ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – F – The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002)

Director: Mick Jackson

Writer: Jon Favreau, Gary Tieche (Screenplay) Po Bronson (Novel)

Starring: Adam Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Jake Busey, Enrico Colantoni, Ethan Suplee, Anjul Nigam

 

Plot: Andy, a successful marketing guy quits his job, because he feels disconnected with the values about work he learned from his father. He gets a new job at a top notch research facility, where he quickly makes a powerful enemy who makes him volunteer for a nearly impossible project: The $99 Personal Computer. He recruits the only available guys at the lab, three sociopaths. Together they really compile a revolutionary PC for $99, but then they become the victims of a venture capitalist and Andy’s old foe from the research lab. Can he and his new friends find a way to overcome the problems?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Comedy

 

Story: The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest starts when marketing man Andy Kasper (Garcia) decides he wants to get back to his inventing ways by being transferred to the developmental department. Not being welcomed to department by Francis (Colantoni) on the main project, he accepts what seems like an impossible project, a $99 laptop.

Andy is joined by the outsiders of the developmental department Salman (Nigam), Curtis (Suplee) and Darrell (Busey) as they look achieve the impossible in the limited time.

 

Thoughts on The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest

 

Characters – Andy Kasper is a top marketing guy, making money that could keep him happy for his whole life, beautiful girlfriend, he gives this all up to get back to the developmental side of things, where he uses his leadership and motivation skills to build a revolutionary computer. Alisa is the new neighbour for Andy that is a dreamer like him, that welcomes Andy and his team to the duplex to make their own idea. Darrell is the loud aggressive genius that is part of the team, he is also afraid of germs which making any connect with humans. We have the normal characters involved here too, the shy one, the traditional one, the enemy that wants to steal ideas and the rich one that only cares about money too.

PerformancesAdam Garcia is good in the leading role, he has the image of marketing guy which helps his need for the leadership required. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it seems to just be love interest 101 character. Jake Busey, Ethan Suplee and Anjul Nigam are all good at the team, they work well together to get certain laughs.

StoryThe story here focuses on one man wanting to focus on what he loves, designing and development. He gets to follow his dream using his motivational skills he brings the world something fantastic, but in the dot com boom era, he learns the brutal truth behind the business. The story here has aged in places because the technology boom that this focuses on has past in places, but it almost plays out like a documentary in places too.

ComedyThe comedy is good for the most part, it ticks the basic boxes without being anything over the top, just little moments that will make you chuckle.

SettingsThe film shows how tech firms can offer the resources, but the smaller garages offer the ideas, showing the different locations inventions can be made.

Scene of the Movie – The big answer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It could escape the generic characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that proves that the dream of invention can drive people to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Comedy well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

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Elijah Wood Weekend – The Trust (2016)

trustDirector: Alex Brewer, Ben Brewer

Writer: Alex Brewer, Ben Brewer (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Sky Ferreira, Eric Heister, Alexandria Lee, Ethan Suplee

 

Plot: A pair of cops investigating a drug invasion stumble upon a mysterious bank vault.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Get Through

 

Story: The Trust starts as we meet Los Vegas cops Stone (Cage) and Waters (Wood) who just get on with their jobs while living very different lives. When Stone uncovers something big going on with a drug transferring style he brings Waters into his investigation to what is going on.

Learning the truth, the pair decide to take advantage of the poor police working going on to try and open a bank vault with all the preparation that goes with it.

The Trust is a slow-moving heist movie that relies on Nicholas Cage being slightly crazy and Elijah Wood being very innocent looking, the problem is we get introduced to them the other way around only for them the flip reverse after the plan comes together. There is nothing really original in this story and by the end you find yourself happy it has ended.

As for the performances Cage and Wood do solid job together but the rest of the cast don’t get enough time to shine leaving u with little amount of characters to support through the film.

 

Overall: Slow and painful to get through crime thriller.

Ratingcard

 

 

True Story (2015)

trueDirector: Rupert Goold

Writer: Rupert Goold, David Kajganich (Screenplay) Michael Finkel (Book)

Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones, Maria Dizzia, Ethan Suplee, Conor Kikot, Charlotte Driscoll, Stella Rae Payne, Rbert John Burke

 

Plot: When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo – who has taken on Finkel’s identity – his investigation morphs into a game of cat-and-mouse.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow

 

Story: True Story starts as we meet Michael Finkel (Hill) who has been working for the New York Times for years and has risen up the ranks but his latest story leaves him disgraced. Searching for a new story which could bring him back into the spotlight he gets drawn into the story of Christian Longo (Franco) who claimed to be him after killing his family.

Michael hears the story and starts to write a book on the events while Christian has to wait for his court case but this soon becomes a battle of the two minds who try to prove the truth.

