ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – V – Viceroy’s House (2017)

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Writer: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Moira Buffini (Screenplay) Narendra Singh Sarila (Book)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Michael Gambon, Om Puri, David Hayman

 

Plot: The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change.


Tagline – The end of an empire. The birth of two nations.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: Viceroy’s House starts as Lord Mountbatten (Bonneville) is taking his place as the last Viceroy of India, to help see oversea the independence of India, his wife Lady Edwina wants to help with change by making the house open to Indian’s something the residents have never seen before.

We also meet young Indian Jeet Kumar (Dayal) who gets hired to the staff that has a past with Aalia Noor (Qureshi) who have their own feelings to battle against tradition. As Lord Mountbatten tries to bring the leaders of Indian together, we only see how the country becomes more divided over their independence and how he tries to do the best he can to stop the bloodshed.

 

Thoughts on Viceroy’s House

 

Characters – Lord Mountbatten was the British choice to take over the Viceroy house during the final days of the British Empire’s control of India, he wants a peaceful transition only to learn the divide in the people wants their own country Pakistan. He must show the leadership skills to create the peace needed for this nation after the years that British ruling. Lady Mountbatten opens up the house to more Indian families, she wants to create an equal environment for the people, she will rid the house of anyone that shows discrimination in a hope for an equal future. Jeet Kumar is a young man that gets a job in the Viceroy House under Lord Mountbatten he wants to see the peace unfold, but his heart is take by a former friend Aalia.

PerformancesHugh Bonneville is great in this leading role, he brings us the class the character requires while also giving us the human side needed. Gillian Anderson is good even if her accent does come off overly posh at times. Manish Dayal as the young Indian is strong too with Huma Qureshi going well in the side story which is about love through the difficult times.

StoryThe story here follows the time in history when Britain gave up the power of India and the chaos this caused between the Indian’s and their different religious beliefs. It showed us how Britain once again looked down on a nation for being different and had to learn just how important equality within all nations should be. It also shows us the different between the people with different religious beliefs which could be against each other so easily, a problem we still see today. There is a love story put into this film which doesn’t feel the most important to everything going on.

Biopic/HistoryThis is an important look at a historical moment in human history, one that changed India forever and showed the British at their best and worst.

SettingsThe film takes us to India where we believe we are at the same time and place as this movie’s events, nothing feels or looks out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Lady Mountbatten putting an English helper in her place, back on a boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The love story does feel like something we didn’t need.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at the history of the British Empire and India, we see the struggle the country went through during the time of change, one larger than ever seen, for the history fans out there, this will be one for you to see.

 

Overall: History fans will enjoy this movie.

Rating

 

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – P – Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Director: Angela Robinson

Writer: Angela Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Connie Britton, Monica Giordano, JJ Field, Oliver Platt

 

Plot: The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, and his polyamorous relationship with his wife and their mistress who would inspire his creation of the superheroine, Wonder Woman.


Tagline – Ever wonder?

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lots of Science, Not Enough Wonder Woman

 

Story: Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman starts as Professor William Marston (Evans) is explaining the motivation behind the Wonder Woman character to Josette Frank (Britton) and the rest of the board. We dive back to 1928 where William a Harvard professor along with his wife Elizabeth (Hall) who selects Olive Byrne (Heathcote) to help with the latest research project.

The research includes studying relationships and social commentary with the idea to help create the lie-detector and only ends up help create the comic book character we know after going for a forbidden relationship.

 

Thoughts on Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman

 

Characters – Professor William Marston is telling the story about his creation of the Wonder Woman character which takes us back to his time at Harvard where he was creating the lie-detector, he has a wonderful relationship with his wife that the two often search for more in love. Elizabeth Marston is just as educated at William, but doesn’t get the accredited title, she is fighting for this right while exploring the research they are working on together. Olive Byrne is the student the two take a liking to, they invite her into their research before getting involved in an even more complicated and forbidden relationship.

PerformancesLuke Evans in the leading role as the storyteller going on to show us just how desperate he is to succeed in his field. Rebecca Hall as the movement supporter shows strength throughout too while Bella Heathcote is great too turning from innocent to forward thinking woman as the story progresses.

StoryThe story follows William Marston, the man who created the Wonder Woman character and his unconventional relationship with his wife and mistress. The story here does have serious pacing issues because we spend well over half the film focusing on the build up to the relationship between the three and not enough time focusing on the creation of Wonder Woman, sure parts of the film are surrounding the ideas of Wonder Woman, but watching the fight to create and continuing publishing the comic book icon would have been a lot more interesting to watch.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film does show how William Marston went from Harvard professor to comic book creator of one of the most iconic characters in comic book history.

