Monster House (2006)

Director: Gil Kenan

Writer: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Pamela Pettler (Screenplay) Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talens) Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Spencer Locke, Mitchel Musso, Catherine O’Hara

 

Plot: Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great but Dark Family Film

 

Story: Monster House starts as we meet DJ a boy who lives opposite the neighbourhood crazy old man Nebbercracker who terrorizes anyone who comes into his yard. When his parents go away for the weekend, DJ and his best friend Chowder find themselves trying to retrieve a lost ball only for Nebbercracker to have a heart attack.

With Nebbercracker away from the house DJ, Chowder and local girl Jenny start seeing the house coming to life but with no adult believing them, the three start to investigate. The three find themselves inside the house learning the truth about the house and the monster that is inside it.

 

Thoughts on Monster House

 

Characters DJ and Chowder are you typical best friends that are reaching the age where they need to look to grow up, DJ is ready to take that step while Chowder isn’t, the two work well as a team. Jenny plays into the idea that a girl can come between best friends and is the brains of the trio. Nebbercracker represents the neighbourhood crazy that once you get to know has a good reason for being like they are. The adults are always looking down on the children which is fine as for the story the children need to learn to grow up. The characters here, while not special all help tell the story well.

StoryThe story that plays into children’s imaginations to a new level, we all know children can create stories of the crazy person in their town and this takes that story and runs with it. It shows that the stories could be real but also have a reason for the stories that you should learn about a person’s past. There is also a story about children reaching the age to grow up which is greatly told for the kids.

Comedy/Family/FantasyWe have plenty of laughs from how the children see the adults, the family side works because we can see the whole family can enjoy with the fantasy side of the story coming from the idea that a house can come to life.

SettingsThe film is set all within a small town with it coming off as all in one day within one street as kids can come and play. This works for the house’s reputation within the neighbourhood.

Animation The animation is very impressive having it’s own style compared to other animated films around the same time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good family film that can be enjoyed by all, it does have moments of darkness but comes off original which is very important.

 

Overall: Good film to be enjoyed by all.

Rating

 

 

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The Boss Baby (2017)

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Michael McCullers (Screenplay) Marla Frazee (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Mike Bakshi

 

Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Family Film

 

Story: The Boss Baby starts as we meet seven-year old Tim, he has an overactive imagination living the perfect world growing up with his successful parents who work for Puppy Co. When they have another baby, The Boss Baby, Tim finds himself incredible jealous and questions everything about him.

After the two find themselves against each other, the two put their differences aside to go on the Boss’s mission to expose they puppies are stealing all love babies should be getting.

 

Thoughts on The Boss Baby

 

Characters Tim is the typical kid before technology era took over, he makes his own stories using his imagination. He becomes jealous of his little brother but overcomes that to become best friends. The Boss Baby is set to uncover the truth about a puppy company where puppies are become more popular than babies. He is super smart and has never had a normal childhood. Francis Francis owns Puppy Co and has an evil plan to get rid of all the babies in the world. Looking at the character’s you can see some greatly created truths that have been pushed to the next level when it comes to the brother’s bonding.

StoryThe story does play out like how a solo child must deal with a new baby, sure there is a farfetched idea that babies can work in undercover to solve issues. The difference between the two are clear and you can see how siblings can be effected by changes like this happening.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy works very well with Alec Baldwin seemingly having the best voice possible for this role which helps add to the comedy. The whole family could enjoy this film with jokes hitting for all to enjoy.

SettingsThe settings we find the characters in are all enjoyable and add to the comedy the characters find themselves in.

AnimationThe animation all looks fantastic like you would expect from a big budget animated movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that does impress more than I was thinking and I feel the comedy does hit on the levels required.

 

Overall: One of the highlights of the animated films this year.

Rating

 

 

John Malkovich Weekend – Con Air (1997)

con airDirector: Simon West

Writer: Scott Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi, Monica Potter, Danny Trejo

 

Plot: Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Purely Enjoyable Action Film

 

Story: Con Air starts as war veteran Cameron Poe (Cage) returns to his wife Tricia (Potter) but due to the local drinks attacking him 3-1 style one ends up dead and Cameron finds himself facing jail, somehow. We get a montage to show how Cameron spends his time in jail never wanting to meet his daughter but communicating with her through letters.

Cameron is about to be released on a transport that includes his friend Baby-O (Williamson) but also a large number of deadly prisoners including Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom (Malkovich), Diamond Dog (Rhames), Johnny-23 (Trejo), Swamp Thing (Gainey), Pinball (Chappelle) and Garland Greene (Buscemi) as well as other characters. Vince Larkin (Cusack) is overseeing the transfer with Duncan Malloy (Meaney) who are trying to interrogate one of the prisoners on route.

Once in the air Cyrus has arranged a prison escape and as he quotes ‘welcome to con air’. Cameron decides to stay on the plane and protect his friend and female guard, making him the only line of defence between the prisoners and freedom.

