ABC Film Challenge – Crime – R – Raising Arizona (1987)

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand

 

Plot: When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family’s quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.


Tagline – Their lawless years are behind them. Their child-rearing years lay ahead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh Out Loud Comedy

 

Story: Raising Arizona starts as we meet H.I. McDunnough (Cage) a petty thieve that has a habit of robbing convenience stores, he falls for police officer Ed (Hunter) and after his third spell in prison he decides to settle down with Ed and hope to start a family.

When the couple learn they can’t have children, their lives take a turn for the worse until rich businessman Nathan Arizona Sr (Wilson) has 5 babies, believing they can help, they steal one of the babies and the events of the film follows them trying to keep the baby and avoid the law.

 

Thoughts on Raising Arizona

 

Characters – H.I. McDunnough has been in and out of prison for the last decade each time getting closer to the arresting officer, deciding he wants to go clean he gets married and plans to start a family, only for his past to come back and haunt him forcing him to return to the life of crime. He is a character that has fallen into the life of crime and just can’t get out of it. Ed is a police officer that hasn’t had the best life, she falls for H.I. getting married and wanting to start a family. She learns she can’t have child, turning to a life of crime to get her own child. Nathan Arizona Sr is the father of the five babies willing to pay anything to get his son back legally or not. Gale is one half of criminal buddies pairing of H.I. that after breaking out of prison turns to his friend for help.

PerformancesNicolas Cage is wonderful in the leading role, where we see him show moments of his crazy level while giving a performance you will remember. Holly Hunter is great too where we see her create a performance where you feel for the pain and confliction her character goes through. When we look at the supporting cast we do get good performances from everyone that will give us enough to enjoy what we saw.

StoryThe story here follows an unlikely couple that decide to take a child because they couldn’t have one of their own. We follow the build up to their relationship and focus on how the couple’s life had the ups and downs before the incident.  By using a very real situation people could go through by not being able to have children and showing the fact the adoption process isn’t the fairest on the people that would offer a good home is important for the film. the hapless events the couple go through adds to the story and as with most of the Coen bothers movies we get lots of arcs that come together to add up to a final act which pts everything together.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film comes from the events that the couple must go through, usually coming from H.I. actions in what is a crime world where he is a petty criminal taking any advantages he can.

SettingsThe film takes us to the open America where money would be tight leading to the mistakes being made by the people who are just desperate for anything to come their way.


Scene of the Movie –
The diaper chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The baby forgetting scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a classic crime comedy that shows us just how talented the Coen Brothers are, we get to see the best of Cage and a story which can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: Crime Comedy that is a must watch.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – O – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (Screenplay) Homer (Poem)

Starring: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Chris Thomas King, Charles Durning

 

Plot: In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.


Tagline – Sometimes, you have to lose your way to get back home

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wacky Comedy

 

Story: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Starts when three prisoners Everett (Clooney), Pete (Turturro) and Delmar (Nelson) escape from prison, going on a race across country in search of a treasure before it goes for good.

Along the way the three must figure out how to stay ahead of the law which puts them in a series of comical events along the way until they run into a salesman Big Dan Teague (Goodman) who is puts them against their match.

 

Thoughts on O Brother, Where Art Thou?

 

Characters – Everett is the brains of the three, he isn’t the strongest with this either, he tries to keep the guys together as they need to stay away from the law, he pushes them to take risks along the way too. Pete is the other fellow escapee that wants to be in charge, he will follow Everett as long as he can follow his dreams to get to the money. Delmar is the dumbest member of the group he makes all the mistakes along the way putting the friends in a bigger problem in search for the money. Big Dan is one of the many characters they meet along the way, one that makes a big impact on the adventure.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is good in the leading role, going against the typecast of a pretty guy which he has been making a reputation for himself, John Turturro showed us once again that he can make any role work well, with Tim Blake Nelson getting the best lines which shows he can hang with the biggest names in Hollywood. The rest of the cast do bring us plenty of the laughs with the extremes of the characters.

StoryThe story follows three criminals in search of treasure and their hapless journey across country to locate it. They meet a string of colourfully people along the way, some who help and others than hinder.  This does follow the trends of comedy films which leaves our character into a mixed of events to make a simple journey never going the way they are planning them to. We do get a few twists along the way which change our opinions on the characters too.

