ABC Film Challenge – Action – S – Snatched (2017)

Director: Jonathan Levine

Writer: Katie Dippold (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Randall Park, Ike Barinholtz, Joan Cusack, Tom Bateman

 

Plot: When her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic vacation, a young woman persuades her ultra-cautious mother to travel with her to paradise, with unexpected results.


Tagline – Mess with me, mess with my mother. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Painful to Watch

 

Story: Snatched starts when Emily (Schumer) get fired, then dumped by her musician boyfriend Michael (Park), they did have a holiday planned which is no refundable, Emily goes home to see her mother Linda (Hawn) and after learning she used to travel, she invites her mother on the trip.

Emily & Linda head of to Ecuador and after meeting the hunky James (Bateman) Emily believes she has found the perfect man only to find themselves kidnapped and needing to find safety across South America with Roger (Meloni) a man they believe can guide them to safety.

 

Thoughts on Snatched

 

Characters – Emily is a woman who sees her future with her boyfriend, she doesn’t take too much seriously until for everything to fall apart, following the loss of her job and boyfriend. She takes her holiday falling for the same old song and dance a man showed her, which sees her needing to fight to survive. She doesn’t seem to have any idea how to act as an adult though. Linda is Emily’s mother who has closed herself off from the world after her husband left her, she agrees to go on holiday with her daughter pretending she knows how the survive most of the difficult situations.  James is the man that takes Emily on a day out, which sees them being kidnapped. Most of the supporting characters are here for the next comedic roles in the film, showing strange characters in life.

PerformancesAmy Schumer continues to leave me questioning how she keeps getting leading roles because she just isn’t funny or a skilled actress. Goldie Hawn mostly likely enjoyed the money for this film, but wouldn’t want to be remembered for it. The supporting cast doesn’t get much better, with the except of Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes.

StoryThe story follows a mother and daughter that go to Ecuador for a holiday only to get kidnapped leaving them to go on the run to escape. This film focuses on the relationship between the mother and daughter who have been going in normal life, which has seen them become slightly more distant. The idea of getting kidnapped in South America has been done before, this relies on too many jokes which all miss. The story is mostly unbearable and fails to capture the relationship side of the film, it only makes the characters, mostly Emily look unrealistic.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is weak chases sequences, the adventure takes us on the holiday with the ladies. The comedy however completely misses.

SettingsThe film is set in South America which does the fish out of water location.


Scene of the Movie –
Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes

That Moment That Annoyed Me Amy Schumer.

Final ThoughtsThis is a painful comedy that doesn’t get any laughs, it wastes talent and for some reason keeps Amy Schumer in the leading roles.

 

Overall: Boring unfunny comedy.

Rating

 

 

Seth Green Weekend – Mars Needs Moms (2011)

Director: Simon Wells

Writer: Simon Wells, Wendy Wells (Screenplay) Berkeley Breathed (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Seth Green, Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon, Tom Everett Scott

 

Plot: A young boy named Milo gains a deeper appreciation for his mom after Martians come to Earth to take her away.


Tagline – Mom needs a little space.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure

 

Story: Mars Needs Moms starts when young boy Milo is making his mom’s life difficult, right down to telling her that he doesn’t need her, that night she is taken by Martians, with Milo following her to Mars. Milo finds himself being hunted down by the Martians until he finds fellow human Gribble who has been there for years.

Milo finds himself face seven hours to save his mom from the latest Martian project which takes mother’s discipline to put into their nanny bots to race their young, Milo joined by Gribble and hippie loving Martian Ki to save his mother and uncover a truth about Martians.

 

Thoughts on Mars Needs Moms

 

Characters – Milo is your typical troublesome young boy, he doesn’t want to eat his vegetables, clean his room or follow his moms instructions, until she is taken by Martians, here Milo must do everything he can to try and save his mom from them, where he shows how much he does actually loves her. Gribble is a man that has been trapped on Mars for along time alone, he tries to help Milo even if he starts by wanting to make Milo his friend, he knows the truth about what will happen to Milo’s mom and does everything he can do to protect him from the truth. Mom has been dealing with a lot of trouble that Milo has been putting her through, she has been trying to raise him alone and her rules sees her getting abducted. Ki is one of the Martians that has learnt about hippie culture, she is a rebel in this world painting flowers on the walls completely against the rules, she helps Milo learning the errors of the Martians ways.

StoryThe story here follows a young boy that must travel to Mars after his mother is abducted by Martians to save her from their plans for her creating a new revolution on the planet that could stop this process. This is an interesting way of looking teaching a young boy a lesson which is easily the core part of the story, we do go through the basic ideas of making the villains very easy to defeat. This does have moments that are very dark which might be unsettling for a younger audience even though it does have a strong morale story.

Adventure/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film does take Mile to Mars where he must save his mom, this is a location that a child would never see himself heading to. The sci-fi side of the film does deal with the ideas of aliens needing parents and taken them to solve their problems.

SettingsThe film is mostly set on Mars, if we are honest it could be any planet, it does involve a special looking space centre along with the surface which shows how the Martians are dealing with the world.

AnimationThe animation does look very impressive, with a new style to help make everything look different to the normal animation style we are seeing.


Scene of the Movie –
Ki’s introduction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does head into a dark tone at points.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple to watch fun adventure animation, it doe shave a strong morale message, with characters that do make sense.

 

Overall: Fun throughout.

Rating

 

 

Toy Story 4 (2019)

Director: Josh Cooley

Writer: Andrew Stanton, Stephany Folsom (Screenplay) John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Josh Cooley, Valerie LaPointe, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Martin Hynes, Stephany Folsom (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Keanu Reeves, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Tony Hale, Madeleine McGraw

 

Plot: When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.


