ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – J – Just Before I Go (2014)

Director: Courteney Cox

Writer: David Flebotte (Screenplay)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Garret Dillahunt, Kate Walsh, Kyle Gallner, Mackenzie Marsh

 

Plot: On the verge of giving up on life, a guy travels to his hometown to make amends.


Tagline – Ending it all was only the beginning.
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Moving Story

 

Story: Just Before I Go starts as Ted Morgan (Scott) fills in the reasons why he returned home to kill himself, the average life he has been living and the recent break up, first he wants to return home to confront the people that pushed him back in his hometown, before he goes.

Staying with his brother Lucky (Dillahunt) and his family, he sets his plan in motion until he meets Greta (Thirlby) who wants to document this situation.

 

Thoughts on Just Before I Go

 

Characters – Ted Morgan was a dreamer in high school, but he was bullied and as soon as he was old enough he left town, he lived a normal life, in a normal employment role, but after his wife cheats on him, he decides he wants to confront his past before killing himself. Ted is the average man that never became the guy he thought he would, middle-aged and alone facing a reality he doesn’t want to be here anymore. Greta is a stranger to Ted, she wants to record document the motivation behind Ted’s choice and to try and help him find a direction. Lucky is the older brother that never put his arm around his younger brother when he was younger. This movie has wonderful characters that have affected Ted’s life in different ways.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is an actor I grew up watching his comedies, but he seemed to fade away, this performance seems to be a career highlight for him, he keeps everything calm through the film which is something that is important for this role and something new for him. Olivia Thirlby is great in the supporting role too which is the type of role we can see her doing a lot. Garret is an actor you can always find in good supporting roles and this is no different.

StoryThe story here follows one man who sees his life going nowhere and wants to face his past before killing himself, this is a simple side to everything, we end up dealing with a lot of everyday issues about treating people equally, dealing with the fine line between loneliness and emptiness, as well as showing that other people close to you will have their own problems. For me this is one of the most underrated stories I have seen and having been through elements of these issues I could relate to as well.

ComedyThe movie has moments of comedy, but doesn’t rely on the comedy which is something I was happy with, the drama was the main part of the film.

SettingsThe film takes our character back to his own home town which shows how many people might not leave and still make a life for themselves, the settings work for the going down memory lane.


Scene of the Movie –
On top of the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The sister-in-law is difficult to talk seriously and we don’t need her weakness.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that hit home hard for me, I can understand Ted’s mentality and difficulties which makes this a film I wish more people could see.

 

Overall: Must watch for anyone that has had a hard time.

Rating

 

 

Girls Trip (2017)

Director: Malcolm D Lee

Writer: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver (Screenplay) Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver (Story)

Starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Larenz Tate, Mike Colter, Kate Walsh

 

Plot: When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Heart, Slightly Too Grossed Out

 

Story: Girls Trip starts as we meet our four college friends the Flossy Posse who have gone their separate ways in life, Ryan Pierce (Hall) is well on the way to becoming one of the icons of television with her husband Stewart (Colter), Sasha (Latifah) whose journalism career has fallen into a gossip blog, Lisa (Smith) who is a single mother and nurse while Dina (Haddish) hasn’t grown up yet still partying.

When Ryan is on the weekend that is going to make her career, she brings her girlfriends out for the Essence Festival in New Orleans. The worlds between them do collide over the weekend and test their friendships will be tested as the girls learn that not everything is what they had imagined.

 

Thoughts on Girls Trip

 

Characters – Ryan is a successful author, television presenter and icon for women across America, she is going to be the speech person at the Essence Festival, she brings the friends along as they have been drifted apart. She has stood by her husband even though he hasn’t been faithful to him. Sasha is the best friend of Ryan through college but we learn that something has drawn a line between them as they have tension through the film. Lisa has past her prime by becoming a mother but this trip is going to open her up again. Dina is the wild loose cannon of the group, she gets all the jokes and usually puts the girls into the trouble they find themselves in.

