Casey Affleck Weekend – Manchester by the Sea (2016)

manchesterDirector: Kenneth Lonergan

Writer: Kenneth Lonergan (Screenplay)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, CJ Wilson, Tata Donovan, Matthew Broderick, Gretchen Mol, Heather Burns, Stephen Henderson


Plot: An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Casey Affleck’s Powerhouse Performance


Story: Manchester by the Sea starts as we meet Lee Chandler (Affleck) handyman for apartment complexes. He lives a very isolated life that he is happy with but when he gets a phone call he needs to leave town after his brother Joe (Chandler) suffers a heart attack.

Lee needs to return to Manchester to tell Patrick (Hedges) what has happened to his father but returning to Manchester means memories of his ex-wife Randi (Williams) and daughters Suzy (Dixon) and Karen.

Lee’s life is turned upside when he learns Joe’s will leaves him as the guardian to Patrick with enough money to re-locate in Manchester the town he had left all those years ago, Lee must figure out what to do and what is best for Patrick.


Thoughts on Manchester by the Sea


StoryThe story is a simple follow showing how one man must face his past to help his family, a past he never wanted to go back to. This comes off like an everyday family having to deal with what happened which is great to see because we support them through their struggles. This is a story you will need to be in the right frame of mind to see but if you do you will be rewarded.

Characters/PerformanceLee is such a brilliant character who has his own demons while having to face a new life with his nephew, he keeps to himself to himself but facing these demons on poses a challenge in his life. Patrick is a teenager who does think he is better than the other students and hates his Uncle but is mostly reacting to what has happened with his father. The rest of the characters are all part of the past and present of these two. Casey Affleck does give a career best performance that is so withdrawn from the world the other characters are living, while Lucas Hedges shines next to Affleck with ease. All the other performances are great throughout.

SettingsThe settings in this film make you fully believe that this is just a normal family that has been struggling with problems in everyday life which is very important through this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the hardest watches of the year, the story is not going to be for everyone. I will be saying you should be watching if you are a film lover.


Overall: Outstanding drama that keeps everything very simple for the characters involved with a powerhouse performance.





Fences (2016)

fencsDirector: Denzel Washington

Writer: August Wilson (Screenplay) August Wilson (Play)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sideny


Plot: A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Performances


Story: Fences starts as we meet Troy Maxson (Washington) a working class African-American who along with his best friend Jim Bono (Henderson) and his wife Rose Maxson (Davis) who have earnt everything they have up to the 1950s America.

We follow how Troy goes through everyday life with his estranged eldest son Lyons (Hornsby), his ambitious son who could get a chance of a better life at college Cory (Adepo) but Troy doesn’t want him to waste his time instead only get a job like he had to and his disabled brother Gabriel (Williamson) who Troy has cared for after his injuries during the war.


Thoughts on Fences


StoryThis is a story of everyday life in 1950s America for an African American family as they go through the struggles of the younger generation be accepted in the world more than their father did as we see this tension between the two generations because Troy stopping his children following their dreams. Each struggle has different consequences for our characters that reflect the next decisions they make.

DramaWhen it comes to the genres being used this is completely just a drama where we get to see how the characters look at their life decisions and how they affect the loved ones in each other lives.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters here are all very believable with Troy being a guy that you can believe has thought and worked for everything he has got out of his own life in a time when he wouldn’t have gotten many chance, Rose is the wife that has been faithful, supporting through all his strict rules. The children both show the ambition the next generation would have be it through music or sports trying to break free of the strict rules their father gave them. When you look at the performance Washington is breath-takingly good, Davis shines on a par with Denzel with two of what would be the best performances of the year. I also think all the supporting performances are great never looking out of place next to the heavyweight performances.

SettingsThe film keeps nearly all the scene in and around the house with the film relaying on the speeches going on through each scene which shows us just how this is about family.

Final ThoughtsWhile I can see this is very much play with the story unfolding and the performances are just WOW this is an engrossing two and quarter hours of time that never drops the ball.


Overall: Performance heavy film that is easily one of the films of the year.




Tower Heist (2011)

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Ted Griffin, Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Ted Griffin (Story)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Stephen Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe

Story: When a group of hard working guys find out they’ve fallen victim to a wealthy business man’s ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence.


Story: A good old fashion revenge heist the ABC is done very well it’s more to do with how all these different characters come together to complete there part in the heist. The whole story is told very well and very enjoyable. (8/10)

Cast: Ben Stiller as Josh Kovacs the tower manager who knows everyone in the building staff and residences and how they run their lives. Josh is responsible for the employees losing their pensions. He also arranges for the team of guys who have been victim to get their money back. Stiller gives his usual performance without really shinning but with this offers the support cast a lot to work with to be more noticeable. (7/10)

Eddie Murphy as Slide The quick talking thief who is asked to help on the robbery of the money by Josh knowing that he has a reputation as a criminal. Murphy is almost transported back to the 80’s with this performance and about time to for him hopefully he can do this more often. Star Performance (9/10)


Casey Affleck as Charlie A man more worried about his soon to be born child but joins the team to get the money back also very nervous about the whole plan. Seemingly a step back for Casey but also a step into comedy genre keeps his star rising. (8/10)


Alan Alda as Arthur Shaw The man accused of of stealing money from investors and very cold about how he went about it. Great performance of a man who thinks he is above the law. (8/10)


Tea Leoni as Special Agent Claire Denham The FBI agent determined to catch Arthur Shaw, but also offers some love interest for Josh. Simple to play good job without really either needing or trying to do more.  (7/10)

Gabourey Sidibe as Odessa Wise cracking maid with an ability to open locks. Pulled off brilliant by this very talent actress. Favourite Character (9/10)


Director: Brett Ratner following the rush hour series this is up there with them collecting its own buddy team in Stiller and Murphy (8/10)

Comedy: As Comedy goes this is not the laugh out loud film more some good chuckles which some characters offer more than others. With Murphy back to what he does well gives this more positives on both action and comedy (7/10)

Settings: Set in a tower block in the middle of New York City. (9/10)

Suggestion: If someone was to ask for a fun comedy I would pick this as it is easy to watch and should be enjoyed by all (8/10)

Best Part: An old lady walks in on the heist and doesn’t notice what is going on, funniest part of film.

Similar Too: Ocean’s Eleven

Overall: This is a very enjoyable action comedy with strong performance from all of the cast with many great supporting roles where everyone seems to pull off their role perfectly.

Rating 81%