Table 19 (2017)

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Writer: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rya Meyers, Charles Green, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, Margo Martindale, Stephen Merchant, June Squibb, Wyatt Russell

 

Plot: Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Comedy

 

Story: Table 19 starts as we meet our six random as the table layout describes them guests to a wedding, we have former friend and partner of the bride’s brother Teddy (Russell) and now pushed out of the circle Eloise (Kendrick), couple who barley knows anyone Bina (Kudrow) and Jerry (Robinson), anti-social loner Rezno (Revolori), recently released cousin Walter (Merchant) and former Nanny Jo (Squibb).

The six find themselves on Table 19 in the corner and decide to make the most of the evening together after they learn they are the guests that were expected to decline their invitation, but the truth about their own lives will become clear to improve their futures.

 

Thoughts on Table 19

 

Characters/PerformanceEloise is the perfect example of what will happen if you become disliked by a bride just before the wedding you helped prepare, she has a bigger reason to be there and will learn more about why her life in this evening. Bina and Jerry are a long-married couple going through the slow times bickering through the wedding. Rezno is a teenager with a few friends, whose mum has controlled most of his life, he gets pushed into going to the wedding in hope of meeting someone. Walter is a former criminal that is invited to the keep the family open but not enough to be accepted.  Jo is the former nanny that is delighted to be invited but disappointed to be left out of the main family circle. The 6 all have their reasons to be at the wedding and help themselves improve the bad situation.

Performance wise, we all know I will watch anything with Anna Kendrick is and once again she doesn’t let us down, it is also great to see Lisa Kudrow in comedy once again, Craig Robinson is one of the comic actors you can see pull anything off. Tony Revolori continues to show he is someone we should be noticing in film having a comic ability unlike others and June Squibb is fast becoming an actress I want to see all of her films. Stephen Merchant steals the show here but to be fair I think everyone did a great job in this film with Wyatt Russell offering another genre piece for us to see if he can follow in his father’s footsteps.

StoryWe will all get invited to weddings, we will all have different seats and different connections to the couple. This film shows how different people can come together and learn the truth about situations to improve themselves in the most unlikely place, learning from unlikely people. The story is charming throughout which can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy through the film works without becoming anything all laughs, we do get a romantic angle which comes off nicely too.

SettingsThe whole film is set in the wedding party which is great because it all happens in one night which shows us what can happen in one night.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that truly can be enjoyed, it has the laughs, the heart and the real effects of what you would expect from a wedding if you are an outsider.

 

Overall: One of the comedies of the year.

Rating

 

 

Lorenzo’s Oil (1992)

logoDirector: George Miller

Writer: George Miller, Nick Enright (Screenplay)

Starring: Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon, Peter Ustinov, Kathleen Wilhoite, Gerry Bamman, Margo Martindale, James Rebhorn, Ann Hearn, Maduka Steady

 

Plot: A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: Lorenzo’s Oil starts in July 1983 Comoros Islands where young boy Lorenzo is living. Move forward three months Lorenzo is back home in America but things have started to change in Lorenzo, he has started to react to everything where he causes problems. Lorenzo’s parents Augusto (Nolte) and Michaela (Sarandon) start to be concerned with his behaviour but when doctors say there is nothing wrong. Each doctor tells them the same thing and figure out it is not his brain but he continues to get worse showing more symptoms.

Specialist Doctor Judalon (Bamman) puts Lorenzo through the most tests over a string of days to finally figure out what is wrong, ALD is the disease that Lorenzo has and he is given just two years to live because no one has every lasted longer than that. ALD has no treatment and has never been studied which leaves the parents with the realization that they will lose their son, but not wanting to accept that they start learning about the disease. Professor Nikolais (Ustinov) has been working on a potential theory for trying to slow down the process.

As time goes by we watch how different doctors try and learn from Lorenzo and other victims but we have to see how the difficult it is for the parents and doctors alike who have to learn not only how to treat but also how to deal with the disease. Deciding not enough is being done, Augusto and Michaela take it upon themselves to try and learn about the disease to understand what they will be dealing with and look for their own potential cure.

