ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Director: James Foley

Writer: David Mamet (Screenplay) David Mamet (Play)

Starring: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce

 

Plot: An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.


Tagline – Lie. Cheat. Steal. All In A Day’s Work.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Drama

 

Story: Glengarry Glen Ross starts as we see how a real estate office is struggling to close deals, Blake (Baldwin) is hired to put down the firm law on the employees, office manager John Williamson (Spacey) tries to be strict with his staff as we see struggling aging expert Shelley (Lemmon), upcomer Dave Moss (Harris) the hot shot Ricky Roma (Pacino) and George (Arkin) that are given one week to make as many closes as possible.

As the pressure gets to the men things only get worse when the contracts are stolen which shows the true characters in the ruthless business.

 

Thoughts on Glengarry Glen Ross

 

Characters – Ricky Roma is the best estate agent in the office, he closes the biggest deals in the office which fills him with all the confidence in the world. Shelley Levene is the eldest member of the office, he has been down on his luck recently knowing this could be his last chance to keep his job. Dave Moss is the hot-head of the office that goes against the ultimatum about the jobs and comes up with a plan to make sure he gets the best leads. George is the timid member of the office but a fantastic salesman, he gets talked into Dave’s plan. John Williamson runs the office handing out the leads while making sure the teams get good sales. Blake is the man that puts the ultimatum down on the office, he is blunt when it comes to doing the deal.

PerformancesThe cast here is filled with award winners, the highest calibre of actor in the industry at that time. Pacino, Lemmon, Baldwin, Arkin, Harris, Spacey and Pryce are all fantastic it is unfair to single anyone out for more praise than any other.

StoryThe story follows 24-hours in life at the office of a real estate agents as the are pressured into improve their sales which includes dealing with a robbery that throws everything up in the air. This is a character driven story as we see how people can react under pressure as it comes from a play and you can feel that about the story all the way through. The story doesn’t get over complicated as we see how things unfold and it shows the desperation man will go for his own greed.

Crime/MysteryThe crime that takes place is partly how the deals get done and how the contracts get stolen which leads to the mystery to just who is the person behind everything.

SettingsThe settings are kept simple, the office, the bar and a house for discussions, this keeps everything grounded through the film from start to finish.


Scene of the Movie –
Truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Blake being in more scene would have been good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantastic assembled cast that give powerful performances that just deliver from the first frame until the final frame, simple fantastic cinema.

 

Overall: Fantastic from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

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The Boss Baby (2017)

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Michael McCullers (Screenplay) Marla Frazee (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Mike Bakshi

 

Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Family Film

 

Story: The Boss Baby starts as we meet seven-year old Tim, he has an overactive imagination living the perfect world growing up with his successful parents who work for Puppy Co. When they have another baby, The Boss Baby, Tim finds himself incredible jealous and questions everything about him.

After the two find themselves against each other, the two put their differences aside to go on the Boss’s mission to expose they puppies are stealing all love babies should be getting.

 

Thoughts on The Boss Baby

 

Characters Tim is the typical kid before technology era took over, he makes his own stories using his imagination. He becomes jealous of his little brother but overcomes that to become best friends. The Boss Baby is set to uncover the truth about a puppy company where puppies are become more popular than babies. He is super smart and has never had a normal childhood. Francis Francis owns Puppy Co and has an evil plan to get rid of all the babies in the world. Looking at the character’s you can see some greatly created truths that have been pushed to the next level when it comes to the brother’s bonding.

StoryThe story does play out like how a solo child must deal with a new baby, sure there is a farfetched idea that babies can work in undercover to solve issues. The difference between the two are clear and you can see how siblings can be effected by changes like this happening.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy works very well with Alec Baldwin seemingly having the best voice possible for this role which helps add to the comedy. The whole family could enjoy this film with jokes hitting for all to enjoy.

SettingsThe settings we find the characters in are all enjoyable and add to the comedy the characters find themselves in.

