ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – Y – Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: Jack Barth, Richard Curtis (Screenplay)

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino, Ellise Chappell, Meera Syal, Harry Michell, Vincent Franklin, Ed Sheeran, Joel Fry

Plot: A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.


Tagline – Everyone in the World Has Forgotten the Beatles. Everyone Except Jack

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Throughout

Story: Yesterday starts as we meet musician Jack Malik (Patel) who when he isn’t performing, works a dead-end job in a cash-n-carry. Jack gets his first festival in Latitude Festival thanks to his manager Ellie Appleton (James), which makes Jack realise he might walk away from music, until on his way home a shocking event around the world sees all power down for 12 seconds and Jack gets hit by a bus, waking up in a world where The Beatles never existed.

Jack uses the ideas that The Beatles never existed to start singing the songs, which sudden thrusts the spotlight onto the young singer, who sudden burst into international stardom, only can he live with the knowledge of the music he is singing is from the most famous band in the world.

Thoughts on Yesterday

Characters – Jack Malik is a small-time musician who only performs in his own free time, while trying to balance a part-time job in a warehouse. He does have talent, only he hasn’t been discovered yet, he is about to give up when he gets hit by a bus in a freak event around the world. He wakes up to discover he is the only person to have heard of The Beatles and decides to use this knowledge to give music on more crack, where his rise to super stardom is sudden and he must learn to adapt to this new career. Ellie Appleton has been the best friend, manager, rodeo and driver for his music career, secretly in love with him, unable to give up her teaching career to follow his new success. Rocky has been involved in music only he tends to let people down, he is however the only person that Jack can turn to for help for his new stardom. We get to meet Jack’s parents who have always supported him, Ed Sheeran playing himself discovering the new talent in Jack and the manager who takes Jack to the next level with his debut album.

PerformancesHimesh Patel is brilliant in the leading role where he handles the singing with ease as well as the troubles that his character goes through in his sudden rise to fame. Lily James as the girl next door figure is wonderful to watch to, never looking out of place in the manager role. The rest of the cast do nothing wrong, you might see a couple of weakness in some of the performances in the film though.

StoryThe story follows a musician that is involved in an accident only to discover that when he wakes up, The Beatles don’t exist, using this knowledge to make himself a mega star, while dealing with his own love problems. This is a story that does work if things are kept just around the idea of The Beatles not being around, where the story does seem to use as a little joke, other major products or bands also haven’t existed either, they are only used for jokes rather than being proper points in the story. Away from that weak point we do get to see the struggling to deal with sudden fame and the guilt for using the songs of somebody he idolises. This story is one that can be enjoyed even if you are not a Beatles fan too.

Comedy/Musical/RomanceThe comedy in the film will get laughs where it needs to, we aren’t given constant jokes either, with the music side of the film playing into the strengths of all Beatles fans who will get to enjoy their favourites. The romance in the film does take centre stage, with how the two are left to wonder what if through their lives, showing how people are tempted to let people go or not for stardom.

SettingsThe film uses the small town where Jack is from, which shows the struggle of a small town musician, LA where things move so fast and Liverpool where the inspiration can be found.


Scene of the Movie – Wembley.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The other random disappearing products, just being a joke, rather than a point in the story.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable comedy musical, that will show the importance of love in the world, how music can make people famous and just how far people will go for a chance of stardom.

Overall: Enjoyable

James Bond Month – You Only Live Twice (1967)

Director: Lewis Gilbert

Writer: Roald Dahl (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi, Mie Hama, Tetsure Tanba, Teru Shumada, Karin Dor, Donald Pleasence

 

Plot: Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.


Tagline – You Only Live Twice…and “TWICE” is the only way to live!

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cheesy and Fun

 

Story: You Only Live Twice starts with James Bond (Connery) faking his death to take the heat off him, on his latest mission James is sent to Japan to investigate a missing America space rocket that was landed near Japan, joining with the Japanese intelligence agent Aki (Wakabayashi) who helps him navigate Tokyo.

