Harrison Ford Weekend – Morning Glory (2010)

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson

 

Plot: An upstart television producer accepts the challenge of reviving a struggling morning show program with warring co-hosts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Morning Glory starts as we follow Becky (McAdams) a new producer dreaming of one day going to the next level, when she believes she is about to get the senior producer role she finds herself losing her job instead. Not one to give up on her dreams to searches endlessly for a new job in the business and it is Jerry Barnes (Goldblum) that gives her a chance to work on saving the fourth best morning news station Daybreak.

Wanting to make an impact Becky fires the demoralising anchor, Becky must find a new anchor and her choice is going after News Icon Mike Pomperoy (Ford) who is under contract but doesn’t want to work. Becky must find a way for Mike to work with her current anchor Colleen Peck (Keaton) while making new friends with fellow producer Adam Bennett (Wilson) offering up a potential love interest.

 

Thoughts on Morning Glory

 

Characters/PerformanceBecky is an ambitious young woman desperate to make a career in producing the news. She gets her chance working on the lowest rated show and must use all of her good spirit and ideas to make the show climb the ratings, all while dealing with her own personal life that she has given up making her career important. This is a brilliant character because it shows how people can put their career before their own lives which is why this is something we have seen before but always good to go back too.

Mike is the difficult anchor to work with, he used to be a draw in the news reporting world but isn’t interested in working on anything he doesn’t think is news worth, he makes the job as difficult as possible for Becky by doing the bare minimum. Colleen is the seasoned anchor that is happy to take a chance on the wild stories that can bring in the ratings. Adam is the love interest for Becky as well as being involved with Mike before so he can give Becky advice when it comes to handling him.

Performance wise, McAdams is great in the leading role, not playing it overly funny which is how you can judge the whole cast, Ford does enjoy this role because it is different to the rest of his normal action material.

StoryThe story following a career driven woman following her dream putting everything she has into making it happen against all the odds if something that is fantastic to watch because we all like to enjoy watching someone reach that goal. Sure, most of this film does go around in the cycle you would expect but if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

Romantic/ComedyThe romantic side is on the main story which I think works because it isn’t the most important part of the film, the comedy comes when needed without being a constant attempt at laughter.

SettingsThe settings for this film are mostly inside the news studio which shows how close everyone must be to work together. This helps us see how the tension looks between the characters.

Final ThoughtsI wasn’t expecting too much from this film going in, mostly because of the genres but in the end, I found myself enjoying everything as it was unfolding.

 

Overall: This is a good comedy drama that is worth watching.

Rating

 

 

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Director: Gary Dauberman

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) James Wan (Story)

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Katie Sarife, Michael Cimino, Samara Lee

 

Plot: While babysitting the daughter of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a teenager and her friend unknowingly awaken an evil spirit trapped in a doll.


Tagline – The Next Chapter In The Conjuring Universe

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Relentless Scares

 

Story: Annabelle Comes Home starts one year after the Warren’s Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine (Farmiga) bring the Annabelle doll home, knowing its power to control the other items inside their blessed room. With Ed and Lorraine going on a business trip, it leaves their daughter Judy (Grace) with girl next door babysitter Mary Ellen (Iseman), who has planned a little birthday surprise.

When Mary Ellen’s best friend Daniela (Sarife) decides to visit, with questions about the house, getting a moment alone, she sneaks into the blessed room, only to unleash a host of evil upon the three for a night of terror, all thanks to the dreaded Annabelle doll.

 

Thoughts on Annabelle Comes Home

 

Characters – Judy Warren is the daughter of the famous paranormal investigators, she is treated differently at school because of this, with some students being scared, while others just bully her, she does see spirits too and is a shy little girl, she just wants to make friends like any young girl and is struggling with the fact nobody will be her friend except her babysitter Mary Ellen. She does know how to handle herself when hauntings start happening around her house though. Mary Ellen is the girl next door babysitter, she might well be worried about who will take her to homecoming, but she is a friend that Judy needs. Daniela Rios is the best friend of Mary Ellen, she invites herself over to look around, in hopes that she could find a way to connect with her deceased father, whose death was an accident, but she believes was her fault, she unleashes all the evil items on the household, which would make her truly horrible, until you add in the reason why she is trying to find forgiveness. Ed and Lorraine are the familiar faces, only they are basically extended cameos in the film. Bob is the love interest of Mary Ellen and he does through the generic awkward moments of trying to ask her out, he is good for a laugh too.