PerformanceRegina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith are all great in their roles showing a side of comedy you wouldn’t expect from them as they are all playing the roles you wouldn’t expect from them, but it is Tiffany Haddish that steals the movies even if some of her jokes do go on for times, she doesn’t seem to have a pause button giving the film all the energy needed.

StoryWhen you look at the story I do feel we have the heart needed in the film to show the sisterhood between the friends which is the important part of the film. When you look at this you are left with jokes that don’t feel natural for the weekend these characters are going on. This is a story you can see people enjoy and the real-life situations the characters are going through in real life are believable.

ComedyThe comedy does go full gross out level in places and you will never look at grapefruits the same again.

SettingsNew Orleans is a wonderful setting for partying where the girls can enjoy a weekend away.

Scene of the Movie – The speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The constant use of the N word isn’t needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that people will be enjoying, it wasn’t the style of comedy I truly enjoy but I can see people truly enjoying.

 

Overall: Comedy Fans will love.

Rating

 

 

Paul Bettany Weekend – Legion (2010)

legionDirector: Scott Stewart

Writer: Scott Stewart, Peter Schink (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S Dutton, Kevin Durand, Willa Holland, Kate Walsh, Dennis Quaid

 

Plot: When a group of strangers at a dusty roadside diner come under attack by demonic forces, their only chance for survival lies with an archangel named, Michael, who informs a pregnant waitress that their unborn child is humanity’s last hope.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Fantasy Horror

 

Story: Legion starts as we see Michael (Bettany) a fallen angel find himself on Earth, losing his wings he arms up for what looks like a big assault. We learn Michael has gone against orders before escaping. We move to Paradise Falls where Jeep (Black) (yes that is the name) and a pregnant Charlie (Palicki) in a small diner in the middle of nowhere.

The diner owned by Bob (Quaid) is filled with guests including family Howard (Tenney), Audrey (Holland) and Sandra (Walsh) and Kyle (Gibson) who is trying to get to court. We also have the loyal chef Percy (Dutton) making everything set with our characters to meet Michael who is there to protect Charlie.

Michael has to prepare the people in the diner for battle against something they don’t know anything about but soon turns out to be angels sent to take Charlie’s baby, we are left to see who will survive these waves of the undead lead by Gabriel (Durand).

Legion is a film that is very much based on the another look at how the world could end when a God figure decided to end his creation. Well that is what I can take from it but while the film is unfolding we get to see how the fantasy world of angels and demons came from. It feels like it could be just a fun film that is easy to watch without being overly serious. The story isn’t the most original but works well.

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Bettany: Michael is a fallen angel going against the orders of God to protect the pregnant Charlie. He is prepared for the fight and has to bring the people in the diner together to fight his fellow angels. Paul is good in this role showing he can handle an action genre well.micharl

Adrianne Palicki: Charlie is the pregnant woman working in a diner in the middle of nowhere, the father is nowhere to be seen and she us just thankful to Bob and Jeep for support. She becomes the target of the angels as the baby is the only thing that can save mankind. Adrianne is solid in this role where most of the supporting cast are very much average.

Lucas Black: Jeep is the slightly slow young man working for his father as a mechanic. He is in love with Charlie and is always trying to find a way to supporting her. This fight will give Jeep the chance to finally step up to be the man he could become. Lucas is solid in this role.

Dennis Quaid: Bob is the owner of the diner and Jeep’s father, he has no faith as we have seen his wife leave him. He will do anything to make sure his son is safe though. Dennis is solid in this supporting role where you would have liked to have seen more from.bob

Support Cast: Legion has a very average supporting cast with mostly generic characters being used throughout.

Director Review: Scott StewartScott gives us an easy to watch action horror that is fun to watch once you suspended your disbelief.

 

Action: Legion has plenty of action throughout with fights, gun battles and car chases being used.

Fantasy: Legion enters us into the world of fantasy between angels and demons.

Horror: Legion does have the elements of horror with how the enemies are created for our heroes.