Lorenzo’s Oil is a film based on the true story that this one family suffered through. It shows how learning about new diseases isn’t just something you can rush into even if it can be difficult to believe. It also shows how far medical science can help save lives if people are willing to look for a cure instead of trying to make money. On the personal battle is shows how much effort our couple put into saving their son against almost impossible odds, not just dealing with the reality of what will happen but what could have happened. This will go down as one of the powerful dramas we saw at the time but in the end we have seen many like this now. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Nick Nolte: Augusto Odone the father of Lorenzo who spends his time studying to find a cure by himself to prove all the doctors wrong. Nick shows why he is always good enough to lead a film with a flawless performance here. (9/10)

 

Susan Sarandon: Michaela Odone mother of Lorenzo who spends the whole time fighting for the right to have her son treated while spending as much time as possible caring for him as he gets worse. Susan gives a great performance and deserved her Oscar nomination. (10/10)

 

Peter Ustinov: Professor Nikolais who is leading ideas on how to cure the disease but is in a very difficult situation of having to follow the procedure of testing before just jumping to conclusions. Peter gives a good performance in what would considered a difficult role. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Lorenzo’s Oil has a supporting cast that includes family members as well as other families who are suffering with the disease, each are dealing with it in a different way. We also have doctors who are trying to find a cure but only in the scientific way.

 

Director Review: George Miller – George steps away from what we are used to from him and he delivers a very powerful drama. (9/10)

 

Drama: Lorenzo’s Oil shows how hard dealing with a disease like that is, it shows how hard it will be on the family and how hard it will make them fight for him. (10/10)

Settings: Lorenzo’s Oil uses the home as the most part setting showing how crippling the disease is on the family. (9/10)

Suggestion: Lorenzo’s Oil is one very good film and I do think it could be watched by all but I do think the subject matter might not appeal to everyone. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Fighting for the right to try something.

Worst Part: Medical protocol.

 

Believability: It is based on the real story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: Good chance of some through the film. (8/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: During credits we see children who have survived because of the oil.

Similar Too: Extraordinary Measures.

 

Oscar Chances: Was nominated for Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

Box Office: $7.3 Million

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

Tagline: Some people make their own miracles.

 

Overall: This is a very powerful drama that will stick with you because the work these two did helped many other suffers of the disease.

Rating 85

Heaven is for Real (2014)

logoDirector: Randall Wallace

Writer: Randall Wallace, Chris Parker (Screenplay) Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent (Book ‘Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back’)

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Thomas Haden Church, Connor Corum, Lane Styles, Margo Martindale, Jacob Vargas

 

Plot: A small-town father must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.

 

Verdict: Touching Drama

 

Story: We follow a preacher whose family is struggling financial when his son suddenly his son becomes sick. After his son recovers he tales the story of how he had visited heaven. We follow as he questions everything he thought he knew as he learns more about his son’s story.

What makes this an amazing story is that it is based on the real account of the young boy. It also doesn’t try to force feed you religion which it could easily have done. This will leave you with that happy fuzzy feeling as it does leave you wondering what you want to believe. Even if you don’t believe in a religious figure you will like the idea of the unexplained during a new death experience. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Greg Kinnear: Todd Burpo local preacher, fireman, gym teacher and father whose starting to lose his faith after suffering health issue and after his son gets sick. When his son starts telling him about his trip to heaven he is left to question even more but will he let his faith take over. Good performance from Greg who manages to give us enough to question through his decision as the film unfolds. (8/10)

 todd

Kelly Reilly: Sonja Burpo wife and mother who has to worry about the bills and her family’s health. She tries to be the voice of reason until she gets swayed. Good performance as the wife supporting everything no matter how hard things are getting. (7/10)

kelly

Connor Corum: Colton Burpo the young boy who has the experience and ends up shocking his family with his tale of heaven and all its wonders. Good performance from the young boy who manages to convince of with his childhood innocents. (7/10)

 colton

Support Cast: Comprised with family and friends who joined together to support the family in their time off need. (7/10)

 

Director Review: Randall Wallace – Creates a nice adaptation of a tale of what you want to believe with the afterlife. (7/10)

 

Drama: Great usage of the drama side of the story as we follow all the real emotions the characters are feeling after each event. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting is used well to carry on the story with all the location being very real everyday places for the family. (8/10)

Suggestion: It is always good to enjoy a film where you question what you want to believe and this is being based on a true event makes it all the more interesting, but if you are not a fan of that type of film you might find this hard to watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Heaven is beautifully created.

Worst Part: Could be seen to be religious film.

Funniest Scene: What Colton asks the angels to sing.

Believability: The story is based on a real event, but whether it really happened is up to you. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $101 Million

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Unlock the mystery

 

Overall: Solid Drama About Faith

Rating 73