The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012)

Director: Peter Hedges

Writer: Peter Hedges (Screenplay) Ahmet Zappa (Story)

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams, Odeya Rush, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rosemarie DeWitt, David Morse

 

Plot: A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears.


Tagline – He’s a force of nature.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Fantasy

 

Story: The Odd Life of Timothy Green starts as Cindy (Garner) and Jim (Edgerton) a married couple learn they can’t have children, in one last night of accepting the truth, they write a list of ideas that would have been their dream child place it in a box and bury it in their garden.

That night something unexpected happens, when the couple learn that Timothy (Adams) comes to life and the couple must deal with being a parent for the first time. Timothy goes through the childhood problems where he meets Joni (Rush), but he is keeping a secret from everybody.

 

Thoughts on The Odd Life of Timothy Green

 

Characters – Cindy is the artistic wife that works in a gallery, she is devastated about not being able to have children, once Timothy turns up she wants to give him everything she wanted to for a child. Jim is a factory worker that sees Timothy as a chance to be a father he never had. Timothy is the boy that appears one night, he has all the good the parents want in their child and shows that he is going help the depressed parents that are facing a childless future, he inspires the people around him, while dealing with the everyday problem in life of a young boy. Joni is the girl that Timothy meets and accepts him for who he is because she knows she is just as different as him, they bring out the best in both.

PerformancesJennifer Garner has a reputation for being one of the best parental figures in acting today, she shows us just why she is always picked. Joel Edgerton is strong here too as we believe he is the one that is seeing his chance to be a father in his character. CJ Adams as Timothy is wonderful showing the innocence his character requires to make a difference in the world. Odeya Rush brings everything needed for the rebellious outcast character that has the heart of gold to give to the right person.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that believe they can never have a child only to get an unexpected surprise when one arrives, one they created, they are given new hope as they see new horizons in their lives and the ones he touches. This is a story I didn’t see coming, it felt original in the way everything was handled and shows just how anyone can walk into somebody’s life and change it forever. When it comes to the child learning aspects of a story, this is everything we have seen before, but the fantasy elements make the biggest impact on this story. the story does play into your feelings and will be one that you don’t forget easily.

Comedy/FantasyThe comedy used in the film is standard material, you will get a laugh when you need to even if we are looking at the more serious moments often. The fantasy comes from Timothy as they learn more about his true presence in the world.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town which shows how close the community is when it comes to dealing with their own problems, this helps with the outcome of the film and helps us see how everyone knows each other.


Scene of the Movie –
The leaves.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The football match is poorly shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful fantasy film that will deliver on the feels, you will see the direction it is heading in, but you will want to be part of the journey.

 

Overall: Delightful.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – K – Kill the Messenger (2014)

Director: Michael Cuesta

Writer: Peter Landesman (Screenplay) Gary Webb, Nick Schou (Book)

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michel Sheen, Andy Garcia

 

Plot: Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb. The film takes place in the mid-1990s, when Webb uncovered the CIA’s past role in importing huge amounts of cocaine into the U.S. that was aggressively sold in ghettos across the country to raise money for the Nicaraguan Contras’ rebel army. Despite enormous pressure not to, Webb chose to pursue the story and went public with his evidence, publishing the series “Dark Alliance”. As a result he experienced a vicious smear campaign fueled by the CIA. At that point Webb found himself defending his integrity, his family, and his life.


Tagline –  How the CIA’s crack-cocaine controversy destroyed journalist Gary Webb

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Investigation Journalism 101

 

Story: Kill the Messenger starts as reporter Gary Webb (Renner) has been investigating the handling of drug dealers who are fond not guilty in a court of law. This opens the door for Gary to a whole new story about how the CIA had been using drug trade to fund a war in Nicaragua.

The deeper Gary got into the story the more the CIA put pressure on him as he must regain his reputation after the CIA pulls the same tricks to disgrace him.

