Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion to Trilogy

 

Story: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb starts by taking us back to 1938 when Ankmenrah (Malek) tomb is discovered saying about a curse. Move back to present day and the Natural History Museum where Larry (Stiller) is preparing for a big show but the tablet has started to corrode which makes the exhibits acting out of character.

Larry must learn the story about the tablet from an old enemy Cecil (Van Dyke). This leads Larry to travel to London with Teddy Roosevelt (Williams), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Coogan), Attila (Gallagher), Sacajawea (Peck) Dexter and Laaa (Stiller) to learn the secret of the tablet and along the way make some new friends from history.

Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has story that is fitting to finish any trilogy because we get to see Larry move on the way he wanted to in his life, we also get an adventure in another famous museum bringing it over to my shores of England. This side of the story was good without being outstanding. The hardest part of this move to watch now is the final act in the London museum because of the speech Robin Williams gives will bring a tear your eye. I will say this feel like what Toy Story 3 was with the time to move on side to the story working really well, but not reaching the same levels.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Stiller: Larry is now the ‘effects’ man within the museum but when the tablet starts corroding he must find the answers in the London museum where the adventure becomes a battle for life and death as he deals with his parenting issues. Ben is good in this leading role where he does have a few serious scenes as well as the comic ones.

Robin Williams: Teddy Roosevelt comes along on the adventure once the tablet starts losing its powers which causes him to act out of character, he continues to give the lines that shows Larry needs advice for. Robin is good in this role that is very difficult to watch in the final act.

Owen Wilson: Jedediah along with his best friend Octavius get stuck in the middle on their own adventure in the London museum, he is the cowboy character we all know and love in this film. Owen is good in this role playing to his strengths.

Steve Coogan: Octavius is Roman general that works with Jedediah in a good set of adventures that all add to the comedy involved in the story. Steve is good in this supporting role where we see his comic side shine through.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has one of the smallest supporting casts with only a few characters used from the original and only a few added in the London museum.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn finishes the trilogy very well with the touching moments that work for real life events.

 

Adventure: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb takes the adventure to London where we get what we have seen before.

Comedy: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has good laughs that will have things for everyone while some are good to me others missed.

Family: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb is one the whole family could enjoy from start to finish.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb continues the fantasy elements of the story without being too different.

Settings: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb uses the London museum which work without being anything new.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has what I would consider the worst effects in the trilogy where you can clearly see the CGI moments which is really disappointing.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb is one the whole family could enjoy from start to finish. (Family Watch)

 

Best Part: Williams final scenes.

Worst Part: I am a fan of Rebel Wilson I do really think she is funny but in this she comes off very awkward.

Funniest Scene: Pompeii

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: Maybe in the final act.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $127 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: One final night to save the day

 

Overall: Beautiful goodbye to the characters we have all come to know and love.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Guest (2014)

logoDirector: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Tabatha Shaun, Chase Williamson, Joel David Moore, Steve Brown, Brenden Wedner

 

Plot: A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stylishly Splendid

 

Story: The Guest starts with the Paterson’s grieving the death of their soldier son Caleb. The family is trying to go about their normal day but mother Laura (Kelley) is stuck inside the house alone, she gets a visit from a man named David (Stevens) who claims he was with Caleb when he died and has come to see the family. David sticks around to tell stories about Caleb to Laura and eventually her daughter Anna (Monroe) before being invited to stay the night.

The family invite David to stay around as he helps the son Luke (Meyer) with homework and standing up to the bullies. David also gets forced to mingle with Anna at a party where he seems to be sent to keep a watch over her as she is getting messed around by her drug dealer boyfriend. David starts coming off almost too perfect being able but his interest in purchasing guns makes things come off strange.

Anna decides to investigate David and its turns out that he is the remaining part of a secret mission that Major Carver (Reddick) instantly wants to cover up. Carver recruits all the off the books man he can to finish off David but David is waiting for them and finally shows his true colours and just how deadly he really is.

The Guest manages to mix genres with ease, the first half of the film actually comes off almost like a coming of age film for the younger members of the family with David looking like he is there to protect them. You do get the feeling that something isn’t quite right with the situation and that leads nicely into the action thriller side of the story that concludes the film. Mixing these genres gives us a fresh feeling story because David comes over as one of the most likable on screen personas in recent years but we also get to see just how deadly he can be. The story will go down as very good because the film continues to push you in different direction that you wouldn’t normally see an action thriller. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dan Stevens: David is the mystery man claiming to be a friend of the deceased family member, he turns up in the Paterson’s lives and ends up helping them before the truth about him comes out. He remains emotionless throughout using all his training to help himself through the situation he ends up in as his past comes back to haunt him but he cleans up his own mess. Dan gives a great performance that could easily be his breakthrough performance in Hollywood. (9/10)

 david

Maika Monroe: Anna Peterson is the daughter of the Paterson family who first dislikes David being around because of the memories of her dead brother before starting to like having around, but after she starts investigating David she could have starting a catalyst of events that follow. Maika gives a good performance that along with her It Follow performance must make people take her serious. (8/10)

anna

Brendan Meyer: Luke Peterson is the bullied son of the family that David teaches to defend himself after taking out all of the bullies in one attack. He starts seeing David as a big brother figure replacing the one he lost. Brendan gives good performance that shows just how difficult it is for people to take David as dangerous. (7/10)

 

Lance Reddick: Major Carver is the military police officer who is tasked with trying to hunt down David, and brings as many man as he can possible get to finish off the experiment once and for all. Lance gives a good performance that informs us the truth about David. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: The Guest has a supporting cast of people that are in the Paterson’s lives that David interacts with leading to him making his own choice on who is good or bad, until he knows his cover is blown when he has to clean up the supporting cast.

