Ben Stiller Weekend – Dodgeball (2004)

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber (Screenplay)

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn, Justin Long, Stephen Root, Joel David Moore, Alan Tudyk, Gary Cole

 

Plot: A group of misfits enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health fitness chain.


Tagline – Grab Life by the Balls 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Sports Comedies

 

Story: Dodgeball starts as we meet the two gym owners, White Goodman (Stiller) who is obsessed with perfection with bodies only accepting beautiful model like members, on the other side of the street we have Peter La Fleur (Vaughn) owner of Average’s Joe a gym that is open to all, with the regulars and staff including Justin (Long), Gordon (Root), Owen (Moore), Dwight (Williams) and Steve the Pirate (Tudyk).

When Average Joe’s is facing a financial crisis with lawyer Kate Veatch (Taylor) preparing to close them in 30 days with White Goodman wanting to buy it and demolish it. The only plan is to train and enter a dodgeball competition where the prize is the money they require, only problem is, White has made his own team of super-athletes to stop Average Joe’s winning.  

 

Thoughts on Dodgeball

 

Characters – Peter La Fleur is a gym owner, he is laidback and willing to let anybody join at their own pace, this mentality has left him facing financial crisis and he reluctantly accepts entering a dodgeball tournament, he can bring the team together as he gives the whole team hope. White Goodman is the owner of Globo Gym he only accepts beautiful people in his gym even offering cosmetic surgery for his members. He is completely over the top believing he is God’s gift to women with his success coming from his family’s money, he will do anything to eliminate Average Joe’s. Kate Veatch is the lawyer that is assigned to study the finances of Average Joe’s, she becomes the love interest for both men even though she has no interest in White, she joins the team to help eliminate Globo Gym. Patches O’Houlihan is the dodgeball expert, he trains the Average Joe’s to help become competitive in the competition. The rest of the cast include the Average Joe’s members Justin, Gordon, Owen, Dwight and Steve the Pirate that each have their own stories behind their characters to help motivate them to compete.

PerformancesVince Vaughn is one of those actors whose comedy can go either way, it is a laidback style which work perfectly for his character here, because he brings us a real person compared to Ben Stiller. Stiller on the other hand nails his completely over the top character that you are meant to be laughing at with everything he does and says. Christine Taylor is good in her role which like the rest of the cast shine, we get a mix of different comedies from the supporting cast which blend together to show the different styles of real life people.

StoryThe story here follows to rival gyms going to compete for a dodgeball tournament to help keep the little gym with no money a chance to stay afloat before the global franchise closes them down. The story does botte down to a simple underdog story which is fine we can all enjoy a story about an underdog, we do get moments in the film from the Average Joe’s characters that help them learn to become more than they are which is the whole point of a gym, to improve yourself in your own way and everything Globo Gym shouldn’t be. If you want a simple fun sports comedy to watch, this is going to be the one for you without a question.

ComedyThe comedy in this film comes from many different levels, we get moments of slapstick with the dodgeball scenes, we get over the top characters in White Goodman and his team and finally each member of Joe’s team has their own quirky to make them funny.

SettingsThe look at the different gyms helps the settings because it shows how people can be intimidated by certain gyms over others, when we head to Vegas for the tournament the competition feels are authentic as you would imagine.


Scene of the Movie –
Most of the dodgeball scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lance Armstrong scene is awkward now.

Final ThoughtsFor a sports comedy this has laughs, heart and quality performances from the whole cast, this is one that will stick with you for years to come and I hope to see everyone else enjoy it.

 

Overall: Sports comedy done to near perfection.

Rating

 

 

Drone (2017)

Director: Jason Bourque

Writer: Paul A Birkett, Jason Bourque (Screenplay) Ian Birkett, Roger Patterson, Paul A Birkett (Story)

Starring: Sean Bean, Patrick Sabongui, Mary McCormack, Maxwell Haynes, Joel David Moore, Viv Leacock

 

Plot: Ideologies collide with fatal results when a military drone contractor meets an enigmatic Pakistani businessman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Drone starts as we see a drone hit in Pakistan, one year later we are back in America with Neil (Bean) and Ellen Wistin (McCormack) a married couple dealing with everyday problems and a teenage son Shane (Haynes). Unknown to them they are being followed by Imir Shaw (Sabongui) a Pakistan business man.

