Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

Wild Wild West (1999)

logoDirector: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Story)

Starring: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, M Emmt Walsh, Ted Levine

 

Plot: Jim West is a guns-a-blazing former Civil War hero. Artemus Gordon is an inventive U.S. Marshal who excels in disguise. When the United States is threatened by psychotic Confederate Arliss Loveless, President Ulysses Grant teams the duo up to bring him to justice. On a hazard-packed train journey from Washington D.C. to Utah, West and Gordon must combine their skills to best Loveless and his diabolical machines.

 

Verdict: Western Comedy, Minus the Laughs

 

Story: When it comes to odd couple comedies the story is usually easy to work with. This is that, we have a villain who wants power and they are the only hope. We get awkward comedy throughout though, with the cross dressing, a PG level short or racial jokes. We have very little support characters that offer much more than just something for the leads to use for comedy. You don’t get full convinced by the partnership but the overall works to make things fun on first watch. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Will Smith: James West the African American US army who is all about shooting first asking questions later. He will always run in first guns a blazing but this leads to more problems most of the time. Solid performance with Will using his charm and momentum at the time.  (7/10)

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Kevin Kline: Artemus Gordon the master of disguise who also dresses up and plays the President. He tries to use his brain while solving problems and to good results, his inventions help the couple get through most of the predicaments. Good performance in the most convincing side of the double act. (7/10)

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Kenneth Branagh: Arliss Loveless the long thought dead Doctor who wants to take over the United States and rebuild it his own way. Good villain performance which is the strongest part of the film. (8/10)

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Salma Hayek: Rita the young lady looking for her father who goes along the journey. Not really in the film as much as should have been, used in a couple of attempted comedy lines. Very under used supporting character. (4/10)

 

Ted Levine: General Bloodbath McGrath a ruthless general who has killed many people during the war while being on the losing side. He arranges for Loveless to get what he wants but gets betrayed when it comes to the full payment. Good supporting performance in what is a villain that is an easy target to be chasing. (7/10)

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Director Review: Barry Sonnenfeld – Struggles to get all the laughs out and never really decides which genre it wants to be. (5/10)

 

Comedy: Has a couple of laughs but never really gets enough. (5/10)

Western: Never uses enough of the real western themes. (5/10)

Settings: The settings are also lost in the film which should be very strong. (5/10)
Special Effects
: Solid special effects with Loveless and his giant spider. (8/10)sp

Suggestion: I think this one is only worth trying you would have to be a fan on the stars to really enjoy. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Spider

Worst Part: Lack of comedy

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $222 Million

Budget: $170 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: On July 2nd, it’s a whole new west

Trivia: Will Smith has openly said that doing this film instead of the role of Neo in The Matrix is “the biggest mistake of his career” and his life.

 

Overall: Forgettable Comedy Western

Rating 60

Life As A House (2001)

logoDirector: Irwin Winkler

Writer: Mark Andrus (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hayden Christensen, Jena Malone, Mary Steenburgen, Mike Weinberg, Scotty Leavenworth, Iam Somerhalder

 

Plot: George Monroe is a lonely and sad man. Divorced for ten years, he lives alone on the Southern California coast with his pet dog in the same run down shack he has lived in for twenty-five years, the shack which his father passed down to him. In the intervening years, ostentatious houses have sprung up around him. He’s been at the same architectural firm for twenty years in a job he hates, which primarily consists of building scale models. On the day that he is fired from his job, he is diagnosed with an advanced case of terminal cancer, which he chooses not to disclose to his family. In many ways, this day is the happiest of his recent life in that he decides to spend what little time he has left doing what he really wants to do, namely build a house he can call his own to replace the shack. He also wants his rebellious sixteen year old son, Sam Monroe, to live with him for the summer, hopefully not only to help in the house construction, but for the two to reconnect as a family.

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: Many people watch as their lives pass them by and our hero George is one of them, he gets a chance to make up for all the mistakes over a couple of months. We see how a family is reconnected over one summer, how the problems in each life are solved with this time. It really leaves you asking the question about how you are living your life correctly or not and makes you wonder what you would do if you only had a short amount of time. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Kline: George Monroe anti-social loner living on a beach front house working a boring job in his eyes. After he gets fired he also gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. This prompts him to do his one last dying wish and build his house for his son. This is a great performance from Kevin showing the full range of emotions going through the summer. (9/10)

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Kristin Scott Thomas: Robin Kimball, George’s ex-wife who has moved on with her life and started a new family but because she is struggling with their son she accepts George having him for the summer. While over the summer she starts to become close with her ex-husband. Good supporting performance. (8/10)

kirsten

Hayden Christensen: Sam Monroe a druggie closed off to the world son of George. He just wants to spend his time getting high and hanging out with his friends, he gets forced to stay with his father where he starts to enjoy his life and grow up in this last summer. This could easily be Hayden best performance of his career to date. (9/10)

hayden

Director Review: Irwin Winkler – Beautifully created drama about enjoying life to the fullest before it is too late, making sure you end up happy at the end of it. (9/10)

 

Drama: Brilliant drama showing how things in life are not always as simple as they seem. (10/10)

Settings: Most of the film is set at the house being built which makes for a great setting. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one to watch, you will be satisfied by the end of the film. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The fact it gets better as the film continues.

Worst Part: You only see bits of the supporting stories.

Believability: It could be a real life event. (6/10)

Chances of Tears: You may have some by the end. (5/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Hayden Christensen was nominated for Best supporting actor by the Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $24 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 4 Minutes

Tagline: Seen from a distance, it’s perfect.

