Tagged: Aaron Lazar

This Is Where I Leave You

Summary: A Jewish family that isn’t used to observing their faith’s traditions is forced to fulfill their father’s final wish and sit Shivah together and confront their problems.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd October, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Shawn Levy

Screenwriter: Jonathan Tropper

Cast: Michael Barra (Ollie), Jason Bateman (Judd Altman), Barbara Bleier (Trish), Connie Britton (Tracy Sullivan), Carly Brooke (Chelsea), Rose Byrne (Penny Moore), Cantor Mia Fram Davidson (Cantor), Adam Driver (Phillip Altman), Oakes Fegley (Young Judd), Tina Fey (Wendy Altman), Jane Fonda (Hillary Altman), Michael Bryan French (Dr. Rausch), Kathryn Hahn (Annie Altman), Cade Lappin (Cole), Aaron Lazar (Barry Weissman), Beth Leavel (Renee), Debra Monk (Linda Callen), Olivia Oguma (Shelby), Timothy Olyphant (Hory Callen), Lance Roberts (Calvin), Ben Schwartz (Rabbi Charles Grodner (Boner)), Carolyn Seiff (Mrs. Applebaum), Dax Shepard (Wade Beaufort), Abigail Spencer (Quinn Altman), Cheryl Stern (Lois), Corey Stoll (Paul Altman), Will Swenson (Younger Mort), Gerry Vichi (Uncle Joe)

Runtime: 103 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s This Is Where I Leave You review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

David Griffiths:

Jason Bateman has been a bit of a comedic golden path just recently. It seems every comedy film that he has touched has turned to box office gold with the likes of Due Date and Horrible Bosses leading the way. But you can only wonder whether he has gone skidding of that path badly with This Is Where I Leave You a film that manages to pack together a stellar ensemble cast… but forgets that a film just can’t work if you overcrowd it with so many characters that people can’t keep track of who is who.

Based on the hit novel by Jonathan Tropper (who also pens the screenplay here) This Is Where I Leave You sees one of life’s losers Judd Altman’s (Jason Bateman) life take a turn for a new low, when he comes home from work to find his wife in bed with his egotistical boss, Wade (Dax Shepard).

Then life delivers another blow to Judd when he learns that his father has died. While at the funeral Judd and his siblings learn from their mother, Hillary (Jane Fonda) that their father’s dying wish was that they all turn back to their Jewish roots and return home to their mother for a week. So soon Judd, Wendy (Tina Fey), Phillip (Adam Driver) and Paul (Corey Stoll) are all back under the roof and digging up painful memories from the past that puts them all on edge. Judd is also faced with the new dilemma of does he finally decide to take a risk in his life and turn his back on his cheating wife and take a chance with his friend from High School Penny Moore (Rose Byrne).

On paper This Is Where I Leave You should be a brilliant film. The all star comedic cast should suggest that this film should glitter with comedy gold while the fact that it is based on a hit novel means the film should have a ready made audience. But perhaps the biggest problem here is that the novel has been adapted for the screen by the same man who penned the novel in the first place, a practice that never really works because an author treats his novel like a baby and never wants to cut a thing out of it. As a result This Is Where I Leave You is a film that has just too many characters and is packed absolutely full of subplots.

The result is an over-long film that loses its audience at times with scenes that don’t need to be there and flat spots that end up overshadowing the good comedic moments such as the boys smoking a joint in the synagogue causing mayhem to ensue. Then there are also the comedy moments that do nothing else but make you groan like Wade’s car being overturned by a bunch of steroid abusing idiots.

The other major problem with having so many characters piled into the film is that it means that no actor really ever gets a chance to shine. Jason Bateman just seems to breeze through this film with no effort whatsoever while people such as Rose Byrne and Connie Britton are completely wasted in roles that could have really been filled by nobodies.

