ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – G – The Golden Child (1986) Movie Review

Director: Michael Ritchie

Writer: Dennis Feldman (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, J.L. Reate, Charlotte Lewis, Victor Wong, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, James Hong

Plot: A private detective specializing in missing children is charged with the task of finding a special child whom dark forces want to eliminate.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun 80’s Movie

Story: The Golden Child starts when a mysterious powerful Golden Child (Reate) is taken by Sardo Numspa (Dance) a powerful wizard who wants him for his own power, Kee Nang (Lewis) goes in search for looking for someone to help locate the child, with private detective Chandler Jarrell (Murphy) being the man asked to help, a man that has dedicated his career to finding missing children.

Chandler learns that he is getting involved in a case which does include the supernatural, one he will have to take more seriously than anything before, one that will see him travel to world to try and save the Golden Child’s life.

Thoughts on The Golden Child

Characters – Chandler Jarrell is a streetwise private detective who specializes in solving missing children’s cases, he doesn’t care about reputation, he just wants to do the right thing for saving innocent children. He is bought in on this latest case, one that will see him need to question everything he knows about the supernatural world and questions whether it is even real when he comes face to face with the latest case. Sardo Numspa is a shapeshifting wizard that has taken the Golden Child and will exchange him for a knife that would give him more power. Kee Nang is assigned to find someone who could help save the Golden Child, with her choice being Chandler, she is left to question her beliefs as she falls for Chandler. The Golden Child is worshipped, with his power being able to bring people back to life, considered special, while also being dangerous to anyone that tries to hurt him.

PerformancesEddie Murphy is the star of the show here, he gets laughs and handles the action with ease, proving he was one the most impressive forces of the 1980s. Charles Dance makes for a wonderful villain, always showing the evil about his character through the film. Charlotte Lewis is great too, even if the character is more just for filling in gaps and love interest, we could have gotten a lot more laughs out of her character, with how certain things play out.

StoryThe story here follows a detective that gets hired to help search for a mysterious child who possess great powers, only he isn’t ready for the supernatural side to the investigation, where he is the only one that could save the world. This is a good story to follow, it does show us a detective that will always get the job done and just how important saving children is to him, despite his cocky streetwise ways. The idea of a special being in child form showing the goodness needed in the world is nice contrast to the evil coming from the shapeshifter looking to destroy the world. Everything does have a true 1980s feel to it, with how the story unfolds like you would imagine, but you can have a lot of fun along the way.

Action/ComedyThe action is an easy watch, with certain parts adding to the comedy in the film too, while Eddie Murphy controls the rest of the comedy with ease.

SettingsThe film takes the streetwise American detective to Tibet, a place he is constantly complaining about being too cold, it does show the different beliefs of the people on both sides of the world.


Scene of the Movie – Getting the knife.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Kee Nang seems like a more important character than the film lets her to be.

Final Thoughts This is a fun 80s movie, it has Eddie Murphy at the highest point of his career and fun with idea of good versus evil.

Overall: Fun and Entertainment.

Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story (2020) Movie Review

Director: Robert Steven Williams

Plot: The summer Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in Connecticut inspired one of the world’s most beloved novels: The Great Gatsby. We know the book, we know the films and series, but do we know the truth? Track down the mystery millionaire who threw extravagant parties, uncover new evidence of the location and players, and dig deep to discover the untold story of the real-life Jay Gatsby himself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Documentary 101

Story: Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story starts by looking back in the history of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald summer in Connecticut, where they were neighbours to a billionaire, which would letter become the inspiration to the great novel The Great Gatsby.

We see how the marriage happened, the lifestyle of the two authors and what made their lives like a living version of the Great Gatsby.

Thoughts on Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story

Final Thoughts If you have heard of The Great Gatsby you know the story of the wild parties the story gives us, with the question always being about where the inspiration came from. This documentary deep dives into the life of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, did Scott write a character in his book about the twos interactions with another billionaire who lived across the river from them or not. Did their lives have other mentions in both their novels or were they in fact the centre of attention when it came to parties. We see a host of different historians that have studied the two for years, the family members that heard the stories from their grandparents. We do get to learn about the people involved, only we don’t seem to get enough answers to the bigger theory going on.

Overall: Nice TV Documentary.

 



ABC Film Challenge – Animation – G – The Grinch (2018) Movie Review

Director: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier

Writer: Michael LeSieur, Tommy Swerdlow (Screenplay) Dr Suess (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Tristan O’Hare, Kenan Thompson, Sam Lavagnino

Plot: A grumpy Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: True Christmas Message

Story: The Grinch starts as we head to Whoville as they are preparing for Christmas the happiest time of the year for the town, only The Grinch sits above the town hating the holiday and everything about it with his dog Max.

AS Whoville is trying to have the biggest Christmas of all time, he plans to destroy Christmas once and for all, while a county Who Cindy-Lou is looking to ask for the simplest gift, help for her mother Donna that has been raising the children alone.

Thoughts on The Grinch

Characters – The Grinch is the grumpy who that lives above the town with Max the dog, he hates Christmas the most, he decides that this year is the year that he steals Christmas from the rest of the town, because of his own hate, this is a more cunning plan than the live action film gave us. Cindy-Lou is the one of the youngest members of the town, she wants to wish for help for her mother who is raising her siblings alone while working. She has a plan to try and capture Santa to make this wish in person. Donna is the single parent that has been raising her children alone, while working nights, she does well keeping things together without letting it show too much to her kids. We do have the other young whos that are helping Cindy, and we get Max who gets plenty of laughs with Grinch.

