Tagged: John Francis Daley

 

Summary:A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery.

Year: 2018

Australian Cinema Release Date: 22nd February 2018

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

Screenwriter: Mark Perez

Cast: Jason Batman (Max), Kylie Bunbury (Michelle), Kyle Chandler (Brooks), Camille Chen (Dr. Chin), Michael Cyril Creighton (Bill), John Francis Daley (Carter), R.F. Daley (Tats), Abigail Ford (Mrs. Anderton), Jonathan Goldstein (Dan), Michael C. Hall (The Bulgarian), Natasha Hall (Madison), Sharon Horgan (Sarah), Malcolm X. Hughes (Not Denzel), Danny Huston (Donald Anderton), Candy Ibarra (Rachel Burns), Jessica Lee (Debbie), Daniel Lucente (Dan Steele), Curtis Lyons (Logan), Billy Magnussen (Ryan), Rachel McAdams (Annie), Joshua Mikel (Colin), Lamorne Morris (Kevin), Tony Ohara (Kramer), Olivia (Bastian), Chelsea Peretti (Glenda), Jesse Plemons (Gary), Brooke Jaye Taylor (Linda), Michael Twombley (Michael Bates), Zerrick Williams (Val)

Runtime: 100 mins

Classification: R

 

OUR GAME NIGHT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

 

To listen to some film journalists talk the state of the comedy genre is in tatters. Apparently unfunny comedy after unfunny comedy floods our cinemas screens. The notion is ridiculous though. It seems that films like Horrible Bosses and We’re The Millers have been completely forgotten about… hell even the local comedy Swinging Safari was a lot funnier that most journos gave it credit for. Now comes Game Night a film that certainly shows that comedy is back – not only does the film’s twists and turns keep the audience guessing but it’s sassy comedy and modern edge make a film worthy of more than one viewing.

The plot of Game Night is unique in itself. Max (Jason Bateman – Arrested Development, Juno) and Annie (Rachel McAdams – The Notebook, Mean Girls) are a regular couple with a big difference – they are driven by a competitive spirit that makes their frequent games’ nights a must attend for their friends.

However their games nights are changed forever when the couple realise that their inability to conceive a child is caused by Max’s competitive streak with his rich and popular brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler – Argo, Manchester By The Sea). With Brooks coming to town and deciding to host the latest games night… a night that he says nobody will forget… Max and Annie are already on edge. To make things worse they are trying to hide the night from their creepy, ex-friend and Police Officer Gary (Jesse Plemons – Battleship, Black Mass) so he doesn’t turn up, but that all pails into insignificance when Brooks’ real life makes the night potentially deadly.

Universally panned for their work on Vacation directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein bounce back here largely thanks to a witty script written by Mark Perez (Accepted, Herbie: Fully Loaded). While the premise of the film seems basic Perez’s screenplay makes this film stand-out. Game Night has everything that a good comedy should have – witty one-liners plus memorable characters like the dry and dull Gary and the extremely dumb himbo Ryan (Billy Magnussen – Into The Woods, The Big Short).

But Game Night also has more than that. The suspense of the plot is only enhances with a serious of twists and turns that soon has the audience realising that they can’t predict what is going to happen in the next minute let alone for the rest of the film. The fact that Perez is smart enough to have Max almost narrate what some would call film flaws with lines like ‘great two guys show up that haven’t been revealed in the plot earlier’ makes the decision to include such risky choices in the film pay off with laughter. The screenplay also gives a nod to other films, again with a smirk to the audience as Rachel McAdams declares ‘like Liam Neeson in Taken 3.’

In fact it is the chances that Game Night makes that ends up letting the film work. The decision to tone the adult humour down when compared to a film like Horrible Bosses means that this becomes the perfect date movie for both men and women while the interesting choice of cast all works. Batman and McAdams gel well as an on-screen couple while Jesse Plemons steals just about every scene he is in with some brilliant deadpan character acting. The other big surprise here is Kyle Chandler. Known more for his gritty dramatic roles in productions like Friday Night Lights Chandler here shows the world his comedic skills as he makes sure Brooks is one of those characters that the audience will love one moment and hate the next.

