ABC Film Challenge – Action – A – Ant-Man (2015)

Director: Peyton Reed

Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Anthony Macke, Michael Pena

 

Plot: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.


Tagline – No shield. No armor. No problem.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Heist Movie

 

Story: Ant-Man starts when Scott Lang (Rudd) gets released from prison, he wants to try and go straight to rebuild his relationship with his daughter, but is struggling. When his best friend Luis (Pena) offers him a score which could fix the problem he jumps at the chance. the job is to break into a house and open a safe, which he does finding a suit.

The suit is the Ant-Man suit which Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) invented and planned to keep secret, until his student Darren Cross (Stoll) has learnt of the technology and has been looking to create his own form of it. Hank wants Scott to use the suit to stop Darren from using the technology that could be dangerous in the right hands.

 

Thoughts on Ant-Man

 

Characters – Scott Lang is a cat-burglar that is freshly out of prison searching for a job, so he can rebuild his relationship with his daughter, who still loves him. He can’t get employment, which sees him return to a life of crime, which sees him get an opportunity to work for Hank Pym that see him use his skills to help him steal his own technology back before it gets in the wrong hands. Scott can see this as a chance for redemption. Dr Hank Pym created the shrinking technology that made Ant-Man, he has seen the danger involved in it and has been gone into business for himself, he needs somebody to make sure his technology doesn’t get sold into the wrong hands, he doesn’t want his daughter to do the job because he knows the danger involved in it. Hope is the daughter of Hank, she has remained in the company watching over Darren’s research, reporting to her father if thing go wrong. She wants to go on the mission no matter how risky it could be. Darren Cross was mentored by Hank, he has always been waiting to step out of the shadow and after learning the secret about technology involved in creating the shrinking technology.

PerformancesPaul Rudd does get to bring us a fun character that has been left with nothing and still remains positive and isn’t the smartest person in the room. Michael Douglas fits his role perfectly as the inventor figure. Evangeline Lilly is strong in her role, even if she does a lot better in the sequel. Corey Stoll does make for a strong villain which is needed in this film.

StoryThe story here follows a former criminal that gets recruits to steal a piece of equipment from his own office that could one day create a new army becoming a threat to mankind. This story does go in a different direction to the previous outings of creating a new superhero, most before hand had been experiments or self-created heroes. Scott is given a chance to improve his life to step into a suit that was once just an experiment. We also have a heist going on which is always entertaining to watch as we do get the colourful characters involved in the film. this might get references for previous Avengers movies which shows how Ant-Man will be part of the universe too.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-FiThe action in this film has a unique look because it deals with the ideas of most of the fighting happening within the miniature world. the film does target plenty of laughs which with the supporting cast come off regularly and once again we see how the sci-fi side of the film is used for the technology being used in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which does bring us to a new city for a superhero movie which is refreshing to see.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are amazing when you think of the world that is created with the ant army being used.


Scene of the Movie –
Training the ants.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We needed more of Luis.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun heist movie with a superhero spin on it which lightens the mood the previous films might have had.

 

Overall: Entertaining Superhero movie.

Rating

 

 

The Station Agent (2003)

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Josh Pais

 

Plot: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.


Tagline – Loneliness is much better when you have got someone to share it with

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming

 

Story: The Station Agent starts when Finbar McBride (Dinklage) must relocate to rural new Jersey after his friend passes away, he wants a quiet solitude life, as he moves into an abandoned train station. He just so happens to be opposite a chatty hotdog vendor Joe (Cannavale). Finbar continues to meet the locals including the clumsy Olivia (Clarkson) and Emily (Williams).

Finbar, Joe and Olivia end up striking up an unlikely friendship as Fin learns to let people in to his life, Joe learns to open up more about life and Olivia reveals her own tragic story.

 

Thoughts on The Station Agent

 

Characters – Finbar has always worked and lived in the same location until his friend dies, Fin is forced to move out of the city where he wants to continue his life of isolation, only the overly welcoming locals want to be his friend. Finbar starts to learn about other people’s problems as loneliness isn’t the best thing in his life. Olivia nearly runs Finbar over, she is dealing with her own problems that she is covering up with a bubbly personality, she becomes one of the people that Fin wants to help. Joe runs a hot dog stand opposite Fin’s new home, he likes to chat and wants to become Fin’s friend, he has his own problems that he doesn’t want to talk to anybody else about.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage showed the whole world just how talented he is as an actor in this leading role, Patricia Clarkson is also wonderful in her role as we feel the pain her character is going through. Bobby Cannavale completes the main cast with an enjoyable performance

StoryThe story here follows one man that must relocate after his friend dies, he wants to be left in isolation only for the locals to just want to welcome him to the neighbourhood, even if they have their own problems. This is a story that teaches people that need to have a friend to get through your problems, even if the friend comes from the most unlikely location in your everyday life. It shows how people can live a life in pain without you knowing until you are willing to listen to them. It can show how life isn’t going to be easy and it can take you down dark paths and you will need people to help you.

ComedyThe film fits the comedy drama wonderfully, handling the serious nature of the events of the film, while getting the laughs when needed.

SettingsThe film is set in a small location of a town outside of New Jersey, the people are friendly and have problems, they want to stay strong in the eyes of the other members of the community.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have too many dwarf jokes, which feel like they haven’t aged well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama that shows the real struggles in life with friendship coming from the unlikely places.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

I, Tonya (2017)

Director: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Steven Rogers (Screenplay)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale, Bojana Novakovic, Caitlin Carver, McKenna Grace, Julianna Nicholson

 

Plot: Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.


Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Uniquely Told Biopic

 

Story: I, Tonya starts as we have the interview set up so we can learn from Tonya Harding (Robbie), her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Stan), her mother LaVona Golden (Janney) and other people that were involved in the incident.

We flashback to learn how Tonya came from an abusive mother that pushed her to the limits in figure skating, her abusive relationship with her husband Jeff and how her dreams of ever being a gold medallist get thrown into turmoil after what happened with fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan (Carver).

 

Thoughts on I, Tonya

 

Characters – Tonya Harding was a natural born figure skater, she had talent from a young age, but came from a redneck family. Even after making it to national competitions she still gets looked down upon. It is her relationships with show her resilient side from her abusive mother to her husband and her involvement with the Nancy Kerrigan incident that could ruin her reputation. Jeff Gillooly is the man that Tonya married, they have a good spark, but his violent nature kept pushing her away and his charming nature could bring her back too. LaVona Golden is Tonya’s mother that sacrificed to make her daughter the best figure skater in the world, she does push her to the limits while not being afraid to physical harm Tonya to get the best out of her.

PerformancesMargot Robbie is fantastic in the leading role even as we follow her through mid-teens to early 40s and never not looking the part for the age. Sebastian Stan is great in the supporting role showing how quickly men like his character can change in the blink of an eye. Allison Janney one again comes into a supporting role and shows just how she can step into any role without looking out of place.

StoryThe story follows how Tonya Harding came from a redneck family to being involved in one of the most controversial moments in figure skating history. It shows how sports can become too much for certain people to handle, be it the pressure to perform or the friends and family going too far to help one succeed. The story is told in an interview format, which while is different to other films, it does take away from certain moments in the film.

Biopic/SportsSeeing the rise and fall of Tonya Harding a figure skater that’s career is one that never got ruined by injury, but by controversy. The skating sequences do all look great through the film though, as we see how it was a sport about where you came from not your talent.

SettingsThe settings show us the different times that our story takes place in, how the lesser known sports will rely on work to go with their talent.


Scene of the Movie –
Triple Axel.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sometimes the interview style does become too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at how Tonya Harding’s career was a rollercoaster for anyone that followed her and even if they didn’t, they would have known where her career went.

 

Overall: Biopic for the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

Chef (2014)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Jon Favreau (Screenplay)

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Lequizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Food Adventure

 

Story: Chef starts as we meet a once hotly tipped chef Carl Casper (Favreau) working for Riva (Hoffman) in his high-class restaurant. When a critic is due to attend, Carl wants to go big but gets talked down by Riva, this leaves him with a negative review. Carl finds himself becoming an internet sensation with this review by Ramsey Michel (Platt) going viral.

Carl finds himself out of a job but with a chance of big money, but his ex-wife Inez (Vergara) pushes him join her and their son Percy (Anthony) on a trip to Miami hoping to see Carl recapture his love for cooking. Looking to reclaim his reputation Carl gets a food truck to bring his flavours around Miami and this brings him closer to his own son and his true passion cooking.

 

Thoughts on Chef

 

Characters/PerformanceCarl is a chef that had a reputation of being edgy and brilliant but over time he has fallen into a normal routine in a restaurant, he now needs to prove he is still edgy and a food truck will help prove this. Inez is the ex-wife that still supports Carl in his decisions and understanding his problems. Martin is the loyal friend of Carl that gives up his job to follow him on the food trip. The rest of the characters include the boss who is more interested in money that fresh food, the film critic, the son that is feeling left out and the other people that help Carl redeem himself.

Performance wise, Favreau is good in this leading role as well as being great of director, John Leguizamo is always great in supporting roles and this is no different. Emjay Anthony is good in what is an all-star cast to. The cast are all good through the whole film.

StoryThe story shows how one man can lose his reputation but regain it by returning to his routes, so basically like any actor or director in Hollywood. There is obviously more to this film too as we get a father and son bond growing after years of a distant relationship but the food element shows if you are passionate about anything you can enjoy it from any position.

ComedyThe comedy is light and when needed as the film is more of a road trip adventure drama.

SettingsWe get plenty of iconic locations through the film as we learn the different foods that make different parts of America famous.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable food based road trip learning about different famous dishes from around America.

 

Overall: One that is enjoyable for all.

Rating

 

 

Daddy’s Home (2015)

daddysDirector: Sean Anders

Writer: Brian Burns, Sean Anders, John Morris (Screenplay) Brian Burns (Story)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church, Scarlett Estevez, Owen Vaccaro, Bobby Cannavale

 

Plot: Brad Whitaker is a radio host trying to get his stepchildren to love him and call him Dad. But his plans turn upside down when their biological father, Dusty Mayron, returns.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average Comedy

 

Story: Daddy’s Home starts as we meet step-father Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) who couldn’t have his own children but when he fell in love with Sara (Cardellini) and her child Megan (Estevez) and Dylan (Vaccaro) he gets a chance to start his own family. Brad is still trying to win over the children and is willing to do anything to connect with them.

Brad’s new life is about to face a shocking revelation when their bad boy father Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) turns up. When Dusty talks into Brad into letting, him stay and overtime all the hard work Brad has put in gets thrown out the window as Dusty becomes the cool dad he was once before.

Daddy’s Home is a comedy that tries to recapture the chemistry Ferrell and Wahlberg had in The Other Guys. I do think this isn’t as strong as that film but it didn’t go in a direction I didn’t think it would go. I liked how even though Dusty comes off like a bad boy he isn’t horrible about trying to get his family back he is calculated about his plan. This does come off as a good rivalry film without hitting the main levels it could have.

Ferrell and Wahlberg do give good performance even if they don’t click perfectly while the rest are just basic characters done well throughout. I do think this film misses in places which leaves us feeling disappointed.

 

Overall: Awkward in places comedy that could upset some but others could enjoy them.

Ratingcard