Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

Bryan Singer Weekend – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

casting card

 

Plot: The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure Film

 

Story: Jack the Giant Slayer starts by giving us the story that poor boy Jack and Princess Isabelle who love the story of the giant that came to Earth before being banished. Jack (Hoult) all grown up is trying to sell his horse and cart finding himself in the kingdom of King Brahmwell (McShane) who is trying to keep tabs on his now of age daughter Isabelle. We know Jack made a deal where he ended up getting some beans that just so happen to be magic.

With Isabelle trying to escape her impending marriage to Roderick (Tucci) she finds herself at Jack’s house. When the beanstalk rises it takes Isabelle up into the giant kingdom leading to Elmont (McGregor) Roderick, Jack and Elmont’s men to climb the beanstalk.

Upon reaching the top we learn Roderick’s plan while our character have to learn that not all legends are fairy tales.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a story we should all have known by now but how do you turn this into a feature film, well this is how it is done. We create a battle between humans and the giants filled with generically average characters all with their own motives. I do think the expanded story works but in a world where we have had Lord of the Rings and going through Game of Thrones this comes off slightly short.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicholas Hoult: Jack is the simple farm boy that finds himself selling his house for beans only to discovery that these beans take him to the giant kingdom on top of a beanstalk. Jack must rescue the princess and become the giant slayer he was always destine to become. Nicholas is good in this leading role showing he can be a future star.

Eleanor Tomlinson: Isabelle is the princess of the kingdom that wishes to see more of the world before being wed to the older man Roderick. While she does become the very basic damsel in distress by the end of the film. Eleanor also gives us a good performance even if her character is basically the damsel in distress we don’t see as much anymore.

Ewan McGregor: Elmont is leader of the king’s guard, he is fearless and will give any common man a chance to help do the honourable thing, which includes Jack. He works with Jack to makes sure the princess is safe once the giant from myth become a reality. Ewan has a lot of fun in this role where we get to see him supporting the next generation of stars.

Stanley Tucci: Roderick is planned to be wed to the princess, but he has his own plans which do include bringing down the giants to help him get everything he wants. Stanley plays the typical villain add his own spin to it without being that memorable.

Support Cast: Jack the Giant Slayer has a solid supporting cast but they just get enough real time out of everything involved.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan gives us a good enjoyable film even if the CGI comes off slightly iffy.

 

Adventure: Jack the Giant Slayer sends us on the adventure that could well be the first one we ever heard.

Fantasy: Jack the Giant Slayer throws us into the fantasy world where giants live above humans.

Settings: Jack the Giant Slayer has the settings that makes us feel like we are going to be in the world created.
Special Effects
: Jack the Giant Slayer has some bad CGI moments which can take away from these moments.

Suggestion: Jack the Giant Slayer is one I do think people will enjoy but I can see how come people be turned off. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final battle is very good.

Worst Part: CGI

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $195 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Prepare for a giant adventure

 

Overall: Solid adventure film that will be the one that will enjoy from the childhood stories.

Ratingcard

 

 

Spotlight (2015)

spotightDirector: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Elena Wohl, Gene Amoroso, Billy Crudup

 

Plot: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Factual Film

 

Story: Spotlight starts with a short look at what happened in 1976 Boston where a Priest gets off any charges of molestation. Move forward to 2001 in the Boston Globe where the ‘Spotlight’ team Robby (Keaton), Mike (Ruffalo), Sacha (McAdams) and Matt (James) run an elite segment in the paper. When Marty Baron (Schreiber) comes into the paper people start fearing about their jobs, but one of the first things he does as a stranger to the city is to challenge the Spotlight team to look into the Boston Catholic Church and their molestation case.team

The team of four start looking through the stories from the last 25 years that have all almost gone unpunished and what they dig up will change the way the world sees the Catholic Church forever.

Spotlight is a film that gives us a big history lesson about how corrupt the Catholic Church had become, it shows how easily they could cover up all their wrongs and thought that everything was just fine because of the contribution that made to society. The reality is how big everything got how far up the ranks the corruption within a religious circle things got showing just how bad things were for the innocent victims. This film shows how hard it was to speak up and remember all the things the victims were made to do showing how it has affected their lives forever. If you want a good, no a brilliant history lesson this is one for you.

 

Actor Review

 

Mark Ruffalo: Mike Rezendes is part of the Spotlight team who is liaising with lawyer Mitchell Garabedian who is also trying to take down the Catholic Church on his own, he gets pointed in the right direction as he investigates his side of the story. Mark is brilliant in this role giving us a performance that can go hand in hand with his Zodiac one.

