ABC Film Challenge – Romance – D – Drinking Buddies (2013)

Director: Joe Swanberg

Writer: Joe Swanberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Ti West, Jason Sudeikis

 

Plot: Luke and Kate are coworkers at a brewery who spend their nights drinking and flirting heavily. One weekend away together with their significant others proves who really belongs together and who doesn’t.


Tagline – A comedy about knowing when to say when.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Comedy Goes on Too Long

 

Story: Drinking Buddies starts as we meet the co-workers from the brewery Kate (Wilde) and Luke (Johnson) who get along in and out of work, they enjoy a drink together, but both have their own relationship, Luke with teacher Jill (Kendrick) and Kate with Chris (Livingston).

The two couple decide to go away for a weekend together where the relationships will be tested and we get to see just who has feelings for who between the four.

 

Thoughts on Drinking Buddies

 

Characters – Kate is the PR woman at the brewery, she hangs out with the guys drinking after work, she is in the early stages of a relationship but doesn’t have much planned from it. Luke is the co-worker that is closest to Kate, he has been in a long-term relationship but avoiding the marriage conversation. Jill is Luke’s partner, a teacher that doesn’t enjoy drinking as much as Luke and wonders what could have been from her life.

PerformancesOlivia Wilde is good in this role, she can play the free spirit that is needed well and work well with Jake Johnson that handles the comic moments well. Anna Kendrick is good as the girlfriend, you believe her in the more serious situation of the film.

StoryThe story focuses on two co-workers that enjoy drinking but have their own relationship, we see how when time goes by the relationships become strained and their own feelings become much clearer, there isn’t too much more in this story, it is trying to show us everyday problems that everyday people might have.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes off well for the most part, with most part being improv that relies on the actor’s abilities.

SettingsThe film keeps us looking in the everyday locations which shows us how lives can change so quickly.


Scene of the Movie –
Drinking on the beach

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does drag in the second half of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that uses the idea of everyday life with relationship both romantic and with co-workers, argument can cause problems, but friends will always find a way to make up.

 

Overall: Simple comedy that isn’t the most inspiring.

Rating

 

 

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Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Director: Trish Sie

Writer: Kay Cannon, Mike White (Screenplay) Mickey Rapkin (Book)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Kelley Jakle

 

Plot: Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.


Tagline – Last Call Pitches

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion to the Trilogy

 

Story: Pitch Perfect 3 starts as the Bellas tired of their everyday lives, reunite for an overseas military performance. Beca (Kendrick), Fat Amy (Wilson), Chloe (Snow), Aubrey (Camp) and Emily (Steinfeld) along with the rest set up to tour and perform with fellow bands for military families.

Arriving the Bellas learn they are not on the same level as the fellow bands which brings the Bellas together to improve their own game and et themselves for their lives.

 

Thoughts on Pitch Perfect 3

 

Characters – Beca has been working as a music producer, her dream job, but she is struggling with the artists, which leads to her going on tour with the Bellas for one last round before trying to find her place in the real world. Fat Amy brings us the jokes through the film, embracing her image and this trip gives her a chance to re-connect with her father. Chloe and Aubrey are both struggling in real life and thrive on bring the group back together. Emily is still the youngster member of the group and this time she does start to fade into the background of the group.

PerformancesAnna Kendrick in the leading role is good in her role where she handles the singing wonderfully and is the role she can handle with ease. Rebel Wilson is always the centre of attention with the comic timing this time she does it solo without Adam Devine to bounce off.

StoryThe story picks up with the Bellas as they reunite again, they are all at pivotal points in their lives and this will be the last chance they have to perform together and once again they must prove themselves to the next level. We do have a lot of sub plots for the girls which can at times feel buried compared to others, but the highlight of the story is the Gail and John character providing commentary to the film, pointing out the problems in the previous films. This will tick all the boxes for the fans of the previous films.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy is a nice mix even if most falls for Rebel Wilson to hit home, the music brings a mix of the popular songs that get great remixes.

SettingsThe settings takes us around certain Europe where we would have military bases showing we are going bigger for the Bellas.