Adventure/Crime/ComedyThe adventure takes our three convicts across country meeting the colourful characters along the way, this shows us the criminal world they are from and dealing with the people from, we also get the comedy involved in the film from just what happens along the way.

SettingsThe settings take us across a string of different Southern America towns which plays into he backward way of thinking the people in the area would have.


Scene of the Movie –
The KKK rescue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the lawman after them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wacky crime comedy that will see people in the audience laugh at times, it will however turn people in the audience off too.

 

Overall: Crime comedy with enough laughs along the way.

Rating

 

 

Incredibles 2 (2018)

Director: Brad Bird

Writer: Brad Bird (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Samuel L Jackson

 

Plot: The Incredibles hero family takes on a new mission, which involves a change in family roles: Bob Parr (Mr Incredible) must manage the house while his wife Helen (Elastigirl) goes out to save the world.


Tagline – Back to work.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pixar Sequel Fun

 

Story: Incredibles 2 starts as the Incredibles are still trying to fight crime even if it is against the law, the latest mission sees them caught and needing to close down the program they are using. Winston Denvor and his sister Evelyn offer a chance to bring the superheroes back into the positive light, with Elastigirl being front and centre, leaving Mr Incredible to raise the children this time around.

As Elastigirl continues to fight crime and take on the mysterious supervillain known as the Screenslaver, Mr Incredible must learn how to deal with Jack-Jack’s new powers, which he is struggling to control.

 

Thoughts on Incredibles 2

 

Characters – Helen gets a chance to become Elastigirl in a hope to bring the legalisation of superheroes back for the public, she must leave her family to achieve this and relishes being in this role. Bob is Mr Incredible, but this time he must be the stay at home parent, which he learns to struggle with everyday problems that come with parenting and dealing with Jack-Jack’s powers. Violet and Dash must continue to learn their responsibilities as superheroes and not risk their lives like their parents do. Evelyn and Winston are the people that want to bring the superheroes back into the world, they are giving them a new PR make over which will the world accept superheroes again. Jack-Jack is the baby with new powers which will make him more powerful than the rest of the family combined.

StoryThe story here feels almost like a reverse of the previous film, with Elastigirl getting the chance to go back into the field only to come up against a supervillain with their own motivation to not want superheroes in the world anymore. We have a side to the story with Mr Incredible needing to stay home to look after the children which eventually tries to play into the idea that a husband and father couldn’t cope with the job a mother does with children, which does seem insulting. The biggest pot holes come from just not knowing the time between what happened last time and this film, the fact everyone has forgotten about Jack-Jack’s powers and all the random superheroes that are like the basic Suicide Squad side. If we are honest the story is easy to follow, it feels safe and wants to play into the different sides of the modern world.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe action involved in the film is good and gets to hit levels the live action superhero movies can’t do. The adventure takes our heroes on a new adventure against a new villain, simple and effective. The comedy is good with the Jack-Jack scenes being the highlight of the film.

SettingsThe film shows us the two different locations superheroes must operate in. one with normal life and the other where they are in the spotlight for the world to judge their actions.

AnimationPixar are always on top of their game when it comes to animation, nothing looks bad on a visual side of things which is all we ask from them.


Scene of the Movie –
Jack-Jack costume suit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not remember Jack-Jack has powers after the end of the first film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple and enjoyable Pixar movie, it will get laughs, it has a good story asking if we need superheroes, while being a nice follow on to the previous film.

 

Overall: Pixar sequel that hits well.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – I – The Incredibles (2004)

Director: Brad Bird

Writer: Brad Bird (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson, Jason Lee, Dominique Louis

 

Plot: A family of undercover superheroes, while trying to live the quiet suburban life, are forced into action to save the world.


Tagline – Save The Day

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pixar Perfect

 

Story: The Incredibles starts in a world overrun by superheroes, only for the public to turn on them forcing Mr Incredible and Elastigirl needing to settle down away from the life of fighting crime. 15-years-later the two have three children, Violet who can become invisible, Dash who has incredible speed and Jack Jack who is only a baby.

When Mr Incredible loses his job, he takes a secret job on a remote island where he gets to use his powers again, only to discover Syndrome a kid that idolised Mr Incredible has turned evil and now his whole family is now in danger, but together they use their powers to help the public once again.

