ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – E – 15:17 to Paris (2018)

This is under E for Eastwood in the directing chari.

 

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Dorothy Blyskal (Screenplay) Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Jeffrey E Stern (Book)

Starring: Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Ray Corasani, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer

 

Plot: Americans discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train.


Tagline – The true story of a terrorist, a train, and three friends who became heroes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painfully Boring

 

Story: The 15:17 to Paris starts as we meet three lifelong friends, Alek (Skarlatos) Anthony (Sadler) and Spencer (Stone) who are on a train to Paris, we flashback to see how their friendship came out and follow Spencer as he is driven to join the military.

As the boys turn to men they go into different fields with Alek following Spencer into the military and while on a European holiday the event which will redefine their lives happens, as they look to deal with a terrorist on the train to Paris.

 

Thoughts on The 15:17 to Paris

 

Characters – Alek, Anthony and Spencer all grew up together, stayed friends even when they were separated, they went into the fields they wanted to, with seemingly Alek and Spencer’s choices being important to the events on the train. They sum the idea that we are going to be seeing heroes who have normal lives, normal struggles, they aren’t special in their action, only in their reaction to crisis.

PerformancesThis is one of the biggest flaws in this movie, we have the real men, playing versions of themselves, the problem is they are not actors, they can’t act, they are heroes don’t get me wrong, but watching them deliver lines is just part of the dullness in this movie.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of the real men that stopped a terrorist attack on a train in Paris, the story has become the stuff of legends like it should do. The way this story is told is so boring, we learn about the men’s lives, which only seems to cover two of the three, we deal with dull sequences which include trying to enjoy American football and by the time we get to the big event moment we have lost interest in this film.

BiopicThis does show a big moment in history, the problem is that it is only a quick moment that stopped the event and stretching these men’ normal lives out just drags on and on.

SettingsThe settings feel as pointless as the random trip around the Europe they take, we never feel like we are on location.


Scene of the Movie –
The incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of anything else happening.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the worst movies you will see about one of the biggest moments in recent heroism.

 

Overall: Just what was Eastwood thinking?

Rating

 

 

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The Wedding Planner (2001)

Director: Adam Shankman

Writer: Pamela Falk, Michael Ellis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson, Justin Chambers, Judy Greer, Alex Rocco

 

Plot: Mary Fiore is San Francisco’s most successful supplier of romance and glamor. She knows all the tricks. She knows all the rules. But then she breaks the most important rule of all: she falls in love with the groom.


Tagline – His big day is her big problem.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com

 

Story: The Wedding Planner starts as we meet Mary (Lopez) a wedding planner, one of the best in the business, she makes the most money and the best ceremonies. Looking to get the biggest deal for company which could see her become partner, she impresses the bride Fran (Wilson) who hires her on the spot, but continuing about her business she finds herself in need from rescue, where dreamy doctor Steve (McConaughey) steps in.

When it turns out Steve is the groom for Fran’s wedding, the new happiness Mary was feelings are shattered, but she must go on with this wedding for her future, leaving her needing to face the rules she swore never to break.

 

Thoughts on The Wedding Planner

 

Characters – Mary has dreamed of planning weddings since she was a little girl, now it is her job, but she has given up any hope of love because of this, until she meets Steve, the groom of her latest wedding to plan. She is scared from a broken relationship which has closed her off from wanting to try again. Steve is a children’s doctor (you spell, I can’t) that saves Mary, the two click, but he is marrying Fran the latest client of Mary. He is starting to have second thoughts after spending time with Mary. Fran is the bride in this wedding, a busy businesswoman too, Penny gets a lot of laughs as the assistant to Mary who gets over excited easily.

PerformancesJennifer Lopez is good in this role, she has the look which could steal a heart, but also the determination needed to not let anyone get in her way. Matthew McConaughey is good in this role, he knows that he can pull of rom com which is why he worked so well at this time in his movie career. We do have a good supporting cast that all hit the marks too.

