ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – P – Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Director: Angela Robinson

Writer: Angela Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Connie Britton, Monica Giordano, JJ Field, Oliver Platt

 

Plot: The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, and his polyamorous relationship with his wife and their mistress who would inspire his creation of the superheroine, Wonder Woman.


Tagline – Ever wonder?

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lots of Science, Not Enough Wonder Woman

 

Story: Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman starts as Professor William Marston (Evans) is explaining the motivation behind the Wonder Woman character to Josette Frank (Britton) and the rest of the board. We dive back to 1928 where William a Harvard professor along with his wife Elizabeth (Hall) who selects Olive Byrne (Heathcote) to help with the latest research project.

The research includes studying relationships and social commentary with the idea to help create the lie-detector and only ends up help create the comic book character we know after going for a forbidden relationship.

 

Thoughts on Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman

 

Characters – Professor William Marston is telling the story about his creation of the Wonder Woman character which takes us back to his time at Harvard where he was creating the lie-detector, he has a wonderful relationship with his wife that the two often search for more in love. Elizabeth Marston is just as educated at William, but doesn’t get the accredited title, she is fighting for this right while exploring the research they are working on together. Olive Byrne is the student the two take a liking to, they invite her into their research before getting involved in an even more complicated and forbidden relationship.

PerformancesLuke Evans in the leading role as the storyteller going on to show us just how desperate he is to succeed in his field. Rebecca Hall as the movement supporter shows strength throughout too while Bella Heathcote is great too turning from innocent to forward thinking woman as the story progresses.

StoryThe story follows William Marston, the man who created the Wonder Woman character and his unconventional relationship with his wife and mistress. The story here does have serious pacing issues because we spend well over half the film focusing on the build up to the relationship between the three and not enough time focusing on the creation of Wonder Woman, sure parts of the film are surrounding the ideas of Wonder Woman, but watching the fight to create and continuing publishing the comic book icon would have been a lot more interesting to watch.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film does show how William Marston went from Harvard professor to comic book creator of one of the most iconic characters in comic book history.

SettingsThe settings used in the film show us the different time period from the late 20’s to the mid 40’s, nothing looks out of place for what we are telling, though we do jump the timeline quickly.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rise of Wonder Woman.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much time building the relationship.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that shows us just how the character of Wonder Woman came to life, it shows the unconventional relationship the creator had with his wife and lover which saw them shunted in life but did end up bring the strongest female comic book figure to life.

 

Overall: Strong but misguided biopic.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – A – American Ultra (2015)

ultraDirector: Nima Nourizadeh

Writer: Max Landis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman

 

Plot: A stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Comedy

 

Story: American Ultra starts as Mike Howell (Eisenberg) who must explain what has happened. We move back to see how Mike and his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart) who live in a small dead-end town while enjoying getting stoned in their spare time. We also meet the government agents Adrian Yates (Grace) who is looking to close a project that Victoria Lasseter (Britton) has started.

When Adrian decides to terminate asset Mike Howell he becomes activated by Victoria and Mike learns all about a new set of skills that leaves a trail of bodies as Mike and Phoebe go on the run to learn the truth.

 

Thoughts on American Ultra

 

StoryThe story here is easy to follow and it is clear that this is designed to poke fun at the is he an agent or not sub-genre of action without being full parody. I think the story works and comes off original for the most part because you are left wonder where it could go next and we see how anything is possible too.

Action/ComedyThe action going on within this film is to make the extra comedy with how unique the kills and use of weapons that make things original throughout. While I don’t think, this is the best comedy the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously helps make it feel light hearted throughout.

Characters/PerformancesMike is meant to be your everyday stoner who just gets by in life but what if he had been recruited by the government to be an undercover asset, well this is told through this character where he questions his own existence in the world. Phoebe does have a twist to her character with Yates being the typical over the top full of power government agent with Victoria being the elder member of the government team who wants to do the right thing. When you look at performances Eisenberg gets to have a lot of fun with his character and Stewart shows the talent she has but doesn’t always show in Twilight. Grave continues to be good at the over the top guy with the rest of the cast fitting the movie well.

