Emily Blunt Weekend – The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Writer: Nicholas Stoller, Jason Segel (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie, Lauren Weedman, Mimi Kennedy, David Paymer

 

Plot: One year after meeting, Tom proposes to his girlfriend, Violet, but unexpected events keep tripping them up as they look to walk down the aisle together.


Tagline – A comedy about the journey between popping the question and tying the knot.

Runtime: 2 Hour 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Look at Relationships & Careers

 

Story: The Five-Year Engagement starts when Tom (Segel) and Violet (Blunt) get engaged and now must start to plan for their own wedding. The problems soon start to pile up, first when Violet’s sister Suzie (Brie) gets pregnant with Tom’s best friend Alex (Pratt) and must get married first, then their careers start offering them chances they can’t say no to.

When Emily continues to get opportunities to further her career, Tom holds back him problems while waiting for the chance to move away as he sees the life he could have being lived by Alex.

 

Thoughts on The Five-Year Engagement

 

Characters – Tom is a successful chef in the big city, he is in love with Violet and ready to marry her, only the wedding date gets pushed back as he wants to support her opportunity to further her career, however frustrating he finds it living in a small city away from his own career chances. Violet is the fiancée of Tom’s who has been waiting for a chance for her own studies to give her a career opportunity, which happens, only it will delay the wedding, given the chance of a lifetime, she tries to make a career out of her work, knowing how hard it will be for Tom. Alex and Suzie are the best friend and sister of the couple that seem to go into the life Tom once imagined about.

PerformancesJason Segel and Emily Blunt are wonderful in the leading roles, they have great chemistry and they both get their individual moments to get the comedy down, while together they can show us the heart of the film. Chris Pratt is the highlight of the supporting cast, as we get a good comedic supporting cast that get their own jokes in well.

StoryThe story follows a couple that are planning to get married only for their plans to go astray when a career opportunity comes up for one of them, leaving the other to support and watch their own future getting away from them. This story does show us how difficult relationships and careers can be for a couple who both want to support each other and are driven to have their own futures. We do fly through the time which only makes us wonder what is happening through most of the time. Sometimes the film does resort to just going for an extra joke when it doesn’t need to be.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does hit well through the film, we get most of the jokes from the supporting cast with moments of situational comedy too which does work well. The romance shows us just how difficult relationships can be for the people, even if love does come through in the end.

SettingsThe film shows us the different locations that the couple must live in, the happy life Tom starts with to the tough location he struggles to see his own future in.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sometimes the jokes go on for one too many extra punches.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful romantic comedy that shows us just how relationships can show the best in people no matter how difficult they might be when it comes to supporting people you love.

 

Overall: Brilliant romantic comedy.

Rating

 

 

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Justin Long Weekend – Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Director: Sam Raimi

Writer: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi (Screenplay)

Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Adriana Barraza

 

Plot: A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.


Tagline – Even nice people can go to hell.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Scary Filled Horror

 

Story: Drag Me to Hell starts where we meet mild manner loan officer Christine (Lohman), trying for the vacant assistant managers job, dating a professor Clay (Long) and generally just being a nice timid person. Christine’s day seems routine enough, but when Mrs Ganush (Raver) comes to her for an extension on the loan she must reject it.

Mrs Ganush begs and pleads for an extension, before being shamed, this forces her to put a curse on Christine, one that causes nightmares, day terrors and the need to solve this before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Drag Me to Hell

 

Characters – Christine Brown is one of the best modern horror characters, she does an honest job, she isn’t rude, pushy or arrogant, she just makes a living the best she can. She has worked her way up to a potential assistant manager role. She is filled with innocence it adds to the horrors we see her having to experience after she gets cursed. Clay is the supportive boyfriend, a professor of psychology, he doesn’t believe in the supernatural even being the annoying rude figure to a fortune teller. Mrs Ganush is the gypsy that has seen her loan go bad, she needs an extension again which Christine much reject, we feel little sympathy towards her and the motivation for putting the curse on Christine.

PerformancesAlison Lohman is brilliant in this role, we truly believe that she is the character of innocent nature. Alison is the true star of this movie, she goes through the most too. Justin Long is good in his role even if he is only the supportive boyfriend. Lorna Raver is great as the gypsy woman as you are filled with fear watching her.

StoryThe story follows one young woman that is doing her job and she gets cursed by a vengeful customer. While this story does follow the traditions with its linear idea of woman needs to find away to lift curse as the hauntings are getting worse each time she is haunted. We get to look into curses and how they can have people attempt to lift them while haunting continue to get worse. It could easily be thrown into the idea of one woman dealing with guilt.