Tagline – On The Road Of Life, There Are Old Friends, New Friends, And Stories That Change You

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cash Grab Sequel

 

Story: Toy Story 4 starts as we see how the toys are now living with Bonnie, Woody is starting to get ignored more with her enjoyment of Jessie getting stronger, with Bonnie starting Kindergarten Woody goes against orders of the room to help her in class, where she builds a new toy called Forky out of trash.

Forky becomes her favourite toy and Woody wants to do everything he can to stop him running away, when the family goes on a road trip, Forky escapes forcing Woody to rescue him once again, on the rescue attempt Woody finds himself investigating an antique store which could have an old friend in Bo Peep in, only to find the toy living in the store Gabby Gabby searching for something, forcing Woody to team up with Bo and new friends to save Forky and get back to Bonnie in time.

 

Thoughts on Toy Story 4

 

Characters – Woody is struggling with not being in control of the room anymore, he still wants to help make Bonnie happy, which sees him acting selfishly, he does try to fix his own mistakes which will see him facing a second chance, meeting an old friend and distancing himself from his current friends. Woody is the key figure in this film, this is very much his story. Forky is the newly created toy out of a spork and is learning everything as it unfolds even though he believes he is trash. Buzz Lightyear is trying to step up when Woody goes off, he does feel like a bigger idiot than we are used to, using his voice commands to help him, which seems like a huge step back on his character. Bo Peep coming back to the franchise is fun, she shows Woody a new life away from kids, where she helps toys, she is Woody’s big love in life too, kick ass fighter too. Gabby Gabby is an older toy like Woody, she has been damaged and is searching for something to hope she can be taken home one day, she is painted as the villain, though she is the weakest villain in the franchise. Duke Caboom is the best addition to the film a stuntman that has failed as a toy, he is always up for trying something new and is filled with confidence.

StoryThe story here follows Woody trying to find himself a place in the world after becoming a smaller part in the life of his new owner Bonnie, he gets too involved and spends most of the story trying to make up for his mistake of letting Bonnie create a new toy, caught in the middle saving the day or breaking free. Now this is the 4th part of the franchise which did tie up nicely after the third one. The supporting characters do take a big back burner in the story which even sees Buzz getting less screen time, this is a full Woody story trying to figure out where his life is going on next. We do try to play on the heart strings, though it just doesn’t get to the levels it could have and has been there before. The new characters to bring the bright spark to the story, but we do end up going down the road, where this is becoming too unbelievable that these toys are acting like this.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of this film comes from the idea that Woody will need to go on a new adventure to save Forky, only to see Buzz on his own adventure which does cross paths with Woody, only his feels like a simple side to everything. the comedy from the new characters hits very well, its just old character seem to fall short.

SettingsHaving the film use an Antique story is great idea because we get to see known toys that could add comedy in places, the carnival also adds potential new characters too.

AnimationThe animation is Pixar at its very best, it looks perfect like we know they are used to bring us, bringing us larger scale environment to everything going on.


Scene of the Movie –
Duke Caboom.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Buzz seems to be dumber.

Final ThoughtsThis does end up feeling like a cash grab sequel, it doesn’t have the heart the previous films do and fails to use the original characters well enough.

 

Overall: By the books sequel.

Rating

 

 

Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – W – Welcome to Me (2014)

Director: Shira Piven

Writer: Eliot Laurence (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, James Marsden

 

Plot: When Alice Klieg wins the Mega-Millions lottery, she immediately quits her psychiatric meds and buys her own talk show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Good Drama

 

Story: Welcome to Me starts as we meet Alice Klieg (Wiig) who idolises Oprah studying all the tapes of her shows, she lives an isolated life but that is going to change when she wins the $86 million on the lottery. Believing the money has changed herself she drops her Dr Moffet (Robbins) who has been treating her for multiply personality disorder and heads off to Vegas with her best friend Gina (Cardellini).

When Alice meets studio team Rich Ruskin (Marsden), Gabe Ruskin (Bentley), Dawn Hurley (Cusack) and Deb Moseley (Leigh) wanting to create her own talk show which Rich sees this as a chance to save their studio. As the money being spend increases the show reaches new levels of popularity but can the studio continue to extort Alice’s mental issues to make money.

 

Thoughts on Welcome to Me

 

Characters/PerformanceAlice is a very unstable woman that has struggled through all her mental health problems for years, but after winning the lottery she gets her own show on television show where she can deal with all her problems, but can she deal with this new fame. Gabe is one of the studio producers that is willing to help Alice, but is one of the only ones that does want to help rather than use her. Gina is the best friend that gets left behind as Alice becomes obsessed with her own show. We also have the rest of the studio team that see this as a big payday.

Performance wise, Kristen Wiig is fantastic in this leading role showing she is capable of the serious performance away from the full comedy she is known for. Wes Bentley continues to turn his career around with another good performance. Linda Cardellini is also good throughout the film and the other highly respected stars also good great jobs with James Marsden being hugely memorable.

StoryThe story shows how people with mental health issues will find life difficult, but if you add money they can’t explain to themselves to the mix they will get taken advantage off by greedy people, but it also shows how money shouldn’t change friendships but it will. This is a film that has a story which is very important to show how difficult living with mental health issues can be.

Comedy/DramaThe comedy works in the limited moments because the story isn’t a full laughing matter. The drama shows the issues Alice must live with along with her new money.

SettingsThe settings are important because they show the world that Alice comes from to where she finds herself with all her money.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good movie that tells a very important message for the people who struggle with the mental health issues.

 

Overall: Very impressive film I feel people might not have heard off.

Rating