ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – # – Cars 3 (2017)

Director: Brian Fee

Writer: Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, Mike Rich (Screenplay) Brian Fee, Ben Queen, Eyal Podell, Jonathon E Stewart (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer

 

Plot: Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.


Tagline – One last chance, One last dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Cars 3 starts as Lightning McQueen cruising his way to titles with two close competitors until hot shot rookie Jackson Storm with a brand-new model that increases speed and ability over Lightning and his older models which slowly go out of the sport, before he loses his spot on the grid.

Needing a make over, Lightning sees his team taken over by Sterling who could bring Lightning a new training program with trainer Cruz Ramirez, all to get back on the track and prove he hasn’t lost it.

 

Thoughts on Cars 3

 

Characters – Lightning McQueen is now one of the top drivers in the world, experienced on the field, that is until the next generation model comes through taking his spot on the track, now an aging star, his time might be up. He must prove he still has the skills to race against the younger cars, following the footsteps of many sport stars. Cruz is a trainer for Lightning new team, she helps young drivers prepare for racing without ever getting the chance to go on the road. She does have her own dreams and Lightning will help her learn these dreams. Jackson Storm is the hot shot new racer ready to become the star of the sport, he acts like he respects Lightning, only to be the cocky arrogant new driver. Sterling is the new owner and big fan of Lightning, he wants to give him a chance, the problem comes from needing to win and Lightning just won’t give his team that.

StoryThe story here sees Lightning McQueen reaching the end of his career, seeing the younger drivers taken his spot in the sport he loves. He must improve to compete, while learning valuable life lessons about stepping away from the spotlight on top on his own accord rather than being pushed out and forgotten. This story puts Lightning in a position that Doc Hudson had been and missed out on, his mentor manages to show him from his career the mistakes he made. This does always feel like an aging sports star sticking around longer than they should and ends up getting the same ideas that we see in the later Rocky movies. This does feel like the right sequel to the original with the time spent between the films.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Sport The adventure side of this film does take Lightning back to his roots to learn his next step in the driving world, the comedy comes from the events that happen to Lightning along the way, they will give you laugh when needed without being used to often. It would be fair to say the whole family can enjoy this one and get enjoyment from different moments of the story. the sports side of the film is big because it shows us just how a star of the game can be left behind too quickly.

SettingsThe film returns to older settings which show Lightning needing to go soul searching through different worlds away from the glitz and glamour of the normal racing world.

AnimationPixar are the leading team in visual animation, nothing in this movies look can be questioned as it looks perfect in every single shot.


Scene of the Movie –
The make it or break it race.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a very safe sequel.

Final ThoughtsThis is a safe and enjoyable sequel to the much-loved franchise, it gets the story correct for the time between this and the first film which helps by forgetting the second film.

 

Overall: Enjoyable respect filled sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Zoolander 2 (2016)

Director: Ben Stiller

Writer: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hanburg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig

 

Plot: Derek and Hansel are lured into modelling again, in Rome, where they find themselves the target of a sinister conspiracy.


Tagline – Long time no Z.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painful to Watch

 

Story: Zoolander 2 starts by filling in the events between the two films, Derek Zoolander has been left complete shame after his school collapsed days after opening, killing his wife, he has lost his child and now lives alone.

When Derek receives an invitation to Rome by Alexanya Atoz (Wiig) he must make up with Hansel (Wilson) who has lost his looks in the same accident that took Matilda, to make the impact in the modelling world again. While Valentina Valencia (Cruz) is investigating while popstars are being murdered.

 

Thoughts on Zoolander 2

 

Characters – Derek Zoolander has been struggling after his career crashed, a recluse from the world, he is drawn out for a new case which brings him to Rome o stop a new model terrorist act. Hansel was left scarred after the accident, also out of the business, now he is out of hiding to work with Derek one last time. Valentina Valencia is the Interpol agent trying to figure out who is killing popstars. Mugatu is back after being locked up for the time between the movies.

PerformancesThis brings sadness to me, talking about these performances because the first film is one of the better comedies released to the world. The performances from the returning cast are parodies of their original work, with the additions being annoying and poor throughout.

StoryThe story is strange because nothing happens for the first hour of the film, it does turn into the same idea again, villain trying to take control while the idiotic model tries to save the day. The story feels like a parody of the previous film which never gets to the levels it needs to.

ComedyNo it just misses on most levels.

SettingsThe film is set in Rome, this works for fashion world only.


Scene of the Movie –
They killed Justin Bieber?

That Moment That Annoyed Me The rest of the film.

Final ThoughtsOh dear God this was terrible, why do people keep making awful sequels to good comedies, just stop, let the original stand alone.

 

Overall: Avoid at all costs.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Zoolander (2001)

Director: Ben Stiller

Writer: Ben Stiller, Drake Sather, John Hamburg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller, David Duchovny, Jon Voight

 

Plot: At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.


Tagline – 3% Body Fat. 1% Brain Activity.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Still Funny

 

Story: Zoolander starts when world famous model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) loses his title of Best Male Model to Hansel (Wilson) the new hip model that is one with the world. looking to find himself in the world, he first tries to return home, to his coal mining family, but after.

When that doesn’t go to plan the controversial fashion design Mugatu (Ferrell) hires him for his latest line, only for him to be selected to kill the Malaysian Prime Minister that has abolished the child labour laws. Derek must team up with Hansel to stop this happening.    