SettingsThe settings are within the small town which shows just how the government can take control without needing to explain. It also gets fully explained by Mike hasn’t been able to leave under the program.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few and far between but all work for how the story is being told without having anything go wildly over the top like it could.

Final ThoughtsEnjoyable and fun is the best way to describe this because you know you are having something slightly light hearted going on throughout.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable action comedy that watched the right way can be enjoyed.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

logoDirector: Samuel Bayer

Writer: Wesley Strick, Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Wesley Strick (Story) Wes Craven (Characters)

Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Kyle Gallner, Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Clancy Brown, Connie Britton

 

Plot: The spectre of a dead child rapist haunts the children of the parents who murdered him, stalking and killing them in their dreams.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Remake Deserves Better Praise

 

Story: A Nightmare on Elm Street starts by taking us back to Springwood and puts us into a nightmare of Dean Russell (Lutz) where he meets Freddy Krueger (Haley) before waking up and introducing to all the characters, Nancy (Mara) working in the diner Kris (Cassidy), Quentin (Gallner) and Jesse (Dekker). Continuing the opening sequence we see Dean fall back asleep and it is here where Freddy takes his first victim.

We start to see the side effects of the death of Dean as Kris starts to try and learn about why she was in photos as a young girl with Dean and never remembers being friends with him at that age. The friends all start having the nightmares about Freddy and the friends have to try and find a way to stay alive. The truth about who Freddy is takes a different turn this time around which brings the connection to him a lot closer to home for our characters.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a re-imaging of what can only be put as a classic, people slammed this movie right left and centre. I have gone through all of the Elm Street films in a week and I can safely say this remake deserves higher praise that what it got. The film doesn’t waste too much time explaining about Freddy but instead looks into the idea that the children actually have a connection with Freddy before he is killed. I also liked the idea that the story teases the idea that Freddy could have been innocent. On the negative side of this we lose the serial killer side downgrading Freddy to child molester (which I know is still bad but he doesn’t have the same level of threat). We do end up having a couple of similar deaths which doesn’t seem to fit the idea of the re-creation, we also have re-hashed lines that don’t fit the situation. I also hated the final scene but both films use this to make us question everything we have seen. Overall the story does give us new ideas but it is the ideas of repeating older storylines ruining the idea of a re-imagination. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jackie Earle Haley: Freddy Krueger is the serial killer from our teenager’s dreams he is darker than previous outing but still possess his sinister laugh. We learn what happened to Freddy but what is much more interesting in this outing is we get teased about his potential innocence. Jackie does a good job in the role bringing a new darker style to the icon. (7/10)

 freddy

Kyle Gallner: Quentin Smith is the fellow student who has a crush on Nancy and as Freddy starts taking his victims he ends up working with her to save themselves before it is too late. Kyle does a solid job in the role but doesn’t really shine to the level required. (5/10)

quentin

Rooney Mara: Nancy Holbrook is our leading lady who works with Quentin to try and save herself from Freddy, she digs into the past to learn the terrifying truth about who Freddy really is. Rooney has openly admitted she did this role for the money and you can see in her performance because we all know the potential she has. (5/10)

 nancy

Katie Cassidy: Kris Fowles is the false lead in the film much like the original had who starts getting visions of Freddy but most importantly starts putting together the connection between her and her friends at a younger age. Katie gives a solid performance continuing her horror trend as a victim. (6/10)

 kris

Thomas Dekker: Jesse Braun is the teenager who is left to be responsible for the killing of Kris even though we see he had nothing to do with it. Jesse helps pass on the message about what is happen to Nancy before being killed. Thomas does a solid job but never really gets enough time on screen to make an impact. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: A Nightmare on Elm Street has a supporting cast that includes the parents that are covering up the secret and for the most part that is all we have as extra cast members.

