Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (2017)

Director: Paul McGuigan

Writer: Matt Greenhalgh (Screenplay) Peter Turner (Memoir)

Starring: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Graham


Plot: A romance sparks between a young actor and a Hollywood leading lady.

Tagline – A True Story of What Happens When a Hollywood Legend Discovers Romance

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wonderful Drama


Story: Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool starts as actress Gloria Graham (Bening) learns about being sick, turning to fellow actor Peter Turner (Bell) and old friend to care for her in Liverpool. We look back at how the two first met, shared a bond over movies as Gloria hasn’t had the same impact in Hollywood that she once did.

The two had a romance and with Gloria back in his life the 30-year-old Peter must deal with the memories he had with Gloria and the future that might not have her in.


Thoughts on Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool


Characters – Peter Turner is the aspiring actor in Liverpool, he meets the Hollywood elite in Gloria, he had a romance with the older woman and now he must look back on that time when she returns sick. He knows he has fallen in love, but knows in the long-term it just couldn’t happen. Gloria Grahame is the Hollywood elite, an Oscar winner that isn’t in the limelight like she once was. In Liverpool she meets Peter that brings new life to her life, which was famous for the number of husbands she has been through. We do have Peter’s family that support Gloria when she returns sick, questioning why Peter can’t be as supportive as he could be.

PerformancesAnnette Bening is fantastic in this leading role, this is one of the best acting performances of 2017 and was criminally under-appreciated when it came to awards season. Jamie Bell returns to an English based movie 17-years after Billy Elliott, he shows us that his talent was always there and can be one of the most reliable actors in Hollywood, given the right material. The supporting cast are all wonderful too.

StoryThe story is told in two parts, the first is when the sick Gloria returns to the life of Peter, this brings us the second part as we look back on their relationship, from both points of view when it comes to different moments that happen. This adds so much more to this story, because when certain moments happen you can understand both the characters reactions to what is happening and support them both. The idea of a normal up and coming actor getting into a romance with an older Hollywood legend plays out well two, because it shows how love can come from different places and with this being based on the real memoir of Peter it adds to the natural feel about it all.

Biopic/Romance This is based on the memoirs of Peter Turner, this will show what drove him to reach the next level of acting while being able to say he was the one that fell in love with the actress. The romance side of the film shows us just where these two people who came from different backgrounds could fall in love.

SettingsThe film shows us the harder life of an up and coming actor in Liverpool would be living in, the world that Gloria once was from and the one they could have together.

Scene of the Movie –
New York argument, from both points of view.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough people saw this one.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that all film fans should be going to see, it is a wonderful story about two people that fall in love, based in truth as the young actor meets Hollywood elite, where age was never a barrier for the two.


Overall: Film fans go and watch.





The Florida Project (2017)

Director: Sean Baker

Writer: Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch (Screenplay)

Starring: Brooklyn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera, Caleb Landry Jones


Plot: Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

Tagline – Welcome to a magical kingdom

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Powerful Drama


Story: The Florida Project starts as we meet precocious 6-year olds Moonee (Prince), Scooty (Rivera) and Dicky (Malik) that cause problems in a motel next to the new Disney World, they go on their mixed adventures, while Halley (Vinaite) Moonee’s mother struggles to find herself a job.

Hotel manager Bobby (Dafoe) knows families like Halley’s don’t have anywhere else to go, so he allows the to stay long term, but the kids are starting to cause disruptions with the everyday business. We follow the summer vacation the kids have, needing to entertain themselves.


Thoughts on The Florida Project


Characters – Moonee is the 6-year-old girl that along with her friends is getting into mischief for the summer vacation where he mother lives in a motel. She must entertain herself and knows every guest in the motel, the good ones and the bad ones. Halley is the mother of Moonee, she struggles to get enough money to stay in the motel, but does everything she can to make sure that she can enjoy her childhood, letting her have the freedom. She is trying to find a job, but it isn’t as easy as it should be. Bobby is the manager at the hotel, he knows the kids are only keeping themselves entertained which gives them harmless with their behaviour, he supports the poor families that are staying there the best he can, while also making sure they don’t end up getting into illegal trouble.

