ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – G – Grudge Match (2013)

Director: Peter Segal

Writer: Tim Kelleher, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Tim Kelleher (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, LL Cool J, Jon Bernthal

 

Plot: A pair of aging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout, thirty years after their last match.


Tagline – Never give up the fight.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More Heartfelt Than You Would Think

 

Story: Grudge Match starts as we see the history of two boxing legends Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp (Stallone) & Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen (De Niro) who has two fights and before The Kid got his rematch, Razor walked away from the sport. 30-years-later after an altercation between the two goes viral, Dante Slate Jr (Hart) arranges one more match between the two.

The two get back into training, Razor uses his old coach Lightning (Arkin) while The Kid turns to a new gym he helped fund run by Frankie Brite (Cool J) but it is his unknown son BJ (Bernthal) that knows how to train, the two go through the press campaign giving everyone buzz about the fight between two fighters past their prime and out of shape.

 

Thoughts on Grudge Match

 

Characters – Henry ‘Razor’ Sharp won the last fight between the two, he then walked away from the sport losing his fortune along the way becoming a factory worker. When the chance to make money by returning for one fight however reluctant he is, he must confront the problems which left him walking away from the ring to be ready for his in-ring return. Billy ‘The Kid’ McDonnen lost the last fight between the two, he wants rematch, but his reasoning behind him losing is the same as Razor leaving the ring. He has his own bar and jumps at the chance of a rematch. Dante Slate Jr is the fast taking promoter that has followed in his father’s footsteps. Lightning is the trainer for Razor he always has been, the old man cliché is all about him in this film. we have Sally who is the woman that got between the two men trying to rebuild her relationship with Razor.

PerformancesStallone and De Niro both have legendary careers where they both appeared in boxing movies, Rocky and Raging Bull respectable, this performance from the both doesn’t mock what they achieved, but does let them have fun at knowing they are older than when those films were part of their highlights. The supporting cast all get to play into their strengths, Hart with his quick talking, Arkin with his grumpy old man persona and Basinger doing the old flame figure.

StoryThe story follows to old rivals in the Boxing ring that get bought back together for the grudge match with the two having one a single match win each. The story shows how rivalries can last for decades and how they both have survived after leaving the world of boxing. We get to see the ‘old man’ in tech heavy world moments as this fight goes viral which works in places but not others. We see how the personal lives of everyone involved has been affected by the rivalry too.

Comedy/SportsThe comedy is solid in most places we get Hart doing his thing most and Arkin do the grumpy old man routine which gets the most laughs. The sports brings us in the boxing world with former rivals.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings in the two boxers home city of Pittsburgh which shows the sport will bring the city together.


Scene of the Movie –
The match itself.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain jokes miss.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that was a lot better than I would expect, the jokes can hit and by the end you will enjoy this movie with two boxing legends finally ending their tie.

 

Overall: Fun sports comedy.

Rating

 

 

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The Accountant (2016)

accDirector: Gavin O’Connor

Writer: Bill Dubuque (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow

 

Plot: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Best Action Thriller of the Year

 

Story: The Accountant starts as we see Christian Wolff at a young age struggling to deal with autism but with the correct tuition Christian (Affleck) has turned his math savant skills to help small town people manage their accounts. He is distant from people but always helps those who need it.

On the other side of the story we meet head of the treasury department Ray King (Simmons) who blackmails a young agent Marybeth Medina (Addai-Robinson) into investigating this mysterious accountant that has been working with the biggest names on the terrorists list, that accountant is Christian under an alter-ego.

Christian’s latest accountancy job is sorting 15 years of accounts for Lamar Black (Lithgow) Living Robotics company that have been working on defence contracts. While Christian gets on with his latest job we see how Brax (Bernthal) goes about cleaning up other questionable actions from the bankers. While Christian must deal with the junior accountant Dana Cummings (Kendrick) being too talkative for his own liking.

As the story continues to unfold we continue to learn just how dangerous Christian really is and what his bigger plan is. As Brax cleans up what Christian discovers his desperate need for completion explodes but what he discovers could expose the fraud going on.

The Accountant is one of the most complete action thrillers of recent years. The story does borrow elements from recent ideas with myself seeing a mix of John Wick and Dexter going on throughout. Where this story stand head and shoulders above most other films is the way the whole story gets completed. Another huge plus point for this film is that every character gets a full development and we see their story arc go full circle.

Ben Affleck gives a brilliant performance in this leading role where we get to see him have the full emotionless character that is intense to level most action character could only wish for. Jon Bernthal continues to shine through supporting roles in films after his time on television. J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson work excellently together again with a perfect story arc to their character. The only negative in this film I found was the character Dana just feels added to the story while this doesn’t mean Kendrick is bad it was the character didn’t quite fit the full story.

