Robin Williams Weekend – R.V.: Runaway Vacation (2006)

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: Geoff Rodkey (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Joanna ‘Jojo’ Levesque, Josh Hutcherson, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth


Plot: Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.

Tagline – One family. Eight wheels. No brakes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Serviceable Comedy


Story: R.V.: Runaway Vacation starts as businessman Bob (Williams) is facing the reality of seeing his kids about to start preparing for their next steps in life, he decides to cancel their Hawaii vacation to take them across country in an RV. Bob must convince his wife Jamie (Hines) and children Cassie (JoJo) and Carl (Hutcherson) this trip is going to be good.

As their journey continues we get the usual series of mishaps along the way as Bob is fighting to keep his job by secretly doing his work while the others sleep, just what else can happen in the family’s adventure.


Thoughts on R.V.: Runaway Vacation


Characters – Bob Munro is an officer worker always on his boss’s good side, his family is growing up and about to move on with their lives and he decides to take them on a cross country trip to keep his job. Jamie is his wife that isn’t happy about losing the Hawaii vacation but understands he wants to spend time with his family. Cassie and Carl are the children with their own growing up problems that Bob has been ignoring for the most part.

PerformancesRobin Williams is the main star of the movie, he gets to do a watered-down version of his comedy which is serviceable for the film. Going into the supporting cast we don’t get too much that stands out as most of them are playing off what Williams does.

StoryThe story follows a family vacation in an RV which takes them on a series of unfortunate events. The story does feel weak for the family growing dynamic because too much of the movie is focused on the father’s problems rather then looking at how the family needs to come together. This will pass as a comedy level story which is fine and never becomes the importance a lighter comedy could achieve.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy is hit or miss, it is mostly material we have seen before and even with Williams in the leading role, it doesn’t always hit.

SettingsThe film takes us across parts of America which is fine, we get the beauty spots in certain places.

Scene of the Movie –
The reason why the trip happens.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The weakness of the comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the best comedy, it has moments but in the end it will become one that you do end up forgetting.


Overall: Forgettable comedy for the most part.




Strange Magic (2015)

Director: Gary Rydstrom

Writer: David Berenbaum, Irene Mecchi, Gary Rydstrom (Screenplay) George Lucas (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Meredith Anne Bull, Sam Palladio, Kristin Chenoweth


Plot: Goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Kids Will Enjoy


Story: Strange Magic starts as we see the difference between the Fairy Kingdom and the Dark Forest, the two kingdoms are side by side but both live different lives. When one of the fairies, Marianne accidently steps into the dark forest, angering the Bog King.

Marianne is about to marry the handsome fairy Roland but learns of his true nature, finding herself crushed. Swearing off love, Marianne sets out to protect her sister Dawn and friend Sunny from danger and the dark forest.

When Roland wants to become king, he must find a way to make Marianne take him back which leads him to trick Sunny into going into the dark forest to find a love potion so they can both get the one they want by finding the Sugar Plum Fairy.

This brings the Bog King into the Fairy Kingdom to retrieve the love potion giving the fairies one day to retrieve the potion or he will keep Dawn prisoner forever, with Marianne going out to rescue her.


Thoughts on Strange Magic


Characters Marianne is the typical strong female character who doesn’t want to follow the traditional trends and be extra independent, she fights for family while hating love. Bog King rules the darkness, hating the world because of his failures in love, he is a strict ruler but also sums up what it is like to have loved and lost becoming bitter to the world. Sunny the comic relief and we see him give us the most laughs as he tries to find a way to show his love for Dawn. Dawn is the annoying princess who is very shallow. Roland is the arrogant wanna be king who is completely annoying throughout.

StoryThe story is the old forbidden love story about two different sides of the fence falling in love against the wishes of everyone. We touch on the elements of trying to force someone to fall in love with you and the consequences it will have on them. It focuses a lot of the people’s individual mistakes when it comes to love.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/FantasyWe have a big adventure into the world forbidden, with elements of comedy going on throughout. We also have the fantasy elements of the film which is one the whole family could enjoy with catchy songs throughout.

