Bowfinger (1999)

Director: Frank Oz

Writer: Steve Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Heather Graham, Christine Baranski, Jamie Kennedy, Barry Newman, Terence Stamp, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: When a desperate movie producer fails to get a major star for his bargain basement film, he decides to shoot the film secretly around him.


Tagline – A desperate plan for a desperate man

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Movie About Making a Movie

 

Story: Bowfinger starts when desperate movie producer Bowfinger (Martin) wants to get a brand-new film off the ground, he tells his crew that hot shot producer Jerry Renfro (Downey Jr) and massive action star Kit Ramsey (Murphy). The reality he hasn’t got them and starts to film the movie without Kit’s knowledge.

Hiring new to the city ambitious want to be actress Daisy (Graham) with his most trusted star Carol (Baranski) the film shot is underway. Can Bowfinger pull this off without anything going wrong.

 

Thoughts on Bowfinger

 

Characters – Bowfinger is the movie producer that has been searching for a hit for years. He will lie to his crew and film around the celebrity star of the film, he always has an answer for anything that gets thrown in his way. Kit Ramsey is the mega star, he is searching for his big memorable hit, part of the Mindheads (blatant piss take of Scientology) where he is also paranoid about people talking to him, he spends the whole film trying to escape the actors from Bowfinger’s movie not knowing he is being filmed. Jiff is a look alike that comes into help the film fill in parts where Kit is needed. Daisy is the ambitious actress fresh to the Hollywood, she takes the role in the film and works her way through the crew to get a larger part through the movie. The rest of the cast shows the members of the crew that each give us the part of the film making process.

PerformancesSteve Martin in the leading role is good in this role, he doesn’t fall into his normal comedy routine but gets the laughs needed. Eddie Murphy is good in his roles, we do believe his paranoid filled character which clearly is a bit of a piss take on Tom Cruise and he never goes over the top. Heather Graham gets to have a lot of fun poking fun at the ‘will do anything for a role’ actresses that have been in Hollywood. The whole cast are good through the film too.

StoryThe story focuses on the idea that a producer will secretly film around a big name actor to get a film made. This does show how a small crew can come together to try and get a movie made, we only need to look at early stories from indie film makers and shortcuts by big name directors in the past to understand this process. Throwing the idea that the big star Kit is part of a cult like religion which only plays into his paranoia in the film helps create everything. if you want to look back in history you could easily be making comparison to Plan 9 for style of working and loyalty to the crew. This might go over the top with certain elements which is fine it adds the comedy and ends up giving us a story which shows how commitment can build a film.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from a mix of trying to make the film happen, stereotypes for Hollywood and the paranoia Kit shows.

SettingsThe film is set in Hollywood, it shows us how the operations can be done with limited budgets even if things aren’t done the most legal ways.


Scene of the Movie –
Final sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mindheads are too much on the noise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that will get laughs, it has a good cast and will show how the movie making process works.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

missDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: Jane Goldman (Screenplay) Ransom Riggs (Novel)

Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L Jackson, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Allison Janney, Chris O’Dowd, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell

 

Plot: When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tim Burton’s X-Men

 

Story: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children starts as we meet every day average American teenager Jake (Butterfield) who has never fitted in. When his estranged grandfather Abe (Stamp) who has told Jake all the stories about Miss Peregrine and her home for peculiar children gets murdered his family tries to make Jake realize everything is just a story to deal with his loss during a World War II.

To help Jake get over the loss of his grandfather his father Franklin (O’Dowd) take him to a small Welsh island where Abe was once at a school only to discover that it was destroyed by a bomb in World War II. While exploring the ruins, Jake finds himself being followed by some strange children led by Emma Bloom (Purnell) who take Jake back to 1943 to meet Miss Peregrine (Green). Miss Peregrine has been guarding the children in a time loop from the evil Barron (Jackson). Jake learns of the impending threat coming towards the home he learns his own ability that will be key to saving the children and his grandfather.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a good fantasy film that tells a story that could easily get pushed off as covering for a traumatic event in a life. We get the tradition teenage character that needs to find his place in the world and is portrayed to be so average it is unbelievable. We get the mix of peculiar children who are basically X-Men with their own abilities that will help then to defend themselves. Eva Green gives her best Johnny Depp impression by playing the over the top strange character and Samuel L Jackson brings his own stamp to the villain role. This is slightly too dark of a film for the younger viewers but also has too many moments that adults won’t like either so this is an good film either if it is slightly too long.

 

Overall: The peculiar look at dark fantasy concept in the X-Men style universe.

Rating65

 

 

The Art of the Steal (2013)

artDirector: Jonathan Sobol

Writer: Jonathan Sobol (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel, Kenneth Welsh, Chris Diamantopoulos, Katheryn Winnick, Jason Jones, Terence Stamp, Devon Bostick

 

Plot: Crunch Calhoun, a semi-reformed art thief, agrees to get his old gang back together to pull off one last heist.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slick Heist Film

 

Story: The Art of the Steal starts as we learn that Crunch Calhoun (Russell) a master thieve that has given up the work after being caught on his last job with his half-brother Nicky (Dillon) left him in a prison. Crunch has moved on with his life taking Francie Tobin (Baruchel) under his wing.

When Crunch learns Nicky is back in the country he decides to go back into the business with his Uncle Paddy (Welsh) and Nicky to complete one more job. The question remains can the two work together to get this job done even with Interpol watching their every move.

The Art of the Steal is a heist movie that you can’t really get into too much detail without giving too much away. We do get a heist story unfold while dealing with personal issues and this is a film that gives you every single plot point through the story you just need to watch out for them all. Everything comes off very slick and does what a good con does distracts from what is really going on.