This is easily one of the films of the year that I can fully expect everyone to enjoy and even at over two hours long you barely notice the time being used in this film.

 

Overall: Brutal action, story with heart and perfect story telling throughout.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

casting ard

 

Plot: Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institution in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Big and Better Than Original

 

Story: Night at the Museum 2 starts as Larry Daley (Stiller) the former night guard who is now the owner of Daley Devices but when he learns that the exhibits from the Natural History Museum are being packed away and moved to the Smithsonian as the Natural History Museum is becoming interactive.

After Dexter the monkey steals the ancient tablet that brings them to life after dark Jedediah (Wilson) has to bring Larry to the Smithsonian to help control in the world’s biggest museum as Kahmunrah (Azaria) has taken over the museum. Larry must team up with Amelia Earhart (Adams) to solve the mystery.

Night at the Museum 2 brings us into a new museum that shows what would happen if one of the exhibits gets their hands on the tablets. It is important to show that Larry has moved on with his life but the exhibits wouldn’t get that chance. I do have to wonder what happened to the love interest from the first film who gets no mention. But back to the positive we get to look at plenty of historical characters. This is fun without being too over the top and could be enjoy by all.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Stiller: Larry Daley has now made a name for himself in the inventing world but still visits the museum from time to time to see his friends, but when they move to the Smithsonian he has to put his uniform on one more time to save his friends from a new evil and bring peace to the Smithsonian. Ben plays his character to the level you know he can in comedy very fun throughout.

Amy Adams: Amelia Earhart is one of the exhibits at the museum that shows Larry around, she is feisty adventurer much like the real lady would have been and ends up being similar to the Teddy Roosevelt. Amy is great in this role showing she can pull off comedy next to the bigger names in comedy.

Owen Wilson: Jedediah is the cowboy friend in the museum that calls him to help them with their new danger. He is wise cracking always leaving himself into trouble. Owen as always is a good comic supporting role.

Hank Azaria: Kahmunrah is the brother of the Ahkmenrah in the Natural History Museum that wants to use the tablet for evil once he gets brought back to life in the Smithsonian. Hank is good in this villainous role we would easily be one he can always pull off.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum 2 has an even bigger supporting cast that all play different historical characters inside the museums, we get a lot of cameo like performances that all get a laugh along the way.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn gives us a good follow up that is bigger that original while keep the story along similar lines.

 

Adventure: Night at the Museum 2 has the learning sense of adventure following Larry through the museum.

Comedy: Night at the Museum 2 has smarter jokes going on this time with most being around historical figures, with the highlight when the villain doesn’t let Groucho or Darth Vadar join him.

Family: Night at the Museum 2 is one the whole family could enjoy throughout with jokes for everyone to understand.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum 2 puts all the historical characters into the one area where we see them all come life interacting with each other and Larry gets to live it all.

Settings: Night at the Museum 2 takes everything into the Smithsonian which helps increase the characters.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum 2 has great effects to create all the different characters we meet.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum 2 is one for the whole family to enjoy, it has a little of everything but most importantly does have good moments of history. (Family Viewing)

 

Best Part: Darth Vadar Cameo.

Worst Part: The over long don’t cross the line.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one more

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: When the lights go off the battle is on.

 

Overall: Enjoyable family comedy with a sprinkling of history lesson.

Ratingcard

 

 

Sicario (2015)

sicarioDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal, Daniel Kaluuya, Jeffrey Donovan, Raoul Trujillo, Julio Cedillo

 

Plot: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Sicario starts when a FBI SWAT team bust a house where Kate Macer (Blunt) discover the walls are filled with dead bodies. After impressing the higher ups in the FBI Kate gets assigned to work on a task force under Matt Graver (Brolin) to track down the Cartel along with the expert Alejandro (del Toro).

On this task force Kate discovers not everything is going by the book as she tries her hardest to fight to get this done the legal way but even her higher ups want this done the illegal way to stir the pot and expose the criminals.

Sicario is a tense thriller that keeps us on the edge of our seats, it has plenty of twists and turns that keep us guessing to where things are going and who people are. This is slow moving as we only really follow the preparation, execution and questions about each mission without getting to in depth with anything else. It will go down as one of the best thrillers of the year.

 

Actor Review

 

Emily Blunt: Kate Macer is a highly respected leader of a FBI SWAT unit that gets a chance to get revenge on the Cartel that have been causes the deaths of her unit. She ends up on a special task force where she questions every decision being made for being unethical compared to the usual by the book style she works under. We find Kate trapped in a world she doesn’t fully understand but in a place she wants to be in too where she learns how to take down a Cartel. Emily is brilliant in this role showing all her skills through the performance.kate

Benicio Del Toro: Alejandro is the Mexican helping the special unit, he will do the dirty jobs without blinking but still keeps mystery about him from start to finish. Benicio is great in this role which is filled with mystery.alejandro

Josh Brolin: Matt Graver is the leader of the special unit, he is very laidback and doesn’t care what rules they break to get the job down, he also isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to getting the job done but would rather leave it up for Alejandro. Josh is good in this role with his style working for the role.matt

Victor Garber: Dave Jennings is the head of the FBI who gives Kate the chance to be part of this task force, he is happy with things being done off the book as long as it gets results. Victor is good in this supporting role without being a major part of the film.