Game Night is one comedy that is well worth a look. Its great screenplay allows for a little more storyline and suspense then what we expect from most comedy films while Jason Bateman once again shows why he is the current king of comedy. As you sit down to watch Game Night be prepared for a wild ride with more than enough laughs to keep the comedy fans happy as well.

 

 

 

Greg King’s Review:

This enjoyable mix of action and comedy from the team behind films like Horrible Bosses is like David Fincher’s The Game crossed with Date Night.

A group of friends regularly meet every Saturday night for some old-fashioned fun, playing old school board games and charades. The games are held at the home of Max (Jason Bateman) and his wife Annie (Rachel McAdams), both very competitive gamers who met a trivia night. The players include bickering high school sweethearts Kevin (Lomorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) and dim-witted ladies’ man Ryan (Billy Magnussen, from tv series Get Shorty, etc), who brings along a different shallow empty-headed date each night.

But this time, Max’s supposedly much more successful and wealthy older brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler, Emmy winner from Saturday Night Lights, etc) arrives for a surprise visit and decides to up the ante when he hosts his own game night. He has chosen an interactive “mystery” theme around the concept of a kidnapping. But things quickly go pear shaped when real life crooks invade the house, beat up Brooks, duct tape and drag him from the house. Max and the gang initially think it was all part of the game.

But when they realise that it was real, Max and his friends embark on a cross town chase to try and rescue Brooks. Their competitive spirit though means that they try to race each other to find Brooks and their efforts are driven by their natural one-upmanship. They soon discover that neither the game nor Brooks are what they seem. The chase also sees them having to find a Faberge egg, which is something of a McGuffin.

For the most part Game Night is an energetic and light-hearted action comedy with thriller elements as it mixes some car chases, fight scenes and the odd angry shot. But the plot is also very convoluted and there are a couple of last minute twists that defy credibility. The script comes from Mark Perez (the more family friendly Disney film Herbie Fully Loaded, etc). The film has been directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who are best known for writing comedies like Horrible Bosses, etc. They made their feature film directorial debut with 2015’s disappointing Vacation reboot, and here they bring their own comic sensibilities to Perez’s screenplay and make the most of the thin premise.

The film is slickly paced, and cinematographer Barry Peterson suffuses the material with a noir like palette. There are some nice visual gags as well, including establishing shots of various neighbourhoods that initially resemble a board game community.

Bateman often has a nice everyman quality that shapes his performances. Here he seems far more comfortable than in some of the crass comedies like Office Christmas Party that he has appeared in. He and McAdams develop a wonderful chemistry that lifts the film, and they play off each other well. It seems that she has allowed Bateman to lift his game. McAdams also shows a nice flair for comedy.  The cast also features Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, etc), and Danny Huston and Dexter star Michael C Hall in small roles as shady underworld figures.

Everyone in the cast is given their own moment to shine. But the stand out of the ensemble is Jesse Plemons (American Made, etc) who plays Gary, Max and Annie’s somewhat creepy and obsessive neighbour. Gary used to be a regular part of their game night crowd until he and his wife Debbie divorced, and he became too moody and depressed for their liking.

Game Night is uneven, but with a brisk running time of 100 minutes it never quite outstays its welcome. And it is a lot more fun than many other recent Hollywood comedies.

 

 

Nick Gardener’s Review:

The amiable if at times flat Game Night is a little like David Fincher’s The Game done in the style of contemporary comedies like Horrible Bosses. It also falls into that cinematic sub-genre the Jason Bateman movie in which Bateman plays the put-upon, every-man, nice guy schlub forced into a dangerous situation that inevitably provides some necessary jolt to his staid suburban life.

Here Bateman plays Max who, despite a comfortable life and marriage to the gorgeous Annie (Rachel McAdams), is perpetually stressed, a condition that seems to be impeding his ability to conceive a child. The source of his anxiety seems to be his arrogant Wall Street trader brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) who has always taken sadistic delight in trouncing Max at games and competitions throughout their lives. When the obnoxious Brooks invites Max and Annie and their friends to a murder mystery party the night unexpectedly turns into a battle against kidnappers and sleaze-ball gangsters.

