As Good as It Gets (1997)

Director: James L Brooks

Writer: Mark Andrus, James L Brooks (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr, Skeet Ulrich,, Shirley Knight, Yeardley Smith

 

Plot: A single mother and waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.


Tagline – Brace yourself for Melvin.

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderfully Charming Drama

 

Story: As Good as It Gets starts as we meet arrogant obsessive disordered ridden author Melvin Udall (Nicholson) who hates his gay neighbour artist Simon (Kinnear) and his dog Verdell, he goes to the same diner needing to keep the same seat with the same waitress Carol Connelly (Hunt) who has her own problems with money and her sick son.

After Simon gets brutally attacked by burglars Melvin is forced into looking after Verdell which opens up his life to being nice to other people including Simon and Carol.

 

Thoughts on As Good as It Gets

 

Characters – Melvin Udall is an author that has a perfect routine to keep him happy, he OCD is clear with how he enters rooms, lock doors, he doesn’t get on with his neighbours and drives the people in his life crazy. Once he is forced to look after his neighbour’s dog he starts being nice to those important in his life, learning that there is more to life. Carol Connelly is a waitress in a Manhattan diner she has waited on Melvin for years even with his difficult behaviour, she has a sick son at home that she has never been able to get proper medical care for him, leaving her constantly worrying about him instead of focusing on her own life. Simon Bishop is the gay artist neighbour that clashes with Melvin on a daily basis, he gets brutally attacked in his own apartment leading to him facing financial ruin and needs to try and make up with his parents.

PerformancesJack Nicholson won an Oscar for his performance here and clearly show why he is such a talented actor, he takes on a performance unlike most of his normal performance we know him for. Helen Hunt shines and with her Oscar winning performance that showed her at the very top of her game. Greg Kinnear is also fantastic in the supporting role, he might have missed out on the Oscar he shows us just the talent he has.

StoryThe story here shows us how three people from different lives can meet and help each other with their problems. We mostly focus on Melvin and how he hates everybody not in his normal routine, we get to see the arc for him to become more open while still dealing and learning to overcome his own problems. We get a woman that has never been give help offered a lifeline which could help save her son and a staving artist learn about the risks he must take to become the artist the world will remember. This is a story that shows you can change people’s life by just listening to their stories, it has charm about how things unfold and just leaves you with a smile on your face by the end.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film works with you getting plenty of laughs through the film and it does give us a good romantic angle about needing to learn to take a chance with love.

SettingsNew York city, well how often do I say this is a wonderful setting for anything to do with inter-connecting lives, this delights with seeing people in different backgrounds coming together.


Scene of the Movie –
The dog walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not taking the dog on the trip for extra laughs.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful movie that can be enjoyed by everyone, it has brilliant performances from the three leads and hits the comedy romance throughout.

 

Overall: Brilliant film.

Rating

 

 

Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986) From Tranquil Dreams

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Kim from Tranquil Dreams brings us this review on Stephen King’s only directed film, let’s see what she thinks

 

 

maximum overdrive posterDirector: Stephen King

Cast: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Holter Graham


A comet just flew over the world.  At a truck stop, a few people stop there and get stuck there when what everyone assumes is the radiation from the comet is causing the machines to start having a mind of their own.  Is it possession or is the world turning around? No one knows what is going on but they only wish that when the comet leaves, things will go back to normal.  Or else, they have no idea how long they can last stuck in the truck stop. 


maximum overdrive group

Maximum Overdrive is one of my guilty pleasures.  It was made the year I was born.  I actually didn’t know that until I was doing research for that review, or maybe I did but it slipped my mind.  Regardless, its a fun campy little movie. I’ve never read the short story that this movie is based on but with the author at the helm, there is a lot of heart.  It reflects what the story itself wanted its readers to see, at least I’m guessing that is a safe bet. Its no masterpiece and the effects are super dated with these laser-y textures and neon-ish lights for the weird comet covering the area.  On our modern day spoiled with great effects days, this movie certainly doesn’t age well but the heart in this is incredible and I think its for that I truly love it. Plus, the soundtrack is AC/DC.  I’m not huge on that usually but it was a perfect fit. 


maximum overdrive emilio estevez

The characters are also very balanced.  We have a good group of people here with different personalities that help cause a little friction.  There’s always the hero and the girl, a mean and selfish boss character, a not so righteous religious guy, a father and son story and most of all, a very memorably annoying newly wed couple.  Emilio Estevez is something like the hero here and while maybe the layout of the story gets a little messy with a ton of subplots going on, his performance is quite commendable.  In fact, some sub-characters are quite over the top.  But at times, it just gave it some laugh out loud moments. 


