Katie Says Goodbye (2016)

Director: Wayne Roberts

Writer: Wayne Roberts (Screenplay)

Starring: Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Olivia Cooke, Mary Steenburgen, Jim Belushi, Keir Gilchrist, Chris Lowell

 

Plot: A kind-hearted seventeen-year-old in the American Southwest turns to prostitution to fulfill her dream of a new life in San Francisco.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heart-Breaking De-Construction of a Young Woman

 

Story: Katie Says Goodbye starts as we meet kind-hearted Katie (Cooke) who works as a waitress and prostitution on the side to get enough money to get out of the small trailer park see lives with her mother Tracey (Enos). Katie wants to move to San Francisco and after meeting Bruno (Abbott) a recently released prisoner, trying to keep his head down, who also doesn’t say much.

When Katie get exposed by Bruno, she must give up this life choice, hoping to make sure she can still leave, only to find herself in a relationship which doesn’t see her smile coming and her hope starting to come crashing down.

 

Thoughts on Katie Says Goodbye

 

Characters – Katie is a 17-year-old waitress that sleeps with the customers for some extra cash to help pay her family’s rent and chase her dream of escaping, she is an always positive person, that lets her kind nature guide her in the right direction. We see her start a relationship with a mysterious man, which sees her needing to give up the side ventures in hope that she can leave to follow her dream. In this time we see how the ever positive Katie sees her whole life come crashing down completely breaking this kind person. Tracey is Katie’s mother, she has given up most hope on herself, letting her daughter do most of the work for her, she admits she wasn’t a good mother and shows little love towards her own daughter. Bruno is the new man in town, working as a mechanic who takes the eye of Katie, the two do start dating with him being a man of little words, he does have a temper which can come to light at the wrong times and will see him getting to a level of dangerous without ever hurting Katie. Maybelle is the owner of the diner, she treats Katie like a daughter, always offering to be there for advice, never letting anything get in their friendship’s way.

PerformancesOlivia Cooke gives one of the best performances of the year 2016, it is clear that not enough people saw this movie to be talking about her raw, performance that shows how her character gets complete deconstructed through the film. Mireille Enos and Mary Steenburgen both prove to be brilliant supporting stars, while Christopher Abbott proves to bring us an unsettling mysterious man needed in the film.

StoryThe story follows the young woman that is still in her teenage years that dreams of a better life away from the small town where the dead end lives have taken its toll on the locals and she remains the last beckon of light in the town, until even her life comes crashing down around her. For the story here we get one of the biggest deconstruction of a character I have ever seen, she goes through so many different problems that completely take her life apart and it will show how the positive side of somebody can be broken without any fault of their own. Certain parts of the story do however feel slow and we do get too many scenes which are just the same as earlier which fill like they are just filling time to extend her pain.

SettingsThe film is set in a small American town, it gets to reflect the life that Katie has grown up in and wants to escape, facing the reality here she can’t deal with, showing her positive nature to help her escape, the diner, trailer park and open space that nobody visits.


Scene of the Movie –
Katie says goodbye.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does repeat itself with certain scenes at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant look at how a person can have their life turned upside down and seeing it spiral out of control, with a special performance from Olivia Cooke.

 

Overall: Brilliant character study.

Rating

 

 

The Book of Love (2016)

Director: Bill Purple

Writer: Robbie Pickering, Bill Purple (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel, Mary Steenburgen, Orlando Jones

 

Plot: Henry is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie, a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.


Tagline – How far would you go for a lost love?

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Grief Battle Drama

 

Story: The Book of Love starts when architect Henry Herschel (Sudeikis) loses his pregnant wife Penny (Biel) in a car accident, broken he needs to take time away from work, he notices homeless teenager Millie (Williams) searching for scraps.

When Henry learns what Millie is planning, he decides to jump in and help her with the project to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic, this gives him a new lease for life, to help someone follow their dream.