PerformancesBrooklynn Prince is the Moonee and she gives one of the most genuine performances of the year filled with the innocence that her character is all about during this hard time. Bria Vinaite is fresh on the scene here and she is fantastic over the young mum trying her best while also not being prepared for the everyday job idea. Willem Dafoe is fantastic too being the biggest name in this movie you would expect this from the talent he and he plays this role so perfectly.

StoryThe story tells the struggles a mother and daughter are having to just keep a roof over their heads in Florida. It shows the mischievous adventures Moonee goes on while her mother does whatever it takes to make the money all over the summer vacation as the motel manager tries to do the best he can to support them. This is a story that shows us the struggles a single parent can have with money if they started with nothing, the kindness of people who try to support and the innocent adventures children can go on.

SettingsThe settings show the motel that Halley & Moonee must live in, not the best place to be raising a child, this is good, but the down side is not knowing just how much of a shadow Disney World has on this place without going into researching it ourselves.

Scene of the Movie –
Bobby deals with an unwanted guest.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing the full scale of the situation between the motel and Disney World

Final ThoughtsThis is such a sweet story that is shot lovely, with two unknowns in the leads that are fantastic and Willem Dafoe shines. This might not be the biggest flowing story, but it does sum up the difficulties of single parenthood.


Overall: Wonderful moving movie




Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Director: Trish Sie

Writer: Kay Cannon, Mike White (Screenplay) Mickey Rapkin (Book)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Kelley Jakle


Plot: Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

Tagline – Last Call Pitches

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Nice Conclusion to the Trilogy


Story: Pitch Perfect 3 starts as the Bellas tired of their everyday lives, reunite for an overseas military performance. Beca (Kendrick), Fat Amy (Wilson), Chloe (Snow), Aubrey (Camp) and Emily (Steinfeld) along with the rest set up to tour and perform with fellow bands for military families.

Arriving the Bellas learn they are not on the same level as the fellow bands which brings the Bellas together to improve their own game and et themselves for their lives.


Thoughts on Pitch Perfect 3


Characters – Beca has been working as a music producer, her dream job, but she is struggling with the artists, which leads to her going on tour with the Bellas for one last round before trying to find her place in the real world. Fat Amy brings us the jokes through the film, embracing her image and this trip gives her a chance to re-connect with her father. Chloe and Aubrey are both struggling in real life and thrive on bring the group back together. Emily is still the youngster member of the group and this time she does start to fade into the background of the group.

PerformancesAnna Kendrick in the leading role is good in her role where she handles the singing wonderfully and is the role she can handle with ease. Rebel Wilson is always the centre of attention with the comic timing this time she does it solo without Adam Devine to bounce off.

StoryThe story picks up with the Bellas as they reunite again, they are all at pivotal points in their lives and this will be the last chance they have to perform together and once again they must prove themselves to the next level. We do have a lot of sub plots for the girls which can at times feel buried compared to others, but the highlight of the story is the Gail and John character providing commentary to the film, pointing out the problems in the previous films. This will tick all the boxes for the fans of the previous films.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy is a nice mix even if most falls for Rebel Wilson to hit home, the music brings a mix of the popular songs that get great remixes.

SettingsThe settings takes us around certain Europe where we would have military bases showing we are going bigger for the Bellas.

Scene of the Movie –
Riff off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Trying too hard with side stories that don’t hit because they don’t get enough time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice conclusion to the Pitch Perfect trilogy, it could easily show growing up with the Bellas as they heading to the real world and finding their feet. The music does hit home well too.


Overall: This is an enjoyable movie you can enjoy from start to finish.




ABC Film Challenge – Random – G – Gold (2017)

goldDirector: Stephen Gaghan

Writer: Patrick Massett, John Zinman (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell, Bill Camp


Plot: Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, teams up with a similarly eager geologist and sets off on a journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slightly Miss-Leading


Story: Gold starts in 1981 Nevada where Kenny Wells (McConaughey) who works in mining but when the industry hits hard times he becomes desperate and wants to get into the search for Gold, to do this he needs to work with successful copper miner Michael Acosta (Ramirez).

Finding the perfect location of untapped potential in Asia the two working together to search for a chance to make their fortune. With the first attempts going badly the two must find another way to make things work, before they finally find their gold mine.

