ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Q – Quarries (2016) Movie Review

Director: Nils Taylor

Writer: Nils Taylor, Nicole Marie Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Marie Johnson, Carrie Finklea, Leisha Hailey, Sara Mornell, Luke Edwards, Nicole DuPort, Joy McElveen

Plot: To escape her abusive boyfriend, Kat joins a wilderness expedition with a group of women, all of whom are struggling with the uncertainty of life. What was supposed to be an opportunity for personal discovery quickly becomes a fight for survival, forcing each one to discover the strength within themselves that they didn’t even know they possessed. While being brazenly chased by a pack of predators, the strong quickly set themselves apart from the weak. In a battle of will, stamina, and heart, these very virtues present themselves at the most crucial moment. With death looming, each is left with what is truly important – the strength within oneself.


Tagline – They just keep coming …

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Survival Horror

Story: Quarries starts as Kat (Johnson) escaping her abusive relationship, still with the bruises to show for her time there, joins up late for a wilderness expedition group with, Wren (Finklea), Madison (Hailey), Jean (Mornell), April (DuPort), Joy (McElveen) and Brit (McFadzien) as the route as changed last minute, but the plan is to show support for each other on the journey.

After the group suffer a minor accident that they can deal with the leader Jean needs medical treatment, until things get worse for the women, when they find themselves being hunted down by a group of psychotic men who hunt anyone on their land.

Thoughts on Quarries

Characters – Kat has just managed to escape an abusive relationship, she is still showing the bruises from what he did to her, to recover, she looks to get back to the wilderness on an expedition to find herself, where her medical training comes in crucial after an injury and once the group finds themselves under attack. Wren is the member of the group that seems most distant with her rebellious nature. Madison is the one that shows the most fight, she is on the trip to help keep her relationship with April strong as the two show their ups and downs through the trip. Jean is the one that has planned the trip that gets injured and could be the only one that knows the easy way out.

PerformancesNicole Marie Johnson in the leading role does have the most to deal with and it shows in her performance, being the highlight of the performances. When it comes to the rest of the cast nobody is bad, they just do what they need to through the film.

StoryThe story here follows seven women who go on a wilderness expedition only to find themselves the target of a group of men looking to hunt anybody who comes on the land. This story does keep the main side simple enough, a group of people trying to survive against people trying to kill them, it is easy to follow and each encounter gets to show the strength of other characters, while getting through life problems along the way. This isn’t the biggest story, but keeps things simple for the audience.

HorrorThe horror involved in the film, is all about the surviving side of the film, with the women needing to survive the attacks coming their way.

SettingsThe film puts our characters into the wilderness which shows they won’t have an easy escape from threat.

Special EffectsWhen the special effects are used they show the wounds inflicted, though nothing is too over the top.


Scene of the Movie – The night attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get as brutal as the killers are implied to want to see.

Final Thoughts This is a simple, while entertaining horror film that plays everything safer than it could have, without hitting the heights other films along the same lines can hit.

Overall: Simple Horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – Q – Quackerz (2016)

Director: Viktor Lakisov

Writer: Viktor Lakisov, John T Mickevich, Vadim Svenshnikov, Vera Sveshnikova-Vaskvich Bob Underwood, Vsevolod Zorin (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Michael Gross, Enn Reitel, Robbie Daymond, Mark DeCarlo, Jesse Corti, Jimmie Wood

 

Plot: The battle between ducks and humans for the place under the sun.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Animation

 

Story: Quackerz starts as we head to the home of the Mandarin ducks with Emperor Peng leading the small group in China, one-member Longway wants to leave like other ducks, tired of being only in one location where he can’t fly. When a new group of the Mallards led by Duckmus arrive, with his daughter Erica becoming friends with Longway.

When the year of the sun duck arrives Longway will learn about his own destiny when the human comes in search for the sun duck for the final preparations for her own desires.

 

Thoughts on Quackerz

 

Characters – Longway is the generic younger member of group, in this case ducks, he wants to escape the life he considers too boring for his own, wanting to see more even though he is destined to lead the group in the future. He will learn his place in the world with this adventure. Emperor Peng Lee has been guarding the ducks for his whole life, protecting Longway from learning the truth he believes in tradition. Duckmus is the leader of the mallards travel for the winter that end up in the wrong location, he is in full belief he is always right no matter what happens. Erica is his daughter that is far more outspoken than he is prepared for, she has seen the new life choice and wants to break free too. These characters are just what you would expect from the story without bringing us anything new to the genre.

StoryThe story here follows two different breeds of ducks that have found themselves together when a destined event is about to happen. We have seen this story many times and with this being targeted at a younger audience we don’t need to get the story going too in depth. The characters do come off generic without offering much new, but it does the basics right without needing to work too hard.

Adventure/Comedy The adventure side of the film comes from the desire that Longway is showing to see the new world, the comedy comes from just how looney toons style is passable.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the Chinese village with a history behind the ducks even if everything seems to be generic.

AnimationThe animation standard for this film is strong not showing any signs of weakness.


Scene of the Movie –
The destiny.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch animated movie that will give the target audience the entertainment needed.

 

Overall: One for the kids.

Rating

 

 

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.