The film attempts to weld a typical Bateman middle class suburban rom-com to a crime thriller but the results are at best middling. Bateman’s easy charm and comic timing work about as well as they do in other films where he’s played essentially the same character and McAdams’ cheery, live-wire performance is typically fun and endearing.  Add an amusingly creepy performance from Jesse Plemons as a weird, angry cop neighbour who’s determined to inveigle himself into Max and Annie’s life and at least in its early stages, this is an enjoyably perky comedy.

As the film attempts to entangle Max and Annie in a twist-laden action/crime/ caper/ story, though, it begins to lose its appeal. The film lacks the necessary thrills, intensity and drama for this part of the movie to work. Add to this a few dud gags, predictable story threads, sub-plots about characters misfiring relationships that don’t really go anywhere and some completely unbelievable scenarios including a ludicrous sequence at a gangster’s mansion and Game Night becomes a little laboured.

Thankfully, Game Night eschews much some of the grubbiness and nastiness of contemporary raunch comedies but it doesn’t replace this with enough genuine wit, energy or clever story-telling.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): 

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Game Night (2018) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Game Night Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

 

Summary: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th July 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: 18th October 2017

Country: United States

Director: Jon Watts

Screenwriter: John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Jonathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jon Watts, Steve Ditko (original comic book), Jack Kirby (original comic book), Stan Lee (original comic book), Joe Simon (original comic book)

Cast: Isabella Amara (Sally), Tunde Adebimpe (Mr. Cobbwell), Abraham Attah (Abe), Michael Barbieri (Charles), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Garcelle Beauvais (Doris Toomes), Christopher Berry (Randy), Hannibal Buress (Coach Wilson), Michael Chernus (Phineas Mason/The Tinkerer), Kenneth Choi (Principal Morita), Kerry Condon (Friday (voice)), Jennifer Connolly (Karen/Suit Lady (voice)), Tyne Daley (Anne Marie Hoag), Ethan Dizon (Tiny), Robert Downey Jnr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Tiffany Espensen (Cindy), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Donald Glover (Aaron Davis), Laura Harrier (Liz), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes/Vulture), Stan Lee (Gary), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Jason), Selenis Leyva (Ms. Warren), Hemke Madera (Mr. Delmar), Michael Mando (Mac Gargan), Logan Marshall-Green (Jackson Brice/Shocker #1),Nitin Nohria (Dean Crimson), Gwenyth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), John Penick (Mr. Hapgood), Tony Revolori (Flash), Angourie Rice (Betty), Martin Starr (Mr. Harrington), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), J.J. Totah (Seymour), Gary Weeks (Agent Foster), Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz/Shocker #2), Zendaya (Michelle)

Runtime: 133 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Kyle McGrath’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Review:

Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the title character and his alter ego Peter Parker on his early steps of becoming the hero he yearns to be.  After being enlisted by Tony Stark/Iron Man to assist in Captain America: Civil War (2016) Peter Parker is dropped off home, given a shiny new Spider-Man costume and pretty much told “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. Ambitious to prove himself worthy of being an Avenger he sets out to fight crime wherever he can while also struggling with the pitfalls of being an otherwise normal high school kid. His enthusiasm may soon gets the better of him when he discovers an underground operation in dealing weapons made from the stolen technology leftover from previous Avengers battles.

The elephant in the room with Spider-Man Homecoming is that this is the 3rd big screen incarnation of Spider-Man since 2002. This time the web crawler officially being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The previous films each had their ups and downs but the general consensus seems to be that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were better with Tobey Maguire making a better Peter Parker whereas The Amazing Spider-Man films found a better Spider-Man performance in Andrew Garfield with some other fan preferences such as Gwen Stacy as a love interest rather than skipping straight to Mary Jane Watson and mechanical web-shooters rather than organic (a distinction I never cared about).