StoryThe story follows a woman that had given up on love for herself, that has made a career out of making people’s wedding days their greatest memory. When she does get that one chance moment and meets a wonderful guy she ends up breaking her own rules and needs to look at what love is truly about. While this looks like it is going in a certain direction, it does pose the question about how far long is too late to potentially break up an engagement or do you go through with it and regret a missed opportunity. This is nice question to ask the audience.

Comedy/RomanceThe romance comes from all the wedding talk and the idea that you might find someone in the last place you imagine. The comedy comes mostly from the supporting characters over the leads, which gives us good moments to laugh along with.

SettingsThe film takes us to plenty of different wedding preparation locations which does make us feel like we can see the different scale people can go for weddings.


Scene of the Movie –
Doll house.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Trying to figure out if her name is Mary or Maria

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful romantic comedy that hits the marks it should with it giving the audience an idea of how love can change people’s lives forever.

 

Overall: Love is strange thing for all.

Rating

 

 

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)

Director: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass

Writer: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer, Rae Dawn Chong, Steve Zissis

 

Plot: Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.


Tagline –  The first step to finding your destiny is leaving your mother’s basement.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Family Based Drama

 

Story: Jeff, Who Lives at Home starts as we meet Jeff (Segel) a stoner that lives in his mother Sharon (Sarandon) basement, he is always looking for his destiny and a mysterious call from a stranger looking for a Kevin leads him to go out of his way to find the truth. When going out on to do a household chore he finds himself joining his older brother Pat (Helms) as they go on the chase to figure out if Pat’s wife Linda (Greer) is cheating on him.

 

Thoughts on Jeff, Who Lives at Home

 

Characters – Jeff is a slacker that is desperate to find a purpose in his life believing he will be given signs in life to find this goal, he doesn’t have a job and today he goes on an adventure in hope of finding his place in the world. Pat is the older brother to Pat, he has recently impulse bought a Porsche which has only continued his strain of his marriage which leads him to share his honest truth with Jeff while trying to figure out if his wife is cheating on him. Sharon is their mother of the boys who is a widow still working a day job, today she gets secret message which adds some spice to her birthday.

PerformancesJason Segel in the leading role works because he does have a good understanding of withdrawn character his playing. Ed Helms does give us a good performance in his role where he does play louder of the two brothers. Susan Sarandon does a good job with her role even if her story does feel distant from the rest of the film.

StoryThe story follows one day in the lives of the three family members, Jeff finding his place Pat facing the truth and Sharon getting an unexpected surprise in her life. The story shows how things can come together for the series of events to bring a family closer and how they need to support each other through struggles, the sprinkling of comedy helps us along the way too. This does focus on needing to express feelings for the people that are important in your life however much you feel like it is a weakness in their eyes.

ComedyThe comedy in this film helps takes moments of seriousness out of the story, which does give it elements of realness in the film.

SettingsThe film gives us an everyday city for the film to take place in, showing how these people do have to operate in an everyday situation.


Scene of the Movie –
The lunch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it shows her day, Sharon’s storyline doesn’t feel as connected to Jeff’s.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful drama that shows the difficult decisions people will be making on an everyday basis, being it following a believed destiny, fixing a marriage or taking a chance.

 

Overall: Wonderful drama

Rating

 

 

ABC Challenge – Comedy – O – Ordinary World (2016)

Director: Lee Kirk

Writer: Le Kirk (Screenplay)

Starring: Billie Joe Armstrong, Fred Armisen, Judy Greer, Selma Blaire, Chris Messina, Brian Baumgartner

 

Plot: An aging punk rocker copes with life after rock.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Ordinary World starts as we follow former punk rocker Perry (Armstrong) who is now married to Karen (Blair) with two children with eldest Salome (Shipman) about to be involved in a talent contest at school. He now has a 9-5 type of job while his wife is a high life lawyer and today is his 40th birthday.

Perry is struggling through, missing his music and lacking the concentration in life, being late for work, forgetting appointments and not enjoying his life, as he goes through his own mid-life crisis. This changes when he decides to have a party with his former band mates and must learn to accept the next stage of his life.

