ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – Q – Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Director: Bryan Singer

Writer: Anthony McCarten (Screenplay) Anthony McCarten, Peter Morgan (Story)

Starring: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilyn Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Mike Myers

 

Plot: A chronicle of the years leading up to Queen‘s legendary appearance at the Live Aid (1985) concert.


Tagline – The only thing more extraordinary than their music is his story

Runtime: 2 Hour 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible Career, Poorly Told

 

Story: Bohemian Rhapsody starts as we see Freddie (Malek) working at the airport following an indie band around which has Brian May (Lee) and Roger Taylor (Hardy) in, who have just lost their lead singer, giving Freddie a chance to audition to take over and bring the band to a new level.

We follow the rise of Queen as the three joined by John Deacon (Mazzello) to rise through the ranks becoming one of biggest bands in the world, defining a generation of music makers. We mostly follow Freddie as he does deal with his own sexuality and mortality with his fame and musical genesis being tested.

 

Thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Characters – Freddie Mercury is one of the biggest names in music history, we know his story, well how it ends anyway, we know the bands music. In this film we learn how he broke from his family traditions to become a Rockstar and bought a brand new meaning to entertaining the audience, we see his vices and how was only part of bands music history. Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon are the rest of the band and have their moments which show us just how the songs came about, they work well together questioning ideas. Mary Austin is the muse for Freddie, the first love even though she knows he is gay, she is one of the few people that never gives up on Freddie.

PerformancesRami Malek is great in the leading role as you believe he has become Freddie ready to perform to the audience, easily his best performance of his career. Diving into the rest of cast, they are all good and perform in the scenes they need to an impact.

StoryThe story follows the career of Freddie Mercury, from the day he joined the band, to the Live Aid performance which changed the concert. The film shows us the important moments, the times they made the big steps in the career, how certain songs came about and the personal demons Freddie was dealing with. Now the story is told poorly because we only focus on the good in the career, there aren’t any truly bad moments shown here even though we know how difficult and isolated Freddie was feeling. The career Queen had was amazing which should be respected and told in a smarter way.

Biopic/MusicThe biopic checklist is filled out nicely because we get to see the good from the career, the problem is, we don’t see enough of the weakness in the career. The music shows us just how entertaining Queen were and how legendary the songs are.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings that the band went through to become the icons that we know.


Scene of the Movie –
Live Aid.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We only see the good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that plays everything too safe, Malek is amazing and the songs are too with the performances we all know people enjoy.

 

Overall: Queen fans will love, even though the film has weaknesses.

Rating

 

 

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

 

 

Bryan Singer Weekend – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

casting card

 

Plot: The ancient war between humans and a race of giants is reignited when Jack, a young farmhand fighting for a kingdom and the love of a princess, opens a gateway between the two worlds.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure Film

 

Story: Jack the Giant Slayer starts by giving us the story that poor boy Jack and Princess Isabelle who love the story of the giant that came to Earth before being banished. Jack (Hoult) all grown up is trying to sell his horse and cart finding himself in the kingdom of King Brahmwell (McShane) who is trying to keep tabs on his now of age daughter Isabelle. We know Jack made a deal where he ended up getting some beans that just so happen to be magic.

With Isabelle trying to escape her impending marriage to Roderick (Tucci) she finds herself at Jack’s house. When the beanstalk rises it takes Isabelle up into the giant kingdom leading to Elmont (McGregor) Roderick, Jack and Elmont’s men to climb the beanstalk.

Upon reaching the top we learn Roderick’s plan while our character have to learn that not all legends are fairy tales.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a story we should all have known by now but how do you turn this into a feature film, well this is how it is done. We create a battle between humans and the giants filled with generically average characters all with their own motives. I do think the expanded story works but in a world where we have had Lord of the Rings and going through Game of Thrones this comes off slightly short.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicholas Hoult: Jack is the simple farm boy that finds himself selling his house for beans only to discovery that these beans take him to the giant kingdom on top of a beanstalk. Jack must rescue the princess and become the giant slayer he was always destine to become. Nicholas is good in this leading role showing he can be a future star.

Eleanor Tomlinson: Isabelle is the princess of the kingdom that wishes to see more of the world before being wed to the older man Roderick. While she does become the very basic damsel in distress by the end of the film. Eleanor also gives us a good performance even if her character is basically the damsel in distress we don’t see as much anymore.

Ewan McGregor: Elmont is leader of the king’s guard, he is fearless and will give any common man a chance to help do the honourable thing, which includes Jack. He works with Jack to makes sure the princess is safe once the giant from myth become a reality. Ewan has a lot of fun in this role where we get to see him supporting the next generation of stars.

