ABC Film Challenge – Action – L – Let’s Be Cops (2014) Movie Review

Director: Luke Greenfield

Writer: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy, Keegan-Michael Key, Andy Garcia

Plot: Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.


Tagline – Fake Cops. Real Trouble.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Let’s Be Cops starts as two struggling young men, Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans Jr) start looking at their decision to move to LA as a mistake, with Justin’s video game not selling and Ryan never recovered from his football injury, they have both reached the stage in their lives, where they might give up and return home.

One night the pair dress up as cops for the night and find themselves gaining power they never once had, deciding to pretend to be cops every day, getting caught up in a battle against a local mobster Mossi (D’Arcy).

Thoughts on Let’s Be Cops

Characters & Performances – Ryan is a former football prospect that always pushed Justin into doing things he doesn’t like, getting overly involved in becoming a cop, taking it seriously even if it would end up getting the pair into more trouble, hiding his insecurities of not knowing what he wants from life. Jake Johnson does bring the hyperactive comedy to this role that is much needed against the calmer approach from Wayans Jr. Justin is the video game designer that has been trying to sell his game, but isn’t getting very far and is about to give up on his dream to return home. He is reluctant to get involved in fake cop role, but when he starts getting respect from more people including the woman he fancies, he sticks around, getting pushed into places he wouldn’t normally go near. Damon Wayans Jr gives us a great performance showing off his comedic skills. Segars is the real cop that the pair meet that likes how the pair work believing they are more important than they are. Rob Riggle does well in this comedy role, playing into the by the book officers. Mossi is the criminal mobster that is looking to intimidate people into giving him what he wants, as well as being just as deadly in a fight, not caring who stands in his way. James D’Arcy does make for a threatening villain, one that could easily be as deadly as he seems. Josie is the waitress with aspirations to become a make up artist and love interest for Justin, she helps with the missions, only she doesn’t know he isn’t really a cop. Nina Dobrev is good in her role, we could have seen more from her character, but she makes the most of what she gets.

StoryThe story here follows two men that are starting to consider giving up their dreams as nothing has turned out the way they planned, the pair find themselves pretending to become cops in an attempt to have some fun, leading to them getting involved in an investigation against the biggest mobster in town. This is a fun action comedy that does get the meaning of friendship and chasing dreams together, while giving us an unlikely and criminal position a couple of friends find themselves in. it will prove that when the times comes, you will find your place and the fight is about waiting for that chance to come around to make you successful.

ThemesLet’s Be Cops is a funny action comedy, it will give you some genuine laughs with the chemistry between Johnson and Wayans Jr being perfect through the film, we might go down some weaker attempts at comedy, btu the film does try to cover as many different types throughout the whole film.

 

Let’s Be Cops is a laugh out loud comedy that shines because of the chemistry between Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.

Me You Madness (2021) Movie Review

Me You Madness – Completely Self-Aware

Director: Louise Linton

Writer: Louise Linton (Screenplay)

Starring: Louse Linton, Ed Westwick, Shuya Chang, Jimmy Dinh, Tyler Barnes, Gwen Van Dam

Plot: A young thief cases an architectural dream house in Malibu, not realizing it is the home of an eccentric female serial killer.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Me You Madness starts as we meet eccentric hedge fund manager Catherine Black (Linton)who lives a lavish lifestyle where she buys everything she wants and with her high intelligence, she is always ahead of the game. When Catherine looks to rent out a room in her home, Tyler (Westwick) visits to scope the place out for his thieving ways.

After a wild night together, Catherine find herself bored of Tyler, wanting to show her darker serial killer ways, only to find Tyler causing more problems of Catherine’s carefully planned life.

Thoughts on Me You Madness

Characters & Performances – Catherine is an eccentric hedge fund manager who has a life of luxury and a darker side, she is a serial killer, she finds her life turned upside down by Tyler a man she was just looking to prey on but finds herself drawn too in a battle of wits. Catherine often has monologues into the camera about her choices, which gives the character a self-aware approach. Louise Linton does take the writing and directing roles for the film too, which will give her character even more confidence in this world created. Tyler Jones is a petty thief that looks to view homes before robbing them with Catherine being the latest target, he finds himself falling for her, while also biting off more than he can chew when he learns the truth. Ed Westwick does a good job in this film being the dumber of the too in character, being aware of what he is meant to bring to this character.

StoryThe story here follows a rich successful woman who has everything in her life planned out perfectly including finding time to kill people, when she meets a petty thief the two have a bright chemistry that will see them clash and looks to battle each other in a game of wits, where they will need to decide what they want in life. This is a film that is fully self-aware of what is going on, Catherine’s character knows exactly what she is, similar in how Patrick Bateman was in American Psycho. This is the fun part of the film, even if being told each and every mindset can seem like it is being repeated too often in the film. When it comes to the back-and-forth side of the film, it does give both sides the reason to be winning the battles.

