Oscar Isaac Weekend – Life Itself (2018)

Director: Dan Fogelman

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Jean Smart, Olivia Cooke, Antonio Banderas

 

Plot: As a young New York City couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.


Tagline – We’re all part of a greater story

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Storytelling Done Wrong

 

Story: Life Itself starts as we meet Will (Isaac) a depressed man whose wife Abby (Wilde) has left him, he is going through therapy with Dr Cait Morris (Bening) who he is telling the story of how they met, got engaged and were expecting their first child, only for tragedy to strike.

Will’s father Irwin (Painkin) raises their daughter Dylan as she must live in the world like her mother did. Dylan (Cooke) now 21 and ready to experience the world herself, live her own life.

 

Thoughts on Life Itself

 

Characters – Will is the depressed writer, he is telling the story of how he met Abby, fell in love and planned to start a family, we see the positives from the relationship they had and see how he is now struggling with life without his wife. Abby is the woman Will meets and falls in love with, she has had a tragic life with Will be the highlight of it. Dr Cait Morris is trying to help Will through the problems he is facing, being left by his wife, she knows the truth and is planning to make his face it one day. Irwin is the father of Will that raises Dylan, he does everything he can to make sure she has a wonderful life. Dylan is the daughter that has lived a life of tragedy, now 21 she is ready for the next stage of her life. Mr Saccione runs a vineyard which has a connection the tragic events of the film.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are on the average level, mostly because none of the talent gets enough time to shine, we seem to waste the talents of Oscar Isaac who does start interesting only for his part of the story to end, while Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke and Antonio Banderas just get time to do anything else.

StoryThe story is easily the most confusing and overly trying one you will see, we try to connect many lives together over many different time periods to show how life can happen and you never know the connection you could have with people. It is the way this story is told which leads to most of the problems, it could have work in drawn together better, but it just feels like we had a weak story ad went, lets stick an extension on this one and we get this a couple of times which just makes us feel uninvested in any of the characters we are meeting. This just leave us feeling empty and mostly bored through the story telling process.

RomanceThe idea behind this film is about romance being found in the most unusual place, which is fine, though this is too on the face with it.

SettingsThe film uses New York as the central location for this film, it works for the most part only it can come up short in places.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummm pass.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story telling process.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak, boring and unconnectable story that tries too hard to give us something bigger, while the ambition could be praised, the craft fails.

 

Overall: Weak and dull.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – T – Tangled (2010)

Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay) Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm (Fairy tale)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor

 

Plot: The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.


Tagline – Get tangled up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Princess 101

 

Story: Tangled starts by taking us to a fantasy land where Rapunzel the new princess is taken by Mother Gothel who has been using a golden flower to stay young, but the flowers power has transferred to Rapunzel long blonde locks.

Years later Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her mother forbidden to go outside even though she is desperate to, Flynn Rider is a thief on the run who stumbles into Rapunzel’s tower, where the two make a deal to help Rapunzel escape to see the lanterns her real parents have been lighting in hope of find their daughter on her birthday.

 

Thoughts on Tangled

 

Characters – Rapunzel is the princess of the land that is taken as a baby locked in a tower, grown up she dreams of leaving the tower to see the lanterns the royal family light every year. Once she gets out she uses her hair as a weapon and is overly excitable about seeing the world for the first time. Flynn Rider is a thief that is wanted throughout the kingdom, he relies on his charm to get him out of trouble only to end up finding Rapunzel who opens his eyes to a life on the good side of the law. Mother Gothel has kept Rapunzel as her own daughter because it will give her eternal youth, she is controlling and evil on a different level to other Disney villains.

StoryThe story does follow the fairy tale about Rapunzel, by bringing a fresh spin on everything, we get the idea that her first visit away from the tower is enjoyable for her an adventure she has always dreamed off, while also having the idea of a Disney Princess being protected in her own way. I do feel this story does have a negative side because a lot of what goes on focuses on people stopping everything to make a girl happy on their birthday. For a Disney story this is everything the fans will want.

Adventure/Fantasy/MusicalThe adventure takes Rapunzel away from the tower which was her prison to see the world for the first time, the fantasy world we enter shows us just how magic can work when it comes to the story of Rapunzel and the musical is trademark Disney.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are normal Disney locations which are fine throughout the film.

AnimationThe animation is always going to be fantastic quality from Disney which will never be doubted by anyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rough bar.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is by the book Disney princess stuff.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the princess fans out there, it follows the traditions well and brings us the fresh look at the classic fairy tale.

 

Overall: Disney hit their target audience.

