Ocean’s Eight (2018)

Director: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch (Screenplay) George Clayton Johnson, Jack Golden Russell (Characters)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Richard Armitage, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Dakota Fanning, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson

 

Plot: Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.


Tagline – The plan is priceless.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Heist Movie

 

Story: Ocean’s Eight starts when Debbie Ocean (Bullock) is released from prison, sister of Danny with the same habits, she heads to New York to connect with her oldest friend Lou (Blanchett) to put together a team to pull of a heist in the Met Gala. Debbie’s team includes celebrity Daphne Kluger (Hathaway), fashion designer Rose Weil (Carter), jeweller Amita (Kaling), computer hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna), street hustler Constance (Awkwafina) and retired thief turned tradeswoman Tammy (Paulson).

With the team together we need to learn the plan as Debbie teaches us about the motivation for the heist, can Debbie follow in her brother’s footsteps and prove she can put a team together.

 

Thoughts on Ocean’s Eight

 

Characters – Debbie Ocean is the one that get released from prison, sister of Danny, the heist work runs in her blood too. She puts the team together showing the leadership needed, while also risking the job for her own personal reasons to be involved. There doesn’t seem to be much more about her character though. Lou is the best friend and most reliable person in Debbie’s life, she has been working on her own money making ventures, with this being her chance to make a big payday by bank rolling the plan. She does have the most connection to help the job happen. Daphne Kluger is the famous actress the women use to help transport the necklace, the only way to get it out, she gets to poke fun at the celebrity culture we know, even though she is never in the plan. Rose Weil is the clothing designer in a need of a financial boost, she joins the heist by becoming the designer for Daphne. Amita is the jeweller that gets bought into the team to help make sure the necklace can be replicated, she has good banter with Constance. Constance is the pick pocket that street hustler that can’t sit still and must be on the move. Nine Ball is the tech wizard that likes her code name and helps show the ladies about the new modern way of tracking criminals. Tammy is the retired member of the team, she doesn’t get involved anymore, which gives her a reason to get back out there because family life just isn’t keeping her entertained enough. The problem here is the man the heist is against just doesn’t get anytime on screen to make us hate him.

PerformancesThe performances from the eight ladies are good throughout, each gets there moment in the sun, with Bullock showing good leadership, Hathaway enjoying playing into the celebrity idea, Blanchett doing her best Brad Pitt impression and the rest of the supporting team only increase the eyes on their abilities.

StoryThe story here follows Danny Ocean’s sister Debbie who just like her brother can put a team together for a heist even with her own motivations. Now for an Ocean’s movie, this follows the basic heist idea, with the plan coming together and having to overcome problems. The story does lack a main villain, while we do have one, they are just bad guy, the previous films in the franchise have always made us hate them and they always had a feeling something was going on. It would be fair to say this is one of the more forgettable stories in the franchise with this falling into the third best in the franchise ahead of 12. The brief cameos from former members are fine, though it might have been nice to keep some of the bigger names around the franchise.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe slick action that we are used to in the franchise felt calmer and never gets us believing anything is going to go wrong. The comedy misses for the most part we get to see pokes at the previous films that never works. The crime world helps improve the film as we follow the check list for heist movies.

SettingsThe film is set in and around New York which shows us the big city will always be the big setting for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The full heist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of villain, the Ocean film have always made us hate the mark, this one doesn’t.

Final ThoughtsThis is another attempted cash in on the Ocean’s franchise, it is mostly an average heist movie, the lack of villainous figure just holds everything back.

 

Overall: Just an Average heist movie.

Rating

 

 

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Big (1988)

Director: Penny Marshall

Writer: Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz

 

Plot: After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Family Comedy

 

Story: Big as teenager Josh (Moscow) is tired of the rules he must face, not being considered big enough to ride fairground rides and not being noticed by the girl he has a crush on. Josh goes to a wish granting machine wishing he could become big.

The next Josh (Hanks) wakes up as a 30-year old man, needing to hide from his parents. Josh moves to New York getting himself a job in a toy company where he gets promoted after befriending the boss MacMillan but deep down he is waiting for information about the machine which could bring him back to his original age. This gives Josh a chance to grew as a person and learn about himself too.