True Story gives us a film that is filled with so much potential but because it is based on the true story it loses all the twists it could have. I do feel we could have had more but by the end it is just something we have seen before and sadly just comes off very slow and not shocking one little bit.

 

Actor Review

 

Jonah Hill: Michael Finkel is a journalist who has become disgraced for fake evidence in a story. looking to get back into work he finds out about a killer who used his name while being arrested and this story could give his career the second chance. Jonah is good but never reaches the levels we know he is capable off.

James Franco: Christian Longo is being charged for killing his family but for some unknown reason he gave Michael’s name when arrested. Christian becomes friends with Michael as he tells his story but is he just trying to get off the charges or does he really need help? James is good but like Jonah is capable of much better.

Felicity Jones: Jill Barker is the wife of Michael who is supporting his through his transition between jobs and his interactions with Christian. Felicity is solid but doesn’t get true screen time to make the impact her character could have got.

Support Cast: True Story doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast but the ones we have are just involved with the final story.

Director Review: Rupert GooldRupert gives us a slow moving film that lacks the moments that makes us go wow which this story needed.

 

Crime: True Story does put us into the middle of a crime story where we have to decide ourselves if Christian is guilty or not.

Mystery: True Story gives us a mystery to solve if it wasn’t Christian but never really gives us a chance to solve anything else.

Settings: True Story keeps the settings within the ones you would expect a court case and interview with a potential murder to be held.

Suggestion: True Story is a real slow burner of a film which just doesn’t get started before it finishes. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Hill and Franco do work well together.

Worst Part: Too slow really.

 

Believability: Based on a real story.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Some stories are beyond belief

 

Overall: This films lacks the moments these style of films need to reach all of the potential behind them.

Ratingcard

 

 

Rise Of The Zombies (2012)

logoDirector: Nick Lyon

Writer: Keith Allan, Delondra Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Suplee, Mariel Hemingway, LeVar Burton, Danny Trejo, Heather Hemmens, French Stewart, Chad Lindberg

 

Plot: When a zombie apocalypse has devastated American, a small group of survivors have taken up home in Alcatraz prison. After the prison becomes over run with zombies the ones who survive head back to land to find a new safe location. One group Marshall (Suplee), Lynn (Hemingway) Ashley (Hemmens) aim to locate Doctor Arnold (Stewart) who believes he has a cure. While Captain Caspian (Trejo), Kyle (Lindberg) and others look for basic supplies. Leaving Doctor Halpern (Burton) behind on the prison to try and learn the origin of the disease.

 

The group who make it off Alcatraz

The group who make it off Alcatraz

Verdict: Zombies in San Francisco

Story: Knowing this is made by the Asylum I have to automatically know the story is not going to be truly original or believable. It follows the basic zombie stereotypes and puts together an over qualified group of survivors. A strong point for this film is knowing that any of the characters could get killed off at any stage because there is no big name in this. In conclusion this is a run of the mill zombie story offering nothing new but enough of the basic for a zombie film fan. (6/10)

 

Actor Review: Ethan Suplee – Former military man who becomes the muscle of the group but also has to go through the new age zombie trend. Good to see Ethan doing a non-comedy role but unfortunately he doesn’t become the overall powerhouse role that is required. (6/10)

 suplee

Actor Review: Mariel Hemingway – The lead scientist who wants to find a cure for the disease and will risk everything to get it. Tries to lead the group well and shows glimpses of quality but too often seems to look lost in lead role. (5/10)

hmingway

Actor Review: LeVar Burton – Scientist who stays to try and find a cure for his daughter who has been bitten. Good in patches but doesn’t have enough time to show the full distance he will go for answers. (6/10)

 lavar

Actor Review: Danny Trejo – Tough guy who just wants to survive at any means. Biggest name in the film and surprisingly doesn’t have much time in it. Disappointing with what he has been doing recently but enough to show typical Trejo performance. (6/10)

 trejo

Director Review: Nick Lyon – Has a string of straight to DVD or TV films to his name and this shows why he can tell the basic story but never challengers to the next level. (6/10)

Action: Some typical zombie chasing action scenes. (6/10)

Horror: Not the best zombie world creation but still enough to add the scarier scenario. (6/10)

Special Effects: Simple special effects but nothing stand out like the new zombie films like to offer. (6/10)

Believability: Only in some zombie outbreak scenario. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: None (0/10)

Settings: Starts with good setting in the prison but soon becomes all whole city of San Francisco. Almost the opposite of most zombie films where they start wide open and finish stuck in small location. (6/10)
Oscar Chances
: No

Chances of Sequel: It is left open for a sequel

Suggestion: Zombie film fans will be watching this it is still a good enough film to show how people react in zombie infected world. But if you want something original you will need to look elsewhere. (Try It)

 

Similar Too: Most Zombie films

 

Overall: Cheaply made zombie film

 

Rating 57