ABC Film Challenge – Animation – I – Isle of Dogs (2018)

Director: Wes Anderson

Writer: Wes Anderson (Screenplay) Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Kunichi Nomura

 

Plot: Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightfully Entertaining

 

Story: Isle of Dogs starts when Mayor Kobayashi declares dogs to be banned from the city because of the outbreak of dog flu, it means all the dogs must be sent to trash island. 6-months later five alpha dogs Chief, Rex, King, Duke and Boss have created their own pack and when the Mayor’s nephew Atari goes in search for his dog, crash landing on the island.

With four of the dogs being house pets, Chief doesn’t follow the same beliefs the rest, he reluctantly accepts to help Atari in the search for the dog and the cure could be heading their way at last.

 

Thoughts on Isle of Dogs

 

Characters – Chief is the stray out of the pack, he isn’t as willing to help as the others to help Atari because he has never felt the attention from a human, reluctantly he helps and learns how important a human can be. Atari is the young boy that has had his dog taken from him and goes in search for him working with the fellow dogs on the island, while alluding his evil uncle. Rex is the guide for the island, he challenges Chief most to be equal in the decision-making process. King is another part of the pack the least standout of the five, while Duke knows all the rumours about different parts of the island, which gets the laughs through the film, with Boss being the calm presence through the pack.

StoryThe story here follows a city that has excluded dogs dumping them on a trash island to fend for themselves. One boy travels there to find his dog as we see how the dogs have settled on the island while others plan an escape, with the humans on the main land fighting for the dogs rights with the evil mayor planning on destroying them. This film does have a lot more going on than you would expect which is a surprise, but it does show us just how loyal people will be towards their dogs. This does fly by for time and gives us enough of the Anderson quirks that he seems to be the only one to bring us, with the most important message being, not to rush into rash decisions.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure takes the dogs and Atari on an adventure across the trash island to stop the destruction of the dogs, we get comedy from the different dogs and how they react to the events of the film.

SettingsThe film uses two main wonderful settings, first the city which looks fantastic, while the trash island is just as beautifully created through the film.

AnimationThe animation used in the film is stop-motion which looks amazing as always to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
The crash landing because of the reactions.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How did no one else try to get their dogs back.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful movie that will only make you smile, the stop-motion is used perfectly and the scale of the world created is mind blowing.

 

Overall: Must watch animation.

Rating

 

 

Bill Murray Weekend – Lost in Translation (2003)

Director: Sofia Coppola

Writer: Sofia Coppola (Screenplay)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Giovanni Ribisi, Anna Faris

 

Plot: A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.


Tagline – Sometimes you have to go halfway around the world to come full circle

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Life Drama

 

Story: Lost in Translation starts when faded movie star Bob Harris arrives in Tokyo to shoot a couple of commercials for a whisky, he is a fish out of water in this country, on the other side of the hotel, Charlotte (Johansson) is staying with her photographer husband John (Ribisi) who is always working, leaving Charlotte to try to find something to do in a country she isn’t used to being in.

When Charlotte and Bob meet in the hotel bar, they start to have a friendship that sums up their loneliness in the country and they support each other to have a good time in Tokyo.

 

Thoughts on Lost in Translation

 

Characters – Bob Harris is a faded movie star that can still gain a large pay check by starring in commercials, which is why he is in Tokyo, he is feeling lonely because his wife and children haven’t travelled once again, he does offer Charlotte advice about enjoying her life, but not rushing into anything. Charlotte is in Tokyo because of her husband’s work, this sees her feeling lonely as he is always work and she doesn’t know anybody else in the city, she makes friends with Bob as they start to experience the city together, she opens up about her struggle about finding her own calling in life. While Jon is the husband to Charlotte, we don’t really learn to much about him other than he is working.

PerformancesThe performance revolve around Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, they are both wonderful to watch as they show us just how talent they pair can be either alone or as a pair on the screen.

