Abigail Breslin Weekend – August: Osage County (2013)

osageDirector: John Wells

Writer: Tracy Letts (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch

 

Plot: A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Actors Dream

 

Story: August: Osage County starts when Beverly (Shepard) goes missing causing his cancer striken wife Violet (Streep) to get the family back together to help find him, this brings Barbara (Roberts), Bill (McGregor), Jean (Breslin), Charlie (Cooper), Mattie Fae (Martindale) and Ivy (Nicholson) which helps expose all the problems between the family.

When Beverly’s body is discovered the rest of the family Karen (Lewis) her new boyfriend Steve (Mulroney) and Little Charles (Cumberbatch) return home for the funeral as more of the family secret come out

 

Thoughts on August: Osage County

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters in this film are all different aged members of one big dysfunctional family with their own problems, they all have their own secrets that will be getting exposed through the time together.

The acting performances in this film are all top notch with the stars all giving brilliant performances where they can all show their abilities throughout.stars

StoryThe story is about how the family are forced to go through the good and bad moments from life that get exposed over one week from the moment the father goes missing, through the funeral and the aftermath. There are plenty of stories going on through the film which draw you into want to know what is happening with this family.

DramaThis is a drama through and through where we see how the family have been through all sorts through the years with everything getting exposed in one week when they are bought back together.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around the one house where the family must return too, we get to see how the memories come back for the characters involved.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an actors dream to watch, you get fine performance from everyone but this isn’t going to be for the casual film fans.

 

Overall: A film for aspiring actors to watch.

Ratingrating

 

 

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Sleepless (2017)

Director: Baran bo Odar

Writer: Andrea Berloff (Screenplay) Frederic Jardin, Nicholas Saada, Olivier Douyere (Original Film)

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Michele Monaghan, Scoot McNairy, Dermot Mulroney, T.I., David Harbour, Gabrielle Union

 

Plot: A cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scours a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable Actioner

 

Story: Sleepless starts in Las Vegas as dirty cops Vincent (Foxx) and his partner Sean (T.I.) are taking down their latest score from the mob in the city. Things don’t go as planned which brings in Internal Affairs pairing Bryant (Monaghan) and Dennison (Harbour) to look at the case.

Vincent’s day continues to get worse as he once again lets down his ex-wife Dena (Union) and his son Thomas (Johnson) before casino boss Rubino (Mulroney) has Thomas kidnapped, promising to hand him over to Novak (McNairy) the drug lord if the product isn’t returned in three-hours.

We are left to see how Vincent tries to clean up the mess he finds himself in, he must deal with the drug lord, the casino owner, the internal affairs agents and his angry ex-wife all in one night inside the casino.

 

Thoughts on Sleepless

 

Characters/PerformanceVincent is the dirty cop that has been stealing from criminals for his own personal gain, this has left his personal life in ruins and now he has one night to save his career and his relationship with his son. Bryant is Internal Affairs that has recently found herself assaulted with everyone trying to nurse her back into her job even though she is ready to return. Novak is a drug lord reluctantly working with casino boss, he is ruthless like you would expect him to be. Rubino is the casino who has everything but has dived into the drug world to keep his guest happy. The rest of the characters are also who you expect without being anything special.

Performance wise, Jamie Foxx is good enough in the leading role without being a great action star, with Michelle Monaghan doing a good job in here role, being the star of the film. Scoot McNairy gets to have a lot of fun in the villainous role which he always delivers in. some of the supporting roles are left questioning how capable the stars really are though. With Gabrielle Union doing all she can with the generic concerned mother that only moans a lot role.

StoryThe story is fine, it has twists and turns along the way as you must figure out who is good, bad, dirty or criminal all while seeing how a drug bust can go wrong. This does have plenty going on and if you blink you might miss a beat but otherwise it doesn’t leave too much to the imagination.

Action/CrimeThe action is always going to be hard to find anything new or original which is why the action turns out slightly flat. The crime world created is solid enough though.

SettingsNearly the whole film is set inside the casino which does show things happening near real time.

Final ThoughtsThis is fine action film, it isn’t great or bad it is just average.

