ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – T – Titanic (1997)

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton

 

Plot: A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.


Tagline – Collide With Destiny

Runtime: 3 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece in Cinema

 

Story: Titanic starts as treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Paxton) and his team are searching the Titanic wreckage for any remaining treasure that could make them rich, on their latest voyage they find a picture of woman wearing a long-lost necklace, the heart of the ocean. With this picture becoming international news Rose (Stuart) comes aboard the ship to tell her story of her trip in the doomed ship.

Returning to 1912 we follow Rose (Winslet) from a rich family using the trip with her fiancée Cal (Zane) to return to America to start their life together. Jack (DiCaprio) on the other hand wins his ticket in a poker game to be a passenger on the ship, in the third class.

As the two get involved in a chance meeting, Rose is shown the life that is care free away from her prim and proper lifestyle that she has only ever been shown, the two fall in love in their short time together but after the ship hits the iceberg, they must battle to survive the fateful night as the panic of the tragic event occurs.

 

Thoughts on Titanic

 

Characters – Rose is shown to us in two different times, we first meet the modern day one, well 1997 where she has lived the life she had always dreamed off, now she gets to return to the Titanic wreckage to tell her story of events on the maiden voyage that will be remembered forever. The other Rose we meet is the younger one, the 19 year-old that is moving to America to start her life of luxury with her fiancée Cal, at this age she isn’t sure this is what she wants and meeting Jack shows her a new look and even a new love in life, she takes risks that she would never have even imagined taking before meeting Jack. Jack Dawson is a drifter, artist and traveller of the world, winning his ticket in a game of poker, he sees this as his chance to return to America with his new craft, he falls for Rose and his carefree lifestyle shines on her and he is shunned by anyone in the first class of the ship. Cal is the fiancée of Rose, he has used his wealth to get all the benefits in life, he looks down on anyone not from the same class as himself and takes an instant dislike to Jack, he tries to control Rose’s every decision making him the villain of the piece. We have the controlling mother, the fish out of water with money in Molly who steals nearly every scene being the only one that can relate to Jack and the portrays of the real people behind the ship tragedy.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became international A-Listers after this movie, their performances are fantastic and showed the world the talent they both had at this early moments of their career. Billy Zane does make a great villainous character through this film and you will find yourself hating his character. Kathy Bates is fantastic too in a role you could have watched all day long. The whole cast is fantastic in this film and their performances show us just how good they are.

StoryThe story shows us one of the most tragic moments in modern human history, this sinking of the Titanic, an accident in which no one was prepared for, seeing the supporting characters who are based on the real people is fascinating to see how they were to believed to have acted, saying this the love story does feel very forced and having one person telling the story doesn’t give us the understand how she would know what other people were doing at the times without her in the movie. Clocking up at over 3 hours, this story never seems to find a low point well telling the story of this tragedy.

RomanceThe weakest part of the film here, because this event didn’t need a fictional love story which in all fairness is a by the book routine love story of the rich meets poor.

SettingsThe creation of the Titanic for the setting is fantastic, as we follow the journey you feel like you are part of this doomed voyage which is filled with the beauty of first class and the cramped conditions of third class.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used in this movie were ground-breaking at the time, they stand this test of time and deserved any credit the team working on this got.


Scene of the Movie –
The search for survivors, is haunting, disturbing and tragic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How would Rose know what people were doing in her story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest movies of all time, a record breaking in its own right, career making, career defining and moment in history that will forever be stuck in tragic events.

 

Overall: Brilliant, and a must watch

Rating

 

 

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Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

casting cardDirector: Randall Wallace

Writer: Randall Wallace (Screenplay) Alexandre Dumas (Novel)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud, Judith Godreche, Edward Atterton, Peter Sarsgaard, Hugh Laurie

 

Plot: The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure Film

 

Story: The Man in the Iron Mask starts as the young King Louis XIV (DiCaprio) finds him rule leading to a civil war within France as he tries to conquer neighbouring countries. Louis has the Musketeers protecting him with the most famous of these being Aramis (Irons) now a priest, Athos (Malkovich) who son Raoul (Sarsgaard) is in training to become a musketeer, Porthos (Depardieu) a drunk and D’Artagnan (Byrne) Louis closest guard.