As the success gets to Kenny’s head his personal life with Kay (Howard) starts to be strained and with their company hitting the stock market can this all be as much of a success as Kenny dreams it to be.


Thoughts on Gold


Characters/PerformanceKenny is the dreamer who believes he can make major money with a treasure hunter, he isn’t the smartest with money but his showmanship can get the sale for him. Acosta is the smarter businessman of the two who supports Kenny through all his decisions be it good or bad, he has a reputation that says he is the master geologist who can find metal in any surface.

The performances are all good without being award standard with McConaughey having to carry the film even though Ramirez was impressive in the supporting

StoryThe story here is all about one man getting rich and how it all went down, I do feel this was sold differently because I was sold on the idea of a big treasure hunt but this is all how the business side of the story happens. The story is very up and down for pacing without being as interesting in the those places.

Adventure/ThrillerAdventure side of this story comes from searching for the gold but you just never feel like you are joining in a treasure hunt, you are kept wondering where the story will go but this is a lot of the business side of the events unfolding.

SettingsThe settings through the film show the different stages of Kenny success, we have the low moments, the jungle in search of the gold and when he has the money and how he would be spending it. All the settings can show us just where he is through this story with just a glance at the scene.genre

Final ThoughtsI just couldn’t find this to be the most interesting for what I went into watching, the highlight of the trailer was the tiger moment which is completely out of contexts and has zero impact in the story.


Overall: This is easy to watch but also easy to forget what you saw.




ABC Film Challenge – Random – F – The Foreigner (2017)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: David Marconi (Screenplay) Stephen Leather (Novel)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, David Pearse, Michael McElhatton, Katie Leung, Rufus Jones


Plot: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.

Tagline – Never push a good man too far

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Chan Shines in Political Action Thriller


Story: The Foreigner starts as Quan Mgoc Minh (Chan) is getting ready to buy his daughter Fan’s (Leung) graduation dress in London, but this peaceful moment is shattered when a bomb goes off killing many, including Fan, with UDI claiming responsibility. England is now in locked down searching for the people responsible, while Quan has lost everything, a broken man.

Deputy Irish Minister Liam Hennessy (Brosnan) looks to investigate what happened using his power with the Irish government to try to get a deal between the two countries done. Quan will not rest until he learns who killed his daughter, he turns up at the police station everyday for answer before turning to the former UDI member Hennessy.

Refusing to accept we don’t know as answer Quan takes matters into his own hands, sending a warning to Hennessy, which soon turns into a cat-n-mouse chase around Ireland as we learn the truth about the bombing.


                 Thoughts on The Foreigner


Characters – Quan Ngoc Minh is a humble restaurant owner in London, his only daughter is about to graduate after losing the rest of his family years before, she is killed in a bombing leaving him empty and broken. He just wants names to see justice for those responsible and will use the training he has to get those answers. Liam Hennessy is the deputy Irish Minister who does have ties with UDI, he remains the on the peaceful side of the battle trying to find a solution, but the question remains just whether he is truly involved or not. The rest of the characters are the British police trying to solve the crime, The UDI members that have been working towards re-igniting the war between the two.

PerformancesThis is easily Jackie Chan most serious English Language role, he never let’s on to have any comic timing which is refreshing to see, the emotionless performance is just what we wanted to see. Pierce Brosnan is great too, he shows us how we imagine politicians to be like during the tension being shown in the film.

StoryThe story is where the things get interesting, the trailers made us believe we are heading into an action heavy movie about one man’s revenge mission about his daughter’s death. What we get is a thriller that looks at the tension between the British government and the Irish who still show the tension because of the difference between the two sides. We do have the revenge angle don’t worry if you want action you will get it, just be aware we balance the two stories very well to make this a thriller you will want to see the next chapter of the story.

ActionThe action lets Chan show off his skills in what is mostly a more serious style and includes him using a gun, which is something we rarely see him do in the English Language movies.

SettingsThe two main settings are London, which in real life has been a target of bombings and is a location which would make the biggest statement for any terrorists and the Irish farm where Quan is picking off anyone who tries to stop him.

Scene of the Movie –
The takedown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does fizzle out in the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a surprisingly entertaining action thriller, you will want to see everything unfold, while also getting rewarded by the action sequences that are only used sparely.


Overall: Strong action thriller.