Casey Affleck Weekend – Manchester by the Sea (2016)

manchesterDirector: Kenneth Lonergan

Writer: Kenneth Lonergan (Screenplay)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, CJ Wilson, Tata Donovan, Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, Heather Burns, Stephen Henderson


Plot: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Casey Affleck’s Powerhouse Performance


Story: Manchester by the Sea starts as we meet Lee Chandler (Affleck) handyman for apartment complexes. He lives a very isolated life that he is happy with but when he gets a phone call he needs to leave town after his brother Joe (Chandler) suffers a heart attack.

Lee needs to return to Manchester to tell Patrick (Hedges) what has happened to his father but returning to Manchester means memories of his ex-wife Randi (Williams) and daughters Suzy (Dixon) and Karen.

Lee’s life is turned upside when he learns Joe’s will leaves him as the guardian to Patrick with enough money to re-locate in Manchester the town he had left all those years ago, Lee must figure out what to do and what is best for Patrick.


Thoughts on Manchester by the Sea


StoryThe story is a simple follow showing how one man must face his past to help his family, a past he never wanted to go back to. This comes off like an everyday family having to deal with what happened which is great to see because we support them through their struggles. This is a story you will need to be in the right frame of mind to see but if you do you will be rewarded.

Characters/PerformanceLee is such a brilliant character who has his own demons while having to face a new life with his nephew, he keeps to himself to himself but facing these demons on poses a challenge in his life. Patrick is a teenager who does think he is better than the other students and hates his Uncle but is mostly reacting to what has happened with his father. The rest of the characters are all part of the past and present of these two. Casey Affleck does give a career best performance that is so withdrawn from the world the other characters are living, while Lucas Hedges shines next to Affleck with ease. All the other performances are great throughout.

SettingsThe settings in this film make you fully believe that this is just a normal family that has been struggling with problems in everyday life which is very important through this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the hardest watches of the year, the story is not going to be for everyone. I will be saying you should be watching if you are a film lover.


Overall: Outstanding drama that keeps everything very simple for the characters involved with a powerhouse performance.




Glory (1989)

logoDirector: Edward Zwick

Writer: Kevin Jarre (Screenplay) Lincoln Kirstein, Peter Burchard (Book)

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, Andre Braugher


Plot: Robert Gould Shaw leads the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of both his own Union army and the Confederates.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Historical Drama


Story: Glory starts with narration from Robert Gould Shaw (Broderick) writing back to his parents explain why he is fighting for the freedom of every man woman and child in America during the Civil War. After he loses a large number of men in a battle he gets a chance to become a Colonel of the first coloured Battalion. Robert brings along his close friend Major Cabot Forbes (Elwes) and the Battalion is born. Robert’s personal friend Thomas Searles (Braugher) is the first to enlist and we meet a Private Trip (Washington) John Rawlins (Freeman) who along with others share the tent before training for combat.

When the men both black and white alike learn their potential fate if caught during the war they will either return to slavery or be executed not a single one leaves the unit. When the training continues to go on it starts to become apparent that they might just be there for show. the tensions rise as they keep getting pushes into manual work but when they finally get their chance in combat they live up to the occasion showing their excellent combat skills. When a chance to prove themselves once and for all Shaw takes it even if it means many of his men will die in the battle for Fort Wagner.

Glory tells the story of a little known part of the American Civil War, it also shows how the struggle between the race lines even if one side was fighting for their freedom. It shows how they overcame all the prejudices and even added the much need numbers in the war to help their side to victory. It does shy away from going full blown war gore on us which is a positive because it is about the idea of fighting for their chance. It is one of the best war films of all time and an important history lesson about the American Civil War. (9/10)


Actor Review


Matthew Broderick: Col. Robert Gould Shaw leader of the first coloured unit in the civil war, he has to fight to get them into combat even though his age gets put into question compared to the rest of the senior officers. Matthew gives a great performance and could easily be the best of his career. (9/10)


Denzel Washington: Private Trip the hot heated soldier who just wants to fight the world even though the people he is fighting with all want the same thing. Denzel shows here that he was going to be a superstar with a great performance. (9/10)


Cary Elwes: Maj. Cabot Forbes second in command who tries to balance his rank between his friendship and leadership. Cary gives a good performance but a large amount of his scenes were cut. (7/10)


Morgan Freeman: Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins starting off as the grave digger he becomes the leader of the men in combat and communication between the men and Shaw. Morgan gives a great performance showing he was going to continue for years to come. (9/10)


Andre Braugher: Thomas Searles a house servant for the Shaw family who enlists in the unit even though he has to deal with his higher educated background compared to the fellow soldiers. Andre makes an impressive debut that showed his skills. (8/10)


Support Cast: Glory supporting cast is the fellow soldiers and the generals who both helped and hinder the battalion. They all help drive the story to the next chapter.