 

Director Review: Samuel Bayer – Samuel does a solid job directing bringing a new approach to a much loved film which works in places but not in others. (6/10)

 

Horror: A Nightmare on Elm Street brings a creepy darker side to the story but struggles to reach any real scare levels. (7/10)

Mystery: A Nightmare on Elm Street adds in a mystery angle about the connection between the children and Freddy. (9/10)

Thriller: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps you guessing to what the connection is because it goes in a different direction that we have seen previously. (7/10)

Settings: A Nightmare on Elm Street keeps the settings similar to what we would expect to see and have seen before adding to the horror levels. (7/10)
Special Effects
: A Nightmare on Elm Street uses good effects to create the nightmare sequences and Freddy make up. (8/10)

Suggestion: A Nightmare on Elm Street is one to try, I know people love the original and will always compare it but as a stand-alone movie this is actually a solid horror film. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Teasing the idea of the innocent Freddy.

Worst Part: Showing us he wasn’t innocent.

Kill Of The Film: Dean because it is the only original one.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $115 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Never Sleep Again.

Trivia: Johnny Depp accompanied his friend Jackie Earle Haley to auditions for A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Instead of Haley being chosen for a role, it was Depp who was spotted by director Wes Craven, who asked him if he would like to read for a part. Depp got a part in that film, Haley didn’t, but Haley would go on to play Freddy in this remake 26 years later.

 

Overall: A brave re-imagination that brings new ideas to the franchise while still using the older ones, better than people give it credit for but no classic.

Rating 75

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

logoDirector: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Writer: Jesse Andrews (Screenplay) Jesse Andrews (Novel)

Starring: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Katherine C Hughes, Matt Bennett, Masam Holden

Plot: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightful but Tragic Drama

Story: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl starts with Greg (Mann) struggling to tell his story. Greg goes about his high school journey where he knows how to get away without ever being out of place with any social groups along with his best friend who Greg refers to as his co-worker Earl (Cyler). When Greg learns the news that one of his class mate Rachel (Cooke) has been diagnosed with leukaemia his parents force him to reach out to her.

While the Greg and Rachel start their friendship in an unconventional style as they believe they are both very different. We discovers that Greg and Earl enjoy making short films. Greg and Rachel do end up becoming actual friends and along with Earl we follow as the three continue a normal life while everyone else treats Rachel like she is suffering which includes Greg and Earl making a movie for Rachel.group

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes off feeling very fresh without becoming a full blown tear jerker, this could have easily gone down as just another film about a dying girl well dying but this film approaches the story from another angle, it shows what it would be like for a friend during the dying character time of suffering. This story never wants to let it get too down on what is happening and constantly trying to push the characters to look into the future. I especially like how Rachel is pushing Greg into making up his mind reflecting where the two stand, Greg having all the time in the world not wanting to use it while she knows she doesn’t pushing him to make sure he doesn’t waste it. This film is a delightful story that should be watched by all even if you need a tissue or two by the end. (8/10)

Actor Review

Thomas Mann: Greg is the social awkward high school student and along with his best friend which he refers to as co-worker befriend Rachel as he tries to treat her like a normal girl while everyone else everyone else is to sympathetic to her situation. We follow his last year at high school as he also has to make his big decision about his future and the two help each other. Thomas does a great job in this role and could easily be a future star. (9/10)greg

RJ Cyler: Earl is the co-worker to Greg who is actually his best friend who makes movies with Greg because they share the love for classic cinema. RJ gives a great debut role in a supporting role. (8/10)

Olivia Cooke: Rachel is the dying girl who once she gets diagnosed finds everyone treating her differently until Greg comes along to offer a new friendship where he gives her a normal friendship without sympathy and she teaches him to grow up. Olivia gives a great performance which will give us a leading star for the future. (9/10)rachel

Support Cast: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has a brilliant supporting cast that all give brilliant performances.