Stanley Tucci: Roderick is planned to be wed to the princess, but he has his own plans which do include bringing down the giants to help him get everything he wants. Stanley plays the typical villain add his own spin to it without being that memorable.

Support Cast: Jack the Giant Slayer has a solid supporting cast but they just get enough real time out of everything involved.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan gives us a good enjoyable film even if the CGI comes off slightly iffy.

 

Adventure: Jack the Giant Slayer sends us on the adventure that could well be the first one we ever heard.

Fantasy: Jack the Giant Slayer throws us into the fantasy world where giants live above humans.

Settings: Jack the Giant Slayer has the settings that makes us feel like we are going to be in the world created.
Special Effects
: Jack the Giant Slayer has some bad CGI moments which can take away from these moments.

Suggestion: Jack the Giant Slayer is one I do think people will enjoy but I can see how come people be turned off. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final battle is very good.

Worst Part: CGI

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $195 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: Prepare for a giant adventure

 

Overall: Solid adventure film that will be the one that will enjoy from the childhood stories.

Ratingcard

 

 

Bryan Singer Weekend – The Usual Suspects (1995)

sualDirector: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite

 

Plot: A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simply Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: The Usual Suspects starts as we see Verbal Kint (Spacey) explaining what happened after a crime gone wrong, telling his story to Dave Kujan (Palminteri). We meet all of the suspects in a line up Keaton (Byrne), McManus (Baldwin), Fenster (Del Toro), Hockney (Pollak) and Verbal himself. We watch as the guys get questioned about a missing gun shipment.

While in custody the five criminals agree to work on a new job as we move between before and after the crime and learn that Keyser Soze a mythical criminal was involved. We are left to piece the puzzle parts together in a crime story that will leave your jaw dropping.

The Usual Suspects is one of those crime mystery thrillers that does down as one of the greatest off all time. The flow of this film is so smooth you never notice the time go by and the final act will leave you shocked with a twist you would never see coming. There are no negatives about this story it is simply brilliant because of how simple it all is even with the killer twist.

 

Actor Review

 

Gabriel Byrne: Keaton is the disgraced former cop that went into the life of crime, he retired trying to change his life and come up clean. His new life is ruined when he is questioned leading him to going on a new crime wave with a new group of criminals. Keaton becomes the leader of the new crew because if his calmness under pressure. Gabriel is great in this role where he shines without becoming to dominate in the leading role.keatn

Kevin Spacey: Verbal is our story telling the sole survivor of the job gone wrong. He gets bought into the job as the biggest outsider but through the story he makes the plans with his ideas but with his diplomatic immunity given to him by the DA he finds his story to giving Dave something else to chase in Keyser Soze. Kevin won an Oscar for this performance where he truly does give a brilliant performance.verbal

Chazz Palminteri: Dave Kujan is the customs officer trying to get to the bottom of what happened on the ship with Verbal is the lone survivor, he has been chasing Keaton his whole career but hearing the story from Verbal he finds a new ghost to chase. Chazz is great as the investigator in this film.dave

Stephen Baldwin: McManus has years of experience working with his partner in crime Fenster, he is a hot head but brilliant marks man. He is the first to suggest the guys work together on a job. Stephen is good as the loose cannon of the group.mcmanus

Pete Postlethwaite: Kobayashi is the lawyer for Keyser Soze who puts the pieces together to make this crime happen. He is always cool under pressure when it comes to the confrontation but loyal to Soze to the end. Pete gives the performance you would expect to see from him throughout.kobayashi

Support Cast: The Usual Suspects has a good remaining supporting cast that all work well even though they are only small numbers involved.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan gives us one of the greatest crime thrillers ever made showing he knows how to handle an ensemble cast.

 

Crime: The Usual Suspects gives us a crime story full of the criminals we see as the heroes

Mystery: The Usual Suspects keeps us wondering about what will happen next.

Thriller: The Usual Suspects brings us to the edge of our seats from start to finish of this film.

Settings: The Usual Suspects uses the settings you would expect to see with the key locations being the office where the story is being told and the boat where everything happened.

Suggestion: The Usual Suspects is one I think everyone should have seen at least once and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: Nope

Oh My God Moment: Final scene.

Favourite Quote: Verbal ‘After that my guess is that you will never hear from him again. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won Two Oscars including Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay.

Budget: $6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: In a world where nothing is what it seems you’ve got to look beyond.