 

Overall: Drama With Heart

Rating 85

 

Dave (1993)

logoDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Gary Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, Charlie Grodin, Laura Linney, Bonnie Hunt

 

Plot: Bill Mitchell is the philandering and distant President of the United States. Dave Kovic is a sweet-natured and caring Temp Agency operator, who by a staggering coincidence looks exactly like the President. As such, when Mitchell wants to escape an official luncheon, the Secret Service hires Dave to stand in for him. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffers a severe stroke whilst having sex with one of his aides, and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. The corrupt and manipulative Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander, plans to use Dave to elevate himself to the White House – but unfortunately, he doesn’t count on Dave enjoying himself in office, using his luck to make the country a better place, and falling in love with the beautiful First Lady

 

Verdict: Charming Comedy

 

Story: The question to ask yourself would be, what would you do if you became President? Dave gets to see what happens when he learns the real inside stories of the White House. He chooses to try and make things better, making important changes to the country instead of just being a puppet. It all works into a very good comedy that granted won’t make you laugh out loud but will give you enjoyment. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Kline: Dave Kovic/Bill Mitchell most part of the film is Dave playing President Bill Mitchell. Dave is just a regular guy who spends his time trying to make sure people have jobs. When he gets a chance to pretend to be the President he ends up getting talked into becoming a temporary replacement but when he starts doing things his way he could end up getting exposed all while changing the country for the better. Good performance from Kline who gets to use all his comedy while keeping everything serious. (9/10)

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Sigourney Weaver: Ellen Mitchell the wife of the President who has grown distant from him over the years, but with Dave in charge she starts to see some change in the man see once loved. She is also smart enough to know he is not the man she married and starts to fall in love with Dave himself. Good supporting performance. (7/10)

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Frank Langella: Bob Alexander the chief of staff who puts Dave in the position hoping that he can improve his position in the cabinet only he didn’t count on Dave doing such a good job. Good performance in the villainous role. (8/10)

 langella

Director Review: Ivan Reitman – Good direction to make a charming comedy that takes a serious matter lightly instead of just making it an over the top comedy. (8/10)

 

Comedy: Solid use of comedy that makes you laugh when it needs to but shows you the serious when it needs to. (7/10)

Settings: Most is set in the White House but each other setting it designed to work for President Position. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is a comedy that I think everyone will enjoy it offers plenty of laughs and an opportunity to see what a normal person would change in power. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Budget scene

Worst Part: Others a few conspiracy theories.

Funniest Scene: First walk into the Oval office.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar

Box Office: $63 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: Dave Kovic was an ordinary guy who was asked to impersonate the President. When they gave him a chance to make the country better…he did.

 

Overall: Solid Comedy

Rating 85

Definitely, Maybe (2008)

logoDirector: Adam Brooks

Writer: Adam Brooks (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks, Derek Luke, Isla Fisher, Kevin Kline, Rachel Weisz

 

Plot: Will Hayes (Reynolds) a recently divorced man who picks up his daughter from school the two favourite days of the week. Upon his arrival he finds out his eleven year old daughter Maya (Breslin) has just been through a sex education class. Now she has all these questions about why he is no longer with her mother. Will decides to tell Maya about his three loves with alternative names Emily (Banks), April (Fisher) and Summer (Weisz). Will leaves it up to Maya to figure out which one is her mother.

 

Verdict: A delightful romantic comedy

Story: It is fair to say I am not a fan on the romantic comedy genre but every now and then a film comes along that I want to see. This was one of them and it helps by having the draw of a top romantic comedy actor in Reynolds. The story covers nearly 15 years of his life showing his ups and down in love and in career. The best thing about the story is that everything seems to be very natural and realistic. We all go through ups and downs in our lives but it is the way we deal with them that will define us, this shows all of that. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Ryan Reynolds – Will ambitious guy who believes in love but always misses what is right under his nose. Reynolds shines in this role he has always able to pull off the comedy level without having to make a complete fool of himself. Star Performance Award (9/10)

 reynolds

Actor Review: Abigail Breslin – Maya the daughter of Will who wants to know how he met her mother. Good performance in what turns into a very good character that’s innocent vision on love almost becomes the heart-breaking side to the story. She also offers a roll of being almost the audience view point saying what we are thinking. (8/10)

abby

Actor Review: Elizabeth Banks – Emily Will’s first love who keeps popping up in his life. Nice supporting character but seems to be the least used of the three ladies involved in Will’s story. (7/10)

 emily

Actor Review: Isla Fisher – April the fun laid back lady in Will’s story. Good performance creating a very likable character bubbly and fun throughout. Favourite Character Award (8/10)

 april

Actor Review: Rachel Weisz – Summer of all three ladies in Will’s story she is the most similar to him career driven also very independent. Good performance in the supporting role. (7/10)

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Director Review: Adam Brooks – Creates a very good romantic comedy that will leave a smile on everyone’s faces. (9/10)

 

Comedy: Some good chuckle moments that fit in perfectly but no true laugh out loud moments. (8/10)

Romance: Some good romantic scenes to fit the overall story. (9/10)

Chemistry: Good chemistry between all the characters involved. (9/10)

Believability: Very much believable as most of us will find love in the strangest of situations. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: You might get some near the end. (5/10)

Settings: Most of it set in New York which is a great backdrop to the fast moving story. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest that everyone to watch, It is not to soppy so guys can enjoy with their over halves without them getting bored. It also gives enough romantic comedy levels to be enjoyable from start to finish. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Guessing who the mother is.

Funniest Scene: Penguin scene.

Oscar Chances: None

Chances of Sequel: No it is a good one off film.

 

Overall: A very good romantic comedy

 

Rating 86