Table 19 (2017)

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Writer: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rya Meyers, Charles Green, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, Margo Martindale, Stephen Merchant, June Squibb, Wyatt Russell

 

Plot: Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Comedy

 

Story: Table 19 starts as we meet our six random as the table layout describes them guests to a wedding, we have former friend and partner of the bride’s brother Teddy (Russell) and now pushed out of the circle Eloise (Kendrick), couple who barley knows anyone Bina (Kudrow) and Jerry (Robinson), anti-social loner Rezno (Revolori), recently released cousin Walter (Merchant) and former Nanny Jo (Squibb).

The six find themselves on Table 19 in the corner and decide to make the most of the evening together after they learn they are the guests that were expected to decline their invitation, but the truth about their own lives will become clear to improve their futures.

 

Thoughts on Table 19

 

Characters/PerformanceEloise is the perfect example of what will happen if you become disliked by a bride just before the wedding you helped prepare, she has a bigger reason to be there and will learn more about why her life in this evening. Bina and Jerry are a long-married couple going through the slow times bickering through the wedding. Rezno is a teenager with a few friends, whose mum has controlled most of his life, he gets pushed into going to the wedding in hope of meeting someone. Walter is a former criminal that is invited to the keep the family open but not enough to be accepted.  Jo is the former nanny that is delighted to be invited but disappointed to be left out of the main family circle. The 6 all have their reasons to be at the wedding and help themselves improve the bad situation.

Performance wise, we all know I will watch anything with Anna Kendrick is and once again she doesn’t let us down, it is also great to see Lisa Kudrow in comedy once again, Craig Robinson is one of the comic actors you can see pull anything off. Tony Revolori continues to show he is someone we should be noticing in film having a comic ability unlike others and June Squibb is fast becoming an actress I want to see all of her films. Stephen Merchant steals the show here but to be fair I think everyone did a great job in this film with Wyatt Russell offering another genre piece for us to see if he can follow in his father’s footsteps.

StoryWe will all get invited to weddings, we will all have different seats and different connections to the couple. This film shows how different people can come together and learn the truth about situations to improve themselves in the most unlikely place, learning from unlikely people. The story is charming throughout which can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy through the film works without becoming anything all laughs, we do get a romantic angle which comes off nicely too.

SettingsThe whole film is set in the wedding party which is great because it all happens in one night which shows us what can happen in one night.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that truly can be enjoyed, it has the laughs, the heart and the real effects of what you would expect from a wedding if you are an outsider.

 

Overall: One of the comedies of the year.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 2 – Playtest

playtestDirector: Dan Trachtenberg

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Wyatt Russell, Hanna John-Kamen, Wunmi Mosau, Ken Yamamura, Elizabeth Moynihan

 

Plot: An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a revolutionary new gaming system, but soon can’t tell where the hoot game ends and reality begins.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twist Filled Story

 

Story: Playtest starts when America Cooper (Russell) decides to just pack his bag and see the world he has the time of his life with the final leg of his trip being England. While in England he has his card cloned and must wait for a chance to afford a ticket home when local girl Sonja (John-Kamen) suggests taking a quick paying job.

Cooper takes a job working on a prototype game which pushes him to look at virtual reality gaming to a level never known before but this is only the beginning of his nightmare as all of his fears get projected within the game he has to play.

Playtest plays into the idea that we always want to push the limits to what we can experience in video games and that we will always need to learn what could make things more intense for the player. This story has one too many twists for my liking but otherwise is a very enjoyable one without being the best in the series. The idea of playing into fears works really well because it is a level that people like to reach as they face their fears.

 

Overall: Solid addition to the series but I feel this is only one certain people will enjoy.

Rating60

 

 

We Are What We Are (2013)

logoDirector: Jim Mickle

Writer: Nick Damici, Jorge Michel Grau, Jim Mickle (Screenplay)

Starring: Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Laurent Rejto, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers, Jack Gore, Bill Sage, Kelly McGillis, Wyatt Russell, Michael Park

 

Plot: The Parkers, a reclusive family who follow ancient customs, find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area, forcing daughters Iris and Rose to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliantly Built Up

 

Story: We Are What We Are starts by letting us meet Emma Parker (DePaiva) as she goes about her day only for her to have some kind of illness and dying. Moving back to her house we meet her child Rose (Garner), Iris (Childers) and Rory (Gore) who have gone into their family traditional fasting. With the father Frank (Sage) grieving it is up to the girls to identify their mother. To keep up with their mysterious traditions Iris now has to step up as the eldest woman in the household. While the family continues to grieve the loss, the young daughters plan to take over the tradition. The girls learn about the history of the family and how they survived for years with the tradition. While they are preparing things Doc Barrow (Parks) finds a bone and starts looking into missing persons including his daughter. While we know what is going on it isn’t until the preparation for the meal that we see what the Parker family is really doing.