SettingsThe creation of the worlds looks fantastic seeing how both sides live giving us a beautiful selection of settings.

AnimationThe animation does work well bring it into a different style to the normal, that all looks great.

Final ThoughtsThis does have a very big judgmental statement being made about treating people equally but this doesn’t over shadow the fun music side of the film.


Overall: This has a poor rating overall but this is enjoyable.




The Peanuts Movie (2015)

peanutsDirector: Steve Martino

Writer: Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz, Cornelius (Screenplay) Charles M Schulz (Comic Strip)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rebecca Bloom, Anastasia Bredikhina, Kristin Chenoweth, Alexander Garfin, Noah Johnston, Noah Schnapp, Venus Schultheis


Plot: Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home to win the love of his life.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Nostalgia Animation


Story: The Peanuts Movie starts when our favourite characters have a snow day, while most want to play on the ice Charlie Brown wants to fly his kite. Charlie Brown is used t not fitting in but when a new girl moves in he falls in love hoping not to let her know of his clumsy ways he wants to find a way to talk to her. We also watch as Snoopy tries to make up his own story with Woodstock.

Charlie decides to enter the talent show to impress the Red Hair Girl and along with his trusty friend Snoopy can he impress the girl? Charlie continues to miss his chance as he tries all his different plans.

The Peanuts Movie is an animated film that I do think you need to understand the originals before going into it, personally I only knew of Snoopy and Charlie Brown and simply couldn’t give you the name of any of the supporting characters. While this is a nice story it really lacks that spark to engage a new audience. I understand this was made for the fans which is important because this was meant to be a one off film which is worth it for the fans.



Character Review


Snoopy: Snoopy is the trusted friend of Charli Brown who is always there when he needs him, when not helping Charlie he is writing his own adventures against his nemesis the Red Baron. Snoopy is the iconic character from the series.snoopy

Charlie Brown: Charlie is the hapless clumsy character out of all the friends, when a new girl moves in he wants to impress her because he just can’t talk to her. We watch how he keeps trying all these ideas to get noticed including the time he becomes the school genius. Charlie is like most children that don’t know who they are which is important to see.charlie

Lucy: Lucy is the smart girl that doesn’t seem to like Charlie as she thinks she is better than everyone else. Lucy sums up the big almost bully character in the film.

Linus: Linus is Charlie’s best friend and the one he always turns to for advice even though he always wants his blanket. Linus is good but underused in the film.

Support Characters: The Peanuts Movie has good supporting characters the fans will all know and love.

Director Review: Steve MartinoSteve gives us a safe film with respect to the original source material.


Adventure: The Peanuts Movie gives Snoopy an adventure in his story.

Animation: The Peanuts Movie uses high quality animation that feels like an upgrade from the original style.

Comedy: The Peanuts Movie has good laughs through the film without being over the top.

Family: The Peanuts Movie is one the family could enjoy with the original fans showing it to their kids.

Music: The Peanuts Movie has good use of music to sum up what is going on screen.

Settings: The Peanuts Movie takes us into the world of peanuts where we see all the locations the fans would know.
: The Peanuts Movie is one for the original fans to enjoy otherwise is could become difficult for them to enjoy. (Original Fans Enjoy)


Best Part: Snoopy’s adventure.

Worst Part: If you don’t know the characters you might be lost with certain jokes.

Favourite Quote: Sally ‘Can a brother and sister get a divorce?’


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Yes


Awards: Nominated for one Golden Globe.

Oscar Chances: Could get a Best Animated nod.