Settings: Legion keeps most of the action within the diner making it have an isolation feel while dealing with a siege.
Special Effects
: Legion does use some good special effects when it comes to dealing with all the threats coming to attack the diner.

Suggestion: Legion is one you can watch if you are looking for something easy to watch giving you nothing to worry about when it comes to being overcomplicated. (Easy Watch)

 

Best Part: Petrol Pump bullet.

Worst Part: Slightly predictable.

Funniest Moment: Having a character question that Charlie is a strange name for a girl while one of the characters is called JEEP.

Kill Of The Film: Percy

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: When the last angel falls, the fight for mankind begins.

 

Overall: Enjoyable fantasy horror that is easy to watch.

Ratingcard

 

 

Fighting Demons (2015)

fighting demonsDirector: Rustam Branaman

Writer: Rustam Branaman (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Bean, Eva Longoria, Kate Walsh, Tom Arnold, Nolan Gross, Paul Ben-Victor, Aedin Mincks, Peter Mackenzie

 

Plot: An ex-fighter finds redemption from his troubled past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Redemption Story 101

 

Story: Fighting Demons starts as we see fighter Vian (Bean) lose control at a party leading to him ending up in jail. 12 years later he is released pushed out of his gym but accepted by his sister Bethley (Walsh) Vian looks for a fresh start. Vian is trying to get back into the swing of things but doesn’t get chance when it comes to his criminal record as we see him try his best to pick up woman with Jolene (Longoria) being the first attempt.

When Roland (Arnold) finally gives Vian a job working is his restaurant while Vian starts into a relationship with Jolene all while trying to be a good role model for his nephew Jimmy (Gross) who is getting bullied at school.

When everything seems to be going well for Vian it all gets taken away in seemingly one day as he quests for redemption gets tested.

Fighting Demons is a drama thriller showing one man trying to make up for the crime he committed, the film shows the ups and downs the character has to go through. This does end up feeling very much like an easy pull of a film and I really would have liked to understand more of the action Vian is making to cause him to kill the man. This is easy to watch and will shock you with certain twists of the story.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Bean: Vian is the trained fighter who finds himself in trouble with the law, we follow him from his time after jail trying to put his life back together. He stays with his sister and finds himself a job as well as starting a new romance, he also ends up being a role model for his nephew. Vian finds his past catching up with him as he tries his hardest to get away from his past. Sean is good in this leading role showing his dramatic side throughout.vian

Eva Longoria: Jolene is the new love interest of Vian where the sparks fly between them, she doesn’t know Vian’s past but once her obsessed ex-boyfriend tells her the truth her mind soon changes. Eva is good in this supporting role but I do feel we needed slightly more screen time for her character.

Kate Walsh: Bethley is the sister of Vian’s who gives him a place to stay, she is a single mother struggling to make ends meet. She doesn’t get a chance to spend time away from busy life with William being the most important part of it. Kate is good in this role dealing with all the extra emotional side to her story.

Tom Arnold: Roland is the man who gives Vian a job, he understands the struggles and respects his honesty but when he shows interest in Bethley the twos friendship gets shattered. Tom is good in this supporting role stepping away from the comic role we are used to seeing him in.

Support Cast: Fighting Demons has a good supporting cast that all do a good job with where the film ends up going.

Director Review: Rustam BranamanRustam does a good job directing which follows the drama side to give you all the emotions required.

 

Romance: Fighting Demons shows the romance between Vian and Jolene without being too much of an important part of the story.

Thriller: Fighting Demons keeps us wondering where the story will go next with a few lose ends at the end.

Settings: Fighting Demons shows us in a small town as we see the people struggling to make ends meet through the film.
Suggestion
: Fighting Demons is one to try, it is a powerful film that will leave you slightly shocked by the end. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Drunken vision.

Worst Part: Slight too much over the top with final scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Never give up

 

Overall: Very powerful redemption story that tries to tug at the heart strings.

Ratingcard