 

Thoughts on Ordinary World

 

Characters – Perry was once a punk rocker but he settled down starting a family, but not everything is where he wants his life now. He has a mid-life crisis where he must learn about his life and where it will go next. Karen is Perry’s wife that is a lawyer that brings in the larger amount of the income, but puts up with his distraction mind. Christy is the former flame of Perry’s in his band days, she happens to walk into his life the same time as his mid-life crisis offering him a chance he never got in his music dream.

PerformancesBillie Joe Armstrong is good in this leading role as we see him reflect what you could see as an aging musician questioning his place. Blair and Greer are both good in the supporting roles as is the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story shows a mid-life crisis from a rocker point of view, it does follow how one day things go in a different way to how he would imagine which is by the books but it works so why change it. The idea of seeing how he is supported by the loved ones is refreshing as he would usually have a bigger freak out but for a feel good mid-life crisis film this hits the marks.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy is light through the film as we see how things are going wrong for Perry with the music moments letting Billie Joe show off his skills and true talent.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which shows us the different location the family wold be in as well as the big city.


Scene of the Movie –
Talent Show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You feel certain characters might get mad at some point in this movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good feel good movie, it has good music and shows how hard it is to let your dreams go.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

Halloween (2018)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley (Screenplay) John Carpenter, Debra Hill (Characters)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Haluk Bilginer, Will Patton

 

Plot: Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago


Tagline – Face Your Fate

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Sequel

 

Story: Halloween starts 40 years after the events of the original Halloween, Michael Myers is still locked up in a mental home, Laurie (Curtis) still lives in fear of what happened to her friends all that time ago, she has been twice divorced lost her child Karen (Greer) because of her paranoia Michael will return. Karen with a daughter of her own Allyson (Matichak) about to graduate high school wants to reconnect with her grandmother rebuilding the relationship.

When Michael is being transferred on Halloween for some reason, he escapes and goes on his killing spree, where Laurie must protect her family from the man she has been waiting to finally kill.

 

Thoughts on Halloween

 

Characters – Laurie Strode is the icon we know from horror, she is now living in fully secure house prepared for the day Michael gets out, believing it would happen, this has cost her, her family but the moment Michael escapes she is the only one prepared to take on the killing machine. Karen is the daughter of Laurie who has become distant from her mother, she has her own family, though she had been prepared for a moment of crisis, even if she doesn’t believe it will ever happen. Allyson is the youngest member of the family, the teenage daughter that is going through the high school with the modern day problems. The shape, Michael Myers is killing machine, killing anyone he wants to.

PerformancesJamie Lee Curtis is back and she is good enough in the leading role, you understand how the character is meant to be thinking which is the important part of the character. Judy Greer is fine, she doesn’t get too much to do, Andi Matichak is good with her role trying to make herself the new scream queen in Halloween. The rest of the cast are fine without being overly memorable.

StoryThe story here is a sequel to the original only, everything else is gone from the history books and Michael isn’t even related to Laurie. 40 years later Michael escapes an goes on another killing spree, where he ends up going face to face with Laurie who has been waiting for this day. This is slasher film done basic, there is no other way to describe it, the sad reality it we get to see an interesting storyline about a victim who never go over the attack in Laurie which should have been address a lot more over a couple of random killing scenes. We get moments in the story that pay respect to the original, then we get scenes which just seem to copy what the sequels did. The tone of the film is also all over the place with the comedy with the babysitter being way too funny for what is meant to be a serious film. this does feel like just another sequel that didn’t do much for the franchise.

HorrorWhen Michael is killing people we get some brutal kills, there is no doubt about this, they look real, but the tense seems to have been sucked out of the film.

SettingsWe return to Haddonfield here, which is fine it is the iconic location for Michael, we get nothing new and the one location that is important will only annoy you.

Special EffectsThe kills we see do look brutal and are the best part of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Babysitter banter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It offers little new to the franchise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that just doesn’t seem to get anywhere new with anything that we want to see, it is passable for the franchise but didn’t need to reset the clock.

 

Overall: Simple sequel.

Rating