 

Overall: Average film that is easy to watch but never pushes the boundaries.

Rating

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – J. Edgar (2011)

hooverDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Dustin Lance Black (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney

 

Plot: J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Biopic

 

Story: J. Edgar starts as we learn that J Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio) wanting to tell his story as he goes back to 1919 when he witnesses the crime being committed against his boss Mitchell Palmer. We see how Palmer give Hoover a chance to search for the communist which are targeting high ranking members of America.

With Hoover’s first act he plans to deport any non-America who poses a threat to the country a new law was born and peace came from the rebel. Being put in charge of the Bureau of Investigation Hoover cleans out the corruption to build his own force as he wants to use new technology to help fight crime. While his professional career shines and rises his personal life where he tackles his own relationship with Clyde Tolson (Hammer) that has to remain a secret. The birth of the FBI is told through this story too.

J. Edgar shows the amazing career and life of one of the most important men in American history as we see how he came to help change how law was thought and studied. This will never be questioned but his methods on achieving this could be questioned as he does push many morale boundaries. It is the look into his personal life which also interests because for a man rising against authority to be homosexual at the time would have been looked down on so Hoover also becomes victim to the personal choice being the thing that held back his career. The problem with this film is not in the performance because DiCaprio shines in this role but the problem comes with the fact that this is slightly too long at nearly two and half hours long we could have easily have had a two-hour film because the whole film feels slow at times.

 

Overall: Slow biopic with heavyweight performances.

Rating55

 

 

Mia Wasikowska Weekend – Stoker (2013)

stokerDirector: Chan-wook Park

Writer: Wentworth Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney

 

Plot: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Thriller

 

Story: Stoker starts as we meet the teenager India (Wasikowska) who has the ability to hear at an enhanced level who has just lost her father Richard in a car crash. India lives with her mother Evelyn (Kidman) who has been struggling with the loss of her husband but when the unknown Uncle Charlie (Goode) arrives on the scene India starts to learn more about her past.

When other members of the family turn up in India’s life we get to learn that Charles might not be all he appears to be but why has he taken such an interest in India is the question remaining.

Stoker is a solid thriller that does in a direction you can ready quite easily. Saying that the mood to create this works and with the final twist you will find yourself surprised with the outcome. The story does tackle family relationships but is trying way too hard to keep up with most of Hitchcock’s work. I do feel most of this is forced and doesn’t feel like a natural story unfolding either.

 

Actor Review

 

Mia Wasikowska: India in the teenage student who is considered so what of a loner, she had a very close relationship with father but when he is killed she finds herself struggling to fit in. when her Uncle turns up in her life she starts to notice a few more things in her life. Is India ready to become her father’s daughter. Mia gives us a good creepy performance throughout.

Nicole Kidman: Evelyn is the grieving mother of India’s who has turned to the bottle to get over the loss of her husband as well as trying to find her own relationship with the estranged brother in law. Nicole is solid but only this supporting role.

Matthew Goode: Charles is the mysterious Uncle that turns up in India’s life, he can sense the two being very similar and as we wait to see what he true motives are. Matthew is good in this role where he can always have the slightly quirky roles.

Support Cast: Stoker has a supporting cast which includes fellow members of the family who know the truth but also include the high schoolers that India has to deal with each day.

Director Review: Chan-wook ParkChan-wook gives us a slow moving thriller that doesn’t reach all the potential it has.

 

Thriller: Stoker tries to keep us wondering but really doesn’t give us enough for the whole idea behind the film.

Settings: Stoker keeps the settings looking like we are in a high class of people and their dramas.
Special Effects
: Stoker has good effective special effects when needed.

Suggestion: Stoker is only really one to try because it is slow moving and doesn’t go too far. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Good performances.

Worst Part: Slow story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Innocence Ends.

