Queen & Country (2014)

Director: John Boorman

Writer: John Boorman (Screenplay)

Starring: Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, Pat Shortt, David Thewlis, Richard F Grant, Tamsin Egerton, Vanessa Kirby

 

Plot: In this sequel to Hope and Glory (1987), Bill Rohan has grown up and is drafted into the army, where he and his eccentric best mate, Percy, battle their snooty superiors on the base and look for love in town.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow, Dull and Boring

 

Story: Queen & Country starts as we follow Bill Rohan (Turner) drafted to the army to deal with the conflict in Korea, joined by Percy (Jones) who soon becomes his best friend. The two must deal with a by the book Sargeant Major Bradley (Thewlis) which only drives Major Cross (Grant) crazy.

We see how Percy keeps bring up plans while Bill starts to date a mysterious woman Opheila (Egerton), a woman with a past that only adds to her mystery.

 

Thoughts on Queen & Country

 

Characters – Bill lives on an island in the middle of the Thames, he is drafted the army which gets him to see more of the world, meet a mysterious woman and learn to stand up for himself. Percy is the loud best friend of Bill, who has done everything, he is the one that wants to get ahead of Bradley. Ophelia is the mysterious woman that comes into Bill’s life, she draws him but is keeping her secrets safe.

PerformancesCallum Turner is fine in this leading role but just doesn’t capture the levels to make us want to see his character too often. Caleb Landry Jones is the one we want to see the most, he is fun to watch but not the most interesting. The cast are fine but they just come off like posh Brits in roles.

StoryThe story is a sequel to a movie, I have never heard off, which is guess doesn’t help too much. We get to see a young man that goes into the armed forces that challenges his superiors while dealing with his own personal problems when it comes to tracking down a mysterious woman that can’t be with him. Nothing that interesting happens in this movie in the way you care enough to see where things go.

SettingsThe film takes us from the basic location which show the training camp, but it has our characters coming from the posh backgrounds.


Scene of the Movie –
Hard to find one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That clock storyline.

Final ThoughtsThis is a boring movie that the more I think about things, the more I get bored about what I am thinking about it.

 

Overall: Nothing interesting happening here.

Rating

 

 

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Quadrophenia (1979)

Director: Franc Roddam

Writer: Dave Humphries, Martin Stellman, Franc Roddam (Screenplay)

Starring: Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash, Phil Davis, Mark Wingett, Sting, Ray Winstone, Garry Cooper

 

Plot: Jimmy loathes his job and parents. He seeks solace with his mod clique, scooter riding, and drugs only to be disappointed.


Tagline – The Year Was 1964, and The Battle Was Just Beginning!

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rebels Without Much Cause

 

Story: Quadrophenia starts as we meet Jimmy (Daniels) a young man with a simple job who spends his time riding his moped, doing drugs and trying to rock along with The Who. Jimmy spends nearly every night out with his best friends Chalky (Davis) and Dave (Wingett) looking for a good time.

With a big trip to Brighton for an event coming up Jimmy gets his supplies ready and along with his crush Steph (Ash) heads of to the event, which goes against the establishment.

 

Thoughts on Quadrophenia

 

Characters – Jimmy is our main character, he is a young man I want to say just about to hit his twenties, he has a dead end job he hates, spends his time riding his moped around London looking for a party and a quick score, he idolises The Who which helps him be the rebel society isn’t ready to accept. We do meet members of his gang though they aren’t that different from each other, we also get to meet the love interest who is busy with another guy.

PerformancesI don’t think we say anything bad about the performances in the film, Phil Daniels does what the character is meant to be while the rest feel like the gangs we are following.

StoryThe story here follows a young man in London who doesn’t like his life when it comes to job and family, only wanting to spend his time partying with his friends and drugs during the boom of the punk era in 1960s England. This story does have historical point to where people could find themselves in this era in time, one that has been addressed for the next generation too. We get the friendship and unity between friends shown strongly here, though Jimmy being mostly unlikable doesn’t help us get sucked into the story. This doesn’t paint the British youth in the best light either which I guess is the point behind this movie.

SettingsLondon and Brighton were two of the big locations for the whole rebel movement from the 1960s which helps make this use of settings one of the best.


Scene of the Movie –
Stage Dive.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Jimmy is so unlikable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that wants to show us the rebels of the world only to show us the annoying idiots of the world.

 

Overall: Just gang nonsense.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – Q – The Queen (2006)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings, Michael Sheen, Roger Allam, Sylvia Syms, Helen McCrory

 

Plot: After the death of Princess DianaQueen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.


Tagline – Our Leaders. Ourselves.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict:

 

Story: The Queen starts on the day Tony Blair (Sheen) gets appointed Prime Minister in 1997, he meets the Queen (Mirren) in his appointment following in the footsteps of icons like Sir Winston Churchill. The start of his reign becomes difficult after the sudden and tragic death of Princess Diana.

Tony trying to help the nation mourn the death of the Princess, clashes with the Royal family who want a private funeral, while the people want a public one to celebrate her life. As the public become restless about how the Royal Family have kept quiet about the death, Tony Blair must play the middle man, to keep the country calm.