HorrorThe horror in this movie is almost none stop, when it hits we do know when things happen and each moment becomes more terrifying.

SettingsThe film does keep us in a normal American city, it shows how the everyday life of Christine is routine until the curse gets thrown on her, this takes us to more horror related location.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed for the most part, we have great horror effects when it comes to practical, but hits us with weak CGI moments only draw us back.


Scene of the Movie –
Prepare the goat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Clays behaviour to the fortune teller, way to generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best modern horror movies out there, we have terrifying scenes which are built up perfectly for the horror.

 

Overall: Must watch horror movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – P – Payback (1999)

Director: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland, Terry Hayes (Screenplay) Donald E Westlake (Novel)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, David Paymer, Bill Duke, Deborah Kara Under, John Glover, Lucy Liu

 

Plot: After a successful heist, Porter is shot by his wife and his best friend. They leave him there to die but when he recovers, he seeks revenge and wants his share of the money.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Revenge Thriller

 

Story: Payback starts as Porter (Gibson) is left for dead by his partner Val (Henry) and wife Lynn (Unger), Porter explains everything he wants to go and why it happened as he tells us all his plan. We watch how Porter dives into the criminal underworld to get his hands-on Val first to get his money, then to kill him.

Porter’s mission is filled with twists and turns along the way as he deals with his former bosses, Bronson (Kristofferson), Carter (Devane), dirty cops and his only friend is old flame Rosie (Bello), can he get what is owned to him?

 

Thoughts on Payback

 

Characters – Porter is a streetwise criminal that does the small jobs in the underworld until he is betrayed, he only wants his money but ends up going after the whole organisation in his cold calculated way. Val is the man that betrayed Porter, he has a short temper and gets himself into trouble more often than not. Rosie is the one person Porter is willing to trust but mostly used to show Porter could have a life after this revenge mission. We also have the traditional crime characters that don’t seem to have anything overly original about them.

PerformanceMel Gibson was one of the hottest properties in the 90’s before any controversy and here you can see he knew how to be the star of the show. Gregg Henry is a good villain but we have three main villains that all get the limited amount of time. Maria Bello is also good in this film as the helper showing us she can pull off the sexy smart partner in crime.

StoryThe story is a by the book revenge story of a betrayed criminal that goes after the man who turned on his just to get the money back but ends up facing off against the how organisation. This is also a film which is known for how the editing changed the tone of the film which is something you can see through the story a lot, one minute it feels like a dark thriller the next it has a moment of what feels slightly comical. This does take part of the film out but the story still ends up going the same way.

Action/CrimeThe action is shoot ups which are a good watch throughout the film, each having bigger stakes and each trying to give us something original. The crime world shows us the world all the characters are from which helps us understand all the motivation they show.

SettingsNew York, my old friend and favourite for a crime setting, nothing can be flawed and staying away from some of the bigger iconic monuments or structures helps us enjoy the gritty underworld.

Scene of the Movie – Pearl in a jam.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would agree with the people who say the edit doesn’t click for the tone.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good by the book crime thriller but the tonal problems stops it reaching the highlights of everything it could have from what I hear of the director’s cut.

 

Overall: Crime thriller fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Twixt (2011)

logoDirector: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: Francis Ford Coppola (Screenplay)

Starring: Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley, David Paymer, Anthony Fusco, Alden Ehrenreich

 

Plot: A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

 

Verdict: No Idea

 

Story: I really not sure what happened here, I will go through what I thought but it might be wrong. We have the struggling writer coming to a small town for book signing in a hardware store. The Sheriff taking an interest in him because he has own story he wants to tell called ‘Vampire Executions’. Hall the writer is interested but this is where it gets confusing. We hear ideas from the Sheriff but nearly all the story unfolds during dream sequences the Hall has with a ghost girl asking for help. Hall writes a story about his dreams but we are left to try and figure out what was real and what is in his head. It really gets confusing and leads you in all sorts of directions. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Val Kilmer: Hall Baltimore struggling writer who gets caught up in a mystery in a small town, which could give him the newest idea to help resurrect his career. Seems to spend half the film in dream sequences talking to a ghost. Val pretty much mails in the performance here, easily forgettable. (3/10)

 kilmer

Bruce Dern: Sheriff Bobby LaGrange dreams of turning a story into a novel and wants Hall’s help to do so. He is a seasoned sheriff who has seen it all but might be hiding a secret I am not sure if he was though. Average performance in a film that doesn’t get the best out of anyone really. (4/10)

dern

Elle Fanning: V. the mysterious ghost girl haunting the dreams of Hall, trying to tell the story of her death I think. Elle gives the best performance as the ghost and girl who tried to stop a tragic event. (6/10)

