ABC Film Challenge – Animation – O – Only Yesterday (1991)

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: David Freedman, Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hotaru Okamoto, Yuuke Tone (Manga)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Izuka, Mei Oshitani

 

Plot: A twenty-seven-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo.


Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not Ghibli’s Strongest

 

Story: Only Yesterday starts as Taeko an office worker looks to return to the countryside for her vacation, this brings back her memories of when she was younger growing up with school and her love for the countryside.

As Taeko’s memories continue to flood back she remembers her first embarrassing moments at school, when she gets her first period and learns from fellow student it is natural, while the boys are making fun of her. We jump back to the adult Taeko who is back for the farming and she meets Toshio a young farmer that see the world the same as her, which offers her a romantic interest in her life.

 

Thoughts on Only Yesterday

 

Characters – Taeko is our leading character we look at two moments of her life, we have her childhood struggles and her returning adult self to the peace of the countryside. This character shows us the difficulties that growing up offers and adult life can be when you look back on where you could have gone. Toshio is a local farmer that shows Taeko around, keeping her company while offering a potential love and path back to the life she once loved.

StoryThe story tackles growing up and returning home after time away, following the life you love compared to the one you need to live. The ideas in the story focus on real events and don’t bring any fantasy elements into the story telling which can either interest you or put you off because when you watch a Ghibli movie you are expecting moments of fantasy at times. The real feel both takes away from the story and adds to the personal touch needed to be told.

RomanceThe romance starts off soft because it mostly focuses on the idea that home could bring a love you want over the city the love you can have.

SettingsThe settings show the two different lives that Taeko has lived, the one in the small farming village, the other from the big city, this shows which one he wants to be part of more.

AnimationThe animation works for the time because Ghibli has a different style to Disney to make it stand out.


Scene of the Movie –
Dreams.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story, while good lacks that moment to make it stand out.

Final ThoughtsThis was a good watch, but isn’t going to making it to the top of many of the re-watching of Ghibli movies for me.

 

Overall: Solid addition to the Ghibli world.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Outlaw (2007)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Bob Hoskins, Rupert Friend, Sean Harris, Lennie James, Sally Bretton

 

Plot: A group of people who feel betrayed by their government and let down by their police force form a modern-day outlaw posse in order to right what they see as the wrongs of society.


Tagline – There will be no excuses. The guilty will be punished. No one is above OUTLAW

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal British Action Film

 

Story: Outlaw starts as we meet five everyday working guys, returning soldier Danny Bryant (Bean), office worker Gene Dekker (Dyer), broken victim Sandy Mardell (Friend), security guard Simon Hillier (Harris), lawyer Cedric Munroe (James) and former police officer Walter Lewis (Hoskins) who have seen the effects of the violence behaviour going on in London.

Simon recruits Danny to build a group they get Gene, Sandy and Cedric to prepare to be fight back against the thugs and criminals in the world. Walter helps feed the information needed to get the job done cleanly, will there be a price for what they are doing.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw

 

Characters – Danny Bryant is a soldier returned from his tour in Iraq, he finds his life gone with his wife moved on, he sees the abusive behaviour of the people and builds a team to fight back. He does control how far the men go. Gene Dekker is an office worker that suffers a beating after an accident which drives him join to fight back. Simon Hillier is a security guard, he is the loose cannon of the group, he wants to push things too far, but he also brings the guys together. Cedric is a lawyer who has his wife and unborn child killed by his latest case, he does offer the biggest moral compass about whether to go through with the murders. Walter Lewis is a former police officer, he has been reduced to pick ups and offers inside help to help clean up the streets.

PerformancesWe have a great British cast here, Sean Bean in the leading role gives us a demanding performance where we always want to see what his character does next. Danny Dyer is giving his best Danny Dyer performance, do well but not offering anything new. Bob Hoskins is good too he shows how people will have been affected by what happened in the past well. Lennie James and Sean Harris show us both sides of the scale as they could take their characters to either side of the fence.

StoryThe story shows us how crime rates are going up with the criminals not facing the consequences, we see the men that got pushed too far and decide to fight back. We have everything you would imagine with an outlaw move would take place, yes we are in London during modern day which adds something new, to the tried and tested formula.

Action/CrimeThe action is thug related behaviour which comes off a brutal as it needs to for the movie, sometimes it will be harder to watch. The crimes are brutal to watch as the behaviour is shown to be out of control.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, this shows the high crime rates, which helps the countryside showing the hiding places for everyone to hide.


Scene of the Movie –
The preparations.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It seems like Gene isn’t quite like the rest.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the British fans of action films, it keeps us feeling like we are seeing real crimes committed and the idea of an outlaws helps make us understand their motives.

 

Overall: One for the British action fans.

Rating

 

 

The Omega Man (1971)

Director: Boris Sagal

Writer: John William Corrington, Joyce Hooper Corrington (Screenplay) Richard Matheson (Novel)

Starring: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick

 

Plot: Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dated Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: The Omega Man starts as we follow Neville (Heston) living in an abandoned New York City as he searches for resources to help him discover a cure for the disease which wiped out most of the population. At night, blind humans who can’t be in sunlight appear, led by Matthias (Zerbe) as we learn both are battling each other.

When the two clash they do discover they are both just fighting to survive but it is the new human in town Lisa (Cash) that saves Neville from certain death from the creatures of the night as they search for the cure.