ThemesMe You Madness is a comedy that will bring us the extremes of how the rich will live, flashing their wealth in the eyes everyone around them, believing they can control every situation too. The luxury home is the main setting, which always feels like we are about to find yet another room.

 

Me You Madness is the American Psycho styled movie that doesn’t have the same flair, but is showing us just how the rich consume the poor.

Me You Madness will be available on Digital Download from 19th April

Banana Split (2018) Movie Review

Director: Benjamin Kasulke

Writer: Hannah Marks, Joey Power (Screenplay)

Starring: Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato, Dylan Sprouse, Luke Spencer Roberts, Meagan Kimberly Smith

Plot: Over the course of a summer, two teenage girls develop the perfect kindred spirit friendship, with one big problem: one of them is dating the other’s ex.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Banana Split starts as we see the perfect high school relationship between April (Marks) and Nick (Sprouse), which after 2-years falls apart when they are looking into colleges, April isn’t doing well after the break up, while Nick starts dating Clara (Liberato).

When Clara and April meet at a party, the two end up become close friends, keeping their friendship a secret from Nick, while preparing for the next stage of their lives.

Thoughts on Banana Split

Characters – April has been part of a perfect relationship with Nick for 2 years until they break up, she does struggle with the break up, but knows she is moving away to college soon, she ends up making friends with Nick’s new girlfriend, even if she wants to be with him again, she is facing the reality of moving on to college without the happy ending to her high school experience, needing the friendship she never had. Clara is the new girl in town, the new girlfriend of Nick’s and soon to be new best friend to April, the two connect like nobody has with April before. Nick is the boy that both the girls have or are dating, he doesn’t seem to have his life together either, while still being open to friendships, than he lets on.

PerformancesHannah Marks and Liana Liberato are both great in this film, they show excellent chemistry in friendship, while also highlighting the awkwardness of being in the same place with the Nick character. Dylan Sprouse works well as the boyfriend who doesn’t seem to know what he wants in life.

StoryThe story here follows an unlikely friendship that grows between two high school girls that just so happen to be the ex and current girlfriend of the same boy. The story might well put a lot of focus on the growing friendship between April and Clara, you can see deep down we are following three people that all know that after the summer, they will be facing a new life, one away from each other in college, which will be the beginning of the next stage of their lives, lives they don’t really know what they want or where they will be going next in. a lot of the friendship and keeping it a secret does work well, with the middle man getting uncomfortable and knowing what will happen next too, but by the end they will all get to grow as people being prepared for what is next… the unknown.

ComedyThe comedy the film comes from seeing how the girls friendship grows, with odd things happening around them along with funny arguments that they have in life with family.

SettingsThe film gives us the LA setting, which does automatically add some glitz to the high school world, which again always looks more over the top than anything you would expect to see from my own experiences in school, but outside the school, we hit the highlights of the area, including the beauty spots overlooking the city.


Scene of the Movie – Make Up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There does seem to be a big mystery about what has made Clara move here, that we don’t learn anything about.

Final Thoughts Banana Split is an enjoyable comedy about growing up, getting laughs and having excellent performances from the constantly rising stars of Hannah Marks and Liana Liberato.



ABC Film Challenge – Favourite – # – 2 Minutes of Fame (2020) Movie Review

2 Minutes of Fame – Brilliant Comedy on Chasing Dreams

Director: Leslie Small

Writer: Devon Shepard, Yamara Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Allo, Keke Palmer, RonReaco Lee, Deon Cole, Madeleine Byrne, Katt Williams, Kimrie Lewis, Jay Pharoah

Plot: An up-and-coming stand-up comic moves to L.A. to pursue a film career after video clips of his act make him an online sensation.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: 2 Minutes of Fame starts as Deandre (Pharoah) a small-time stand up comedian who has been struggling to keep up with his rent with his girlfriend Sky (Palmer) and after losing his job, hoping his comedy will take him places, his latest work starts going viral, landing him a chance to enter the Laugh Out Loud Showcase in LA.

Deandre is at the crossroads of his career and his rising rivalry with superstar comedian Marques (Williams) turned failing movie star becomes the talk of the town.