Likewise the comedic skills of Jane Fonda and Tina Fey are completely stunted as the weak script rarely gives them a chance to impress or even get a chuckle out of their audience. Even Timothy Olyphant and Dax Shepard are in stunted roles while Adam Driver manages to buck the trend a little by bringing some skills to the table as he portrays the juvenile yet unhappy playboy, Phillip.

This Is Where I Leave You should have been an interesting comedic drama that explored the world of a family in turmoil. With the cast assembled it should have been a beautifully delivered character drama but all because of one weak script it ends up becoming a bit of a mess. The over indulgence of characters means that nobody ever gets a chance to shine while too many opportunities for a good laugh fall by the wayside. Sadly This Is Where I Leave You will be jotted down as one of the disappointments of 2014.

Stars(3)

 

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

 

IMDB Rating: This Is Where I Leave You (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘This Is Where I Leave You′: For our full This Is Where I Leave You review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #102 . You can also check Dave’s This Is Where I Leave You review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Summary: Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) is the son of an accountant, hoping to make it big on Wall Street as a stockbroker. Following the crash of 1987 Belfort reinvents himself with the help of Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and close group of unscrupulous friends, starting brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. Rapidly becoming wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, Belfort develops a hard-partying lifestyle that soon attracts the attention of federal government.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd January, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Martin Scorsese

Screenwriter: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort (book)

Cast: Ashlie Atkinson (Rochelle Applebaum), Jon Bernthal (Brad), Loretta O. Booz (Wendy), P.J. Byrne (Nicky ‘Rugrat’ Koskoff), Chris Caldovino (Rocco #1), Katarina Cas (Chantalle), Aya Cash (Janet), Kyle Chandler (Agent Patrick Denham), Kenneth Choi (Chester Ming), Robert Clohessy (Nolan Drager), Shea Coleman (Skylar Belfort (14 months old)), Carla Corvo (Pam), Dan Daily (Honorary Raymond Samitz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan Belfort), Bo Dietl (himself), Jean Dujardin (Jean Jacques Saurel), Christine Ebersole (Leah Belfort), Giselle Eisenberg (Skylar Belfort (4 Years Old)), Michael Engberg (Smith), Jon Favreau (Manny Riskin), Danny Flaherty (Zip), Marcus Antonio Gonzalez (Rocco #2), Ted Griffin (Agent Hughes), Jonah Hill (Donnie Azoff), Jake Hoffman (Steve Madden), Christina Jeffs (Venice), Spike Jonze (Dwayne), Dustin Kerns (Ben Jenner), Stephen Kunken (Jerry Fogel), Stephanie Kurtzuba (Kimmie Blezer), Aaron Lazar (Blair Hollingsworth), Ben Leasure (Brantley), Fran Lebowitz (Honorary Samantha Stogel), Joanna Lumley (Aunt Emma), J.C. MacKenzie (Lucas Soloman), Johnnie Mae (Violet), Rizwan Manji (Kalil), Matthew McConaughey (Mark Hanna), Madison McKinley (Heidi), Mackenzie Meehan (Hildy Azoff), Cristin Miliroti (Teresa Petrillo), Ron Nakahara (Rocky Aoki), Michael Nathanson (Barry Kleinman),  Sandra Nelson (Aliyah Farran), Dierdre Reimold (Nicole), Rob Reiner (Max Belfort), Margot Robbie (Naomi Lapaglia), Barry Rothbart (Peter DeBlasio), Brian Sacca (Robbie ‘Pinhead’ Feinberg), Jon Spinogatti (Nicholas the Butler), Ethan Suplee (Toby Welch), Natasha Newman Thomas (Danielle Harrison), Emily Tremaine (Cristy), Shea Whigham (Captain Ted Beecham), Joe Zaso (Bernardo), Henry Zebrowski (Alden ‘Sea Otter’ Kupferberg)

Runtime: 180 mins

Classification:R18+

OUR WOLF OF WALL STREET REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(5)

Please check Adam’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review of that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #65

 

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

Please check Greg’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review of that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

Nick Gardener: Stars(3.5)

Please check Nick’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review that is available on Southern FM

David Griffiths:

First I do have to admit a real bias when I am reviewing The Wolf Of Wall Street – I am an avid Martin Scorsese film and also an avid Leonardo DiCaprio, yes I have been in heaven for the past few years while they are collaborated together on five films. And yes while films such as Shutter Island and The Departed would make my ‘Greatest Films Ever Made’ list, I am not biased enough to admit that these two have made some ordinary films together, especially The Aviator.

