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.

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Trolls (2016)

trollsDirector: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Erica Rivinoja (Screenplay) Thomas Dam (Good Luck Trolls)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooe Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani

 

Plot: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Animated Story

 

Story: Trolls starts with the Trolls living a happy life but the Bergens discover them and learn that eating a troll will make them happy. On the grand day of Prince Gristle is to be feed his first troll the Trolls escape to rebuild their society.

20 years later Princess Poppy continues the stories of how they escaped and continue to be positive with single and dancing but on troll Branch doesn’t believe they will ever be safe from the Bergens.

When the Bergens find the trolls Princess Poppy must team up with Branch to save the taken trolls from the Bergen and save the day.

 

Thoughts on Trolls

 

StoryThe story feels like it could just be another episode of the Smurfs really because it is about a small group of creatures Trolls that get taken by bigger creatures Bergens that want to eat them. Everything that goes on through the is generic with the reluctant hero having to work with the overly cheerful character to beat a villain that is using the royal figure to get what they want. This all works for keeping things simple without being anything overly original.

Animation/Comedy/Family/MusicalThe animation is all good and works for the world of toy trolls but the comedy misses on most levels but would work for the young audience. I don’t feel this has enough for all ages but the musical songs used will bring back memories for the fans of the music of people’ youths.

Characters/PerformancePoppy is your typical heroine for this style of film plucky and over ambitious while Branch is your reluctant hero. The villains all come off like Gargamel from Smurfs while the others feel like mis-lead over the years. The choice of Kendrick and Timberlake in the lead singer characters does work because know they are great singers.

SettingsThe settings all would be what you would expect from the world of Trolls with nothing else coming off too exceptional.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film to stick on for the kids to enjoy but otherwise it will be hard to get through.

 

Overall: Easy to watch kids distraction film.

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The Accountant (2016)

accDirector: Gavin O’Connor

Writer: Bill Dubuque (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow

 

Plot: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Best Action Thriller of the Year

 

Story: The Accountant starts as we see Christian Wolff at a young age struggling to deal with autism but with the correct tuition Christian (Affleck) has turned his math savant skills to help small town people manage their accounts. He is distant from people but always helps those who need it.

On the other side of the story we meet head of the treasury department Ray King (Simmons) who blackmails a young agent Marybeth Medina (Addai-Robinson) into investigating this mysterious accountant that has been working with the biggest names on the terrorists list, that accountant is Christian under an alter-ego.

Christian’s latest accountancy job is sorting 15 years of accounts for Lamar Black (Lithgow) Living Robotics company that have been working on defence contracts. While Christian gets on with his latest job we see how Brax (Bernthal) goes about cleaning up other questionable actions from the bankers. While Christian must deal with the junior accountant Dana Cummings (Kendrick) being too talkative for his own liking.

As the story continues to unfold we continue to learn just how dangerous Christian really is and what his bigger plan is. As Brax cleans up what Christian discovers his desperate need for completion explodes but what he discovers could expose the fraud going on.

The Accountant is one of the most complete action thrillers of recent years. The story does borrow elements from recent ideas with myself seeing a mix of John Wick and Dexter going on throughout. Where this story stand head and shoulders above most other films is the way the whole story gets completed. Another huge plus point for this film is that every character gets a full development and we see their story arc go full circle.

Ben Affleck gives a brilliant performance in this leading role where we get to see him have the full emotionless character that is intense to level most action character could only wish for. Jon Bernthal continues to shine through supporting roles in films after his time on television. J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson work excellently together again with a perfect story arc to their character. The only negative in this film I found was the character Dana just feels added to the story while this doesn’t mean Kendrick is bad it was the character didn’t quite fit the full story.

This is easily one of the films of the year that I can fully expect everyone to enjoy and even at over two hours long you barely notice the time being used in this film.

 

Overall: Brutal action, story with heart and perfect story telling throughout.

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Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

casting cardDirector: Elizabeth Banks

Writer: Kay Cannon (Screenplay) Mickey Rapkin (Book)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam Devine, Katey Sagal, Anna Camp, Ben Platt

 

Plot: After a humiliating command performance at The Kennedy Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Sequel

 

Story: Pitch Perfect 2 starts as we learn of all the success the Barden Bellas have had in the world of A Capella now performing for the President. The show doesn’t go as planned as Fat Amy (Wilson) humiliating herself and the how team making national media.

Chloe (Snow) always wants to find a way to redeem themselves as she wants to enter the Bellas into the World Championship or face being banned from competition forever.

Beca (Kendrick) wants to move on with her life and career in music while the Bellas get a new member Emily (Steinfeld) as they go into the touring the World. The Bellas have to take on the German champions that intimidate them every time they meet but also face new career choices that could split them up and start their new lives.

Pitch Perfect 2 is the sequel to the surprise hit and this time the story puts the girls in a position where they have to regain the fame they have just lost. Dealing with this shows how united the girls are but part of the story that I really enjoyed watching was the real factors of the girls facing the reality they will be leaving college and going into the world and however much they loved the music side of things they need to look to their futures. I do think this side of the story helps make this fully enjoyable throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Anna Kendrick: Beca is the lead performer of the Bellas when the incident happens, knowing she is in the final year of college she has already starting to plan her future with an internship with a record company where she gets to see the darker side of the music industry. I will say I wasn’t keen on the part of the character where she gets sexually confused because that seems added for no reason. Anna is good in this role even if she does start to have weird character development.