 

Thoughts on The Book of Love

 

Characters – Henry Herschel is an architect on the verge of a big promotion to partner in the company, and a baby, his life however is turned upside down when his wife is killed in an accident. Filled with grief he meets teenager Millie who he helps with her project, taking his mind off his loss. Millie is a homeless teenager, well she is forced to live with her estranged Uncle and she wants to build a raft like in the journal she finds. She believes she is doing the right thing as she is dealing with own problems. Penny is Henry’s wife who even after her death gives him guiding light to help Millie. Julia is the mother-in-law wanting the best for Henry as her own way of dealing with the loss of her daughter.

PerformancesJason Sudeikis continues to show that he is delightful to watch in these drama-comedy roles, he shows enough grief and hope to make you believe that he has been the one to lose his wife. Maisie Williams is good for the most part, but she does struggle to maintain the accent through the film.  Jessica Biel and Mary Steenburgen both give us good performances in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story follows a grief ridden man that decides to help a teenager with her own problems in an attempt to cure his own problems only to there to help cure her problems. This does have sweet moments as we see how the lives have been turned upside down by their own tragic losses and the moments where they can help support each other, we do however deal with grief in a realistic way, being left empty in need of something to keep us going. The glaring problem is the repeating of the facts about people dying, we just don’t need this on repeat to get the point, as we know the focus on the story is, enjoy life however difficult moments have been.

SettingsThe film is set-in small-town America, well the suburbs, which shows us how life can change in an instant in this world no matter who or where you are.


Scene of the Movie –
Closing shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Maisie Williams accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming movie that gets the message across well, we get to see just how grief can be processed by the people suffering from it.

 

Overall: One of the dreamers to see where people can make it.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – Philadelphia (1993)

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Ron Nyswaner (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Milman, Karen Finley, Antonio Banderas, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Ron Vawter, Robert Ridgely, Charles Napier

 

Plot: When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.


Tagline – No one would take on his case… until one man was willing to take on the system.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: Philadelphia starts as we meet two rival lawyers, Joe Miller (Washington) who fights for the innocent and Andrew Beckett (Hanks) a company man who has risen up the firm to become an associate partner, but Andrew has been fighting a sickness, aids.

When Andrew gets fired from the law firm, he turns to Joe to sue for wrongly termination from the firm after he believes he was sabotaged because of his illness, but Joe’s own homophobic mindset and his questioning how contagion aids is. Joe eventually puts aside his prejudices and takes the case against the law firm, but it becomes a race against time for Andrew.

 

Thoughts on Philadelphia

 

Characters – Andrew Beckett is the brilliant lawyer on the rise within his firm, just after he gets a promotion, he finds himself getting sacked for having aids and being homosexual. He has always been good to the staff he works with and wins his cases but now he battles his illness and wants to sue for wrongful dismissal. Joe Miller is a homophobic ambulance chaser, he wins cases for personal injuries, he is reluctant at first but decides to take the case where he must learn to put his own prejudices aside. The rest of the characters focus around the law firm that dismiss Andrew and Andrew’s boyfriend Miguel as he supports him through his struggles.

PerformancesTom Hanks won an Oscar here, do I need to talk about how fantastic he is in this role, I think not. Denzel Washington also shows how brilliant he was in this role. The rest of the cast also give us wonderful performances throughout the film to make this one of the biggest films of the year.

StoryThe is a story about one man trying to fight against what he thinks is wrongful dismal for his sexual orientation and for having aids.  This is an important film that shows the discrimination people had with both people with aids and homosexuals which should never be a deciding part of whether to keep a member of staff. It is a powerful court room drama that shows us just how people can fight for what is right even if it is against their belief.

SettingsThe film is set in Philadelphia which is a beautiful setting, we are mostly in the courtroom which is now becoming one of my favourite locations for a film to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Andrew’s testimony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a difficult subject matter to watch for some.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most important films you will see, it has two truly great performances with a supporting cast that is equally as great throughout the film.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama about the struggle.

Rating

 

 

Last Vegas (2013)

lastDirector: Jon Turteltaub

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara

 

Plot: Four friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Entertaining Comedy

 

Story: Last Vegas starts as we see where four former friends from Brooklyn have lived very different lives Sam (Kline) married doing water aerobics, Archie (Freeman) recently retired grandfather who isn’t trusted to look after his own grandchild, Paddy (De Niro) who has been widowed for a year now and Billy (Douglas) who is about to get married to a woman half his age.

