ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Q – The Quiet Man (1952) Movie Review

Director: John Ford

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

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

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 in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dated Comedy

Story: The Quiet Man starts as American Sean Thornton (Wayne) returns to Ireland, the place of his birth to return to his home to start a new life, it isn’t line before he meets the beautiful Mary Kate Danaher (O’Hare) falling in love, only he must deal with her aggressive brother Will (McLaglen) who won’t give them permission to be married.

As the village rallies behind Sean, the pressure is put on Will to let his sister marry Sean, giving the couple their chance to be together.

Thoughts on The Quiet Man

Characters – Sean Thornton has made his fortune in America, now he wants to return to his place of birth, to the home he was born in and start a fresh life, he happens to clash with a man in town, which also sees him falling in love quickly. He is running from his past, which is always holding him back to letting his new wife the truth about who he is. Mary Kate Danaher is the woman that Sean falls in love with, she has been living under her brother for years and now wants just one thing from their marriage, her money from her life before they got married, the money her brother won’t let her have. Michaleen is the local man that helps Sean around, fixing small problems, while enjoying his drink. We do get to meet plenty of the locals, including the brother that wants control of the village, the widow who has the most, the father and the reverend, both of who want to help Sean out. Most other character do fill your Irish stereotypes.

PerformancesJohn Wayne is static as he ever was, he might have been a presence, but he doesn’t include any emotional range. Maureen O’Hare does bring us a colourful character, though it is one that that isn’t always around in modern cinema. Barry Fitzgerald gets plenty of laughs in his role in the film, while everybody is fine with what they have to do.

StoryThe story here does follow a man coming from America in search of a new life in his birth town, only to find himself falling in love getting caught in the middle of a conflict between the biggest name in the village. This is a story that follows traditions which are completely outdated now and focus on just trying to get on with one’s life over money. It is about trying to start a fresh in life, something that will make people question your own actions. It plays out between two men fighting over something small, without needing to be getting into a big conflict.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film does seem to focus more on Irish stereotypes over anything else, while the romance just seems to be man meets woman, there doesn’t seem to be much of a spark between the two.

SettingsThe film uses a small Irish village and countryside for the locations, they work well for returning home and shows how the people will come together.


Scene of the Movie – The first arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The lack of chemistry between Sean and Mary Kate.

Final Thoughts This is a dated comedy that just doesn’t reach the heights it did upon release, being held back too often by John Wayne’s lack of comic timing.

Overall: Average Comedy.

Quezon’s Game (2018) Movie Review

Director: Matthew E Rosen

Writer: Janice Y Perez, Dean Rosen (Screenplay)

Starring: Raymond Bagatsing, Rachel Alejandro, Kate Alejandrino, Billy Ray Gallion, David Bianco, Jennifer Blair-Bianco, Tony Ahn, James Paoleli

Plot: In 1938, Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon agrees to welcome Jewish refugees from Germany in the Philippines.


Tagline – A world on the brink of war. A people on the brink of annihilation. A leader on the brink of death.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important, But Slow

Story: Quezon’s Game starts as word comes out of Germany about wanting to move the Jews to concentration camps, the news hit the Philippines, reaching the President Manuel Quezon (Bagatsing) who along with his wife Aurora (Alejandro) works with Alex Frieder (Gallion) to find a solution to the horrific news.

President Quezon must look at what is going around the world before making his decision to offer refugees a home in the Philippines, an idea which could leave his reputation shattered, while Alex is learning first-hand how the Jews are being treated.

Thoughts on Quezon’s Game

Characters – President Manuel Quezon has been given the information about the Jewish camps in Nazi Germany, he has advisors trying to help him make the decision on whether to help, even though he has already made up his mind, he wants to find a way to offer refugees a place to live, by doing it in a political manor, unlike the leaders from around the world, he sees shutting them out. Aurora is the wife of Manuel’s who wants him to do the right thing no matter what, seeing the human factor to what is going on in Germany. Alex Frieder is a Jewish man living around Germany, he sees the changes happening in the country and turns to his own President to help people escape. Paul McNutt is part of the American embassy that isn’t willing to let the refugees in the country, he doesn’t want to support Manuel’s choice because America still has control over the country.

PerformancesRaymond Bagatsing in the leading role is strong through the film, like the rest of the cast, Rachel Alejandro, Billy Ray Gallion and James Paoleli, they do bring their characters to life with ease, as we see the conflict in their performances.

