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.

Rose Byrne Weekend – Peter Rabbit (2018) Movie Review

Director: Will Gluck

Writer: Rob Lieber, Will Gluck (Screenplay) Beatrix Potter (Characters)

Starring: (Voice Talents) James Corden, Fayssal Bazzi, Domhnall Gleeson, Sia, Sam Neill, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Rose Byrne

Plot: Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.

Tagline – Born to be wild.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Poor Film

Story: Peter Rabbit starts as we see how Peter Rabbit and his family and friends had a battle with old Mr McGregor (Neill) after they continued to steal from his garden, until he passes away. The next-door neighbour Bea (Byrne) does try to keep them safe the best she can.

When Thomas McGregor (Gleeson) moves into the house with plans to sell it, which sees the war coming back for Peter and his family, this time it might become deadlier.

Thoughts on Peter Rabbit

Characters – Peter Rabbit is the mischievous little rabbit that always gets his siblings into trouble as they always seem to terrorise the McGregor family, that does seem to be the only thing he does each day, making him out to be a horrible little rabbit. Thomas McGregor is a completely by the book toy store employee wanting to get to management, when he loses his job, he ends up following in his uncle footsteps, getting into a battle with the rabbits. Bea is the nice neighbour that has always tried to look after the animals, loves nature and is an artist.

PerformancesDomhnall Gleeson is great along with Rose Byrne are the two main live action stars that both work well with how they act towards the animals. Most of the voice acting is mixed, with the three sisters working well, but James Corden not suiting the character.

StoryThe story follows the adventures of Peter Rabbit against the McGregor’s, which just seems to keep escalating. The story is strange because it doesn’t make Peter likeable at all, he just seems to annoy McGregor and never do anything else, surely there would have been another food supply for him. Most of the story revolves around pop culture jokes, which have dated quickly, but by the end the story just becomes boring more than anything else.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure is just the troubles Peter gets himself in, we don’t seem to go any further, while the comedy is a miss already.

SettingsThe film keeps the action in the country, which does seem to have only show how close the war between the two was.

AnimationThe animated animals looks solid for the most part, but some of the moments seem weird.

Scene of the Movie – Harrods break down.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Peter Rabbit.

Final Thoughts This is a big disappointment because the characters used are loveable for the most part, while this movie just makes them horrible.

Overall: Boring.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – Pain and Glory (2019) Movie Review

Director: Pedro Almodovar

Writer: Pedro Almodovar (Screenplay)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Nora Navas, Julieta Serrano, Cesar Vicente, Asier Flores

Plot: A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Life Drama

Story: Pain and Glory starts as we meet film director Salvador Mallo (Banderas) whose most famous film ‘Sabor’ is being honoured, it is one of his films he never truly enjoyed until recently, which makes him start to look back at his life as a children in near poverty, where is mother Jacinta (Cruz) did everything she could to keep him happy and now Salvador must rebuild the bridge with the star of the movie Alberto (Etxeandia) after they fell out after the film was made.

Salvador’s latest work is must more personal story form his younger years, with his own former lover Federico (Sbaraglia) being the man that helped him become the star he would, understand why he was always more against the drug lifestyle that Alberto was involved in.

Thoughts on Pain and Glory

Characters – Salvador Mallo is a director who has lost his motivation, he is questioning the decisions he once made, even though his films are held in high regard, add in the illness and wear and tear his body is going through, he is wondering if his legacy is what he wants it to be, be it the relationship he once had with his lead, his mother and many other parts of his life. Alberto Crespo was the star of the hit movie, the two fell out because of his addiction, which caused the rift between the two, now he gets a chance to make up with Salvador who understand his own errors of the way. Federico is the former lover of Salvador, somebody who motivated him to create the work he has become famous for. Jacinta is Salvador’s mother that has always encouraged him to improve himself in life.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas is fantastic in the leading role and you can see why he got nominated for an Oscar. Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Penelope Cruz are excellent in the supporting roles too.

StoryThe story here follows an aging film director that is looking back at his own career and life, wondering if he made the right decisions, which sees him looking to write his own story. The idea that we jump between different moments in his life and the ones he sees being important from his childhood, to making up with his former co-star, shows how you can always reflect on certain moments in life. It does show us how an artist might not always be happy with his work too, which shows us just how you can often be your biggest critic in life.

SettingsThe film does show us just how far Salvador has come in life, from his poverty like raising to his celebrity status.

Scene of the Movie – Final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Sometimes the time jumps happen too often.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant drama that shows how difficult looking back on your life can always make you question what you did, despite not being able to change it.

Overall: Wonderful Drama.

Rose Byrne Weekend – Juliet, Naked (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jesse Peretz

Writer: Evgenia Peretz, Jim Taylor, Tamara Jenkins (Screenplay) Nick Hornby (Novel)

Starring: Chris O’Dowd, Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Phil Davis, Lily Brazier, Denise Gough, Ayoola Smart

Plot: Juliet, Naked is the story of Annie (the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan) and her unlikely transatlantic romance with once revered, now faded, singer-songwriter, Tucker Crowe, who also happens to be the subject of Duncan’s musical obsession.

Tagline – What if you met the man of your man’s dreams?

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming & Delightful

Story: Juliet, Naked starts as we meet Annie Platt (Byrne) who had to give up her dreams to take over her family business of running the local museum, she is living with long-term boyfriend Duncan (O’Dowd) who is a teacher and has an obsession with musician Tucker Crowe, even running a fan site in his name. when Duncan receives a new unreleased album, Annie comments on his website, which sees her getting an email from Tucker (Hawke) himself.

