Dusty & Me (2018)

Director: Betsan Morris Evans

Writer: Rob Isted (Screenplay)

Starring: Luke Newberry, Genevieve Gaunt, Ian Hart, Lesley Sharp, Lee Ross, Ben Batt, Iain Glen


Plot: A feel-good, heart-warming film set in Yorkshire in 1977 about an adolescent boy’s big summer after leaving school. It’s about a boy and a dog, class and ambition, first love, and above all, family.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Delightful Coming of Age Film


Story: Dusty and Me starts when Dusty (Newberry) just turns 18 and finishes school on the same day with his brother Little Eddie (Batt) taking him for his first pint, meeting a greyhound that local trainer Mickey the Bubble (Glen) can’t train, he offers to walk and train while waiting for his results.

As the days turn into weeks Dusty starts getting involved with Chrissie (Gaunt) who becomes his first love as he continues to try and help Slapper the greyhound reach his potential.


Thoughts on Dusty and Me


Characters – Derek better know as Dusty to everyone else has been in private school, he has just hit 18 and is now returning home while waiting to receive his results. In this break he befriends a greyhound and meets a girl for the vital time in his life where he can find his place in life. Chrissie is the local girl that Dusty falls for, she has helps him come out of his shell, while we never learn where she wants her life to go. Big Eddie is the father of Derek, he spends his time down the pub wanting to be proud of his kids in his own way. Mickey the Bubble is the local greyhound trainer, he is known for his awful wigs and we see how he helps Dusty get the most out of Slapper, we do have the rest of the family with overprotective mum and fast-talking brother Little Eddie who gets all the laughs.

PerformancesLuke Newberry in the leading role is great, we see how he feels as innocent as he is meant to be at the earl stages of film before becoming more open as the film unfolds. Genevieve Gaunt keeps her performance a joy to watch, her ever positive character just makes us smile. Ben Batt will get the most laughs in the film as a character that wouldn’t feel out of place in ‘Only Fools and Horses’. When we see the bigger names Iain Glen and Ian Hart are both great in their roles too.

StoryThe story here is a coming-of-age tale about young Dusty an 18-year-old that has never has the chance of life experiences, the two months we watch we see him make new friends, both human and a dog and see just how much his family cares about him even if they don’t always show it. We go through a check list of coming of age movie which has sweet moments and shows the ups and downs in life which will only help make Dusty a stronger character for the world once he is finished.

Comedy/FamilyThe movie does have plenty of comedy in it, the funniest moments come from Little Eddie as he is the guy that seems to be able to get anything and the moments while he is away in postcard form telling Dusty what to do are funny. This is one that the whole family could enjoy even if all the characters are adult age ranged.

SettingsThe film is set in Yorkshire, England in the 1977, we get the sense of community because of this, we do get football references to show which part they are from too with them being Leeds United fans, this little bit will help the English fans of the film understand certain jokes more than non-football fans.

Scene of the Movie –
The race day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villains are slightly too comical.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice sweet coming of age movie, we have likeable characters and the simple story idea for Dusty to grow.


Overall: Coming of Age fans watch.




Bliss! (2018)

Director: Rita Osei

Writer: Alex Ferguson (Screenplay) Rita Osei, Jenny Wilkes (Story)

Starring: Freya Parks, David Leon, Montserrat Lombard, Lauren Johns, Elvira Von Der Lippe, Lara Arentz-Hansen


Plot: Tasha Robson, 16, has run away from home! While she rides the waves aboard the large ferry heading from South Shields, England to Scandinavia in search of her unknown father, “The Viking” all is less than calm in the Robson household.

Tagline – Families need fathers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Sweet Coming of Age Film


Story: Bliss! Starts when 16-year-old Tasha (Parks) learns that the man she believes is her father Charlie (Leon) isn’t her father, turning to her mother Karen (Lombard) for answers she decides to go in search for her real father.