SettingsThe settings used in the film show us the different time period from the late 20’s to the mid 40’s, nothing looks out of place for what we are telling, though we do jump the timeline quickly.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rise of Wonder Woman.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much time building the relationship.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that shows us just how the character of Wonder Woman came to life, it shows the unconventional relationship the creator had with his wife and lover which saw them shunted in life but did end up bring the strongest female comic book figure to life.

 

Overall: Strong but misguided biopic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – J – My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Director: Marc Meyers

Writer: Marc Meyers (Screenplay) John Backderf (Book)

Starring: Ross Lynch, Vincent Kartheiser, Anne Heche, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts

 

Plot: A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school.


Tagline – Based on the Acclaimed Graphic Novel

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettlingly, but Not Disturbing

 

Story: Mr Friend Dahmer starts as outside Jeff Dahmer (Lynch) is getting through high school by avoiding people while performing experiments in his house. When he starts hanging out with John ‘Derf’ Backderf (Wolff) he brings in a routine to pretend to be special around the school making him more confident.

With his own problems at home with his mother Joyce’s (Heche) mental health getting worse and his father Lionel (Roberts) moving out, it is up to Jeff to keep himself busy, which see him become more attracted to killing and dead bodies.

 

Thoughts on My Friend Dahmer

 

Characters – Jeff Dahmer is the awkward teenager at high school, an outside who enjoys studying bodies of animals, he doesn’t get bullied, but soon starts getting used by a group of high schoolers that see his ability to act out enjoyable for them. He plays along believing he has been accepted, only to see his own desires to see about biology become a more focal point in his life. Derf is one of the high school kids that befriends Jeff, he ends up using his ability to act mentally handicapped as some form of enjoyment pushing him to become more forward with what he is doing. Joyce and Lionel are the parents of Jeff’s they are going through a difficult time which makes Jeff’s life even harder.

PerformancesRoss Lynch is easily the star of this film, we are left feeling uneasy with his performance at times, while other times we can see him looking like a normal teenager, he makes us worried about what his characters actions will be. Alex Wolff, Anne Heche and Dallas Roberts gives us great supporting performances with each one doing everything that will leave to the problems Jeffrey ends up doing.

StoryThis is a story about the high school time for serial killer Jeffery Dahmer, we see how he never truly fitted in and even when he was accepted he is only ever used for a performance to entertain. This does tease that he could just be awkward, but also clearly shows how he is going down the darker path with his obsession with killing animals. Now from a show of decline in nature, this is good, but for the fact this is real you can’t help but to question this idea for a story because of what he went on to do, like always, we focus on the killer not he victims.

Biopic/HorrorThis does show the early years of Jeffrey Dahmer, how he was an outsider at school, how his desires for blood went unnoticed and how he become the killer we sadly all know today.

SettingsThe film is set in the same town in which Jeffrey grew up, giving the film an authentic look at his early years.


Scene of the Movie –
The ending.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The animal scenes are not easy to watch

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting look at one of the most famous of all the modern day serial killers youth in America, it shows how he started off uneasy and only became more disturbing as he grew older.

 

Overall: Unsettling throughout.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Jeepers Creepers III (2017)

Director: Victor Salva

Writer: Victor Salva (Screenplay)

Starring: Stan Shaw, Gabrielle Haugh, Brandon Smith, Meg Foster, Jordon Salloum, Chester Rushing

 

Plot: Sheriff Dan Tashtego and a team of creeper hunters enlist the help of officer Davis Tubbs to help stop the monster’s eating spree.


Tagline – Fear the Creeper.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Happened to This Franchise?

 

Story: Jeepers Creepers III starts when the Creeper (Breck) returns from its slumber, Sheriff Dan Tashtego (Shaw) has assembled a team that is ready to fight back against the Creeper who has started to leave a pile of bodies and destruction behind it.

Dan get Sgt Davis (Smith) to join his team, while Addison Brandon (Haugh) has a connection to the last assault as her grandmother Gaylen (Foster) lost someone to the killer creature.

 

Thoughts on Jeepers Creepers III

 

Characters – Sheriff Dan Tashtego has been hunting the Creeper for years, he has a team that has all experienced the horrors of what the Creeper can do, no it is back, his training has been put together to hopefully end everything. Addison Brandon is the youngest member of a family that has faced the creeper in the past, now she becomes one of the targets on its next hunt. Sgt Davis Tubbs is recruited by Dan, as he knows he is the best shot in town, he is reluctant to join the team at first, though his respect for Dan shows him the right decision to make. Gaylen lost her son to the creeper and now it is back, she can finally get the answers she requires about what happened that night.

