Elizabeth Banks Weekend – Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Katie Morgan, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Justin Long, Brandon Routh

 

Plot: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.


Tagline – What would you do to get out of debt? 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raunchy Comedy Fun

 

Story: Zack and Miri Make a Porno starts as we meet two friends Miri (Banks) and Zack (Rogen) from high school struggling to make ends meet in their apartment. When twos debts continue to rise they turn to one idea, to make a porno.

Zack, Miri and their friend Delaney (Robinson) set out for audiences and move forward with this idea hiring Lester (Mewes), Stacey (Morgan), Barry (Mabe) and Bubbles (Lords) and set off to make their own Star Wars porn parody, until things take a turn and they must come up with a new plan, but it works out better for them.

 

Thoughts on Zack and Miri Makes a Porno

 

Characters – Zack is a coffee barista that lives with Miri, he isn’t the most ambitious just wants to have a good simple life, he suggests making a porn movie to raise the money for bills, but this plays into his deeper feelings for Miri. Miri lives with Zack, she did want more from her life, but for now she is happy enough, she doesn’t believe she could have feelings for Zack which soon start changing when the two will need to have sex.  Delaney is the co-worker of Zack’s married since high school who jumps at the chance to produce the porn movie. The rest of the characters we meet are the stars of the porn movie they are making, but we don’t learn too much from them.

PerformancesSeth Rogen had this role written for him, you can see that in his performance where he might be typical funny Rogen which is what we wanted from this movie. Elizabeth Banks is good here, she is always good at comedy, but this is her raunchy side we hadn’t seen before and she delivers. The supporting cast get their laughs when needed which shows how comic timing works at certain times.

StoryThe story follows two close friends that need to find a way to make ends meet which turns into a porno, like you do. It plays into the idea that men and women would struggle to remain friends after sex when it was one of the only options to make ends meet after growing debt. The story doesn’t hit the heights it could but for the most part if you are going into a Seth Rogen comedy you know it isn’t going to be the deepest off films.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does hit for the target audience it is on a raunchy level, which does take away from the romantic side of the film which doesn’t work to level it should for where the film aims to go.

SettingsThe settings show us how you could go around making your own home-made porn movie with a small group of friends. It shows you can make it in the right locations without having to pay extra.


Scene of the Movie –
Zack and Miri sex scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It goes too heavily into the raunchy side at times.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a raunchy comedy this will keep you happy, but if you don’t want to see a sex heavy comedy you will not enjoy and most likely being skipping this one.

 

Overall: Rogen Fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Tusk (2014)

tuskDirector: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Parks, Justin Long, Genesis Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment, Johnny Depp, Harley Morenstein, Ralph Garman

 

Plot: When podcaster Wallace Bryton goes missing in the backwoods of Manitoba while interviewing a mysterious seafarer named Howard Howe, his best friend Teddy and girlfriend Allison team with an ex-cop to look for him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Unique Horror

 

Story: Tusk starts by introducing us to podcasting partners Wallace Bryton (Long) and Teddy Craft (Osment) who travel around for looking for the most interesting stories where Wallace travels while Teddy stays home. On the latest story Wallace finds out the case has taken a turn for the worse and they have no story.

Finding a new story Wallace heads of to meet the mysterious Howard Howe (Parks) who is filled with stories of his adventures at sea. Wallace finds himself drugged by Howard who has the desire to do something very twisted indeed and turn Wallace into a walrus. The only people that can save Wallace are Teddy and girlfriend Ally (Rodriguez) who both question the morale choice Wallace has been making in his life. Are you prepared to see the final outcome of this project that is the question?

Tusk is a horror comedy that I did enjoy for the first two thirds of the story because it all works in a twisted horror story as well works as a comedy. The moment that really took away all the atmosphere created is ruined by the weird Johnny Depp detective that ends up being just like most of his recent characters. This really is one unique horror that will stick with you for a long time after this.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Parks: Howard Howe is the man filled with stories, he comes off as a man of the world with a slightly uncomfortable love for walruses. He welcomes Wallace into his house only to make him the latest victim in his attempts to turn a human into a walrus. Michael is great in this role where he gets to be completely over the top.howard

Justin Long: Wallace Bryton is one part of a podcasting partnership that does the travelling side of the investigation, he comes off very brash and offensive to whoever he meets including cheating on his girlfriend. On his latest journey he goes to Canada and meets Howard Howe who gives him wild stories only to find out he is the latest victim in wanting to turn him into a walrus. Justin is good in this role where he makes himself unlikely in the good guy role.wallace

Genesis Rodriguez: Ally Leon is the girlfriend of Wallace who doesn’t want him to go on the journey, she is dealing with him being unfaithful and only has Teddy to talk to, when he goes missing the two must travel the Canada to find him. Genesis gives us a solid performance in the supporting role but doesn’t get enough screen time for my liking.

Haley Joel Osment: Teddy Craft is the podcasting partner of Wallace, he doesn’t like to travel so he stays behind on the adventure. When Wallace goes missing he has to put his fear of travelling away to rescue him. Haley is good in this role showing he is continuing to make his comeback.

Support Cast: Tusk has a small supporting cast with Johnny Depp being the main supporting character.

