ABC Film Challenge – Crime – F – Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

Director: Dean Parisot

Writer: Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller (Screenplay) Gerald Gaiser, Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller (Story)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins, Angie Harmon, John Michael Higgins

 

Plot: When an affluent couple lose all their money following a series of blunders, they turn to a life of crime to make ends meet.


Tagline – Giving Big Businesses a Run For Their Money!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Comedy Lacking That Spark

 

Story: Fun with Dick and Jane starts as we meet Dick (Carrey) who is about to get a promotion to vice president of the company he has worked for, for year. The problem comes that this promotion is designed to put the blame on the company’s problems on him instead of the men who really are involved, Jack (Baldwin) and Frank (Jenkins).

Dick loses his job and his wife Jane (Leoni) has quit her job, the two struggle to find new jobs and before long they are facing being evicted, which turns them to a life of crime to save their home.

 

Thoughts on Fun with Dick and Jane

 

Characters – Dick has been working for a company for his whole working career, he has been waiting for a chance to get to the next step which he gets only to see himself become the fall guy, making him unemployable in the field. He can’t get a job anywhere and out of pure desperation he turns to a life a crime to support his family. Jane is the wife of Dick who quits her job with his new promotion and can’t get a new job, she believes in Dick and ends up teaming up with Dick to commit crime. Jack and Frank are the CEOs that have taken advantage of Dick to get away clean after their illegal trading.

PerformancesJim Carrey gets to play into the full energy comedy that he is known for here, this isn’t the best he has given, but his fans will enjoy what he does, Tea Leoni does struggle with comedy and it is clear to see because she just doesn’t work with Carrey’s comedy. Alec Baldwin and Richard Jenkins get to enjoy their roles in the film playing into what they could be for these real people.

StoryThe story follows a couple that are forced into a life of crime after losing everything when a business they are employed with gets closed down with the CEOs leaving the employees broke. This is a remake which has been bought into the modern era of greedy businessman who have taken advantage of their employees only to be left nothing. The story does seem to be going in fast forward with the crime montage flashing over what is happening. This does have a good outcome for everyone involved, but just doesn’t engage for the audience.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film mostly revolves around Jim Carrey bringing in his routine which is enjoyed by people who are fans of his work, the crime side of the film shows just how CEOs can try and get away with things and how one couple looks to crime to survive.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us any settings which feel overly iconic which the film could have had to make us become more invested in what is happening.


Scene of the Movie –
The first robbery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Crime montage.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book crime comedy that skips over too much of the interesting material only to leave us feeling like we blinked and missed too much.

 

Overall: Basic crime comedy.

Rating

 

 

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Alan Tudyk Weekend – Tell (2014)

Director: J.M.R. Luna

Writer: Timothy Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Katee Sackhoff, Jason Lee, Robert Patrick, Alan Tudyk, John Michael Higgins, Faizon Love

 

Plot: Ethan Tell is a small time crook who makes a big-time score when he steals 1 million dollars. Ironically, his life radically changes for the worse when he discovers that stealing the money was the easy part and he now must keep his partner, his wife, his parole officer, and two corrupt detectives from stealing it from him.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Con-man Playbook Passed

 

Story: Tell starts as a robbery Tell (Ventimiglia) is trying to get out off organised by Ray (Lee) his wife’s Beverly (Sackhoff) brother goes wrong, with Tell locked up for three years, with two cops Ashton (Patrick) and Morton (Tudyk) trying to get their hands on the money along with the parole officer Dwight (Love) as Tell is released from prison.

Out of prison Tell tries to get on with his life, but soon the familiar faces return to his life, Ashton, Morton, Beverly and Ray as he needs to stay one step ahead of them as he looks to collect the money before it is gone for good.

 

Thoughts on Tell

 

Characters – Tell is your standard crook, he always talks about having a normal life, but wants to steal his way to it. He isn’t likeable in anyway and even after getting shot and serving time in prison he still needs to stay ahead of the people that want the money he is meant to have taken. Beverly is the ex-wife of Tell that remarried when he was locked up to help raise their child, she wants to money because she dreams of the life of luxury. Ray is the partner in crime and brother to Beverly, he is left for dead at the crime scene and now has returned for the money, he feels like a loose cannon with crazy ideas. Ashton and Morton are the two cops that are hounding Tell for the money from the robbery.

