Child’s Play (2019)

Director: Lars Klevberg

Writer: Tyler Burton Smith (Screenplay) Don Mancini (Characters)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Brian Tyree Henry, Gabriel Bateman, Tim Matheson, David Lewis, Beatrice Kitsos, (Voice Talent) Mark Hamill

 

Plot: A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.


Tagline – A Boy’s Best Friend.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror

 

Story: Child’s Play starts by taking us to a world with Kaslan Enterprise releasing a new doll called Buddi, this doll can connect to all the technology around the house, learning as it gets to know the family dynamic. Karen a single mother has just moved to a new city and works in a shopping centre, she receives a default Buddi doll and decides to give it to her son Andy (Bateman).

When Andy boots up the Buddi doll, it names itself Chucky (Voiced by Hamill) and starts to learn like all do, it soon becomes clear that this doll isn’t going to be like the others, it has had its safety restrictions switched off. Chucky soon starts reading situations wrong and doing on a killing rampage, using the technology he can connect to his advantage.

 

Thoughts on Child’s Play

 

Characters – Andy is a young teenager that has just moved to a new city with his mother, he hasn’t made any friends, turning to his phone to keep him busy, he does have a hearing aid, but it is never clear how bad his hearing is, he gets a Buddi doll that will keep him company as he starts to become friends with the doll. Once he learns of the evil inside the doll, he does all he can to make sure his loved ones are safe, as he starts to make friends away from the doll, he never seems to go to school though. Karen is the single mother that is working double shifts to keep Andy happy, she starts dating a new man, which doesn’t please Andy and does all she can to put Andy first when things start getting out of hand. Chucky is the Buddi doll that has been unleashed from his safety restrictions, he is constantly learning from watching people, which brings out his violent side, which will see him going on a killing spree targeting anyone that hurts or tries to replace him as a friend to Andy. Detective Norris visits the apartment building where his mother lives for dinner once a week, he does notice Andy around the apartment building making sure he is safe.

PerformancesAubrey Plaza as the single mother is strong in her role, she does bring added character to a character that could have come off plain. Gabriel Bateman is great too because he shows us the isolation that he is going through during the film. Mark Hamill does voice the character of Chucky well giving us an entertaining character that get plenty of laughs. Brian Tyree Henry does bring comedy to his role, which is usually a more uptight figure in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a boy that given a Buddi doll which soon starts to go on a killing rampage after learning from the technology around him. I do have conflicting feelings about this story, on one side I am disappointed we have scrapped the serial killer trying to get his soul into another body, which I feel is the main part of the franchise. On the positive side we do get to dive into the world where people are letting themselves are being controlled by technology, connecting everything to one source where an error could break everything. seeing Chucky learn is interesting to see too because we see how he processing each clip, line and environmental side of the world. it does borrow from a lot of different films from the past which can be picked up on. This des come off very fun, only it could have been its own new doll instead of just using Chucky showing the lack of originality coming out of the Hollywood.

HorrorThe horror in the film is mostly slasher material, we see Chucky getting kills with plenty of blood splatter, with some original kills along the way.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings looking very similar with the apartment building showing how hard up the family is, the department store does bring us a great showdown location too.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with the Chucky doll being both creepy and moving in a robotic motion which seems nature.


Scene of the Movie –
Chucky has a present for Andy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No Serial Killer side.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror that does get laughs and blood splatter, it does frustrate though by having to use the Chucky doll for what is a completely original idea.

 

Overall: Blood Splattering fun.

Rating

 

 

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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

 

 

Ingrid Goes West (2017)

 

Director: Matt Spicer

Writer: David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer (Screenplay)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Wyatt Russell, Bill Magnussen, Pom Klementieff

 

Plot: An unhinged social media stalker moves to LA and insinuates herself into the life of an Instagram star.


Tagline – She’ll Follow You

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderfully Disturbing

 

Story: Ingrid Goes West starts as we meet Ingrid (Plaza) a social media fanatic who shows the extremes she goes to become part of the celebrity’s life, but freshly out of the mental home, she now targets her newest celebrity obsession Taylor Sloane (Olsen).

Ingrid moves west to LA to be closer to Taylor after getting a reply from Taylor on social media, renting a place of Dan Pinto (Jackson Jr) she gets to grips with the LA life style. We see how Ingrid learns where Taylor lives and decides to dognap her dog, so she can become the hero in Taylor’s eyes. The two become friends where the two share secrets and now Ingrid has everything she wanted in her social media obsession, but when things go in the direction against Ingrid’s wishes, we see the unstable side of things.

