High School High (1996) Movie review; Love John Lovitz but there is a reason he never stars in a movie!

I am big John Lovitz fan, ever since I saw him as Tom Hanks work pal in the hit ”Big”, he has a very natural ability to convey sarcasm, he is the type of actor that makes you laugh each time you see him, you would not be alone in thinking, why doesn’t he star in a movie of his own ?

Well think no more, because in the title above he stars in his very own movie, I had never heard of it which is never a good sign if you are viewing a movie made in 1996, but it’s not bad, it’s a spoof on the teacher who goes to a bad neighborhood and teaches the unteachable. (”Dangerous Minds”)

John is funny but there is a reason he has not starred in another movie since, much like chocolate if you eat ten bars in one hour you are bound to feel slightly woozy, well John is ideal as that second character or general funny guy extra but anymore and it becomes too much.

The film has some genuine witty moments that made me laugh, I can probably think of at least half a dozen off the top of my head but there are moments that can only be described as a lull, this being the reason why it went by without most people noticing it all those years ago.

Worthy of a watch.

6/10

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facts about the film -

Lexie Bigham died in a road accident shortly after completing this movie.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) Movie review; Fun movie if you don’t compare it…..

When I watched Anchorman 1 in the cinema all those years ago it did not blow me away,  years later I caught the movie again and viewed it in a different light, there are so many quotable lines that for whatever reason were deemed silly and blase first time round, years later the original seemed to have a second life on TV networks and DVD releases, It’s now known as a comedy cult classic.

I was excited about ” The Legend Continues” , the movie is very funny and you can see that the cast and the writers went all out to impress and please, it does kind of feel like a holiday resort that you experienced years ago, the staff were funny, loving and friendly and you go back years later and nothing has changed,  problem being , try as you might, you can’t recreate that first magic holiday!,  that’s kind of how this film feels, I still had fun watching and cannot deny how funny the entire cast are, but that youthful innocence and energy is no longer evident.

I would happily digest another, the 90′s would be interesting.

7/10

KO

 

Her (2013) Movie review; Pheonix back to being a movie star at long last!

I had really low expectations for this one, It’s always nice when you expect very little from a movie and get more than you bargained for, I guess the key reason why I wasn’t looking forward to it, was because of Joaquin Pheonix, added to this the premise was supposed to be about him falling in love with his computer, that sounded far too quiet and depressing for me.

After five minutes I was glued to my screen, as mentioned I have found Joaquin’s movies hard to stomach for a while now, I find he plays roles that I struggle to relate to, or takes part in projects that to be honest bore me, I didn’t rate his portrayal of Cash because he failed to show the joy and humour of Cash, all you were left with was nut case Cash, the last time I enjoyed his work was in the epic film ” Return to Paradise” and ”Gladiator”.

Back to this film and Pheonix was outstanding, (for the first time in over a decade,) he played a man living in a future that to be honest doesn’t seem a million miles away from the truth based on today’s advancements in technology, when his private life fails he decides to turn to an operating system for love and interaction, I thought the movie would lose me at this point but they gave a plausible reason as to why this would be possible and in the end the director Spike Jonze has you on the edge of the your seat right til the end.

8/10

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Facts about the film -

Samantha Morton was originally the voice of Samantha. She was present on the set with Joaquin Phoenix every day. After the filming wrapped and Spike Jonze started editing the movie, he felt like something was not right. With Morton’s blessing, he decided to recast the role and Scarlett Johansson was brought and replaced Morton, re-recording all the dialogue..

 

Amy Adams said writer/director Spike Jonze would essentially lock her and Joaquin Phoenix in a room together for an hour or two every other day, and make them talk to each other. Jonze did this so that the actors could get to know each other better. Adams credits this for her and Phoenix’s close friendship.

 

One legacy of Samantha Morton‘s casting is the name of Theodore’s operating system. Both lead female roles take the same name as their lead actresses, Amy from actress Amy Adams and Samantha from Morton, but since she had to be re-casted at the last minute, the OS’s name stayed Samantha.

 

 

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013) Movie review; Prententious with moments of class

Shia LaBeouf lost me as a fan when he took on the big money of the Transformers franchise, which left his artistic respect in the bin, since then he has tried his best to make up for it with some serious and powerful roles.

