Christmas Holiday Weekend – The Night Before (2015)

Director: Jonathan Levine

Writer: Jonathan Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Jillian bell, Lizzy Caplan, Helene Yorke, Michael Shannon


Plot: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable Christmas Movie


Story: The Night Before starts as we learn why Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents over Christmas in 2001, his two best friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) spend every Christmas Eve together and getting drunk, but as time went by his friends started to move on with Chris becoming a sports star and Isaac starting his own family. With Ethan, still almost stuck in his slump with his life working as a Christmas Elf.

This year has been mutually agreed to be the last one they spend together and Ethan has finally got the ticket to the biggest Christmas Party in town, the one they have always been looking to attended but before that, the traditions need to be celebrated for the last time. How will this night turn out for the friends on what is meant to be their final adventure?


Thoughts on The Night Before


Characters/PerformanceEthan is a man that lost his family at Christmas, he asks only one thing and that is to spend it with his two best friends, he hasn’t been able to find his path in life while his friends have found success but he knows this is his last Christmas Eve with friends. Isaac is about to become a father which leaves him knowing that he won’t be able to party as often as he can so he gets the chance to party on the last time but can’t handle the trip. Chris is suddenly becoming the big sports star he dreamed off but he finds himself in the middle of making new friends or keeping the ones he loves like brothers.

Performance wise, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a great job in the leading role playing a role he has made his own in comedy movies, Rogen is what you expect from him but his character is slightly questionable in places. Mackie shows that he can handle comedy on a regular level after Pain & Gain, he proves he can handle the supporting role.

StoryDeep down this story has a story of friendship and just how important it is over Christmas. We get to focus on moving forward in life remember never to forget the people who spent it with you, accepting responsibility for mistakes you have made and finding a way to be ready for parenthood. I think this does have plenty of Christmas message but sadly does get bogged down with the almost pointless drug based side story going on.

ComedyThe comedy does come thick and fast through the film even if certain parts of the film are based the drug usage going on through the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in New York city which shows the hustle and bustle of the town during the Christmas Eve events. It all works for everything going on through the story.

Final ThoughtsI did enjoy the deeper meaning behind this film as the part of the story Ethan goes through but I got slightly tired on the Rogen drug filled character.


Overall: This is a great Christmas film that is well worth a watch if you want something non-family based.




Goosebumps (2015)

goosebmpsDirector: Rob Letterman

Writer: Darren Lemke (Screenplay) Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski (Story) R.L. Stine (Books)

Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell, Ken Marino, Halston Sage


Plot: A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Pure Nostalgia Fun


Story: Goosebumps starts when Gale (Ryan) her son Zach (Minnette) move to a new house from the busy city lifestyle. Zach doesn’t take long to meet the neighbour Hannah (Rush) and her father Stine (Black) who instantly bans him from seeing his daughter. Zach has to start a new school where he meets Champ (Lee) while his mum is the new vice-principal.

When Zach believes Hannah to be in danger he breaks in with Champ and they discover all of the R.L. Stine books locked on the shelf but once they open one the creature from the book comes to life, but it is Slappy from another book that unleashes all of the creatures from Stine’s books upon the town leaving it up to Stine, Zach, Hannah and Champ to save the town from all of the horrors.

Goosebumps is part of my childhood when I watched all of the stories and seeing this clever way of changing this bringing it into a modern era. We could have just had a movie based on just one of the creation but making an original story looking at the idea that the author really creating monsters will keep the fans happy because every creature makes an appearance. This is one of the most fun films I have seen this year and if you are a fan of the original material this will be one you enjoy.


Actor Review


Jack Black: R.L. Stine is now a recluse author that keeps his daughter Hannah away from the outside world. When his work is unleashed upon the town he must go fight against Slappy his smartest creation who releases all of his nightmare creations. Jack fits this character perfectly getting to use his comedian ability without just being a silly character which this could have fallen into.stine

Dylan Minnette: Zach is the new kid in town, he has recently lost his father so this move is his family’s chance at a new start, he takes a shine to his new neighbour Hannah and while trying to find out about her, he accidently releases her father’s creations from the books he has written. Zach is a very typical new boy in town character where he ends up looking like a loser to the high schoolers early on but has to make himself a hero by the end. Dylan is good in this role even if he does look slightly too old for high school.

Odeya Rush: Hannah is the daughter of Stine who is home schooled but just wants to make friends, she sees Zach as a chance to make a friend and escape her prison like home. Odeya is good in this role fitting the typical high school crush for our lead.

Ryan Lee: Champ is the geeky school friend of Zach, he becomes the typical sidekick character stating the obvious throughout the film even though he does have his own entertaining side story with the gorgeous girl Taylor. Ryan is good in tis comical sidekick role through the film.

Support Cast: Goosebumps has a good supporting cast that all helps add comedy to the overall story without being over the top, letting our leading character take the most part of the story.

Director Review: Rob LettermanRob gives us a film that understands the source material and builds on everything we all know and love about the books.


