ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – E – 15:17 to Paris (2018)

This is under E for Eastwood in the directing chari.


Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Dorothy Blyskal (Screenplay) Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Jeffrey E Stern (Book)

Starring: Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Ray Corasani, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer


Plot: Americans discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train.

Tagline – The true story of a terrorist, a train, and three friends who became heroes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Painfully Boring


Story: The 15:17 to Paris starts as we meet three lifelong friends, Alek (Skarlatos) Anthony (Sadler) and Spencer (Stone) who are on a train to Paris, we flashback to see how their friendship came out and follow Spencer as he is driven to join the military.

As the boys turn to men they go into different fields with Alek following Spencer into the military and while on a European holiday the event which will redefine their lives happens, as they look to deal with a terrorist on the train to Paris.


Thoughts on The 15:17 to Paris


Characters – Alek, Anthony and Spencer all grew up together, stayed friends even when they were separated, they went into the fields they wanted to, with seemingly Alek and Spencer’s choices being important to the events on the train. They sum the idea that we are going to be seeing heroes who have normal lives, normal struggles, they aren’t special in their action, only in their reaction to crisis.

PerformancesThis is one of the biggest flaws in this movie, we have the real men, playing versions of themselves, the problem is they are not actors, they can’t act, they are heroes don’t get me wrong, but watching them deliver lines is just part of the dullness in this movie.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of the real men that stopped a terrorist attack on a train in Paris, the story has become the stuff of legends like it should do. The way this story is told is so boring, we learn about the men’s lives, which only seems to cover two of the three, we deal with dull sequences which include trying to enjoy American football and by the time we get to the big event moment we have lost interest in this film.

BiopicThis does show a big moment in history, the problem is that it is only a quick moment that stopped the event and stretching these men’ normal lives out just drags on and on.

SettingsThe settings feel as pointless as the random trip around the Europe they take, we never feel like we are on location.

Scene of the Movie –
The incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of anything else happening.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the worst movies you will see about one of the biggest moments in recent heroism.


Overall: Just what was Eastwood thinking?





Brad’s Status (2017)

Director: Mike White

Writer: Mike White (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, Michael Sheen, Jemaine Clement, Luke Wilson, Shazi Raja


Plot: A father takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior about his life’s choices.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wonderful Experience


Story: Brad’s Status starts as Brad (Stiller) is looking at his college friends Craig (Sheen), Billy (Clement), Jason (Wilson) and Nick have done since college, being major successes in their fields, while Brad still works his inferior job, living the life he never imagined, married to Melanie (Fischer) and his boy Troy (Abrams) is about to go to college which Brad is going to help him tour them before selecting.

Learning that his son could get into Harvard but he missed the interview by a day, Brad must try to reconnect with his old friends to hopefully get his son another interview, but the more he thought of others’ lives the more he questions his own choices, driving him to push for this opportunity for his son.


Thoughts on Brad’s Status


Characters – Brad is our narrator and main character, he is reflecting on his own time in college as he sees how his life went a different way to his college friends on the dawn of his own son needing to pick his college. He sees himself in different lives, ones with more success that he has but also sees how he has more of a connection with his own son they he believes they would have with theirs. This character represents the over caring parent at times, always wanting the best for his own son because of the missed chances he had. Troy is Brad’s son, he could get into Harvard but deep down he wants to be a musician, he has a great relationship with his parents and this is one of the most important moments of his life so far. Melanie is the wife of Brad’s who misses the tour because of work but supportive in each decision. Craig, Billy and Jason are the college friends that have gone onto be successes in Brad’s eyes but they have gone onto different ventures away from Brad.

PerformancesBen Stiller gives us one of the best performance of his career, such a contemplative expressional performance that steps away from the comedy he is known for. Austin Abrams is good in this role of his son, he gives us a performance that feels like it is a high school kid about to make the biggest decision of his life. The rest of the cast all give good supporting performances which make enough impact on the story without taking away the spotlight from Stiller.

StoryThe story follows Brad as he is looking at how his life could have gone for him, he gets to reflect on his own life while imagining how things could have been different in the moment of mid-life crisis without going wildly over the top. It also shows the pressure put on both parents and children when it comes selecting a college which could bring the future for the next stage of his life. We focus on how friendships drift apart over time because people change, and things will be different in our own lives in the future.

Comedy/Drama This is a comedy drama that takes on a serious subject with the light-hearted side of comedy, over an attempted laugh a minute comedy.

SettingsThe settings are in and around American colleges, we see how people are busy with their lives while the visitors must take in the environment they could experience, it has moments of being able to walk down memory road.

Scene of the Movie –
Brad and Ananya drinking discussion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does focus only on successful people, not people that have struggled to even make it to college.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple and powerful movie, it takes on a serious subject of questioning our place in life when our once friends have hit a higher success mark in our own eyes.


Overall: This is a brilliant movie to experience.