 

Thoughts on Ingrid Goes West

 

Characters – Ingrid is an unstable young woman that is obsessed with celebrities on social media, her latest one left her in a mental home but fresh out she dives right back into social media locating her new obsession. Using the money she received from her mother’s death she heads to LA to get close to her latest obsession, when she soon becomes friends with her but are we prepared to see how far she will go. Taylor is the social media icon, she shots every moment of her life for her followers who feed her desire to be popular giving her the attention she requires, we learn that not everything she speaks is the truth making her just as fake as the followers that she has. Dan is the local screenwriter that gives Ingrid a room to rent, his is obsessed with Batman becoming one of the only natural friends Ingrid meets.

PerformancesAubrey Plaza is fantastic in this leading role, she plays the fine line between normal and unstable while being the social awkward stalker she needs to show us. Elizabeth Olsen is great as the social media diva that craves the attention. She gives us a truly believable performance as a woman that relies on social media for her attention. O’Shea Jackson Jr is good in the supporting role playing a down to Earth character throughout the film. Wyatt Russell and Billy Magnussen are both great in the supporting roles too.

StoryThis is the story of the darker side of social media, it shows both how the people on it can be fake, but it can also create the stalker mentality behind the people who follow people on social media. We get to see how this has become a new problem in the world and how the mental unstable will struggle to cope with the rejection with the popularity they crave. This story is a great watch, it is powerful throughout the film, it tells a powerful message about the dangers of social media both for the people sharing and following.

ComedyThe comedy in this movie fits what the movie drama tone without making is completely dark, we do have dark moments of comedy and not full-blown laugh out loud moments.

SettingsThe LA setting works for the film because it shows how people in the area can be drawn into obsession.


Scene of the Movie –
Punch Me.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to find anything that I didn’t like here but the one moment would be, Ezra, I believe we could have had one more moment with him.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the films of the year, it tackles a serious matter and entertains throughout with powerhouse performances.

 

Overall: Contender for the film of the year.

Rating

 

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Life After Beth (2014)

looDirector: Jeff Baena

Writer: Jeff Baena (Screenplay)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser, Matthew Gray Gubler, Anna Kendrick, Eva La Dare, Thomas McDonell

Plot: A young man’s recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow but Original Comedy

Story: Life After Beth starts with the funeral of Beth (Plaza), we have her old boyfriend Zach (DeHaan) with her parent Maury (Reilly) and Geenie (Shannon). Zach is staying on connect with Beth’s family as they are grieving together wondering if they said the right things on their last meeting.

When Zach discover that Beth is still alive and that her parents are keeping her secret, well she has come back from the dead and the three don’t know what to do with the situation. As the three try to keep Beth a secret they have to work out whether to tell her and the rest of the neighbourhood. As time goes on Beth starts getting a craving for human flesh but can the young couple make this work out, when all the dead start coming back from the dead.

Life After Beth tries to bring the rom com zom back to the front running but like most it just doesn’t work very well, I think I would have enjoyed this is only Beth had come back from the dead but having all the dead people coming back doesn’t make sense. I did like the opening half of the film but then things just went to over the top for me and ends up just feeling like a plan old not sure what to do with zombies around. As I stated if this had just stayed with Beth coming back I would have enjoyed this but it just goes too much in the second half. (5/10)

Actor Review

Aubrey Plaza: Beth Slocum has died, but she doesn’t stay dead because she comes back from the dead, she moves back in with her parents who keep her a secret. She tries to restart the relationship with Zach but she ends up becoming obsessive to everything he does as she slowly starts to get thee craving for human flesh. Aubrey does a good job as the ever changing dead girlfriend. (7/10)besth

Dane DeHaan: Zach Orfman is the boyfriend of Beth who is grieving until he finds out she has come back from the dead. He sees this as a chance to make up for the things said wrong before she died but soon things get out of hand. Dane enters comedy for the first time and sometimes does look out of place with his timing. (6/10)zach

John C Reilly: Maury Slocum is the father of Beth and once she comes back he wants to keep her safe so he can spend as much time as possible with her in case she dies again. John give most of the funny lines through the film. (7/10)parents

Molly Shannon: Geenie Slocum is the mother of Beth who gets to capture more photos before she goes again. Molly gives us her normal overprotective mother performance which we are used to seeing. (6/10)

Support Cast: Life After Beth has a supporting cast that all react to different to the zombie outbreak.

Director Review: Jeff BaenaJeff tries to give us another twist on the zombie romance which starts off nicely before taking a nose dive. (5/10)

Comedy: Life After Beth has a couple of laughs but not enough to be a strong comedy. (5/10)

Horror: Life After Beth doesn’t have enough of the horror elements for my liking where it tries to focus on the other genres too much. (3/10)

Romance: Life After Beth tries to play the romance card by giving our lead a second chance with his lost love. (5/10)

Settings: Life After Beth keeps the settings inside of a small town making it feel like it is just bad day in the town. (7/10)
Special Effects: Life After Beth has good effects but doesn’t really need them too much. (5/10)

Suggestion: Life After Beth is one to try but don’t be miss lead by the trailer like I was. (Try It)

Best Part: Cooker scene.