Tired of the King’s ways Aramis leads the revolution against the King with Porthos and Athos by his side with D’Artagnan struggling with the morale dilemma on which side of the battle to be on. The plan is to free Philippe (DiCaprio) who has been cast into an iron mask to hide his identity of twin to King Louis from the world and replace him with the real King to try and create peace within France.

The Man in the Iron Mask is a historical tale based loosely on the real people following the musketeers attempt to stop a revolution without bloodshed. This shows how conflict could be solved without anyone dying but also shows how one person can become overcome by power which can lead to this conflict happen too. Each character has a good developed story and seeing the musketeers at a later stage of their life comes off fresh to what we have seen too often. The story won’t be for everyone but wouldn’t this have been an amazing true story?

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: King Louis XIV is the cruel ruler of France, making his people starve while trying to conquer the neighbouring countries. He is ruthless wanting to kill anyone who goes against him even if it is just for fun.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Philippe is the twin to King Louis who has been imprisoned for years to hide his true identity. Once freed by the musketeers he is given the chance to replace Louis and give France the true leader needed to bring peace to the country. Leonardo gives us two great performances one as the evil ruler with the other as the kind hearted man. This showed how Leo could handle for both sides of the battle.

Jeremy Irons: Aramis is a priest that is one of the former famous musketeers, he is sent to find and kill the leader of the resistance against King Louis, only he is the leader and has plan to replace King Louis with his brother Philippe. Jeremy is good in this role which you could see him play for years to come.

John Malkovich: Athos is a retired musketeer who has devoted his life to make sure his son can follow in his footsteps. When his son is killed serving King Louis he joins Aramis to rid France of the cruel ruler. John is good in this role where he gets to enter into another period piece role.

Gerard Depardieu: Porthos is the drunk of the musketeers filled with the lust for life, he creates the added comedy in the story as we wait to see what he does wrong next. Gerard is fun in this role.

Gabriel Byrne: D’Artagnan is the loyal guard to the King, he does see the error in his ways but refuses to break an oaf to protect the king with his life. His loyalty will leave him facing against his old friends but will this be his downfall. Gabriel is strong in this role throughout the film.

Support Cast: The Man in the Iron Mask has a supporting cast that never look out of place with the interaction with the main cast which does help the story unfold the way it does.

Director Review: Randall WallaceRandall gives us an enjoyable version of this story which I do think is a very interesting story.

 

Action: The Man in the Iron Mask has good combat action being used throughout which is all swords swinging entertainment.

Adventure: The Man in the Iron Mask throws our musketeers on an adventure they wished for to complete their lives work.

Settings: The Man in the Iron Mask puts us in France for the setting with each setting looking like the time period in question.

Suggestion: The Man in the Iron Mask is one to try, the length of the film could turn people off but it is an enjoyable adventure film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

 

Believability: Parts were true.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Budget: $35 Minutes

Runtime: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

Tagline: For the honor of a king. And the destiny of a country. All for one.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Adventure that continues the musketeer’s legacy.

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Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – J. Edgar (2011)

hooverDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Dustin Lance Black (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Lucas, Dermot Mulroney

 

Plot: J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Biopic

 

Story: J. Edgar starts as we learn that J Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio) wanting to tell his story as he goes back to 1919 when he witnesses the crime being committed against his boss Mitchell Palmer. We see how Palmer give Hoover a chance to search for the communist which are targeting high ranking members of America.

With Hoover’s first act he plans to deport any non-America who poses a threat to the country a new law was born and peace came from the rebel. Being put in charge of the Bureau of Investigation Hoover cleans out the corruption to build his own force as he wants to use new technology to help fight crime. While his professional career shines and rises his personal life where he tackles his own relationship with Clyde Tolson (Hammer) that has to remain a secret. The birth of the FBI is told through this story too.

