Junebug (2005)

Director: Phil Morrison

Writer: Angus MacLachlan (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Alessandro Nivola, Frank Hoyt Taylor, Scott Wilson, Celia Weston, Ben McKenzie

 

Plot: A dealer in “outsider” art travels from Chicago to North Carolina to meet her new in-laws, challenging the equilibrium of this middle class Southern home.


Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming

 

Story: Junebug starts as art dealer Madeleine (Davidtz) gets a promising piece of business near her husband’s George (Nivola) family, which give her a chance to finally meet them. George parents Eugene (Wilson) and Peg (Weston) have been waiting this for years and his brother Johnny (McKenzie) whose wife Ashely (Adams) is about to give birth open their doors to the loving couple.

With the time with the family Madeleine becomes friends with the overly talkative pregnant Ashley, while trying to strike up a deal with the artist before losing him to another gallery.

 

Thoughts on Junebug

 

Characters – Madeleine is an art dealer that gets to meet her husband’s family for the first time, where she must learn about the family while trying to find time for the deal she is about to make, making friends and being friendly is her role. George is Madeleine’s husband and he gets to return to his family home for the first time in years, where he must rebuild his relationship with his brother. Ashley is the pregnant wife of Johnny, she talks way too much for her own good, but it is in an innocent way as she wants to learn about Madeleine’s life.

PerformancesEmbeth Davidtz is god in the leading role, which can be said for the most part. Amy Adams completely steals this movie with her loveable character.

StoryThe story here is simple, it is a meeting the family of a loved one for the first time, having to deal with the pressure to not say anything inappropriate and get out the time being loved. It isn’t overly original, but it falls into the idea of if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. We get the idea of our main couple sometimes being considered looking down on others and needing to learn how to come together for a celebration.

ComedyThe comedy in the film is a nice balance between the drama, making us smile rather than laugh out loud.

SettingsThe small town settings helps show how Madeleine could be a fish out of water, with the idea that the family hasn’t gotten too far from the family home while she and George live an open world lifestyle.


Scene of the Movie –
The baby is coming.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We did need more focus on George.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama that gives us one of the best performances from Amy Adams.

 

Overall: Charming and Entertaining.

Rating

 

 

 

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Anthony Hopkins Weekend – Fracture (2007)

ractureDirector: Gregory Hoblit

Writer: Daniel Pyne, Glenn Gers (Screenplay) Daniel Pyne (Story)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Cliff Curtis, Fiona Shaw, Bob Gunton

 

Plot: An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Courtroom Thriller

 

Story: Fracture starts when Ted Crawford (Hopkins) finally challenges his cheating wife Jennifer (Davidtz) about her affair before shooting her, Ted is a genius so he has been planning this for a while now and has come up with the perfect cover as the man who she was having the affair with is a negotiator for the LA police department Rob Nunally (Burke).

We got onto meet Willy Beachum (Gosling) who is a high rising lawyer working in the District Attorney Office under Joe Lobruto (Strathairn) who doesn’t think Willy should take his new job offer.

When one of his final cases see, Willy having to go against Ted the two find themselves having to go face to face in the courtroom as Ted decides to represent himself. What looks like an easy case soon becomes Willy’s biggest test of his career against one of the smartest men on the planet but who will come out on top?

Fracture is a crime mystery thriller turned cat and mouse style courtroom drama which follows the genius trying to show off against a young hot shot lawyer, sure we have seen this before but the fact we 100% know how guilty Ted is really tips the scales here. The case does take a few twists and turns along the way but it is the lengths that Willy will go to win this case against his own career.

The cast shine with Hopkins versus Gosling is delightful to watch whenever they go against each other on the screen. The supporting cast really don’t get the chance to shine like the lead two which does disappoint in places.

 

Overall: Courtroom thriller that does it’s best to keep us guessing without that final punch needed.

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Schindler’s List (1993)

schnidersDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Zaillian (Screenplay) Thomas Keneally (Book)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall, Embeth Davidtz

 

Plot: In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: Schindler’s List starts as we see the early stages of World War II in Poland where German Oskar Schindler (Neeson) uses this to his advantage by moving to Poland to start his own business with a Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern (Kingsley) where he gives the Jewish people jobs during their exile by the Germans.