PerformancesStan Shaw does make for a strong lead only he doesn’t seem to get too much from his character to make him as interesting as he should be. Brandon Smith is fine and Gabrielle Haugh does have a good scream because that is nearly all she has to do in the film. it would be fair to say the acting isn’t as strong as it could have been due to the poor character development.

StoryThe story here once again follows the Creeper on its feeding frenzy as we follow a group of hunters that are out to stop it, while moments from the past reveal bigger secrets about what the creature is all about. We also have a young woman that seems to be a target, though I am not sure if this was meant to be part of the main story or just a side story. considering where this film is set in the timeline it only confuses everything, the vehicle it travels in has been upgraded to be like a Saw trap, which, whatever. The idea that these hunters are tracking down the Creeper has come from absolutely nowhere and feels like tornado hunters if we are honest. Then we have the victims and the connection to the previous visit which just go before we get a chance to learn about them. We get thrown a small bone about the history of the creeper which could add something to the future installments and the twist in the final act does give us some redeeming qualities in the story.

Action/HorrorThis is more action packed for the horror side of things which is basically just trying to shoot the creeper and because of this, the creeper doesn’t feel as scary as before.

SettingsThe films settings only leave us in random country roads in America, nothing about any of them becomes iconic for the series.

Special EffectsThe effects have also taken a big step back with the bulletproof car moments being comical for the most part.


Scene of the Movie –
The twist ending, I guess.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The suddenly bulletproof vehicle.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak third installment to the franchise which will leave the fans of the original hugely disappointed, but might appeal to the fans of the second film.

 

Overall: Third and worst film in the franchise to date.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Justice League Dark (2017)

Director: Jay Oliva

Writer: Ernie Altbacker (Screenplay) J.M DeMatteis, Ernie Altbacker (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rosario Dawson, Camilla Luddington, Jerry O’Connell, Jeremy Davies, Alfred Molina, Enrico Colantoni, Matt Ryan, Jason O’Mara, Nicholas Turturro, Roger Cross, Ray Chase

 

Plot: Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan.


Tagline – Every super hero has a dark side.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker Justice League Delight

 

Story: Justice League Dark starts when the people of the world start seeing demons in everyday life causing them to commit crimes including murder. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are doing their best to solve the mystery which leads them to work with John Constantine.

John is joined with his connection Zatanna and Boston Brand as Batman leads the investigation to the mysterious demons being seen by the people around the world. Destiny an ancient evil has returned and only Constantine’s dark magic can save humanity.

 

Thoughts on Justice League Dark

 

Characters – Batman must look outside of the normal Justice League for help on the latest mission, one that goes into the dark arts of magic, he must use his connection to find Constantine as they prepare to fight to save the world once again. John Constantine is the British dark arts expert, he doesn’t get on with many people, but knows each and every connection in the darker side of the universe. Zatanna is the connection between Batman and Constantine, she does have Boston around to help control bodies, which is what Boston uses his abilities for, Jason Blood is the one friend that John still has even if they do have moments where they don’t see eye to eye, as well as his own inner demon which does the fighting for him. Destiny is the demon that is trying to find his way back to Earth after being left in darkness after his failed invasion.

StoryThe story here takes Batman to a new group the dark magic group of the DC Universe which brings us the darkest story to date. We only have small appearances from most of the Justice League, this does let the new characters have the focus for the story which is important because we are in a world a dark magic. This does have twists along the way in the story which will keep you guessing along the way and if you don’t know most of these characters you will get a chance to learn with how they are introduced through the film.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action does fill the quota for a big superhero style fighting film, we have lots of explosion and destruction with each case getting bigger as the film unfold. Where this film uses the fantasy card is with the magic involved in the film, we get to see the creature from different universes appear and fight, with some showing us the horrors in these worlds.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the different places the magic can take us, we see the darkness and the normal, the homes of the new characters and the past of them too.

AnimationThe animation is of good quality here and fits the style of the film giving us the action and horror we deserve.


Scene of the Movie –
Swamp Thing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slight short again.

Final ThoughtsThis is a much darker comic book movie with the big name of Batman involved, it works with the worlds colliding giving each side the battle they are looking for.

 

Overall: Darkest Justice League story.

Rating