Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Caroline Thompson (Screenplay) Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson (Story)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Conchata Ferrell

 

Plot: A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.


Tagline – Innocence is what he knows. Beauty is what she sees.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Dark Fantasy Film

 

Story: Edward Scissorhands starts as local Avon saleslady Peg (Wiest) reluctantly goes to the mysterious abandoned mansion overlooking her small community where she finds young man Edward (Depp) who is living in isolation with scissors for hands.

With Edward trying to settle into a normal life, he soon becomes popular with the locals because of his ability to use his hands to create beautiful garden decorations and soon he becomes the talk of the town while slowly falling in love with Kim (Ryder) the daughter of Peg.

 

Thoughts on Edward Scissorhands

 

Characters – Edward has lived in isolation for his whole life, when he is discovered he tries to get used to normal life even with the scissors for hands, he shows amazing abilities when it comes to cutting things be it bushes, hair or grooming, though his isolation has made it difficult for him to understand right from wrong in the world, until the time comes for him to make a difference. Kim is the daughter of the family that take Edward in, she has an abusive boyfriend who fits the generic high school asshole, she sees the kindness in Edward wanting to help make him understand life more. Peg is the Avon saleslady that finds Edward and wants to help him understand a normal life, she doesn’t believe she is doing anything wrong and with her being an outsider of the gossip girls, she suddenly is put in the spotlight too. Jim is the asshole boyfriend that wants to use Edward for his own gain knowing that he wants he girl, he gets jealous of the new bond between the two and looks to find his own way to fix it.

PerformancesJohnny Depp in the leading role is fantastic, he shows the innocence his character needs through each new discovery while looking like he is taking everything in. Winona Ryder works wonderfully as the romantic interest that shows the sweet side and the conflicted side of her character. Dianne Wiest shows us just how a middle-aged woman with her own insecurities can be strong for everybody around her no matter what they think of her and Anthony Michael Hall hits the asshole boyfriend down just like we need him to.

StoryThe story follows Edward a young man that gets bought out of isolation and bought into a normal community while always being the outsider. We see how they want to welcome him with open arms, while also having the fears of just what he could be capable of if something was to go wrong. We get a good strong moral to the story, which is to respect anybody no matter what they look like because inside they could have the same feelings as you. The story is told in fairy tale form which keeps a glimpse of magic about everything we are seeing. From the moment the father gets Edward drunk by accident to the barbecue scene we get to see how Edward adapts to each social situation too. This is one of the stronger of all Tim Burton’s stories which shows us just how important being nice to people in life will be for everyone.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of this film focuses on just how Edward a man with scissors first came about and second must be accepted in life. The romance comes from just how Edward learns what love is when he meets Kim, how both learn about difficult decisions when it comes to loved ones and how important acts of kindness can help people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one location, a small community which has gossip about anything that happens there and comes together for the better moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Helping the dog see.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact all the women just seem to want to do is gossip.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those beautiful fantasy films, it shows us just how people need to be treated fairly no matter what they look like because kindness can be found in all.

 

Overall: Fantasy fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Weird Science (1985)

Director: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 80’s Teen Comedy Fun

 

Story: Weird Science starts as we meet our two social outcasts high school students Gary Wallace (Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Mitchell-Smith) who tired of being shunned by the girls at school, decide to build their perfect woman on a computer. This creates their perfect woman, Lisa (LeBrock) who they gave intelligence to go with her sexiness.

Lisa shows the boys a good time as well as teaching them to stand up for themselves be it Wyatt over his military school brother Chet (Paxton) or Gary when it comes to talking to woman. The two boys learn so much from Lisa so they will be ready for the real world.

 

Thoughts on Weird Science

 

Characters/PerformanceGary is the slightly more confident of the two boys, he stays positive through all the bad things that have happened to the two, but he can get them in trouble too. Wyatt is the constantly worrying of the two, he is the computer whiz that does the technical side of creating Lisa. Lisa is the created woman that finds a way to bring out the best in the boys as she is a free spirit that will let the boys see the new vision on life.

Performance wise, Hall was one of the go to teen stars of the time and this shows why he was great in these geek like roles, Mitchel-Smith was also good through the film too showing he could handle the teen comedy genre. Kelly LeBrock fits the role perfectly looking the part needed for the sexy woman the boys couldn’t understand.

StoryThe story does follow two nerds that don’t fit in getting shown the way to fit in by just being themselves rather than trying to impress others. This story fits into the 80 style of storytelling with an over the top idea into a fantasy film.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy clicks for the time even if some moments do come off dated in places with the romance being teen romance which is all fine and the sci-fi comes from being able to create your own woman.

SettingsThe settings show us the different environment Gary and Wyatt must go into to fit in as well as keeping the home comfortable for them.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to 80s film this will must go down as one of the best, parts have dated now but this still does what teen comedies should do throughout.

 

Overall: Classic 80s teen comedy.