Oscar’s business is challenge when the German concentration camps start taking his workers with Amon Goeth (Fiennes) merciless leading the execution of the Jews in Krakow. Oscar has to conduct himself like a business man through this horrific time as he tries all he can to keep as many Jews alive against near impossible odds.

Schindler’s List is always going to go down as one of the hardest films to watch because of the subject matter, but it is also one of the most important films to watch. The film shows the brutality of holocaust during World War II. The fact that this is a true story shows us just how incredible the risk Oscar took to save as many as he could. The direction is flawless the acting is flawless it is hard to say a single bad thing about this movie.

 

Overall: One of history’s most incredible stories shown in full emotional impact.

Rating100

 

 

Bicentennial Man (1999)

manDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: Nicholas Kazan (Screenplay) Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg (Novel ‘The Positronic Man‘)

Starring: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt, Kiersten Warren, Wendy Crewson, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Lindze Letherman

 

Plot: An android endeavour to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Story of Undying Love

 

Story: Bicentennial Man starts when the Martin family Richard (Neill), Ma’am (Crewson) children Amanda and Grace get a android which is accidently named Andrew (Williams). Andrew becomes part of the family with his unique programming making him the only android who can think for himself. Richard decides to continuing teaching Andrew the ways of the world including pushing his creative ways.

As the years go by the house has become filled clocks and the girls have grown up with Amanda (Davidtz) known as little miss becoming his close friend. Richard decides to open a bank account for Andrew to sell the clocks he has been making for him for years giving Andrew a chance to move forward with his world of looking after himself.

Andrew requests his own freedom from the family and sets out on his own voyage of discovery and his ultimate desire, to become human and truly understand all of the emotions humans have and with the help of Rupert Burns (Platt) everything could become a reality for Andrew.

Bicentennial Man tells the incredible story behind a seemingly every day android who starts to think for himself, he wants to learn about the world. We see how he wants to go about making himself human so he can understand feelings, emotions and most of all love. The quest follows him through 200 years of ups and downs but ultimately he has to overcome the hardest of all challenges. This story ends up following through the lives in a way that never overcomplicates things and we just see the one story without seeing how the rest of the world is changing. I think this is one of the best stories of trying to find a place to fit in I have seen.

 

Actor Review

 

Robin Williams: Andrew Martin is our android who goes on an incredible 200 yearlong adventure where he starts out as a ‘household appliance’ before learning on his own free will. He gets taught along the way and soon decides he wants to be a human being. We watch how he watches people live and die in his quest to become human making him truly unique to the world. Robin gives one of his most underrated performances where he gets to show his serious side and comedic side through the film.andrew

Embeth Davidtz: Amanda Martin/Portia Charney, first Amanda is the youngest of the two girls Andrew first got to know, he watches her whole life and the two have a bond that could never be during her life time. Portia is Amanda granddaughter who Andrew turns to because she is the only family left in her future life, the two eventually put their difference behind them and become madly in love and it is with her Andrew challenges to become a legal human. Embeth gives a brilliant performance where she plans a full range of ages as well as multiple characters.embeth

Sam Neill: Richard Martin is the man who bought Andrew but quickly learnt that he was different to the rest of the androids in the world. He teaches Andrew the ways of the world giving him a living. He watches his own family grow up his two girls and Andrew leave but he always knows he has had a brilliant life. Sam gives us a great performance in this role where he plays the caring father and man.richard

Oliver Platt: Rupert Burns is the man trying to conduct research on Andrew models of androids, he works on a shoestring budget but Andrew teams up with him to make the research reach the next level as the two spend their whole lives trying to turn Andrew into a human leading to them both making ground-breaking breakthroughs in medical advancements. Oliver gives us a good supporting performance which works well with Robin’s performance.rupert

Support Cast: Bicentennial Man isn’t the largest and each character has a different reaction to Andrew, some good some bad.