Support Cast: Sicario has good basic supporting cast that all work for the story.

Director Review: Denis VilleneuveDenis brings his own style to this thriller that all works for where the story needed to go.

 

Action: Sicario has good tactical action from start to finish.

Crime: Sicario brings us into the crime war against the Cartels as we see the intense side of the story.

Mystery: Sicario adds the mystery as we just don’t know what the overall plan is, as well as wondering who Alejandro really is.

Thriller: Sicario keeps us guessing to what will happen next and to who throughout.

Settings: Sicario takes us to the location you would expect to see in the world we are a part of for this journey
Special Effects
: Sicario uses great effects to create the kills used throughout.

Suggestion: Sicario is one for all the thriller fans to enjoy from start to finish. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension from start to finish.

Worst Part: Slow moving.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Will most likely appear on the lists

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 1 Minute

Tagline: The border is just another line to cross.

Trivia: The thermal vision shots in the film were shot with a thermal vision camera and they were not added in the post-production.

 

Overall: Tense thriller that keeps us guessing from start to finish

Ratingcard

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

logoDirector: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Writer: Jesse Andrews (Screenplay) Jesse Andrews (Novel)

Starring: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Katherine C Hughes, Matt Bennett, Masam Holden

Plot: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightful but Tragic Drama

Story: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl starts with Greg (Mann) struggling to tell his story. Greg goes about his high school journey where he knows how to get away without ever being out of place with any social groups along with his best friend who Greg refers to as his co-worker Earl (Cyler). When Greg learns the news that one of his class mate Rachel (Cooke) has been diagnosed with leukaemia his parents force him to reach out to her.

While the Greg and Rachel start their friendship in an unconventional style as they believe they are both very different. We discovers that Greg and Earl enjoy making short films. Greg and Rachel do end up becoming actual friends and along with Earl we follow as the three continue a normal life while everyone else treats Rachel like she is suffering which includes Greg and Earl making a movie for Rachel.group

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes off feeling very fresh without becoming a full blown tear jerker, this could have easily gone down as just another film about a dying girl well dying but this film approaches the story from another angle, it shows what it would be like for a friend during the dying character time of suffering. This story never wants to let it get too down on what is happening and constantly trying to push the characters to look into the future. I especially like how Rachel is pushing Greg into making up his mind reflecting where the two stand, Greg having all the time in the world not wanting to use it while she knows she doesn’t pushing him to make sure he doesn’t waste it. This film is a delightful story that should be watched by all even if you need a tissue or two by the end. (8/10)

Actor Review

Thomas Mann: Greg is the social awkward high school student and along with his best friend which he refers to as co-worker befriend Rachel as he tries to treat her like a normal girl while everyone else everyone else is to sympathetic to her situation. We follow his last year at high school as he also has to make his big decision about his future and the two help each other. Thomas does a great job in this role and could easily be a future star. (9/10)greg

RJ Cyler: Earl is the co-worker to Greg who is actually his best friend who makes movies with Greg because they share the love for classic cinema. RJ gives a great debut role in a supporting role. (8/10)

Olivia Cooke: Rachel is the dying girl who once she gets diagnosed finds everyone treating her differently until Greg comes along to offer a new friendship where he gives her a normal friendship without sympathy and she teaches him to grow up. Olivia gives a great performance which will give us a leading star for the future. (9/10)rachel

Support Cast: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has a brilliant supporting cast that all give brilliant performances.

Director Review: Alfonso Gomez-RejonAlfonso gives us a brilliant film that goes against traditional tragic stories. (9/10)

Comedy: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has light comedy throughout which works well for the subject. (7/10)

Drama: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl gives us a near perfect drama about just growing up when one of the best friends won’t make it. (9/10)

Settings: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl uses the settings to show how normal the lives of the characters are because it will be what everyday people will have to deal with through the situation. (9/10)

Suggestion: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is one to be watched by all, it is one of the best stories of the year and will teach you the lesson in life. (Watch)

Best Part: Performances by Mann and Cooke.

Worst Part: Not one.

Believability: The suffering the characters would go through are real, the idea of friendship is real. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: You will have a few by the end. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Fault in Our Stars

Oscar Chances: Could be an outside bet.

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: A little friendship never killed anyone

Overall: Brilliant Drama about growing up and not being afraid of the world

Rating 90