Neil is a drone pilot working with his partner on the coms Gary (Moore), their craft is searching Pakistan for the latest terrorist subjects and they are an effective team. Imir coming into the lives of the Wistin’s who are also dealing with the loss of Neil’s father, just as the release of government employees information has been leaked. Imir comes into the lives to purchase a boat, but his true motives become clear and the secrets of the Wistin family are revealed.

 

Thoughts on Drone

 

Characters/PerformanceNeil is a secret private drone pilot contractor for the government. He keeps this job secret from his family, he is also going through the loss of his father, he now must face the consequences of the collateral damage on his mission. Imir is a calm businessman from Pakistan who has alternative motives, he wants to confront the pilot of the drone that killed his innocent family. Ellen is the wife of Neil, the two have become strained leading to her getting involved in an affair.

Performance wise, Sean Bean is good in this role but his accent is slightly all over the place. Patrick Sabongui is good in this role, he never shows any emotion which is needed for the character who has lost everything. Mary McCormack is solid but her character doesn’t get enough development.

StoryThe story is one that asks the moral questions about drone pilots and victims of their attacks as well as offering a suspenseful revenge story. the problem with the story is that is doesn’t get going quick enough because we clearly know where it is going, so why hold us back? There is also another glaring problem with this film and that is making Imir come off as villain, when it was clearly the American that committed the villain act first, but the final moments of the film do make everything important in the message.

ThrillerThe final third of this film does keep you on edge throughout the film but getting to that stage does seem to take a while.

SettingsThe settings do show us that the two men have similar lifestyles, they work hard and raise a family, but the cultures see things differently and this causes the conflict in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very slow thriller which could have been so much better, but it does have a good message by the end of the film.

 

Overall: Slow burning thriller with rewarding ending.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Chillerama

logoDirector: Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Bear McCreary, Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan

Writer: Adam Rifkin, Tim Sullivan, Adam Green, Joe Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Tania Raymonde, Eric Roberts, Owen Benjamin, Tracy Dawson, Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore

 

Plot: It’s the closing night at the last drive-in theater in America, and Cecil Kaufman has planned to show four movies, which are so rare that they have never been exhibited publicly on American soil, until this very night.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interest Mini Films

 

Story Reviews

 

Wadzilla (Adam Rifkin): This story follows Miles who is struggling with his sperm levels and Dr Weems gives him experimental treatment to improve his sperm count. The pills have a negative effect because now all Miles has a every increases sized sperm that take a life of their own. Wadzilla is a creature feature with a difference when a giant sperm goes on a killing spree, it knows it is awful but is clearly taking the piss out of the over the town monster movies we have seen through the years. (7/10)

 

I Was A Teenage Werebear (Tim Sullivan): This one starts with Ricky and Peggy Lou two teenagers starting a romance going through a literally song and dance routine. When Peggy Lou gets run over she survives somehow but Ricky’s attention has turned toward the other guys. When Ricky gets bitten on the arse he starts changing into a Werebear and becomes uncontrollable like the ones who bit him. This story feels a lot like The Lost Boys meets Glee, with its really cheesy number and hilarious style. (7/10)

 

The Diary of Anne Frankenstein (Adam Green): For the final chapter we go to war time Germany where Hitler is hunting down Jews where he finds Anna Frank, Hitler finds the diary of Doctor Frankenstein and decides to build his own, but when he monster gets out of control it goes on a killing rampage. This was easily the worst of the four main stories, where it had funny moments but wasn’t interesting. (4/10)

 

Deathication: This is a introduction into the scariest movie ever made and is clearly a giant warning before going into the movie. While this is only short it a beyond awful. (0/10)

 

Zom-B-Movie (Joe Lynch): This is the overall story where we meet the people who have come to watch the selection of horror films being shown by Cecil Kaufman. This is final showing at this drive in movie theatre before it is destroyed, as one of his employees is starting to turn into a Zombie. We follow a few group of friends who comment on the films they have just scene while the zombie numbers start to increase and the virus spreads. (7/10)

