Tagged: David Whalen

The Fault In Our Stars

Summary: Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who met and fell in love at a cancer support group. They share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th June, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Josh Boone

Screenwriter: Michael H. Weber, Scott Neustadter, John Green (book)

Cast: Mike Birbiglia (Patrick), Ana Dela Cruz (Dr. Maria), Willem Dafoe (Van Houten), Laura Dern (Frannie), Ansel Elgort (Gus), Milica Govich (Gus’ Mom), Sophie Guest (Jackie), Lily Kenna (Young Hazel), Randy Kovitz (Dr. Simmons), Johanna McGinley (Eva), Carly Otte (Alisha), Emily Peachey (Monica), Sam Trammell (Michael), Lotte Verbeek (Lidewij), Carol Weyers (Anne Frank (voice)), David Whalen (Gus’ Dad), Nat Wolff (Isaac), Shailene Woodley (Hazel)

Runtime: 126 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE FAULT OF OUR STARS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s The Fault In Our Stars review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

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Greg King: You can check out Greg’s The Fault In Our Stars review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

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Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s The Fault In Our Stars review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

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David Griffiths:

As a thirties something male I probably am not the target audience for The Fault Of Our Stars. I can let me re-phrase that I AM CERTAINLY NOT THE TARGET AUDIENCE for this film. But some credit has to be paid to director Josh Boone (Stuck In Love) because despite the fact The Fault Of Our Stars is actually aimed for the female of the species it seems like Boone has realised that more than a few males will be dragged along to see the film so he has also set about trying to make the film accessible and enjoyable for them as well.

Based on the popular novel by John Green The Fault Of Our Stars centers around a young cancer patient by the name of Hazel (Shailene Woodley – Divergent, White Bird In A Blizzard) whose battle with cancer has left her with severe breathing difficulties.

Still she tries not to let life bring her down too much. She finds solace in her favourite novel which also tells the story of a cancer patient but also finds life is a bit of an up-hill battle due to the fact that her parents, Frannie (Laura Dern – The Master, Little Fockers) and Michael (Sam Trammell – Me, Things People Do) seem more determined to make her attend therapy groups rather than life her live like a real teenager.

But it ends up being one of these groups that changes Hazel’s life forever. While attending one she meets Gus (Ansel Elgort – Divergent, Carrie) and his best friend Isaac (Nat Wolff – Behaving Badly, Palo Alto), both of which are cancer sufferers themselves. Gus instantly has a romantic interest in Hazel and also helps her to try and take chances with her life, including travelling to Europe to meet Van Houten (Willem Dafoe – Bad Country, The Grand Budapest Hotel) to ask him about what she feels is missing from his novel.

As a film The Fault In Our Stars certainly has a lot of plusses. Given the subject matter at hand there was a real danger that in the wrong hands this could have become a ‘lunchtime television weepy’ but Josh Boone certainly tries to make the film a lot better than that. He tries to tap into that similar style and language that worked so well in Juno and while it works throughout the film there are at times when the audience feels like they are severely manipulated into being made cry.

For some reason though this is a film that keeps working despite its few flaws. The characters are so damn likable that you can’t help but care what happens to them. Then there is the fact that there are some characters that go so far beyond what you would expect from a Hollywood film that it almost takes this film into a whole different realm. Take the character of Van Houten for example. Normally when teenage characters meet their hero in a film it’s enriching experience with the hero normally spouting wisdom. But here Van Houten is almost the anti-hero, here he is as far removed as Yoda as possible with his alcoholic ways, abusive persona and the fact that he can randomly swing into a rendition of Swedish hip-hop. It’s these ‘not-sure-what-to-expect’ moments that will keep the audience tuned into The Fault In Our Stars.

The film also reiterates that Shailene Woodley is Hollywood’s ‘it’ girl at the moment. It is seriously coming down to the question of is there anything that girl can’t do? From action heroine in Divergent to a witty cancer patient in The Fault In Our Stars the roles couldn’t be more different, yet somehow this talented young actress manages to pull off these roles with ease. Then there is Ansel Elgort, a virtual unknown who is mainly known for playing Woodley’s brother in Divergent, a small part to say the least. But here he is a real standout, revealing himself as a witty talented actor who could be now rivalling Miles Teller for acting roles. When it comes to the older members of the cast Willem Dafoe is his usual brilliant best, however Laura Dern seems to struggle a little in an over-written part.

While some movie goers may be scared off by The Fault In Our Stars it is a film that is well worth a look. Just be prepared to bring the tissues out.