Learning her dad was nicknamed The Viking, Tasha heads to Norway in search for him, where she gets to experience a new culture and hopefully find answers to help her in life.


Thoughts on Bliss!


Characters – Tasha is a 16-year-old that has lived a tough life in South Shields growing up in a dysfunctional family, she learns that the man she thought was her father isn’t, she decides to head off in search for her father which takes her to Norway. Charlie is the man Tasha thought was her father, he is an alcoholic that always gets welcomed back by Karen no matter what he does. Karen is the mother of Tasha who has many jobs and doesn’t seem to give her children the most amount of time. We get to see the rest of the siblings which are different in their own way, have their own problems to deal with.

PerformancesFreya Parks in the leading role is strong in the film, we get to see her adventure, which gives her the desperation needed for the trip and unsure feeling her character would have during the situation. The rest of the cast get to do through their own emotional moments to help with where their story end up going.

StoryThe story here mostly follows Tasha as she wants to learn the true identity about who her father is after becoming tired of the abusive behaviour of the man she believes is her father. This sends a teenager on the trip across the North Sea to a new land, which is the most interesting part of the story to be following. When we don’t follow Tasha we get a weakness because we follow siblings dealing with their own problems and even given Charlie an important story arc which Tasha misses completely. If we had just focused on Tasha this would have been a great watch instead we fall to good because of the fact is there is too many stories to focus on as they don’t get enough time in the spotlight.

Adventure The adventure that Tasha goes on is one that is surprising and important, because she is not prepared for which only adds to story.

SettingsThe film shows us in South Shields which feels confined and almost dead end feeling, when we get to Norway we get the beauty spots and open landscapes which show Tasha the two different states of life, one her mother lives the other is where her father is meant to be.

Scene of the Movie –
Let it out.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Side stories.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good coming of age movies that shows us just how difficult life can be when what you thought was your life is in fact false.


Overall: Good coming of age movie.




ABC Film Challenge – Romance – The Quiet Man (1952)

Director: John Ford

Writer: Frank S Nugent (Screenplay) Maurice Walsh (Story)

Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, Francis Ford


Plot: A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.

Tagline –  Action…Excitement…Romance…Fill the Screen !

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Not for the Modern Audience


Story: The Quiet Man starts when American Sean Thornton (Watne) returns to Ireland and the town where he was raised, the locals are not impressed with his appearance because he looks to buy a house that Will Danaher (McLaglen) is interested in and takes a shine to his sister Mary Kate Danaher (O’Hara).

When Sean wins Mary Kate’s heart and hand in a horse racing competition they are allowed to date and joined by Michaleen Oge Flynn (Fitzgerald) to watch who must watch over their time together,


Thoughts on The Quiet Man


Characters – Sean Thornton is an American with a secret past which comes to Ireland to return to his childhood home, he wants to settle down and escape the nightmare moment in his past. Mary Kate is the lady Sean falls in love with even if it means to she loses her fortune.

PerformancesThe performances from John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara are good throughout the film as we get to see what Wayne does best with his dominating behaviour and what Maureen does to try and make herself stand out in the industry.

StoryThe story follows a man that wants to start a new life in the place where he started his life and away from the spotlight which caused him the pain in his life, here he falls in love and must learn to deal with traditions of this new land. This does make sense for the time of the film because the news of what caused Sean to leave America wouldn’t be easy to see spread, unlike the modern era, it does keep things simple throughout too.

Comedy/RomanceWe do get moments of comedy in this film, mostly from how the supporting villagers deal with the stranger, the romance is clear for us as we see the two’s romance unfold.

SettingsThe film takes us to a small Irish village which will give Sean a place to get away from his past and show the community he will be walking into.

Scene of the Movie –
The first truth about Sean.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to tell the different country people apart.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film considered a classic, you can see why because of what it would have help do with cinema, but it just doesn’t seem as attention drawing as it should.


Overall: Classic, but dated.