This brings the four friends back together to Las Vegas to a bachelor party for Billy, giving the three friends a chance live it up like the young men they once were for what could be the last time.

 

Thoughts on Last Vegas

 

Characters/PerformanceThe four lead stars have their own personalities like you would imagine between friends, Billy is living his life with regret, Paddy is filled with sadness, Archie just wanting to escaping his elder life and Sam is trying to figure out where his married life is going. The mix between the four has great chemistry and you could see them all being friends.

The performances are all good from the heavyweights Douglas, De Niro, Freeman and Kline all work very well together. Everyone plays their part to work with the main cast throughout.stras

StoryFour friends coming back together for what could be their last weekend together as they can finally put away their differences. I liked this story it is easy to follow even if it does force feed us that these are old men in a young man’s world of Vegas. We do have plenty of moments which look at moments of life that could happen to anyone.

ComedyWe have good laughs from the whole cast with moments poking fun at the stars past as well as handling the elder characters in the wildly considered youthful party city.

SettingsLas Vegas is always a brilliant setting for the any film so I do enjoy each setting from the film.genre

Final ThoughtsI did enjoy this film more than I thought, it can be enjoyed by all the people watching the film.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoy film.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Discovery (2017)

Director: Charlie McDowell

Writer: Justin Lader, Charlie McDowell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Mary Steenburgen, Brian McCarthy, Riley Keough

 

Plot: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Sci-Fi Mind Bender

 

Story: The Discovery starts in a world where DR Thomas Harper (Redford) believes he has proven there is an afterlife, one year after this announcement the suicide rating in the world has sky rocketed with people believing they will ended up in this afterlife free of the problems they face in the real world.

Thomas’ son Will (Segel) a neurologist returns to his research facility on a remote island where his other brother Toby (Plemons) has been working on collecting more evidence with other volunteers who believe this afterlife is real. Being joined by Isla (Mara) the latest suicide failure to join the course Will is left to face the reality that not everything is as cut and dry as he believes with all of his science and medical beliefs. Will finds himself working with Isla to learn about a mysterious recording that came from the mind of a dead man, searching into his own past coming to a conclusion to everything.

 

Thoughts on The Discovery

 

Characters/PerformanceWill is a neurologist that is living in a world where people believe there is scientific proof of the afterlife, he still doesn’t believe in his own father’s discovery. He gets to investigating in a scientific mentality hoping to get to the bottom of everything. Isla is one of the people who had planned to kill themselves to get to this afterlife, she finds hope in searching for the answers with Will. Thomas is the doctor who believes he has discovered an afterlife, he has people working for him in a cult like situation while he is still trying to get the complete truth.

Performance wise, Jason Segel is brilliant here showing he isn’t just a comical actor and can handle the serious performances, Rooney Mara is good as always in the supporting role with Hollywood Icon Robert Redford giving a performance that is great for a supporting one.

StoryAn idea that we are in a world where we could know there is an afterlife is truly fascinating, it offers up questions never once asked before because there is no ‘if’ it is a ‘when’. The film does claim to have this question with our main character Will looking to prove this wrong, which again is good because this is a scientific discovery. This story will keep you guessing from the start to the finish and leave you going ‘What’ even though you can understand the ending.

Mystery/Romance/Sci-FiThe mystery is would you believe and is this discovery real, the sci-fi from the story comes from the discovery itself, as it offers up what is a scientific idea to the afterlife. The romance comes from Will and Isla story as they search for the truth.

SettingsThe one weak point I found in this film I would say is the settings, they do add up to the final story which is good but the film has the beach which is important and the lone mansion where the believers live.

Final ThoughtsI love a film that makes you think, this will do that, I love seeing actors who have been typecast to one genre prove themselves, Segel does here. I love watching how scientific ideas are posed to the audience offer us a question on what we would do in the situation. This is nearly everything I like to watch in a film, this should have been a cinema release not Netflix.

 

Overall: One of the hidden gems of the year.

Rating