ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – P – Pride (2014)

Director: Matthew Warchus

Writer: Stephen Beresford (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox, George MacKay

 

Plot: U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.


Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: Pride starts in the summer of 1984, the miner’s strikes are on and the Pride movement is taking over London, Mark (Schnetzer) one of the leading campaigners joined by shy college student Joe (MacKay) in a movement known as ‘Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners’ after Mark sees that they are struggling through the same problems from the authority figures.

Dai (Considine) is part of one of the mining communities in Wales, he is the only person that will even consider taking the money raised by the support group, with the group heading to Wales, they are welcomed by some including the head of the committee Cliff (Nighy), but not everyone is as welcoming as the rest.

 

Thoughts on Pride

 

Characters – Mark is the leader of the Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners group, he believes if the two work together they could one day stop the problems they are facing, he inspires his group, builds bridges between the communities become one of the most iconic members of the movement. Joe is a young gay that is still in the closest, he wants to support the group and joins in the activities only to need to keep things secret from the rest of his family. Dai is the man that is willing to listen to the group, he welcomes the group to the village. Jonathan is one of the oldest members of the group, he has lived with the taboo for his whole life and will help the group make the right connections. Cliff is one of the miners that welcomes the group with open arms not seeing them to be different in anyway. Hefina is one of the committee that will push for any rights to help her community that has suffered for so long.

PerformancesBen Schnetzer in the leading role is fantastic, showing the charisma required as well as giving us the feeling that he doesn’t know what will happen. George MacKay continued to show he is going to be a big name in the future with his withdrawn and important performance in this film. Dominic West is good in his role which shows us just how much range he has. Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton both shine in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story here shows us how the Lesbian & Gay community came together even against their own battle to help the minders in their own strike against the government. We are shown how communities would have needed to come together to be given their chance to just have equality in the world, this both frustrates because of what was around and shows the support needed to make things happen and how easily minds can be changed. We get to see the people that made a difference in the world, the people that held them back and just how important each and every person that supports equality can be. This is one that could show us how the country changed, came together and most importantly showed us how difficult the steps can be for the people who are struggling.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film shows us how the people who were truly involved showed the courage to stand up for what they believe in. the comedy comes from the actions from both sides of the fight and how they remained confident and broke barriers.

SettingsThe film uses two main settings, London where we follow the LGB community with their own fight and in Wales as we see the miner’s village which has been struggling with their problems with the strike.


Scene of the Movie –
The march

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing this was still a problem in 80s.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the powerful biopic that shows us just what people can achieve by working together to make a difference in the world.

 

Overall: Must watch.

Rating

 

 

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Valkyrie (2008)

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie, Nathan Alexander (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Terrence Stamp

 

Plot: A dramatization of the 20 July assassination and political coup plot by desperate renegade German Army officers against Hitler during World War II.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good War Thriller

 

Story: Valkyrie starts in the middle of World War II, outspoken German Colonel Claus Stauffenberg (Cruise) is assigned duty in Tunisia where he gets injured. Back in German Major General Henning von Tresckow (Branagh) has been working on a plan to assassinate Hitler and ending the war.

When Henning’s latest choice fails, he gets his fellow General Friedrich Olbricht (Nighy) to recruit a new member to this secret group and Claus is that man. We follow as the plan to assassinate Hitler comes together with espionage between the ranking officers, secret meetings and changes in potential candidates.  

 

Thoughts on Valkyrie

 

Characters/PerformanceColonel Claus von Stauffenberg is the soldier injured during the war and now he is the man with the plan to assassinate Hitler. Major General Henning von Tresckow is the officer that brings Claus into the circle as he wants to find the end of the war. General Friedrich Olbricht is the handler of Claus in the ranking side of things but off the books he must follow the instructions of Claus. The characters are all based on real people all involved in the real assassination attempt on Hitler.

Performance wise, well first we need to address that this is an English-speaking movie about what is happening within German during the war so we need to look past that when judging these performances of Tom Cruise who is good showing he can do serious movies over action sequences. Nighy, Branagh and Wilkinson are all great through the film as are the rest of the cast.