PerformancesThe performances are mixed because of allowed screen time. Milo doesn’t give us a likeable character and feels like he is cruising through the film for the most part, Katee Sackhoff is solid enough as the wife figure, always after the money, for me it was Jason Lee who shines the best in this film as we just never know what he is going to do next. Patrick and Tudyk both seem to enjoy playing the crooked cops which is good to see.

StoryThe story follows a crook that is trying to collect the money from his previous heist though he has people from the heist, cops and an ex-wife that also want the money. This story follows the heist gone wrong paths well and the whole released from prison people will want what was never recovered, while never addressing the bigger issue, that Tell wants to live a normal life after his time in prison. This isn’t the most engaging story, be it the generic characters, by the books story or overly slow pacing.

Action/CrimeThe action we see in the film is a couple of shoot outs mixed with the punch or strike to get someone’s attention, the crime side of the film shows how the characters are mixed up in a world they shouldn’t be involved in.

SettingsThe film never uses the settings enough to make us understand where we are and even the backgrounds of the characters involved.


Scene of the Movie –
What happens after the opening sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It offers nothing new to the genre of the heist movies.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard by the book heist film, it checks the boxes without being anything you will remember enough to suggest this to heist fans.

 

Overall: Heist movie that falls slightly flat.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Y – Yes Man (2008)

Director: Peyton Reed

Writer: Nicholas Stoller, Jarred Paul, Andrew Mogel (Screenplay) Danny Wallace (Book)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, John Michael Higgins, Rhys Darby, Danny Masterson

 

Plot: A man challenges himself to say “yes” to everything for an entire year.


Tagline – One word can change everything.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Comedy With Laughs

 

Story: Yes Man starts as we meet Carl (Carrey) a banker that doesn’t like to socialise with his friends, co-workers or seems to always say no to everything. when Carl bumps into an old friend Nick (Higgins) who has turned his life around by always saying ‘Yes’ to everything in life.

Carl ends up joining the same group deciding to take the whole year just saying yes, in this time he meets Allison (Deschanel) a musician who is completely different to himself and gets closer to his best friend Peter (Cooper), one of the few people that still encourages him to go out, the question remains just how extreme everything will go.

 

Thoughts on Yes Man

 

Characters – Carl lives a very restricted life, mostly because of his divorce and life not going any direction he is enjoying. This has made his friendship group dwindle down, after being encouraged to take the risk of the ‘Yes’ motivation group, he starts saying Yes to everything, from helping a homeless person to approving a bank loan to a stranger. Allison is the woman that Carl meets in the year after saying yes to something he never would, she is different to anything he would usually go for, being spontaneous on every opportunity. Peter is the best friend of Carl’s the one that will always try to push his friend to get out there and enjoy his life, he has been let down by Carl before and the friendship is what keeps them close together. Nick is the man that inspires Carl to follow through with the idea to say yes, he used to be like Carl and now he is enjoying his life.

PerformancesJim Carrey in the leading role is good for the most part, the problem with this is that he lets too much of his slapstick comedy going on and this role would have bern fantastic for a straight-faced actor to pull off. Zooey Deschanel is good as the love interest, she always is great to see as the girlfriend and she gets to show her singing skills at times too. Bradley Cooper was continuing to make a name of himself in supporting roles where he once again gets his timing right. The supporting cast all get good laughs through the film.

StoryThe story follows a man who believes his life isn’t going well stuck in a rut which he is happy enough with, when he gets given a chance to take chances he starts saying yes to everything which opens up his life to new opportunities. This does show us the meaning of life even if we see the extremes of it here, we get to see how taking chances with make for an enjoyable life however mad certain parts might be. We do see moments of people who will take advantage of that person, which isn’t ever addressed enough especially when one is a close friend, overall this story shows us just how important living life is, taking chance because you never know what you might find in life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the reactions and participation in the events that Carl get put through, we do get laughs from the supporting cast with Rhys Darby as Norman getting the most. The romance side of the film comes from taking a chance, Carl had been divorced and not wanting to take a chance on meeting new people which saying yes offers him.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which is fine, it could have been set in any city because none of what is achieved makes a different to the actual settings.


Scene of the Movie –
Close stage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Carrey sometimes goes to slapstick too quickly.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun motivational movie, sure it becomes a basic comedy and could have been better with somebody not known for comedy in the leading role, but it does everything it needs to.

