Robin Williams Weekend – Dead Poets Society (1989)

Director: Peter Weir

Writer: Tom Schulman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero

 

Plot: English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.


Tagline – He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Greatest Movies

 

Story: Dead Poets Society starts as the new school year is starting at an elite boarding school for boys, Todd Anderson (Hawke) is following in his brother’s footsteps by attending, shy and not fitting in with the others. Neil Perry (Leonard) is the charismatic leader of a study group, following his father’s instruction to become a doctor, he welcomes Todd into their group.

The English teacher is a former student John Keating (Williams) who uses different methods to get his message over, including letting the boys know about his former club, ‘The Dead Poets Society’ this gives the boys a chance to experience poetry, both reading and writing, giving the boys a life lesson, no teacher could ever teach them.

 

Thoughts on Dead Poets Society

 

Characters – John Keating is the English teacher that has returned to the school he attended to teach the boys. He has unorthodox methods to teach life lessons to show them that learning doesn’t have to be boring, it can be enlightening. Todd Anderson is the shy new guy in the school, he is taken under the wing by the confident Neil and with both Neil and John motivating him to come out of his shell, he becomes the boy with the potential. Neil Perry is the class leader of the students, he is confident even though he is living the life his father wants him to, the father than has control over him, he pushes by following his own dreams of being an actor, showing the pressure a parent can put on their children.

PerformancesRobin Williams was at the peak of his talents here, he shines in his role which isn’t as loud as previous films, he keeps his performance restrained which is needed to be the leader his character it to the boys. Ethan Hawke is good in this movie, he did break out with his performance of a character that is the one that needs to come out of his shell the most. Robert Sean Leonard is wonderful, he shows the strength around the fellow students and the weakness around his father, which gives us the perfect example of the pressure his character would be feeling.

StoryThe story follows the one teacher that wanted to teach his students to follow their dreams, show their potential to the world, instead of just being part of the system. We follow part of the year which shows how John Keating inspires the boys to go come out of their shells, one to become the person he is hiding from, another to go against his father’s wishes, one to stand up against the whole system and one to be able to show his love for a girl. This shows us that not everything needs to be by the book and different directions can help people learn more than ever before.

ComedyThe comedy for the film helps take the film to a light-hearted nature instead of just being a serious drama which is what John Keating is trying to show the boys, life isn’t all serious.

SettingsThe film takes part in the boarding school, this shows the rules and regulation the boys are being taught to follow, which gets reflected in how the boys are being taught differently by Keating.


Scene of the Movie –
Oh Captain, My Captain!

That Moment That Annoyed Me I hate these types of schools.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the great movies of the 80’s one of the best of Robin Williams career and one that should inspire all to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Simply Great.

Rating

 

 

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Amateur (2018)

Director: Ryan Koo

Writer: Ryan Koo (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Rainey Jr, Josh Charles, Brian White, Sharon Leal, Ashlee Brian

 

Plot: A young basketball player struggles to fit in with his new team.


Tagline – Every dream has a price.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Sports Drama

 

Story: Amateur starts as Terron Forte (Rainey Jr) an internet sensation basketball player that is destine to become an NBA star, the problem is he struggles in school to focus on numbers dyscalculia and is part of losing team, his dad Vince (White) brings in well-respected high school coach Gaines (Charles) to give him a chance only that he will need to move away from home.

Moving to the new school and home he must learn to be around high school age students and learn the game at the next level, but this is going to come at a cost, his education gets put on the back burner and the darker side of the sport is shown to the sport.

 

Thoughts on Amateur

 

Characters – Terron is a basketball prodigy that has been struggle with dyscalculia being unable to read numbers, he has always continued to keep his education up with the help of his mother and being the best player in his area he has turned heads. He gets signed to a high school team which improves him game but gives out false education promises. He must learn to play the game with his learning difficulties and being just a part of everyone else’s success. Coach Gaines has offered everything Terron would want for a future in the NBA even if he has been taking advantage of the players by bending the rules of the game to create the stars of tomorrow. Vince is Terron’s father that once had a chance of a sporting career and is trying everything to help his son even with his constant pain from his injuries.

PerformancesMichael Rainey Jr is the lead of this movie, he is brilliant in this role, handling the basketball side of things and the learning difficulties his character has been facing are shown well throughout. Josh Charles is good as the coach that will do anything to anything for his reputation of finding young players, while Brian White is good too.