Michael Keaton: Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson is the leader of the Spotlight team who is the one that can confront the higher officials that stand in the rest of the team’s way, he is blunt when it takes on these people. He has the most connections and is one of the most respected people in the newspaper. Michael continues to give brilliant performances after his one in Birdman last time out.robby

Rachel McAdams: Sacha Pfeiffer is one of the Spotlight team who gets to know the victims while being the partner to Robby in the interviews with the Catholic higher ups. She uses her ability to show her empathy towards the victims to help them feel comfortable about their stories. Rachel gives us a brilliant performance in this role where she shows her serious side.

Liev Schreiber: Marty Baron is the man who gets placed in charge of the paper where he comes to Boston to give fresh eyes on the Catholic Church cover up. He tasks the Spotlight team on this story to expose a story he had no idea would be one of the biggest in Catholic Church history. Liev is almost unlike anything you have seen from him before but I would have liked to have seen more from his character.

Support Cast: Spotlight has a brilliant supporting cast that all help get to the bottom of this story.

Director Review: Tom McCarthyTom gives us a brilliant story showing how the world we thought was safe could be filled with so much corruption.

 

Biographical: Spotlight shows just how much hard work had to be put in by a team that trusted each other to come up with their end of the story.

History: Spotlight gives us an example of a power who thought they knew all and could get away with anything and how easy they could be bought down.

Thriller: Spotlight has moments of thrills but it is more about how well the team puts the story together,

Music: Spotlight uses the music to show the moments unfolding without going to heavy on any side of it all.

Settings: Spotlight keeps most of the settings in and around Boston which helps us know where the story first broke.
Suggestion
: Spotlight is one to watch to learn about how the Catholic Church operated, but you do need your serious head on while watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The performances are brilliant.

Worst Part: Could be considered too serious for some.

 

Believability: Based on what really happened in Boston.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay

Oscar Chances:

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

Tagline:  Break the story. Break the silence.

 

Overall: Brilliant history lesson of one of the biggest scandals in Catholic Church history

Ratingcard

Emma Stone Weekend – Easy A (2010)

logoDirector: Will Gluck

Writer: Bert V Royal (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Aly Michalka, Stanley Tucci

Plot: A clean-cut high school student relies on the school’s rumour mill to advance her social and financial standing.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Good Modern Teen Comedy

Story: Easy A starts with Olive (Stone) telling us that rumours have left her reputation being shattered, where she has her best friend Rhiannon (Michalka) who wants Olive to go camping, but she lies about what happened leading to Rhiannon spreading the rumour.

When the rumour starts spreading the whole school seems to learn about Olive’s weekend with Marianne (Bynes) leading the stories due to her religious beliefs. Olive decides to embrace her new popularity in the school even if it is built on lies. Olive has just one person to turn to the gay Brandon (Byrd) who is also suffering from the rumour mill but the two decide to make their own rumour. The problem with this ruins any plans Olive has to be with the guy Todd (Badgley) that she really wants to be with. Just how far can the rumour mill spiral out of control though.

Easy A is a teen movie that I have started to grow out, my generation would be the American Pie franchise era. I think this does bring the idea of high school into the new world well because it still has the social situation and embraces the use of the modern technology. When it comes to the subject matter the film isn’t afraid to explain that is is a modern telling of the Scarlett Letter which I think is different to others who try to bring classic literacy into teen genre. I will say I loved the 80’s movie references but I would question why Olive was watching them. Overall I thought this was a good welcome addition to the teen comedy genre. (7/10)

Actor Review

Emma Stone: Olive is the quiet student who ends up embracing a rumour about her sexually stories. She becomes the talk of the school as they see her as the slut but in the end she is just making money for fake sexual encounters but the rumour starts getting completely out of control. Emma really has sky rocketed after this role showing she had all the talent. (9/10)olive

Support Cast: Easy A has such a big supporting cast that is hard to pick out who were the main supporters, the adult characters played by Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Tucci and Lisa Kudrow all give wonderful performances. While the teen characters all gives great performance dealing with Olive’s decisions.

Director Review: Will GluckWill brings us a new era of teen comedy that will be the stand out for the 2010’s. (8/10)

Comedy: Easy A has good comedy moments especially when the rumours start spiralling out of control. (8/10)

Romance: Easy A has good basic teen level romance with nothing too much until the final scene. (7/10)

Settings: Easy A keeps most of the story in and around the high school settings which works for the film. (8/10)

Suggestion: Easy A is one for a the teen comedy fans out there. (Teen Comedy Fans)

Best Part: Emma Stone’s performance.

Worst Part: Being picky, I didn’t like how there was a true supporting lead.

Romantic Moment: Final cliché moment.

Favourite Quote: DillIs everything all right? It sounds like you’re having sex in here, which I know can’t be true due to the fact that you have a homosexual boyfriend.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $58 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Let’s not and say we did.

