100 Word Review – Juno (2007)

Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner, this brilliant comedy about teenage pregnancy is dry, sweet and full of heart.

An unplanned pregnancy leaves mature-beyond-her-years teen Juno (Ellen Page), facing a tough decision, and trying to figure out what’s right for her and the baby.

Written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body, United States of Tara), and directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air), this quirky comedy has a cast to match.

Michael Cera (Superbad), Jason Bateman (Bad Words) and Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) are all wonderful in what is so much more than a teen comedy.

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100 Word Review – Money Monster (2016)

Walking that fine line between socio-political commentary and thriller, this film stands out.

Lee (George Clooney), presenter of financial advice TV show Money Monster, is held up at gun point live on the air after some of his advice goes bad. Under the direction of his producer, Patty (Julia Roberts), Lee is forced to put his life where his mouth is.

Jodie Foster’s direction succeeds in adding extra dimensions to an already punchy script. Politically challenging, it manages to be a thought-provoking thriller that keeps an audience on the edge of its seats while poking holes in society’s capitalist greed.

100 Word Review – Brave (2012)

The first Pixar film with a female protagonist, it also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Set in medieval Scotland, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) refuses to marry a prince, defying her father (Billy Connolly) and causing more arguments with her mother (Emma Thompson). When a witch (Julie Walters) offers her a way out, she takes it without considering the consequences.

Full of the feel of Celtic myths and a magic that is integral to both the story and the feel of the film, this is a wonderful family movie. Although sometimes overlooked, this is another example of Pixar’s genius.

100 Word Review – Room (2015)

Adapted from the best selling novel by Emma Donoghue by the author herself, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank, What Richard Did), this film perfectly captures the sense of claustrophobia and terror of the two awe-inspiring leads.

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) is five. He has lived his whole life in one room with his mother (Brie Larson), visited only by their captor, Old Nick (Sean Bridges).

A heartbreaking story that there are far too many chilling modern day examples of. Tremblay is extraordinary, and Larson is well deserving of her Oscar. Currently #119 on IMDb’s Top 250, make sure you’re prepared to cry.

100 Word Review – The Voices (2015)

The best word to describe this film is ‘weird’.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a likeable mentally unstable man working a dead-end job. When he follows the advice of his pets and pursues his office crush (Gemma Arterton) things get dark pretty quickly. And that’s just the beginning.

Written by Michael R. Perry (Paranormal Activity 2) and directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) it sits on a very stylised fence between horror thriller and quirky comedy.

If you don’t like bloody films, this is not the one for you, but otherwise do watch it. Anna Kendrick costars and Reynolds is magnetic as always.

100 Word Review – Hot Girls Wanted (2015)

Hot-Girls-Wanted

A note worthy and thoroughly terrifying documentary that follows a group of young women who have been drawn into the sex trade in Los Angeles, studying in startling detail how easy it is for web savvy young millennials to fall into the porn industry.

Directors Jill Bauer and Rona Gradus, both of whom worked on the documentary Sexy Baby back in 2012, were nominated for a Primetime Emmy as well as the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for this remarkable film.

Insightful, detailed and at times truly brutal, this is not for the easily disgusted. It contains some extremely visceral scenes.

100 Word Review – Sisters (2015)

Amy Poehler (Inside Out, Mean Girls) and Tine Fey (Megamind, Mean Girls) reunite with writer Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live) in this wonderful and ridiculous comedy.

Two sisters (Poehler and Fey) attempt to recreate their youth by throwing the ultimate house party. The problem is they aren’t as young as they used to be, and neither are their friends.

The cast is full of “O it’s that guy from that thing” faces which makes the whole film feel like you’re watching a group of friends have a great time. Not the world’s greatest comedy, but certainly good for a laugh.

100 Word Review – Secretary (2002)

Adapted from Mary Gaitskill’s short story by Erin Cressida Wilson (Men Women and Children, The Girl on the Train), this film has accrued the kind of cult acclaim that Fifty Shades could only dream of.

Lee (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a troubled young lady with self-harming tendencies when she starts working at a small law firm for the demanding Mr. Grey (James Spader).

With strong themes of sexuality and BDSM, this film is dark and erotic and really human. It’s not for the squeamish or the faint of heart, but it is beautifully, stylishly done and the two leads are perfection.

100 Word Review – Josie and the Pussycats (2001)

Josie and the pussycats

“Conform! Free will is overrated! Jump on the bandwagon! There is no such place as Area 51!”

Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Valerie (Rosario Dawson) and Melody (Tara Reid) are The Pussycats, until they find themselves caught up in the middle of a subliminal international conspiracy to influence the world’s youth.

Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Donald Faison and Alexander Martin co-star as boy band Du Jour, whose questionable lyrics will stick with you for days.

Written and directed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan (Can’t Hardly Wait, Surviving Christmas) and adapted from the Archie comics, expect brilliant silliness from beginning to end.

100 Word Review – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The Monty Python (Life of Brian, Meaning of Life) guys are on a quest.

Follow King Arthur (Graham Chapman), Lancelot The Brave (John Cleese), Sir Galahad the Pure (Michael Palin) and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir Lancelot (Eric Idle) along with a host of other characters (Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam) as they seek the Holy Grail.

Complete with witches, shrubberies, unladen swallows, a killer bunny and a castle of French men, this film is everything you would expect from the Monty Python crew. Gilliam’s animation are wonderful as always, as are the random jokes. Endlessly quotable, historically inaccurate and thoroughly British.