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A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014)
Filled with Tension, Lacking Suspense,
A Walk Among the Tombstones is a decent movie with a mostly well developed plot and a good cast. It's certainly a tense thriller as Liam Neeson searches for the men whole killed his client's wife. There is a constant eerie atmosphere which keeps you awaiting something huge.
Unfortunately, nothing huge ever really comes, every twist and tum throughout is expected, it's something you would see in any other thriller, there is no shocking or unexpected moment.
I was not fond of the scenes between Matt and TJ. The writers were clearly going for a "wise man helps damaged kid" scenario that was meant to add heart to to the film, which I think mostly failed, as Astro speaks like he hates Neeson for the entire movie, there is absolutely no chemistry between them. A Walk Among the Tombstones is certainly an enjoyable thriller, but is has too many flaws and predictability to be one I could recommend.
A private investigator must hunt down the men who kidnapped and murdered the wife of a drug cartel leader.
Best Performance: Liam Neeson / Worst Performance: Astro
Hope Springs (2003)
A Sweet, Albeit Formulaic, Romantic Comedy,
Hope Springs is a decent movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a terrific comedic cast that are even able to be dramatic when necessary. I think the thing that keeps it all together was the chemistry between Colon Firth and Heather Graham, it was very natural, which made for a pleasant viewing.
It was certainly a clichéd romantic comedy, there really is no plot point that is unexpected, it is extremely predictable. As well as that, no character other than Colin is developed properly, they are all very one note and never stretch beyond that, which I do not blame the actresses for, I blame the writers.
While it is without a doubt a flawed film, Hope Springs has a lot of heart and charming performances which make it very watchable, if you are looking for a romantic comedy it is worth the look, just do not pay money to view it.
A depressed artist tries to forget about his love life in the quiet town of Hope, Vermont, but soon begins a relationship with another woman.
Best Performance: Colin Firth / Worst Performance: Frank Collison
Hilarious, with a lot of Heart,
The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons is a terrific Simpsons episode with a well written plot and loads of very funny scenes. It's an enjoyable episode that I always get a kick out of as we see Apu getting Marge to pretend to be his wife after his mother comes to set up an arranged marriage. Particularly the scenes where Bart and Lisa struggle to pretend to be his kids are side splitting hilarity. I did think the retirement home side story, which was a lot of fun, was cut short, I certainly would like to have seen more of Homer taking advantage of their lifestyle. It never forgets to have heart, Homer doing this huge favour for Apu is a sweet moment to showcase their friendship, and the wedding at the end was very heartwarming. Funny and heartfelt, The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons is one of the highlights of the ninth season.
Marge agrees to pretend she is Apu's wife when his mother arrives to set up his arranged marriage, meanwhile, Homer moves in to the Retirement Castle.
Changing Lanes (2002)
Thrills, Never Shocks,
Changing Lanes is a good movie with a well developed plot and a great cast. It is certainly an enjoyable thriller, as we follow two men, Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, whose lives are turned upside down after a car crash. Neither character is portrayed as an antagonist or protagonist, we see the good and bad qualities of both of them, which makes for an interesting way of telling a story, as we support both but also see how they are both flawed.
However, it never really surprised me, any twist and turn throughout can be predicted from a mile away. There's no big moment that will make you jump off of your seat. As well as that, it pacing could have been much quicker. There are far too many slow moments with heavy dialogue, it needed more car chase's and suspenseful parts, it never truly delivers on its potential.
Though it may suffer from predictability, Changing Lanes is still an enjoyable ride that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good drama or thriller, just do not go out of your way to see it.
A lawyer and a businessman's lives are turned upside down after a road incident.
