Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Robert Collector, Dana Olsen, William Goldman (Screenplay) H.F. Saint (Book)

Starring: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Michael McKean, Stephen Tobolowsky, Jim Norton

 

Plot: After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life.


Tagline – Women want him for his wit. The C.I.A. wants him for his body. All Nick wants is his molecules back.

Runtime: 1 hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Invisible Comedy

 

Story: Memoirs of an Invisible Man starts when a cocky businessman Nick Halloway (Chase) tires to catch a nap during a busy meeting, that he has no interest in, he finds himself caught in the middle of an experiment gone wrong, by being turned invisible. This brings CIA agent David Jenkins (Neill) in to investigate, with Nick becoming a wanted man, only he can’t ask for help because even he doesn’t understand why he is invisible, he tries the people he trusts in hopes of finding out the way to reverse what has happened to him.

 

Thoughts on Memoirs of an Invisible Man

 

Characters – Nick Halloway is a fast-talking businessman that has been getting away with slacking through his job for years now, after another session on the drinks, he looks to skive off, only to get caught in the middle of an experiment which turns him invisible, Nick must figure out who he can trust to help him after the CIA look to hunt him down to use him for their own benefit. He isn’t the most interesting character, he doesn’t come off as funny as it seems he should be either. Alice is the new woman that comes into Nick’s life, she is the one he turns to for help as she is prepared to listen to his story over most other people. David Jenkins is the man hunting down Nick, he is a CIA agent that will do whatever it takes to add to the security of the country, seeing Nick as the next generation of secret agent.

PerformancesChevy Chase does feel slightly mis-cast in this role, he doesn’t seem to handle the comedy on the level it is meant to be coming from his character. Daryl Hannah does all she needs to as the love interest, she doesn’t need to do much either. Sam Neill is highlight of the performances with just how he handles the evil agent.

StoryThe story follows a man that gets turn invisible in a mysterious event, seeing him being chased down by the government while he tries to figure out how to get out of his situation. This is an interesting spin on the invisible man story, it does try to make the story a comedy which is where the story falls short, because it is an unlikable character that gets turn invisible rather than somebody whose experiment going wrong. Nick doesn’t just anything to help himself, which disappoints, it does feel kind of cheesy and by the end you will feel like not everything is answered.

Comedy/Sci-FiThe comedy misses more often than hitting, it just doesn’t seem smooth. The sci-fi elements don’t get bought to the front with incident happening and that being it.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which does always make for a solid back drop for any movie.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do feel great for the time with certain moments, the make-up shot is the highlight because of camera angle.


Scene of the Movie –
Let’s try make up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that does miss a lot of the jokes and ends up feeling flatter than it should have been.

 

Overall: Disappointing comedy.

Rating

 

 

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Sam Neill Weekend – The Dish (2000)

Director: Rob Sitch

Writer: Santo Cilaruo, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Neill, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long, Patrick Warburton, Genevieve Mooy, Tayler Kane, Billie Brown, Roy Billing

 

Plot: A remote Australian community, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.


Tagline – Man’s first step on the moon nearly stumbled on earth

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Look at the Apollo 11 Mission

 

Story: The Dish starts as a small town named Parkes which has the largest satellite dish in the south hemisphere is selected by NASA to communicate the Apollo 11 mission, the team is a four man operation run by Cliff Buxton (Neill) with his normal team, Ross ‘Mitch Mitchell (Harrington), Glenn Latham (Long) and NASA representative Al Burnett (Warburton).

With the news that Parkes has been selected the whole town gets a buzz with the Mayor (Billing) seeing this a chance to meet the Prime Minister (Brown) and gossip flying around, while the men deal with the added pressure of being part of one of the most important moments in human history.

 

Thoughts on The Dish

 

Characters – Cliff Buxton is the director of the facility, he remains calm for the additional pressure placed on him by this mission, he knows how to welcome a new member to the team and keep his loyal team showing the respect required, Cliff has been through his own personal tragedy which has given him extra motivation to be part of this moment in history. Mitch is the senior member of the team in Australia, he has worked with Cliff for years now and doesn’t take too keenly to Al, he must learn to accept his own mistakes and that everyone involved wants the same thing. Glenn is the youngest member of the team, he is nervous person in life and has a side story of whether he will ask a local woman out. Al is the representative from NASA, he is very much by the book figure and this does cause tension in places because he isn’t as laid back as the rest of the team, even though he does have the utmost respect for the team.

PerformancesSam Neill is brilliant in this film, he has always been one of the actors that can portray knowledge with ease and will always be engaging. Kevin Harrington, Tom Long and Patrick Warburton are all wonderful to watch, showing great chemistry throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows the small team of satellite team in Australia that have been selected to be the link in communication for NASA for the Apollo 11 mission to be the first man to walk on the moon, we see how they team had to overcome their own problems to make sure they are part of history. When it comes to the moon mission, it has to go down as one of the biggest moments in human history and over the years we have seen many stories about the people involved in making this moment in history happen. By seeing how a small crew has operated to make this event visible for the world is entertaining. Seeing how things didn’t go to plan shows how they had to show their skills to adapt to the situation is interesting and the side story of the Mayor seeing how proud he is to be selected for this. This is a complete story that shows us just how wonderful this event was for the people involved.