Spider-Man Homecoming brings some new interesting things to the table while some others feel weaker. I believe Tom Holland walks the line quite well and works quite well as the younger less experienced and still in high school Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

Otherwise the films visuals and musical score felt a little generic never coming close to standing out as well as Sam Raimi and Danny Elfman did all the way back in 2002. Speaking of which the CGI of Homecoming itself looks not much better after 15 years of technological progress, often characters looking like something from a computer game or the transition between CGI to live action, such as Michael Keaton’s character leaving his “Vulture” wingsuit, appears quite jarring. Most of these large CGI sequences seem to take place at night too, it could have just been poor lighting in my cinema but it was extremely dark and felt like a possible shortcut with CGI usually looking more real with less lighting.

The film’s story itself reminded me of Kick-Ass be it without the style or comedy of Matthew Vaughn & Mark Millar with Peter trying to be a “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man”. I found this to be an interesting new take on the character and something we’ve not yet seen in the MCU: a small time loser hero trying to do his thing in the shadow of giants like Thor, The Hulk or Captain America.

With any reboot certain changes had to be made so that the filmmakers aren’t just making the same film again. Flash Thompson Esther than being a stereotypical jock bully and symbol of everything Peter wished he could be is now a weedy little prick. The once elderly aunt May is now “hot aunt May” as the characters like to remind us and the less said about the new “MJ” the better.

Other major changes are that this is not another origin story. Rather picking up in the middle of Peter’s journey of self discovery as a super hero. An issue here is that while films like Tim Burton’s Batman or even the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk showed you don’t NEED to do an origin story to introduce your hero, you still do need to introduce them and Homecoming really does not. The feeling is that Spider-Man’s powers and back story don’t need to be given much thought because they’ve been done to death already. Well too bad. This is potentially people’s FIRST Spider-Man film and outside influences shouldn’t play any part in it. Not giving a proper set up because everyone should already know is like not introducing Harry Potter correctly in the film adaptation of Philosophers Stone because “well everyone’s read the book right?”

Peter’s character development this time comes more from his desire to prove himself than his feelings of guilt over his indirect involvement in his uncle’s death like before. This was an interesting change but to be honest the time Peter spends in this naive phase goes on way too long and most of the film seems to be him rescuing people from disasters he himself caused or his selfishly helping people in the first place only because he seeks glory and to be considered one of The Avengers. This would be like if Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins stayed in “scared angry man with a gun mode” until nearly the end of the film.

I think Peter himself is obsessed so much with the Avengers as a symptom of this film being obsessed with being considered part of the MCU. Again it’s an interesting way to approach at first but the Avengers just overshadow EVERYTHING in this film. Even the film’s title itself seems to more reference a “return home to the MCU” than anything in the film itself. The very first thing you see is a child’s drawing of them and the very last thing you’ll see is a post credits cameo from one of them and rarely 10 minutes will go by without some reference to them. Spider-Man’s motivation revolves around them, the film’s antagonist revolves around them and Tony Stark while barely making much of an appearance in the film is still focused on more than Michael Keaton as The Vulture leading to him feeling like a lackluster villain. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad he didn’t just want to turn the whole city into birds using a gas or something but when his entire scheme is spending 8 years stealing Avengers related tech, turning it into odd weapons and selling it out of the back of a van to random street thugs under bridges I have to ask “who cares?”.

The worst part of this is that the movie barely feels like it stars Spider-Man at all. Even his suit is some sort of Tony Stark designed super tech nonsense which only manages to downplay the ACTUAL superpowers Peter is supposed to have. Effectively he’s a super strong, super agile kid in a suit with a bunch of gadgets. It may as well also be what allows him to walk up walls as it does everything else for him!

If the film can’t go 10 minutes without an Avengers reference it also can’t seem to go 30 seconds without making a funny. In some kind of spray ‘n pray approach to comedy Homecoming is so afraid of being seen as taking itself too seriously that it hardly ever allows a scene to end without some gag tacked on just for the sake of it. Comedy relief only really works if you allow tension to build in the first place and when there are multiple gags happening it just drives a truck through the middle of a scene that’s designed to have you on the edge of your seat. Then when the big heavy scenes come along such as Michael Keaton trying to be intimidating they just don’t work. The film hasn’t earned that response from the audience because any other time it came close to a similar tone someone immediately then had to slip on a banana peel.