Worst Part: Extra zombies.

Funniest Scene: Beth tied to cooker.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Warm Bodies

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $2.4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Some girls just want to watch the world burn.

Overall: Disappointing comedy that need more laughs, romance and horror

Rating 50

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

logDirector: Colin Trevorrow

Writer: Derek Connolly (Screenplay)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jeff Garin, Mark Duplass

Plot: Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Guaranteed to Please

Story: Safety Not Guaranteed starts with Darius (Plaza) a young woman who has always struggled to fit into her social situations. Darius is working as an intern at a New York magazine run by Bridget (Rajskub). Jeff (Johnson) decides for his next assignment to investigate an advert in the paper asking for someone to go time travelling with them. Jeff takes Darius and Arnau (Soni) on the assignment across country.advert

The three discover the man who has placed the advert Kenneth (Duplass) who works in the local grocery store and small house. Jeff’s attempt to get to know him backfires as he really has just returned to the town to try and hook up with an old fling. Darius has much better luck when Kenneth starts doing a background check on her before inviting her into his idea as he has a constant fear of being followed.

As Kenneth and Darius get to know each other we learn that both would like to go back and change things from their past. First the two have to get the final parts to make the mission possible. We continue to see Kenneth and Darius bond as the time to go time travelling gets closer but how real is his story anyway.

Safety Not Guaranteed does what you want to see in all indie films, it takes the charm of a romantic comedy and mixes in an element you would never imagine working, time travel. Granted this film isn’t anything to do with actual time travel it focus on the characters who believe things haven’t gone their way in life and not sitting back any longer. I really enjoy these types of films they show you don’t need to rely on easy comedy, they show that you can have a sci-fi element without going with a mad budget. This films shows how to bring together five very different characters to help each other come out of their shells and show their true colours and isn’t that what we all want to see in life? This film will be one story I will recommend to anyone because of the simple character development used through out. (8/10)

Actor Review

Aubrey Plaza: Darius is a young intern who has never really fitted in anywhere in here life but when she gets taken along for one of the stories she ends up having to be the one to get to know the man who believes he can travel through time. We see how Darius grows as a person the more she learns about Kenneth. Aubrey gives a great charming performance where you can feel that she is an outsider. (8/10)daris

Jake Johnson: Jeff is the lead reporter on the story who has used this trip to try and hook up with and old high school girlfriend. He pushes Darius into continuing the story after he makes an unprofessional approach to learning about the story. Jake gives us a performance where he starts off as the unlikeable character but soon he is just as vulnerable as the rest. (7/10)jeff

Mark Duplass: Kenneth is the man who claims to be able to travel back in time, he placed the advert to find someone he can trust to go back in time with and until he meets Darius and we learn about his motives. Mark gives us a committed performance as you believe every word his character speaks or at least that he believes he believes speaking the truth. (8/10)kenneth

Karan Soni: Arnau is the fellow intern that gets bought along on the investigation to find out the truth about the advert. Karan is the supporting character who easily shows how isolated Darius could be. (7/10)

Support Cast: Safety Not Guaranteed has a limited supporting cast that mainly are here to show what is true in the stories being told and how the characters believe things are currently going in their lives.

Director Review: Colin TrevorrowColin does a great job directing this indie gem I can only wonder what he will give us for Jurassic World (Which I should have seen by the time this is posted). (8/10)

Comedy: Safety Not Guaranteed manages to give us funny moments, granted no moments that will make you laugh out loud but we get good moments that will give us a chuckle or too which is all the film really needs. (8/10)

Romance: Safety Not Guaranteed plays the romantic angle without throwing in our face, we learn early on that all the characters are single and haven’t had much luck in love, as the film continues we see how they all get a chance for love but can secrets ruin everything? (8/10)

Settings: Safety Not Guaranteed keeps the most part of the setting in the small town which really gives us a feeling of normality to the strange character being introduced to us. (8/10)

Suggestion: Safety Not Guaranteed is one for all the indie fans out there to enjoy, it is one that I would most people to have heard of but maybe not all given a chance too. (Watch)

Best Part: Guessing what is real.

Worst Part: Not knowing where the adventure goes.

Funniest Scene: Stealing the lasers, it is an easy laugh but so effective.

Favourite Quote: Kenneth The mission has been updated. I’m going back for you now. All right. Do you trust me?

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could, but it hope it never does.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $4 Million

Budget: $750,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: What would you change if you could go back?

Overall: A real treat that will leave you with a smile what more could you ask for in a film?

Rating 80