Scene of the Movie –
Riff off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Trying too hard with side stories that don’t hit because they don’t get enough time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice conclusion to the Pitch Perfect trilogy, it could easily show growing up with the Bellas as they heading to the real world and finding their feet. The music does hit home well too.

 

Overall: This is an enjoyable movie you can enjoy from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – U – Up in the Air (2009)

Director: Jason Reitman

Writer: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner (Screenplay) Walter Kirn (Novel)

Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Amy Mortonm Melanie Lynskey, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliot, Danny McBride

 

Plot: Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job traveling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest and a new hire.


Tagline – From Paramount Pictures comes the story of a man ready to make a connection

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Comedy Drama

 

Story: Up in the Air starts as we meet Ryan Bingham (Clooney) whose job involves travelling around America firing people for companies, he loves being on the road clocking up countless air miles. When young analyst Natalie Keener (Kendrick) comes to Ryan’s boss Craig (Bateman) with an idea that could cut the costs by running the process from the office meaning Ryan and his team are grounded.

To prove his value to the company and show Natalie the ropes, Ryan must take Natalie on the journey to show her how personal the process is and how important the job is too him. Along the way he teaches her life lesson along with his new friend Alex (Farmiga) who enjoys a similar lifestyle.

 

Thoughts on Up in the Air

 

Characters – Ryan Bingham has a career in travelling around firing people for companies, he has it down to an art form, be in conducting the firings or travelling through the airport. He doesn’t like commitment and when he learns that his job is going to be minimized and grounded from travelling, he sets out to prove to his boss and the young woman who created the idea how importance of the personal approach is during this process. Natalie is the young idealistic woman that believes she can help the company save money by taking the role away from Ryan and his co-workers travelling expense, she has her life planned out, but spending time with Ryan she learns more about what life is really about and how to not take away the personal touch out of the process. Alex is a woman that Ryan meets on the road, she travels as often as he does, they start a relationship and meeting her helps Ryan realize what he wants from life.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is brilliant in this role, his biggest strength has always been to be the confident guy that excels at his job and he gets to show this in every scene as we learn from his characters decisions. Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick are both wonderful in their supporting roles, they both get to help Ryan understand different generations of goals.

StoryThe story follows one man whose dream job is being downsized for economic reasons as he must look to show a young woman who has come up with the plan for this process. We get to look at a couple of big life issues going on here, first we see how companies are always looking to downsize for financial reasons, second focuses on the loneliness people have when they focus on their careers, and third just how the plans people believe to have can never go as planned. This is one of the most interesting stories that seems like it has got to a newer level than ever before.

RomanceWe have moments of romance which don’t overshadow the dramatic moments as we light-heartedly follow the story unfold.

SettingsThe film takes us all over America to see different reactions from different people about losing their jobs.


Scene of the Movie –
Letting loose.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I did enjoy every moment of this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful and delightful movie that hits all the levels it aims for, for me this is the best Clooney performance of his career and handles the sensitive subject of downsizing and unemployment.

 

Overall: Truly enjoyable movie.

Rating

 

 

 

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

Director: Jake Szymanski

Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root, Stephanie Faracy

 

Plot: Two hard-partying brothers place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by an uncontrollable duo.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Comedy

 

Story: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates starts as we meet brothers Dave (Efron) and Mike (Devine) who are full party animals but when their reputation puts them in a hard place when it comes to their sister’s wedding, the two told if they don’t bring dates to the wedding they can’t go to the wedding. On the other side of town, we meet the party animals in Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza) who recently lose their jobs.

Mike and Dave put an add up on craigslist looking for dates, this goes viral and they go through all the creeps, but when Tatiana and Alice learn about the ad, they go out of their way to get selected for the holiday to Hawaii for the wedding. Can the boys behave themselves for one weekend and keep the girls under control.

