Molly’s Game (2017)

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Molly Bloom (Book)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. MacKenzie

 

Plot: The true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target.


Runtime: 2 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long

 

Story: Molly’s Game starts as we learn how the Olympic dream of Molly Bloom (Chastain) are shattered due to a freak accident, broke and moving away from her demanding father Larry (Costner) to moves to LA. In what becomes a trend in this movie we see the FBI raid Molly’s apartment laying on new charges to her for running illegal poker games with the mobs.

Needing to clear her name again Molly recruits lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Elba) as we learn how she started as small time secretary and turned into secret poker game mogul for the elite, movie stars, athletes and business tycoons alike. We learn mostly how she must clear her name from any illegal activities.  

 

Thoughts on Molly’s Game

 

Characters – Molly Bloom is our narrator, our story telling, she has been branded the Poker Princess. She tells us the whole story how she has gone from just being a hostess to becoming the owner and leader of the secret poker game for the social elite, she won’t give up the names of her clients even if she could to get off any criminal offences. Charlie Jaffey is the lawyer who reluctantly takes the case, he knows she could be defended and challenges her to take a plea, while showing similar characteristics to Molly’s own father. We get to meet plenty of characters along the way who have played in the game, each with their own sub-stories.

PerformancesJessica Chastain is great in this leading role showing she is one of the best actresses in the business today, Idris Elba is strong in the supporting role, but not being his fault, I would have liked an extra dimension to his character. The rest of the cast are good without being great through the film.

StoryThe story follows Molly’s rise and fall in the secret poker playing world, how it starts with celebrities and soon turns into mobsters. We jump around different times as she is telling the story to Charlie, but there is a lot of rinse repeat when it comes to the poker events which only leads us to get tired of, this is a new player, he came from this place and has this much money, he is this level of poker player. I found myself thinking that we didn’t care too much about Molly’s story, she barely does anything that illegal, she just offers people with too much money a chance to lose it to other players.

BiopicThis is something we have been seeing a lot in Hollywood now a days, we follow a person that did something minor that wouldn’t effect most people that seems to think it is a story we want to see, even if the story isn’t that interesting.

SettingsThe settings show us the high life the characters we have been living in, this shows us how secretive the game was to the people involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Charlie snaps in a briefing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does seem to repeat what we have seen before.

Final ThoughtsThis wasn’t on the level it could be, we have a character in Molly we don’t really care about because most of the characters we meet here are on the high-life just spending money most people could never see. The performances are the strength in the movie.

 

Overall: Not the best biopic you will see.

Rating

 

 

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Seth Rogen Weekend – Sausage Party (2016)

sausageDirector: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir (Screenplay) Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonah Hill (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek

 

Plot: A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Adult Animation

 

Story: Sausage Party starts as we meet all our food in the supermarket as they all wait to get to the great beyond outside the store. We meet the main sausages Frank, Carl and Barry as they are looking to impress the buns on the shelf next to them.

When their moment gets chance to leave Frank and Brenda get left behind in a shopping store accident the pair must work with the rest of the products to learn their existence in the world teaming up with a flat bread named Lavash and a bagel named Sammy.

Sausage Party is a perfectly placed adult animated film that is one of a few that simply should never be watched by children. Every single joke is only for adults which works but it also holds this film back with a series of repetitive sex jokes that get old very quickly. The overall story feels like the first nursey scene in Toy Story 3 as we see the horror of what something innocent will see how humans act. We do get a thin sub-plot about religion going on but doesn’t get enough time to come through.

 

Overall: Fun adult comedy that works if this is the style of humour you enjoy.

Rating70

 

 

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

legoDirector: Chris McKay

Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington (Screenplay) Seth Grahame-Smith, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (Story/Creators)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate

 

Plot: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: PG Suicide Squad?

 

Story: The LEGO Batman Movie starts when Joker brings together every villain Batman has face to try and take down Gotham City once again only for Batman to save the day with the Joker escaping. We follow Batman in his lonely life in his Bat Cave and Wayne Manor with Alfred his loyal butler.

When Gotham gets a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon she wants to work with Batman to actual catch Joker and the rest of the villains locking them away once and for all. Batman must learn to work in a team and learn that he needs the Joker in his life while he adopts Dick Grayson.

 

Thoughts on The LEGO Batman Movie

 

StoryThe story focuses on how Batman lives a lonely life hiding from commitments while still having to take on the villains in the city. This does end up being slightly too serious in places which doesn’t work for me because we must deal with elements most Batman movies never have. Through the film, we do get plenty of references from every Batman through the years which we do get to understand for all generations.

Action/Adventure/ComedyWe do have plenty of action going on through the film with the adventure that Batman must go on. The comedy is very much hit or miss for me with plenty of laughs coming from references previous outings that not everyone would understand.

CharactersBatman is always a popular choice for the leading character but this version does feel almost too serious when he is alone, he does have laughs but he is very hit or miss, The Joker works in places and has good chemistry with Batman while Robin, Barbara and Alfred all become the family Batman never had. I feel most of the cameo like characters get extras laughs which all come off well if you understand their references.chracers

SettingsThe settings are nearly all in Gotham city with the references to location the character would find themselves in.

AnimationWe always have flawless animation throughout the film which you would expect to see from the studios now.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is fun and can be enjoyed but I do feel if you miss the certain references you might not understand.

 

Overall: Fun, but too many misses in the jokes.