StoryThis is a look at a moment in history that many people don’t know about, we all know how World War II went and the bigger events, but looking at the story of a revolution within the German army to stop Hitler ending the war. The amount of people that would risk their lives to stop Hitler but the weak point here is we know the truth that it failed.

History/War Looking in the history of World War II we get to learn about a smaller detail which get covered up because they were failed missions to end the war and this gives us that story.

SettingsEach setting shows us the image of war time Germany with little issues with the look of the sets.

Final ThoughtsNice look into history about a moment that could have changed the end of the war forever.

 

Overall: Historical film that does show us a moment of great risk that ended in failure.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – C – Chalet Girl (2011)

Director: Phil Traill

Writer: Tom Williams (Screenplay)

Starring: Felicity Jones, Ed Westwick, Bill Nighy, Brooke Shields, Bill Bailey, Tasmin Egerton, Sophia Bush

 

Plot: Former skateboard champion Kim wants to make more money after her mother’s tragic death. She joins the elite posh servicing company, which sends her off to Austria.


Tagline – How to marry a billionaire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet, Delightful and Enjoyable

 

Story: Chalet Girl starts as we meet Kim (Jones) a skateboarding icon that has vanished from the circuit following the death of her mother, working in a burger restaurant caring for father Bill (Bailey). Needing to make more money Kim takes a chance to work as a chalet girl for an elite posh household in Austria, giving on the basic training from fellow girl Georgie (Egerton), she gets to start a new direction.

The family includes father Richard (Nighy) that is willing to give anyone a chance, his son Jonny (Westwick) who is happy to accept Kim, his girlfriend Chloe (Bush) and mother Caroline (Shields) are quick to judge. Over her time in the slopes Kim finds that she is a natural snowboarder and learns to love this new life, but struggles to shake her own demons.

 

Thoughts on Chalet Girl

 

Characters – Kim is a common English girl whose talents are great for home life and is now hiding from his potential from the world after the death of her mother. She has always been safe even though her skateboarding career doesn’t seem so safe, she takes a job she clear would never fit in around the clients, she soon learns that she is a natural snowboarder, but will need to overcome her past nightmares to continue her life. Jonny is one of the household that visit, he catches Kim’s attention, but has a girlfriend, he is open to giving Kim a chance in this world even if she isn’t from the posh background like the normal girls they get. Richard is the owner of the house, he welcomes any help as long as they can do the job without any problems.

PerformancesFelicity Jones broke onto the scene with this role, she is fantastic as the common girl, never letting her performance look glamorous and making it easy to connect to her real-life issues. Ed Westwick is good in his role looking the part of the rich attractive guy. Bill Nighy and the rest of the supporting cast are all great through the film with Bill Bailey does get the most laughs.

StoryThe story follows a young girl about to take on adulthood with her first long-term trip away from home, she must learn how the high life live, while battling her own past which haunts her to this day and become the star in the sport she never knew she had the talent for. This is one of the strongest points in this movie, the other side of the film is watching how she falls in love with a guy from this other world, which I feel takes away from just how important her journey needs to be. For a popcorn rom com this is a by the book story that can be enjoyed and doesn’t seem to go in any direction you wouldn’t imagine it going.

Comedy/Romance For a comedy this gets plenty of laughs from the whole cast, while romance side of the film is by the book, but does take away from the bigger story.

SettingsThe film takes Kim from start in her normal common life, to live a life she had never imagined in Austria.


Scene of the Movie –
Snowboard run.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The commentator for the snowboarding event.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable rom com that does have a deeper meaning for our leading lady Kim, this will leave you with a smile on your face and can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: Leaves you will a smile on your face.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – N – Norm of the North (2016)

Director: Trevor Wall

Writer: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, Malcolm T Goldman (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine

 

Plot: When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.


Tagline – Bear to be different

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pathetic Comedy

 

Story: Norm of the North starts as we head to the North Pole and the arctic home of Norm an underachieving polar bear. He wants to become the king of the arctic like his Grandfather as he lives in peace around seals, whales, birds and for some reason lemmings.

When the real estate mogul wants to build condos in the Arctic, Norm must travel to New York City to stop Mr Greene from going through with his idea and save the Arctic.