PerformancesMcKenna Grace takes over the role of the daughter, she does make us believe that her character has become distant from the world around her, makes us believe she is feeling lonely and isolated too. Madison Iseman makes for an easy pick for the babysitter, she comes off friendly and gives the scream level required to show the fear. Katie Sarife is strong as friend who unleashes everything, somehow making a character we could hate feel sympathy towards. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson do seem to be here as a draw, only they are barely even in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a babysitter’s friend visiting the Warren’s house who unleashes all the evil from the safety, only for the three girls needing to put a halt to this before they can become the latest victims of the curses they have. This story does have a few positives and negatives, the first positive being see how the daughter of the Warren’s is struggling with making connections in life because of their work, we could have easily dived deeper with this, but it was nice to see a change in why somebody is isolated. The pure number of different evil figures we meet through the film is brilliant to see because this opens the doors to seemingly endless amounts of spin off movies now, which could be seen as a negative because, while this is an Annabelle movie, it does tend to focus on the other evil, instead of the main one attached to Annabelle. We could get into character decisions, which aren’t the smartest especially when it comes to knowing who the character of Judy is meant to be.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film, is an endless amounts of jump scares, this does work because each does have its own way of being effective, even if a lot if music goes silent and either a boom or something charging the screen. The mystery comes from each new evil that we get to see, we get glimpses into a few leading us to only want to know more.

SettingsThe film is set in one singular location, the Warren house, this has all the evil set up within it, which means once it comes out and traps them, they don’t know what will come next.

Special EffectsThe effect in the film are strong throughout, with each creation look different, with a couple of tricks for the Ferryman coming off nicely.


Scene of the Movie –
The circular shot, I am a fan of this shot even if it was the same as the Nun.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I can’t help but think one of the rules for babysitting at the Warren’s, would be, anything slightly strange happens, get out until we come home.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice jump scare filled horror, it has plenty of references to the previous films and does leave us wanting more from this universe.

 

Overall: Jump scares for everyone.

Rating

 

 

Aquaman (2018)

Director: James Wan

Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall (Screenplay) Geoff John, James Wan, Will Beall, Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris (Story/Characters)

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

 

Plot: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.


Tagline – He’s not from around here.

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Blast

 

Story: Aquaman starts as we learn about Arthur’s (Momoa) parents, mother the Queen of Atlantis Atlanna (Kidman) and father a mortal lighthouse keeper Tom (Morrison), Atlanna had to leave Arthur on land after her failed attempt to escape the rulers of Atlantis. We see how Arthur is being pressured into going to Atlantis and claiming his throne by Mera (Heard) to stop his half-brother King Orm (Wilson) who wants a war with the land by uniting the armies underwater.

Arthur must go on the quest to unlock his own position in Atlantis to prevent a war which will have mass causalities, along the way he will learn the truth about the ways of the Atlanteans if he is going to take the throne.

 

Thoughts on Aquaman

 

Characters – Arthur is the Aquaman, not wanting to be a hero on either land or in the ocean, he has always been against Atlantis because of what they did to his mother, he does protect the water from the helpless, while not being as friendly as the other heroes in this universe. He must go on a quest to take on his half-brother and become the true king of Atlantis. He does try to give us plenty of one liners through all the film. Mera is the princess and daughter to King Nereus, she knows that Arthur is the right person for the throne, though she is arranged to marry King Orm, she does come off as the smarter of the two while on the quest. Vulko has trained both to be prepared for fights, he is the advisor to King Orm, even if he believes that Arthur is the rightful king. King Orm wants to go to war with the land, he believes and is tired of how the oceans are treated, he wants to unite the different factions even if it means by going with force. He will use both sides to his advantage to put himself in the position of power. Atlanna is the mother of both Arthur and Orm, killed for her actions, one of the few people that commanded respect from all kingdoms. We do have the kings from each kingdom being pushed into following King Orm and Manta who wants revenge for Arthur’s action, he is human and a pirate, even if he ends up looking like a Power Rangers villain.

PerformancesJason Momoa is great in the leading role, he looks like he is having fun at times, which feels important, while he can get serious when needed, he also looks the part too. Amber Heard is good in her role where she gets to fill in the gaps for the audience. Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren are good in the supporting roles which you could watch them play for days. Patrick Wilson deserves praise too because he is one of the best villains in the DC universe.

StoryThe story gives Aquaman his first solo adventure after his appearance in Justice League, where he must learn about Atlantis and take on his half-brother before a war between the land and the ocean starts. This is kind of an origin story, which seems to be the way DC are doing them, lets us meet them in a team up movie before moving into their own story, this is that movie. The idea that two half-brothers are fighting to power does seem to borrow from the Thor first movie, which does have a different game as Arthur is the one that doesn’t want to be king. The idea that one man must learn his place and stand up and be counted is a great hero story which is needed for Arthur.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action in this film is good with the battle in Sicily being the highlight for me, we get a unique use of camerawork too for shooting the action. The adventure does take Arthur around the world in search for answers above or below the ocean. The fantasy world plays into the idea that Atlantis has been living under the ocean to make their own technology which again plays into the sci-fi elements being used in the film.

SettingsThe film does use the settings well, with Sicily being a new fight location, though the underwater sequences look fantastic to be absorb within.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are fantastic for the ambitious scale of the world needed to be created, there are a couple of shots which do look weaker than the rest though.