StoryThe story follows two people from different worlds in America that are lost in Japan, only to find each other to keep each other company during their time in Tokyo. The story dives into the idea that being in a new country can be isolating and you will need to learn to find somebody new to help them enjoy their time in the country, it does show you can find somebody new could give you a conversation you aren’t able to with friends in your life.

SettingsThe film uses the setting of Tokyo which shows just how difficult it can be to find yourself in a country where you have never visited.


Scene of the Movie –
Karaoke

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is just slow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a life drama that shows us just how important communication is to the everyday life in a new country.

 

Overall: Just a life drama.

Rating

 

 

Bill Murray Weekend – St. Vincent (2014)

Director: Theodore Melfi

Writer: Theodore Melfi (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard, Jaeden Lieberher

 

Plot: A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.


Tagline – With neighbours like these, who needs family?

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Comedy

 

Story: St. Vincent starts as we meet Vincent (Murray) a selfish man living in New York city, he has a hooker on call in Daka (Watts), he owes people money, drinks and gamblers. He gets a new neighbour in Maggie (McCarthy) and her young son Oliver (Lieberher) who are going to change his way of life.

With Maggie working to keep Oliver in school and away from her husband, which keeps her working late, giving her needing to turn Vincent to babysit after school, leaving Vincent to teach life lesson, while dealing with his own problems.

 

Thoughts on St. Vincent

 

Characters – Vincent is a lonely figure that drinks, gamblers and spends time with a hooker. He struggles for money and when he meets his new neighbour he ends up with a babysitting job, where he gets to teach life lessons which opens the doors to his own problems in life. Maggie is the single mother trying to keep her son with her as we as working a fulltime job, meaning she must turn to Vincent. Daka is a stripper and hooker that spends time with Vincent, she is also pregnant which has seen her job disappear, but her loyalty to Vincent comes through. Oliver is the young boy that gets taken in by Vincent to help cover for her mother’s work. He is the new kid at his school which he learns from Vincent how to fit in here.

PerformancesBill Murray is wonderful in this role, he must handle a mix of situations which only helps with the carefree style Murray delivers. Melissa McCarthy is always an actress I never have time for, but this is my favourite performance of her career. Naomi Watts never looks out of place in this role with her accent not missing once through the film. Jaeden Leiberher is an actor that has gone onto bigger things, this showed his potential.

StoryThe story shows us that you can meet people in life that are not what the cover seems, it has the idea of one man being down on life, but he has a story that he has never been seen by the people closest to him. A young boy is the person that learns the most as he must learn to grow up quicker than he should. This is a coming of age type of movie for Oliver which is important for him too.

ComedyThis movie does have good comedy coming from each moment that will make you laugh, it also has moments which you need feel.

SettingsThe setting works because it shows us how people in and around New York can live different lives.


Scene of the Movie –
The project.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The debt collector character seems to fade away.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good and enjoyable comedy that shows the important side of life from the people you don’t think will be as big as people believe.

 

Overall: Comedy fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – H – Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Richard Nelson (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Martin McDougall

 

Plot: The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.


Tagline – One weekend that would unite two great nations 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: Hyde Park on Hudson starts as the 5th cousin Daisy (Linney) gets called to keep her cousin President Franklin D Roosevelt (Murray), the two have a unique friendship with it being a forbidden romance. This weekend, FDR is hosting the king of England Bertie (West) and his wife Elizabeth (Colman).

The weekend arrives with FDR opening his family home to the royals, with him striking up a friendship with Bertie, while Daisy now needing to figure out whether she is in love with FDR and willing to share him or not.

 

Thoughts on Hyde Park on Hudson

 

Characters – Franklin D Roosevelt is the president of the United States of America, he lives with his mother and mistresses, with his latest one coming from his own cousin line, he is hosting the King of England Bertie who has his own stuttering problem, FDR is willing to help him learn that isn’t going to hold him back. Daisy is the 5th cousin to the President who ends up in an affair with him, even if she can’t have the same standard as the other mistresses, with the story being told from her point of view. Bertie is the king of England who is visiting America to spend the weekend with the President, he is still working with his stutter, which is his biggest fear. Elizabeth is the queen of England, she tries to stop Bertie doing anything that could put a bad light on the royal family.