 

Thoughts on Kill the Messenger

 

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, we are looking at their own decisions which would have put them in the position they find themselves in. Gary Webb is a reporter, he believes he has the biggest story of his career which puts his own family life and career on the line by trying to expose the CIA. Sue is the wife that sees her personal life become part of the sideshow in the press. We do have many other reporters, contacts, CIA agents, lawyers and even the drug dealers themselves who interact with Gary as the story comes to the light of day.

PerformancesJeremy Renner is the star of this film, he does a great job in the leading role dealing with the different situations he finds himself in. the film is filled with great performances from the characters actors we have seen in plenty of films through the years.

StoryThe story here shows us one man’s determination to try and bring a story to life, one that could expose the governments secrets. This brings him into a personal battle against the CIA who are trying to ruin his reputation and destroy his creditability. The is based on the real man and the real story which once again shows us just how governments can become corrupt for their own gain. Though this is based on the true story, it does feel like it is lacking something to truly bring us into the film, we find ourselves just on the side lines of the story which never reaches the levels it could do.

Biopic/Crime/MysteryThe biopic side of this film is the important part of the film, we focus on the man whose story turned people against him even though he was exposing a big crime within the government.

SettingsThe settings do take us around America and even through the North America countries as we see where the truth is being designed to send us to the different corners of the truth.


Scene of the Movie –
Speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Driving looked terribly fake.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic movie that does set out to show us the truth about the CIA using the drug trade to fund a war but quickly turns into the CIA trying to discredit the man behind it all, it doesn’t reach the highest levels we are hoping for even it Renner does shine through the film.

 

Overall: One for the biopic fans out there.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Arkangel

Director: Jodie Foster

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Rosemarie DeWitt, Brenna Harding, Owen Teague

 

Plot: After nearly losing her daughter, a mother invests in a new technology that allows her to keep track of her.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Disturbing

 

Story: Arkangel starts when Marie (DeWitt) could go through her own living nightmare, when her daughter Sara goes missing, luckily, she is found safe and sound. Being a worried parent, Marie takes a chance to join up to a program for a chip to be installed in Sara’s head which lets her see what Sara is feeling, it also means she can filter anything inappropriate from her life.

When Sara doesn’t seem to be able to reach to natural minor violence or scares, Marie switches off the device which brings their relationship closer, until she reaches the high school age and the worries of a parent return to the device.

 

Thoughts on Arkangel

 

StoryThe story here plans into the idea of a parent always worrying about the safety of their child, it could be increased after a moment that could have seen her child lost. The side effects are clear and with a system that could easily turn every parent into an obsessive, while the kid could be an innocent victim of being over protected. With the technology we have affordable to us now, this could easily become a reality as parents feel the need to protect against the evil of the world, but this could also take away important learning curves needed in the growing up process.


Scene of the Episode –
The night that changes everything.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Seriously, do all kids just do drugs?

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to Black Mirror, you know we have warnings in the shows, this plays into the warnings side of the message about technology and the side effects it could have if we let it control our lives. I can’t help but say I loved the tone in this episode, it needed to be set to this style, so we could enjoy moments that unfold in a way where Sara wouldn’t know what was going on. This is a must watch for anyone who can enjoy a thriller that sends a message.

 

Overall: Tense and beautifully disturbing is the best way to describe this one.

Rating

 

 

La La Land (2016)

lalaDirector: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt

 

Plot: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Fairy Tale of the Big City

 

Story: La La Land starts as we see aspiring actress Mia (Stone) dreaming off getting out of her coffee job and becoming a star, even if she keeps getting rejected in her audition. We also meet Sebastian (Gosling) a jazz musician who is one of the final lovers of the original art in a world that is modernising the style forgetting the magic jazz had on people.

When the two keep clashing it starts with a case of try to get one over each other between the two before it turned into flirting and sparks fly. Both searching for a way to make their dream come true they both take different paths to find it motivating each other two rise to the occasion. This is all singing, all dancing road to following your own dreams.

