ABC Film Challenge – Romance – S – Sunshine on Leith (2013)

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Stephen Greenhorn (Screenplay) Stephen Greenhorn (Stage Play)

Starring: Paul Brannigan, George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Jane Horrocks, Peter Mullan, Freya Mavor, Antonia Thomas, Jason Flemyng

 

Plot: Two soldiers return home to Edinburgh to resume their romantic and family lives.


Tagline – When it happens… there’s nothing like it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolute Delight

 

Story: Sunshine of Leith starts as the two soldiers Davy (MacKay) and Ally (Guthrie) return to Edinburgh to continue their lives, Ally dating Liz (Mavor) while Davy meets Yvonne (Thomas) and the romantic lives of the four-young people come through in the tough times they must live.

As the young men learn to adapt back to a normal life they sing their way through different situations young couples and even the older couples must go through in normal life.

 

Thoughts on Sunshine of Leith

 

Characters – Davy is one of the two soldiers who returned, the squad leader who has lost men, but returns with a few issues, but starts enjoying life more when he meets Yvonne, he needs to show that he will be haunted by moments from his past and deal with them the right way. Ally has returned home believing he can get a job and just marry his girl Liz, he must learn that not everything is what he had planned for. Liz is Davy’s sister, a nurse and Ally’s girlfriend, she has been dreaming of seeing the world one day, that time is now, can she handle letting Ally know what she wants the most. Yvonne is a fellow nurse, an English girl who moved to Scotland for love once, she has a connection with Davy, but not sure how to accept Davy’s past and his reactions to trouble. We do also have Rab and Jean the parents of Liz & Davy who are going through their own struggles even after their long marriage.

PerformancesThe performances across the board here are fantastic, with the leading men George MacKay & Kevin Guthrie showing the emotional trauma of returning from war. Freya Mavor shows how the ambition of one person can show in conflict they are showing in her and Antonia Thomas shows us how hesitate someone can be to open up to someone who could have problems of their own.

StoryThe story follows 6 lives, two soldiers returning from war, one older couple who must put the past behind them and two young women who careers are about to take them in new directions, but love could hold them back. The stories blend together wonderfully that gives us relatable characters who have everyday problems they must overcome to find the answers they want from life, it will leave you with a smile on your face when it ends.

Comedy/Romance/MusicalThe comedy is light-hearted as we get to see how the lives of the characters is not taken overly serious for them, the romance shows us just how difficult love can be for people who have dreams to follow. Everything is told in a musical style which is filled with catchy songs that give our characters the express of their feelings.

SettingsThe Scottish setting works for the film, it gets to show how normal people are going and return from war to live normal lives.


Scene of the Movie –
500 miles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I get most of the references, if you don’t know too much about Scottish culture, you may struggle to understand certain moments.

Final ThoughtsThis was a treat of a movie, it has real characters that must make life changing decisions that could have affect on the people they love, it has delightful songs you can sing along to and wonderful performance.

 

Overall: This is a MUST WATCH

Rating

 

 

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Oklahoma! (1999)

Director: Trevor Nunn

Writer: Oscar Hammerstein II (Book) Lynn Riggs (Play)

Starring: Maureen Lipman, Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, David Shelmerdine, Jimmy Johnston, Shuler Hensley

 

Plot: Cowboy Curly McClain tries to win the heart of a girl in a singing and dancing extravaganza.

 

Runtime: 3 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Theatre Experience

 

Story: Oklahoma! Starts as cowboy Curly (Jackman) is trying to get farm girl Laurey Williams (Gabrielle) to be his date for dance, her heart is torn between what she wants in him and what would be right, going with the farm hand Jud (Hensley).  Playing matchmaker is Aunt Eller (Lipman) who wants best for her niece.

The battle between the men is on leaving Laurey to make the difficult decision herself, while on route to the party just where will everything go.

 

Thoughts on Oklahoma!

 

Characters – Aunt Eller is the lady pulling the strings between her niece and the other single women in the west, she can keep peace between the different backgrounds. Curly is a cowboy that is full of confidence that wants to be with Laurey, he is honourable and desirable for the women in the town and sets his sights on Laurey only. Laurey is the farm girl in search of a husband and is torn over two men, one she loves and one that has helped her family the most. Jud is the rival that wants Laurey’s hand in marriage, she is rougher around the edges making him feel like he would be a bad husband.