 

Director Review: Adam Wingard – Adam continues to show he has the ability to turn genres on their heads following ‘You’re Next’ with action thriller. (8/10)

 

Action: The Guest has slick action scenes that all come off very stylish. (9/10)

Mystery: The Guest adds plenty of mystery about David and just who he really is and why he is there. (10/10)

Thriller: The Guest keeps you guessing to what will happen next from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: The Guest uses the settings to make you feel like you are watching a small community in a town who get a new visitor. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Guest is one for all the action fans to enjoy and it will be one that will be enjoyed because of the fresh twists on the genres. (Actions Fan Watch)

 

Best Part: Bar Fight.

Worst Part:  Being picky the starts off slightly slow.

Action Scene Of The Film: Bar fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Be careful who you let in.

Trivia: The film is intentionally structured as a horror film with the pace of a thriller.

 

Overall: The Guest is one of the most stylish films you will see this year that actually bends the genres.

Rating 80

 

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)

logoDirector: Scott Frank

Writer: Scott Frank (Screenplay) Lawrence Block (Novel)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, David Harbour, Boyd Holbrook, Mark Consuelos, Olafur Darri Olafasson, Adam David Thompson

 

Plot: Private investigator Matthew Scudder is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered his wife.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: A Walk Among the Tombstones starts by in 1991 we meet Matt Scudder (Neeson) a nonsense detective who while having his morning Irish coffee ends up going into a shootout. Flash forward to 1999 Matt is now a private investigator and when a former junkie Peter Kristo (Holbrook) invites him to meet his brother Kenny (Stevens) for a job. Kenny’s wife was kidnapped with the ransom paid and murdered; he wants Matt to bring him the names of the people responsible. Matt rejects the offer wisely because it would involving working with a drug trafficker but Kenny won’t take no for an answer.

Kenny tales the story of what happened and how gruesome the murder was, this brings Matt into the case to track down the people responsible. Using all his skills he starts the investigation by questioning the locals. The killers prove to be professionals who cover their tracks when committing their crimes. When it becomes apparent they have been doing this for years Matt finds himself investigating cold cases. Tracking down the leads he does come up with a potential name and a place he could meet them, but nothing could prepare him for the nature of the men.

A Walk Among the Tombstones starts very nicely with the broken protagonist trying to make up for something he could never actually make up for, it is hidden from us but we do see he has personal problems. The whole drug dealers being targeting by serial killers also works nicely, giving us a chance to keep guessing on whether it is actually a large scale revenge type thriller than Matt is stuck in the middle off. It goes downhill slowly because of the pace and then turning it into the simple idea that they are just two killers doing it for fun. It is sad because this had a lot of potential from the start but in the end just fizzles out. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Liam Neeson: Matt Scudder a private detective who against his better judgment ends up investigating serial killers who enjoy nothing more than kidnapping and killing their victim even if they get their money. He is a former detective who has been recovering from his alcoholism which cost him his job. Liam does do a good job in the role and goes away from the new action star he has created. (7/10)

 matt

Dan Stevens: Kenny Kristo drug trafficker whose wife was killed and hires Matt to find the people responsible for it, it will mean risking his connection to help expose the truth. Dan does a good job as the mobster out for revenge for a crime that is personal rather than work related. (7/10)

 kenny

Support Cast: A Walk Among the Tombstones has a supporting cast that includes the two killers who are very much evil in what they do, we have other mobsters who are the victims of those killers and we also have a street wise kid trying to help Mark out. They all help the story flow along very well.

 

Director Review: Scott Frank – Scott does a solid job directing this to make it an interesting thriller with a very dark side to it. (6/10)

 

Crime: A Walk Among the Tombstones enters into the crime world without going too far over the top with its double crossing, instead focusing on one angle the whole way through. (7/10)

Mystery: A Walk Among the Tombstones does keep you guessing to what would be the motives of the characters creating a nice mystery about the story. (8/10)

Thriller: A Walk Among the Tombstones starts off pulling you in especially when you hear about the murdered wife but afterwards slight starts to fade away. (7/10)

Settings: A Walk Among the Tombstones creates a world that is similar to 1999 New York. (7/10)

Suggestion: A Walk Among the Tombstones is one to try and the fans of Neeson will be watching this, it might not keep everyone happy because it isn’t as dark as its source material. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The shock of what Kenny finds in the boot of that car.

Worst Part: Falls away by the end.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel:  No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Cold in July

 

Oscar Chances:  No

Box Office: $53 Million

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: People are afraid of all the wrong things.

 

Overall: A Thriller That Hits Hard Early but Tires Near the End

Rating 61