We Are What We Are does what many horror film fail to do that is create a genuine shock moment, and this builds it up to levels I haven’t seen in recent horror films. We get the basic idea of hiding the idea without giving too much away before slowly revealing small parts of the film before we get the big reveal. It is hard to even find a negative side to this story telling it is told with near perfection. It pulls you in to each scene leaving you wondering what will happen next waiting for something big to happen and when it finally does it is worth the wait. This is simple, it is how you make a horror that will shock. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ambyr Childers: Iris Parker eldest daughter who has to take over from her mother after her death in prepare for the family traditions. She wants to keep her younger siblings but has to go through one last ritual before trying to escape. Ambyr does a great job in the lead role and could easily be a name in horror for years to come. (9/10)

 iris

Bill Sage: Frank Parker father of the household who is showing the effects of years of cannibalism but still forcing his young family to continue to follow the traditions after his wife dies on the first day of them. Bill does a great job in the leading role where he shows a full range of emotions. (9/10)

 

Michael Parks: Doc Barrow local doctor who upon finding a bone starts to think he could uncover the truth about what happened to his daughter who has been missing for a while now. Michael gives a good performance and continues to show that he is always good to go to in horror. (9/10)

 

Julia Garner: Rose Parker younger of the two sisters who has to help her sister in the work but is clearly too young to be involved in that sort of thing. Julia gives a great performance and starts the shock moment. (9/10)

 rose

Support Cast: We Are What We Are has a small cast but the remaining members of the cast all offer to the main story be it the officer trying to ask simple questions with a romantic angle with Iris or neighbour who has helped the family they all work well to help the main story.

 

Director Review: Jim Mickle – Jim does a great job directing a horror that is a genuine shock value contender. (9/10)

 

Drama: We Are What We Are uses the drama side of the story to build up everything the characters are going through. (9/10)

Horror: We Are What We Are hides the horror until little parts get revealed before we see the real horror of what they are doing. (9/10)

Thriller: We Are What We Are builds up to shock everyone with the final moment. (9/10)

Settings: We Are What We Are uses settings to make everything seem like it could be your very own neighbour instead of making anything a creepy looking location. (9/10)

Suggestion: We Are What We Are is a must watch for all the horror fans out there, it actually will shock you. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part of We Are What We Are: Not giving too much away too fast.

Worst Part of We Are What We Are: Hard to find one.

Oh My God Moment: The final moment will shock you.

 

Believability: It creates the story to make it look like it could be very real. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: 7 Awards including Best Horror Film in Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Blood is the strongest bond.

 

Overall: Genuinely Shocking Horror

Rating 90

22 Jump Street (2014)

logoDirector: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writer: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman (Screenplay) Michael Bacall, Jonah Hill (Story)

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Jimmy Tatro, Caroline Aaron

 

Plot: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: 22 Jump Street starts by filling us in on what happened in the last film like a previous episode. We watch Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) as they try take down a criminal The Ghost (Stormare) but much like the first one, things go slightly wrong. Jenko and Schmidt have to go to college undercover to uncover the latest drug craze. The two go through the opposite direction to the previous film and we get to see how they react to their reverse situations.

team

22 Jump Street uses the first ten minutes poking fun at the idea of a sequel, including talking about doubling the budget, how they got lucky first time after everyone thought the idea would fail. It also forced to tell the same story as well as actually having an upgraded office called 22 Jump Street with 23 Jump Street opening next door. We continue to get plenty of ‘it is a sequel’ jokes through the film so much so that it feels like a glorified extended version of a television show. it is full of jokes, action and personally I think the story is so easy to watch and laugh along with it could be the best I have seen in years. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jonah Hill: Schmidt big guy to the comedy double act who ends up going through the same problems of not fitting in as Jenko did through the first film. Schmidt gets romantically involved with a Maya a girl on campus who turns out to be Captain Dickson’s daughter. Jonah gives a great performance showing that he really has great comical timing. (9/10)

 scmidt

Channing Tatum: Jenko muscle of the comedy double act who finds himself in college finally getting a chance to fit in much like his time through high school first time. He gets a chance to live a different life which he never got a chance too with his connection with the football team, but his age will catch up with him. Channing gives a great performance showing he is just a muscle man he has comic timing too. (9/10)

channing

Peter Stormare: The Ghost drug deal the couple are after at first before he escapes, only to get into battle with him again once they uncover the truth about the supply at the college. Peter gives a solid performance giving his typical villain role. (7/10)

 

Wyatt Russell: Zook student that becomes good friends with Jenko, helping him get into the good with the sports team. The clues point to Zook but after thinking about the clues they realize they are reading things incorrectly about the fun loving footballer. Wyatt gives a good performance who has good chemistry with Channing. (8/10)

 

Amber Stevens: Maya student who befriends Schmidt and takes him down the calmer side of the college experience. After we are told she is the daughter of the Captain the comedy level raises. Amber gives a solid supporting performance. (6/10)

 maya

Support Cast: 22 Jump Street has a whole host of supporting characters who all give extra laughs, be in the Captain and his protection of his daughter or the jock who wants to take down the goal posts. They all add laughs the main characters work with.