Rating

 

 

Last Vegas (2013)

lastDirector: Jon Turteltaub

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara

 

Plot: Four friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Entertaining Comedy

 

Story: Last Vegas starts as we see where four former friends from Brooklyn have lived very different lives Sam (Kline) married doing water aerobics, Archie (Freeman) recently retired grandfather who isn’t trusted to look after his own grandchild, Paddy (De Niro) who has been widowed for a year now and Billy (Douglas) who is about to get married to a woman half his age.

This brings the four friends back together to Las Vegas to a bachelor party for Billy, giving the three friends a chance live it up like the young men they once were for what could be the last time.

 

Thoughts on Last Vegas

 

Characters/PerformanceThe four lead stars have their own personalities like you would imagine between friends, Billy is living his life with regret, Paddy is filled with sadness, Archie just wanting to escaping his elder life and Sam is trying to figure out where his married life is going. The mix between the four has great chemistry and you could see them all being friends.

The performances are all good from the heavyweights Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline all work very well together. Everyone plays their part to work with the main cast throughout.stras

StoryFour friends coming back together for what could be their last weekend together as they can finally put away their differences. I liked this story it is easy to follow even if it does force feed us that these are old men in a young man’s world of Vegas. We do have plenty of moments which look at moments of life that could happen to anyone.

ComedyWe have good laughs from the whole cast with moments poking fun at the stars past as well as handling the elder characters in the wildly considered youthful party city.

SettingsLas Vegas is always a brilliant setting for the any film so I do enjoy each setting from the film.genre

Final ThoughtsI did enjoy this film more than I thought, it can be enjoyed by all the people watching the film.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoy film.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Guilt Trip (2012)

logoDirector: Anne Fletcher

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Kathy Najimy, Yvonne Strahovski, Colin Hanks, Brett Cullen

 

Story: Andy Brewster (Rogen) is an inventor, he has created a cleaning product which is safe if consumed by accident as well as being environmentally friendly. Andy now has to sell his product to all the major retail outlets, which means he is going on a road trip. Before he goes on his road trip he has to stop of at his mother’s house. Joyce Brewster (Streisand) is an over caring single parent who along with her girlfriends doesn’t take many chances. Andy hates to let his mum down, but as he knows he isn’t being overly successful on his selling, he lies to her about how things are going. After finding out about a long lost love of his mum’s he tries to locate him, partially to help himself knowing he is in sales business. Andy invites his mum along on his cross country road trip and you can tell from the first minute that this will test their relationship.

 

The start of the road trip

The start of the road trip

Verdict: A road trip film that has some heart, laughs and almost some tears.

Story: I enjoyed the story told in this film, I especially enjoyed the relationship between Andy and Joyce because it shows you that both people will hide something from their parents or children. Both also learn that whatever is going on in their lives the other one will support them. The road trip itself was a bit generic with everything you expect to see on the trip, but as an Englishman I enjoy watching anything that shows a trip across another country. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Barbra Streisand – fitting in to the odd couple role with her son. Joyce has some interesting quirks like wanting to listen to a sex book on the road trip, but also has her vulnerable side, which she doesn’t let show as much as is needed. Barbra does a good job in the end Star Performance Award (9/10)

barbra

Actor Review: Seth Rogen – We are all used to seeing Seth in a loud drugged up comedy, this is a welcome detour from those. Seth shows some good emotional displays and keeps everything bottled up like every son can do with their mother. Even though he is meant to be playing a role in a cleaner comedy you can see he itching to get to his more mature content. (7/10)

 seth

Director Review:  Anne Fletcher – with only three previous films to her name you can see that comedy is her thing. Following up from The Proposal you can see the similar level of comedy in this, targeting the whole range of audience (8/10)

 

Comedy: Light hearted comedy, with some over the top laughs in the end credits scene. (7/10)

Music: good soundtrack that fits all the scenes well (8/10)

Settings: A road trip across American is a very good setting for a comedy gives the film a chance to experience a full range of weather and scenery. (9/10)

Suggestion: I feel this one will appeal to the casual film audience, people that will like to go home with a warm feeling inside. The film will leave you with a smile on your face which is good but you will also feel sad in parts. Don’t expect full blown rolling on the floor laughs or Seth Rogen to be anything that you have seen before, if you are expecting these two things you won’t enjoy the film. I suggest this because it is a film that puts a smile on your face as well as putting you in a position you can relate to, what more could you ask for? (8/10)

 

Best Part: An awkward moment when Andy’s mum is with him in a sales pitch and the guy is more interested in something she has bought to the table.

Worst Part: bit to generic

Similar Too: Due Date, Away We Go

 

Overall: A warm light hearted comedy

Rating 82%