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PerformancesJason Segel in the leading role works because he does have a good understanding of withdrawn character his playing.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

 

 

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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

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – D – The Descendants (2011)

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (Screenplay) Kaui Hart Hemmings (Novel)

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Patricia Hastie, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer

 

Plot: A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Drama

 

Story: The Descendants starts as Matt King (Clooney) a land baron and lawyer who has been distant from his wife Elizabeth and children Alexandra (Woodley) and Scottie (Miller), when Elizabeth (Hastie) is involved in an accident and left in a coma, Matt must become the lead parent, something he hasn’t done in year.

In the middle of a massive sale of his family’s land Matt learns the reality of what will be happening to Elizabeth, wishing he could give it all up for more time with his family. This takes a turn when Matt learns that Elizabeth was having an affair and that is why Alexandra no longer wanted to speak to her mother.

Matt must put his own problems a side to become the father he never was even when his own life is coming crashing down around him.

 

Thoughts on The Descendants

 

Characters/PerformanceMatt has spent his life working and not being the family man he is should have been, he must face reality after his wife’s accident becoming the father he never was, learning about the secrets his wife was keeping from him. Alexandra is the eldest daughter who knows about the affair but standing on her father’s side, she must become the big sister lil Scottie needs through the situation. Scottie is the youngest daughter who is lost because of the accident not quite understand the situation. The rest of the characters all help Matt make his decisions he needs to be making for the good of the family.

Performance wise, Clooney is brilliant and easily gives one of his performances of his career, this is also a big break out role for Woodley who showed the world her abilities. Miller does well as does the rest of the cast who make each scene enjoyable to watch.

StoryThe story shows us the difficult situations a family would go through if a parent got injured suddenly, we see the rebuilding of a family, secrets exposed that would bring strain on everything as well as how they got through it all. It shows how difficult it would be for a parent learning the truth who must stay strong for their children too. This is a beautiful told story that you can understand each and every decision any character make through the film.

SettingsHawaii as the backdrop for this film is beautiful but it is quick to tell us just how it isn’t only a tropical paradise, it has the same problems the rest of the world does.

Final ThoughtsA film about loss is always hard to get through but this one is almost a joy because it shows just how difficult learning about secrets would be.

 

Overall: This is a great drama I feel everyone should see.

Rating

 

 

Jamie Marks is Dead (2014)

Director: Carter Smith

Writer: Carter Smith (Screenplay) Christopher Barzak (Novel)

Starring: Morgan Saylor, Noah Silver, Cameron Monaghan, Brett DelBuono, Fred Tolliver Jr, Ronen Rubinstein, Liv Tyler, Judy Greer

 

Plot: In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie-a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Drama

 

Story: Jamie Marks is Dead starts with the discovery of Jamie Marks (Silver) body in a riverine in the small town he is from, bullied by most, it is Adam (Monaghan) who looks back at his brief memories of his time with Jamie wanting to pay respect to where he was discovered, where he meets Gracie (Saylor) the girl who found the body.

When Adam becomes friends with Gracie the pair start to get visits from the ghost of Jamie which drives Adam’s interest into what happened to him leading him down the narrow road between life and death as he is left to question his own sexuality and uncover the mystery surrounding Jamie’s death.

 

Thoughts on Jamie Marks is Dead

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam is the star runner at his high school, he keeps to himself without getting involved in being or conducting any bullying. He gets drawn to what happened to one of the victims of the bullying as he hits the awkward age where he must discover his own sexuality. Gracie is the one friend Adam finds himself having, she is also a lonely character that is seeing the ghost of Jamie too but not on the same level as Adam. She does also give the warnings about getting to know the ghost can be. Jamie is the bullied school boy who ends up dead, he returns as a ghost to show Adam a way through life getting him to help solve his murder or the mystery surround his death.

The performance are all good from the main actors, they help unfold the story for us in a way that keeps us interested in seeing where it will go.

StoryThe story does follow on high school student that is trying to figure out who he is, be it in life, he sexuality and his draw towards a recent death in the town. Looking at how it all unfolds we get elements of the ghosts of our past guiding us to the answers that seem easiest rather than the ones we need to see. This is slow moving at time but does keep you full attention to just what will happen.

SettingsThe small town settings is always good for the dramas as it shows how the town can show us just how cruel people can be and how easily the stories can spread.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is good for what it is telling us, we have a good story, good acting and a meaningful message.

 

Overall: Drama that keeps your attention without being edge of your seat.

Rating