ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – H – Hot Pursuit (2015)

Director: Anne Fletcher

Writer: David Feeney, John Quaintance (Screenplay)

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Del Negro, Michael Mosley, Robert Kazinsky, Richard T Jones

 

Plot: An uptight and by-the-book cop tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.


Tagline – Armed and sort of dangerous.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laughless Comedy

 

Story: Hot Pursuit starts as the up-tight career driven police officer Cooper (Witherspoon) that doesn’t get to leave the station much because of a previous misunderstanding. Now a massive case to take down a cartel boss, calls for Cooper to go out into the field and help escort Daniella Riva (Vergara) the wife of one of the key witnesses.

When the husband of Daniella and the FBI agent working with Cooper are both killed, Cooper must prove herself as a police officer as she needs to learn who she can trust to bring the cartel boss down.

 

Thoughts on Hot Pursuit

 

Characters – Cooper has been riding in the back of police cars for years now, following in her father’s footsteps to be a police officer, she is currently behind a desk after a mistake, called into the field for what should be a routine escort of a witness job, she is forced to show her skills to keep the witness alive and bring her family name back to the positive spotlight. Daniella Riva is the feisty wife of the witness in question, she needs to be protected and shows all the stereotypes about Latin women, while she is loud, fast talking. The two clash because they are very different from different backgrounds which plays into everything we see in the film. everyone else we meet are police officers and cartel members that are after Danielle.

PerformancesReese Witherspoon was once one of the biggest names in comedy, though she doesn’t managed to get this to work on any level, this is mainly because of the lack of chemistry between the two leads, Sofia Vergara sure looks sexy, but she doesn’t handle the comedy in anyway.

StoryThe story follows the unlikely cop that must transport a witness that is completely different to her, in what is an attempted buddy comedy. We have seen the outline of this before with different types of people trying to capture or kill the person being transported. The weaknesses are heavy here because the villains are almost non-existent. The idea is too basic and offers nothing new with nearly everything turning into an argument about not understanding the fast talking Latino or look she is short.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action is a couple of car chases and basic shoot outs doing nothing fancy, the comedy is the same joke on repeat which just doesn’t work which gives us the crime world we enter, which is drug cartel needing to be kept quiet.

SettingsThe film takes us across Texas though this doesn’t feel like it at all.


Scene of the Movie –
You have been Coopered.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The comedy gets boring quickly.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak comedy that just doesn’t hit any times which only leaves us feeling bored through the most part of the film.

 

Overall: Mainly boring.

Rating

 

 

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Cruel Intention (1999)

Director: Roger Kumble

Writer: Roger Kumble (Screenplay) Choderlos de Laclos (Novel)

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius

 

Plot: Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster’s daughter before the start of term.


Tagline – What you can’t have, you can’t resist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Delicious

 

Story: Cruel Intentions starts as the elite prep school step siblings Kathryn (Gellar) and Sebastian (Phillippe) are planning their next conquests in making the fellow students or authority figures pay for going against them. Kathryn wants to destroy new student Cecile (Blair) for dating her ex-girlfriend, while Sebastian wants to break the new headmaster’s daughter Annette’s (Witherspoon) belief about waiting for sex before marriage.

We watch how the two navigate their way through the elite to achieve their goals only for Sebastian to start to change from his seductive ways.

 

Thoughts on Cruel Intentions

 

Characters – Kathryn is the two faced elite society girl, two the parents she is the good polite guide for their daughters through the prep school, with her brother and friends she plays people however she wants to get things done, she holds grudges and has power over her step-brother, to help her enjoy seeing people fall. Sebastian has a reputation that has seen him go through the girls at the school, he gets what he wants but is bored of the easy girls that can be pushed around. He sets his sights on the new headmaster’s daughter which will give him a new look on life. Annette is the headmaster’s daughter that has sworn off sex before marriage, she is determined not to let Sebastian take advantage of her and break her code, knowing the truth about his past.

PerformancesSarah Michelle Gellar was known for her bad ass Buffy the Vampire Slayer when this movie came out, this performance broke her typecast and showed that she could do a much darker role. Ryan Phillippe is wonderful in this role, you can see how he plans to get ahead at every step of the way believing his confident character. Reese Witherspoon bought us the innocent character we now know her for, we need her to be strong, she is and that look makes her look the part perfectly. This is easily one of he best cast movies of recent years.