 

Thoughts on La La Land

 

StoryThe story here shines through as it pushes you to follow your dreams and not want to let them become compromised for anything. We see how both motivate to chase the dreams which are both old fashioned in the modern world of both Hollywood and Jazz. I did like the style of the story telling going over the four seasons showing how times in the relationship are changing. The story will leave you with a smile on your face.

Comedy/Musical/RomanceThe comedy going on in this movie is placed just when you need it without taking over the film. The main attraction of this film is the romantic angle which feels fresh and modern with everything that happens. The musical side isn’t as heavy as I was expecting but has all the elements of beautiful songs fitting each situation.

Characters/PerformanceMia represents all the aspiring actresses that struggle to get that first role that could make them, Sebastian is a musician that dreams of being able to listen and play the purest form of jazz, both these characters could easily be relatable if you are a fan of the subjects the way they are. Emma Stone gives what is easily her best performance of her career and I feel is also above Gosling who again is also brilliant. When you consider the supporting cast we don’t get enough from them to reach the levels of these two.

SettingsThe backdrop of Hollywood makes this film feel like the fairy tale Hollywood can be for anybody dreaming of making it in the city of dreams.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the films of the year, original, feel good and charming, one that everyone can enjoy.

 

Overall: The true film of the year contender.

Ratingcard

 

 

Matt Damon Weekend – Promised Land (2012)

promised landDirector: Gus Van Sant

Writer: John Krasinski, Matt Damon (Screenplay) Dave Eggers (Story)

Starring: Matt Damon, Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand, Titus Welliver, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucas Black, Scoot McNairy

 

Plot: A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: Promised Land starts as we meet Steve Butler (Damon) one of the best salesmen for a natural gas company where he makes the most and cheapest purchases within his company. Steve teams up with Sue (McDormand) to meet the locals of a small town where the natural gas is up for grabs.

What looks like an easy job takes a turn for worse when Frank Yates (Holbrook) challenges the idea of fracking in the town which leads to an environmental guy Dustin Noble (Krasinski) supporting the town. This leads to a battle to make his sell go through with the town turning on him supporting Dustin.

Promised Land is a drama that throws us into the world of potential fracking pros and cons. We get to see how small town America is struggling with money and can get taken advantage of by big businesses. We get to see how even the guy trying to make the deals can fall victim to what is the right to wrong choices being made. The story does flow nicely but in the end it does all come down to an audience member needing to be in the right mood for this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Steve works for a natural gas company and is one of the best in the business always making the sales. He is on the verge of a promotion but this latest sale which seems so easy takes a turn for the worse when he has to go against an environmentalist while he also falls for a local girl. Matt is good in this leading role.

John Krasinski: Dustin is an environmentalist who has come to the town to warn them of the effects of fracking making Steve’ job very difficult. He is a victim of what happens to fracking and his evidence puts the deal up in the air. John makes for a good opposite to Damon through the film.

Frances McDormand: Sue is the partner of Steve’s, she keeps him in line while keeping her own relationship with her son going. She approaches her deals differently to Steve and is always someone he can throw ideas around with. Frances is good as this supporting character throughout.

Support Cast: Promised Land has a supporting cast that all feel like different members of a tight community the town is with each of their own problems.

Director Review: Gus Van SantGus does a good job directing this showing us Steve’s struggles through the situation.

 

Drama: Promised Land puts us into the morale questions of whether short term money is enough to cover long environmental effects.

Settings: Promised Land puts us in the small town where each moment in the film feels like we are following a small community.
Suggestion
: Promised Land is one to try mostly because the subject isn’t the most popular for the audience to see. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The questions being asked about whether fracking is the right decision or not.

Worst Part: Slightly to campaign heavy.

 

Believability: This is a subject going on around the world at the moment.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: What’s your price?

 

Overall: Very informative drama about the pros and cons of fracking.

Ratingcard