 

Thoughts on Zoolander

 

Characters – Derek Zoolander is the world’s most famous male model, he has nearly zero brain intelligence relying on his one look to keep him on top. His career has started to go downhill with new model Hansel coming into the business, which leads to Mugatu brainwashing him into assassinate the Prime Minister Malaysia. Hansel is the new model on the block, he has taken Derek’s crown as best male model, he is very out there with his worldly ideas to everything, relaxed in each moment. He is a rival to Derek in the fashion world. Matilda is a reporter that has been working on stories around Derek, she learns that there is a bigger conspiracy going on and joins forces with Derek to solve the situation. Mugatu is the fashion designer that has been hosting shows with his models taking out problems to the fashion world

PerformancesBen Stiller was on his best form when it comes to full comedy here, he commits to this role to get the full comical levels needed. Owen Wilson is great too because you can see him as this trippy like model that only he can do. Christine Taylor works well in her role getting the serious side of the story over while the rest handle the comedy. Will Ferrell seems to have his first wildly over the top character here and it works for the whole film.

StoryThe story takes us into the world of male modelling, I still believe this might be the only one to do that. We have the idea that the powers that be are controlling governments to keep money pouring into the industry through illegal activities and now they are facing the need to eliminate a threat which brings in models, a disposable figure to do the murdering, this idea is as wild as it sounds, but it works go well on this level because it keeps everything feeling fresh and adds to the comical side to the story.

ComedyThe comedy is mostly poking fun at the idea of the intelligence levels of models, we have always had jokes at the women models being dumb, this focuses on the male models being dumb.

SettingsMostly set in and around New York, the film uses the settings to keep us in the busy fashion capital of America, which is where the story needs to be told from.


Scene of the Movie –
Getting in the computer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain jokes no longer work for political correct behaviour.

Final ThoughtsThis is a funny comedy that has still lasted the test of time, the jokes mostly hit and the character is strangely still one of Stiller’s most iconic figures in modern comedy.

 

Overall: Funny throughout.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – No Escape (2015)

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Writer: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle (Screenplay)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare, Pierce Brosnan

 

Plot: In their new overseas house, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape from an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.


Tagline – Blood for water

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action Thriller

 

Story: No Escape starts as the Dwyer family moves to an unknown Asian country for the father’s work, Jack (Wilson) has bought his wife Annie (Bell) and girls Lucy (Jerins) and Beeze (Geare) to hopefully start a new life, luckily for them they meet man that knows the area Hammond (Brosnan).

On the first morning Jack learns that the country is about to be nothing like they had ever imagined as the locals are creating a coup which is against the foreigners that have come into their country. Jack must now do everything to get his family out alive before they are murdered.

 

Thoughts on No Escape

 

Characters – Jack is a mechanic sent to this unnamed Asian country, to take over the local water company, he has bought his family along and feels this will be a fresh start for them. He must show his determination as he finds his family in danger during a coup in the country. Annie is the wife of Jack, that has supported him in his decision to move across the world, she helps Jack try to get their family out alive. Hammond is a man that has been to this country a lot, he enjoys a drink and a fight, he also knows the best way to survive against this deadly enemy.

PerformancesOwen Wilson is not known for this style of movie, this helps us understand his helpless to what is happening because anyone that can handle a fight would look out of place in this film. Lake Bell is good in her role because she does at times play the victim, while Pierce Brosnan as the shady guy that can handle a gun offering protection does what he does best.

StoryThe story becomes one of the simplest and most effective one for any action film, a family needing to survive against the locals of a new country that are trying to kill any American people they can get their hands on. This starts early in the with the action and the only thing that matters is getting out alive. We don’t need detailed back stories for anyone else in the film, a history of employment, we just need to see their love is going to be driving them to survive.

ActionThe action is war based, we have a coup happening which will put the characters in danger and needing to survive, each situation is surrounded with tension as the peril always feels real.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us the name of the country, which works because it shows how a country could rise up against the people taking their jobs.


Scene of the Movie –
The beginning of the coup, shot so well.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do meet characters seemingly just to be killed off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that just doesn’t stop, it is a must watch for action fans because you will be left needing an extra breath.

 

Overall: Action Fans Watch

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – I – Inherent Vice (2014)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay) Thomas Pynchon (Novel)

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short

 

Plot: In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 2 and Half Hours too Long

 

Story: Inherent Vice starts as private investigator Larry ‘Doc’ Spotello (Phoenix) who gets a visit from his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Waterston) needing his help dealing with the latest job she is on with her boyfriend Michael Z Wolfmann (Roberts). When he goes missing Lt. Det. Christian F ‘Bigfoot’ Bjornsen (Brolin) leads the case which also sees Shasta go missing too.

As the case continues to unfold Doc finds himself meet a string of different characters who all have different pieces of information that will help solve the case.

 

Thoughts on Inherent Vice

 

Characters/PerformanceDoc is our main character and he is a hippie private investigator that has connections all over town and finds himself in the middle of a big cast.

Performance wise, Phoenix is good but to be fair due to the slightly boring story the actors don’t have much to work with.

StoryThe story here is a crime story as we watch how a PI must solve a missing persons case and what the bigger picture to everything is, it would be fair to say this is very boring and not interesting in anyway.

Comedy/CrimeThere is no comedy in this film, I am pretty confident in saying that, the crime story is fine but not very interesting either.

SettingsThe settings look fine for the time period in question but otherwise nothing comes off truly memorable.

Final ThoughtsThis was a boring story with an all-star cast that don’t get the chance to show their abilities.

 

Overall: Sometimes you just need to miss a film and this is one of them.

Rating