Abigail Breslin Weekend – Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Michael Arndt (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, Toni Collette, Steve Carell

 

Plot: A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus.


Tagline – A family on the verge of a breakdown

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Amazingly Charming Movie

 

Story: Little Miss Sunshine starts as we meet our family, motivational speaker Richard (Kinnear), hardworking mother Sheryl (Collette), depressed teenage son Dwayne (Dano) who has taken a vow of silence, hyperactive young daughter Olive (Breslin), veteran grandfather Edwin (Arkin) and Uncle Frank (Carell) who is fresh out of a hospital after a failed suicide attempt.

The six go on a road trip across America to enter Olive into the Little Miss Sunshine competition and along the way the family must deal with their own ups and downs to help their youngster member fulfil her dream.

 

Thoughts on Little Miss Sunshine

 

Characters – Olive is the youngest member of the family, cute but never going to be able to truly compete in the beauty contests, but this is her dream and the family will come together to help her achieve her dream. Richard is the father of the family, a motivational speaker who believes he has the next big catch for a book, he always encourages his family to believe they will succeed over just trying. Dwayne is the eldest son in the family, taking a vow of silence until he can become a jet pilot, he hates everyone with the only one he will help is Olive. Grandpa Edwin has been kicked out of a retirement home and living with the family, he swears and enjoys a drug or two. Sheryl is the mother of the family who will do anything for her kids which involves taking Olive across country for the contest. Frank is the suicidal genius brother of Sheryl, released under her care in case he tries it again, he sees the family for their flaws and even takes Dwayne under his wing on the journey.

PerformancesWe have six fantastic performances here, we had the established stars, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette and Alan Arkin shining and the star making performances from Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano and Steve Carell who was the it star of 2006.

StoryThe story follows a dysfunctional family that must travel across America to enter their youngest member to a beauty contest. We get the characters with their flaws that can be worked on through the film which gives us a natural feeling about the family. It does have the idea that family will need to come together no matter what gets in their way. This is a fun enjoyable story that can be enjoyed by everyone.

ComedyThe comedy here is delightful it hits on every level and does mostly come from real life moments.

SettingsThe road trip moments give us the idea of how far the family will go and we see this in the settings.


Scene of the Movie –
The dance routine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The colour-blind test is fake because I am colour blind and I could see the test, when normally I haven’t been able to.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the greatest comedies of all time, it is just delightful on every account with wonderful performance from the whole cast.

 

Overall: Wonderful throughout.

Rating

 

 

 

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Abigail Breslin Weekend – August: Osage County (2013)

osageDirector: John Wells

Writer: Tracy Letts (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch

 

Plot: A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Actors Dream

 

Story: August: Osage County starts when Beverly (Shepard) goes missing causing his cancer striken wife Violet (Streep) to get the family back together to help find him, this brings Barbara (Roberts), Bill (McGregor), Jean (Breslin), Charlie (Cooper), Mattie Fae (Martindale) and Ivy (Nicholson) which helps expose all the problems between the family.

When Beverly’s body is discovered the rest of the family Karen (Lewis) her new boyfriend Steve (Mulroney) and Little Charles (Cumberbatch) return home for the funeral as more of the family secret come out

 

Thoughts on August: Osage County

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters in this film are all different aged members of one big dysfunctional family with their own problems, they all have their own secrets that will be getting exposed through the time together.

The acting performances in this film are all top notch with the stars all giving brilliant performances where they can all show their abilities throughout.stars

StoryThe story is about how the family are forced to go through the good and bad moments from life that get exposed over one week from the moment the father goes missing, through the funeral and the aftermath. There are plenty of stories going on through the film which draw you into want to know what is happening with this family.

DramaThis is a drama through and through where we see how the family have been through all sorts through the years with everything getting exposed in one week when they are bought back together.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around the one house where the family must return too, we get to see how the memories come back for the characters involved.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an actors dream to watch, you get fine performance from everyone but this isn’t going to be for the casual film fans.

 

Overall: A film for aspiring actors to watch.

Ratingrating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Haunter (2013)

haunterDirector: Vincenzo Natali

Writer: Brian King (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie, Peter DaCunha, Samantha Weinstein, Eleanor Zichy

 

Plot: A teenager is stuck in a time loop that is not quite the same each time. She must uncover the truth but her actions have consequences for herself and others.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Twist

 

Story: Haunter starts as we meet Lisa (Breslin) a fifteen-year-old girl who has to live through the same day over and over even explaining to her family Bruce (Outerbridge), Carol (Nolden) and Robbie (DaChunha) what is happening.

Wanting to breakout of this cycle Lisa starts seeing strange events happening around the house even though she keeps restarting her day. When Lisa also sees the day running differently it is the arrival of the Pale Man (McHattie) giving her a warning that pushes Lisa to look into uncovering the truth. Lisa knows she is dead and wants to communicate with the new inhabitants of the home as Lisa is only one of the victims of this killer.