 

Thoughts on Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

 

Characters/PerformanceDave is the slightly more sensible of the two brothers’ but he has always followed his brother’s lead. Mike is the loud mouth brother who always finds himself talking into trouble but because of his better-looking brother his confidence remains high. Alice was once a nice girl but since she was left at the alter she has become depressed needing to turn to drink always getting both her friends together. Tatiana is the one that miss-leads Alice with her attitude believe she has the power to control any guy. These characters are a nice mix with Mike and Tatiana being the extra over the top supporting pairing. Dave you can see is a character with dreams he just needs someone to push him forward and Alice is a very confusing character because around Dave she is a broken woman but around Tatiana she is the a stoner character which seems too opposite.

Performance wise, Zac Efron is good in this role because he does end up going through a wider range of comedy through the film. Anna Kendrick does struggle with this role because she doesn’t have the look to come off as a stoner type of character, she is usually the sweet girl. Adam Devine and Aubrey Plaza both give us the performance we expect from them both where the jokes do most of the work.

StoryThe story should focus more on the brothers learning they need to grow up when their own sister is getting married but we focus too much on the party animals involved in the story. we struggle to focus on any side of the story enough and the strong ending doesn’t come off strong enough once we get there.

Adventure/Comedy/RomanceThe adventure is the holiday which I all what you expect, the comedy is a mix of raunchy sex comedy which sometimes hits and other times goes too far. The romance side is loose but doesn’t click for the characters enough.

SettingsHawaii will always be a beautiful setting for the film and gives us the sun, sea for the holiday around the wedding.

Final ThoughtsThis comedy is easily in the middle of the road when it comes to the raunchy side, it goes passed Wedding Crashers but doesn’t go full Rogen.

 

Overall: Raunchy comedy that isn’t going to be for everyone.

Rating

 

 

Table 19 (2017)

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Writer: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rya Meyers, Charles Green, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, Margo Martindale, Stephen Merchant, June Squibb, Wyatt Russell

 

Plot: Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Comedy

 

Story: Table 19 starts as we meet our six random as the table layout describes them guests to a wedding, we have former friend and partner of the bride’s brother Teddy (Russell) and now pushed out of the circle Eloise (Kendrick), couple who barley knows anyone Bina (Kudrow) and Jerry (Robinson), anti-social loner Rezno (Revolori), recently released cousin Walter (Merchant) and former Nanny Jo (Squibb).

The six find themselves on Table 19 in the corner and decide to make the most of the evening together after they learn they are the guests that were expected to decline their invitation, but the truth about their own lives will become clear to improve their futures.

 

Thoughts on Table 19

 

Characters/PerformanceEloise is the perfect example of what will happen if you become disliked by a bride just before the wedding you helped prepare, she has a bigger reason to be there and will learn more about why her life in this evening. Bina and Jerry are a long-married couple going through the slow times bickering through the wedding. Rezno is a teenager with a few friends, whose mum has controlled most of his life, he gets pushed into going to the wedding in hope of meeting someone. Walter is a former criminal that is invited to the keep the family open but not enough to be accepted.  Jo is the former nanny that is delighted to be invited but disappointed to be left out of the main family circle. The 6 all have their reasons to be at the wedding and help themselves improve the bad situation.

Performance wise, we all know I will watch anything with Anna Kendrick is and once again she doesn’t let us down, it is also great to see Lisa Kudrow in comedy once again, Craig Robinson is one of the comic actors you can see pull anything off. Tony Revolori continues to show he is someone we should be noticing in film having a comic ability unlike others and June Squibb is fast becoming an actress I want to see all of her films. Stephen Merchant steals the show here but to be fair I think everyone did a great job in this film with Wyatt Russell offering another genre piece for us to see if he can follow in his father’s footsteps.

StoryWe will all get invited to weddings, we will all have different seats and different connections to the couple. This film shows how different people can come together and learn the truth about situations to improve themselves in the most unlikely place, learning from unlikely people. The story is charming throughout which can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy through the film works without becoming anything all laughs, we do get a romantic angle which comes off nicely too.

SettingsThe whole film is set in the wedding party which is great because it all happens in one night which shows us what can happen in one night.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that truly can be enjoyed, it has the laughs, the heart and the real effects of what you would expect from a wedding if you are an outsider.

 

Overall: One of the comedies of the year.

Rating