ABC Film Challenge – Romance – N – The Notebook (2004)

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Writer: Jeremy Leven, Jan Sardi (Screenplay) Nicholas Sparks (Novel)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Sam Shepard, Joan Allen, James Marsden, Kevin Connolly,

 

Plot: A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Date Night Sorted

 

Story: The Notebook starts as Duke (Garner) a positive thinking elderly man is getting ready to continue a story to Miss Hamilton (Rowlands) at the home, this story takes us back to Noah (Gosling) who meets the 17-year-old Allie (McAdams), both from different backgrounds, Noah poor and Allie rich.

When the two fall wildly in love Allie’s parent’s don’t want her to spend her life with what they call trash, leading to a break-up of the loving couple. Years fly by the two live their own lives away from each other where Allie falls in love with a man her family approve off. While the two cross paths again the love they felt will always be there, but life always gets in the way.

 

Thoughts on The Notebook

 

Characters – Noah came from the wrong side of town, the side with no money or prospects, he earns everything he has to prove that he can escape this world, he makes it through war but his love for Allie will never stop being there. Allie comes from the rich part of town, she accepts Noah for being different but her parents stop her from following the true love she felt for him, while she does fall in love with another man she will always have that flame for Noah. Duke is the man telling us the story to Miss Hamilton who is listening to the story, we learn that they are a bigger part of the story too.

PerformanceGosling and McAdams both shine in these roles which will always be considered two of their more popular roles of their careers. James Garner and Gena Rowlands are both great in the older roles too.

StoryThe story focuses on two people who fell in love, they face stumbling blocks along the way be it personal or otherwise but the love they feel will be what no other can give them. We do flash between the story unfolding as it is being told that does give us hints to who the elder characters are which at times can be frustrating because the final reveal is the one that plays on the heart strings. This is a fairy tale love story, which the likely hood of every happening seems unlikely, but it gives the audience hope of true love.

RomanceThe romance in this film does show how two people can fall in love and it last forever even through illness, war and everyday situations.

SettingsThe settings give us a clear difference in class the two come from and just how the love they feel can bring people together from different background

s.

Scene of the Movie – Swans and rain.

 

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think they give away a twist too early.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the all time most popular date night movies, you can see why because it does work on the love side of things.

 

Overall: This is a bitter sweet love story that plays for tears.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – F – Fire in the Sky (1993)

Director: Robert Lieberman

Writer: Tracy Torme (Screenplay) Travis Walton (Book)

Starring: D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, Henry Thomas, Bradley Gregg, James Garner

 

Plot: An Arizona logger mysteriously disappears for five days in an alleged encounter with a flying saucer in 1975.


Tagline – For five days, a man was borrowed. The story that Travis Walton and five other witnesses told is so unbelievable, so unimaginable, that it has become the most famous case of UFO abduction ever recorded.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: That One Scene Shines

 

Story: Fire in the Sky starts as five loggers Mike (Patrick), Allan (Sheffer), David (Berg), Greg (Thomas) and Bobby (Gregg) return to town in a panic with a story to tell the authorities, which brings in Sheriff Frank Watters (Garner). The story the guys tell is the they investigated a mysterious light in the woods which took Travis (Sweeney).

With the search going on for Travis, Mike and the crew find themselves prime suspects in a cover up, until Travis returns with his own account of the story.

 

Thoughts on Fire in the Sky

 

Characters – Travis Walton was a logger that went missing for five days, he doesn’t remember at first what happened, but the truth ill haunt him for the rest of his life as he remembers being taken by aliens. Mike Rogers is the best friend of Travis’ that doesn’t know how to handle his disappearance and his reappearance, but knows that nothing was done by the men in his crew. Frank Watters is the sheriff trying to prove this is a hoax or a cover up depending which side of the events are. The characters are based on the real people which does help make this feel like a good real story to follow.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good, with D.B. Sweeney showing the pure terror needed during the abduction scene. Robert Patrick works well in his role where he could easily be the lead of the film. James Garner brings an extra bit of class to the performances too.

StoryThe story follows one of the most famous and detailed encounters from alien abduction in history. The story first treats the events like a murder cover up which is wonderful to watch on the screen because we don’t need to watch a full abduction routine which we do see later in the film. the story balances the ideas of what could be truth and what people would want the truth to be too.

Fantasy/Mystery/Sci-Fi The fantasy part of this film comes from what you want to believe about the events, because there is no proof it is real, this adds the mystery too which does also circle around the truth too. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the moment in space which shows what the aliens did to Travis.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small town location where the events happened which does keep us understand how the town would react to the situation.