AnimationThe animation all looks fantastic like you would expect from a big budget animated movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that does impress more than I was thinking and I feel the comedy does hit on the levels required.

 

Overall: One of the highlights of the animated films this year.

Rating

 

 

Beetlejuice (1988)

betleDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: Michael McDowell, Warren Skaaren (Screenplay) Michael McDowell, Larry Wilson (Story)

Starring:  Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Winona Ryder, Glenn Shadix

 

Plot: A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a “bio-exorcist” in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overrated Classic?

 

Story: Beetlejuice starts when married couple Adam (Baldwin) and Barbara (Davis) suffer an accident leading to them to both getting killed only to find themselves in a purgatory in their own home. When the new family moves into their house Adam and Barbara try to use their ghostly side to scare away the Deetz’s Delia (O’Hara), Charles (Jones) and Lydia (Ryder).

Trying to learn how to scare the family out of the house Adam and Barbara must learn how to scare people but they eventually turn to Betelgeuse who doesn’t play by the same rules. Adam and Barbara must look to stop Betelgeuse from taking over the situation while getting their house back to the way they want.

Beetlejuice is a film I only have ever heard good things about but going into watching it I couldn’t help but wonder what all the hype really is. The film comes off feeling like it goes against the traditionally ghost haunting where certain ghosts don’t understand how to haunt and don’t want to be terrifying but in the end now we have had many other film have done similar styles to what I think is a better standard. The comedy seems very forced and in the end I will not be giving this the hype other people give it.

 

Overall: This just doesn’t live up to the hype anymore.

Rating40

 

 

Jack Nicholson Weekend – The Departed (2006)

departedDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay) Alan Mak, Felix Chong (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Corrigan, James Badge Dale

 

Plot: An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Departed starts with the tradition introduction of all the characters starting with Frank Costello (Nicholson) who has been running Boston for years, we meet Colin Sullivan (Damon) who Frank has been grooming to become his connection inside the police force as we watch how fast he rises through the ranks. We also meet Billy (DiCaprio) who has come from the rough side of Boston but become one of the best cadets Queenan (Sheen) & Dignam (Wahlberg) have seen, who talk him into going undercover with the Costello.

We follow as Frank Costello and Queenan work with their informants as they each try to keep one step ahead of each other before all of the twists and turns are around every corner.

The Departed will go down as one of the greatest crime thrillers of all time, it is filled with plenty of twists and turns throughout. I am not usually a fan of the gangster genre but this one pulled me in from the start to finish because we never knew what would happen next. This was a remake of the trilogy of Infernal Affairs and I can safely say this squeezes all of the action from the three films into one. Each character is developed to keep on interested in all of them as we learn what the real motives are. I can safely say this deserved the Oscar praise it gained.

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Billy is the special police trainee that gets recruited to go undercover in Frank Costello’s gang. He has come from the rough side of Boston but stayed out of trouble which makes him a prime candidate for this role. While undercover he gets pulled to levels he never thought he would have to go to get his mission complete and stay one step ahead of Sullivan who is tracing him. Leonardo is great in this undercover role showing how he needs to play both sides of the law throughout.billy

Matt Damon: Colin Sullivan is the man who has been working for Costello for nearly his whole life, he is put through the training to become his connection on the inside where he keeps Frank one step ahead of any activity against his men. He also has to track down the men who is undercover in the gang tracking keeping himself away from Billy’s attention. Matt shines in this role of the informant inside the department.colin

Jack Nicholson: Frank Costello is the gangster the authorities are after he runs Boston and keeps his men on the inside while never trusting too many people on the inside of his gang. Jack is wonderful as this gangster playing the role you expect from him and the freedoms he requires.frank

Mark Wahlberg: Dignam is one of the officers that is planting his undercover men in a desperate attempt to stop Costello once and for all. He is direct straight to the point but his temper could also be his weakness. Mark is great as the hot head authority character.didgna

Support Cast: The Departed has a huge supporting cast that all give brilliant performance in the plot filled twist filled story.