 

Actor Review

 

Kurt Russell: Crunch Calhoun is a retired art thief that after being betrayed by his own half-brother. Released from prison he is struggling to make ends meet he finds himself getting his team back together for one final job even working with Nicky one more time. Kurt is good in this role having a lot of fun for this film.

Matt Dillon: Nicky Calhoun is the half-brother of Crunch who can talk his way out of anything even though he finds himself facing the choice of prison or just let his brother take the fall. When he returns to Canada he works with his brother one last time to make the biggest score of their careers. Matt is good in this role playing a opposite to Kurt.

Jay Baruchel: Francie Tobin is the apprentice of Crunch who ends up working with the brothers on the latest job where he gets a chance to learn from the best. Jay struggles to fit in with the rest of the cast in this role.

Kenneth Welsh: ‘Uncle’ Paddy MacCarthy is the wise expert with the connection the brother’s turn to when they have stolen the art. He is wise cracking but loyal to the end to the boys. Kenneth is good in this role where we get plenty of laughs from his character.

Support Cast: The Art of the Steal has a small supporting with the highlight from Terrence Stamp has a fellow thief that has to help Interpol.

Director Review: Jonathan SobolJonathan does give this everything you need in a heist film without putting that extra twist others might put in.

 

Comedy: The Art of the Steal has funny moments but a lot of the comedy feels very forced.

Crime: The Art of the Steal throws us into the world of art crimes going on with twists along the way.

Settings: The Art of the Steal doesn’t have the best uses of settings with most just being generic without making any scene over memorable.
Suggestion
: The Art of the Steal is one I would say to try but just don’t expect an Ocean’s Eleven level of film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Terrence Stamp is very funny.

Worst Part: Slightly too short.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Now You See Me

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: It takes a great artist to pull off the perfect con

 

Overall: Stylish crime film that just doesn’t reach the heights of fellow films in the genre.

Ratingcard

 

 

Big Eyes (2014)

logoDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszenwski (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, Terence Stamp, Elisabetta Fantone

 

Plot: A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Drama

 

Story: Big Eyes starts by explaining that the fifties were hard for woman by Dick Nolan (Huston), we see how Margaret (Adams) walks out on her husband along with her daughter Jane breaking with anything people were used to in the time. Escaping to San Francisco with her best friend DeeAnn (Ritter) making her welcome to the city. Margaret finds a job but not being able to use her passion for art leaves her trying to sale her work, leading to a meeting with charismatic artist Walter Keane (Waltz). Walter is only a in his words a Sunday painter but a hugely successful relater who just wants to become an artist. The whirlwind romance leads to the couple getting married to help Margaret keep her daughter.

Walter trying to sale his and Margaret’s work tries different location including Ruben (Schwartzman) gallery but unsuccessfully. Walter tries putting his art in a jazz club but ends up gathering praise in a way he could never imagine when he makes front page news. The problem comes when Walter is claiming the big eyes pictures are actually his without letting Margaret know. We watch as Walter continues to take the praise for Margaret’s work because he is a better salesman than Margaret. When Margaret starts to question Walter’s motives she changes her style to try and make the art world take notice of her own work even though the money keeps rolling in on Walter’s salesmanship.  After Margaret discovers the truth about Walter she ends up having to fight to prove that the work really was hers in a court of law.

Big Eyes shows how one person wants to make sure they get the credit they deserve for the work they are doing. It also shows the ten year battle between the Keane’s from the moment they met through the moments were Walter takes the credit right up to the moment when Margaret decides to stand up for herself. This gives us a very good story that is incredible to think about it really. Even if you are not an art fan this will appeal to people because of how it pulls you in watching waiting for Margaret to turn around and take the praise she deserves. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Amy Adams: Margaret Keane a timid but independent woman who leaves her first marriage before meeting Walter who encourages her to continue developing her painting before she ends up becoming the worker while he becomes the well-known celebrity artist. Amy gives a great performance here where she could finally get an award she deserves. (10/10)

 margaret

Christoph Waltz: Walter Keane charismatic salesman who takes the credit for all of the work Margaret does, but because he is the better salesman he turns the art into a new movement, before losing it after it becomes new he may not have done the paintings. Christoph gives a brilliant performance and for the final court room scene just wow. (10/10)

 walter

Support Cast: Big Eyes has the supporting cast of the people who are involved in the movement of the art work and how some help and others criticized the work. Each member comes into the story to help what happens in the end.

 

Director Review: Tim Burton – Tim does a great job directing this keeping his slight uniqueness but entering into a much more serious world for the story. (9/10)

 

Biographical: Big Eyes is a very good look at one of the most popular artists of the last century. (10/10)

Drama: Big Eyes shows the strain put on the people involved for the two sides involved. (10/10)

Settings: Big Eyes creates authentic looking settings to match the time period involved. (10/10)

Suggestion: Big Eyes is one to watch it is very enjoyable and will give you information about one of the great artists of the world. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Courtroom scene with Walter is absolutely brilliant.

Worst Part: It might not appeal to non-art fans.

Funniest Scene: Courtroom scene when Walter questions himself.

 

Believability: Based on the true story. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original Song.

Oscar Chances: Could easily get a few nominations.

Box Office: $13.75 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: A true story about art and the art of deception.

 

Overall: Beautiful Art Biographical Film

Rating 90

Trailer Alert – Big Eyes

Plot – A drama cantered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Terence Stamp and Krysten Ritter

Release Date:  26 December 2014

Questions:

Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in leading roles this has to be a hit, do you agree?

Interesting subject but will people go to the cinema to see this?

Could this have Oscar potential?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 60%

My Guess Rating – 80%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No