Scene of the Movie –
Sicily fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story does feel safe for an origin story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a blast for an origin film, we can have a lot of fun with everything happening in the film and we now have a character in the DC universe to make us excited that we don’t only have Wonder Woman.

 

Overall: Great fun to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

The Commuter (2018)

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Writer: Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, Ryan Engle (Screenplay) Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi (Story)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Jonathan Banks, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern, Killian Scott

 

Plot: A businessman is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.


Tagline – Lives Are On The Line

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Done Action

 

Story: The Commuter starts as hard working father and husband Michael MacCauley (Neeson) who commutes to and from New York city everyday for his job, only to get laid off five years from retirement. He was once a police office staying in contact with his former partner Alex Murphy (Wilson) who both don’t get on with the new Captain Hawthorne (Neill).

One his commute home, Michael is approached by Joanna (Farmiga) who makes him an offer to figure out who on the train doesn’t belong. Michael must race against time to solve the riddle with his child and wife in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Commuter

 

Characters – Michael MacCauley has commuted to work for years in New York City, close to retirement with his son about to go to college. His day isn’t going to go well, after getting fired, he is forced into figure out who a witness for a crime is on the train home, a train full of commuters. Michael is resourceful when it comes to getting the answers he needs and can handle himself in a fight. Joanna is the lady pulling the strings forcing Michael into completely the task, mostly used on the phone warning Michael about the rules. Murphy is the old partner of Michael, his connection in the force when he is trying to get help.

PerformancesWhen we go into the performances, this movie revolves around Neeson’s performance and he is great throughout the film do his older man action style we like to see. We do have a big name supporting cast that all do their job well through the film.

StoryThe story follows an everyday commuter that is left with using his knowledge of the same passengers to figure out just who is the stranger on the train, a witness for a big case. The idea of the stranger needing to figure out who is out of place on a train is a normal thing but having the regular commuter does make us more interesting because we don’t need to go through the whole interview every person idea. The bigger issues are good because we know as much as Michael and learn when it unfolds. The story is easy to follow and will be going to play along with as you are guessing along with Michael.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of this movie adds to the mystery because Michael is forced to help cover up a crime, while needing to figure out who is behind it.

SettingsThe film takes place on the train, this keeps the story contained through the whole film which is helping us know as much as Michael.

Special EffectsThe effects are saved for one full sequences which looks good when needed.


Scene of the Movie –
Crash sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The idea the we don’t learn enough about Michael’s past.

Final ThoughtsThis is an entertaining action film that checks the boxes for the fans f the genre with ease.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action crime thriller.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – H – The Hollow Point (2016)

Director: Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Writer: Nils Lyew (Screenplay)

Starring: Lynn Collins, Ian McShane, Patrick Wilson, John Leguizamo, James Belushi, Heather Beers, Michael Flynn

 

Plot: A new sheriff of a small town along the U.S. & Mexico border investigates a drug cartel deal that went horribly wrong.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Hollow Point starts in a border town that has two cousins ammunition smuggling across to Mexico, but when one gets killed by Sheriff Leland (McShane) and the other goes missing, the returning sheriff Wallace (Wilson) must investigate what they were up to.

When Wallace is attacked by Atticus (Leguizamo) his everyday life is change and now he must work with Leland to stop the cartel trafficking going on through their town.

 

Thoughts on The Hollow Point

 

Characters – Wallace has returned to his old town to become the Sheriff, where he must rebuild the burnt bridges with the town’s people but most importantly he must stop the smuggling going on through his town. Marla is the old flame of Wallace’s, he has a connection to the missing cousins but lives a life of wonder as she has always waited for Wallace to take her away. Leland is the other sheriff in town, he has always found himself getting close to the line which has gotten him in trouble before, but now we see he has always been on the right side of the law. Atticus is the man responsible for the body count, he will kill anyone that gets in his way and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

PerformancePatrick Wilson does seem to be a go to man for leading roles in edgy films and he is good in these role, Ian McShane is good as the older sheriff who will take nonsense from anyone, while John Leguizamo is great as the deadly villain of the film. Lynn Collins is the weak link of the film as she just seems to lack the impact the character needs.

StoryThe story follows two sheriffs needing to protect their town from the cartel wanting to clean up loose ends when a deal goes wrong. This story is a by the book type of story, it doesn’t offer twists but it doesn’t hold back with shock value when it comes to certain things that happen. This is loosely based on the crime which are happening on the border too.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime is all about what has been happening along the borders in America, we have a smuggling gone wrong that needs investigating while the two sheriffs clean up the mess the town could face.

SettingsThe settings show us the small town that could become trapped by a cartel wanting them to do their dirty work with the smuggling, it shows it could be any town along the border too.

Scene of the Movie – Atticus introduction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Marla seems like a wasted side character just to have a female character in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an extremely watchable crime thriller that doesn’t hold back with the shocks being given to us, but it does follow a formula that we have seen before in the core of the story.

 

Overall: Crime thriller well worth watching.

Rating