 

Comedy: Chillerama has good comedy moments which often come in references to classic films but there is also sex comedy which isn’t my favourite. (6/10)

Horror: Chillerama pays a lot of B-Movies respect to make the film entertaining but isn’t really go to hit any levels of horror. (5/10)

Settings: Chillerama each setting works for the particular film with the overall story being shown at an old school drive-in giving the film the right feeling of B-Movie level. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Chillerama uses the cheesy effects very well and it is clear that is what the film is going for. (7/10)

Suggestion: Chillerama is one for the horror fans to try but don’t expect anything special here. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Cecil Kaufman taking on the zombies with one liners.

Worst Part: Deathication was terrible and insulting.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Scary or Die

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: Drive In- Freak Out

 

Overall: Solid Horror Comedy with ups and downs.

Rating 55

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Julia X (2011)

logoDirector: P.J. Pettiette

Writer: Matt Cunningham (Screenplay) P.J. Pettiette (Story)

Starring: Valerie Azlynn, Kevin Sorbo, Alicia Leigh Willis, Joel David Moore, Ving Rhames, Gregg Brazzel

 

Plot: Meeting a man on the Internet, Julia decides to see him in person, only to get abducted and branded with the letter “x” by that guy. A game of cat and mouse follows, but the story has an unexpected twist.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Deadliest Battle of the Sexes

 

Story: Julia X starts by strangers who have met on the internet meet up for the first time Julia (Azlynn) leaves the stranger (Sorbo) hanging but she is in for a big surprise when the stranger just so happens to be a serial killer who has been meeting woman on the internet and abducting before killing them. The Stranger brands his victims with an X before taking the victims to his next location.

Julia tries her best to escape his clutches and for a serial killer he makes a lot of sloppy mistakes. Julia keeps escaping and going on the run but the Stranger remains calm each time as he finds her in what is turning into a cat and mouse chase. When a surprise twist in events shows Julia working with Jessica (Willis) and has been trying to trap men who mistreat women for their own devilish revenge plans.

Jessica always kept in the shadows on Julia’s ways bring in her own bait Sam (Moore), this displeases Julia because it breaks the rules of picking someone close to home and you can’t take a local. After the Stranger escapes it pretty much becomes a freefall between the girls and him to who will survive.

Julia X poses the idea of serial killer versus serial killer, which on paper is fine  but it goes wrong because both serial killers don’t release they are hunting serial killers until it is too late. The story jumps between who is most likely to survive as well as taking its time to shown Julia and Jessica’s motives for doing what they do. It is easy to follow and the twists seem clear once you have read the basic description of the film so don’t expect any surprises. The flow also feels slightly slow and as for the final fight the clichéd jokes about the opposite sex get boring quickly. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Valerie Azlynn: Julia starting off as a victim of a serial killer it soon becomes apparent that she has targeted this man for her own ideas of revenge. Valerie does a solid job and looks the part of the femme fatale. (6/10)

 

Kevin Sorbo: The Stranger is a serial killer who brands all his victims with an X but it turns out that Julia isn’t going to just be another victim of his. Kevin does a solid job as the killer but struggles to convince because of the poor decisions he makes early on. (5/10)

 

Alicia Leigh Willis: Jessica sister who gets fed up of being just the partner in the kills, she takes her own kill but breaks the rules by picking a local. Alicia does a solid job as the young killer in the making. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: Julia X really doesn’t have much of a supporting cast with only two other actors making an appearance and not for long we don’t really need a supporting cast though.

 

Director Review: P.J. Pettiette – P.J. does a solid job with this but it does feel like it should have had more blood and gore or more tension. (5/10)

 

Horror: Julia X gets lost between torture porn ideas in a slasher type environment without using either strength. (4/10)

Thriller: Julia X doesn’t pull you in like it should. (4/10)

Settings: Julia X keeps the settings easy with everywhere seemingly abandoned, but isolated which is always good for horror. (8/10)

Suggestion: Julia X is a late night TV experience only, I don’t see people going on of their way to see it but if it’s on try it. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Comic tone between Julia and the Stranger.