Director Review: Martin ScorseseMartin finally won his Oscar for this role and yes it is brilliant as he balances the stories from all three Infernal Affairs stories into one.

 

Crime: The Departed is a web of conspiracy between the cops and gangsters in the crime world.

Thriller: The Departed keeps us guessing from start to finish through the whole film.

Settings: The Departed uses the Boston setting for the film which shows the gritty side of the story.
Suggestion
: The Departed is a film that I feel everyone should have seen at least once. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Story keeping us gripped.

Worst Part: Nothing.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 31 Minutes

Tagline: Lies. Betrayal. Sacrifice. How far will you take it?

Trivia: The only remake of a foreign film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.

 

Overall: Simply brilliant crime thriller that keeps us on edge throughout.

Ratingcard

 

Concussion (2015)

concussionDirector: Peter Landesman

Writer: Peter Landesman (Screenplay) Jeanne Marie Laskas (Article)

Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Morse, Arliss Howard, Mike O’Malley, Eddie Marsan, Hill Harper, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Stephen Moyer, Luke Wilson

 

Plot: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Event Changing Film

 

Story: Concussion starts as we meet Nigerian Doctor Bennet Omalu (Smith) a pathologist who has a slow method when he examines the dead, his boss Dr Cyril Wecht (Brooks) wants him to become more traditional quicker. We meet former NFL star Mike Webster (Morse) who has been struggling since retiring as have his team mate Justin.

As Bennet opens his doors to Prema (Mbatha-Raw) a successful African looking for a start in America, we see how Mike is falling further into a mess as his Dr Julian Bailes (Baldwin) is running out of ideas before he finally dies. Bennet is assigned to figure out why this once hero has died to give the how state a final answer to what happened. What he learns could change sports from a medical stand point forever.

Concussion shows how one sport can cause so many issues later in their life. We get to see how a neutral was the one person that was willing to push the limits against the NFL. We get to see how to see how the players are getting ill moments before their deaths. We don’t get into the NFL side enough as we only focus on Bennet’s story which is slightly disappointing. This is an important story because it shows yet another cover up in America

 

Actor Review

 

Will Smith: Dr Bennet Omalu is the Nigerian pathologist living and working in America, when one of his town’s favourite players dies he is assigned to examine the body, while examining the body he learns about the brain damage the NFL players are suffering from which could easily change the game forever. Will gives one of his best performance in many years here.bennet

Alec Baldwin: Dr Julian Bailes is the former NFL doctor who couldn’t understand why he former players were acting the way they were. Once Bennet releases his research he teams up with him to turn his much loved sport into something safe again. Alec gives us a great performance in this role.

Albert Brooks: Dr Cyril Wecht is the head of the hospital in which Bennet works, he lets Bennet take these chances to make sure he can protect further injury even if it puts his own career in danger. Albert gives us a good performance which is perfect in the supporting role.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw: Prema is the young African woman who comes to live in America where she gets asked to live with community man Bennet, over time the two fall in love which makes her the strong part whenever Bennet is feeling weak. Gugu is good in this role without being anything special.

Support Cast: Concussion has a good supporting performance but sometime lacks the character time required.

Director Review: Peter LandesmanPeter gives us a good film exposing the truth about a sport that many people in the world enjoy.

 

Sports: Concussion shows the affects playing the sport could have on a human body.

Settings: Concussion doesn’t make too much out of the settings with none being anything memorable to the final story.
Special Effects
: Concussion uses the effects to show how the affects happen to the brain.

Suggestion: Concussion is one to try, it is good to see how sports can be dangerous to the people playing. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Smith’s performance.

Worst Part: NFL side of the story.

 

Believability: Based on what happened and how the sport was changed.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for Best Actor in Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances:

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

Tagline: Even Legends Need a Hero

 

Overall: Solid sports drama that doesn’t go into the real depths of the battle.

Ratingcard