Wonder (2017)

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne (Screenplay) R.J. Palacio (Novel)

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts, Izabela Vidovic, Noah Jupe, Mancy Patinkin, Danielle Rose Russell

 

Plot: Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.


Tagline – Auggie Pullman will change your world

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotionally Moving

 

Story: Wonder starts as we meet the 10-year-old Auggie (Tremblay), he has had 21 surgeries to both save his life and rebuild his face after being born with a birth defect, he has been home schooled by his mother Isabel (Roberts) his whole life, with his father Nate (Wilson) and older sister Via (Vidovic) always there to support him, at home he is like no other 10-year-old.

Auggie is going to be starting middle school for the first time, this is a huge step for the young boy who is used to people staring at him, but now he enters school, where it is kids, who are less likely to accept him at first. Auggie hates school, he gets picked on because of his looks, but over time he learns to accept this and tries to let people in. This is where the story gets smart, we move away from seeing everything from Auggie’s perspective and follow of Via’s life has been affected by Auggie need the attention more, she is starting High School and is feeling just as alone in need of a friend. We follow fellow middle school student Jack Will (Jupe) one of the kids selected to try and help Auggie through school and how he feels about being pushed into being the friend. We finally follow Miranda (Russell) who was Via’s best friend and almost like a sister to Auggie too, she has become distant from Via and we learn her growth through the year.

We follow a school year for these people, the highs, the lows and the moments that will shape their futures.

 

Thoughts on Wonder

 

Characters – Auggie the 10-year-old born with a birth defect, that still has the scares from the surgeries to save his life, he learns about starting school, meeting new people who instantly question his looks, he learns a lot in this year, but most of all people learn a lot from his bravery. He dreams of space and loves Star Wars and uses it to help him through the difficult moments of his days. Nate is the father of the household, he loves his children and wants them to have the best future they can, he puts everything into a positive spin for Auggie. Isabel has home schooled Auggie for his whole life, she gave up her Masters to do this, with him starting school she can continue the work always worried about his well-being. Via the big sister, she does love her brother deeply, but we learn that she needs some attention too, she struggles inside with her problem, ones that aren’t shown, alone in her new high school, she does try to fit in and learns to break free. We do meet the fellow middle school students, we have the main bully who is a by the books character and we get the ones that want to accept Auggie, the ones that are brave enough to do this first, showing they accept the person other the look. Miranda was Via’s best friend, but this year she is different, we learn the reason for her actions through the film, but I do wish we spent more time with this character because of the moments we learn about.

PerformancesJacob Tremblay, you know the kid from Room, he is fantastic in this leading role again, showing us that was not a one off, this kid has talent. Julia Roberts is strong through the film, while I wouldn’t say the character is overly challenging to play I do think Roberts brings it to life in ways only she could. Owen Wilson, where has he been for the last couple of years? This shows that we missed him, he is a great father figure, he has a smile on his face hiding his own fears in every scene and the one scene he is broken, you join him in his tears. Izabela Vidovic mostly likely what get as many people talking about her performances, but don’t take anything away from her, she is great and at times you want to spend more time with her characters story. The rest of the cast do a wonderful job too as we understand every decision the characters are making.

StoryThe story does focus mostly on Auggie and his first day at school, leading into his first year at school, which on its own, is something we have seen before. It is a good go to story because it will teach about understanding people’s differences both physical and mental, this check all those boxes. Where this story is stronger than just that is following the lives of the people around Auggie, be it his sister who doesn’t get an equal amount of attention while having her own problems. A best friend that’s world has come crashing down and has pushed people away or the young boy that already has the pressure thrown on him, now needing to learn to accept an outsider, while he was once that outsider. I think showing how the lives of others have change is just as important for this story to show, the year these characters must go through.

FamilyI do think the family could enjoy this, I think it has enough to make you smile and laugh together and the moments that will make you cry too.

SettingsNew York is the setting, one of the busiest cities in the world and it shows how Auggie will need to get used to the crowds that are out of his control, where people will judge him unfairly, the school is the first steps for him.


Scene of the Movie –
Graduation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While diving into Miranda’s year, we miss that one scene where the two make-ups.

Final ThoughtsThis film will make laugh, smile and cry all the way through, it has so much about accepting people for being different both for their flaws and strengths.

 

Overall: Fantastic, moving, emotional and beautiful movie.

Rating

 

 

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Unfinished Business (2015)

unfiishedDirector: Ken Scott

Writer: Steve Conrad (Screenplay)

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, June Diane Raphael, Britton Sear, Ella Anderson, Nick Frost, James Marsden

 

Plot: A hard-working small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every way imaginable – and unimaginable.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Euro Business Trip

 

Story: Unfinished Business starts when Dan Trunkman (Vaughn) gets involved in a work retaliated argument with Chuck Portnoy (Miller) leading to him leaving work to start his own business. He hopes others will follow which only Timothy (Wilkinson) is forced retire on age grounds and Mike Pancake (Franco) a young man who came in for an interview.