 

Thoughts on Big

 

Characters – Josh is the teenager that grows up overnight, he must learn to be an adult where his innocent charm helps his rise through the toy industry as the adults learn from him not to take things too serious. Susan is one of the co-workers also high up in the company, she learns the most from Josh about relaxing and enjoying life over the stress filled life she had been living. MacMillan is the boss of the toy company that takes a shining to Josh believing he can help continue to make the profits and making the toys fun once again.

PerformanceTom Hanks is fantastic through the whole film showing that he always had the ability to handle comedy and carries this movie throughout. Elizabeth Perkins is good in her role as is Robert Loggia as the friendly boss.

StoryThe story shows us what would happen if a teenager became an adult overnight and having to learn about an adult life. The idea of this must have felt fresh for the time and with the first boom of technology it also works because the teenager would have been just as good with computers as a lot of the workforce. This is a feel good story about growing up fast and not taking life too seriously at times.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy being played out in the film works because it isn’t this wild over the top which we have seen from the genre before and it is one the whole family could enjoy.

SettingsPutting the teenager as an adult in New York City needing to learn about grown up life.

Scene of the Movie – Piano scene, because it has become an iconic scene in cinema.

That Moment That Annoyed Me As I saw Elf first, I just felt like I was watching the inspiration for that film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a classic comedy that could and should be placed inside Tom Hanks’ top 5 of all time.

 

Overall: One of the all time classics.

Rating

 

 

Pleasantville (1998)

logoDirector: Gary Ross

Writer: Gary Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, J.T. Walsh, Don Knotts, Marley Shelton, Jane Kaczmarek, Paul Walker, Maggie Lawson

 

Plot: Two 1990s teenagers find themselves in a 1950s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Story of Accepting Change

Story: Pleasantville starts showing us there will be a Pleasantville marathon showing on TV Time before introducing us to the main character David (Maguire) an awkward teenager. David’s favourite television show is Pleasantville which gives him a chance to watch over the weekend. We continue to learn that David knows everything to know about the show and plans to try and win a contest. David just so happens to have a sister Jennifer (Witherspoon) who see the chance of the house without parents as a chance to impress the cool guy from school leading to a fight between the two.

When the remote control gets damaged a mysterious repair man turns up at the house to fix the problem. As the siblings arguing they find themselves inside the show trapped by the repair man. The two have to learn to get on with life in this new reality where David with thieve but Jennifer has to learn to adapt. The two characters they have been forced to play are the children to George (Macy) and Betty (Allen). The two have to continue to learn to adapt and play along with the new world they are in until they can find a way to find a way home.

Jennifer decides to play by her own rules which starts to change the town bring colour into the black and white world. It isn’t long before the people in the town start being affect by the change before long the town ends up getting caught up in the middle of battle between the coloured and the black & white residents of the town.

Pleasantville is a beautiful story of two different generation clash with consequences that will change both the points of view. We do get the typical two teenagers one being good and one being difficult rather than bad who learn lesson that they haven’t in their normal life. we also get to see how being part of a routine can feel too comfortable and the moment you start breaking it anything becomes possible for you. This also teaches us to treat everyone the same with no expectation and to express yourself in whatever drives you forward. Looking back over the film it is a very good story that can be enjoyed by most people. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

Tobey Maguire: David is an awkward high school teenager who has an unhealthy obsession with Pleasantville television show, when his favourite show is going to be showing a marathon he is extra excited but ends up fighting with his sister and getting trapped inside Pleasantville. David knows how to get along with everything there but it isn’t long before the world starts changing and he must find a way to get home. Tobey gives a good leading performance showing that he was going to be a good actor to turn to for these types of roles. (7/10)

 david

Reese Witherspoon: Jennifer is the popular girl at school and David’s sister who ends up getting trapped inside Pleasantville. Unlike David it isn’t normal to her and she ends up changing the ways of life in the town. Reese showed that she can have range with this role as we get to see the fully transformation of her character through the film. (8/10)

jenny

William H Macy: George Parker is the father of the household inside the Pleasantville life style who can’t cope with the changes going through the town. William gets to play a role we will become used to seeing him performance with this role. (7/10)

 

Joan Allen: Betty Parker is the mother of the house that the kids get trapped in who tries to keep her household together through the changes even when she wants to embrace those changes. Joan does a good job in the supporting role which will make you notice she can play plain supporting roles. (7/10)

 betty

Jeff Daniels: Bill Johnson is the malt shop owner who gets caught up trying to focus on changing because he is too scared to actually change. Jeff continued to show how he was capable to walk away from slapstick comedy and become a good serious actor here. (7/10)

Support Cast: Pleasantville has a supporting cast that includes a whole town and some good early supporting roles from stars who went onto bigger things including Paul Walker, Maggie Lawson and Marlon Shelton.

