Elizabeth Banks Weekend – Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Katie Morgan, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Justin Long, Brandon Routh

 

Plot: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.


Tagline – What would you do to get out of debt? 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Raunchy Comedy Fun

 

Story: Zack and Miri Make a Porno starts as we meet two friends Miri (Banks) and Zack (Rogen) from high school struggling to make ends meet in their apartment. When twos debts continue to rise they turn to one idea, to make a porno.

Zack, Miri and their friend Delaney (Robinson) set out for audiences and move forward with this idea hiring Lester (Mewes), Stacey (Morgan), Barry (Mabe) and Bubbles (Lords) and set off to make their own Star Wars porn parody, until things take a turn and they must come up with a new plan, but it works out better for them.

 

Thoughts on Zack and Miri Makes a Porno

 

Characters – Zack is a coffee barista that lives with Miri, he isn’t the most ambitious just wants to have a good simple life, he suggests making a porn movie to raise the money for bills, but this plays into his deeper feelings for Miri. Miri lives with Zack, she did want more from her life, but for now she is happy enough, she doesn’t believe she could have feelings for Zack which soon start changing when the two will need to have sex.  Delaney is the co-worker of Zack’s married since high school who jumps at the chance to produce the porn movie. The rest of the characters we meet are the stars of the porn movie they are making, but we don’t learn too much from them.

PerformancesSeth Rogen had this role written for him, you can see that in his performance where he might be typical funny Rogen which is what we wanted from this movie. Elizabeth Banks is good here, she is always good at comedy, but this is her raunchy side we hadn’t seen before and she delivers. The supporting cast get their laughs when needed which shows how comic timing works at certain times.

StoryThe story follows two close friends that need to find a way to make ends meet which turns into a porno, like you do. It plays into the idea that men and women would struggle to remain friends after sex when it was one of the only options to make ends meet after growing debt. The story doesn’t hit the heights it could but for the most part if you are going into a Seth Rogen comedy you know it isn’t going to be the deepest off films.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does hit for the target audience it is on a raunchy level, which does take away from the romantic side of the film which doesn’t work to level it should for where the film aims to go.

SettingsThe settings show us how you could go around making your own home-made porn movie with a small group of friends. It shows you can make it in the right locations without having to pay extra.


Scene of the Movie –
Zack and Miri sex scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It goes too heavily into the raunchy side at times.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a raunchy comedy this will keep you happy, but if you don’t want to see a sex heavy comedy you will not enjoy and most likely being skipping this one.

 

Overall: Rogen Fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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The Disaster Artist (2017)

Director: James Franco

Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H Weber (Screenplay) Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell (Book)

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Lizzy Caplan, Zac Efron, Ari Graynor

 

Plot: When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Hilarious

 

Story: The Disaster Artist starts as we meet young aspiring actor Greg (Dave Franco) who meets the mysterious fellow actor Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) in San Francisco, learning Tommy has money to support him Greg agrees to head to LA with him to try and make an impact in the acting world.

Finding themselves struggling to find a job they decide to make their own movie, ‘The Room’. They get their own crew with script advisor Sandy (Rogen) trying to keep things under control during the shot. As Greg starts his own relationship with Amber (Brie) he starts to become distant from Tommy who starts to become a dictator on set putting the production into turmoil as we learn how the most notoriously bad movie The Room is made.

 

Thoughts on The Disaster Artist

 

Characters – Greg is an aspiring actor who at a young age heads to Hollywood with a stranger Tommy Wiseau as he looks to make an impact in the industry. He is filled with the enthusiasm any young actor must make it in the business. Tommy Wiseau is the mysterious man that offers Greg a chance to move to Hollywood, he has an accent no one seems to be able to figure out, has money to support this dream, he ends up writing, directing and starring in the movie, that has bigger meaning to him that anyone could imagine. Sandy helps with the script and shoot, knowing just how strange the film seems and working with Tommy is strange experience for him. We do get to meet the rest of the people who are involved in movie and the lives of Greg and Tommy during this time.

PerformancesJames Franco is fantastic in this role, this is easily the best of his career to date and the chemistry he shows with his real-life brother Dave comes through on screen too. Dave Franco continues to improve, movie to movie and steps up to plate here. Seth Rogen is great in this role with his restrained role that never goes into full Rogen mode. The rest of the cast are great and we do get big names appearing in different moments of the film.

StoryThe story follows the making of the film branded the worst ever ‘The Room’ and how the unlikely friendship help build this movie to become the cult sensation people still talk about today. It does show chasing dreams can get what you want even if it isn’t the best quality, it shows that if you want to be able to say you did something, then this shows you how to achieve this.

Biopic/Comedy/HistoryThe biopic side of the film only covers the meeting of the two till the premier, which is good, but as the film implies Tommy is a man of mystery we would like to learn more about. The comedy hits every time in this film, we have laugh out loud moments that are genuine reaction to what is being shot and this history side of the film shows how one of the most famously worst movies was made.

SettingsThe settings fit the film perfectly showing us just where the film would have taken place and how weird set choice were too.


Scene of the Movie –
The Screening.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That I haven’t seen ‘The Room’, you don’t need to see it but now I want to.

Final ThoughtsThis could easily be one of the funniest films I have ever seen, while I have never seen The Room this movie opened my eyes to follow dreams however farfetched they seem and now I want to see it. This is one of the best movies of 2017 without a doubt.

 

Overall: Funniest film of the year.