Bond believing SPECTRE have returned and are behind the events, he starts looking at a small fishing island and with a limited time frame, can he uncover the truth before Russia or America set off on their next space mission?

 

Thoughts on You Only Live Twice

 

Characters – James Bond has been gaining a lot of heat from his missions, now he must fake his own death to go underground. His latest mission takes him to Japan where he must uncover the truth about mission rockets, he is the same womaniser we know this being his biggest weakness, however we do learn how skilled he is when he can jump into any vehicle and know how to operate it and handle himself in any fight. Aki is the Bond girl here, she helps him around Tokyo meeting his connections and turning up just in time to rescue him from danger. Kissy is the fake wife that James must take while searching the island, could easily be considered one of the Bond girls in the movie. Blofeld is the cat stroking leader of SPECTRE Bond suspects he is involved and this will be the first meeting between the two.

PerformancesSean Connery is still good in this role, we continues to make this role the iconic on we all know and remember. Donald Pleasence in his role becomes the most iconic of all the Bond villains which is what we need this far into the franchise. When it comes to the Bond girls we get the beautiful women that don’t get too much to do other than to look great next to Bond.

StoryThe story here follow James Bond on his latest mission after faking his death which takes him into battle against SPECTRE once again, by having a returning villainous threat is good for this franchise because we don’t need to keep establishing a new villain which does take time for any film, with the returning villain we can focus on Bond and just how difficult it is to keep his identity secret from the threats to the world. the story does follow the usual movements as we follow Bond meet allies, defeat enemies and save the world from potential world war three. This is one story that is the one I always remember with the final battle which happens to be my favourite for the whole franchise.

Action/AdventureThe action is mostly Bond battle enemies, be in hand to hand, helicopter to make shift helicopter, right down to the mass final battle which is one of the biggest in the franchise. The adventure does take Bond across the world again to Japan on his latest mission.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, we always see Bond in new locations and this takes him to Japan, the amount of small islands there helps add mystery to everything which is all we want as fans of the franchise.


Scene of the Movie –
Base battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me She is sexiful, like this is a word.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of my favourite Bond films, it is one I grew up watching the most, it does have flaws but we can’t help that, otherwise this is one you can enjoy and gets better as we go along.

 

Overall: One of the most fun Bond films.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – Y – The Yards (2000)

Director: James Gray

Writer: James Gray, Matt Reeves (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, James Caan, Ellen Burstyn, Faye Dunaway, Steve Lawrence

 

Plot: In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city’s subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he finds his aunt married to Frank Olchin, one of the big contractors; he’s battling with a minority-owned firm for contracts. Willie Gutierrez, Leo’s best friend, is Frank’s bag man and heads a crew of midnight saboteurs who ruin the work of the Puerto Rican-owned firm. Leo needs a job, so Willie pays him to be his back-up. Then things go badly wrong one night, a cop IDs Leo, and everyone now wants him out of the picture. Besides his ailing mom and his cousin Erica, to whom can Leo turn?


Tagline – He’s the target of the most merciless family in New York. His own

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: By the Books

 

Story: The Yards starts when Leo (Wahlberg) gets released from prison, needing to lock down a job his Aunt Kitty (Dunaway) sets him up with her husband Frank Olchin (Caan) who runs a railway construction company in Queens. Without the skills set, he can’t be given a job, but his bag man Willie (Phoenix) who is also Leo’s best friend recruits him to do the dirty work for the company.

When a job goes wrong Willie and Leo both commit an act of violence, only Leo can be identified, he must go on the run while finding everybody trying to hunt him down, trying to expose the truth before it is too late, with only is mother Val (Burstyn) and cousin Erica (Theron) to trust.