 

Thoughts on The Incredibles

 

Characters – Mr Incredible was one of the biggest superheroes in America, he is forced into retirement after being sued and now he lives a simple life, growing frustrated with the lack of adventure he is living on, he sneaks around behind his family’s back to fight a new supervillain. Elastigirl is the wife of Mr Incredible, since the retirement she has gone into full mum mode, putting the children first over any idea of fighting crime anymore. She only uses her abilities to keep the kids in order. Syndrome is the villain, he idolised Mr Incredible and after being shunted by him turns to a life of crime, where he uses he gadgets to defeat former superheroes in his quest to become the biggest hero in the world. Dash is the hyperactive kid that has super speed which is causing him to get in trouble at school. Violet is the teenage daughter that has the invisible ability which shows what she would be like when not fitting in the school. Frozone is the best friend to Mr Incredible that is also tired of the life of hiding.

StoryThe story follows a family of superheroes that must come out of retirement once a new threat starts targeting fellow superheroes. Even after 14-years this movie feels even more relevant because of the number of superhero movies we are witnessing as it does show how the heroes can become abused by people looking for a quick pay day in legal terms and how thy will suffer the lack of satisfaction in normal life after starting a family. The story shows us how a family will be stronger than an individual superhero too.

Action/Adventure/FamilyThe action comes at us thick and fast, playing into all the abilities of the heroes involved to give us a fresh moment throughout the film, the adventure sends our family on an adventure that will let them use their powers for the first time as a unit.

SettingsThe settings for the movie fill the right boxes for any superhero movie, first the island for the villain to prepare and then the big city for the battles to save people, nothing is out of place here.

AnimationThe animation is from Pixar and never looks off, this is why they make the best American animated movies, visually.


Scene of the Movie –
Costume Fitting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The van landing drive sequences is too generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully enjoyable Pixar film, it has great pacing, brilliant characters and a villain which suits the world perfectly.

 

Overall: Pixar at their very best.

Rating

 

 

Broadcast News (1987)

Director: James L Brooks

Writer: James L Brooks (Screenplay)

Starring: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, Robert Prosky, Lois Chiles, Joan Cusack, Jack Nicholson

 

Plot: Take two rival TV reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one producer, female. Mix well and watch the sparks fly.


Tagline – It’s the story of their lives.

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Throughout

 

Story: Broadcast News starts as we follow the younger versions of Tom, Aaron and Jane who all go onto become members of the broadcast news team, Jane (Hunter) is the hungry ambitious producer who wants to make real news, Aaron (Brooks) has worked hard to become a reporter, while Tom (Hurt) has stumbled his way up the ladder to become a new anchor for Jane’s team, his looks have helped him get the TV time but he does want to better himself and has never been satisfied by getting positions solely on his looks.

As Tom continues to grab the attention his nature draws Jane much like most of the women in his life, while Aaron is looking for his chance knowing he has the stronger knowledge to be one that gets an anchor shot. In the end we see how a broadcast news station is run with its moments of chaos and calm.

 

Thoughts on Broadcast News

 

Characters – Tom is the handsome man that’s looks have gotten him the jobs through the years, this isn’t to his liking as he wants to be taken seriously, but no one seems to give him the time to learn to improve. Aaron is the hard-working member of the team, he wants to be the anchor but loses out to Tom, his reporting skills are top level but once he jealous rises he must express his own feelings for Jane before losing everything he loves. Jane is the producer of the news, she is excellent at her job and knowing how to get the best story but her new attraction for Tom questions everything she stands for.

PerformancesWilliam Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter all received Oscar nomination for their roles and you can see why, they are all great throughout the film showing they can play a full range of emotions needed for the world they are in.

StoryThe story follows the crew of the broadcast news team, the three characters we follow are ambitious but to achieve what they want they will need to step over each other, while we never see the rivalry between them or any type of sabotage it does show us how the world can be designed with image. This story shows us the hectic world of the news and the relationships between the people involved.

Comedy/RomanceThere are moments of comedy in this romantic film but neither the sides of the genre become too apparent in the way the storyline unfolds.

SettingsMost of the film is set inside the studio as we see how the lives and relationship collide in the busy world.


Scene of the Movie –
Teaching Aaron.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The last scene with Tom.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting look into the world of broadcast news in the late 80s it shows the chaos behind the scenes, the relationship between the people and the struggle to become a success.

 

Overall: Great look at broadcast news.

Rating