ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – J – Joy (2015)

joyDirector: David O Russell

Writer: David O Russell (Screenplay) David O Russell, Annie Mumolo (Story)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini

 

Plot: Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Story But Not Enough

 

Story: Joy starts with her grandmother Mimi (Ladd) introducing us to the family, her daughter Terry (Madsen) who is obsessed with soap operas, while Joy (Lawrence) always the extra creative still ends up with an air hostess job. Joy still lives with the rest of her family including her ex-husband Tony (Ramirez) as her estranged father Rudy (De Niro) needs to move back in.

Joy tired of just getting by she wants to bring back her ideas from her childhood and start making an invention that could stop her family from ever having to worry again. Joy starts by trying to build a new design for a mop with the support of all her family but can she make an impact in the industry.

Joy is a good story that shows how important it is to not give up while chasing a dream, I do like where this shows how determined Joy was but I would’ve liked to have seen more from after the events in the film showing more than we got. Making a movie about selling mops isn’t ever going to be easy and this falls to really pull us in enough to make us interested in what is happening.

 

Actor Review

 

Jennifer Lawrence: Joy was always a creative person but life just seemed to hold until final she decides to take the risk a try and make something that could change the world, she creates a mop and along with her father she tries to sale this into the world where she goes to make a future for her family. Jennifer is great in this role as the strong woman.joy charcyer

Robert De Niro: Rudy is Joy’s father and a business man himself, when she wants to go into business he stands with her to try and make this happen. He isn’t sure with every decision but doesn’t want to let his daughter down. Robert is on this film but doesn’t get too much screen time to really shine.

Bradley Cooper: Neil Walker is the sales manager at QVC who takes a chance on Joy’s idea by putting in on his network, he respects her aggressive approach and lets her be the one to sale the product. Bradley is only in a supporting role but doesn’t get enough screen time to have enough important impact.

Edgar Ramirez: Tony is the ex-husband of Joy but the two are still close friends, he lives in the basement and helps with the business and is the one who introduces her to Neil. Edgar is good but I would have liked to have seen more from him as he looked interesting.

Support Cast: Joy has a good supporting cast but I feel we could have seen more from all of them.

Director Review: David O RussellDavid doesn’t give us enough for what we know he is capable from behind the camera.

 

Comedy: Joy is classed as a comedy?

Settings: Joy uses the settings to make us feel like we are in the same time period.
Suggestion
: Joy is a film to try as we get to learn about the woman herself Joy. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Lawrence is brilliant.

Worst Part: Would have liked to have seen more.

 

Believability: Based on the real lady.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 2 Golden Globes

Oscar Chances: Lawrence could get a nod but that is it.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

Overall: Selling a mop movie, well this isn’t going to be that bad but not interesting enough

Ratingcard

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David Lynch Weekend – Dune (1984)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch (Screenplay) Frank Herbert (Novel)

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis, Sean Young, Sting, Everett McGill, Patrick Stewart, Max von Sydow

 

Plot: A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.


Tagline – You are about to enter a world where the unexpected, the unknown, and the unbelievable meet.

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ambitious Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Dune starts as we learn about a single planet in the universe which contains a substance known as ‘Spice’ which is the most important item in the universe as it aids in space travel, four planets have plans to take control of the planet but the residents of the planet that remain a mystery to all.

Paul Atreides (MacLachlan) becomes the key to the peace between the planets, he heads to the planet after preparing for every known obstacle that could get in his way. The evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (McMillan) is planning to kill the Duke, Paul’s father and take control of Dune, can Paul fulfil his destiny and be the one to protect and save the people from this evil ruler.

 

Thoughts on Dune

 

Characters – Paul Atreides is our hero, he is the son of the Duke of the family that run by the planet of Dune, he is learning about the secrets of the planet and becomes the one person that can lead the defence from the enemy waiting to take over the planet, ending the peace. Doctor Kynes is he man that understands how the planet works, one of the resident of the planet, but he does understand how to make the best of the spice. Feyd Rautha is one of the generals set to kill the Atreides’ by Baron Harkonnen, he has swagger while enjoying the kill. Lady Jessica is the mother of Paul, she has the power of controlling minds even though she has gone against the desires of the family by having a son. Gurney Halleck is the man that has trained Paul in combat for years preparing him for any enemy attacks he may face.

