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

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Mercy (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: A single mom and her two boys help take care of their grandmother with mystical powers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Horror

 

Story: Mercy starts as we follow George (Riggs) who is close to his Grandma Mercy (Knight) who teaches him things about life. When she has a stroke he loses his best friend before a year later along with his mother Rebecca (O’Connor) and sister Buddy (Courtney) have to move into her house to care for her.

When George starts finds out more about the strange history within the house he learns secrets that Mercy made as he must find off the forces of evil and stop the curse controlling the family.

Mercy is a horror film that just doesn’t get the elements of horror involved until way to late in the movie and then suddenly it is all over. I feel this is way too short to get us involved with what the complete story is involved. We try to enter into plenty of different rituals but most of it just becomes a blur by the end.

 

Actor Review

 

Frances O’Connor: Rebecca is the mother of George and Buddy as well as being the daughter of Mercy, she has to move her family to care for Mercy but what she learns will leave her family in danger. Frances is ok in this role but doesn’t make enough of an impact.

Shirley Knight: Mercy is the Grandmother of George that has always been trying to teach him about life but when the past comes back to haunt her she becomes possessed by the very thing she thought would protect her. Shirley does have elements of creepiness about her throughout.

Chandler Riggs: George is the youngest member of the family who has been close to his grandmother his whole life, when she suffers a stroke he must step up to fight her demons to uncover a family secret. Chandler is solid in this role without being given enough time in the final act which is really needed.

Joel Courtney: Buddy is the brother of George who wishes to become a chef one day, he doesn’t believe anything he has to say and is almost forgotten during the film. Joel does the best he can with a poorly written supporting character.

Support Cast: Mercy has a supporting cast that all seem to know something about what is happening but only given little parts of the story away. They just seem to become almost disposable and not giving the story enough of what it needs.

Director Review: Peter CornwellPeter gives us a short horror that just doesn’t give us enough build up.

 

Horror: Mercy doesn’t have enough when it comes to creating any horror.

Thriller: Mercy tries to suck us in which doesn’t happen leaving us not worried about the characters.

Settings: Mercy keeps most of the story inside the house but just doesn’t seem to get enough about it.
Special Effects
: Mercy has basic effects when needed without being too much.

Suggestion: Mercy is one to avoid because it is just too short. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: It is short so you won’t waste too much time.

Worst Part: Not enough is happening.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

Overall: Slow, disappointing horror that has nothing about it.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Black Rock (2012)

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Plot: Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Bland

 

Story: Black Rock starts as two friends Lou (Bell) & Sarah (Bosworth) travelling to an island only for Sarah to surprise Lou and Abby (Aselton) to try and reconnect. Sarah wants to bring the three friends back together where they search for a time capsule they put on the island when they were kids but it isn’t long before we learn why Abby and Lou haven’t seen talking.

The trip gets interrupted by three guys Henry (Paulson), Derek (Bouvier) and Alex (Richardson) who the girls know from when they were younger. When Abby leads Henry on it leads to him trying to rape her before she kills him leading to Derek and Alex having to make the difficult decision on what to do to them. When the girls escape it turns into a battle to survive as the ex-military men chase down the girls on the island.

Black Rock comes off very frustrating because we start by not learning enough about the three leading ladies apart from the fact they were friends. The reason Derek decides to go on the hunt to kill happens because one of the women over teased one of the guys leading him on way too much before changing her mind and this ends up leaving the film in the morale ground of who was wrong, the guy for not stopping or the girl for saying yes before changing her mind. The survival side of the story is also almost pointless because we have nothing new.

 

Actor Review

 

Katie Aselton: Abby is one of our leading ladies who has fallen out with Lou after something that has happened years before. She reluctantly goes on this trip once Sarah talks her into it. Abby gets drunk leading a guy on but when things get out of hand she ends up killing him leading to his friends hunting the friends down on the island. Katie is solid but we need to actually believe the friendship before the attack.

Lake Bell: Lou is the other friend that has clashed with Abby but spending time together the two have to put the difference behind them to survive the attack on the island. Lake is solid in this role but we need to see more.

Kate Bosworth: Sarah is the friend that is trying to make Abby and Lou patch things together, she is a doctor which offers help when the friends come under attack on the island. Kate seems like she is wasted in what is only a supporting role.

Will Bouvier: Derek is the friend that decides to hunt down the girls after they kill his friend, he treats it like a game enjoying this too much. Will is a very average villain.

Support Cast: Black Rock only has a couple more cast members that don’t really stay around long enough to make a difference with the survival but are the motivation for the hunting.

Director Review: Katie AseltonKatie doesn’t get the most out of this simple story with predictable scenes throughout.

 

Horror: Black Rock doesn’t us the horror elements of this survival horror enough.

Thriller: Black Rock should be keeping us on edge but by the end of the film the suspense has been lost.