Rating

 

 

War Machine (2017)

Director: David Michod

Writer: David Michod (Screenplay) Michael Hastings (Book)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Anthony Michael Hall, Emory Cohen, Topher Grace, Ben Kingsley, Scoot McNairy

 

Plot: An absurdist war story for our times, writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody – raising the specter of just where the line between them lies today. His is an exploration of a born leader’s ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly. At the story’s core is Brad Pitt’s sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good War Comedy

 

Story: War Machine starts as highly respected and inspiration General Glen McMahon (Pitt) getting recruited to Afghanistan to see how the war is going over there, Glen brings his trusted men Pete Duckman (Hayes), Cory Staggart (Magaro), Greg Pulver (Hall), Willy Dunne (Cohen), Matt Little (Grace) and Andy Moon (Cyler) to bring the base together fixing the divide and keep the American side of the war happy back home.

We watch how Gen McMahon looks to recruit enough soldiers to make his plan to stop the problems happening in Afghanistan by using the counter insurgence tactics which have famously never worked before. Glen leads his close-knit group around Europe to find the rest of soldiers required from the allies of the United States as he continues his idea of peaceful removal of insurgence instead of just killing them.

 

Thoughts on War Machine

 

Characters/PerformanceGeneral Glen McMahon is assigned to Afghanistan to finish the war against the insurgence, he is respected and gets results by doing things his way. He wants to change things and make it feel like a war over a holiday image he sees it looking like. Greg Pulver is the loyalist man to Glen, he has been by his side from the start and is a loose cannon at times. The rest of the characters do all include the type of figures you would expect all getting the screen time required for the characters importance.

Performance wise, Brad Pitt is fantastic in this leading role showing us he can do comedy through a straight-faced role. Outside of Pitt it would be fair to say everybody else does a good job through this film fitting the chemistry required for the role.

StoryThe story is part parody and part light-hearted humour of how the war in Afghanistan could look like, more politics than conflict. We do also get the reality of war thrown at us and this shows us just what the problem with the war in Afghanistan. The story does feel long in places as this is two hours long but it is worth it for the reality check it gives.

Comedy/War The comedy comes from the reality check of how naïve the war in Afghanistan was, it’s not a laugh a minute it is a laugh of that was stupid wasn’t it. The war side of the film comes from trying to solve the problem without conflict.

SettingsEach setting looks good for the film and shows us just how this was for the soldiers would have come off comfortable for the soldiers over the previous wars.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that is worth watching, it does have good moments on reality but it also has the moments that show how pointless the battle came off as.

 

Overall: One to watch.

Rating

 

 

The Breakfast Club (1985)

casting card

 

Plot: Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Teen Comedy

 

Story: The Breakfast Club starts as five high school students Claire (Ringwald) the Princess, Andrew (Estevez) the athlete, John (Nelson) the criminal, Brian (Hall) the brain and Allison (Sheedy) the basket case have to attend detention on a Saturday under the watching gaze of Richard Vernon (Gleason). The five are all from different corners of the school and would never spend time together on a normal day.

The five students learn about each other’s problems as they learn that their own problems might not be the only issues in their worlds. We see them bond over the day sharing all their secrets and become friends for just one day.

The Breakfast Club is a classic that has only just been watched by me in the year 2016, well it only took me 29 years even though the film is set 3 years to the date before I was born. I found this such a brilliant story that perfectly shows how different kids can be at school even when they have to spend time together they feel different but are all searching and dealing with the same issues. This shows just how difficult school years are when you are going through them because your future is thrown at you at this age the most. I can’t find a bad thing to say about this film even at over 30 years old.

 

Actor Review

 

Emilio Estevez: Andrew Clark is the athlete who is part of the wrestling team seen to be the future star athlete but this time in detention is to teach him to have a back-up plan. He sees himself a better than the rest of the group while trying to do the right thing. Emilio shows his range through this film much like every one of the kids here.

Paul Gleason: Richard Vernon is the teacher who has to keep the student in line on the Saturday detention. He treats all the students like failures constantly putting them down to try and show his power over them. Paul fills the villain role without being a truly horrible person just how the kids see his character.

Anthony Michael Hall: Brian Johnson is the brains of the students always out to do extra work to get the best grades to impress his parents. He doesn’t like how John treats him but also tries to impress the fellow students. Anthony is great in this role going from quiet geek to part of the gang.

Judd Nelson: John Bender is the criminal who is used to his time in detention because he is your classic bully troublemaker. He starts trying to get to know the students but is a classic case of bad parenting leading him to act out searching for attention. Judd steals the movie being the most interesting out of the 5 as we see just how many moments his character has been through.

Molly Ringwald: Claire is the princess always doing what her parents say and never getting into trouble, well until this time. We see how she acts as if she is better than the rest of the students in detention. Molly is great being the typical girl who thinks her future will be handed to her.

Ally Sheedy: Allison is the basket case or as we would call know the one struggling with mental health issues. Allison is the loner of the school and out of the students she is the last to fully come out of her shell. Ally is also great grabbing our attention without any dialogue for first half of the film.

Support Cast: The Breakfast Club has a supporting cast with most just being the parents dropping the students off, we get to see how they see their children.

Director Review: John HughesJohn gives us yet another classic 80’s comedy that showed how difficult growing up really is.

 

Comedy: The Breakfast Club has good comedy moments to go hand in hand with the serious moments.