Con Air gave us one of the most entertaining action thrillers of the 90s, the story is very thin which is what we need to let the action unfold. Our leading man is the main development as we instantly feel sympathy for him after his imprisonment for defending himself. One man doing the right thing against criminals all works for what we need but let’s face it we only want to see the action unfold and this gives us everything.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Cameron Poe is the war veteran who gets sent to jail after defending himself in a bar brawl, he has served his time and his coming home on the prisoner transport. Once the prisoners take over the plane he stays to stop them escaping and saving his friend. Nicolas gives us one of the most entertaining action leading performances of the 90’s.poe

John Malkovich: Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom is the leader of the prisoner escape, he has spent most of his life in jail becoming a genius in the process. He is calculated with every move he makes when it comes to this escape making him a villain not to be messed with. John makes for a great villain that stays calm until the very end.cyrus

John Cusack: Vince Larkin is overseeing the prison transfer and is battling with the loud mouth Malloy. He using longer words to annoy Malloy but is the only one to believe that Cameron is the hero on the plane. John works in this role but sometimes feels out of place with the action stars.

Steve Buscemi: Garland ‘The Marietta Mangler’ Greene is a late addition to the transport, he is one of the most notorious serial killers on the planet. He is completing out of his mind but not involved in the main part of the escape. Steve gives us one of the most memorable supporting character that never really seems to be involved with the main story.

Support Cast: Con Air has a big supporting cast that all help show the hero side of Cameron.

Director Review: Simon WestSimon gives us an action film we can all enjoy still 20 years after its release.

 

Action: Con Air has plenty of action from the moment the plane gets taken over to the final scenes.

Crime: Con Air gives us a prison escape on a plane which helps the crime side of the story.

Thriller: Con Air keeps us on edge from start to finish as we watch waiting to see if Cameron will save the day.

Settings: Con Air keeps the settings mostly on the plane with the criminals having rising tension while the scenes outside always feel desperate against the time.
Special Effects
: Con Air uses great effects throughout for all the action sequences.

Suggestion: Con Air is one to switch on and just relax and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Bunny.

Worst Part: Malloy is terrible character for the role he is meant to be in the DEA.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequence.

Favourite Quote: Garland Greene ‘Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Rock

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Budget: $75 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: One wrong flight can ruin your whole day

Trivia: The song “How Do I Live” was nominated for both an Oscar as Best Original Song and a Razzie as Worst Original Song. It did not win either award.

 

Overall: Action film that will always be one that is easy to watch.

Ratingcard

The Messenger (2009)

messangerDirector: Oren Moverman

Writer: Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Foster, Jena Malone, Eamonn Walker, Woody Harrelson, Yaya DaCosta, Portia, Lisa Joyce, Steve Buscemi, Peter Francis James, Samantha Morton

 

Plot: An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful

 

Story: The Messenger starts as we meet Staff Sergeant Montgomery (Foster) who is open to having affairs as we see with Kelly (Malone). With time running out on his time in the army he gets re-assigned by Colonel Dorsett (Walker) to the notification of death under Captain Stone (Harrelson) showing him the ropes.

We get to see how difficult the job is for the two men as we see different reactions to the news before Montgomery starts to fall in love with one of the widows he informs about her husband’s death Olivia (Morton). The two don’t know how to handle what people will think and Stone is against any involvement in getting involved with anyone they inform the news to.infomrer

The Messenger gives us a look into the world of the soldiers that have to inform loved one that their soldiers have died while serving their country. This alone is a difficult subject to cover and to witness how these men have to go through this each time one of their own dies. We also get to look through how both men have troubles in their lives and want to handle them in a different way. I will say this is a difficult story to go through because the if the subject is close to heart this will be hard to see. Overall this is a story that needs to be told because we sometimes forget that the heroes of war will leave people behind that will have to get through the sudden reaction of losing them.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Foster: Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is an injured soldier whose time is running out in the army, he can’t go back into combat so he gets re-assigned to the notification department because of his strong character. He learns how to handle the situations but ends up breaking one of the rules by getting involved with one of the widows he informs. Ben shows just how good he is in this role which could easily be the best of his career to date.

Jena Malone: Kelly is the girl Will grew up with, they are clearly in love but she didn’t wait for him. The two do meet for flings on the side but in the end we don’t understand how the two act. Jena is solid in this supporting role but it is nothing more than that.

Samantha Morton: Olivia Pitterson is the widow that the two inform of her husband’s death but Will wants to help her out around the house. We see how she gets torn with whether to get involved with Will or continue grieving her husband. Samantha is great in this supporting role showing us just how easy these roles come to her.

Woody Harrelson: Captain Tony Stone is showing Will the ropes for this notification role. He knows the role and how to handle each outcome and reaction from the people they are informing. He doesn’t like how Will is approaching the job in a different way to him which causes tension between the two. Woody is brilliant in this role showing why he is one of the most trusted actors in Hollywood.