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Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Fault in Our Stars (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Fault In Our Stars′: For our full The Fault In Our Stars review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #82

Trailer:

Jack Reacher

Summary: One of the most compelling heroes to step from novel to screen: ex-military investigator JACK REACHER. When a gunman takes five lives with six shots, all evidence points to the suspect in custody. On interrogation, the suspect offers up a single note: “Get Jack Reacher!” So begins an extraordinary chase for the truth, pitting Jack Reacher against an unexpected enemy, with a skill for violence and a secret to keep.

From Academy Award Winning Directory Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) comes the action-packed thriller JACK REACHER, based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Lee Child, starring Tom Cruise, Robert Ducall, Rosamund Pike and Australia’s own Jai Courtney.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 3rd January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Screenwriter: Lee Child (book), Christopher McQuarrie

Cast: J. Bizel (Matt), Jai Courtney (Charlie), Joe Coyle (Darren Sawyer), Tom Cruise (Jack Reacher), Kristen Dalton (Mindy), Robert Duvall (Cash), Tristan Elma (Macos Coronado), Alexia Fast (Sandy), Tammy Felice (Anne Yanni), Nicole Forester (Nancy Holt), Peter Gannon (Mr. Archer), Josh Helman (Jeb), Werner Herzog (The Zec), Richard Jenkins (Rodin), James Martin Kelly (Rob Farrior), Dylan Kussman (Gary), Scott A. Martin (Wesley), Alicia Murton (Mrs. Sawyer), David Oyelowo (Emerson), Delilah Picart (Rita Coronado), Rosamund Pike (Helen), Michael Raymond-Jones (Linsky), Joseph Sikora (Barr), Vladimir Sizov (Vlad), David Whalen (Mr. Holt), Julia Yorks (Chrissie Farrior)

Runtime: 131 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Jack Reacher’ Review: 

You have to feel for Tom Cruise. Over the years he has done nothing but deliver brilliant movie after brilliant movie yet he still considered a public pariah and comedians are always lining up to have another go at him. His fans however have relished in the fact that movies such as those in the ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise have only gone further to enhance him as a true action hero… now that stature is about to be justified even further with ‘Jack Reacher’.

Lifted straight from the series of novels created by Lee Child, Tom Cruise (Rock Of Ages, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) plays Jack Reacher an ex military cop who disappears from the face of the Earth and then re-appears when somebody is in need of his help.

The people needing his help this time round are alleged mass-murderer Barr (Jospeh Sikora – Safe, TV’S Boardwalk Empire) and his defence lawyer, Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike – Wrath Of The Titans, Devil You Know). Barr has been blamed for a random mass murder that has left a number of people killed, and sadly all the evidence found by Homicide Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo – Lincoln, The Paperboy) seems to point at Barr, but Barr isn’t going to go down without a fight and just before he is placed in a coma due to a in-custody beating he hands Emerson a note that says ‘get Jack Reacher’.

With the audience already knowing that the shooting was done by a hit-man organized by The Zec (Werner Herzog – TV’S Metalocalypse & The Simpsons) the suspense is raised when Emerson seems to take an instant disliking for Reacher whose knack of getting into trouble seems to make Emerson’s job even easier. With Helen eager to ‘defeat’ her D.A. father (Richard Jenkins – The Company You Keep, Killing Them Softly) she knows she has to keep Reacher on the straight-and-narrow in order to have any chance of defending Barr at all.

The fact that the audience knows who the killer is from the very start would make you think that the film should lack a little bit of suspense but luckily director/screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Way Of The Gun) knows what he is doing and instead he shifts the suspense on to whether or not Reacher is going to be brought down by a corrupt Police Officer.

McQuarrie’s script works amazingly well (a lot better than a lot of crime thrillers) and in the end the film ends up feeling like you are watching an episode of ‘N.C.I.S.’ mixed in with the action of ‘Mission Impossible’. Obviously Cruise was impressed was McQuarrie’s work on the film because it looks like he will be handed the directing reigns of ‘Mission Impossible 5’ and is currently writing the script for ‘Top Gun 2’.

As previously mentioned Cruise is a real standout in ‘Jack Reacher’. There are few actors that have the ability to pull off physical stunts and then delivered a powerful dramatic performance the way that Cruise can… and here he is in his element. Poor Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo are reduced to being ‘back drops’ as Cruise puts in one of his better performances. The only actor who comes close to him is Robert Duvall (Jayne Manfield’s Car, Hemmingway & Gellhorn) and the scenes between them are sensational to watch.

‘Jack Reacher’ is one of the best written crime thrillers to surface for a long time and while the opening of the film seems to have upset a few Americans nobody should put off seeing the film because of it. ‘Jack Reacher’ is a must see.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Jack Reacher′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Jack Reacher’. Dave’s other review of ‘Jack Reacher’ can be found at http://www.helium.com/items/2401587-jack-reacher-review

Rating: 4.5/5

IMDB Rating:Jack Reacher (2012) on IMDb