 

Thoughts on The Omega Man

 

Characters – Neville lives alone in New York City, well by day he treats it like whatever he wants, taking what he wants but preparing for safety from the Brotherhood, he is searching for a cure and when he learns of other humans he steps up his search. Matthias is the leader of the brotherhood who roam the streets at night looking to kill Neville for his involvement in the creation of the infection. Lisa is another human that has been hiding in safety from both the battling sides but when one of their own start to show infection she must risk everything to get Neville to find a cure. She is able to handle herself in battle against enemies that put her life in danger.

PerformanceCharlton Heston was always a good action lead back at the time of release and he was star power with his good performance, Anthony Zerbe is also good as you need to have the creepy villain while Rosalind Cash does make for a strong female character.

StoryA virus as destroyed most of humanity leaving just one man needing to find a cure before the last pocket are killed or infected, well this is easy to follow, I like how the villains are just humans that are infected rather than creatures which we see in the remake, but otherwise is generic in every way as it leads up to the finale moments.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is just random gun battles which is fine but nothing special with the sci-fi elements coming from the idea the world has now been destroyed for the most part.

SettingsAn empty New York is haunting throughout the film, along with all the empty locations we find our character going through, showing just how our big world would become empty with no one in it.

Scene of the Movie – Shopping.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You don’t get enough as to why Matthias is leading a cult like group.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that has dated badly and even not being the biggest fan of I am Legend I couldn’t help but find that a much more interesting film all around.

 

Overall: Sci-Fi doesn’t always stand the test of time.

Rating

 

 

Of Minor Prophets (2016)

Director: Joe Hubers

Writer: Jeff Barker (Screenplay) Joe Hubers (Story)

Starring: Kristopher Kling, Cora Vander Broek, Kimberlee Soo, Oliver McKinney, Rebecca Hanson, Matthew Brumlow

 

Plot: A lonely bachelor farmer befriends a prostitute and has to contend with her true intentions.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Florida Project’s Little Brother

 

Story: Of Minor Prophets starts as we enter the small dusty town bachelor farmer Doug (Kling) lives an isolated life away from any personal connection. Ami (Vander Broek) is a prostitute that works the outskirts of the businesses looking for clients, so she can keep a roof over her young son Josh’s (McKinney) head.

When the two meet they strike up a friendship as they both show the problems they have in their lives, they start to bond as Ami sees a way out of her life of fear.

 

Thoughts on Of Minor Prophets

 

Characters – Doug is a lonely farmer, he lives in isolation, getting his job done before returning home, never searching for a wife, even though he is a bachelor for the single women in town. He does try to do the right for Ami, someone he would never changes this. Ami is a prostitute that owes the wrong people money, she has a young son to care for as she looks for a quick way out of this world, Doug gives her hope of a different world.

PerformancesKristopher Kling as the farmer is great in this role, he helps his character feel withdrawn from most of the conversation which helps show us the isolation he has been living with comfortably. Cora Vander Broek is the other leading star of the movie, she brings us a strong character that shows the determination needed to keep her child safe, while trying to get out of the life. The rest of the cast are good through the film.

StoryThe story here will easily get comparisons to The Florida Project, he shows us the struggles of people in America, the setting is different as we have a small farmer town where we follow the mother turn prostitute that wants out of this life, while a new guardian angel figure watches over them. This story is one that will make you think of the struggles, see the positions people might put themselves in and how difficult it could be to escape.

Crime/RomanceThe life of crime is where Ami finds herself in to keep her child safe, while the romance comes from the idea the mysterious stranger could offer her a chance out of this life.

SettingsThe dusty small town setting adds plenty to this film, we see how empty the life of Doug is alone away from the main part of town, we see how the community is there supporting the select groups and how easily crime can trap people.


Scene of the Movie –
Don’t need your help!

That Moment That Annoyed Me Hard to find one.

Final ThoughtsThis is a look at the bleaker side of life in America, it will be easily compared to The Florida Project and that will prepare you for what you are going to be seeing.

 

Overall: Bleak and delightful drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – O – The Overnight (2015)

Director: Patrick Brice

Writer: Patrick Brice (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling, Judith Godreche

 

Plot: Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family “playdate” becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slightly Awkward Comedy

 

Story: The Overnight starts as married couple Alex (Scott) and Emily (Schilling) move to LA with their son RJ, not knowing anybody Alex takes RJ to the park hoping to make friends for the both and it is the strange Kurt (Schwartzman) that they meet.

Getting invited by Kurt to meet the family with his wife Charlotte (Godreche) as Alex and Emily make new friends, but Kurt and Charlotte offer them a night unlike anything they could have imagined once the drinks and drugs take over.

 

Thoughts on The Overnight

 

Characters/PerformanceAlex and Emily are going through a move to a new city where they want to meet new friends. They have normal married life issues which can get exposed on this crazy night. Kurt and Charlotte are different to the people Alex and Emily know, they like to party and embrace people in their own way.

Performance wise, The four stars all do well but we all know they are capable better but this is slightly awkward to watch in places.

StoryThe story is short and simple two couples spend the night partying together as they learn to discover themselves as they make friends. This doesn’t have too much going on within the story though when you look into bigger picture.

Comedy/MysteryThe comedy is fine but doesn’t hit very often with the mystery only being about what Kurt and Charlotte want from the night.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one house over the night which keeps the story easy to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is an awkward to watch film is places, it isn’t one you could sit down and watch with other people.

 

Overall: Awkward is an understatement when you discuss this film.

Rating