Special EffectsThe effects are spared for the final moments of the film where we see what happened to Travis, they all look great too.


Scene of the Movie –
Memories nightmare

That Moment That Annoyed Me I was expecting more from the alien abduction side of things.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sci-fi film, it does balance the event between what could have happened, what is believed to have happened and leaves you to make up your own mind, with a sequence in the ship which will be haunting.

 

Overall: A sci-fi film that hasn’t dated like others

Rating

 

 

Maverick (1994)

maverDirector: Richard Donner

Writer: William Goldman (Screenplay) Roy Huggins (TV Show)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene, Alfred Molina, James Coburn, Dub Taylor

 

Plot: Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tiresome Comedy

 

Story: Maverick starts as Bret Maverick (Gibson) finds himself at the end of noose recounting what left him in this awkward predicament. Maverick looking to enter a poker tournament and goes on a string of miss-adventures as he finds himself constantly in trouble to make this happen.

Maverick is joined by thief Annabelle Bransford (Foster) and Marshal Zane Cooper (Garner) but also finds himself having a bounty on is head. Will Maverick make it to the game on time along with finding the money to enter the poker tournament

 

Thoughts on Maverick

 

StoryThis story just seems to be a repeating formula of Maverick finding himself in trouble only to be coning everyone involved. The film actually feel like a series of short episodes after all it is based off a television show but in the end just doesn’t strike all the points it needs to.

Action/Comedy/WesternThe action is based from the comedy going on in the film which is a rinse repeat formula all set to the western backdrop.

Characters/PerformanceMaverick feels like a true con-artists like character that always just escapes from what he finds himself in. Annabelle is made to be a clumsy woman which gets boring after a while with the rest of the characters just seemingly being involved in the wild adventures Maverick finds himself in. when you look at the performances they are all fine but they all get tiresome after a while.

SettingsEach setting throws us back to the old west in a bright colourful way for once as we see all the different locations that Maverick finds himself in. They all help push the film into the direction it is needed for the final game.

Final ThoughtsWe have seen this in other genres and in this one we seem to get the same gag over and over while there is a twist in nearly every scene too.

 

Overall: Not the best and could easily be better.

Ratingcard

 

 

Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)

logoDirector: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

Writer: Tab Murphy (Screenplay) Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, Joss Wehdon, Bryce Zabel, Jackie Zabel, Tab Murphy, David Reynolds (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Michael J Fox, Corey Burton, James Garner, Claudia Christian, John Mahoney, Phil Morris, Leonard nimoy, Don Novello, Jacqueline Obradors

 

Plot: A young adventurer named Milo Thatch joins an intrepid group of explorers to find the mysterious lost continent of Atlantis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Standard Adventure

 

Story: Atlantis: The Lost Empire starts by showing the destruction of Atlantis. Flash forward to Washington 1914, where Milo James Thatch who wants to find the missing city of Atlantis and is presenting an idea for a proposal to search for it. Milo has his proposal rejected but a visit from the mysterious Helga Katrina Sinclair who brings Milo to meet Mr Whitmore. Mr Whitmore a friend of Milo’s grandfather gives Milo a gift from his grandfather proving he might have found Atlantis. Mr Whitmore has been arranging his own mission to find it Atlantis and wants to bring Milo along on the mission as one last request to Milo’s grandfather.

The crew together the mission launches off to Iceland that is the believed location of Atlantis. The crew approaching the location suffer huge loses after the ship is attacked by the guardian of Atlantis. The few that make it to the underground location continue their expedition being stalked by mysterious creatures knowing that finding a way out is their only option. When the group find the missing Atlantis they meet the locals, who want the explorers to leave. We learn that Atlantis does things a certain way and isn’t happy letting anyone new into the city, but the city is also trying to struggling to survive. It becomes clear that the team sent on the mission might well have alternative motives and it is up to Milo to fix what he has caused.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire really comes off as a very standard adventure film, it uses the real mythological city of Atlantis to help identify the idea that explorers will look for it to drive the story and give us very little extra motive as people still look for it today. The story falls slightly because it does turn into Treasure Island because of the crews turn and the naïve young man has to save the day. The story offers little in the way of originality and ends up used the same old clichéd ideas we have seen before. I do feel the story is solid but could easily be improved. (6/10)

 

Character Review

 

Milo James Thatch: Milo is ambitious young explorer who wants to find Atlantis but keeps getting rejected by the people who could make it happen. When he gets a chance from a mysterious friend of his late Grandfather, Milo jumps at the chance and becomes the group’s only hope of making it after the ships get destroyed. Milo is a good character but ends up looking like an educated version of Jim Hawkins. (6/10)

 milo

Support Characters: Atlantis: The Lost Empire has a clichéd supporting list with every possible generic character filled nicely and we all know what will happen to each and every one of them.