Settings: The Breakfast Club is set within the high school during one day showing how these students have lost their day but gained friendships.

Suggestion: The Breakfast Club is one that I do think everyone should have watched at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The serious moment where we learn about the characters.

Worst Part: Allison would be treated a lot different if this film was now.

 

Believability: This could easily be real characters.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $38 Million

Budget: $1 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Five strangers with nothing in common, except each other.

 

Overall: Don’t you forget about this one.

Ratingcard

 

 

Foxcatcher (2014)

logoDirector: Bennett Miller

Writer: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman (Screenplay)

Starring: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Michael Hall, Guy Boyd, Brett Rice

 

Plot: The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher lead by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul – a union that leads to unlikely circumstances.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shocking True Story

 

Story: Foxcatcher starts by introducing us to wrestler Mark Schultz (Tatum) Mark is an Olympic gold medallist, he is training for the world championship. He trains with his brother David (Ruffalo) who also won a gold medal at the previous Olympics. Mark gets a call from a representative of John du Pont (Carell) asking to meet him on the Foxcatcher ranch. John a wrestling coach offers to Mark a chance to join his ranch by fully supporting him in his goal of winning the 1988 Olympics. Mark takes up the offer but has to leave his brother behind to take up his chance to get everything he needs to be the best in the world. Foxcatcher ranch has very strict rules for Mark to follow as well as learning the history of the du Pont legacy of being one of the wealthiest families in America.

The training for the world championships starts with the team Mark selects but du Pont wants David too but he won’t up root his family, much to du Pont’s disappointment. 1987 World Championships Paris comes and Mark wins but tension between Mark and David starts to grow as Mark becomes very loyal to du Pont. Things take a turn when John introduces Mark to the world of drugs, while du Pont tries to increase the name of Mark Schultz within the powerful people in America. Du Pont never taking no for an answer goes all out to get Dave to join Foxcatcher, which leads to Mark falling back into his isolation. The Olympic trials are up and Mark has now pushed everyone out trying to prove to everyone he can do it alone but after losing his first bout his Olympic dreams could be in ruins. Dave as he has always been is there to try and rescue his dream and Mark makes it to the Olympic team. Mark and du Pont’s relationship broken it is up to Dave to keep the team together and bring back the gold medal but the shocking side to this story is only just about to happen.

Foxcatcher is a film that I tried my hardest to avoid learning the true story because I wanted to get the full effect of the film. I only speculated what this could be about but nothing really prepared me for what finally did happen. The film does focus on the training and how hard the athletes worked. It shows the successes and failures of the style along with the build of relationship between Mark and John before it all comes crashing down. It has a tension about every scene of the film as you are waiting to see what the shocking side to the story is and by the time it happens you will be shocked if you don’t know the story. It may end up being slightly slow at times but knowing that something will happen should keep you involved. (10/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Channing Tatum: Mark Schultz Olympic gold medallist who comes off socially awkward but when he gets a chance to lead a team for John du Pont going into the next Olympics he grabs it. After the relationship between the two falls apart he loses concentration and ends up falling back into his isolated mind-set. Channing gives his best performance of his career here and deserves all the praise he gets. (10/10)

 tatum

Steve Carell: John du Pont part of the wealthiest family in America, he wants to go against his mother wishes of continuing on the family’s legacy in horse racing by training wrestlers. He talks everyone into joining his team because of his vast wealth but his methods will leave something question. Steve gives a stunning performance and is barely recognisable in the role. (10/10)

carell

Mark Ruffalo: David Schultz part of the training program but also an Olympic gold medallist. He is much more sociable than his brother and his style ends up being more effective than du Pont’s which leads to tension between them. Mark gives a great performance which we would expect from him. (10/10)

 dave

Support Cast: Foxcatcher doesn’t have too many supporting cast members with most of the cast being small parts that are background to something bigger happening on the forefront.

 

Director Review: Bennett Miller – Bennett does a great job directing this true story that shocked the world at the time and will know shock the audience who see it. (10/10)

 

Biographical: Foxcatcher does a great job telling the story of three men trying to get an Olympic gold medal, it shows what drives them as well as their downfalls. (10/10)

Drama: Foxcatcher uses the drama to build the characters and show us how hard they are working to get to the next level. (10/10)

Sports: Foxcatcher focuses on wrestling world and how hard it is to become a star at an Olympic level. (9/10)

Thriller: Foxcatcher creates tension from every single scene waiting to see what happens that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. (10/10)

Settings: Foxcatcher uses the authentic settings to tell the story with most of the film being set in and around the Foxcatcher ranch. (9/10)
Suggestion
: Foxcatcher is one film that has to be watched, it has three performances that are stunning two of which many people wouldn’t know the stars would be capable off. It also tells the story that was shocking at the time. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tatum and Carell give a performance I didn’t see in them.

Worst Part: If you know the true story it might not be as shocking.

 

Believability: It is based on the true story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Best Actor for Carell and Best Supporting Actor for Ruffalo.

Oscar Chances: Should get nominations

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

Tagline: Based on the shocking true story

 

Overall: Stunning True Story

Rating 92