J. Edgar shows the amazing career and life of one of the most important men in American history as we see how he came to help change how law was thought and studied. This will never be questioned but his methods on achieving this could be questioned as he does push many morale boundaries. It is the look into his personal life which also interests because for a man rising against authority to be homosexual at the time would have been looked down on so Hoover also becomes victim to the personal choice being the thing that held back his career. The problem with this film is not in the performance because DiCaprio shines in this role but the problem comes with the fact that this is slightly too long at nearly two and half hours long we could have easily have had a two-hour film because the whole film feels slow at times.

 

Overall: Slow biopic with heavyweight performances.

Rating55

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

whatsDirector: Lasse Hallstrom

Writer: Peter Hedges (Screenplay) Peter Hedges (Novel)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Darlene Cates, Laura Harrington, Mary Kate Schellhardt, John C Reilly, Crispin Glover

 

Plot: After his father’s death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother, which is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape starts by taking us to the small American town of Endora where we meet the Grape family oldest brother Gilbert (Depp) mentally challenged Arnie (DiCaprio) sisters Amy (Harrington) and Ellen (Schellhardt) and mother Bonnie (Cates).

With Gilbert needing to spend every day looking after his family and most Arnie he finds himself only dreaming of leaving this small town but when he meets traveller Becky (Lewis) he starts with something he never saw coming but is left with the dilemma of can he leave his family.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape gives us a story of a struggling family in America with all of their own problems but the leader of the household is very reluctant but knows he has to stay to hold everything together. The film shows how you need to love the ones closest to you however difficult it could be and it also shows how you can’t let your life be controlled or ever held back.

 

Actor Review

 

Johnny Depp: Gilbert Grape has to look after his family after his father’s suicide, he finds himself stuck in this small town facing a life where he could spend his whole life there. He is well respected through the town but his good nature is what is holding him back because his love for his mentally ill brother shines through his character. Johnny gives us a great performance where he has to keep everything subtle without stealing anyone else spotlight.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Arnie Grape is the mentally ill teenager on the verge of turning 18, he can’t handle the simple day interactions and is always needed to be watched over by Gilbert. The older he is getting the harder he is getting to control but Arnie just doesn’t understand the problems he is causing. Leonardo gives a performance which puts his name firmly on the map and one that gave him his first Oscar nomination.

Juliette Lewis: Becky is a traveller who is passing through only to breakdown in this small town. She shows Gilbert he could have if he didn’t have Arnie in his life giving him the glimpse into the life he could on dream off. Juliette is good in this role coming off like a natural character in this movie.

Mary Steenburgen: Betty Carver is a local lady who has been using Gilbert for an affair, she always asks for him to do deliveries but becomes increasingly jealous when Becky turns up in town. Mary is good in this role but is the only one that has moments where she could look out of place.

Support Cast: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape has a supporting cast which includes the rest of the Grape family with all their flaws and the locals who all have a built in friendship with Gilbert. Each member of the supporting cast shows us how this film all comes off feeling like a natural story.

Director Review: Lasse HallstromLasse is a director you can always trust to give you a touching story and handle all of the characters so well.

 

Drama: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape gives us the drama where we get to see the struggles in a small town America and a family with their own problems.

Romance: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape keeps the romance very simple as we see Gilbert learn that he will need to leave this town to every understand true love.

Settings: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape has the whole film set in the small town in America which helps the story shine through.
Suggestion
: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is one I do think everyone should have watched at least once because the story is so powerful. (Watch)

 

Best Part: DiCaprio and Depp show their star quality in simple roles.

Worst Part: It is hard to find one.

 

Believability: The problems the characters go through could all be considered real problems but this story is fictional.

Chances of Tears: Maybe.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar.

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: Arnie knows a secret. His big brother Gilbert is the greatest person on the planet.

 

Overall: One of the simplest and charming movies you will ever see.