 

Thoughts on The Yards

 

Characters – Leo is an ex-con that is released from prison, he best friend and Uncle offer him two different jobs, one he isn’t qualified for and one would mean working against the law. He finds himself on the wrong side of the law after a job goes wrong needing to do anything he can to clear his name, while being considered the most wanted man in Queens. Willie is the best friend of Leo, he has made a career being the bag man for Frank which will see him complete the deals to make the business succeed. He ends up leading Leo down the wrong path, when it is him that makes the biggest mistake. Erica is the cousin of Leo and girlfriend to Willie, she is completing her education and gets caught between who to remain loyal towards. Frank runs the corrupt railway construction company that has nearly every political figure in his back pocket. He keeps himself looking clean, letting his men do the dirty work, leading to him being forced into a difficult decision. Val is the mother of Leo that has always tried to give him everything he could give him in life, left to suffer when he gets blamed for the crimes.

PerformancesMark Wahlberg is strong in the leading role, he gives us a performance that shows his regret, confusion and worries about the future he is meant to have once out of prison. Joaquin Phoenix brings us a performance which shows us just how he can make us hate a character. Charlize Theron in the supporting role shows us everything she needs to without getting the same spotlight as the rest of the cast, while James Caan works in the corrupt businessman role with ease. The rest of the cast are solid without doing anything outside the comfort zones.

StoryThe story here takes us into the world of corruption within the Queens railway service construction company that pays off to get jobs after doing their own dirty work to make others look worse, we follow one ex-con being placed into this world who sees the bad only to become the prime suspect in the investigation of a murder. The story does try to keep us guessing to what will happen and who Leo could trust only for it to become to run of mill in the genre to make it new or original. It might be loosely based on a real case, it however doesn’t offer enough to make things feel like we could see too much going on, rather than focusing on the cover up itself.

Crime/RomanceThe crime world we enter is the political corruption of construction which shows us how quickly people can turn on each other without doubt. The romance side of this story takes a back burner which is here to show how difficult of a position Erica is put into.

SettingsThe film is set in Queen which shows us how the community will come together to work together or turn on somebody.


Scene of the Movie –
The incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story is overly generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting crime story that does everything by the book without doing anything overly special.

 

Overall: Simple crime film.

Rating

 

 

You’re Not You (2014)

Director: George C Wolfe

Writer: Shana Feste, Jordan Roberts (Screenplay) Michelle Wildgen (Book)

Starring: Hilary Swank, Emmy Rossum, Josh Duhamel, Stephanie Beatriz, Jason Ritter, Julian McMahon, Ali Larter, Andrea Savage

 

Plot: A drama centered on a classical pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS and the brash college student who becomes her caregiver.


Tagline – Let go of who you were, and discover who you’re meant to be.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: You’re Not You starts on Kate’s (Swank) 35th birthday, a classic pianist that notice something isn’t right with her body, 18 months later Kate is in need of care, even with her husband Evan (Duhamel) needing to work, while finding a new carer to help with ALS care.

That new carer is college student Bec (Rossum) who parties every night and doesn’t come with an off switch. Bec is the only person Kate want to care for her as she is the only one that treats her like a person not a patient and after Kate learns Evan has been having an affair, it leaves Kate and Bec together to handle the caring and living the remaining time with the disease.

 

Thoughts on You’re Not You

 

Characters – Kate was a successful pianist, happily married and wonderful party host, she soon starts to get the first symptoms of ALS which comes on strong, she now needs constant caring, but is tired of the nurses that treat her like a patient, she chooses Bec who offers her friendship, while also offering Bec life advice in a time where she could be going with no direction. Bec is a directionless brash college student who gets given a chance to care of Kate, she becomes the biggest challenge of her life, teaching her responsibility and helping guide her in the right direction. Evan is the husband of Kate, he has tried to care for her the best he can, but can’t give up his job which has put a distance between the two, causing him to have had an affair.

PerformancesHilary Swank has two Oscars to her name, this performance here shows the talent she has once again, she is fantastic as the victim of the ALS disease. Emmy Rossum has made a name for herself on television, but here you feel she should have broken out because her performance is great to. Josh Duhamel is good as the character we want to hate through the film.