StoryThe story takes us into the elite prep school life where the kids are free enough to be planning their next sexual conquest because money is no longer an issue for them. Seeing how the story plans out is interesting from early on to the finish as the plans between the characters and how the step-siblings manipulate the people in their lives is twisted. The pace of the story is great too, it never feels like it lets up from start to finish. It does however show how stupid rich kids can be because they have never learnt morals.

RomanceThe romance in this film is a complete mix, we get to see how romance can be used just for sex and how it can change people to become better people.

SettingsThe New York setting is perfect for this movie, it shows how the elite school kids can get up to the most pointless behaviour because of boredom and belief they have the power over anyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me These kids never go to school.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful dark romantic thriller, that uses the music perfectly, has brilliant performances and is easily one of the most watchable films out of the late 90s.

 

Overall: Special movie that hasn’t aged a day.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – S – Sing (2016)

Director: Garth Jennings, Christopher Lourdelet

Writer: Garth Jennings (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C Reilly, Taron Egerton

 

Plot: In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario’s attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists’ find that their lives will never be the same.


Tagline – Auditions begin christmas

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Animated Musical

 

Story: Sing starts as we follow a hustling theatre owner Buster Moon, looking to save his career, we follow the other animals in the city including say home mother pig Rosita, an underachieving musician mouse Mike, punk rocker porcupine Ash, gorilla about to enter the world of crime Johnny and shy elephant Meena, that enter this competition that Buster moon hosts with a prize of $100,000.

While Buster needs to find a way to make the money for the prize the talent continues to build their performances, learning how the breakout of their average lives being the best they could ever be.

 

Thoughts on Sing

 

Characters – Buster Moon is an ambitious but unsuccessful theatre owner, who has always dreamed of putting on a show everybody would love. He is quick thinking when it comes to getting him out of trouble, he is also ambitious enough to try something new and motive people to try. Rosita is the mother pig of 25 piglets, she has always dreamed of singing but lacks the charisma until Buster gets hold of her. Mike is a wise cracking mouse that is always looking for a quick buck. Ash is meant to be a teenage porcupine that is a punk rocker that needs to change her style to make the impact she deserves in music. Eddie is the only friend Buster has in the theatre, his family has helped fund Buster mad cap ideas before, he is the only one that will stand by him. Johnny is a gorilla that is destining to follow his father in a life a crime, even though he wants to be a singer, he faces the decision to whether to turn his back on his father or not. Meena is the shy elephant with the voice of an angel, she needs to learn to come out her shell to show the world her talent.

StoryThe story follows the group of everyday people, well animals getting a chance to follow their dreams in the music industry from an ambitious theatre owner. While you can look at the story in two directions, one would be poking fun at these countless talent shows on television now and the other being showing people how to follow their dreams however hard they seem to be, if you have the talent you will get the chance. it is sweet and simple story that can be enjoyed by everyone who watches.

Comedy/Family/MusicThe comedy is clear to see in how either the animals could be known for certain types of music or how they act to become something. The family should all enjoy this movie to be honest and the music include has something for everyone, from pop songs to classics, it should check the boxes for everyone.

SettingsThe fantasy settings feels like it is a version of LA with the animals included, it works for the ambition the characters are showing.

AnimationThe animation style used works and never looks out of place for the film, could easily be up there with the best.


Scene of the Movie –
The grand show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much Mike, because he does feels like one of Seth MacFarlane creation.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch and enjoyable throughout, it is something I can see many people get a smile from.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

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

 

 

Wild (2014)

wildDirector: Jean-Marc Vallee

Writer: Nick Hornby (Screenplay) Cheryl Strayed (Memoir)

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Keene McRae, Michiel Huisman, W Earl Brown, Gaby Hoffman

 

Plot: A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Drama

 

Story: Wild starts as we Cheryl (Witherspoon) getting prepared for her 3-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to help herself get over the recent death of her mother. We watch how Cheryl’s life had been fallen apart before this challenge including throwing away her own marriage.

Wild is a slow drama showing how one woman went on her own redemption story going on an almost impossible hike that even the most experience drop out off. We get to see what drove her to make this decision but in the end it feels like a glorified story that we have seen before. You do have to give Reese Witherspoon praise for her performance but in the end this is easily a forgettable film that got Oscar nods for no reason.

 

Overall: Disappointingly overrated drama that is fine but nothing special.

Rating

 51