Adventure: Goosebumps gives us a great adventure for our leading characters that will keep you guessing from start to finish.

Comedy: Goosebumps has good comedy moments through the film that all work without taking away from the overall story.

Fantasy: Goosebumps brings us into a fantasy world filled with creations from one of the most iconic horror authors.

Horror: Goosebumps brings us a string horror creations through the film.

Settings: Goosebumps uses a small town as the setting keeping us knowing that the creatures need to be stopped before they spread.
Special Effects
: Goosebumps has great effects to create the creatures keeping them in a style that we would like to see in the style of the film.

Suggestion: Goosebumps is one for fans of the original work to love and everyday audience to enjoy. (Watch)


Best Part: Having a story that bounces with any story you would have seen with Stine’s work.

Worst Part: While we do get a couple popular characters and see most, certain ones could have been popular and not given the same time as others.zach


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $58 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: The stories are alive


Overall: Brilliant fantasy childhood walk down memory lane for all fans



22 Jump Street (2014)

logoDirector: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writer: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Michael Bacall, Jonah Hill (Story)

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Jimmy Tatro, Caroline Aaron


Plot: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant


Story: 22 Jump Street starts by filling us in on what happened in the last film like a previous episode. We watch Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) as they try take down a criminal The Ghost (Stormare) but much like the first one, things go slightly wrong. Jenko and Schmidt have to go to college undercover to uncover the latest drug craze. The two go through the opposite direction to the previous film and we get to see how they react to their reverse situations.


22 Jump Street uses the first ten minutes poking fun at the idea of a sequel, including talking about doubling the budget, how they got lucky first time after everyone thought the idea would fail. It also forced to tell the same story as well as actually having an upgraded office called 22 Jump Street with 23 Jump Street opening next door. We continue to get plenty of ‘it is a sequel’ jokes through the film so much so that it feels like a glorified extended version of a television show. it is full of jokes, action and personally I think the story is so easy to watch and laugh along with it could be the best I have seen in years. (9/10)


Actor Review


Jonah Hill: Schmidt big guy to the comedy double act who ends up going through the same problems of not fitting in as Jenko did through the first film. Schmidt gets romantically involved with a Maya a girl on campus who turns out to be Captain Dickson’s daughter. Jonah gives a great performance showing that he really has great comical timing. (9/10)


Channing Tatum: Jenko muscle of the comedy double act who finds himself in college finally getting a chance to fit in much like his time through high school first time. He gets a chance to live a different life which he never got a chance too with his connection with the football team, but his age will catch up with him. Channing gives a great performance showing he is just a muscle man he has comic timing too. (9/10)


Peter Stormare: The Ghost drug deal the couple are after at first before he escapes, only to get into battle with him again once they uncover the truth about the supply at the college. Peter gives a solid performance giving his typical villain role. (7/10)


Wyatt Russell: Zook student that becomes good friends with Jenko, helping him get into the good with the sports team. The clues point to Zook but after thinking about the clues they realize they are reading things incorrectly about the fun loving footballer. Wyatt gives a good performance who has good chemistry with Channing. (8/10)


Amber Stevens: Maya student who befriends Schmidt and takes him down the calmer side of the college experience. After we are told she is the daughter of the Captain the comedy level raises. Amber gives a solid supporting performance. (6/10)


Support Cast: 22 Jump Street has a whole host of supporting characters who all give extra laughs, be in the Captain and his protection of his daughter or the jock who wants to take down the goal posts. They all add laughs the main characters work with.


Director Review: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller – Phil & Christopher direct this film almost perfectly to take the piss out of the idea it is a sequel and that the first one was successful after many other television shows turned films have bombed. (9/10)


Action: 22 Jump Street has good action with chases trying not to break anything while the villains smash everything. (8/10)

Comedy: 22 Jump Street is one of the best comedies I have seen in years, it offers plenty of puns that take the piss out of the idea of it being a sequel. (10/10)

Crime: 22 Jump Street focuses a lot of trying to solve the crime while undercover which works nicely for it. (8/10)

Chemistry: 22 Jump Street has some great chemistry between Jonah and Channing who create one of the best comedy duos in buddy cop history. (10/10)

Settings: 22 Jump Street moves to college which works as the actors are older and it pokes fun that they would have looked way too old for high school. (9/10)

Suggestion: 22 Jump Street is a must watch, you don’t even need to see the first one as it recaps you with a previously at the start. (Watch)


Best Part in 22 Jump Street: Chase for the

Worst Part in 22 Jump Street: I would say the supporting characters are slightly too stereotyped.

Best Action Scene In 22 Jump Street: Chase through the campus.

Funniest Scene in 22 Jump Street: The moment Captain Dickson finds out about Schmidt and his daughter.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yeah could have one.

Post Credits Scene: Jokes about what sequels could be in the future.


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $331 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: These undercover cops are going to party like it’s their job


Overall: A Must Watch Comedy

Rating 95