When Tucker and Annie become long-term pen pals, Annie starts having telling new stories unlike before, just as Duncan starts becoming even more distant from her, putting her in a difficult position of being involved in a friendship with her partners idol.

Thoughts on Juliet, Naked

Characters – Annie Platt did study art history, but gave that up to take over the family business of running a small-town museum on a seaside town, she is dealing with her partner’s obsession with Tucker Crowe until she gets an email from Tucker starting a new friendship, giving her a chance to give up what she sees as a lonely life. Tucker Crowe is a one-hit wonder that has gathered a small cult like following, he has gone off the radar for years and emails Annie after her comment on a board about his album, he starts a friendship with Annie, while dealing with his past which sees him have children with different women and is facing the reality of becoming a grandfather soon. Duncan is Annie’s boyfriend, he is a teacher by day and by night he leads the Tucker Crowe fan club online, idolising him, his obsession with Tucker does make him distant from Annie at times. He does end up leaving Annie and ends up becoming instantly jealous of Annie’s new friendship with Tucker.

PerformancesRose Byrne is a delight to watch in this film, we see her bring to life this character in ways that make us understand her position in life. Ethan Hawke will always be great in roles which see him playing somebody who has been struggling with life choices, he knows how to make this character his own. Chris O’Dowd is great too completing the main cast with his ability to nail the comedy moments.

StoryThe story does follow a couple that are torn apart after one’s affair, leading to the other to start a relationship with his idol, opening her eyes to the bigger world out there. This is a story that is about how to find love in people and in life, figuring out what would be best for you and not letting everyone else in your life controlling you. We do get ideas of how difficult it could be to meet your idol and what would happen if you ex started hanging out with that idol too. We see how life can become easy to pass you by and how important it can be to make up for your own mistakes and spend the future making things right.

ComedyThe comedy in the film plays into the drama of everything going on, most of the laughs will come from Duncan’s obsession with Tucker.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings by use the quiet seaside town, where life can be safe and how the big city could be an escape you could on dream of having, or stay away from out of fear.

Scene of the Movie – Dinner scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sister character seems to be here just for laughs, not for plot.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful comedy that will get laughs and will reflect the reality of how difficult life can be.

Overall: Sweet comedy drama.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – O – Richard Jewell (2019) Movie Review

This is under O because of star Olivia Wilde.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Billy Ray (Screenplay) Marie Brenner (Magazine Article)

Starring: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm

Plot: American security guard Richard Jewell saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the press who falsely reported that he was a terrorist.

Tagline – The world will know his name and the truth.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Shocking Trial by Media

Story: Richard Jewell starts as we meet Richard Jewell (Hauser) a man that has always wanted to work in law enforcement, starting in a mailroom where he meets lawyer Watson Bryant (Rockwell) before moving into security just in time for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, while on duty he discovers a suspicious package, which turns out to be a bomb, saving thousands of lives.

With no idea who left the bomb, FBI agent Tom Shaw (Hamm) is leading the case, which starts to look into Richard, while ambitious ruthless reporter Kathy Scruggs (Wilde) is looking to get the story first, Richard turns to Watson to help him prove that he is innocent after the press turns on him.

Thoughts on Richard Jewell

Characters – Richard Jewell is a man that has always dreamed of working in law enforcement, he will always follow the law even too close to the line, never over it. He might rub people the wrong way, with his honest persona, which Watson is the only way to see through. He is always wary on his duty as a security guard, which is why he discovered the bomb, saving people, he wants to clear his name because he knows he hasn’t don’t anything wrong. Watson Bryant is the lawyer that represents Richard after the two have had friendship in a previous job. He sees that Richard is bring framed by a media trial and will do everything in his power to defend him. Tom Shaw is leading the investigation, he also leaks the idea they are looking at Richard, which puts his job on the line, with him needing to find the suspect fast. Kathy Scruggs is the reporter that is always looking for a juicier story, she gets the story about Richard out there being the one that leads the goose chase. Bobi is Richard’s mother that has raised him well, honest and to work hard, she is left distraught by the stories about him knowing just how honest he is to the world.

PerformancesPaul Walter Hauser is brilliant in this leading role, showing the calm the man shows despite the pressure thrown on his character. Sam Rockwell once again shows us to be a wonderful supporting actor, while Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde are strong throughout, Kathy Bates is fantastic too showing all the added stress and trauma placed on her character.

StoryThe story here shows the security guard that saves thousands of lives from a bombing that the media decides to turn into the prime suspect despite his innocence, where he needs to prove his own innocence before the case just gets framed onto him. This story is based on the real events, which saw thousands saved from certain death, only shows how the panic to solve the case saw one person accused of being guilty of the crime, even though he saved them. It shows how the media has become judge and jury at times, which can be more damaging than the crime itself. This does highlight just how sudden somebody can be turned from hero to villain, though it would have been interesting to see and learn a little bit more about the full investigation.

Biopic/CrimeThis film uses the real event to show Richard Jewell’s life just before and just after the bombing, showing us how the crime was focused on the wrong person, sadly, we don’t spend enough time trying to solve the crime.

SettingsThe film uses a few main settings, the bombing locations, which is the horrors of the events, the home which shows us the loss of privacy the Jewell family received and the offices where questioning takes place.

Scene of the Movie – The private hearing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not looking at solving the crime.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fascinating drama that showed us the shocking story of trial by media of an innocent man with impressive performances throughout.

Overall: Fascinating.