Ratingcard

 

 

Daniel Day-Lewis Weekend – Gangs of New York (2002)

gangsDirector: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, Kenneth Lonergan (Screenplay) Jay Cocks (Story)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Jim Broadbent, John C Reilly, Henry Thomas, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Lewis, Stephen Graham

 

Plot: In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father’s killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Breath-taking Drama

 

Story: Gangs of New York starts as ‘Priest’ Vallon (Neeson) leads an army of warriors into battles against Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting (Day-Lewis) to see who has control of New York City 1846. The battle is a spectacle with Bill coming out victorious with young Amsterdam witnessing his dad’s death. This is arguable one of the greatest opening sequences in film.

Amsterdam (DiCaprio) all grown up returns to New York in one mission vengeance but since he has been gone Bill has risen to higher powers than he left in. Amsterdam gets shown around by Johnny Sirocco (Thomas) who is low ranking member of the Bill’s gang giving Amsterdam a chance to rise through the gang to get closer to Bill ready for his moment to kill him.

Once discovered Amsterdam gets shamed but that only drives him to build his own army to take on Bill like his father did all those years ago.

Gangs of New York gives us one of the most brutal gritty revenge films of all time, but this is more than just a standard revenge film. There is a sense of honour between the men, the final third of the film where the true identity of Amsterdam is revealed to Bill could easily have been the end but Bill’s honour gets the best of him leading to the final battle. We do have a political side to this film that really does have moments that unless you know history could come off outside the main story we are interested in seeing. Overall this is one of those film that really is something special with how it is all made to give us an amazing fight scenes that feel real with every single swing.

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: Amsterdam Vallon witnesses his father death in battle against The Butcher as a child, sent away until he returns to New York as he carefully plans his vengeance against Bill. Amsterdam becomes part of Bill’s gang and soon finds himself as one of most loyal men by his side. Leonardo gives a brilliant performance in this leading role giving Daniel Day-Lewis a run for his money.amsteredam

Daniel Day-Lewis: Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting is the most powerful man in New York everyone be it friend or enemy shows respect for him as he takes whatever he wants. He is a man of honour as we see with how he handles Amsterdam’s father’s death. Bill lets Amsterdam come into his gang unaware of who he really is becoming a father figure to him. Daniel gives an Oscar worthy performance here where he only lost out this time around.bill

Cameron Diaz: Jenny Everdeane is an accomplished pick pocket who is one of the only people in New York that doesn’t have to answer to Bill because of the relationship through the time. She becomes the love interest of Amsterdam as they dream of a new life away from New York. Cameron shows that she can pull off the serious side of the film giving a great performance.jenny

Jim Broadbent: William ‘Boss’ Tweed is the man trying to run for control of New York on the legal side, he teams up with Bill to buy votes to show just how corrupt he really is. Jim makes for an ever so reliable supporting actor in the massive cast.

Support Cast: Gangs of New York has a massive supporting cast that has a string of well-known stars including Liam Neeson, John C Reilly, Henry Thomas and Brendan Gleeson to mention a few who all give fantastic performances helping the main characters in their goals.

Director Review: Martin ScorseseMartin is one of the best in Hollywood and this is one of his greatest pieces of work.

 

Crime: Gangs of New York puts us in the middle of a gang war trying to control the streets showing how they work together at times but against each other another.

History: Gangs of New York gives us a look at New York in 1846 while the characters are based on people it is the look of the film which is the stand out historical side of the film.

Settings: Gangs of New York recreates New York for the time making every single shot look like the actual time period in question.
Special Effects
: Gangs of New York uses brilliant effects to make every single swing in the battles seem real.

Suggestion: Gangs of New York is one to watch, it may well be long but one you really need to see. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Opening fight.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Opening fight.

 

Believability: Parts are others are fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 10 Oscars not winning a single award.

Budget: $97 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 47 Minutes

Tagline: America Was Born In The Streets.

Trivia: Bill the Butcher has a scene with every main and supporting character in the film, a symbol of his vast influence in the Five Points.

 

Overall: Stunning gang story filled with magnificent fight scenes

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