connection is between the two families.


Scene of the Movie –
Christmas drive.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nearly every character gets development with what happens apart from Cathy which is the only disappointment.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun romantic comedy that shows how one moment between an unlikely couple can easily change lives to go in directions nobody involved could see happening.

 

Overall: Happy relationship comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films of 2018 – M – Mandy

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films of 2018

M

Mandy

Why I’ve Picked this choiceI want to keep this one short and sweet, Nicholas Cage on full overdrive, what more could you want, this film pushes the character to new levels when it comes to revenge, we have so much blood, so much Cage in full crazy mode, we just can’t look away from anything going on in this movie.

West of Sunshine (2017)

Director: Jason Raftopoulos

Writer: Jason Raftopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Damian Hill, Ty Perham, Arthur Angel, Kat Stewart, Tony Nikolakopoulos, Kaarin Fairfax

 

Plot: A father has less than a day to pay back a debt to a violent loan shark, while looking after his young son.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Father, Son Relationship

 

Story: West of Sunshine starts when down on his luck delivery driver Jim (Hill) has promised to have his son Alex (Perham) for the day, which sees him being forced to deliver in his own car, while trying to make up the money he owes to a violent loan shark.

Becoming desperate for money he turns to Mel (Stewart) who gives him a chance to deliver drugs for her, which will test his relationship with Alex. Can the father and son make it through the day and be ready for the next stage of life.

 

Thoughts on West of Sunshine

 

Characters – Jim has gotten himself into trouble with his debts, he needs to make up for those debts in one day, the same day he must spend with his son, to whom he has become distant from. This day will test his relationship with his son, test his ability to get the job done and clear his debts. Alex is the son of Jim’s who is spending the day with his father, he gets easily distracted and must learn quickly how much his father does love him, but is in need of support. Steve is the best friend at work, who can’t help Jim through his troubles because he has his own issues. Mel is the woman that does give Jim an out by being her deliver, because of their friendship.

PerformancesDamian Hill in the leading role is wonderful, we get to see just how much this means to his character, how he is showing the good father moments and desperate side of the day will offer him. Ty Perham as the young boy does a great job too, as he does need to show what it is like without a father figure in his life. In the supporting roles we get solid work from everybody else who are only here for chapters of Jim’s story.

StoryThe story here follows a father trying to reconnect with his son, on the same day he must work to make up for the debts he has built up with his gambling problems. The two must bond while he is showing the desperation to make up for his mistakes and be a good father. We get a very simple way to see how the relationship is building and we focus on this side of the story for most of the film, rather than seeing Jim’s problems which is nice because we could focus on them, though we need to see how the father is trying to keep his life together.

CrimeThe crime in this film shows just how one man can let his debts lead him to become distant from his family and how he must turn to crime to clean up his own mistakes.

SettingsThe film is set in the one city and shows how you can have connection all over town to turn to if you need the odd job done.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening the packet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The length is too short.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lovely look at a father son relationship and one that can be understood when we see just how much the two must go through.

 

Overall: Wonderful Relationship based movie.

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