Best Performance: Samuel L. Jackson / Worst Performance: Amanda Peet
August: Osage County (2013)
Stunning Performances Showcase a Harsh Reality,
August Osage County is a terrific film with a very well developed plot and a spectacular cast. It is a rare movie that is not afraid to tell it like it is, showing the complications of family and how tough it can be to keep it together. There really is no feel good factor to it, there are serious themes involved, from the likes of dementia, suicide, divorce, adultery and incest. It manages to tackle them all effectively, showcasing the seriousness of them.
I did feel like the film was lacking optimism, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, a few light hearted moments would have been refreshing, showing the closely knitted family without any negativity surrounding them. It also would have given us a more personal insight on their relationship outside of the drama they are facing.
The cast is really what brings it all together, there is not a poor performance in the bunch, the likes of Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor and Margo Martindale are all very believable as a close, dysfunctional family. The dinner scene is groundbreaking film work, an entire sequence, roughly twenty five minutes long, of the family having food together, in which they let out a lot of their inner emotions, it was a risky move by the director but it succeeded. Albeit bleak, August Osage County is an extremely compelling film with spellbinding performances, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good drama.
The sudden suicide of a family member prompts an ill tempered family gathering.
Best Performance: Julia Roberts
Missing the Magic of the Original, but the Cast Shines,
Ghostbusters is a good movie with a well developed plot and a top notch comedic cast. People were expecting a shot for shot remake of the original, but it is safe to say it stands out on it's own, it does not rely on the 1984 film or copy it in any way, it really is its own movie. The new characters are not imitations of Penter Venkman or Egon Spengler, they are completely original. Holtzmann is a particularly great new character, wacky and flamboyant, the perfect role for the hilarious Kate McKinnon. I was glad that there was no cast member that was "the female Dan Aykroyd" or "the new Bill Murray".
It is certainly missing elements that made the first two movies unforgettable, there is no love story, Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver's relationship was one of the strongest features of the original, no characters have any sort of love life here, which added a personal factor and makes them more relatable. As well as that, no one takes the lead role, Murray being in the lead allows him to hold the rest of the film together, however, all four characters are given equal screen time which gives us no one to route for. They also did not create any new, memorable ghosts, which disappointed no, there's no new Slimer or Marshmallow Man, no humorous ghost characters, only overly scary ones, and a brief, forgetful appearance from the two I previously mentioned.
The cast is stellar, the four female leads shine, their chemistry with one another is terrific and I would be happy to see them together again. There are also great cameos throughout, including the original cast members and Chris Hemsworth also shines as the male receptionist, showing a surprisingly terrific flare for comedy. Fun, action packed and a hilarious cast, Paul Feig may not truly capture the magic of the original series, but he created a loving tribute that stands out on its own, Ghostbusters is worth the watch for anyone looking for a good comedy or adventure.
A group of female scientists form a crew after discovering the existence of paranormal activity.
Best Performance: Kate McKinnon / Worst Performance: Neil Casey
You Don't Know Jack (2010)
Enjoyable Drama, Albeit Light on Compelling Story Telling,
You Don't Know Jack is a good TV movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a stellar cast. The performances are certainly what holds it all together, Al Pacino shows that he's still got it as he portrays the controversial doctor Jack Kevorkian, who fought for patients right to end it all. He is joined by a top notch supporting cast that are for or against this case, such as John Goodman and Susan Sarandon.
The film is very biased towards Kevorkian's views, we do not get the hear the other side enough, which would have been very effective. This would have aloud the audience to form their own opinion on this real life situation, instead of being forced to view one side.
It fails to be compelling, it never takes any risks, there are no big moments that engross us in to this story and truly bring it to life, I felt underwhelmed by the end. Terrific cast and an interesting true story, You Don't Know Jack may not be anything special, but it is worth the watch if you are looking for a good drama.
A former doctor turned activist fights for peoples rights to be put down if they can no longer cope with the suffering of an illness.
Best Performance: Al Pacino
The Best Superhero Series Out There,
Daredevil is a terrific television series with very well developed plot lines that stretch out through a whole season and a stellar cast. It's surprising work from Marvel, constant violence and gore throughout every episode, as well as dark themes that you would never find in an Avengers or Spider-Man movie. As a result of that, the series stands out from other properties and is constantly exciting.