Haunter brings a fresh approach to the ghost investigation sub-genre of horror because we are only used to seeing it on the living characters side but this time everything gets turned on its head as we follow the ghost trying to communicate with the living to help them. While this does take away any of the peril involved in the film it does make for a very interesting to follow mystery. I do also feel this is slightly lightweight for a horror film but still on that can be enjoyed.

 

Actor Review

 

Abigail Breslin: Lisa is our teenage girl that we follow living the same day over and over, she knows something isn’t right and when she figures out she is in fact dead she has to wonder why the living are communicating with her. Abigail is good in this leading role and the clear star of the show.

Peter Outerbridge: Bruce is Lisa’s father who is stuck inside this world where he has to constantly fix the family car. Peter is solid but really doesn’t develop the character enough.

Michelle Nolden: Carol is the mother of the family who is always has chores for Lisa to do. Michelle struggles like Peter to really make an impact in this role.

Stephen McHattie: Pale Man seems to be the man holding Lisa in this world even being the man that murdered the family. He is always staying one step ahead of Lisa being able to communicate between both worlds. Stephen does make for a good villain shining through this role.

Support Cast: Haunter has a small supporting cast which are mostly just the other victims that Lisa has to communicate with.

Director Review: Vincenzo NataliVincenzo gives us a lightweight horror with a really clever story that could easily be a one off television episode.

 

Horror: Haunter has very simple scares which do work but having our leading character being dead you just never feel any peril in the haunting side of the story.

Mystery: Haunter does use the mystery side of the story to its advantage making us truly wonder just what is going on within the household.

Settings: Haunter keeps us within the house for the whole story even if we arrive there at different times of crimes being committed.
Special Effects
: Haunter has strong use of effects to blend the time periods using the times style of filming to its advantage.

Suggestion: Haunter is one I do think the horror fans out there will be enjoying but only if you like a good investigation style ghost film. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Old style filing for final showdown.

Worst Part: You never really feel the peril because she is dead.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

Overall: Nice twist on the ghost investigation film.

Ratingcard

 

 

Final Girl (2015)

logoDirector: Tyler Shields

Writer: Adam Prince (Screenplay) Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro, Johnny Silver (Story)

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman, Cameron Bright, Alexander Ludwig, Reece Thompson, Emma Paetz

Plot: A man teaches a young woman how to become a complete weapon. Later she is approached by a group of sadistic teens who kill blonde women for unknown reasons. The hunting season begins.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Stylish Thriller

Story: Final Girl starts William (Bentley) discussing young Veronica’s (Shinyei) about her parents death, while asking a series of questions testing her. William offers to take Veronica to be trained.

12 years later Veronica (Breslin) still being trained by William for her latest test where she has to learn to kill without a gun. William knows who Veronica will be coming up against. The boys in question include Jameson (Ludwig), Shane (Bright), Danny (Huffman) and Nelson (Thompson) who enjoying hunting blonde girls before killing them. William has trained Veronica to take on killers ready to end the killing streak which has reached the double figures.

Final Girl brings yet another spin on a kick ass leading lady, with other films like You’re Next made it a twist this comes straight out this is what she will be. The random group of killers does feel rather generic and almost like a cheap version of the gang from ‘A Clockwork Orange’. I like how the film didn’t throw pointless twists in and also avoided flashbacks, instead it just flowed to the final act. I do think this is a very different to what we are used to should always be praised. (7/10)

Actor Review

Abigail Breslin: Veronica is the young girl trained by William to become a killing machine but also look like a regular 17 year old girl. She has been trained to final stop a group of killers who have been collecting body count for fun. Abigail gives a performance that could easily be her breakout performance into a new genre and style of character. (8/10)

Wes Bentley: William is Veronica’s trainer who has been training her for half her life, he is out for some form of revenge for losing his wife and child in the past. He pushes Veronica to her limits to make sure she is prepared for this latest test where he lives her solo to achieve. Wes does a good job in the mentor role that really shows him turning into the wise role showing he has a new place as an actor. (7/10)

Alexander Ludwig: Jameson is the leader of the gang of killers who hand picks the victim for their hunting game. He is charming and can pick up the girls with ease all to satisfy his psychotic side. Alexander does a good job in this role. (7/10)

Support Cast: Final Girl has a small supporting cast with the rest of the crew that are committing the murders, with Cameron Bright making a welcome return to the adult stage of his career.

Director Review: Tyler Shields Tyler gives us a very unique styled thriller that could be a stand out one for people to enjoy. (7/10)

Action: Final Girl saves the action for when it is needed giving us good fights that don’t take up to much time. (7/10)

Thriller: Final Girl lets you know the plan early but seeing how it all unfolds keeps us guessing. (8/10)

Settings: Final Girl uses its settings well to show the style the film creates for the characters to be part off. (8/10)

Suggestion: Final Girl is one for people who like a different thriller, it turns the slasher idea on it head to make it enjoyable. (Thriller Fans Watch)

Best Part: The style is great and unique.