Rebel Wilson: Fat Amy is the cause of the problems after her flashing incident, she continues to be the best friend of Beca while finally having to work out her feelings for bumper. Fat Amy does give us most of the laughs. Rebel gives us the performance we have come to know from her.

Hailee Steinfeld: Emily is the daughter of a Bella icon that gets to join the team through the legacy program. She has dreamed of this chance and working with Beca offers up a chance she could only dream off. Hailee is a good addition to the cast giving us a character that could continue the series.

Brittany Snow: Chloe is the head of the Bella household always getting herself worked up about each performance and holding herself back in college to continue this life. Chloe enters us the situation of never wanting to take that chance to get to the next stage of our lives. Brittany is good in this role but does sadly become more a supporting one this time around.

Adam Devine: Bumper is from a rival team from the first outing and is still around the college, I do feel we needed more from his character because he is usually all the laughs. Adam does well but in this reduced role we are disappointed.

Support Cast: Pitch Perfect 2 has a good supporting cast with the rest of the Bella, the fellow groups being the rivals. Each member does help the story unfold.

Director Review: Elizabeth BanksElizabeth gives us great work from behind the camera make us enjoy the film throughout.

 

Comedy: Pitch Perfect 2 has solid laughs throughout without turning to them too often.

Music: Pitch Perfect 2 has brilliant use of music remixing some of the favourite songs.

Settings: Pitch Perfect 2 makes each show feel like a spectacle while keep the college scenes looking grounded.
Special Effects
: Pitch Perfect 2 has a few uses of special effects which all work for the time they are used.

Suggestion: Pitch Perfect 2 is one for the fans of the original otherwise you won’t be interested. (Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final Show.

Worst Part: Random character change to Beca.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: One is planned.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $29 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: We’re Back, Pitches

 

Overall: Enjoyable sequel that is all singing and dancing.

Ratingcard

 

 

End of Watch (2012)

endDirector: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Natalie Martinez, Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera, Cody Horn

 

Plot: Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raw Intense Crime Story

 

Story: End of Watch starts as we follow film studying Brian (Gyllenhaal) a police officers that works with Mike (Pena) on the streets of LA. Brian sets up cameras to follow the two on duty as they get stuck in the middle of drug battle as the two races clash for dominance on the streets.

We see the officers getting themselves into the middle of a string of events as we also watch both sides of the war play their cards as they become more deadly each time.

End of Watch is a crime thriller that does everything it can to show just how intense the battles on the streets of LA can be. We get to see just how divided both sides are and how the cops do their best to deal with the situations. On the negative side of this we have the film shot like a documentary which means we get a lot of shaky cam which takes us out of the story too much to enjoy this one. I can see how people will enjoy this as it does come off different to the normal but setting most of the film from within the cameras of the cop we randomly end up with the criminals too which shows we weren’t set for a found footage style either just a random set of handheld shots.

 

Actor Review

 

Jake Gyllenhaal: Brian is studying to be more than just a police officer and one of his fields of studying is film. Brian along with his partner Mike record their time together in the LAPD dealing with different drugs gangs and crimes. We get to see how he sees life as he wants to find the perfect woman but can’t always find her until Janet turns up in his life. Jake is strong in this role working off Pena really well.

Michael Pena: Mike is the partner to Brian who is a family man, he has great chemistry and his heritage helps dealing with Mexican problems they find on the street. Michael is good as he always is with a partnership film.

Natalie Martinez: Gabby is the wife of Mike who stays at home to raise their family, she has been with Mike her whole life after marry young and supports him in each decision he makes. Natalie is only really used as a supporting character never getting enough time to shine.

Anna Kendrick: Janet is the new woman that comes into Brian’s life she helps make him want to settle down being the woman he has always been searching for. Anna also struggles to the same was as Natalie but she does actually look out of place in this role.

Support Cast: End of Watch has a supporting cast which includes all the fellow members of law authority as well as all the different criminals the two officers run into on their duties. Each one offers something new for them to deal with.

Director Review: David AyerDavid does try to give us a raw feeling crime thriller and that all works great its adding the shaky cam which takes away from this film too much.

 

Crime: End of Watch puts us in the middle of a crime war building up between a rising gang and the police.

Thriller: End of Watch does try to drag us into where the men are going with their job but not enough.

Settings: End of Watch keeps nearly the whole film within the rougher neighbourhoods of LA where the two cops stand duty, this does help us understand the situation the men will find themselves in.
Special Effects
: End of Watch has solid effects when it comes to the gun battles going on in the film.

Suggestion: End of Watch is not an easy watch but I do think the crime film fans out there will enjoy this one. (Crime Film Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Chemistry between Jake and Michael.

Worst Part: Shaky cam doesn’t seem necessary.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $41 Million

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Watch Your Six September 28 

Trivia: After Taylor and Zavala pull over the male in the pickup who tries to shoot Zavala, Taylor holds up four fingers to Orozco when she asks, “Are you good?” This is often used by police to signal “Code Four,” meaning “I’m okay; no additional assistance needed at this time.”

 

Overall: Difficult to watch crime thriller that is raw and intense but shaky cam doesn’t work.

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