ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – # – Ten Thousand Saints (2015) Movie Thoughts

Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Writer: Robert Pulchini, Shari Springer Berman (Screenplay) Eleanor Henderson (Novel)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Emily Mortimer, Julianne Nicholson, Emile Hirsch

Plot: Set in the 1980s, a teenager from Vermont moves to New York City to live with his father in East Village.

Tagline – Rage. Riot. Rebirth.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Ten Thousand Saints starts as we meet a couple of stoners Jude (Butterfield) and Teddy (Jogia) living in Vermont, spending their time just looking for their next high all the time, they get visited by a family friend in Eliza (Steinfeld), which sees the party get out of control, with Teddy passing away.

Jude’s drug dealing father Les (Hawke) returns to his life to take him to New York City to starts fresh, where he meets Teddy’s brother Johnny (Hirsch) who ends up teaching both Jude and Eliza about taking things more seriously after his own problems with drugs in the past.

Thoughts on Ten Thousand Saints

Final Thoughts Ten Thousand Saints follows an adopted young teenager that sees his life turned upside down when his best friend dies in a night of drink and drugs, which will see his estranged drug dealing father return to his life to offer him a new start, getting caught up in the middle of discovering who he is and learning how to get through an unexpected pregnancy. This story does go in a strange direction, seemingly trying to become more about the pregnancy storyline, over the self-discovery one that is being pushed for from the Jude character. The performances in the film are strong with Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld are always going to work well in these aged roles. The supporting cast work well too, with Ethan Hawke, Emile Hirsch, Emily Mortimer and Julianne Nicholson. The movie does seem to focus more on trying to warn about teenage pregnancy and advertise the adoption can help a baby have a strong start in life.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – P – Battle for Sevastopol (2015) Movie Review

This is under P because of the sniper herself Pavlichenko.

Director: Sergey Mokristkiy

Writer: Maksim Budarin, Max Dankevich, Leonid Korin, Sergey Mokritskiy, Egor Olesov (Screenplay)

Starring: Yuliya Peresild, Evgeniy Tsyganov, Oleg Vasilkov, Nikita Tarasov, Joan Blackham

Plot: A story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the most successful female sniper in history.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Interesting Look at Historical Figure

Story: Battle for Sevastopol starts as we meet Lyudmila Pavlichenko (Peresild) daughter of an English teacher, and Captain, who proves to be an expert marksman on a casual day out at the shooting range, she gets recruited for training by the military, while wanting to continue her studies and fall in love with a doctor Boris (Tarasov).

When World War II breaks out, Lyudmila finds herself drafted as one of the elite snipers, during this time, she builds up a reputation of being the deadliest woman in the war, killing over 100 soldiers to help her country in the fight against Hitler.

Thoughts on Battle for Sevastopol

Characters – Lyudmila Pavlichenko is known as Lady Death because of her sniper kill numbers, we follow her from her quiet student era, to her first recruitment to the war and when she met first lady Ruzvelt who wants to learn from her and educate her. The time we follow shows her to be a cold character, not finding love easy and not blinking with the number of soldiers she kills. Along her journey Lyudmila meets different soldiers, a doctor that offer her a chance of love or try to put their own power over her, with Eleanora Ruzvelt being the woman that wants to learn more about her, understand how she could make such a difference.

PerformancesYuliya Peresild is wonderful in the leading role, she brings to life both sides of her character, the deadly soldier and the woman who wants a normal life. In the supporting cast we have everyone performing well, despite a couple of reporter roles feeling heavily dubbed and not fitting the scene they are in.

StoryThe story here follows Lyudmila Pavlichenko from her college years, war stories and her interactions with Eleanora Ruzvelt, the ups and downs of these stages of her life and the stories behind her incredibly high kill count for the Soviets. The way this story is told splits between the different stories, where he jump into the war time moments as the interactions get filled in, the scars, the reason behind everything she does, it does all work well, with them playing out more like memories of the 1942 version of her. While the story may have changed from the truth about her for dramatic effect in the story, the facts behind her kill count does remain true.

Biopic/WarWe do follow a couple of stages of Lyudmila’s life, while what she did in the war was incredible breaking barriers along the way, it is see how she is willing to tell the stories which is amazing to see.

SettingsThe film shows us the difficult situations Lyudmila finds herself in, with the war settings showing the horrors of the conflict, while the American settings show us just how she never fitted in the crowd locations.