 

Overall: Slow moving thriller that does tackle growing up.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

logoDirector: Leigh Whannell

Writer: Leigh Whannell (Screenplay)

Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye, Tate Berney, Michael Reid Mackay, Steve Coulter, Hayley Kiyoko, Corbett Tuck

Plot: A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Insidious Origins

Story: Insidious Chapter 3 starts by taking us back before the Lambert hauntings, where we meet Quinn (Scott) who goes to psychic Elise Rainier (Shaye), Quinn wants to communicate with her deceased mother. Quinn has been trying to communicate with her mother on her own but as Elise hears the stories about what has been happening she knows without her help something has heard Quinn’s calls, Elisa leaves Quinn with a warning to stop calling out to the dead because they can all hear her calling.

Quinn is part of a struggling family with her father Sean (Mulroney) and younger brother Alex (Berney), Quinn is also an aspiring young actress who is getting a chance to go to an acting school. When Quinn messes up the audition she goes to her best friend Maggie (Kiyoko), but she is hit by a car putting her in the position of being in a nightmare world where a man awakens her in the hospital.

Returning home wheel chair bound Quinn gets a message from the crazy cat lady warning her that the man who doesn’t breathe is watching her and waiting in her room. Now it is time for all the haunting to beginning s grab your pillow and close your eyes. Quinn has an increased haunting presence in her life while Elise battles with the ideas of whether to come out of retirement and help Quinn only to find out the true terror that awaits Quinn and everyone in her life as the man who can’t breathe has picked his latest victim.

Insidious Chapter 3 manages to take three of thee side characters from the first films and giving them an origin story. That part was good because we learn how the three end up together and their histories before the events of the original. On the main characters storyline we get copy and repeat ideas, the young girl get injured leading her to get taken over slowly, we get a lot of hints of things that will happen into the next stage of the franchise. The film ends up giving us all of the best horror scenes in the trailer and nearly every single jump scare is the dead silent and BOOM! Music along with the grab scene, it happens over and over again. I did like the new demon because it offers a chance to give us a frightening but repetitive figure. In the end we go through the motions of we have been here before give us a new jump scare. (5/10)

Actor Review

Dermot Mulroney: Sean Brenner is widowed father who is trying to raise his two children struggling as he does it, he must try to help his daughter once she starts going through a string of paranormal experiences. Dermot does a solid job but doesn’t give enough in the role. (5/10)

Stefanie Scott: Quinn Brenner is lovely innocent young school girl reaching the age to attend college, she wants to become an actress. Quinn has been struggling after the loss of her mother and starts trying to reach out only to find a different presence out there wanting to return to our world. Quinn gets hit in by a car ending up in a wheel chair where the presences that she has bought back gets her right where she needs to take over her slowly. Stefanie does a good job giving us genuine scares from start to finish. (8/10)quinn

Lin Shaye: Elise Rainier is our returning psychic who has been out of the game due to her own personal problems but reluctantly decides to help Quinn get rid of her demon, giving her a chance to also exorcise her own demons too. Lin does a good job returning to give more development to her character. (7/10)elise

Support Cast: Insidious Chapter 3 has supporting characters that come in for parts of the films but disappear in the second half. We do get Specs and Tucker coming back that really works but we only see them late in the movie. The demons are all solid enough giving us a way to hint at future films.

Director Review: Leigh WhannellLeigh takes the camera after two films writing the films, he does simple job but never really captures the atmosphere the first two capture. (5/10)

Horror: Insidious Chapter 3 will keep the horror fans happy with the jump scares coming thick and fast, but you know when every single one will hit. (7/10)

Settings: Insidious Chapter 3 brings the elements of horror to everyday life when they are in the apartment making it feel like it could have happened to anyone. (8/10)
Special Effects: Insidious Chapter 3 uses great effects for every fright scene, and they leg snapping walking scene is truly great effects. (8/10)

Suggestion: Insidious Chapter 3 is one the casual horror fans will enjoy because the scares come easily but give us nothing that will haunt us. (Casual Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Early Stages.

Worst Part: The last scene, Jump scares happening with ease.

Scariest Scene: Locking Quinn in the room.

Believability: No, but Specs and Tucker could come off real because they are faking their skills. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Maybe, it will get fans interested.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $22 Million Opening Weekend

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: This is how you die

Overall: Insidious Chapter 3 is a film that is totally ruined because all the scares were in the Trailer

Rating 50