However, the plot to certain episodes can be slow moving. Though I appreciate their effort on developing character arch's, it takes up too much time often when we begin to crave more suspense, while the writers are inclined to focus on Daredevil's origins, or his relationship with Elektra.
The cast deliver some of the best acting I have seen in any superhero series or movie, Charlie Cox shines in the lead role, convincingly portraying a blind man with martial art skills. He has a stellar supporting cast that often even steal the show from him, such as the humorous Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, the damaged performance of Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page and the smart witted Rosario Dawson as Clair Temple. New characters join the second season who are just as intriguing, with actors well able to deliver their emotions, such as Jon Bernthal as the best portrayal of the Punisher to date and Elodie Yung as the complicated, yet likable Elektra.
The highlight of the series, for me, has to be Vincent D'Onofrio, who steals every scene he features in as Wilson Fisk, an insane, ruthless villain who we actually gain sympathy for as we learn about the character's dark past and the reasons his mind works in strange ways, it's a crime that the actor has received no Emmy nominations for his work. Exciting, action packed with engrossing stories and a stunning cast, Daredevil is certainly worth the watch for fans of action and Marvel in general.
Blind man Matt Murdock fights crime on the streets of Hell's Kitchen, a continuously decreasing city, using his superhuman abilities and adapting the persona of Daredevil. He also fights crime peacefully as a lawyer in the daytime, along with his colleagues Foggy Nelson and Karen Page.
Best Performance: Vincent D'Onofrio / Worst Performance: Amy Rutberg
Best Episode: Daredevil / Worst Episode: Regrets Only
Addams Family Values (1993)
Loses the Heart and Humour of its Predecessor,
Addams Family Values is a very poor movie with a brutally paced plot and a few talented cast members that could have done so much netter. The actors do their very best, with Angelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci still shining in their respective roles, however, they were not enough to save this movie, which tries to hard to stand out from the first Addams family that it forgets to even tell a story.
A lot of comments are far too much for a younger audience, such as Wednesday mentioning that her parents have had intercourse, or the antagonist's torture chamber, it is far too frightening for the films target audience.
On the other hand, the humour is also too childish for the most part, such as the Addams new baby causing havoc and the entire camping plot, leaving nothing for adults to have a chuckle at. Loud, obnoxious and not funny, Addams Family Values is too childish for adults, and too adult for kids, better off avoiding this.
The family must rescue their uncle from a new love.
Best Performance: Raul Julia / Worst Performance: Joan Cusack
Bridge of Spies (2015)
Powerful Performances Perfectly Recaptures this Incredible True Story,
Bridge of Spies is a stellar movie with a very well developed plot and a magnificent cast. We are almost immediately taken in to the drama and intensity of this true story from the very beginning, as we follow an insurance lawyer who is tasked with defending a Soviet spy who has betrayed his country. We manage to gain support from the spy as we see his point of view, beautifully captured by the great Steven Spielberg.
On the other hand, I did feel that it did not give us enough insight on the seriousness of the Cold War. There is a scene where Donovan views a bunch of people being shot down while travelling on a train, I would like to to have seen more of this, to emphasise the struggles this movie is dealing with.
The performances are the highlight of it all, Tom Hanks is breathtaking as the lead role, James Donovan, perfectly conveying the transformation of an everyday lawyer turned hero, and Mark Rylance delivers a well deserved Oscar win as Rudolf Abel, a flawed, conflicted character who we can not help but support as a result of Rylance's charm. Terrificly acted, superb direction and a great script, Bridge of Spies is certainly worth the watch for anyone looking for a good drama.
An insurance lawyer is tasked with defending a Soviet spy, a job that ends up stretching far beyond the courtroom.
Best Performance: Tom Hanks / Worst Performance: Alan Alda