 

Director Review: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise – The pair gives a us a solid action animation film but nothing more. (6/10)

 

Adventure: Atlantis: The Lost Empire delivers on every level of an adventure film even if we have seen a lot of it before. (8/10)

Animation: Atlantis: The Lost Empire has great animation used throughout to make everything look beautiful when needed and frightening when needed. (8/10)

Family: Atlantis: The Lost Empire might not be the perfect family film due to the high body count the explorers encounter. (4/10)

Sci-Fi: Atlantis: The Lost Empire uses the sci-fi elements really well to make us look at what could have happened to a missing city. (8/10)

Settings: Atlantis: The Lost Empire creates brilliant settings for the story to take place in and around. (8/10)

Suggestion: Atlantis: The Lost Empire is one to try, I don’t think it will give the audience everything they are looking for but can pass the time nicely. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Inspired Avatar.

Worst Part: Inspired Avatar

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $186 Million

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Atlantis is waiting

 

Overall: Atlantis is one of the world’s biggest mysteries and this film just seems to fast forward any real ideas of what could have happened to the people of Atlantis.

Rating 55

Space Cowboys (2000)

logoDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Ken Kaufman, Howard Klausner (Screenplay)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, James Garner, James Cromwell, Marcia Gay Harden, William Devane, Loren Dean, Courtney B Vance

 

Plot: When a satellite is failing NASA has one last option, Bob Gerson (Cromwell) has to bite the bullet and call upon old engineer Frank Corvin (Eastwood). Frank’s one condition is that he takes his own team who never got a chance to go to space with him, his team includes Hawk (Lee Jones), Jerry (Sutherland) and Tank (Garner). What follows is the training mission that has plenty of laughs before their chance of their lifetimes.

 the boys

Verdict: A wonderful tale of not giving up on your dreams

Story: We get a wonderfully told story giving us the potential to learn not to give up on dreams. It also has a very good message about not letting old battles with friends stop you ever making up with each other, along with making sure you do it before it is too late. With all the drama side to the story there is also a very serious story about how close we were to a world war three with the mission into space having a bigger impact on life. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Clint Eastwood – Frank stubborn leader of a team of the very first astronaut trainees who finally gets his chance half a century later. From what you expect from Eastwood a solid performance that lets his support cast steal scenes. (8/10)

 clint

Actor Review: Tommy Lee Jones – Hawk the one who took more risks in his life before making the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends. Strong performance from Tommy as he keeps a lighter side to Eastwood’s more serious side. Star Performance Award (9/10)

 tommy

Actor Review: Donald Sutherland – Jerry the lady’s man who also hasn’t got the eye sight he once had, good on running gag about getting older and glasses. Good performance that shows he knows how to make the most of his screen time. Favourite Character Award, Comic Relief Award, Scene Stealer Award (8/10)

 donaldo

Actor Review: James Garner – Tank now a reverend who returns to help on the mission. Garner has great chemistry with Sutherland with great supporting roles that offer good comic relief. Comic Relief Award (8/10)

 garner

Actor Review: James Cromwell – Bob Gerson against having the elder team after he has been trying to avoid them entering space since the original training program. Good corporate character who wants to make sure he gets all the praise and everyone else gets the blame. (8/10)

 cromewell

Actor Review: Marcia Gay Harden – Sara the one who helps recruit the astronauts. Good support role and offers romantic interests to Hawk. (8/10)

 marcia

Director Review: Clint Eastwood – Eastwood has always been great when it comes to having what seems like a good happy drama and throwing in an emotional storyline twist. (9/10)

 

Action: Not too much action but the final scene action is very good. (7/10)

Adventure: The adventure the guys go on is a great story of achievement. (8/10)

Believability: The whole mission side of the film is believable. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: Could have a few from people. (5/10)

Settings: The training mission setting is good for story and the space mission itself becomes a great setting and only setting for the film. (9/10)

Suggestion: I personally will watch any Eastwood directed film he knows how to tell a great story and this is no different, some people may find this a bit slow but it is worth watching for the enjoyment. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Space mission.

Action Scene Of The Film: The landing

Funniest Scene: some of the training.

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one.

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Brilliant adventure drama

Rating 90