StoryThe story here follows the Grinch who decides he wants to steal Christmas from the town who are always rubbing it in his face, while a plucky young girl wants to ask for something more than just a present. This is the second film version of the book I have seen, it is clearly a lot better than the Ron Howard version, holding together the clever dialogue Dr Seuss was famous for, it does ditch the personal back story of the Grinch which does help show him to be a wacky villain always planning, while giving the story a big heart with how the little girl wants what is best for her mother, this is a joy to watch because it is true to what Christmas is really about.

Fantasy/FamilyThe family message in this film is clear, this is the highlight of the film which is a joy to see, being together is important, whether it true family or people you can call family, while the fantasy side of the film is the world we are thrown into, which does work for the film.

SettingsThe small town is always going to work for the film, it shows the unity within one town over the isolation of the Grinch that he is feeling.

AnimationThe animation looks wonderful through the film which helps make the film more enjoyable, being able to give us the wacky moments and slapstick working in a way only animation can pull off.


Scene of the Movie – The present.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not knowing the book, so not sure if it is closer or not.

Final Thoughts This is a joyful Christmas film that could be enjoyed by all, it hits the right marks through the film with ease and gets laughs whenever you need it.

Overall: Christmas Joy.

Greyhound (2020) Movie Review

Director: Aaron Schneider

Writer: Tom Hanks (Screenplay) C.S. Forester (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue, Michael Benz, Rob Morgan, David Maldonado

Plot: Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks.


Tagline – The Only Thing More Dangerous Than the Front Lines Was the Fight to Get There

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: War Movie 101

Story: Greyhound starts as we see the beginning of World War II, where American Naval Ship Captained by Captain Krause (Hanks) as he looks to navigate his way to the frontline, one that will see him need to navigate through Nazi U-boats that are waiting to pick off any incoming ships.

The closer they get to their destination, the more obstacles they must overcome, offering rescue to the ships they find along the way, taking advice from the other ships that they are following and experienced different levels of threat.

Thoughts on Greyhound

Final ThoughtsGreyhound is a war movie that shows the story of a rookie naval captain who looks to guide a fleet of ships to the frontline for the battles in World War II, where they must overcome the odds which will see them getting attacked by countless enemies losing souls along the way. This is another one of those incredible stories of war, it shows us just how many soldiers sacrificed their lives during World War II. While the story is incredible, it isn’t told in the most interesting way, with none of the conflict scenes hitting the intensity you would be expecting. Tom Hanks is strong enough in the leading role, but he never hits the full level of his abilities, with the supporting cast not putting a foot wrong, only they just don’t get to make an impact in anyway. This does end up feeling like one of the bigger disappointments in the year, being more average, rather than a spectacle it should have been.

Overall: Average war film.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – G – God Help the Girl (2014)

Director: Stuart Murdoch

Writer: Stuart Murdoch (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Pierre Boulanger, Cora Bisset, Sarah Swire

 

Plot: As Eve begins writing songs as a way to sort through some emotional problems, she meets James and Cassie, two musicians each at crossroads of their own.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict:

 

Story: God Help the Girl starts as we meet Eve (Browning) she is living in a mental home to help her deal with the emotional problems which have damaged her body. Eve isn’t happy here and when she can, she runs away to watch music, here she meets James (Alexander) who offers her friendship.

With the latest escape, Eve moves into the flat in the same building as James and the two-start helping each other and Cassie (Murray) to write songs, giving Eve the purpose she required in life, before they trio decide to start their own band.

 

Thoughts on God Help the Girl

 

Characters – Eve starts this film in a mental home because of her own personal problems, she needs to learn to rebuild her life after the problems which occurred, we don’t learn completely what the issue was early on. She writes songs to help her through the treatment, before escaping and meeting another musician, starting a band opening herself back up to the world. James is the one of the group who had been part of a band before, he offers Eve friendship as they both learn to enjoy the music once again. He doesn’t want to be a cliché when it comes to music, which only holds up the band from finding their own sound. Cassie is the girl from a rich family, she has always struggled to write her own songs, joining with the rest she can learn to perform to the world.

PerformancesEmily Browning in the leading role shows of the acting skills here with her character needing to deal with the largest amounts of emotional problems with her life. We understand each emotion she is going through and she does hit off the singing too. Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray both fill the supporting roles, where they both get their moments to shine.

StoryThe story is split between three people, the focus on Eve who has mental problems in her life, she is trying to help herself through music, we watch as she needs to put her life back together and see how much she is willing to risk to put herself back into the life she needs to be living, there are many important factors to understand what she is going through, which is the most important part of the story, learning to balance dreams and life can become difficult. The other two characters must learn this with their own reasons holding them back one not wanting to be cliché, the other needing to accept everybody for being the same in life. With the serious nature to the film, the randomness of the songs can sometimes take away the message, though most of the songs are here to express the emotions being felt through the film.

Musical/RomanceThe music in the film has plenty of songs that are showing the emotions that the characters are feeling, which is great, though they don’t feel catchy as they want to be. The romance shows how the lives of these three young people are trying to find love over a summer of music.

SettingsThe film is set in Scotland which gets to show the beauty in the busy streets and open country.


Scene of the Movie –
Final performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The songs aren’t as catchy as you would imagine.

Final ThoughtsThis is a musical that tackles serious mental health issues, while teaching us the ideas of balancing dreams and reality.

 

Overall: Musical that teaches life lessons.

Rating