Trivia: The Japanese characters on the outside of the meeting room where Kobayashi is talking with Edie Finneran and others say “Kobayashi” and “bengoshi” (attorney); the ones in reverse on the window read “seikou” (success), “chikara” (strength), and “zaisan” (assets).

 

Overall: One of the greatest crime thrillers ever put to film that will leave you shocked with its final outcome.

Ratingcard

 

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

casting cardDirector: Bryan Singer

Writer: Simon Kinberg (Screenplay) Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris (Story)

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Luca Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy

 

Plot: With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappoint Sequel

 

Story: X-Men: Apocalypse starts as we see a fail ritual to bring Apocalypse alive in ancient Egyptian, move forward to 1981 we get to meet our fresh set of mutants with Scott Summers/ Cyclops (Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Smit-McPhee), Angel (Hardy), Jean Grey (Turner) and Storm (Shipp). Scott being the brother of Havok (Till) gets enrolled in Professor Xavier’s (McAvoy) school while Magneto (Fassbender) is living a normal life back in Poland.

It isn’t long until Apocalypse is being raised from the dead with the higher power mutants being able to sense him rising. With Magneto driven to the man he didn’t want to live anymore he unleashes his rage, while Professor Xavier seeks an old friend Moira Mactaggert (Byrne) for answers to the rising of Apocalypse.

Apocalypse builds himself an army of mutants with increased powers as he searches for the most powerful mutants to help him reclaim the Earth that was once his with Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke (Munn) by his side. It is up to Professor Xavier to take his student into battle to stop the end of the world.

X-Men: Apocalypse is yet another restart timeline X-Men movie that for some reason tries to reference future outings but also erasing other moments. This just confuses the timelines but as for it being a solo story you do need to have seen the previous films to understand certain moments. The introducing of younger versions of the mutants we have known in previous films but they all seem suddenly powerful enough to handle themselves in a fight. We get the same odd Professor X and Magneto dealing with what they want without agreeing. In fairness this is just another wildly over the top X-Men movie that can be enjoy from a casual point of view but for story telling it’s just not up to the standard we are used to.

 

Actor Review

 

James McAvoy: Professor Charles Xavier is now just trying to just teach the young mutants to deal with their mutant powers trying to keep peace between the two kinds. He ends up having to come face to face with an enemy that is controlling his closest friend/enemy Magneto. James is solid but just doesn’t give us the character we fully enjoy.

Michael Fassbender: Magneto is now trying to live a normal life in Poland, he has started a family but when his identity becomes apparent tragedy strikes and we see Magneto want vengeance against the human race as he stands next to Apocalypse. This is the best and most tragic back story Magneto has ever had making him the best youngster version we have seen before. Michael is one of the stars of the show with his performance but the character does seem to get forgotten in the second half of the movie.

Jennifer Lawrence: Mystique is now a lone soldier trying to help mutants from around the world, she isn’t being bad just continuing to want to make sure all mutants get treated equal. Jennifer continues her paycheck franchise performances here never really being stand-out.

Oscar Isaac: Apocalypse is the first mutant and the all-powerful one at that, he has the ability to enhance the powers of other mutants. He wants to destroy the world bringing it back to the place where people respected and worshiped him, he puts together a team of what he sees as the strongest mutants to make this happen. Oscar is solid in this role but it could be fair to say anyone could have had this role.

Support Cast: X-Men: Apocalypse has a massive supporting cast with Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Evan Peters and Kodi Smit-McPhee all gives us good performance but most of the rest struggle to make an impact with a lot playing the younger versions of the pre-existing characters and simply not hitting the levels of the previous outings.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan goes bigger yet again with this outing with more characters and more timelines to pull together but I do feel this goes one step too far.

 

Action: X-Men: Apocalypse has plenty of wild over the top action moments but the destruction just seems too much and unnecessary.

Adventure: X-Men: Apocalypse throws our characters into an adventure defend the world like we have seen before.

Sci-Fi: X-Men: Apocalypse has all of the different mutant powers to give us the fight we are sitting through.

Settings: X-Men: Apocalypse has the dam setting for one setting which is good connecting back to previous films but otherwise it is jut cities randomly being destroyed.
Special Effects
: X-Men: Apocalypse is filled with the special effects you would expect without being anything really fresh.

Suggestion: X-Men: Apocalypse is one for the fans of the series to watch, this isn’t one you can just pick up without knowing previous version of the film. (Franchise Fans)

 

Best Part: Quicksilver, give this guy his own movie.

Worst Part: Poor young casting of the popular characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Most likely.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: Only the strong will survive

 

Overall: One sequel too far that is just too much explosions and poor casting.

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