PerformancesBill Murray is strong as the former president, it might have seemed like a strange casting choice, but it did work for what the film was trying to say, this can go for Laura Linney too, the lover figure that doesn’t know completely where she stands, we see the uncertainty on her in every scene. The cast all do the job required without anybody getting to shine to their strongest ability.

StoryThe story looks at one of the mistresses of FDR, the royal visit before the second world war and just how everybody was keeping their lives together during this weekend which has a major spotlight on two of the most powerful people in the world. the story is told in a diary format showing just how the events of the weekend unfolded through the eyes of Daisy and it just drags along without giving the audience enough interest to go, ‘that was interesting’ this does feel like we could have had more about it before it just falling into a film about King George eating a hotdog.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film does follow just the one weekend which led to the relationship between FDR and Daisy, we don’t learn enough about the lives they have been living before either. The comedy comes from certain moments involving FDR which will give the lighter mood to the film rather than a laugh out loud moment.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the home of FDR during the weekend, it tries to show us just how the relationship drama of everyone involved plays out.


Scene of the Movie –
The hotdog.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact this film seems to be about whether the king would eat a hotdog or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull movie that seems to lack any sort of interesting story, the performances are as strong as possible with the lack of much to do.

 

Overall: Uninspiring Drama.

Rating

 

 

Scrooged (1988)

Director: Richard Donner

Writer: Mitch Glazer, Michael O’Donoghue (Screenplay) Charles Dickens (Novel)

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait

 

Plot: A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Tagline – The spirits will move you in odd and hysterical ways.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Reimagining of Christmas Carol

 

Story: Scrooged starts as we meet TV executive Frank Cross (Murray) who is preparing the Christmas line up with his own live production of Scrooge. He puts pressure on his assistant Grace, fires staff who go against him in Eliot (Goldthwait) and pushes the boundaries of television.

When Frank gets visited by his former boss Lew Hayward (Forsythe) he gets an encounter from beyond the grave that warns him he will get a visit from three ghosts over the next day to show him his past, present and future.

 

Thoughts on Scrooged

 

Characters – Frank Cross is the ruthless TV executive that sees Christmas as a chance to prove his value by getting the highest ratings, when he pushes people to far he gets a visit from three ghosts that show him the errors of his way, but can he change. Frank is one of the first characters in a Scrooge role that he is going on the same trip, so he doesn’t believe it on the same levels. Claire is the former love that Frank let go for his own career, she was the only person that could get through his selfish ways in the past.

PerformancesThis film is a Bill Murray vehicle, it was designed for his comic timing and quick wit as a stand-alone performer which is something he hasn’t done much previously. It is strange because I am not the biggest fan of his comedy, but in this role, I enjoyed his performance that is filled with arrogance to make us hate his character while also being able to sympathise with him. The rest of the cast work well for the film that show us how Murray can get the best out of many different talents.

StoryThe story is a different take on the classic Christmas Carol, first the film shows characters who know the story, so they know where the ghosts are taking them, which is different and refreshing to see. I can see the traditionalist not enjoying this version, but let’s be honest how many times can you tell the same story? the problems I do have with the film is that we don’t get the full impact of what the supporting characters of the story get enough time see their impact on the story, in the way they were originally designed.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy comes from Bill Murray, it only comes around him which can give and take from the bigger picture too often, the fantasy and romance both suffer in the same feint.

SettingsThe film is mostly set inside the TV studio showing how Frank sees the characters and the production going on and how he treats them.

Special EffectsWhile the effects are not used very often, but when they do they all work very well for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final Speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dramatic moments are lacking the punch needed.

Final ThoughtsIf you want to see a different version of the Christmas Carol, this works because it brings us into a world where the book exists.

 

Overall: Nice little Christmas Film.

Rating