Director Review: Gary Ross – Gary does a good job directing manage to mix a visual story with a very good story about being different. (8/10)

 

Drama: Pleasantville shows the different between two different generations and just how when they clash both will realize they need change. (8/10)

Fantasy: Pleasantville takes our two lead characters and puts them into a world they have never seen before which works for the fantasy element of the story. (8/10)

Settings: Pleasantville has a brilliant setting showing how simple people once thought life was compared to the new fast forward life we are now in. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Pleasantville uses great effects to mix the black and white characters with the colour characters with only parts in colour throughout. (9/10)

Suggestion: Pleasantville is a must watch. (Must watch)

 

Best Part: The mix between colour and black and white.

Worst Part: You can work out what will happen by the end.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars including Art Direction, Costume Design and Best Music Original Dramatic Score

Box Office: $50 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Nothing Is As Simple As Black And White.

 

Overall: Pleasantville is a beautifully shot film that is visual great and has a story to match it all.

Rating 80

Dave (1993)

logoDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Gary Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, Charlie Grodin, Laura Linney, Bonnie Hunt

 

Plot: Bill Mitchell is the philandering and distant President of the United States. Dave Kovic is a sweet-natured and caring Temp Agency operator, who by a staggering coincidence looks exactly like the President. As such, when Mitchell wants to escape an official luncheon, the Secret Service hires Dave to stand in for him. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffers a severe stroke whilst having sex with one of his aides, and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. The corrupt and manipulative Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander, plans to use Dave to elevate himself to the White House – but unfortunately, he doesn’t count on Dave enjoying himself in office, using his luck to make the country a better place, and falling in love with the beautiful First Lady

 

Verdict: Charming Comedy

 

Story: The question to ask yourself would be, what would you do if you became President? Dave gets to see what happens when he learns the real inside stories of the White House. He chooses to try and make things better, making important changes to the country instead of just being a puppet. It all works into a very good comedy that granted won’t make you laugh out loud but will give you enjoyment. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Kline: Dave Kovic/Bill Mitchell most part of the film is Dave playing President Bill Mitchell. Dave is just a regular guy who spends his time trying to make sure people have jobs. When he gets a chance to pretend to be the President he ends up getting talked into becoming a temporary replacement but when he starts doing things his way he could end up getting exposed all while changing the country for the better. Good performance from Kline who gets to use all his comedy while keeping everything serious. (9/10)

 dave

Sigourney Weaver: Ellen Mitchell the wife of the President who has grown distant from him over the years, but with Dave in charge she starts to see some change in the man see once loved. She is also smart enough to know he is not the man she married and starts to fall in love with Dave himself. Good supporting performance. (7/10)

sigourney

Frank Langella: Bob Alexander the chief of staff who puts Dave in the position hoping that he can improve his position in the cabinet only he didn’t count on Dave doing such a good job. Good performance in the villainous role. (8/10)

 langella

Director Review: Ivan Reitman – Good direction to make a charming comedy that takes a serious matter lightly instead of just making it an over the top comedy. (8/10)

 

Comedy: Solid use of comedy that makes you laugh when it needs to but shows you the serious when it needs to. (7/10)

Settings: Most is set in the White House but each other setting it designed to work for President Position. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is a comedy that I think everyone will enjoy it offers plenty of laughs and an opportunity to see what a normal person would change in power. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Budget scene

Worst Part: Others a few conspiracy theories.

Funniest Scene: First walk into the Oval office.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar

Box Office: $63 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: Dave Kovic was an ordinary guy who was asked to impersonate the President. When they gave him a chance to make the country better…he did.

 

Overall: Solid Comedy

Rating 85