Box Office: $127 Million

Budget: $99 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes


Overall: Enjoyable for the original fans


The Boy Next Door (2015)

boyDirector: Rob Cohen

Writer: Barbara Curry (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth, Lexi Atkins, Hill Harper


Plot: A newly divorced woman falls for a younger man who has recently moved in across the street from her, but their torrid affair soon takes a dangerous turn.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fatal Attraction the DVD Sequel


Story: The Boy Next Door starts by showing the details of Claire (Lopez) and her divorce from Garrett (Corbett), she has been getting through it with her friend Vicky (Chenoweth) but to make thing difficult Claire wants to do the right thing for their son Kevin (Nelson). Claire meets her new neighbour Noah (Guzman) who offers to help around the house as he looks after his ill uncle.

Noah and Kevin start hanging out with Noah showing Kevin certain things mostly handy orientated. Noah wants to get back into school to learn about literature which just so happens to be the class that Claire teaches, this brings the two closer together. Claire is forced into going on a date for the first time in 18 years and things go terrible, leading to Claire to spend the night with Noah, where she regrets the moment she wakes up in the morning.

When Kevin returns we start to see a change in Noah as Noah starts to become obsessed with Claire. Things take a turn when Claire decides to let Garrett have another chance and try and work out their marriage. Noah starts his plan to get Claire by talking Kevin into resenting Garrett for living him for 9 months. We continue to learn about Noah’s past and we see just how disturbed he really is and how much danger Claire has put herself in.

The Boy Next Door is a film that follows the very simple guidelines for stalker obsessed films, everything comes off very standard. We have the let’s get friendly with the neighbour routine, the wildly drunken night, realization of the mistake before the friendly person turns out to be crazy. Now time for the problems, the son really isn’t going to be swayed by a conversation when he was already excited about his parents getting back together. I also feel that Noah’s character really didn’t have any idea what he wanted from Claire because he never explains about running off into the sunset or anything. I don’t expect this to go down as one of the better films of the year but I do feel like that casual fan will get enough entertainment out of it all. (5/10)


Actor Review


Jennifer Lopez: Claire Peterson separated wife, mother and teacher who spends the night with her new neighbour, but when she wants to give her husband another chance leading to her having to fight for her career and life from this obsessed boy. I was going to give Jennifer a good mark but the final act was just terrible from her she looked completely out of place. (3/10)


Ryan Guzman: Noah Sandborn the new neighbour who helps around the house before having a night with Claire. He turns obsessive when he gets told it was a mistake and Claire decides to give her husband another chance. Ryan does a solid job with his character and manages to play both sides nicely. (6/10)


Ian Nelson: Kevin Peterson son of Claire who becomes friends with Noah who then starts to get played by Noah into pushing the family apart. Ian does a solid job but does come off very annoying. (5/10)


John Corbett: Garrett Peterson the husband who is trying to make up for his mistakes and rebuild his family with Claire and Kevin. John does a solid job in the supporting role but never does have enough time on camera. (5/10)


Kristin Chenoweth: Vicky Lansing the vice principal and good friend of Claire’s who is trying to push her into dating but soon has to help her cover up for the mistake that Claire makes. Kristin gives a solid supporting performance. (6/10)


Support Cast: The Boy Next Door doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with not many characters turn up in many other scenes.


Director Review: Rob Cohen – Rob does a solid job but the final act feels rushed and out of place for the whole film. (5/10)


Thriller: The Boy Next Door does give you the feeling of what will happen next but never pulls you fully in. (5/10)

Settings: The Boy Next Door uses very basic settings, the home, the school and well that seems to be it we have a few scenes here and there but they all work to make the film have the right location feel to it. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Boy Next Door is one to try, it does enough for the casual fan but it doesn’t stand up next to other thrillers. (Try It)


Best Part: Noah beats up the bully

Worst Part: Final act is rushed and escalates the story too fast.

What Could Have Been Better? – Better pacing.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Fatal Attraction


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $37 Million to date.

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: A moment she couldn’t resist, an obsession he can’t control.


Overall: The Boy Next Door really is a bog standard thriller that will easily be forgotten.

Rating 50