Director Review: Alfonso Gomez-RejonAlfonso gives us a brilliant film that goes against traditional tragic stories. (9/10)

Comedy: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has light comedy throughout which works well for the subject. (7/10)

Drama: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl gives us a near perfect drama about just growing up when one of the best friends won’t make it. (9/10)

Settings: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl uses the settings to show how normal the lives of the characters are because it will be what everyday people will have to deal with through the situation. (9/10)

Suggestion: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one to be watched by all, it is one of the best stories of the year and will teach you the lesson in life. (Watch)

Best Part: Performances by Mann and Cooke.

Worst Part: Not one.

Believability: The suffering the characters would go through are real, the idea of friendship is real. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: You will have a few by the end. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Fault in Our Stars

Oscar Chances: Could be an outside bet.

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: A little friendship never killed anyone

Overall: Brilliant Drama about growing up and not being afraid of the world

Rating 90

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

logoDirector: Lorene Scafaria

Writer: Lorene Scafaria (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Adam Brody, Melanie Lynskey, Connie Britton, Rob Corddry

 

Plot: As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbour who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Starting, Powerful Finish

 

Story: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starts by reports that the final mission to save mankind has failed and the Earth will be destroyed by an asteroid in 21 days. Dodge (Carell) whose wife runs away tries to continue on his normal life, while offers seem to be making the most of the end.

14 days to go and Dodge is going to be alone and his friends Diane (Britton) and Warren (Corddry) try setting him up with Karen (Lynskey) but that just makes him feel awkward. With all that is going on with the end of the world all Dodge just wants to be left alone to get over the fact his wife left him, but when he finds his English neighbour Penny (Knightley) crying on the balcony he offers her a shoulder to cry on. After a failed suicide attempt Dodge finds himself with a new friend a dog called ‘Sorry’ that someone tied to him.

When the riots start happening Dodge, Sorry, Penny and her boyfriend (Brody) try to escape the city but when Dodge tells Penny he can get her home before the end, she steps up her movement and leaves Owen behind. Dodge, Penny and Sorry go on a road trip to find Dodge’s old high school love where they meet a string of unusual people while embracing the idea that they will live for only 12 more days.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starts off feeling very slow as we can kind of tell the way the story will go. I do think the story drifts between too many different ideas with the apocalypse theme throughout, road trip that starts with a strange character but then just turns into a plain old road trip, it also has a long lost love story. The problem is it never manages to really come off funny but does have a nice romantic side and really does make you wonder what you might do in the same scenario. I believe the story is pretty good and it will be one that I remember after. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Steve Carell: Dodge everyday man whose wife leaves him after the world is going to be destroyed, he starts accept the idea but a chance meeting with his neighbour means he can go after his lost love. Steve gives a good performance and shows how he can play the serious comedy role well. (7/10)

 dodge

Keira Knightley: Penny the English girl who misses the last flight home and ends up going with Dodge after he says he knows about a plane that could take her home. Keira does a good job in the role and makes you think about how hard it could be for a character from overseas with limited time. (7/10)

penny

Support Cast: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a lot of cameo performances that try to add in the laughs but most don’t seem to come off as funny.

 

Director Review: Lorene Scafaria – Lorene does a good job in her directorial debut pulling off the serious side of the story very well. (7/10)

 

Comedy: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World doesn’t have as many laughs as it could but I do feel too much comedy would take away from the story. (4/10)

Romance: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World does have a nice romantic story that is slow burner but very touching as you look at how long a perfect romance could have been. (8/10)

Settings: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World uses familiar settings to try and make each scene look like a place people could go in the end of the world. (8/10)

Suggestion: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is one to try, I feel fans of the romantic idea of films will enjoy but this won’t be for everyone. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Record player scene.

Worst Part: Slow starting.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $9.6 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: The first comedy about the end of it all

 

Overall: I feel this is a film that really tests your own look at a potential end of the world situation and how you would react.

Rating 65