Worst Part: Slightly short and though I like the style some people wouldn’t enjoy it.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final act.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could easily have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: You’re Next

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: The hunted becomes the hunter

Overall: Brave, stylish entertaining thriller

Rating 75

Maggie (2015)

logoDirector: Henry Hobson

Writer: John Scott 3 (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Laura Cayouette, Amy Brassette, Denise Williamson, J.D. Evermore, Raeden Greer, Aiden Flowers, Taylor Murphy

 

Plot: A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Zombie Film

 

Story: Maggie starts when Maggie (Breslin) leaves a message for her father Wade (Schwarzenegger) warning him that she has gone to the city and not to come for her. The world has been infected with a zombie like disease being known as ‘The Turn’. Wade goes to his daughter who has been bitten but hasn’t turned yet, the turn takes time giving the two a chance to say their goodbyes as Wade takes her to the quarantine zone.

The two travel through abandoned cities with the devastating effects of the zombie outbreak before arriving home to Wade’s wife Caroline (Richardson) and other two children Molly (Flowers) and Bobby (Flowers). Wade takes his youngest children away to their Aunt Linda’s (Cayouette) for safety reasons. Wade knows the risk he has taken to bring her home but we see how he just couldn’t give up on his daughter.

We continue to see the bleak world now being lived in as two neighbours of Wade’s who have turned turn up on his property where he has to deal with the same way he knows he will have to deal with his daughter change. Wade ends up in the position of having to pick three options all resulting in her death 1, take Maggie to quarantine 2, give Maggie the cocktail that is given in quarantine so she can die with her family 3, make it quick.

Maggie is a film that really surprised me, you see the name Schwarzenegger and you would be thinking action you also add in the fact it is a zombie film you would expect to see all out action. The story ends up being a very bleak look into a zombie outbreak, instead of focusing on the early outbreak we see how the world has coped with slow turning.  In an era of zombie films coming out every week we see each film try to think of a unique zombie kill over an actual story. Maggie ends up giving us a tough story of how hard life will be when you know you will lose someone set in the world where a zombie has infected that said loved one. I will say the film does come off very slow and the trailer is slightly misleading but I do think it ends up being a pleasant surprise. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Wade is the loving father of Maggie who has travelled for two weeks to find Maggie. Wade wants to spend Maggie’s final weeks before she turns into a zombie with her before having to face the toughest decision of his life. it would be fair to say that this is Arnold’s best acting role because he doesn’t have to do any action material or silly one liners, a performance I didn’t think he was capable off. (8/10)

 wade

Abigail Breslin: Maggie is the teenage daughter of Wade’s who has been bitten by a zombie, she has only a couple of weeks to live before she finally turns, she gets to spend those final weeks with her family while slowly starting to get worse. Abigail continues he transformation from child star to young actress showing she still has the talent we saw first time we saw her. (8/10)

 maggie

Support Cast: Maggie has a supporting cast that is trying to help ease the pain, we see friends try to make Maggie enjoy one last time together, we see the family struggling with the idea of losing her, and we see the law side trying to make sure the infection doesn’t spread around the community. Each member of the cast shows how much the loss will be to them making the impact of each scene they turn up on Maggie.

 

Director Review: Henry Hobson – Henry gives us one of the best but most of all original ideas of a zombie film. (9/10)

 

Drama: Maggie has to be the best drama that involves zombies of all time. (9/10)

Horror: Maggie uses the idea of zombies but it would be hard to say this is a true horror film. (5/10)

Thriller: Maggie is a film that we know what will happen but we want to see how everything will unfold. (9/10)

Settings: Maggie uses bleak settings for nearly every scene making us know how dark the situation the characters are facing is going to be. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Maggie isn’t a film that relies on its special effects but we do get to see the slow transformation in Maggie come through very well. (9/10)

Suggestion: Maggie is one that has to be watch by horror fans to show them all we don’t need silly gore to make a zombie film interesting. It could also be enjoyed by everyone because you don’t need to be put off by the zombie idea. (Watch)

 

Best Part:  Emotional effects of a zombie outbreak.

Worst Part: It does feel slow at times.

 

Believability: The idea of losing someone within an amount of time is a real experience people go through but the zombie side isn’t. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: I think this could get a few tears. (3/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Very unlikely.

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Trivia: Director Henry Hobson was also the director and designer for the title sequence of The Last of Us (2013), a survival horror video game.

 

Overall: Maggie is the best emotionally driven zombie film I have seen that has a constant sad feeling about every single scene.

Rating 80