Director Review: Edward Zwick – Edward does a great job directing this film showing the struggle over the war experience. (8/10)


History: Glory shows how the American Civil War changed after the inclusion of the coloured soldiers. (9/10)

War: Glory shows the struggle of going into a war over the actual battles but when the battles happen it all shows the horror of the war. (9/10)

Settings: Glory shows the settings that would be used for the Civil War. (9/10)

Suggestion: Glory is one that should be watched by everyone and if you studying American Civil War one that you will most likely watch at school. (Watch)


Best Part: The final battle.

Worst Part: Some of the extras have lets us the world interesting over the top death jumps.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final attack.


Believability: It tells the story of what really happened. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won 3 Oscars including Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

Budget: $18 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Tagline: Their innocence. Their heritage. Their lives. Nothing would be spared in the fight for their freedom

Trivia: This film has one of the longest credit rolls in history. The credits following the movie ran a full ten minutes and were shipped to theaters on a separate reel. The films cast is displayed three times, each in a different layout.


Overall: Glory Shines

Rating 90

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

logoDirector: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffret Jones, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett, Lyman Ward


Plot: A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Stand Out Teen Comedy


Story: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starts by showing Ferris (Broderick) feeling unwell trying to convince his parents he is well enough to go to school even though his sister Jeanie (Grey) she through his game. Of course we know that Ferris is faking and he aims to make the most of the beautiful day before explaining how to get through each one of the days without being busted. Ferris awakens his best friend Cameron (Ruck) who is struggling with plenty of different mental illness as he struggles with his depression.

Principal Rooney (Jones) doesn’t believe that Ferris is really sick and plans to expose Ferris in an attempt to stop his popularity ruling the school. When Sloane (Sara) Ferris’s girlfriend gets a call about her grandmother dying Rooney thinks he has Ferris busted but ends up getting left red faced before the three friends head out for a day on the town in Cameron’s dad’s vintage Ferrari. The three have one of the last great days out before facing the reality that they will be going on separate directions once the school year is over.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is actually a year older than me and it still remains one of the most refreshing stories in the business. It does try to keep everyone happy because it starts very jovial before showing the real problem the three friends will face, moving on past school looking at futures they just don’t know what they want from. This always plays well for me because we all have been there in the past. On the negative it is all very farfetched with the idea they can do all of those things on a school day (I’m not expect but sports don’t normally happen during a school day). This will remain the best of the teen comedies for many more years to come because of how simple it is to see sometime school kids just need a day to play rather than all study. (8/10)


Actor Review


Matthew Broderick: Ferris Bueller popular student who knows how to get what he wants out of everyone, after taking a sick day he decides to enjoy the day with his friends. Matthew gives a great performance that will still remain one of the best in the genre to date. (9/10)


Alan Ruck: Cameron Frye depressed best friend to Ferris who reluctantly struggles with the decision to join Ferris on his day off. Cameron faces up to his own personal problems as the day continues before final letting it all out. Alan gives a good performance in what works very well with Matthew’s Ferris. (8/10)


Mia Sara: Sloane girlfriend of Ferris who joins on the adventure after getting let out of school thanks to a cleverly placed phone call to the Police. Mia gives a good performance showing she was going to become a bigger name in the business. (7/10)


Jeffrey Jones: Ed Rooney principal who makes it his mission to prove that Ferris is skiving but ends up getting caught up in the middle of series of pranks. Jeffrey gives a good performance and makes for a perfect villain performance against our Ferris. (8/10)


Jennifer Grey: Jeanie Bueller Ferris’ sister who is jealous that everyone can believe whatever he says and as the day continues she gets angrier before getting a reality check. Jennifer gives a good performance as the jealous sister but her time of her life was just around the corner. (7/10)


Support Cast: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has a supporting cast who as the day continues grow worried about the condition of Ferris with the rumour of his sickness being serious continues to spread. Add in the concerned parents who think Ferris is really sick.


Director Review: John Hughes – John does a great job directing this all time classic. (9/10)


Comedy: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off will make you laugh even if certain jokes may have dated a bit. (8/10)

Settings: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off each setting the three goes to puts them in more danger of being caught as the story unfolds. (9/10)

Suggestion: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one that you really have to have seen during your lifetime. (Watch)


Best Part: Cameron and the Ferrari.

Worst Part: isn’t really one.

Funniest Scene: Cameron losing it with the Ferrari.

Favourite Quote: Ferris ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for one Golden Globe for Best Actor.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: Leisure Rules


Overall: All Time Classic

Rating 90

The Lion King (1994)

logoDirector: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Writer: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremey Irons, Moria Kelly, Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson


Plot: Loin cub Simba learns about his future as king of Pride Rock from his father and king Mufasa. When he starts growing he starts exploring more leading him into trouble. His Uncle Scar wants to be the next king and comes up with a plan to get rid of both Mufasa and Simba. After succeeding in killing Mufasa, Scar scares Simba away and takes over Pride Rock. While Simba is lost in the wilderness he meets an estranged couple Timon and Pumbaa who teach him about not worrying about the past. Simba knows he has to face his past and reclaim his throne from Scar.