So where does The Wolf Of Wall Street fit on the Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese scale. Well to be honest it is pretty bloody high up, because this is a good… no make that… great film. But to preface that I should say this film does go above and beyond to get its R18+ rating because Scorsese has pretty much made a film about a world of sleaze.

Under Scorsese’s wonderful direction DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a young man who is introduced into the world of Wall Street finance by the ‘out there’ Mark Hanna (Matthew McCounaughey) who teaches Jordan the things he needs to succeed are cash, drugs and sex… and that you get them anyway you can.

Jordan’s first journey into Wall Street though doesn’t last after the crash of 1987 and soon Hanna disappears out of the picture and Jordan is left to resurrect himself, this time through a backyard operation that pretty much just sells worthless penny deals. But Jordan sees promise in that and soon he, and his new found buddy the loud Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), begin their new operation that has the sole aim of making them money.

Once Jordan is once again wealthy he again reaches Wall Street doing illegal deal after illegal deal while his weaknesses are still cash, drugs and sex… this time with his future wife, the beautiful Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie). Everything is going well until a Federal Agent (played by Kyle Chandler) starts sniffing around Jordan and aims to bring him down.

With The Wolf Of Wall Street Scorsese is once again at the top of his game. He is cunning with the way that he tells this story – yes at times he glorifies the sick lifestyle that Jordan lives, but he also dramatically shows the downside of this lifestyle to the point where anybody watching the film would be an idiot to want to get involved in the finance world. At times Jordan appears to be a God, but that image is shattered when Scorsese allows the grime to reach the surface in shocking acts such as seeing Jordan punch his wife in the stomach. Those that criticize The Wolf Of Wall Street and point out that Scorsese is trying to glorify this film are on the wrong track completely because he is trying to do anything but that.

The critics that have pointed out that Scorsese goes back and reuses some of his old Goodfellas style are right, but always the inventor Scorsese also uses comedy to full affect in The Wolf Of Wall Street… perhaps to give his audience a rest from the onslaught, while he is also creative in the way that he allows Jordan to narrate this film, especially in the sense that Jordan seems to be able to pick and choose what he feels the audience will understand. He may be in his seventies but at least Scorsese is still a director willing to try new things.

Once again Scorsese also gets the best out of Leonardo DiCaprio. Just like he did in Django Unchained DiCaprio relishes the fact that he gets to play an unlikable character here and he is well deserved of all the awards he has been nominated for. But this isn’t just the DiCaprio show, oh no Matthew McConaughey steals the show with his brief performance, Kyle Chandler is once again smooth in his role while Jonah Hill provides more than just comedic relief showing that he is a genuine dramatic actor these days. However the person that deserves a big tick for The Wolf Of Wall Street is Australian actress Margot Robbie who shows that she is more than just a pretty face and delivers some intense acting during her sometimes vicious scenes with DiCaprio. Yes she well and truly deserves her ‘star on the rise’ label.

As previously mentioned The Wolf Of Wall Street is not a film that will be enjoyed by all. It is a powerful, and yes at times graphic film. It may be a little long (some of the scenes wouldn’t have suffered if the editor had been a bit more brutal) but this film once again shows why Martin Scorsese is a living legend when it comes to filmmaking.

Stars(4)  

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

IMDB Rating:  The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #65 for our full The Wolf Of Wall Street review.

Trailer: