Bowfinger (1999)

Director: Frank Oz

Writer: Steve Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski, Jamie Kennedy, Barry Newman, Terence Stamp, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: When a desperate movie producer fails to get a major star for his bargain basement film, he decides to shoot the film secretly around him.


Tagline – A desperate plan for a desperate man

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Movie About Making a Movie

 

Story: Bowfinger starts when desperate movie producer Bowfinger (Martin) wants to get a brand-new film off the ground, he tells his crew that hot shot producer Jerry Renfro (Downey Jr) and massive action star Kit Ramsey (Murphy). The reality he hasn’t got them and starts to film the movie without Kit’s knowledge.

Hiring new to the city ambitious want to be actress Daisy (Graham) with his most trusted star Carol (Baranski) the film shot is underway. Can Bowfinger pull this off without anything going wrong.

 

Thoughts on Bowfinger

 

Characters – Bowfinger is the movie producer that has been searching for a hit for years. He will lie to his crew and film around the celebrity star of the film, he always has an answer for anything that gets thrown in his way. Kit Ramsey is the mega star, he is searching for his big memorable hit, part of the Mindheads (blatant piss take of Scientology) where he is also paranoid about people talking to him, he spends the whole film trying to escape the actors from Bowfinger’s movie not knowing he is being filmed. Jiff is a look alike that comes into help the film fill in parts where Kit is needed. Daisy is the ambitious actress fresh to the Hollywood, she takes the role in the film and works her way through the crew to get a larger part through the movie. The rest of the cast shows the members of the crew that each give us the part of the film making process.

PerformancesSteve Martin in the leading role is good in this role, he doesn’t fall into his normal comedy routine but gets the laughs needed. Eddie Murphy is good in his roles, we do believe his paranoid filled character which clearly is a bit of a piss take on Tom Cruise and he never goes over the top. Heather Graham gets to have a lot of fun poking fun at the ‘will do anything for a role’ actresses that have been in Hollywood. The whole cast are good through the film too.

StoryThe story focuses on the idea that a producer will secretly film around a big name actor to get a film made. This does show how a small crew can come together to try and get a movie made, we only need to look at early stories from indie film makers and shortcuts by big name directors in the past to understand this process. Throwing the idea that the big star Kit is part of a cult like religion which only plays into his paranoia in the film helps create everything. if you want to look back in history you could easily be making comparison to Plan 9 for style of working and loyalty to the crew. This might go over the top with certain elements which is fine it adds the comedy and ends up giving us a story which shows how commitment can build a film.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from a mix of trying to make the film happen, stereotypes for Hollywood and the paranoia Kit shows.

SettingsThe film is set in Hollywood, it shows us how the operations can be done with limited budgets even if things aren’t done the most legal ways.


Scene of the Movie –
Final sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mindheads are too much on the noise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that will get laughs, it has a good cast and will show how the movie making process works.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

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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.

Ratingcard

 

 

Into The Woods (2014)

into the woodsDirector: Rob Marshall

Writer: James Lapine (Screenplay) James Lapine (Musical)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Huttlestone, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Christine Baranski, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Tracey Ullman, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine

 

Plot: A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Long

 

Story: Into the Woods starts by ‘once upon a timing us’ we have a small village on the edge of the woods where Cinderella (Kendrick) Jack (Huttlestone) and a childless Baker (Corden) along with his wife (Blunt) all live. Cinderella is left pushed around by her step sisters and mother making her do all the work. Jack is struggling with his mother to make ends meet and has to sale the only cow. The Baker and his wife let little Red Riding Hood (Crawford) head off into the woods to see granny. When the witch (Streep) from next door promises to lift the curse on The Baker’s family that she had placed years before where she has taken the baby sister of the Baker. The Baker must go into the woods to retrieve certain items which will lead him to clash with all the characters who possess one of the items.

We know all these characters from their fairy tales so we know the paths they should be taking and we follow The Baker as he falls into the stories to collect the items required. The Baker ends up becoming a catalyst to all of the stories to achieve the items as we continue to see the favourite characters and their fairy tale outcomes.

Into the Woods really does try to squeeze as many different fairy tale characters into the story and for the first half of the film I will say it works well adding slight twists to the stories we all know and loved as children. Where the film goes in a bad direction is for the second half, where everything just seems to go in a downward spiral. I appreciate this could be a way to show how happy endings don’t always happen but it really ended up coming off messy. We do have some terrible miss-casting too that hold the talented singers down. The film does jump between fairy tales too much and if you don’t know the basic story you might end up feeling lost to the actual point in certain parts of the film. This ends up being a very messy musical that had potential to be something very good. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

James Corden: Baker helpless lead who has to go into the woods to retrieve items from the fairy tales in order to lift the curse put upon his family by the witch next door. The Baker has to become the reluctant hero of the story. How did James Corden get a lead role in a film with such a talented cast? He really looks like a fish out of water here. (2/10)

 baker and wife

Emily Blunt: Baker’s Wife who against her husband’s orders follows him into the woods to help him retrieve the items before the deadline. Emily does a good job here showing she can play nearly any role in films now. (7/10)

 

Meryl Streep: Witch who has put the curse on the Baker’s family, she sets the couple a list to retrieve while keeping his unknown sister locked away from the world. Meryl gives a good performance but what would you expect from the best in the business. (7/10)

 witch

Anna Kendrick: Cinderella the lowly slave to her step mother and sisters who breaks out of her home to go to the King’s festivals where she meets Prince Charming. Anna continues to make a name for herself in these musical performance and does a good job here. (7/10)

 cinerella

Chris Pine: Prince Charming who is searching for Cinderella after she runs from the festival. He hunts her down after she loses her golden slipper. Chris does a solid job here but sometimes looks lost with the singing side of the story. (6/10)

 charming

Daniel Huttlestone: Jack young boy who trades his best friend and cow for magic beans only to learn to see the world in a new perspective. Daniel follows up his scene stealing performance in Les Miserable with another scene stealing performance here. (8/10)

 jack

Lilla Crawford: Little Red Riding Hood off to see her grandma in the woods only to come across a wolf who tries to trick her. Lilla makes a good debut in the role showing her singing talents. (7/10)

 lil red

Support Cast: Into the Woods does have plenty more of the fairy tale favourites or villains appearing that round of the cast nicely but in the end they don’t help the story.

 

Director Review: Robert Marshall – Robert tries to make this a good film but the source material isn’t used well enough here. (5/10)

 

Adventure: Into the Woods with all the adventures going on it is hard to enjoy any of them unfolding. (5/10)

Comedy: Into the Woods was this a comedy? (0/10)

Fantasy: Into the Woods delves into the fantasy world to create the environment well. (7/10)

Musical: Into the Woods is full of singing but no catchy songs to be heard. (4/10)

Settings: Into the Woods uses the setting well to make them feel like they are real. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Into the Woods uses good effects to create the different characters that appear. (7/10)

Suggestion: Into the Woods is one to try, I think it will appeal more to certain fans but the musical fans man end up feeling let down by the end. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Jack is interesting take on the character.

Worst Part: James Corden as the lead.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Motion Picture in Musical or Comedy, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Oscar Chances: It might get a few nods, but I am not sure how.

Box Office: $96 Million so far

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 5 Minutes

 

Overall: Uncatchy Musical

Rating 60