Kevin Costner Weekend – McFarland (2015)

Director: Niki Caro

Writer: Christopher Cleverland, Bettina Gilois, Grant Thompson (Screenplay) Christopher Cleverland, Bettina Gilois (Story)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Ramiro Rodriguez, Carlos Pratts, Johnny Ortiz, Rafael Martinez, Hector Duran, Sergio Avelar

 

Plot: Jim White moves his family after losing his last job as a football coach. He sees that some of the students are worth starting a cross-country team and turns seven students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sports Drama

 

Story: McFarland starts as high school football coach Jim White (Costner) goes too far trying to motivate his team, which leads him to lose his job, needing find a new job, Jim relocates with his family wife Cheryl (Bello) and kids to McFarland a small town populated with mostly Mexican families.

Moving to this town opens Jim’s eyes to a potential cross-country team to help the children with little hope of a big future to aim for something, he takes Thomas Valles (Pratts) the fastest, Danny Diaz (Rodriguez) the slowest, Jose (Ortiz), David (Martinez), Johnny (Duran) and Victor (Avelar) and attempts to make them a champion cross-country team.

 

Thoughts on McFarland

 

Characters – Coach Jim White is a fallen man having lost his temper with an over privileged team not performing, needing to redeem himself he moves his family to the only place that would give him a chance McFarland a mostly Mexican neighbourhood. Here we see Jim believe he can turn 7 kids into a champion cross-country team using his ability to learn the new culture and give the kids hope they never thought they would get. Thomas is the star of the team, he has natural speed, but he has not been given too much hope with his future after school, he now gets a chance that could bring him a college dream he could never even consider. Danny is the slowest member of the team but he never gives up showing improvement on every single run.

PerformanceKevin Costner shows us here that he does still have it and most of all can handle being the mentor figure for the young actors. The young actors playing the runners all give great performances show us just how anyone could be given a chance to be the next big thing. Maria Bello is potentially the weakest of the main performers but we don’t get too much for her to do.

StoryThe story of one coach needing to get redemption for his actions is one idea we have seen before. It works here and mixing it with entering into a neighbourhood that has been given no hope of a future until they are shown a new way out of the town. This is based on a true story which shows how real people’s actions were important for this community. This shows how people working together can achieve any dreams.

Biopic/SportsThe real people are show in this movie should be used as inspiration for anyone who has dreams and it helps show people can make them happen. The running is chopped together to be fine but isn’t the most engaging part of the film.

SettingsThe small-town setting shows how difficult life would be for this families living here, it also shows just how together the neighbourhood is when supporting any success that could come their way.

Scene of the Movie – Bridge talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Due to not knowing Spanish I didn’t understand slight words other people would.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantastic look at how one man changed the hopes for a small town, it shows how every kid should be given a chance to prove themselves for a future and gives us a true story that could inspire.

 

Overall: Enjoyable, Inspirational story.

Rating

 

 

Possession Diaries (2019)

Director: Juan Frausto

Writer: Juan Frausto, Rich Wealthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Katherine Munroe, James Russo, Johnny Ortiz, Eileen Dietz

 

Plot: The story follows Rebecca Clarkson, suffering from demonic attacks after playing with an Ouija board one night. Fearful people will think she’s crazy, or lying, she documents her experiences in a video blog on her webcam over the course of a week. In a series of escalating events, shadowing figures appearing and disappearing, the creepy factor grows. Soon the supernatural activity becomes violent, and Rebecca is repeatedly attacked by the demonic forces until finally, evil takes possession of her body. Will Rebecca be able to beat the Devil and protect her soul, or will she die, and lose her soul to hell fire?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Forgettable Possession Movie

 

Story: Possession Diaries starts with Rebecca (Munroe) starting her own video diary to explain what she believes is demonic possession, she has tried seeking medical help, religious health and nobody has seen anything wrong with her, she can’t even escape by moving because it follows her.

When the strange events continue to happen, Rebecca fills in the diary after each one, with only her boyfriend Dante’s fleeting visits to support her.

 

Thoughts on Possession Diaries

 

Characters – Rebecca is the young woman that believes she is possessed, she has tried everything from medical and religious sides only to decide to record for the internet the events that follow, she is trying to solve the problems she is facing. She is front and centre in every scene, only she is meant to be an average everyday person, making a point that she isn’t an actress. Aunt Peggy has connections that could help with the supernatural around her life. Father Brien is the man that comes to try and perform an exorcism. Dante is the boyfriend that comes and goes even though he knows Rebecca is struggle, he is a bit of an asshole if we are honest here.

PerformancesKatherine Munroe is our main actor in this film, we need a strong performance from her to make this film work, she does struggle to  make us convinced with her performance, though it is meant to be an everyday person not an actresses which is just as difficult to play. The rest of the performance are an even bigger step back though with most being laughable.

StoryThe story follows a young lady that believes she is being possessed by a demonic force and decides to record the events in an attempt to find help. This should work for found footage because it would make sense if she just left the camera rolling without any cuts, she doesn’t which just confuses because a lot of events happen when she isn’t there or behind her. The possession films have been done to death now anyway, there is only so much you can do to stand out, we get the film trying to go against the rules by just telling the audience what the other films have done before. This does feel like the film is talking down to us to early which only takes away the interesting in caring about Rebecca’s story. the story doesn’t offer anything to the genre and ends up feeling like a largely forgettable story.

HorrorWhen it comes to the horror, well it is possession based, which isn’t always going to get the biggest fear moments.

SettingsThe film does keep the film in one location, Rebecca’s bedroom where she records the events, this would have worked better if we had kept a lot more around the webcam recording instead of jumping to normal camera work.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget, we can forgive moments of weakness here, we don’t get many and the ones we get work well enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummm nope.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Dante, just Dante in general.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another possession movie that gives us nothing new and just ends up feeling bland and boring.

 

Overall: Just another bad possession film.

Rating