StoryThe story here follows the Filipino President who learns of the horrors of the German’s towards the Jews before the war broke out, who set out to offer them a home, needing to overcome the obstacles that are thrown in his way by other countries, mostly the Americans. This is another interesting historical drama, showing us just how important the stories of the people that wanted to help save the innocent lives that were being taken, how people would put their own reputations on the line to make this happen. While certain moments of this story do seem to lack moments of pace, because most of the film focuses more on the political side of the events.

HistoryWhen it comes to any film about history, you want to learn something new and after watching this film, you will learn about the incredible, the work that Manuel Quezon achieved during the war.

SettingsMost of the film is set behind close doors, with it being offices or social events, where the conversations took place.


Scene of the Movie – The arrival.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough about how the people would be feel about the decision.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting history lesson film that will once again put a spotlight on another unsung hero of the war.

Overall: Important Story.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – Q – The Quake (2019) Movie Review

Director: John Andreas Andersen

Writer: John Kare Raake, Harald Rosenlow-Eeg (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Edith Haagenrud-Sande, Katherine Thorborg Johansen, Jonas Hoff Oftebro, Stig R Amdam

Plot: In 1904 an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 on the Richter scale shook Oslo, with an epicenter in the “Oslo Graben” which runs under the Norwegian capital. There are now signs that indicate that we can expect a major future earthquake in Oslo.


Tagline – The Wave was only the beginning.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Set Piece Disaster Film

Story: The Quake starts one year after the events of the Wave, Norway is remembering the tragedy, while preparing for any other unexpected disasters, with belief there could be an Earthquake in the near future. Geologist Kristian Eikjord (Joner) is still feeling guilty for the number of people who died, despite saving his family from the tragedy.

When one of Kristian colleagues dies looking into seismic activity, it brings he out of his research to follow up on the information he has received and now in the Oslo, his worst fears look like they might come true.

Thoughts on The Quake

Characters – Kristian predicted the tsunami in the Wave, he couldn’t save everybody, now he is still feeling the guilt of not saving everybody, now he believes there could be an Earthquake hitting Oslo, one that could take more lives, he wants to find evidence to prove this, even if it means he is becoming more distant from his own children. Idun is the ex-wife to Kristian who will give him chances when it comes to their children, but doesn’t want to forgive him for become distant from then in the past. Julia is the daughter that wants to spend time with her father, she is getting pushed away by his own guilt, she will be the one that needs to be rescued the most in the film. Marit is the daughter of the colleague, that starts helping Kristian with his research understand that his work meant something more and his death can’t be in vain.

PerformancesKristoffer Joner does return as does the most part of his family actors, he is the best performer in the film, with her desperation, while the rest of the cast don’t seem to get as much impact in the film.

StoryThe story in the film does follow the guilt of surviving a disaster and the fear another one could come, before it does hit showing the desperate actions of one man to try and save his family. The story does follow the same formula as The Wave, so we know we are getting into a debate between characters about whether it could happen or not, before the event, the event itself is big and the battle to survive likewise, even if certain parts of it are repeated. It does feel slightly too random that everybody else does just vanish after the quake as we solely focus on the four trying to figure out how to survive.

ActionThe action here does wait for the big event to happen, which is a big event and doesn’t hold anything back.

SettingsThe film does take us to a new location, a big city in Oslo, with the big disaster sequences happening within the skyscrapers, with so how dangerous they would be in an Earthquake.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used for the destruction sequences, which do look terrifying, it shows the pure amount of destruction a city will face and fires up the tension in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The Quake Hitting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Trying to survive in the quake is slightly too repetitive

Final Thoughts This is a nice sequel to The Wave, the disasters are still big and the determination to survive is the most important part of the film.

Overall: Big Disaster Movie.

James Bond Month – Quantum of Solace (2008)

Director: Marc Forster

Writer: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Mathieu Amalric, Judi Dench, Giancarlo Giannini, Gemma Arterton, Jeffrey Wright

 

Plot: James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country’s most valuable resource.


Tagline – Have Regrets. Get Revenge.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Quantum of Solace starts right after the events of Casino Royale, James Bond (Craig) is searching for the organization that was controlling the events of the previous film. James is teaming up with M (Dench) only to learn the true scale of the organizations reach.

James travels to Haiti where he meets Camille (Kurylenko) a woman working with Dominic Greene (Amalric) who has been planning making a fortune on his own desires within the organization, Bond does continue to break the rules pushing M to the limits of her acceptance.