PerformancesWhen going into the performance we must understand this is the stage recording of the story, the whole cast show their talents off here to make this feel truly believable like you are one of the audience, and Jackman doesn’t even stand out over the rest of the performers.

StoryThe story here is a theatre classic, it focuses mostly on a young farm woman that is searching for a husband and being torn between her feelings and marrying for supporting in the wild west era. This is a slow story and you can understand why it is a stage musical, making it 3 hours is strange because there isn’t too much going on for the most part though.

Musical/Romance/WesternThe musical numbers are big and magical, easily the most important part of the film. the romance side of the film follows Laurey as she must make her choice about how to treat love. The western side of the film comes from the setting and time which shows us just where we are meant to be watching.

SettingsThis is a recording of the theatre production, we know the settings are only going to be the stage and what can be placed on it, this does work for this very well.


Scene of the Movie –
Dream sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is way too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a musical production that gets to highlight Hugh Jackman when he first broke into Hollywood, it is known as the classic show and has nothing wrong with the performance, but it is overly long.

 

Overall: Easy access to Musical world.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – T – Tangled (2010)

Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay) Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm (Fairy tale)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor

 

Plot: The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.


Tagline – Get tangled up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Princess 101

 

Story: Tangled starts by taking us to a fantasy land where Rapunzel the new princess is taken by Mother Gothel who has been using a golden flower to stay young, but the flowers power has transferred to Rapunzel long blonde locks.

Years later Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her mother forbidden to go outside even though she is desperate to, Flynn Rider is a thief on the run who stumbles into Rapunzel’s tower, where the two make a deal to help Rapunzel escape to see the lanterns her real parents have been lighting in hope of find their daughter on her birthday.

 

Thoughts on Tangled

 

Characters – Rapunzel is the princess of the land that is taken as a baby locked in a tower, grown up she dreams of leaving the tower to see the lanterns the royal family light every year. Once she gets out she uses her hair as a weapon and is overly excitable about seeing the world for the first time. Flynn Rider is a thief that is wanted throughout the kingdom, he relies on his charm to get him out of trouble only to end up finding Rapunzel who opens his eyes to a life on the good side of the law. Mother Gothel has kept Rapunzel as her own daughter because it will give her eternal youth, she is controlling and evil on a different level to other Disney villains.

StoryThe story does follow the fairy tale about Rapunzel, by bringing a fresh spin on everything, we get the idea that her first visit away from the tower is enjoyable for her an adventure she has always dreamed off, while also having the idea of a Disney Princess being protected in her own way. I do feel this story does have a negative side because a lot of what goes on focuses on people stopping everything to make a girl happy on their birthday. For a Disney story this is everything the fans will want.

Adventure/Fantasy/MusicalThe adventure takes Rapunzel away from the tower which was her prison to see the world for the first time, the fantasy world we enter shows us just how magic can work when it comes to the story of Rapunzel and the musical is trademark Disney.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are normal Disney locations which are fine throughout the film.

AnimationThe animation is always going to be fantastic quality from Disney which will never be doubted by anyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rough bar.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is by the book Disney princess stuff.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the princess fans out there, it follows the traditions well and brings us the fresh look at the classic fairy tale.

 

Overall: Disney hit their target audience.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – S – Sing (2016)

Director: Garth Jennings, Christopher Lourdelet

Writer: Garth Jennings (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C Reilly, Taron Egerton

 

Plot: In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario’s attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists’ find that their lives will never be the same.


Tagline – Auditions begin christmas

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Animated Musical

 

Story: Sing starts as we follow a hustling theatre owner Buster Moon, looking to save his career, we follow the other animals in the city including say home mother pig Rosita, an underachieving musician mouse Mike, punk rocker porcupine Ash, gorilla about to enter the world of crime Johnny and shy elephant Meena, that enter this competition that Buster moon hosts with a prize of $100,000.

While Buster needs to find a way to make the money for the prize the talent continues to build their performances, learning how the breakout of their average lives being the best they could ever be.