Rating

 

 

Christmas Holiday Weekend – The Night Before (2015)

Director: Jonathan Levine

Writer: Jonathan Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Jillian bell, Lizzy Caplan, Helene Yorke, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Christmas Movie

 

Story: The Night Before starts as we learn why Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents over Christmas in 2001, his two best friends Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) spend every Christmas Eve together and getting drunk, but as time went by his friends started to move on with Chris becoming a sports star and Isaac starting his own family. With Ethan, still almost stuck in his slump with his life working as a Christmas Elf.

This year has been mutually agreed to be the last one they spend together and Ethan has finally got the ticket to the biggest Christmas Party in town, the one they have always been looking to attended but before that, the traditions need to be celebrated for the last time. How will this night turn out for the friends on what is meant to be their final adventure?

 

Thoughts on The Night Before

 

Characters/PerformanceEthan is a man that lost his family at Christmas, he asks only one thing and that is to spend it with his two best friends, he hasn’t been able to find his path in life while his friends have found success but he knows this is his last Christmas Eve with friends. Isaac is about to become a father which leaves him knowing that he won’t be able to party as often as he can so he gets the chance to party on the last time but can’t handle the trip. Chris is suddenly becoming the big sports star he dreamed off but he finds himself in the middle of making new friends or keeping the ones he loves like brothers.

Performance wise, Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a great job in the leading role playing a role he has made his own in comedy movies, Rogen is what you expect from him but his character is slightly questionable in places. Mackie shows that he can handle comedy on a regular level after Pain & Gain, he proves he can handle the supporting role.

StoryDeep down this story has a story of friendship and just how important it is over Christmas. We get to focus on moving forward in life remember never to forget the people who spent it with you, accepting responsibility for mistakes you have made and finding a way to be ready for parenthood. I think this does have plenty of Christmas message but sadly does get bogged down with the almost pointless drug based side story going on.

ComedyThe comedy does come thick and fast through the film even if certain parts of the film are based the drug usage going on through the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in New York city which shows the hustle and bustle of the town during the Christmas Eve events. It all works for everything going on through the story.

Final ThoughtsI did enjoy the deeper meaning behind this film as the part of the story Ethan goes through but I got slightly tired on the Rogen drug filled character.

 

Overall: This is a great Christmas film that is well worth a watch if you want something non-family based.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, JK Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu

 

Plot: Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sequel

 

Story: Kung Fu Panda 3 starts as we see how Kai is trying to escape from the spirit world where he has been trapped for 500 years. Po on the other hand is being pushed into become the teacher which Po isn’t prepared for and when his father Li arrives in town, he gets to learn about his past.

Po must learn the art of chi to defeat Kai and only his real father claims to be able to teach him this skill, so Po goes on an adventure of self-discovery. With Po learning about his past the rest of the Furious Six must find a way to stop Kai before he takes all of the students of chi.

 

Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 3

 

Characters Po is ready for the next step of being a master and that is to become the teacher, but as he isn’t ready he searches advice from his father only to learn that his real father is still alive and willing to teach him chi. Li is the real father of Po who wants to bring him home with the promise of teaching him chi. Kai is a vengeful spirit who was once a feared warrior but now he is obsessed with getting all the chi in the world to make him the most powerful creature on Earth. The Furious Six are barely used through this outing with Tigress being the only one who is involved in the main story. The world building of characters is good here as we learn more about the past with other warriors and future with new warriors.

StoryThe story here does show us how Po is continuing his development in training to be a grand master, we have the biggest threat in the villain who isn’t just well trained but has supernatural abilities. This is a huge improvement on the last outing and makes us want to follow the story on the deeper level. The dealing with the parent issues also does come off as an important lesson.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action once again is great and entertaining with the comedy being hit or miss throughout. This does seem to be for the family and will entertain the whole family more than the last outing.

SettingsThe settings once again look great and dive more into fantasy this time which is great to see.

AnimationThe animation looks fantastic which is something we have come to know in this franchise now.

Final ThoughtsThis is an improvement on the last outing and I feel is more entertaining than the first one, so I do believe this is the best in the franchise for the story of Po.

 

Overall: Enjoy the third chapter of this franchise.

Rating

 

Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu

 

Plot: Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weaker Sequel

 

Story: Kung Fu Panda 2 starts as we learn of an evil peacock named Shen who has mastered the art of fireworks and has gone into hiding to make the perfect weapon. Meanwhile Po is continuing his training working as a unit in the now Furious Six and when not fighting he is training with Shifu.

With the Furious Six going into battle against Shen, Po must face the truth about where he came from as he finally confronts the realization he was adopted and what happened to his parents.

 

Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 2

 

Characters Po is still clumsy but a warrior never the less but this time he must face his past while seeing his heroes disappoint him. Shifu lets his team do the work this time not being overly involved in the story. Shen is the peacock looking to conquer China with his powerful unstoppable weapon. The Furious Six all play their part again too with Tigress seemingly getting the biggest part. The characters do all work for the film and do make this feel like a sequel adventure for the characters taking on a new villain.

StoryThe story does feel slightly flatter this time around, now Po is trained it is just the group taking on a new villain as we try to learn about where Po came from and why he is the only Panda around. It feels like a sequel but lacks the punch the first one had by trying to go overly emotional.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action is all what we expect, big and martial arts that only works for animated, the comedy seems to have dried up more just not clicking enough. This is fine for a family film though that will keep the kids happier than the adults.

SettingsOnce again the settings do look great for battling kingdoms which are surrounded with smaller town.

AnimationWe know the animation is fantastic and once again it doesn’t let us down.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel that just seems to lack the heart the first film had, leaving it all feel like it could have been a straight to DVD sequel.

 

Overall: Weak sequel you just can’t enjoy as much.

Rating