 

Thoughts on Quantum of Solace

 

Characters – James Bond is filled with vengeance after what happened in Casino Royale, he wants to hunt down the people involved within in the organization, he starts to go rogue in the eyes of the people in MI6, which sees him killing people before getting the information desired. He will go above the duty to get the people involved. Camille is the lady dating Dominic Greene, she has her own reason for being close to him and ends up working with James to get her own revenge on the organization. Dominic Greene has been working within the organization, he has a plan which will see him gain control of the nature resource with the idea to hold a country to ransom for the resource. He isn’t the most interesting villain in the franchise becoming of the more forgettable. M continues to get a large role within the franchise, here she is trying to decide whether to keep James in the field or not, getting tired of him breaking the rules.

PerformancesDaniel Craig does continue to handle the action side of the film well, he could easily be an action spy without the big name slapped to his character. Olga Kurylenko is fine as a Bond girl, she doesn’t get to bring anything overly new to the role though. Mathieu Amalric doesn’t get enough to work with for his villainous role, he is largely forgettable, though this isn’t about his performance. Judi Dench has suddenly become the most interesting character in this franchise, which is strange and you do want to see all her scenes.

StoryThe story continues to follow the first mission from James Bond as he has unfinished business with how that ended, he must investigate the organization that happens to be bigger than MI6 even knew about. By having a continuing story both works in the films advantage and against it, because you wouldn’t be able to watch this one without seeing the previous one, though it is nice to see a word building process happening. Keeping James on his first mission does continue to make the story feel fresh because we are seeing just how many reckless decisions he will be making through the mission. When it comes to the villain, we get a largely forgettable motive and he never feels like a danger to James.

Action/AdventureThe action continues to be the highlight of the film, we a much more edge of your seat feeling to the chase sequences being used in the film, with the adventure side of the film continues to take James around the world.

SettingsThe settings in the film takes James around the world to investigate the organization.


Scene of the Movie –
Roof top running.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain being forgettable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that works well for the franchise because it continues to show us how James is learning from his mistakes on the job.

 

Overall: Sequel that helps the franchise.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Q – Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Director: Roy Ward Baker

Writer: Nigel Kneale (Screenplay)

Starring: James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover, Duncan Lamont, Bryan Marshall

 

Plot: A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.


Tagline – Force more powerful than 1,000 H-Bombs unleashed to devastate Earth! World in panic! Cities in flames!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Filled Sci-Fi Horror

 

Story: Quatermass and the Pit starts when a construction team in London discovery dead bodies, which leads to Dr Roney (Donald), Professor Quatermass (Keir) and Colonel Breen (Glover) all being bought in to investigate the mysterious discovery, each with their own field of expertise for the unknown object.

Once inside there are only more questions to be asked and the strange effects happening to the people investigating adds to the mystery.

 

Thoughts on Quatermass and the Pit

 

Characters – Dr Mathew Roney is one of the team that is set to investigate the discovery, he takes and scientific approach to everything working with the historian to put the pieces together. Professor Bernard Quatermass brings the historical point of view to the table, wanting to study the discovery and using previous historical discoveries to help figure out the truth. Colonel Breen brings the military point of view often looking to use the quick answer over the smart answer. Barbara Judd is a reporter that is trying to put together a story for the public who believe this is an unexploded bomb.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast is great throughout, we believe the scientific figures, the military ones and the reporter looking for a story. the four main stars of the film know how to make the most of their scenes where their character needs to be the larger focus.

StoryThe story follows an object being discovered in London while digger to make the underground larger, we follow how the investigation to learn what this could be from different perspectives which shows how this would be handled in real life. We do have twists which comes from the discoveries going on, but for the most part this keeps things simple, with an air of mystery about what could be happening around the object.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror surrounding this movie comes from what could come from the object, it could bring horrific consequences, this plays into the mystery as we are left with the mystery behind what could be behind it. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the explanation to what could be behind the object and the potential of space being involved.

SettingsThe film is set in London and the underground, this is always a tight compact location which will add to suspense and horror in anything.

Special EffectsThis film was released in the 1960s, the special effects for the time were great, while we might look down on them now, it showed us just what was capable for the time.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act which we are built up to nicely.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact they just look like grasshoppers and no one says this.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best hammer horror mystery sci-fi horror films out there, it keeps you guessing before letting everything out in the final act instead of giving away too much too early.

 

Overall: Must watch Hammer Horror

Rating