maximum overdrive trucks

The key to enjoying Maximum Overdrive is to not take it seriously because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.  Its about trucks and machines going crazy and coming to life.  While it does show that we have a huge reliance on machines, and its probably even more relevant now, the story is decent and a ton of fun.  Stephen King may not be making masterpiece in the director’s chair but he does have a lot of heart and we know exactly what he wants us to get from this story.  Its entertaining and an adventure even if its a little dated. Every once in a while, that’s what we need: suspend our disbeliefs a little, shut our brains off for an hour or two and just get a good laugh out of some random stuff that can happen. And that is exactly how I enjoy Maximum Overdrive

Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Banner-2ogoDirector: Stephen King

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Ellen McElduff, J.C. Quinn, Christopher Murney, Holter Graham, Frankie Faison

Plot: A group of people try to survive when machines start to come alive and become homicidal.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: This is Why he Writes

Story: Maximum Overdrive starts with some science explaining ow Earth will be inside radiation from a passing comet for eight days. We follow as a small town starts to get over run by the machines and Bill Robinson (Estevez) an employee at a small diner has to lead the survivors in their quest to survive as the machines try to find the most graphic ways to kill people. Diner manager Bubba (Hingle) brings the weapons and newly-weds Connie (Smith) and Curtis (Short) end up trapped in the diner on the way to their honeymoon.

Maximum Overdrive is one of those invasion like ideas that tries to do something original, but this ends up being something I don’t want to see again. It really gets a lot stuck in the middle of the ideas and never decides if it wants to be a comedy or something serious. The characters get zero development and as for the science angle that just ends up feeling out of place. This is easily one of those films that will get put in the bracket of that bad you have to see though. (3/10)

Actor Review

Emilio Estevez: Bill Robinson is the diner employee who has to step up to protect his friends and customers when they become trapped inside the diner surrounded by trucks with minds of their own. Emilio doesn’t get the most time to show his talents in this role. (4/10)

Support Cast: Maximum Overdrive has a group of survivors who all have different traits which can either help or hinder their chance of making it.

Director Review: Stephen King Stephen has admitted this was a bad film and he knows what he is talking about. (3/10)

Action: Maximum Overdrive has action packed kills but doesn’t really make the most of the chances it has. (5/10)

Comedy: Maximum Overdrive has a few funny moments but never reaches full levels it could. (4/10)

Horror: Maximum Overdrive doesn’t reach any of the horror level required for this style of film. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Maximum Overdrive tries to add a sci-fi angle but never looks into the idea enough. (4/10)

Settings: Maximum Overdrive put of group trapped works for the film and could be the only highlight out there. (7/10)

Suggestion: Maximum Overdrive is a be drunk to enjoy film. (Watch Drunk)

Best Part: Can machine.

Worst Part: Most of it.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7.5 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Imagine your worst nightmare: machines take over the world!

Trivia: Stephen King, being a former cocaine addict, later admitted that he was “coked out of my mind” the entire time he was making this picture and often didn’t know what he was doing. He remarked that he’d like to try directing again someday, this time sober.

Overall: This was so bad I might give away my DVD of it.

Rating 20

The Chaperone (2011)

Director: Stephen Herek
Writer: S.J. Roth
Starring: Paul Levesque, Kevin Corrigan, Jose Zuniga, Kevin Rankin, Enrico Colantoni, Israel Brousard, Ariel Winter, Yeardley Smith

Story Recently released from jail Ray (Levesque) tries to get back into a father role to his daughter Sally (Winter) only to find her mother is now with a doctor and Sally hates him. He struggles to find a job on the outside he gets offered a chance to be the Chaperone by Ms Miller (Smith) on a school trip with his daughter.

Things start to go wrong for Ray when one of the old partners in crime Larue (Corrigan) offers him a job to make some money. Ray changes his mind during the job and leaves the thieves high and dry but the money ends up on the bus leading Larue and co to follow Ray to collect their money.

Can Ray keep the children under control and stay on the right side of the law returning the money Larue thinks he may have stolen, this action comedy will answer your questions.

Verdict This is a very simple formula for a movie, which never really shines but isn’t really boring. It has a sort of Kindergarten Cop meets Home Alone on a school trip. It is one of those films that if its on you can watch and enjoy but not many people will go out their way to see it
Story Mark 7/10 Simple to follow with very few twists or shocks.
Action Mark 5/10 Few fight scenes but all rather dull as Levesque is bigger and stronger than all other characters
Comedy Mark 6/10 Goes with a lot of cheap jokes and slapstick like comedy between hero and villains

Star Performances Sally – rebellious daughter who doesn’t know what to think of father comes off well for the future starlet

 Favourite Character Nick – The bus driver reminded me of a real Otto from the Simpson’s

 

 Best Part Ray has a phone relationship with a radiotherapist

 

Worst Part Listening to Lisa Simpson the whole movie in Ms Miller

Best Quote Goldy – ‘I’m going to shot your old man then shot you in front of him’

Sally – ‘That makes no sense’

 

 My Rating 62%