Spider-Man Homecoming unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to Sam Raimi’s 2002 film. It’s lacking as an introduction to this new Spider-Man and feels too focused on latching on to the hugely popular MCU films to be comfortable in telling its own story and too eager to make its audience laugh to build any drama for its underdeveloped characters. As an addition to the mountain of superhero films it’s entertaining enough and different enough to warrant a viewing but not interesting enough to be very memorable.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:  

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Spider-Man: Homecoming Reviews: N/A

 

Trailer:

Vacation

Village Roadshow has just released the trailer for brand new comedy Vacation. The film is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein and stars Ed Helms, Leslie Mann, Christina Applegate and sees Chevy Chase return to his legendary role of Clark Griswald.

Vacation is set for release on July 29 (United States), August 20 (Australia) and August 21 (United Kingdom).

You can view the Vacation trailer below.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 New Poster

Summary: Flint Lockwood now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol Chester V. But he’s forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn

Screenwriter: Judi Barrett (characters), Ron Barrett (characters), John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Phil Lord (story), Christopher Miller (story), Erica Rivinoja

Cast: Benjamin Bratt (Manny (voice)), James Caan (Tim Lockwood (voice)), Cody Cameron (Barry/Dill Pickle (voice)), Terry Crews (Earl Devereaux (voice)), Anna Faris (Sam Sparks (voice)), Will Forte (Chester V (voice)), Khamani Griffin (Cal Devereaux (voice)), Bill Hader (Flint Lockwood (voice)), Neil Patrick Harris (Steve (voice)), Bridget Hoffman (Young Flint (voice)), Craig Kellman (Fintly McCallahan (voice)), Kris Pearn (Sentinel Peter/Labcoat Jenny (voice)), Al Roker (Patrick Patrickson (voice)), Andy Samberg (Brent McHale (voice)), Kristen Schaal (Barb (voice)), Melissa Sturm (Sentinel Louise (voice)),

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification:G

OUR CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(2.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2′: Please check our Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 61.

Trailer:

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Summary:  Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and his long-time partner Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are one of the biggest magician acts in Las Vegas, but when their deep loathing of one another leads to a split up, Burt finds himself being overlooked for new street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey). Burt must find a way to renew his passion for magic in order to step up his stale act and recover his friendship with Anton who moves to the Far East to entertain with his magic.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th March, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Don Scardino

Screenwriter: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein, Chad Kultgen, Tyler Mitchell

Cast: Alan Arkin (Rance Holloway), Steve Buscemi (Anton Marvelton), Erin Burnett (herself), Steve Carell (Burt Wonderstone), Jim Carrey (Steve Gray), Kali Chung (Nicole), Mason Cook (Young Burt), David Copperfield (himself), Tasha Courtney (Nicole #2), Sonya Eddy (Hanna), Joshua Erenberg (Judah Munny), James Gandolfini (Doug Munny), Brad Garrett (Dom), Zachary Gordon (Bully), Derek Graf (Guy), Fiona Hale (Grace), Michael Herbig (Lucius Belvedere), Tate Hanyok (Nicole #1), Gillian Jacobs (Miranda), Tyler Langdon (Teen Burt), John Lewis (Buddy), Jay Mohr (Rick The Implausible), Ron Ostrow (Jim The Bartender), Mike Jerome Putnam (Mr Hamilton), John Reha (Teen Anton), Luke Vanek (Young Anton), Olivia Wilde (Jane), Richard Wolffe (himself)

Runtime: 100 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ Review: Please check Dave’s review of ‘Performance’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone′: Check Episode #24 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’.

Subculture Media Interviews for ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’: Interviews with various members of ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’ cast can be found here.

Rating: 2.5/5

IMDB Rating:The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) on IMDb