Support Cast: The Messenger has a supporting cast which does have a few big names with Steve Buscemi being one of the men informed the news of the loss of his son, most of the supporting cast are people the two have to inform that all give different and real reaction to the news.

Director Review: Oren MovermanOren gives us a very powerful film that shows the difficult side of the war in Iraq.

 

Romance: The Messenger shows how forbidden love can have an effect on the lives it leaves out characters in.

War: The Messenger looks at the side of war that no one wants to learn about with it being dealing with breaking the news of the deaths of family members.

Settings: The Messenger shows us just where the different families will be living during the time their loved ones are at war making each location look like an everyday location.

Suggestion: The Messenger is one film I do think everyone should watch at least once just to see how difficult the notification of a fallen soldier is. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Foster and Harrelson are brilliant.

Worst Part: Kelly doesn’t feel like a developed enough character.

 

Believability: While this story is fictional the job, and the reaction could all be real.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

Overall: Powerful story on difficult subject.

Ratingcard

 

 

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

dogsDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay)

Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney

 

Plot: After a simple jewellery heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Redefining Crime Thriller

 

Story: Reservoir Dogs starts as we meet our bank robbers before they go into their latest job, in typical Tarantino style we jump past the actual job as we watch Mr Orange (Roth) after he has been shot with Mr White (Keitel) heading back to the rendezvous. When Mr Pink (Buscemi) turns up White and Pink try to figure up what happened along with what to do with Mr Orange.

Mr Blonde (Madsen) and Nice Guy Eddie Cabot (Penn) arrive tension continue to rise are the group try to figure out who the rat really is.

Reservoir Dogs gives us a crime thriller that did something we hadn’t seen before, it changes the way stories needed to be told by jumping between time periods as we learn about each character and how they ended up where they are now with the heist gone wrong. The mix of twists all work nicely because as you only know the outcome of each situation you never learn what they did to end up where they are until we see their individual story. Saying this could also be used as a downside because people would have liked to have seen the film unfold in an order that is easier to watch but fans should praise the style of this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Harvey Keitel: Mr White is the experienced member of the thieves that is starting to make mistakes with how he acts between the fellow thieves and who he can trust of not. He knows the jobs can be done without anyone getting hurt as long as he is working with the right people. Harvey is great in this role showing how he could be a leading actor in a heist style thriller.white

Tim Roth: Mr Orange is one of the newest members of the team that gets bought in on this job, he gets shot while on the job leaving him on deaths door for most of this film as he begs to be taken to a hospital. Tim is good in this role which is mostly stuck on the dying before he flashbacks.orange

Michael Madsen: Mr Blonde is the psychotic member of the team who is looking to shot first and ask questions later, he is involved in the most famous scene of this film as he doesn’t like loose ends. Michael is easily the most iconic characters in this film and that scene with Stuck in the Middle will stay with you long after seeing the film.blode

Chris Penn: Nice Guy Eddie Cabot is the son of the boss the team is working for, he isn’t fully involved in the job but making sure the team has everything and is united as well as being around to clean up any loose ends. Chris is good in this role but we don’t get as much scenes with him as we would like as his character comes off annoying.

Steve Buscemi: Mr Pink is the talker of the group, he only wants to look out for himself after this job goes wrong. He doesn’t like his name but has to learn to deal with it.  Steve is good in this supporting role that gets the best dialogue of the film.pink

Support Cast: Reservoir Dogs only has a couple more characters that all help the story unfold the way it does.

Director Review: Quentin TarantinoQuentin fully put himself on the map with this crime thriller that showed his storytelling ability and a fresh style on making films.

 

Crime: Reservoir Dogs puts us in the middle of a heist with the plan, the meeting and the aftermath without ever showing the actually heist.

Thriller: Reservoir Dogs keeps us guessing to who is the cop and what actually went on during the heist.

Music: Reservoir Dogs showed the Tarantino loved uses music for extra effects.

Settings: Reservoir Dogs keeps most of the action inside the warehouse only moving away to show what has previously happened to the characters.
Suggestion
: Reservoir Dogs is a film I think most people should have watch at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Stuck in the Middle with you.

Worst Part: Can turn people away with mixed time line.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1.2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Four perfect killers. One perfect crime. Now all they have to fear is each other.

Trivia: Armed with $30,000 and a 16mm camera, Quentin Tarantino was all set to make the film with a bunch of friends, including his producing partner Lawrence Bender who was going to play Nice Guy Eddie. It was then that Tarantino received an answerphone message from Harvey Keitel, asking if he could not only be in the film but help produce it. Keitel had gotten involved via the wife of Bender’s acting class teacher, who had managed to get a copy of the script to him. Keitel’s involvement helped raise the budget to $1.5 million.

 

Overall: Thriller that keeps you guessing without you knowing what is the truth until the end

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