This movie is largely frustrating, without giving away the quirky plot the lead decides to travel to Romania, there are nice moments captured on-screen of a man open to a new world but unable to hide that insecure feeling of loneliness, for anyone who has traveled alone before it is quality that is nice to observe but less enjoyable to experience.

Eventually this movie becomes very pretentious and tries to be too clever for its own good, the simplicity of this story was charming at the start but by the last quarter of the film you will be fighting with yourself to quit the unwatchable finale.

5/10

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Fact about the film -

Shia LaBeouf actually ingested LSD to make the scene seem ‘more real’.

Darko says to Charlie ‘I’d like to sit down and explain it all to you like in a fucking James Bond movie, but I get bored easily.’ Mads Mikkelsen played the villain in Casino Royale (2006), a James Bond movie.

Muscle Shoals (2013) Documentary Review; A real treat

I tend to run a mile when I see music documentaries, normally it’s about someone who has died and you are hearing from people who have their own version of reality that would tend to be different from the truth.

Muscle Shoals is a breath of fresh air, it’s a story that really is worth telling and each story has several famous witnesses who are all singing from the same hymn sheet about how remarkable this little production house in the back-end of nowhere & how it changed so many lives.

There are three stories wrapped into one.

Story 1 -

Rick Hall started out with very little but is determined not to let life keep him down, the man has it harder than Johnny Cash!

Story 2 – Is about the rise and fall of a mythical studio that started out as an amateur music studio but soon transform’s into the ingredient that gives birth to that new sound that is still cherished today.

Story 3 – The sound was that good that anyone with any credit in the music industry began fighting to claim recording time at the Muscle Shoals studio.

My only negative was seeing Alicia Keys at the end, the film is about the great sound it produced and the legends that have been through the door, I do rate Alicia but whoever decided to include her in this documentary made a mistake as it just felt wrong.

A real treat of a documentary / film.

8/10

KO

 

 

Better living through chemistry ( 2014 ) Smart & loving movie.

OK so to start with I love the main cast which includes Ray Liotta , Sam Rockwell & Michelle Monaghan so this movie was always going to be starting off as a winner, followed by this news it only got better, an interesting screen play that zooms in on a person’s life and happiness.

Sam Rockwell plays a chemist who is eager to please, this continues until one day when he snaps and decides to think of what he actually wants in life, this is where the funny begins and continues to the end, there is not a laugh out loud film but it does have great dark humour throughout.

The story is told well via Jane Fonda who narrates the film, not a massive Fonda fan but I have to say this is something special about her voice which adds a level of quality to the film.

I recommend this film.

7.5/10

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Facts about this film -

Jeremy Renner was originally cast in the lead role but due to his busy schedule, he had to drop out and was replaced by Sam Rockwell.

Judi Dench was originally going to narrate the movie before she dropped out and Jane Fonda was cast.

Veronica Mars ( 2014) Movie review; Forgetting this movie!!!

THIS IS ONE BAD MOVIE !  If anyone has watched the movie ”Forgetting Sarah Marshall” they would have witnessed the lead of that film playing a detective in a cheesy, over the top  TV detective show, it was so overboard it was silly funny.

Well that same person Kristen Bell is now playing the role for real in this film, only thing is, it’s not a comedy but should be, her acting is horrible and dialogue and character development is on par with the parody version in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Give this one a wide berth.

1/10

KO

Facts on the film -

Was shot in 23 days. Filming began on June 17, 2013 and wrapped on July 23, 2013 at 4:34 AM. Exactly 11 months later after the Kickstarter campaign was launched, on February 12, 2014, the film was finally done on post production.

As a result of backing the project on Kickstarter, many Marshmallows (nickname to the Veronica Mars fans) were featured as extras in the movie. Steven Dengler, the top donator, pledged $10000 and won a speaking role in the film.

When the idea of Kickstarter emerged, Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas met with the Warner Bros. brass, which gave their blessing to the project and agreed to help distribute the movie. Their reaction was “if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board.” And they did, with $5,702,153 pledged of the $2,000,000 goal and 91,585 backers.

Funded in large part by a campaign on Kickstarter.com, breaking all of the site’s records up to April, 2013. Some of the accomplishments were: Fastest project to reach $1 million. Fastest project to reach $2 million. All-time highest-funded project in FILM category. Third highest-funded project in Kickstarter history. Most project backers of any project in Kickstarter history.

Kristen Bell gave birth to baby girl Lincoln about 2 or 3 months before filming begun.