Comedy/HistoryThe comedy involved in the film shows us just how the crew can make the events fee light-hearted with what happens, showing us how they can feel like they are can operate best with the laidback nature. This does circle around one of the biggest events in human history.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of main locations, first and most importantly is the dish which shows how contained the operation was and how the town came together to be remembered in history.


Scene of the Movie –
Rudy the security guard, he gets so many laughs it is brilliant.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing about this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most underrated movies involving the moon landing, it is one that is easy to enjoy with laughs and historical moments blend effortlessly.

 

Overall: Wonderful drama.

Rating

 

 

Sam Neill Weekend – Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Taika Waititi (Screenplay) Barry Crump (Novel)

Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Rache House, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Oscar Knightley

 

Plot: A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.


Tagline – Nature just got gangster

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Enjoyable

 

Story: Hunt for the Wilderpeople starts as rebellious kid Ricky (Dennison) gets taken to his latest foster home to live with Hec (Neill) and Bella (Te Wiata) who open his eyes to farm life after years of street life. This life changes quickly when Bella passes away leaving Ricky facing the reality he will need to return to a foster home.

Ricky runs away into the wilderness with his dog Tupac only for Hec finding him and taking him on an adventure through the wilderness. The only problem is Ricky gets reported missing and the authorities believe Hec kidnapped with a manhunt searching for them both.

 

Thoughts on Hunt for the Wilderpeople

 

Characters – Ricky is a rebellious teenager that has bounced through the foster system, now he must go into farm life away from the street problems he has found himself in. when he goes off into the wilderness he wants to prove himself to everyone and Hec. Hec is the father figure that adopts Ricky only to take him under his wing after his wife died, he is a reluctant protector and guide who would rather be with at one with nature. Paula is the child welfare officer that is trying to find Ricky, she does want what is best for the children but can take things too far.

PerformancesSam Neill easily gives one of his best performances of his career here, showing the heart the character needs along with the determination to do the right thing too. Julian Dennison is fantastic in this role, he has the innocent side while also showing the front of toughness that the character requires.

StoryThe story is a coming of age tale, between a foster kid and his reluctant new father who wasn’t prepared for the responsibility placed upon him. The two go on an adventure through the wilderness which gathers national news and a nationwide manhunt. It shows how two different people from different backgrounds of different ages can work together, teaching each other important life lesson, in what is one of the most enjoyable stories you will see.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure takes us through the New Zealand wilderness, seeing sights of wonder along the way. The film is told in a comic tone that will make you laugh plenty of times along the journey.

SettingsThe wilderness of New Zealand makes for the stunning settings being used, nearly all the scenes have a breath-taking view.


Scene of the Movie –
The last run.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain slang turns can go over your head.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fun coming of age movies I have ever seen, the adventure is fantastic, the comedy hits and the pairing works all day long.

 

Overall: Must watch cinema for the family.

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

 

 

A Long Way Down (2014)

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Writer: Jack Thorne (Screenplay) Nick Hornby (Novel)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Zara White, Joe Cole, Sam Neill

 

Plot: Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another with the difficulties of their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underrated Gem

 

Story: A Long Way Down starts on New Year’s Eve as disgraced TV celebrity Martin (Brosnan) is planning to kill himself only to get interrupted by the lonely Maureen (Collette), heartbroken Jess (Poots) and cancer stricken JJ (Paul) who are also using the same rooftop to plan their suicide.

All going against the suicide the four make a pact to not kill themselves until at least Valentine’s day and support each other through the six weeks once the tabloids want to make a story of why they were together. The four become good friends exposing their own secrets to why they want to escape their lives.

 

Thoughts on A Long Way Down

 

Characters/PerformanceMartin is the disgraced TV talk show host, his small mistake has ruined his career, his family and even finding himself in jail. Now out of jail he wants to kill himself to get away from the headlines. Maureen is a single mother spending everyday looking after her disabled son, not getting any real free time. Jess is the daughter of politician whose sister vanished a few years before, she is a lost soul in the world turning to the drinks and drugs. JJ is an American musician who can’t find his place in the world.

Performance wise, I feel all four of the main actors give brilliant performances, Paul and Poots both show that this could be one of their best of their careers in film, while Brosnan and Collette must have theirs put on their underrated performances of their careers.

StoryThe story shows the struggles everyday people can have with depression, it shows that you can get support from people you didn’t even know. I think this film tackles the issues of depression on a brilliant level, and shows just how you can find light in the strangest places.

SettingsThe settings are used to show just how different the location these four have come from, it shows just how important finding help outside your comfort zone can be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I didn’t expect too much from and I can say I truly enjoyed the film, the characters all feel real, their problems feel real and most importantly the answers to the problems didn’t cure everything they helped them realizes how important they are.

 

Overall: This is a very underrated film I feel people should be seeing.

Rating