StoryThe story here shows of a sporting prodigy can use social media to hype his reputation while stepping up levels others wouldn’t normally get. It shows how the sporting system needs to be balanced with education and breaking the rules could leave the potential ruined. We get to see the darker side of high school basketball and how far people will go to bring through the best players, the film does also display living with dyscalculia and how you can overcome the problem even if it takes time to reach the solution.

SportsThe basketball scenes look great, its not a sport I know too much about, but how the young player can excel against senior players.

SettingsThe film keeps everything around the school system showing how Terron must learn to become part of the team away from home and how he needs to be outside his comfort zone.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the plays.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t learn enough about the education levels Terron was scoring before the move.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sports drama that does show the best and worst parts of the high school basketball.

 

Overall: Must watch for sports fans.

Rating

 

 

After.Life (2009)

logoDirector: Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo

Writer: Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo, Paul Vosloo, Jakub Korolczuk (Screenplay)

Starring: Christina Ricci, Liam Neeson, Justin Long, Chandler Canterbury, Celia Weston, Luz Ramos, Josh Charles, Rosemary Murphy

 

Plot: After a horrific car accident, Anna (Ricci) wakes up to find the local funeral director Eliot Deacon (Neeson) preparing her body for her funeral. Confused, terrified and feeling still very much alive, Anna doesn’t believe she’s dead, despite the funeral director’s reassurances that she is merely in transition to the afterlife. Eliot convinces her he has the ability to communicate with the dead and is the only one who can help her. Trapped inside the funeral home, with nobody to turn to except Eliot, Anna is forced to face her deepest fears and accept her own death. But Anna’s grief-stricken boyfriend Paul (Long) still can’t shake the nagging suspicion that Eliot isn’t what he appears to be. As the funeral nears Paul gets closer to unlocking the disturbing truth, but it could be too late; Anna may have already begun to cross over the other side.

 

Verdict: Creepy Thriller

 

Story: A good thriller keeps you guessing and changing you mind on what is really going on, this offers both, just when you think know what is going on it throws it all back at you to re-think. The bad side of that is that the film doesn’t give full attention to the idea of the funeral director being a serial killer or give us enough to believe that Anna is accepting her fate, we also only get teaser ideas of young Jack and who or what he really is about. We also fail to get a real understanding of what Anna’s early medical problems are before the accident. With many unresolved question you will feel left wondering about many things at the end, even though plenty question give the story great potential. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Christina Ricci: Anna the young teacher who has the car accident leaving her in a funeral home, she questions whether she is really dead before accepting her fate, but did she give up to early? Good performance from Christina who plays the confusion as well as anyone. (7/10)

 ricci

Liam Neeson: Eliot Deacon the funeral director who could be a serial killer or could have a gift, either way he is very particular and perfectionist who is very well-spoken. Good performance from Liam who brings great mystery to his role. (8/10)

neeson

Justin Long: Paul the boyfriend of Anna who is haunted by regret because of the argument leading to Anna’s accident, he tries to find out the truth and is left being the only one who thinks she might still be alive. Stepping away from comedy roles Justin has become a supporting role man in horror, but never really looks like he fits in them. (5/10)

 long

Chandler Canterbury: Jack the young student of Anna’s who has a creepy side which never gets explained. Good performance from the kid but because we don’t learn enough about his motive takes away from the performance. (7/10)

 chanderly

Director Review: Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo – Creates some great tension and leaves us asking plenty of question, but by not answering all of them the film fills somewhat incomplete. (5/10)

 

Horror: The battle between life and death is very strong throughout, and if you believe one ending it is a great creation of a new killer. (7/10)

Mystery: Simply put you just don’t know what to believe throughout. (10/10)

Thriller: Keeps you guessing all the way through. (9/10)

Settings: The creepy preparation room that Anna is kept in adds to the tension well. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Good effects used during some of the dream sequences. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest trying and if you do, tell me what you think happened once it is all set and done. (Give it A Go)

 

Best Part: Keeping you guessing.

Worst Part: Doesn’t seem to give you a real answer.

Scariest Scene: Dream sequences

Believability: Depends how you read the ending. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Very unlikely, due to poor box office.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $2,002,618

Budget: $4.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: How do you save yourself when you’re already dead?

 

Overall: Great Thriller but what happened?

Rating 72