Director Review: Kevin SmithKevin gives us his unique touch to the horror comedy which will stick with you.

 

Comedy: Tusk has good comical moments with how the film is styled.

Horror: Tusk puts us into the body horror film that will leave us shocked.

Settings: Tusk leaves our leading character in a location where he doesn’t have anyone available to help him.
Special Effects
: Tusk has good effects to create the walrus.

Suggestion: Tusk is one to try for all horror fans as it will shock in places. (Try It)

 

Best Part: First look at walrus.

Worst Part: Johnny Depp feels very forced character.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Commentary from podcast Kevin Smith does.

Similar Too: Human Centipede

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $2.8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Let me tell you a story…

 

Overall: Body shock horror that will stick with you for days.

Ratingcard

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Red State (2011)

logoDirector: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Angarano, Nicolas Braun, Kyle Gallner, Ronnie Connell, Kaylee DeFer, Melissa Leo, Michael Parks, Stephen Root, John Goodman

 

Plot: The teenager Jarod invites his best friends Travis and Billy-Ray to have a foursome with a thirty-eight year-old woman. While driving to meet the woman, Travis hit a car parked on the road. When they meet the woman, she gives spiked beer to them and they pass out. When the three friends wake up, they find that they are trapped in the fundamentalist Five Points Trinity Church of the infamous Pastor Abin Cooper and that they will be killed. Meanwhile the church is under siege by ATF agents led by Agent Joseph Keenan that have been ordered to destroy the terrorist cell. Will the teenagers be saved by the agents of the law enforcement agency?

 

Verdict: What Happened?

 

Story: Let’s look at this, right we start off with three school friends going to get a foursome with an older lady, drugged and tricked they get taken to a compound to be eliminated from the world by a cult like family. Sounds like the horror side is working nicely here. We then have them try and escape bringing in a new side to the story with the law trying to stop the family. This is where things got confusing because I thought I was watching a horror film. The film suddenly turns into a near half film long shootout between the house and the law. That is basically all that happened from what I could tell.

Now this takes a lot away from the story, we lose the horror side completely and the action side seems to start from absolutely nowhere. Sometimes this works for a film, but in this case it really didn’t work, the only positive I found from the story is that we just didn’t know who would get killed off next with nearly all the deaths being shocks. I feel a couple of extra chapters would help this film to have had a completer feel but the genre bouncing really doesn’t help it out. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kyle Gallner: Jarod guy with the plan who sets up the road trip, also the one who has to be put through the most but in the end he has to team up with the younger generation of the family to escape with his life. Spends most of his time tied up and when free he is just an annoying kid who thinks swearing will get his point over. (5/10)

 jarod

Michael Angarano: Travis driver on their little road trip who ends up being captured like this friends and has to do everything to make sure he survives. When you look at teenage performance you have the standard here, against his family, learning and disrespectful. (6/10)

 

Nicolas Braun: Billy-Ray it would be say he is the butt of most of the jokes, he is the first to get free but in the end he panics and shows his real loyalty to his friends. Disposable supporting character who offers nothing to the film. (4/10)

 

Michael Parks: Pastor Abin Cooper leader of the family who constantly goes against gays believe their beliefs will give them a chance to get into a heaven of their dreams. He has brain washed everyone into believing his way is right and will not let any sinners get in his way. I think he was the highlight of the film with his excellent performance as the leader of the group, he always stays calm whichever situation is occurring and gives an incredible speech which draws you into what he is preaching. (8/10)

 parkes

John Goodman: Agent Joseph Keenan tasked with trying to stop the group but when things go wrong he is assigned to take everyone out, no questions. Good performance from Goodman who always shines when on screen. (7/10)

 goodman

Director Review: Kevin Smith – We all know Kevin Smith has the ability to push the boundaries and this tries to cross subgenres, the only thing is it doesn’t quite come off. You can see little bits that shows a Smith trademark but in all honesty the films feels almost unfinished. (4/10)

 

Action: Plenty of action during the shootout that last for a long time. (7/10)

Horror: Starts promising with the capture leading to the idea of torture and killing of the school kids but ends up disappearing in the second half. (3/10)

Settings: Most of the film is set at the church compound which works because we know the people involved are too far way to get any extra help. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Some good effects with certain well placed gun shots. (4/10)

Suggestion: I feel because of the genre cross this will be hard for either fans to really get into and I fail to find any type of fan to suggest this too. (Action or Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Michael Parks is great

Worst Part: Genre change.

Believability: The cults like this are real but would it end like this, I think not. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $1 Million

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: An unlikely film from that Kevin Smith

 

Overall: Messy Action Horror

Rating 45

Trailer Alert – Tusk

When his best friend and podcast co-host goes missing in the backwoods of Canada, a young guy joins forces with his friend’s girlfriend to search for him. The man in question is kidnapped by one man he is interviewing with the intention of turning him into a walrus.

Release Date:  NA for UK yet

Questions:

A surprisingly dark film from Kevin Smith which also looks like it has some humour behind it all, will it work?

Twisted idea indeed, but is this cashing in on the ideas of the Human Centipede?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 85%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No