Worst Part: Not enough potential twists.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: IT is left open for one but I doubt it.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

Overall: This pretty much is extreme dating to say the least.

Rating 51

The Guest (2014)

logoDirector: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick, Tabatha Shaun, Chase Williamson, Joel David Moore, Steve Brown, Brenden Wedner

 

Plot: A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stylishly Splendid

 

Story: The Guest starts with the Paterson’s grieving the death of their soldier son Caleb. The family is trying to go about their normal day but mother Laura (Kelley) is stuck inside the house alone, she gets a visit from a man named David (Stevens) who claims he was with Caleb when he died and has come to see the family. David sticks around to tell stories about Caleb to Laura and eventually her daughter Anna (Monroe) before being invited to stay the night.

The family invite David to stay around as he helps the son Luke (Meyer) with homework and standing up to the bullies. David also gets forced to mingle with Anna at a party where he seems to be sent to keep a watch over her as she is getting messed around by her drug dealer boyfriend. David starts coming off almost too perfect being able but his interest in purchasing guns makes things come off strange.

Anna decides to investigate David and its turns out that he is the remaining part of a secret mission that Major Carver (Reddick) instantly wants to cover up. Carver recruits all the off the books man he can to finish off David but David is waiting for them and finally shows his true colours and just how deadly he really is.

The Guest manages to mix genres with ease, the first half of the film actually comes off almost like a coming of age film for the younger members of the family with David looking like he is there to protect them. You do get the feeling that something isn’t quite right with the situation and that leads nicely into the action thriller side of the story that concludes the film. Mixing these genres gives us a fresh feeling story because David comes over as one of the most likable on screen personas in recent years but we also get to see just how deadly he can be. The story will go down as very good because the film continues to push you in different direction that you wouldn’t normally see an action thriller. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dan Stevens: David is the mystery man claiming to be a friend of the deceased family member, he turns up in the Paterson’s lives and ends up helping them before the truth about him comes out. He remains emotionless throughout using all his training to help himself through the situation he ends up in as his past comes back to haunt him but he cleans up his own mess. Dan gives a great performance that could easily be his breakthrough performance in Hollywood. (9/10)

 david

Maika Monroe: Anna Peterson is the daughter of the Paterson family who first dislikes David being around because of the memories of her dead brother before starting to like having around, but after she starts investigating David she could have starting a catalyst of events that follow. Maika gives a good performance that along with her It Follow performance must make people take her serious. (8/10)

anna

Brendan Meyer: Luke Peterson is the bullied son of the family that David teaches to defend himself after taking out all of the bullies in one attack. He starts seeing David as a big brother figure replacing the one he lost. Brendan gives good performance that shows just how difficult it is for people to take David as dangerous. (7/10)

 

Lance Reddick: Major Carver is the military police officer who is tasked with trying to hunt down David, and brings as many man as he can possible get to finish off the experiment once and for all. Lance gives a good performance that informs us the truth about David. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: The Guest has a supporting cast of people that are in the Paterson’s lives that David interacts with leading to him making his own choice on who is good or bad, until he knows his cover is blown when he has to clean up the supporting cast.

 

Director Review: Adam Wingard – Adam continues to show he has the ability to turn genres on their heads following ‘You’re Next’ with action thriller. (8/10)

 

Action: The Guest has slick action scenes that all come off very stylish. (9/10)

Mystery: The Guest adds plenty of mystery about David and just who he really is and why he is there. (10/10)

Thriller: The Guest keeps you guessing to what will happen next from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: The Guest uses the settings to make you feel like you are watching a small community in a town who get a new visitor. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Guest is one for all the action fans to enjoy and it will be one that will be enjoyed because of the fresh twists on the genres. (Actions Fan Watch)

 

Best Part: Bar Fight.

Worst Part:  Being picky the starts off slightly slow.

Action Scene Of The Film: Bar fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Be careful who you let in.

Trivia: The film is intentionally structured as a horror film with the pace of a thriller.

 

Overall: The Guest is one of the most stylish films you will see this year that actually bends the genres.

Rating 80