 

Director Review: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller – Phil & Christopher direct this film almost perfectly to take the piss out of the idea it is a sequel and that the first one was successful after many other television shows turned films have bombed. (9/10)

 

Action: 22 Jump Street has good action with chases trying not to break anything while the villains smash everything. (8/10)

Comedy: 22 Jump Street is one of the best comedies I have seen in years, it offers plenty of puns that take the piss out of the idea of it being a sequel. (10/10)

Crime: 22 Jump Street focuses a lot of trying to solve the crime while undercover which works nicely for it. (8/10)

Chemistry: 22 Jump Street has some great chemistry between Jonah and Channing who create one of the best comedy duos in buddy cop history. (10/10)

Settings: 22 Jump Street moves to college which works as the actors are older and it pokes fun that they would have looked way too old for high school. (9/10)

Suggestion: 22 Jump Street is a must watch, you don’t even need to see the first one as it recaps you with a previously at the start. (Watch)

 

Best Part in 22 Jump Street: Chase for the campus.car

Worst Part in 22 Jump Street: I would say the supporting characters are slightly too stereotyped.

Best Action Scene In 22 Jump Street: Chase through the campus.

Funniest Scene in 22 Jump Street: The moment Captain Dickson finds out about Schmidt and his daughter.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yeah could have one.

Post Credits Scene: Jokes about what sequels could be in the future.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $331 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: These undercover cops are going to party like it’s their job

 

Overall: A Must Watch Comedy

Rating 95

Cold in July (2014)

logoDirector: Jim Mickle

Writer: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle (Screenplay) Joe R. Lansdale (Novel)

Starring: Michael C Hall, Vinessa Shaw, Wyatt Russell, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Bill Sage, Nick Damici, Brianda Agramonte

 

Plot: When a protective father meets a murderous ex-con, both need to deviate from the path they are on as they soon find themselves entangled in a downwards spiral of lies and violence while having to confront their own inner psyche.

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Thriller

 

Story: We start by seeing quite family man Richard and his wife being woken up by a noise in their house, to which we see him investigate to find a man inside the house. He shoots and kills the man leading to his statement and self-defence charge. After the young man’s father is released from jail he starts to play games with the family, just how far will the man go? After questioning the identity of the man he killed Richard uncovers the corruptness in the police and teams up with the father to discover the truth which is more disturbing than anything they could have imagined.group

What starts out as a thriller that focuses on revenge turns into a vigilante film with three guys trying to take down the criminal ring. It goes through the change but loses a lot of momentum when the second half happens because you don’t completely know where it is meant to be going. Sadly it comes off very slow and apart from the shock in the crime it doesn’t offer any twists that you haven’t already heard about from the trailer. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Michael C Hall: Richard Dane local business owner and family man who upon an intruder in his house accidently kills him, leading him to question his sanity as the father stays playing games on the family. He uncovers that not everything is what it seems and goes into a world he could never imagine by the end. Michael gives a good performance fresh off the back of Dexter. (7/10)

 richard

Vinessa Shaw: Ann Dane wife of Richard who at first thinks he is over reacting but soon starts to agree with his worries. Vinessa gives a solid performance but only seems to be involved in first part. (6/10)

 

Don Johnson: Jim Bob detective bought in to try and help the two men figure out the truth. Don gives a good performance as the smooth talking gunslinger. (7/10)

 

Sam Shepard: Russell the father of the so called victim that haunts Richard before calling in an old connection to help uncover the truth. Sam gives a good performance as the man who has realised he has made mistakes in his life. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Be it the cops or the criminals each member of the supporting case helps the story unfold more.

 

Director Review: Jim Mickle – Solid direction but sometimes ends up letting the story flow too slowly when nothing is actually happening. (5/10)

 

Crime: Trying to expose the truth that has been getting covered up because of the criminal action. (7/10)

Thriller: keeps you interested to see what the characters will do even though it has moments you might start to lose interests. (7/10)

Settings: Authentic settings re-created but in the end they are not used as much as they need to be. (6/10)

Suggestion: This is one for thriller fans to try but it might be a bit slow for the casual fan. (Thriller Fans Try)

 

Best Part: First encounter with the Mexican.

Worst Part: Slightly slow during the middle.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Unlikely

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: How many men can one bullet kill?

 

Overall: The Cover Up That Will Shock a Father

Rating 65