 

Thoughts on The Queen

 

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, who suffered through a real tragedy, The Queen takes her family to mourn in their own way, by escaping the public life, but soon the decision gets questioned by her public. She must face the public with advice from her new prime minster. Tony Blair is the new prime minister, thought to be the man to bring a new image to the country, he does however find himself being the middle man between the public and the Royal Family after the death of Princess Diana.

PerformancesHelen Mirren won an Oscar for this role, she is fantastic in this role as you believe each and every scene with her. Michael Sheen proves to us all that he is one of the best talents in the acting world with his performance on a par with Helen Mirren’s.

StoryThe story follows one of the hardest weeks in the modern Royal Family history, the death of Princess Diana, loved by the people, mourned in private by the family. This cause minor tension between the two as the Prime Minister must try to balance this tragic event for both sides to be respected. This moment in history will always be remembered by the world, seeing how the private side of the tragedy unfolded is just as fascinating to see, which thanks to my new love for ‘The Crown’ I have start to enjoy watching.

BiopicThe Queen’s life and time is going to be stuff of legends, longest reigning monarch is going to give us plenty of moments of her life to see, this was a glimpse and a brilliant one.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the private locations for the Royal Family through the difficult times, each setting shows us the production design being used.


Scene of the Movie –
The Queen and Blair discussions.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think Blair should have an Oscar just as much as Helen Mirren.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at the royal family at one of their darkest moments and how they get through this week that change the world view of the family.

 

Overall: Wonderful drama.

Rating

 

 

Queen of Earth (2015)

Director: Alex Ross Perry

Writer: Alex Ross Perry (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, Patrick Fugit, Kentucker Audley, Keith Poulson

 

Plot: Two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: Queen of Earth starts as two friends Catherine (Moss) and Virginia (Waterston) spend time catching up in a lake house where they face their past, present and future, question their relationships and look to move onto with their lives.

 

Thoughts on Queen of Earth

 

Characters/PerformanceCatherine is a talent artist who is struggling with coping after the death of his inspiration and father. Virginia is more of a free spirit always wanting to relax through any troubles that come her way sing the trips as the escape required.

Performance wise, both Moss and Waterston are good through the film without being at their very best.

StoryThe story shows how friends can drift apart but will always come together when they need help, otherwise the story is mostly kind of boring with very little happening.

SettingsThe film is set entirely at the lake house which shows us how the friends want to get away from the world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull drama being sold as some form of thriller, nothing much happens, there seems to be no resolution to the reason why the characters are there in the first place.

 

Overall: Very uninteresting movie that does nothing for an hour and a half.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Q – Quartet (2012)

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Writer: Ronald Harwood (Screenplay) Ronald Harwood (Play)

Starring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon, Sheridan Smith, Andrew Sachs

 

Plot: At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.


Tagline – Four friends looking for a little harmony

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Quartet starts as we head to Beecham House retirement home for musicians, where Reggie (Courtenay), Wilf (Connolly), Cissy (Collins) are preparing for their latest show for Verdi’s birthday with director Cedric (Gambon). We follow their everyday life at the home before an icon of their industry Jean Horton (Smith) arrives causing old wounds to be opened for Reggie.

The four must rebuild their friendship to bring their once famous quartet back to the stage for the concert, but some bridges are harder to build for Reggie compared to the others, can they forgive and forget before the concert.

 

Thoughts on Quartet

 

Characters – Reggie is the calm member of the quartet, he has lived in the home for a few years with two of his former members Wilf and Cissy, he conducts himself well and teaches when the students visit, but his life is pushed when his ex-wife arrives leaving him resenting being there needing to learn how to forgive his former love. Jean is the biggest name from the former quartet, but now she is left alone in the world needing to get used to her new environment, where she is forced to come out of retirement for one final recording. Wilf is a horny former musician, he flirts at every opportunity, he gets the funniest lines through the film because he knows how to use his charm to enjoy the moments in their lives in the home. Cissy is the absent minded member of the group, it is her age getting to her but Reggie keeps her mind in the right track when needed to be directed the right direction.

PerformancesMaggie Smith is great in this role, this great British actor shows she can handle any role with grace and ease. Tom Courtenay is great too being the strong leading role where he shows the dignity his character requires. Billy Connolly is the perfect choice for the added comic relief of the film, he gains a laugh in nearly every scene, even the serious ones you know he can pull off the laugh needed. Pauline Collins rounds off the leading quartet and she is great throughout the film too, the cast gives us everything we want from their performances.

StoryThe story shows how the once respected performers reaching the retirement age, will need to find something to do in the retirement home to continue their love of music. The main group we follow have their problems between them but to have that one final moment in the spotlight drives them all to perform. The four have sacrificed during their lives to be known as the best, including families which they regret at times but wouldn’t give up what they achieved in their limelight.

ComedyThe comedy comes from how Wilf looks at life and the everyday life within the retirement home.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the retirement home, this shows us how the members are still enjoying life, now with like-minded people in their later years.


Scene of the Movie –
The performance building.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While funny, sometimes Wilf is just seemingly there for comic relief.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable light hearted comedy drama showing us just where people can be enjoy their passions at any stage of their life.

 

Overall: Nice touching drama.

Rating