Thoughts on 2 Minutes of Fame

Characters & Performances – Deandre is a YouTube comedian that doesn’t get too many views, despite his amazing talent, he works at a grocery store hoping to hold things together, his latest videos have attacked one of the most famous stand-up comedians, just as he gets his first big break in a Laugh Out Loud Showcase, where he must learn about his routine isn’t going to translate to the stage, needing to learn the respect for the people who grind everyday, while keeping his girlfriend happy back home. Jay Pharoah is brilliant at the stand-up routines, his ability to impersonate celebrities, through the film, but when it comes to the more serious scenes, things do not hit the same heights. Marques Black is the biggest stand-up in the world who has turned to movies which has seen his star power fall, becoming the target of Deandre’s rants online, he has let too many people control his decisions, forgetting how hard he worked to get here. Katt Williams brings the experienced comedian to life with ease. Eddie is the best friend and manager of Deandre, who gets him the chance, follows his career, keeps his head in the game. RonReaco Lee gets the extra life comedy moments, being the one holding everything together. Sky is the girlfriend of Deandre who has a career as a nurse, she is getting tired of him struggling to keep the money together, part nagging girlfriend, but also wanting to love him. Keke Palmer is great being one of the only people in the real world.

StoryThe story here follows an up and coming comedian that is trying to break into the industry, but is only a internet level comedian, he gets his big break, which he is looking at as one last chance to make it before giving it up and taking life more seriously for his son, we follow this last shot to make it as a comedian. This is a story about chasing dreams, which gets to put a firm look at how the modern day society can become celebrities over night without putting the grind in like the people their aspire to be, this is the biggest part of the story which feels fresh. We also get to look at the difficult balance of chasing a dream or giving up, to support loved ones, which is the most important side of the story, the film balances these two sides perfectly to bring everything together well for an enjoyable story.

Themes2 Minutes of Fame has brilliant stand-up routines which will get laughs throughout the film, it balances the comedy and drama well showing the importance of the two needing to work together to achieve the heart and soul of the story. The LA setting shows us the difference that Deandre must make coming from small town and internet fame to one of the biggest locations for stardom.

2 Minutes of Fame is an enjoyable comedy which will get people talking about Jay Pharoah as a serious comedy presence.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – H – Hampstead (2017) Movie Review

Director: Joel Hopkins

Writer: Robert Festinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson, James Norton, Lesley Manville, Simon Callow

Plot: An American widow finds unexpected love with a man living wild on Hampstead Heath when they take on the developers who want to destroy his home.


Tagline – See love from a new perspective

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Drama

Story: Hampstead starts as widowed American Emily (Keaton) is starting to see her funds dry up with her charity shop job not helping make her life easier, her son is looking to move away and her, with the leader of her apartment Fiona (Manville) trying to force Emily into different mindset, which includes the destruction of the old hospital across the road from them.

Emily learns of a hermit Donald (Gleeson) peacefully living on the land and the two hit it off, learning that life is worth enjoying, not destroying, which sees Emily finding a cause to fight for, as she starts to find love once again.

Thoughts on Hampstead

Characters – Emily is a widow who has been getting on with her life, not taking life too seriously after her husband’s death, working in a charity shop, listening to people that have bigger plans, just going along with them. Her son is looking to move away leaving her alone, until she learns of a hermit living across the road from her flat, one that she wants to help keep his home, that has been planned for destruction for a new flat. Her kind nature is what makes her special, she doesn’t want to use the position her husband left her in to look down on people. Donald is the hermit living in the heath, he has done for years now, he keeps to himself, while having a connection to the locals, who respect the work he does for them, where he never bothers anyone in life, he must learn to accept help with Emily trying to help him keep his home, the one people want to take away from him, meaning he must hide his aggressive side, which could cause more problems. Philip is Emily’s son that has stay around longer than he would have liked to, where he is going to be living away soon. Fiona runs the flat, trying to keep everyone together in decisions regarding the flat, using the position of power to keep everyone away from the lower classes.

PerformancesDiane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson in the leading roles are fantastic, they bring to life these two characters with ease, being enjoyable to watch throughout. Lesley Manville does bring the closest side to a villain to life, being the rich person looking down on people.

StoryThe story here follows a widow that befriends a hermit as they fall in love in the fight to keep his shack from destruction from developers who want to put a new flat structure there. This is a story that shows that people need to learn other people’s stories in life before deciding they are causing problems, open up to life and learn more about the people around you. It shows that even after losing loved ones, you could find love in the last place you look and that if something is worth fighting for, you can help people. This is told in the sweetest way without needing to become too in your face either.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from see how the unlikely duo come together in life, with the romance playing into that showing us that life isn’t always what you expect it to be.

SettingsThe film uses the settings very well, we see the luxury like flats that Emily lives in, along with peace and quiet that Donald lives in, even in the big city.


Scene of the Movie – Court case.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – How the rich act.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable romantic comedy that shows that you can find happiness in the strangest places in life, carried by excellent performances.

Overall: Enjoyable.