 

Overall: Fun comedy.

Rating

 

 

Rapture-Palooza (2013)

logoDirector: Paul Middleditch

Writer: Chris Matheson (Screenplay)

Starring: Craig Robinson, Anna Kendrick, John Francis Daley, Rob Corddry, Ana Gasteyer, John Michael Higgins

 

Plot: Two teens battle their way through a religious apocalypse on a mission to defeat the Antichrist.

 

Verdict: Boring Comedy

 

Story: We start by following our heroes standing over a hot tub explaining how they saved the world, before flashing us back to the very beginning and how half the world just vanished taken to heaven. This leaves the non-believers stuck living through the plagues before we meet the Beast the Anti-Christ himself, taking over the world making everyone do what he wants. When our young couple are looking for a job they end up getting one working for The Beast where he takes a shine to our young heroine and wants to make her his wife. The couple have to come up with a plan to stop The Beast’s plan.

What tries too hard to be funny ends up being a pretty plain story that offers nothing original and most of the time it just ends up being awkward comedy. The source material of a rapture hadn’t been used much but thanks to ‘This Is The End’ this comes off like a weak attempt at it. I was left very disappointed with this because with this which failed to offer anything to work with. (3/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Craig Robinson: The Beast the Anti-Christ who takes over the world after the rapture. He wants to make Lindsey his wife and will kill everyone she knows if she doesn’t. Craig gives the type of performance you expect from him but he struggles with the lead role. (5/10)

 beast

Anna Kendrick: Lindsey Lewis our heroine telling us the story of what happened in the typical teenage/young adult style. She also happens to know the only person rejected by the rapture and the only dead person to come back to life. Anna gives a solid performance but it is hard to believe she is the age she is playing. (5/10)

lindsey

John Francis Daley: Ben House boyfriend of Lindsey who along with her takes a very laidback comical look at the apocalypse. John does well with what little he has to work with but in the end get pushed aside by the stronger comedic actors. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: The supporting cast mainly end up being the attempted comedy be it the stoner demons or the dead neighbour. In the end they all just take up screen time the leads needed to evolve their characters.

 

Director Review: Paul Middleditch – Fails to create any laughs in this comedy along with a dull story and poorly created characters. (4/10)

 

Comedy: I didn’t laugh at all during the film. (1/10)

Chemistry: The chemistry between Anna and John feels awkward from start to finish. (3/10)

Settings: They don’t offer anything to the story. (3/10)
Special Effects
: Poor CGI effects used through the film. (2/10)

Suggestion: This is one to avoid. (Miss It)

 

Best Part: The dead neighbour is the highlight.

Worst Part: Poor Story.

What Could Have Been Better? – Built the characters up more, make the characters ages more apparent, have better laughs. This list could be long.

Lessons Learned: Craig Robinson is a supporting actor, Anna Kendrick can’t be a teenager anymore.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Dogma

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

Overall: Not Good Enough, Poor Man’s Dogma

Rating 30

Blade Trinity (2004)

Director: David S Goyer

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Krisofferson, Dominic Purcell, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Parker Posey, Mark Berry, John Michael Higgins, Callum Keith Rennie, Paul Levensque, Paul Anthony, James Remar, Natasha Lyonne, Patton Oswalt

The third movie in the Blade series and guess what? they ran out of original ideas for villains and went with Dracula well Drake (Dominic Purcell) is his official name. So basically the baddie vamps lead by Danica (Parker Posey) her brother Asher and their bodyguard figure Jarko Grimewood (Triple H). These guys decide to raise Drake to help take over the world blah blah blah.

On the good guys side Blade (Wesley Snipes) has to deal with the death of Whistler ( Kris Kristofferson) when he is saved by Whistlers daughter Abigail (Jessica Biel) yes this is a major storyline plot hole but it gets explained as an unwed lock baby. she is aided by Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds) and the rest of the Night Stalkers.

Both sides have ways to stop the other the vamps try to become day walkers by using Drake’s blood while the night stalkers want to create a virus that could take out the vampires forever.

David S. Goyer directs and does an OK job if u believe reports of how Wesley Snipes was meant to have behaved thought out shooting. Ryan Reynolds and Triple H steal the movie with great supporting performances.

Overall this a good movie just for a little blood splatter and fun action one liners and sequences i will give it a 81%