Settings: Black Rock keeps nearly all of the film on one island which does create the isolation needed.
Special Effects
: Black Rock has solid effects when it comes to the kills but otherwise not needed.

Suggestion: Black Rock is one you can easily miss because everything has been done better before. (Skip It)

 

Best Part: It is quiet short.

Worst Part: Why did you not just grab the gun?

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully not.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

Tagline: Not every island is a paradise.

Trivia: Writers Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass are married.

 

Overall: Predictable and flat story with little to no suspense.

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Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

logDirector: Colin Trevorrow

Writer: Derek Connolly (Screenplay)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jeff Garin, Mark Duplass

Plot: Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Guaranteed to Please

Story: Safety Not Guaranteed starts with Darius (Plaza) a young woman who has always struggled to fit into her social situations. Darius is working as an intern at a New York magazine run by Bridget (Rajskub). Jeff (Johnson) decides for his next assignment to investigate an advert in the paper asking for someone to go time travelling with them. Jeff takes Darius and Arnau (Soni) on the assignment across country.advert

The three discover the man who has placed the advert Kenneth (Duplass) who works in the local grocery store and small house. Jeff’s attempt to get to know him backfires as he really has just returned to the town to try and hook up with an old fling. Darius has much better luck when Kenneth starts doing a background check on her before inviting her into his idea as he has a constant fear of being followed.

As Kenneth and Darius get to know each other we learn that both would like to go back and change things from their past. First the two have to get the final parts to make the mission possible. We continue to see Kenneth and Darius bond as the time to go time travelling gets closer but how real is his story anyway.

Safety Not Guaranteed does what you want to see in all indie films, it takes the charm of a romantic comedy and mixes in an element you would never imagine working, time travel. Granted this film isn’t anything to do with actual time travel it focus on the characters who believe things haven’t gone their way in life and not sitting back any longer. I really enjoy these types of films they show you don’t need to rely on easy comedy, they show that you can have a sci-fi element without going with a mad budget. This films shows how to bring together five very different characters to help each other come out of their shells and show their true colours and isn’t that what we all want to see in life? This film will be one story I will recommend to anyone because of the simple character development used through out. (8/10)

Actor Review

Aubrey Plaza: Darius is a young intern who has never really fitted in anywhere in here life but when she gets taken along for one of the stories she ends up having to be the one to get to know the man who believes he can travel through time. We see how Darius grows as a person the more she learns about Kenneth. Aubrey gives a great charming performance where you can feel that she is an outsider. (8/10)daris

Jake Johnson: Jeff is the lead reporter on the story who has used this trip to try and hook up with and old high school girlfriend. He pushes Darius into continuing the story after he makes an unprofessional approach to learning about the story. Jake gives us a performance where he starts off as the unlikeable character but soon he is just as vulnerable as the rest. (7/10)jeff

Mark Duplass: Kenneth is the man who claims to be able to travel back in time, he placed the advert to find someone he can trust to go back in time with and until he meets Darius and we learn about his motives. Mark gives us a committed performance as you believe every word his character speaks or at least that he believes he believes speaking the truth. (8/10)kenneth

Karan Soni: Arnau is the fellow intern that gets bought along on the investigation to find out the truth about the advert. Karan is the supporting character who easily shows how isolated Darius could be. (7/10)

Support Cast: Safety Not Guaranteed has a limited supporting cast that mainly are here to show what is true in the stories being told and how the characters believe things are currently going in their lives.

Director Review: Colin TrevorrowColin does a great job directing this indie gem I can only wonder what he will give us for Jurassic World (Which I should have seen by the time this is posted). (8/10)

Comedy: Safety Not Guaranteed manages to give us funny moments, granted no moments that will make you laugh out loud but we get good moments that will give us a chuckle or too which is all the film really needs. (8/10)

Romance: Safety Not Guaranteed plays the romantic angle without throwing in our face, we learn early on that all the characters are single and haven’t had much luck in love, as the film continues we see how they all get a chance for love but can secrets ruin everything? (8/10)

Settings: Safety Not Guaranteed keeps the most part of the setting in the small town which really gives us a feeling of normality to the strange character being introduced to us. (8/10)

Suggestion: Safety Not Guaranteed is one for all the indie fans out there to enjoy, it is one that I would most people to have heard of but maybe not all given a chance too. (Watch)

Best Part: Guessing what is real.

Worst Part: Not knowing where the adventure goes.

Funniest Scene: Stealing the lasers, it is an easy laugh but so effective.

Favourite Quote: Kenneth The mission has been updated. I’m going back for you now. All right. Do you trust me?

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could, but it hope it never does.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $4 Million

Budget: $750,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: What would you change if you could go back?

Overall: A real treat that will leave you with a smile what more could you ask for in a film?

Rating 80