Scene of the Movie – The final speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The love angles don’t seem as interesting as the rest of the film.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at another major figure in the World War II conflict, showing us how they made themselves big names in the war effort.

Overall: History Lesson 101.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – F – The Final Girls (2015) Movie Thoughts

The Final Girls (2015)

The Final Girls follows Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) the daughter of a 80s slasher icon Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman) who died in a car crash. 3 years after the incident Duncan (Thomas Middleditch) has convinces Max to attend a celebration of the Camp Bloodbath Movies with her friends, Gertie (Alia Shawkat), Chris (Alexander Ludwig) and Vicki (Nina Dobrev). At the screening of the movie, a fire breaks out and the friends look to cut through the screen only to find themselves transported into the movie.

Inside the movie Max gets to meet her mother in character Nancy, along with the rest of the characters Kurt (Adam Devine), Tina (Angela Trimbur), Paula (Chloe Bridges) and Blake (Tory N Thompson) who have been placed to be the victims for the slasher Billy Murphy. The real people must work with the movie characters to fight Billy in an attempt to escape, while Max gets more time with her mother.

The Final girls does to horror movies what The Last Hero did to action movies, turning the characters and real-life people. This becomes a full blown meta comedy on the slasher genre. We get all the classic stereotypes from the slasher genre through two generations, who will be focusing on the different eras. If you are a fan of the slasher genre, you will get where each of the deaths has been taken from to work for the extra comedic value, knowing they are over the top and ridiculous. Angela Trimbur is by far the star of the comedic side of the film, playing the dumb girl perfectly through the film. The whole cast are fantastic to watch with Taissa Farmiga continuing her rampage in the horror world.

There is a much deeper message about trying to understand how a horror icon could struggle for work after certain movies build reputations, even if the star will end up with a cult following. Away from that, we get the idea of being able to spend time with a loved one, one more time after death, even if it is in a world of make believe.

Rating 4/5

Sisters (2015) Movie Review

Director: Jason Moore

Writer: Paula Pell (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, Dianne West, John Cena, John Leguizamo

Plot: Two sisters decide to throw one last house party before their parents sell their family home.

Tagline – Big sisters don’t always know best. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Over the Top Comedy

Story: Sisters starts when Maura (Poehler) and Kate (Fey) learn that their parents are looking sell the family home, needing the two to return home to clean out their rooms and they decide to throw one last party before the house is sold, where Maura gets a chance to meet a new neighbour James (Barinholtz), while Kate looks to try and sort out her own life.

As the party unfolds both Maura and Kate get to learn a few life lessons, one about taking more chances, while the other must learn about finding her own place in life, after lacking the responsibility for the most part.

Thoughts on Sisters

Characters – Maura is a divorced nurse that is always trying to help people more, she keeps herself grounded and hasn’t ever let herself go wild, this party will let her unleash everything in one night, letting her become her own sister. Kate is the wild child who has struggled to hold down a job, which has seen her relationship with her daughter become strained, she doesn’t want to see the family home go to a stranger, which sees her arrange a party for Maura to let lose for once. Brinda is an old rival of Kate from school, one which has held the grudge since high school who wants to join the party. James is a neighbour who Maura takes a shine to, which sees them using the party as a chance to get to know each other.

PerformancesAmy Poehler and Tina Fey are both good together, they will always have chemistry on the big screen, though they end up forcing unrealistic comedy into the film, when it comes to the supporting cast, nobody does that good of a job, they play unrealistic characters for the most part.

StoryThe story here follows two sisters that come back to the house they grew up in only to find their parent’s have sold it and end up having one more wild party there. This is a story that is trying to show how life can become more difficult then people want it to be, be it from not taking chances or from being too wild, this does work in parts as we get to see just how important life can be for people. This does however fall into the unrealistic comedy that you wouldn’t find in life, which does drag the story down.

ComedyThe comedy mostly feels forced, it doesn’t feel as natural as everyday life, with most trying to show the routines of the leading actresses.

SettingsThe film is set in the singular location, which is where the party happens, it shows how things can get out of hand.

Scene of the Movie – Sink hole.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The stand-up moments, which just take us out the story.

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that just doesn’t get started or focus long enough on the serious story trying to be applied.

Overall: Disappointing Comedy.