 

Thoughts on Norm of the North

 

Characters – Norm is a polar bear that needs to help save his land in the Arctic, he seems to get himself into trouble with his clumsy action, he is mostly an insult character. Vera is the struggling single mother that is trying to help her daughter even if she doesn’t believe in what she is going. Mr Greene is an evil businessman looking to build the houses in the Arctic which would ruin the life of the wildlife.

StoryThe story should be about how the humans are destroying the wildlife, but ends up just being hapless look at how one polar bear will try to stop it happening, it is mostly insulting to the audience as a story as it never gets to show the message it should be.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure just seems like click the fingers and we are there, the comedy misses on nearly every level and I wouldn’t want anyone to put their family through this one.

SettingsThe settings are the Arctic, fine works and the New York because wild animal in New York City is meant to be funny I guess?

AnimationThe animation at least looks good being the only positive side of the whole movie.


Scene of the Movie –
They use the ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me Song’ didn’t like the scene but love the song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just feels insulting.

Final ThoughtsThis is just a terrible animation that is more insulting that funny, it has an important message and fails to deliver it.

 

Overall: Avoid please.

Rating

 

 

The Limehouse Golem (2017)

Director: Juan Carlos Medina

Writer: Jane Goldman (Screenplay) Peter Ackroyd (Novel)

Starring: Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, Eddie Marsan, Douglas Booth, Maria Valverde, Sam Reid, Daniel Mays

 

Plot: A series of murders has shaken the community to the point where people believe that only a legendary creature from dark times – the mythical so-called Golem – must be responsible.


Tagline –  Before the Ripper, fear had another name.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Horror Thriller

 

Story: The Limehouse Golem starts when John Cree (Reid) is found dead in his bed chambers by his wife Lizzie (Cooke), she is accused of murdering him but when detective John Kildare (Nighy) is investigating the mysterious murder known as the Limehouse Golem the clues point to the potential killer being John Cree.

Kildare attends the trial of Lizzie where she gives the story of how she meant John Cree which let her follow her dreams of working with performer Dan Leno (Booth) who takes her under his wing. As the story unfolds we learn about the relationship Lizzie started with John all while Kildare searches for the real Limehouse Golem.

 

Thoughts on The Limehouse Golem

 

Characters – Lizzie Cree is accused of killing her husband during the attacks of The Limehouse Golem, while awaiting trial and during it she tells the tale of the poor girl that grew up to become part of the entertaining field in 1800’s England and her relationship with one of the suspects. John Kildare is the newly appointed detective to the Limehouse Golem case which brings him to look at a large selection of suspects that all seem to have a connection to Lizzie, including her late husband. Dan Leno is the lead performer at the theatre, he brings Lizzie in to the show and mentors her, he is also a suspect in the murder cases going in Limehouse. The suspects are all interesting throughout the film as we see the darker side of the people of Limehouse.

PerformancesBill Nighy is good as the detective keeping calm through the case, Douglas Booth is also good as the performer that gets to shown extra eccentricity through the film. Olivia Cooke is an actress I believe has a bright future and for the most part she is good here but then in moment she aims to try a cockney accent which doesn’t hit.

StoryThe story is told in two parts but together, the main part is the trial against Lizzie while the other part looks at what could have led to the decision in the trial for Lizzie as people search for the Limehouse Golem. This is fine as a story but when you go into a horror thriller film we are left feeling empty as this turns into a crime thriller, the murders seem to be off camera and it turns into a who was the killer.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror in this film disappoints greatly because we seem to skip over most of the moments revolving around the killer’s actions, the thrilling side of the film works in places as we are left with a race against time to see if Lizzie is guilty of not.

SettingsThe film is set in the 1800 hundreds London which is famous for the killings of Jack the Ripper which this film feels like it could easily be in the same time as that.

Special EffectsThe effects are used rarely and not ruining any moment of the film as we only have them where needed.


Scene of the Movie –
Final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Moments of the accent are annoying.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that builds up slowly to its final act, using the words to make sure we are left to follow clues to who the killer is and is saved by the final act from being just an average film.

 

Overall: Saved by the final act.

Rating