 

Thoughts on Sing

 

Characters – Buster Moon is an ambitious but unsuccessful theatre owner, who has always dreamed of putting on a show everybody would love. He is quick thinking when it comes to getting him out of trouble, he is also ambitious enough to try something new and motive people to try. Rosita is the mother pig of 25 piglets, she has always dreamed of singing but lacks the charisma until Buster gets hold of her. Mike is a wise cracking mouse that is always looking for a quick buck. Ash is meant to be a teenage porcupine that is a punk rocker that needs to change her style to make the impact she deserves in music. Eddie is the only friend Buster has in the theatre, his family has helped fund Buster mad cap ideas before, he is the only one that will stand by him. Johnny is a gorilla that is destining to follow his father in a life a crime, even though he wants to be a singer, he faces the decision to whether to turn his back on his father or not. Meena is the shy elephant with the voice of an angel, she needs to learn to come out her shell to show the world her talent.

StoryThe story follows the group of everyday people, well animals getting a chance to follow their dreams in the music industry from an ambitious theatre owner. While you can look at the story in two directions, one would be poking fun at these countless talent shows on television now and the other being showing people how to follow their dreams however hard they seem to be, if you have the talent you will get the chance. it is sweet and simple story that can be enjoyed by everyone who watches.

Comedy/Family/MusicThe comedy is clear to see in how either the animals could be known for certain types of music or how they act to become something. The family should all enjoy this movie to be honest and the music include has something for everyone, from pop songs to classics, it should check the boxes for everyone.

SettingsThe fantasy settings feels like it is a version of LA with the animals included, it works for the ambition the characters are showing.

AnimationThe animation style used works and never looks out of place for the film, could easily be up there with the best.


Scene of the Movie –
The grand show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much Mike, because he does feels like one of Seth MacFarlane creation.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch and enjoyable throughout, it is something I can see many people get a smile from.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – Y – Youth (2015)

Director: Paolo Sorrentino

Writer: Paolo Sorrentino (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano

 

Plot: A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Youth starts as we arrive in this Swiss Alps luxury resort where retired orchestra conductor Fred Ballinger (Caine) and his best friend film director Mike Boyle (Keitel). Fred uses the annual trip as a chase relax and get treated, Mike is working on the next screenplay with a group of students.

Fred’s relaxing holiday gets changed when Mike’s son divorces his daughter Lena (Weisz) meaning she is spending her holiday with him, he does enjoy this company though otherwise he would be alone. Fred does get requested to perform at Prince Philip’s birthday by Queen Elizabeth II but refuses at first, but the Queen won’t take no for an answer but his reasons will help Lena through her own problems. Fred also ends up having a holiday relationship with young actor Jimmy Tree (Dano) who understands Fred’s frustration because he is feeling them too as an actor.

The holiday will give new feelings, directions and moments for these four, ones that you can only get from relaxing and enjoying yourself once in a while.

 

Thoughts on Youth

 

Characters/PerformanceFred Ballinger is a world famous musical conductor that is requested by the Queen to perform, but he has retired now and all he wants is peace and quiet in this relaxing holiday in the Swiss Alps, he hasn’t been the same since he lost his wife and wants to continue he love of music with the next generation. Mick Boyle is a screenwriter and director who is also Fred’s good friend, he is on this holiday to teach a group of students. Lena was spending time with her father before going on her own holiday but those plans fall through as her life is turned upside down and now she needs her father more than ever. Jimmy is an actor who is also dealing with the problem of being remember for only one thing but he is young and wants to be remembered for more.

Performance wise, this is fantastic performance from Michael Caine showing just how talented he is even in his older years, Keitel is also great in the supporting role where we get to see how can be a supporting actor and not take away from the lead. Weisz and Dano are both great too where we can see just how wonderful they are.

StoryThis is a story showing how people of all ages can achieve new things, they have made bad mistakes but most of, you can learn from it all. This is a strange paced movie that does tell a nice story of the four characters down on their luck finding more from their lives.

Comedy/Music/RomanceThe comedy works in places, mostly because of the strangeness going on through the film, the music is all about how Fred finds it anything with the romance coming from the experiences the four have had.

SettingsThe Swiss Alps make for a beautiful setting, with the hotel and spa making it all look complete for the escaping from the reality of their lives.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful looking, wonderful acted movie that is well worth watching to learn about moments of life.

 

Overall: Lovely drama.

Rating