Ratingrating

 

 

Juno (2007)

logoDirector: Jason Reitman

Writer: Diablo Cody (Screenplay)

Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Rainn Wilson

 

Plot: Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Indie Comedy

 

Story: Juno starts by showing our two young lovers Juno (Page) and Paulie (Cera) awkward first time. We follow Juno as she deals with the idea that she is now pregnant leaving her to wonder what to do next. Juno’s first reaction is to call her best friend Leah (Thirlby) before deciding to speak to Paulie who is less than helpful when it comes to making a decision on what to do. At first Juno wants to get an abortion but can’t go through with it.

Juno looks at other options like giving up the baby adoption and she picks a couple Vanessa (Garner) and Mark Loring (Bateman). Before going through with that, Juno has to tell her parents Mac (Simmons) and Bren (Janney) who are disappointed but also supporting in their reaction. After making the decision to let them have her baby Juno goes through the pregnancy process but as the baby grows she deals with all the high school politics and watches the boy who made her pregnant move on, all while she questions whether it is the right thing to do.

Juno is one story that goes straight to the point and though it has relationship issues it keeps the primary teen pregnancy story at the forefront. It does a great job of showing how Juno is too young to really understand the situation she is in, but also shows how she learns as the baby grows. This really is an enjoyable film that will make you feel what the characters are going through over the time period. It also becomes one of the most recognisable stories in recent years. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ellen Page: Juno our quick talking teenage girl who is pregnant and struggles to decided what to do, we see her as she does keep the baby grow and make decision that will affect the peoples involved lives. Ellen gives what will be her best performance in this role and it will always be difficult to beat this. (10/10)

 juno

Michael Cera: Paulie the boy who is the father, he is too young to realise the affect it will have on his life and continues on his school and sports life. Michael gives a good performance as shows how unaware a teenager could be when it comes to dealing with pregnancy. (7/10)

paulie

Jennifer Garner: Vanessa the wife of the couple who are looking to adopt Juno’s baby, she is career driven but wants to have her own family. Jennifer does a good job and shows how a mother to be acts. (8/10)

 couple

Jason Bateman: Mark husband of the couple who is just going along with what his wife wants and also reflexes how unprepared he will be to be a father. Jason gives a solid performance but doesn’t show all his abilities. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Juno doesn’t have the biggest support cast, it mostly consists of family members and friends who support Juno with her pregnancy. They all add laughs and the feel of the story.

 

Director Review: Jason Reitman – Jason does a good job directing this classic film that quite rightly got him an Oscar nod. (9/10)

 

Comedy: Juno puts a light hearted spin on the subject but never falls into a joke a minute level of comedy. (6/10)

Drama: Juno shows the real problems that would be faced by a teenage pregnancy very well. (9/10)

Romance: Juno would have to come over as an alternative romance film because we do have a romantic angle but it is how people hold back their real feelings. (9/10)

Settings: Juno has good settings used throughout to make the story flow showing the difference in class between Juno and potential parents. (9/10)

Suggestion: Juno is one to watch, it is a delightfully little comedy that will be enjoyed by all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Juno and the furniture

Worst Part: It might have been a little bit more if we had seen more of Paulie reaction.

 

Believability: It tackles some very real issues with teen pregnancy. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won Best original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Leading Actress and Best Director.

Box Office: $231 Million

Budget: $7.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: A comedy about growing up… and the bumps along the way.

Trivia: Jennifer Garner dropped her A-list salary to a percentage point agreement for Juno when it was expected to be a small, low-grossing indie film, but the decision paid off when Juno became a breakout smash at the box office – giving Garner her best payday yet.

 

Overall: Enjoyable

Rating 80

This Is The End (2013)

posterDirector: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen (Screenplay) Jason Stone (Based On Short Film)

Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson

 

Story: When long time acting friends Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen have a weekend together in LA their friendship is tested by Jay’s hate for LA while Seth has made many more acting friends who Jay fails to get along with. After an afternoon of drugs and just catching up they head to James Franco’s house party. The party is wall to wall celebrities more Seth’s friends too. Jay, feeling left out tries to leave the party. Only for the apocalypse to start. After many of their friends die James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson all hide out in Franco’s house. Friendships are tested and surprise visit lead the guys to enjoy parts of their remaining days before their final fates are decided.

 

Verdict: With all the actors playing versions of themselves takes the idea of any macho characters they have ever played away along with the generic character who always knows what to do during an apocalypse scenario. Each character pokes fun and each other and certain performances they have had during their careers along with the idea friendships getting pushed to the limits in an end of the world position.

 

Action: Most of the action is more for added comedy but what action there is works well (8/10)

Comedy: Each character in the film has their own comical touch and keeps the laugh rolling all the way through (10/10)

Horror: End of the world always works well in horror and this film using comedy to lighten the horror but still can be edge of the seat horror. (8/10)

Special Effects: The demons are very good special effects along with a destroyed LA. (9/10)

Settings: A series of comedy props in Franco’s house add comedy to a serious situation. (9/10)

Suggestion: Anyone who has enjoyed any of these guys in films will enjoy this but some fans of certain comedies may not enjoy this as much, I would suggest to anyone who has seen any of these guys films in a heartbeat. (9/10)

 

Star Performance:  Craig Robinson – not the true main character but has some of the funniest scenes.

Favourite Character: Emma Watson – pretty much because you will never have seen her like this 

 

Best Part: Pineapple Express 2

Worst Part: potential over use of drugs

 

Favourite Quote: James Franco ‘I fucked Lindsay lohan at the chateau Marmont. She kept knocking on my door, she was high. She kept calling me Jake Gyllenhaal, I said just call me your Prince of Persia

Overall: A laugh a minute which will also keep you interested in the over running story without ever truly being serious.

Rating 91%