One year later Dan gets his team an opportunity to travel to close a big deal which will put them on the map as they travel to Germany, only against his former boss Chuck. Dan has to sale the idea to Jim Spinch (Marsden) through his old friend Bill (Frost).guys

Unfinished Business is a comedy that manages to delve into plenty of real life realities with focusing on them all too much. We see how a business man trying to make his idea work has had to give up family time right when his children need him most, this is the main story which is played out very well. We see how with Mike that just because he is slightly different he hasn’t found his place but he is a good person that should be given the time of day. The one I liked but would have liked to have seen more was Timothy’s mid-life crisis which shows how the elder employees are important even in the modern world. Mixing them all together this is a nice comedy but and they has to be a but the business side of the story almost gets forgotten for the importunateness it has on the story.

 

Actor Review

 

Vince Vaughn: Dan is the experienced business man who loses his job and starts his own business, one year on he finally gets the chance to make a name for his business. He is a family man too but his business has got in the way as he needs more time for his parenting time. Vince gives his usual charming leading man who tries to talk himself out of everything performance.

Tom Wilkinson: Timothy is the employee who gets forced to retire by the company but Dan takes his in on his new business. He goes on the trip with the three as travel to Germany to complete business. He knows all the tricks of the trade and knows the three are being pushed to the limits. Tom gives us a performance we are not used to seeing from him.

Dave Franco: Mike is the young man who is part of the trip, he didn’t get a job in the firm before and Dan took him under his wing. He clearly isn’t ready for the business world or the world in general but this trip will be the adventure of a lifetime for him. Dave is good in this role getting most of the funny moments and the ongoing wheel barrel questions work great.

Sienna Miller: Chuck is the rival business lady that was former boss of the three, she is ruthless with a reputation that will put fright in competition. Sienna is solid but we don’t see enough of her character considering how important she is to the story.

Support Cast: Unfinished Business has a good supporting cast with James Marsden and Nick Frost shinning in their roles.

Director Review: Ken ScottKen gives us a comedy that is fun to watch from start to finish.

 

Comedy: Unfinished Business is filled with laughs with each difference style of comedy getting its moment.

Settings: Unfinished Business uses the settings well for comical effect especially with the moments in Germany.
Special Effects
: Unfinished Business doesn’t have too many effects but when needed they are achieved well.

Suggestion: Unfinished Business is one for the comedy fans out there to enjoy. (Comedy Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Dave Franco shows he can handle a different type of comedy.

Worst Part: Certain moments might not be for everyone.

Funniest Scene: Sat Nav.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Euro-Trip

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: Best business trip ever

Overall: Euro-Trip on a business trip that is filled with laughs

Ratingcard

 

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (2013)

logoDirector: Ben Stiller

Writer: Steve Conrad (Screenplay) James Thurber (Short Story)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly, Kathryn Hahn, Terence Bernie Hines, Adam Scott, Paul Fitzgerald, Grace Rex, Sean Bean, Patton Oswalt

 

Plot: A day-dreamer Walter Mitty (Stiller) escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-workers are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. All by trying to track down the final negative for the final copy of the magazine taken by Sean O’Connell (Penn)

 

Verdict: A daydreamer’s adventure

 

Story: Being a day dreamer I would find that this could be something I could relate to, but this is not as much as I thought, I do believe the sense of adventure makes this a good film and the meaning of taking the chance while you still have it works well. Everything works out to be a fun adventure but not as adventurous as I would have liked even though it is a believable adventure. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Ben Stiller: Walter the day dreamer who gets pushed to finally take his own adventure to find a missing slide for the final edition of the magazine while everyone around him is being laid off by the new management for an internet magazine. Stiller is good in the lead role and apart from some of the daft day-dreams gives a very believable performance. (8/10)

 mitty

Kristen Wiig: Cheryl a potential love interest and co-worker of Walter, who helps him on his adventure. Kristen offers a good supporting role to Walter’s adventure. (7/10)

wigg

Adam Scott: Ted the new man in charge of the company who takes an instant dislike to Walter, he is the typical business man who never learns about the company before changing things. Good performance creating a regular businessman you instantly dislike. (8/10)

 scott

Director Review: Ben Stiller – Good direction from Stiller who creates some beautiful scenes to go with a great story. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Good sense of adventure from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting works wonderfully well and each location adds a beauty to the scene. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Good special effects in some of the dream sequences as well as the real events on the adventure. (8/10)

Suggestion: I would only be suggesting trying this, it was quite what I thought but still enjoyable. (Try it)

 

Best Part: The adventure

Worst Part: First few day dreams

Action Scene Of The Film: Volcano

Believability: Tries to relate to people who don’t take chances that could. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Stranger Than Fiction

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $187,360,535

Budget: $90 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Stop Dreaming, Start Living.

 

Overall: Dreaming of Adventure, Start One

Rating 78