StoryThe story throws the spotlight on ALS, we follow one person suffering from the disease who knows the sacrifices people will have to make to care for her, we see how people who are sick do want to be treated like people rather than just patients and giving them, this treatment will make their remaining time worthwhile. We do have a story about how the older (but not old) woman helps give the lost student a direction for her life. This is a story about the battle against a disease which is taking people everyday, how the people around them need there for them to make the remain time in their lives positive.

SettingsThe settings in this film show the different lives both Kate and Bec have come from, how they are joined together in the same battle to support each other. I feel the settings help us understand the disease making made by the characters in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Enjoying a drink or two together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The only thing I feel we would have liked more of would be the medical side of what could have been done to try and help as we have plenty of talks about experimental treatments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very good drama, we get to see how one person’s suffering could impact many people and how helpless they will feel while fighting it.

 

Overall: Powerful, heart-breaking and inspiring.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – Y – The Young Victoria (2009)

Director: Jean-Marc Vallee

Writer: Julian Fellowes (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Thomas Kretschmann, Mark Strong

 

Plot: A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.


Tagline – She was the queen of an empire, but her heart belonged to one man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Biopic

 

Story: The Young Victoria starts as young Victoria (Blunt) has been guarded from the world, knowing she will be next in line for the throne, Sir John Conroy (Strong) has been trying to get her to sign a regency order, meaning he would become king until she came of age, only for Victoria to refuse. We follow her 17th year as she starts meeting suiters for her husband, Belgium’s Prince Albert (Friend) being the prime candidate.

When King William (Broadbent) dies, it places Victoria in the position of Queen of England, Lord Melbourne (Bettany) must try to guide her in the decisions that she may face, while Victoria and Albert stay in contact through letters, that shares their love.

 

Thoughts on The Young Victoria

 

Characters – Victoria was raised to become Queen one day, forced to follow strict rules including walking down stairs holding somebody’s hand and sharing a bedroom with her mother. She is always under pressure about signing a regency, only to refuse because she knows that one day she will become Queen, she wants to make her rule, her own, which sees her wanting to pick her love, instead of following the rules the rest are trying to place for her. Prince Albert is the son of King Leopold of Belgium, the two fall in love and know that their union will keep the countries together stronger. Lord Melbourne is the advisor to Victoria, he has his own agenda which he wants to put into place, making him a danger figure in her connection to the common people of England. The Duchess of Kent is the mother of Victoria, who has been following the rules to protect her daughter and stuck following whatever John Conroy says.

PerformancesEmily Blunt shines in this leading role as the young Victoria, she brings the grace and determination to change the country through with her performance which you could believe the real Victoria doing to Britain. Rupert Friend as Prince Albert is wonderful too as he shows us the one person that would truly stand up against the Queen as many others would be in fear of her. Paul Bettany and Miranda Richardson round off the main cast as they both are great in their roles through the film.

StoryThe story follows the firs year that Queen Victoria was on the throne, we see how she had to learn quickly with how the politicians would try to sway her, meet a husband and try to help sort out a country with big divides between the upper class and the lower class. We see that even at a young age she was able to make these decisions to bring Britain forward and mark herself down as one of the most important leaders the nation ever saw. After becoming a fan of The Crown this was an easy story to step into as smaller moments made sense, if you don’t know certain historic rules the Queen must follow, you might not get why certain scenes in the film happen.

Biopic/History/RomanceThis movie shows us how important Queen Victoria’s reign was, we might only follow around a year, but she wanted to start making changes early on which will later become her legacy, the romance that she goes through shows how the Albert came into her life and showed her, they could rule together if they challenged the rules they believed to be wrong.

SettingsEach setting used in this film feels like the true settings we would see the royals living in, each one shows just how they could be living in the upper class, with the set design showing the beauty within the buildings.


Scene of the Movie –
The ride around town which changed everything.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have certain rules that never get explained, which people might not understand.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautifully shot biopic that shows us the first year’s reign of Queen Victoria, the difficulties she faced and how she overcame them all.

 

Overall: Must watch historical drama.

Rating