Verdict: Disney’s Last Classic


Story: Loosely based on the Shakespeare classic Hamlet, we get a great story of redemption for the sins one well animal thinks he has committed. In the end the animal touch is very accurate minus the hyenas so the community that they live in. what makes this such a popular film is how it can relate to the audience because we all feel after making a mistake that changes each day we live. It will always go down as the last Disney classic before the Pixar people turned up. (9/10)


Character Review


Simba: The young loin cub who mistakenly is involved in his father’s death and runs from the responsability which would become his. After growing up and learn to put the past behind him an old friend gives him a chance to redeem himself and take his rightful place as King. (9/10)


Mufasa: Simba’s father who guides him during his young cub days showing him his boundaries and explain the circle of life. He is always worried about his son but manages to save him before falling foul to Scar’s plan. (9/10)


Scar: The uncle who believed he would be one day but once Simba turns up he goes down the chain, he plans to take out the rest of the family so he can become king. Brilliantly evil character here using all his brains to push people where he wants them to go. (9/10)


Pumbaa & Timon: I have to look at these two as a double act because they complement each other perfectly with their laid back view on life. (9/10)


Director Review: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff – Brilliant direction to create a classic that was a huge part of my childhood. (10/10)


Animation: When Disney were the best, this was their best. (10/10)

Family: Great family film that all will enjoy. (10/10)

Settings: Each setting created is authentic to the natural habitant of the animals involved. (10/10)

Suggestion: This is one that everyone has to watch, just sit and enjoy it. (Watch)


Best Part: Everything.

Worst Part: Nothing

Funniest Scene: Just can’t wait to be king song.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: Maybe (3/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two poor sequels

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars

Box Office: $987 Million

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: The Circle of Life


Overall: Classic Animated Masterpiece

Rating 93


Godzilla (1998)

logoDirector: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich (Screenplay) Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, Arabella Field


Plot: When an enormous radioactive monster Godzilla comes to Manhattan it wreaks havoc on the island city. Doctor Niko Tatopoulos (Broderick) to help identify the creature and its weaknesses the military try to neutralize the situation but lose the creature in the city. Add in a hungry want to be news reporter Audrey (Pitillo) and fearless cameraman Victor ‘Animal’ Palotti (Azaria) trying to expose the truth as well as French secret service Phillippe Roache (Reno) who has to try and cover up all the details of what is going on.


Verdict: A fun creature feature with mega destruction

Story: The idea in the story is made plenty of times with Godzilla being in many films over decades sometimes on its own other time with another monster. This time Godzilla is on its own just trying to hide and make a nest. We have unlikely heroes alongside idiot soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. They have a feebly attempt at a love story which takes away some of the fear in the creature side of it. Most of the other characters have been made into stereotypes which take away individuality in the characters. (7/10)


Actor Review: Matthew Broderick – Doctor Niko who investigates worms and gets hired to help identify a giant monster. His character feels like it should be a smaller part rather than the hero of the story. Matthew does an ok job but doesn’t shine too much in the role. (6/10)


Actor Review: Jean Reno – Phillippe French secret service who has to cover up the creature invasion of Manhattan. Jean is the funniest character in the film be it his hate of American coffee and missing French food as well as his Elvis impression. Best performance in the film. (8/10)


Actor Review: Maria Pitillo – Hungry reporter looking for her big break who takes advantage of her old boyfriend Niko. Doesn’t give the best performance very annoying character who makes the film more of rom com than action feature. (4/10)


Actor Review: Hank Azaria – Daredevil cameraman who has one of the most memorable scenes in the film. Good performance as always seems to come off lucky to escape the situation left in. (7/10)


Director Review: Roland Emmerich – King of the mega destruction films and this is no different delivers a good action film with light comedy to break the serious side of the story. (8/10)


Action: Some excellent action scenes. (9/10)

Thriller: Some good build but not to a level we would be expecting to get in this sort of film. (5/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects creating the creature which have dated a bit now. (7/10)

Believability: Radioactive test could have caused anything but this is a bit farfetched but you never know. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: Potential very few people may get a tear. (1/10)

Settings: Manhattan has many iconic locations that we get to see and most get destroyed but create a good setting for the film. (8/10)


Suggestion: I would suggest this as it is a good action film that will be in the category of switch off your brain and enjoy the film. (Try It)


Best Part: First invasion of the creature.

Worst Part: Love story is poor.

Action Scene of the Film: Final chase scene with creature.

Funniest Scene: Niko in the elevator.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No sequel but reboot

Similar Too: Independence Day, Cloverfield


Overall: Fun Monster feature


Rating 70