Overall: Great addition to the teen comedy genre.

Rating 75

Road to Perdition (2002)

logoDirector: Sam Mendes

Writer: David Self (Screenplay) Max Allan Collins, Richard Piers Rayner (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Ciaran Hinds, Liam Aiken, Stanley Tucci, Tyler Hoechlin

 

Plot: Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman’s son witnesses what his father does for a living.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Gangster Revenge Film

 

Story: Road to Perdition starts with the idea that Michael Sullivan has many stories about him and we will be focusing on one six week journey with our narrator. We are in 1931 America where we meet the Sullivan family, we have father Michael (Hanks) mother Annie (Leigh) and children Michael Jr (Hoechlin) and Peter (Aiken). We learn the Michael works for notorious crime boss John Rooney (Newman) and his partner is John’s son Connor (Craig).

Michael is a hitman for John but when the latest talking turns messy Michael Jr becomes a witness as he learns what his father really does for a living. John is all out to make whoever pay for the murder but can’t take out his own son. Connor decides to take measures into his own hands setting up Michael while he takes out his family. John knows the consequences he will have to face so puts Connor into hiding and Michael and his surviving son Michael Jr looking for revenge.

John ends up having to make the decision to let Frank Nitti (Tucci) find someone to finish the job and take Michael out which leads to the hiring of eccentric Maguire (Law) a hitman in his own right with a day job of a photographer. Michael decides to work on getting their attention in his own way while spending time bonding with his son teaching him the tricks of the trade.

Road to Perdition does manage to give me a gangster film I actually enjoyed watching, I have always found gangster films repetitive and tend not to enjoy them too much. I like the revenge angle but I really did enjoy the fact that it wasn’t just the leader going for the kill but he has the reluctantly has to agree the kill. We also get to have a coming of age bonding film between father and son who haven’t spent the time together they could have before the catalyst. I do like the pace the story unfolds and the final moments are shocking even though the opening does hint at something happening. This is an enjoyable even if it is slightly bleak gangster film that changes the way you will see the genre. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Hanks: Michael Sullivan is the hitman with a family who ends up having to go on the run from his former boss after his family is murdered. Michael ends up planning his revenge his way by making the criminal underground fall apart. Tom plays the role you wouldn’t be used to seeing him play here as an almost anti-hero showing that he can step away from his good guy persona. (9/10)

 michael

Paul Newman: John Rooney is the crime boss who has to make the difficult decision once his son takes things too far, he does respect Michael and is devastated by their murder but has to call for the kill on one of his most trusted men after his son starts the job. Paul gives a good performance as the criminal boss. (7/10)

john

Jude Law: Maguire is the hitman assigned kill Michael, he has his own way of doing his job which includes taking photos of his crime scenes before selling them. Jude gives a good performance but I really wish we would have seen more of his character. (7/10)

 maguire

Daniel Craig: Connor Rooney is the hot head partner of Michael whose execution of well-respected mob member leads to him going after the Sullivan family before being hidden for his own protection from a vengeful Michael. Daniel shows how his acting was improving and his stardom was ready to rise. (7/10)

 connor

Tyler Hoechlin: Michael Sullivan Jr is the son of Michael who witnesses the execution before having to go on the run with his father after the rest of his family is killed. He spends 6 weeks with his father learning life lessons including driving and fending for himself. Tyler gives a great performance in a role with big name actors where he never looks out of place. (8/10)

jnuoir

Support Cast: Road to Perdition has supporting characters they turn up to help both sides in the battle, they all end up being generic gangster film characters though.

 

Director Review: Sam Mendes – Sam does a great job directing this one making the film genre watchable without being all about the gangs and an inside revenge film. (8/10)

 

Crime: Road to Perdition puts us into the shady world of crime boss and how easy it is to get onto the bad side of them however loyal they seem to be. (9/10)

Drama: Road to Perdition manages to give us a great drama about a father and son relationship going on with a gangster revenge story being built up around it. (8/10)

Thriller: Road to Perdition does keep you guessing to what will happen next right up to the end. (9/10)

Settings: Road to Perdition creates an authentic group of settings making us feel like we are in the 1930s. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Road to Perdition doesn’t have too many effects but the blood splatter thrown the gun shots all look very good. (8/10)

Suggestion: Road to Perdition is one to watch, I think most people will enjoy this and it really is one that has to be seen by all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: I like the intense scene at the diner.

Worst Part: Hard to find one but being picky the beginning gives away the ending.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hotel shoot out.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won Best Cinematography and nominated for another 5 Oscars.

Box Office: $181 Million

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: Pray for Michael Sullivan

 

Overall: Easily the best gangster film since the Godfather just with an emotional level that it never achieved.

Rating 82