PerformancesThe performances here work for the film Kyle MacLachlan is the leading performer and makes for a good leader in the film, the rest of the cast do embrace their characters well without looking out of place.

StoryThe story does give us a lot to take in during the first hour, we must learn who is on whose side, what their plans are and just how big the world we are entering is. This can take time to process which does make for a weaker start to the movie. The second half of the film does become a battle preparation which is a lot more interesting even if a large portion is set in montage scenes. This does feel like a story that needed more time to make it easier to follow, but for a one off viewing you can see the confusion placed on parts of the film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action side of the film comes from the battle sequences which are highly sci-fi based with the laser guns and explosion, this is an easy part of the film to watch. Diving further into the sci-fi side of the film we have an intergalactic battle for the rule of a planet which holds the key to everything.

SettingsThe settings put us on the planet of Dune, it shows us the bleak vision of the planet but the importance of what it holds.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time would have been great, while they have dated they are worth praising for how they re-defined cinema.


Scene of the Movie –
Taming the Worm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a lot to take in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film with ambitious that is just too much for the ideas behind everything. this is a film that can be enjoyed unless you have read the source material where you might feel disappointed.

 

Overall: Sci-fi ambitious not reaching the levels.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Prophecy (1995)

Director: Gregory Widen

Writer: Gregory Widen (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortensen, Amanda Plummer

 

Plot: The angel Gabriel comes to Earth to collect a soul which will end the stalemated war in Heaven, and only a former priest and a little girl can stop him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Religious Battle Film

 

Story: The Prophecy starts as we learn of an ancient war between angels in heaven where Simon (Stoltz) is in search for the only people that can stop the angel Gabriel (Walken) destroying any chance of humans getting to heaven. Former priest turned detective Thomas Dagget (Koteas) leads the investigation into strange amounts of crime striking the city.

Thomas must face his lost faith and the visions that made him leave the priesthood in the first place, as he searches for the one person a little girl Mary (Snyder) that can stop Gabriel’s path of destruction.

 

Thoughts on The Prophecy

 

Characters/PerformanceGabriel is the angel sent from to stop humans rising to heaven, he is cold, calculated and determined to win the war within heaven. Thomas is a former priest turned detective who must now question his lost faith to stop a war he was destined to fight. Katherine is the teacher that must work with Thomas to save Mary and stop Gabriel.

Performance wise, Christopher Walken is an inspired choice for an evil angel because he has the perfect emotionless face for evil. Koteas is good but doesn’t reach the full level of its potential in his performance. Madsen is good in this supporting role in this film.

StoryThe story of waring angels in heaven is always interesting one because we see how the people involved in the battle must question their faith. This one follows Gabriel on his search for the strongest as he goes out to fight his greatest battle and we follow the humans that can stop this happening, simple enough.

Action/CrimeThe action is all very basic because we go through all the things that can’t kill an angel first. The crime side turns into fantasy investigation case.

SettingsThe settings are not made to be anything important apart from the few churches, otherwise it is just random building or deserts.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fine but have dated in places which is sad to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting action crime film that enters us into the fantasy world of angels not being the good we think they are.

 

Overall: Easy to watch fantasy action film.

Rating

 

 

Better Watch Out (2017)

Director: Chris Peckover

Writer: Chris Peckover, Zack Kahn (Screenplay) Zack Kahn (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould

 

Plot: On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion.


Tagline – You Might Be Home But Your’e Not Alone

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Throughout

 

Story: Better Watch Out starts as Ashley (DeJonge) a babysitter is about to leave town, she has agreed to take one more job for the Lerner family babysitting Luke (Miller). Luke happens to be madly in love with Ashley and plays to try and make a move tonight, but things take a turn into a sinister when the two get invaded by a stranger.

This night will change both their lives forever, as the night goes into a new direction as everything unfolds.

 

Thoughts on Better Watch Out

 

Characters – Ashley is the gorgeous babysitter that can get any guy she wants, she tries to treat Luke with respect as a young adult, but soon takes full control of the night in a battle to survive a game she never thought she would be involved in. Luke is the kid that has a crush on his babysitter, he wants to make his move tonight as it will be his last chance before she moves. Garrett is Luke’s best friend and has been giving him advice, bad advice how to win over Ashley, he isn’t prepared for the direction the night goes.