Director Review: Chris ColumbusChris gives us one of the most charming films of his career which does included bigger and more popular films.

 

Comedy: Bicentennial Man has good use of comedy that just takes away the serious side of certain moments but isn’t over the top.

Romance: Bicentennial Man has a love story that shows just how long people can wait to have their love legally validated and whether certain things are making sense in the real world.

Sci-Fi: Bicentennial Man brings us into the future of robots in the real world and while we see advances in technology that will improve life for humans.

Settings: Bicentennial Man may well be set in the future but tries to keep everything feeling only slightly in the future without being all about the future settings.
Special Effects
: Bicentennial Man has great effects through the androids life span.

Suggestion: Bicentennial Man is one I think people should watch, I am aware it wasn’t the critics favourites but it is very enjoyable. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The end is very rewarding.

Worst Part: We do miss a lot of the life Andrew lives.

Funniest Scene: Andrew’s fear of windows.

Romantic Moment: 75th birthday.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: Yes you could have some.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for an Oscar for Best Make Up

Box Office: $ 58 Million

Budget: $100 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline: One robot’s 200 year journey to become an ordinary man.

Trivia: Disney asked that the budget be cut by approximately $20 million, and when the film was released on Christmas Day, it flopped at the box office. Robin Williams blamed Disney’s marketing and the loss of content the film suffered because of the budget cuts. As a result, he fell out with Disney again.

 

Overall: One of my personal favourites and a beautiful story

Ratingcard

Paranoia (2013)

logoDirector: Robert Luketic

Writer: Jason Dean Hall, Barry L. Levy (Screenplay) Joseph Finder (Novel)

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, Harrison Ford, Lucas Till, Embeth Davidtz, Julian McMahon, Josh Holloway, Richard Dreyfuss

 

Plot: The high stakes thriller Paranoia takes us deep behind the scenes of global success to a deadly world of greed and deception. The two most powerful tech billionaires in the world (Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman) are bitter rivals with a complicated past who will stop at nothing to destroy each other. A young superstar (Liam Hemsworth), seduced by unlimited wealth and power falls between them, and becomes trapped in the middle of the twists and turns of their life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realizes his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows far too much for them to let him walk away.

 

Verdict: Slick Technology Stealing Thriller

 

Story: Entering the world of corporate espionage can come off boring if the subject matter isn’t very interesting. This targets the ‘now’ generation by tackle the battle between two leading technology companies trying to create the next forward step in having everything in your own hands. Granted this will date as time goes on because of the movement in technology, but for now it should have done a lot better than the Box Office return it did get. This is a solid thriller and a lot better than other films that have made money, give it a try and don’t believe what the box office says. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Liam Hemsworth: Adam the young dreamer who believes he can change the face of the world of technology but ends up being pushed into corporate trading and the deeper he gets the less options he has. Good performance from the young Hemsworth here, showing he can go just as well as his brother. (7/10)

 liam

Gary Oldman: Nicolas the man who fires Adam only to re-hire him to help him learn about Jock’s company and he will do anything for the information. Good performance from Oldman who for once doesn’t need to put on an accent letting his English roots shine through. (7/10)

gary

Amber Heard: Emma a marketing lady for Jock who also becomes a love interest and someone who ends up getting hurt because of Adam. Good performance, but over connected character for a simple storyline. (6/10)

 amber

Harrison Ford: Jock the owner of the rival company who takes Adam in under his wing letting him learn about the secrets of the company while secretly playing him against Nicolas. Good performance from Ford who gives a good business man performance which you wouldn’t see from him normally. (7/10)

 ford

Director Review: Robert Luketic – Good direction to create a thriller that keeps you attention. (7/10)

 

Thriller: Keeps your attention from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: New York perfect location for the business world corruption. (8/10)

Suggestion: This one will have gone under the radar due to poor reviews, but it really is worth ago. (Thriller Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Twists and turns.

Worst Part: Using the technology it will date.

Believability: Could be going on. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Paycheck

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $14 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: In a war between kings even a pawn can change the game.

 

Overall: Good Thriller

Rating 75