 V

Ben Chaplin: Poe as in Edgar Allen Poe who guides Hall through his dreams, I think it was because Hall loved his work so made him up. He does a solid job with a character that seems out of place. (6/10)

 

Anthony Fusco: Pastor Allan Floyd leader of a small group who he is trying to keep everyone on the right path but when he fears he can’t he goes too far to stop anything happening. Average performance that really needed more screen time. (6/10)

pastor

Director Review: Francis Ford Coppola – He gave us the Godfather and now he gives us this, what happened to him? (2/10)

 

Horror: No scares, mainly tries to be a ghost investigation film. (3/10)

Thriller: Too confusing to pull anyone in enough. (3/10)

Settings: Has a few good settings but doesn’t really work well enough. (4/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one to miss it is confusing and also not very interesting. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Dream sequences have elements of creepiness.

Worst Part: Too confusing.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $7 million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

Overall: Too Slow, Too Confusing

Rating 25

Amistad (1997)

logoDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: David Franzoni (Screenplay)

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgard, Anna Paquin, Chiwetel Ejiofor

 

Plot: Amistad is the name of a clave ship travelling from Cuba to the USA, in 1839. It is carrying a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery in Cuba, taken on board and chained in the cargo hold of the ship. As the ship is crossing from Cuba to the USA, Cinque (Hounsou), who was a tribal leader in Africa, leads a mutiny and takes over the ship. They contunes to sail, hoping to find help when they land. Instead, when they reach the United States, they are imprisoned as runaway slaves. They don’t speak a word of English, and it seems like they are doomed to die for killing their captors when an abolitionist lawyer decides to take their case, arguing that they were free citizens of another country and not slaves at all. The case finally gets to the Supreme Court, where John Quincy Adams (Hopkins) makes an impassioned and eloquent plea for their release.

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: The story itself is incredible showing that fighting for freedom will be a fight worth fighting for even though it could be one of the hardest ones of all. We see how horrific the journey is, how they get treated and how a few people demand that they should be freed. We kind of know how this one is going to end because if they had lost it wouldn’t be a historical story. Much like other films with similar subject matter this was one of the few success stories in a world that treated people different just because of the colour of their skin. (10/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Morgan Freeman: Theodore a free black man who first takes interest in the case, even though the prisoners don’t understand how he is walking around free while they are prisoners. Good supporting performance from Freeman, who gives a few solid speeches to help other men help of the prisoners. (9/10)

 freeman

Nigel Hawthorne: Martin Van Buren the President who gets caught in between what is right and what the Spanish queen wants. He is more worried about being re-elected than doing what is right for the men. Good performance showing that even though America was a free country not everyone has that right. (8/10)

president

Anthony Hopkins: John Quincy Adams living in the shadow of his father everyone in powere just sees him as an old man now, but he comes in to help free the prisoners when the case gets to the Supreme Court. Great performance from Hopkins, giving one of the best speeches in the history of film. (9/10)

 hopkins

Djimon Hounsou: Cinque the leader of the prisoners, who keeps a watchful eye on what is going on even though he doesn’t know the language. Cinque works with a translator to talk to his lawyers and tells his story. Great performance from Djimon who shows that he had the potential to be nominated for Oscars in the future. (9/10)

 djimon

Matthew McConaughey: Roger Sherman Baldwin the young lawyer who takes the case to free the prisoners and after succeeding twice he only has to do it a third time, all along risking his profession for what is right. Good performance from McConaughey who showed he was a rising star with this performance.(9/10)

 matt

Director Review: Steven Spielberg – Brilliant from Spielberg but did you really expect anything less? (10/10)

 

Drama: Brilliant drama showing the struggles everyone went through to show what was right. (9/10)

History: Even though the truth was bought out, it was just one success story in a very dark time in human history. (10/10)

Settings: Authentic settings used throughout. (9/10)

Suggestion: I feel this is one that everyone should watch and learn how far we have come since the ways we treated people. (Watch)

 

Best Part: John Quincy Adams speech in the Supreme Court.

Believability: It really happened. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 4 Oscars

Box Office: $44,229,441

Budget: $36 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

Tagline: Freedom is not given. It is our right at birth. But there are some moments when it must be taken.

 

Overall: Brilliant, Powerful Drama

Rating 92