PerformancesOlivia DeJonge is great through this film, she takes charge when needed and must do a lot of acting through her expression for certain parts of the movie. Levi Miller is fantastic in this role, he takes it to a level you wouldn’t imagine once you learn the motive of his character for the night. The rest of the cast is good throughout the film, without taking the spotlight off the leading two characters.

StoryThe story follows a babysitter and the kid she is looking after as the night goes in a direction they didn’t see it going, there is a lot of foreshadowing used in this film, almost to a level where it is right on the nose. The twist is takes also gives us a new idea of where horror could go, it never takes itself too seriously and you can see how the natural character reactions play into the age of the characters involved. This is a lot of fun, doesn’t rely on twists or shocks, just follows the path to see how things could end up going wrong.

Horror/ComedyThe horror does work in the film, any gore moments are off camera, which can take away from one certain moment, but also lets you think about what could be happening. The comedy comes from the reactions to things not going right and the recovery to try and fix this, it works because the film doesn’t set out to be a comedy nor a full blown horror.

SettingsThe film takes place inside one house, this works for the film because it adds shock value to what is going on with everything, there isn’t a way to communicate outside and escaping could cause death, so we know there isn’t an easy way out.

Special EffectsThe effects are mostly off camera, which works and doesn’t, there is one moment that could have been one of the most shocking moments in horror this year, but it also lets you think how it could look.


Scene of the Movie –
Paint can.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It needed that one moment of pure horror violence.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy, it has laughs and goes in a direction you wouldn’t expect.

 

Overall: Fun Horror Comedy

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Candyman (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Bernard Rose (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy, Ted Raimi

 

Plot: The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Scary Horror

 

Story: Candyman starts as we learn the legend of the Candyman as researcher Helen Lyle (Madsen) and her partner Bernadette (Lemmons) are collecting accounts of what happens if you say the name ‘Candyman’ in the mirror five times he will appear to you and gut you with his hook.

Helen is married to college professor Trevor Lyle (Berkeley) who teaches urban legends that sweep through word of mouth, sounds like the Candyman story. Helen and Bernie continue their investigation which takes them to a rough neighbourhood where one of the most famous cases of the Candyman took place.

Learning more about the Candyman legend and the horrifying truth about the man Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who was butchered and stung to death. When Helen finds, herself getting a visit from the real Candyman (Todd) who places her in the middle of a crime where she is accused of murder, but this is just a game for the Candyman trying to make his legend continue or will she break the curse.

 

Thoughts on Candyman

 

Characters/PerformanceHelen fills the journalistic leading lady, yes, I know she is a grad student researcher but this offers her a chance to look into the truth of urban legends. This is a standard leading character but at least one that is designed correctly for this style of film. the Candyman is the character we all came to see, he is a striking presence on screen that strikes fear into anybody who sees him, the hooked hand and bees offer genuine fear from this character. Trevor is the husband but is distant through the film that Helen believes is having an affair.

Performances, Tony Todd is fantastic in this role, he created a brand-new icon in horror that is scary in every single scene he is in. Virginia Madsen also shines in this role giving us a strong female lead which always works in horror. Xander Berkeley does ok but doesn’t feel like part of the main story in places.

StoryBringing us a story that focuses on the idea of an urban legend being true but only if you believe in it does work for horror. Having a revengeful spirit killing from beyond the grave will always add to any tension in horror and having a full investigation that fills in the backstory is all we need from this film’s story to add scares and motivation behind it all.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy of what the Candyman stands for is great and built up wonderfully with the horror coming from nearly any scene the Candyman is in because he will kill in the most brutal way with his hook and haunt the dreams of Helen.

SettingsThe film uses to main settings, the ones that are for Helen’s normal life and the bad side of the tracks if you like which shows the dark world the legend has been built up from.

Special EffectsThe special effects used here brilliant, mostly practical ones as we see the final image of what the real Candyman looks like with bees and all will add even more fear to the performance.

Final ThoughtsEasily one of the most iconic horror movies ever made that shows us all horror from one small legend.

 

Overall: Stunning horror a must watch for any horror fan out there.

Rating