ABC Film Challenge – Random – Q – The Quiet Hour (2014)

Director: Stephanie Joalland

Writer: Stephanie Joalland (Screenplay)

Starring: Dakota Blue Richards, Jack McMullen, Karl Davies, James Browne, Brigitte Millar

 

Plot: In the aftermath of an alien invasion, a feisty teenage girl sets out to protect her farm from human scavengers who will stop at nothing in order to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Promising Sci-Fi

 

Story: The Quiet Hour starts in a world invaded by an alien force that constantly drill, well apart from two hours a day, the only hours the remaining humans can be active. Sarah (Richards) lives in her family farm with her blind brother Tom (McMullen) just keeping to themselves through the invasion.

When a stranger Jude (Davies) arrives in their home, he is injured but also being tracked by a group of savages who are hunting him down looking to take advantage of anything to survive for themselves. Sarah must make the difficult decisions to defend her farm from the human enemy, deciding on who to trust.

 

Thoughts on The Quiet Hour

 

Characters/PerformanceSarah is the feisty teenager waiting out an alien invasion with her brother, she is in control of everything within the house and knows how to stay safe, she must break her rules to survive though. Tom is the innocent brother that is blind living with Sarah, he has a skill for music but at times can hold Sarah back. Jude is the mysterious stranger claiming to be a reporter that Sarah takes in but we are never sure what to think of his motives in this film.

Performance wise, Dakota is good in the leading role as we see how she has grown up since her debut in The Golden Compass. Jack and Karl both give solid supporting performances without being brilliant, but it would be fair to say the performances reflect the films environment.

StoryThis is a good way to bring us a sci-fi thriller by doing something slightly different with the ‘they won the invasion’ angle. It all runs at a slow pace but that is because the film doesn’t want to focus on the alien invaders but instead focus on the human survival with the invasion going on. I do think it all works without being the most engrossing film you will see.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe world has been taken over by an unknown alien presence, humans hide to survive, this all sounds sci-fi enough for me. The thrilling side of the film comes from us wondering if the siblings can make it out alive.

SettingsThe film is mostly set within the small farm house which shows us the isolation our characters have created away from the problems in this world.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used when needed and that is to look at how invaders are operating from a distance.

Final ThoughtsThis is a really promising idea for a film, it hits on many marks but just feels like it needed a couple more pieces to click together for something great.

 

Overall: Sci-fi fans give this a try.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Golden Compass (2007)

Director: Chris Weitz

Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay) Philip Pullman (Novel)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Dakota Blue Richards, Ben Walker, Freddie Highmore, Ian McKellen, Eva Green, Sam Elliott

 

Plot: In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Been Here Seen This

 

Story: The Golden Compass starts in a world with parallel universes where the human spirits can walk next to humans in animal form known as daemons, with a Golden Compass being the only way to find the different universes. We meet young Lyra (Richards) who lives with her Uncle Lord Asriel (Craig) who is an adventurer that is seeking the Dust which can travel between universes.

With the children getting taken by Goblers Lyra in her high life promises to search for poor boy Roger’s (Walker). Lyra is chosen by Mrs Coulter (Kidman) to help with her research in the North which just so happens to be where Lord Asriel is heading, in what looks like a battle for the dust.

Learning that Mrs Coulter is behind the missing children Lyra teams up with a host of other characters in the Gyptians as they search for the children and her Uncle before Coulter’s research is complete.

 

Thoughts on The Golden Compass

 

Characters/PerformanceLyra is the type of leading child you will need for this type of film, she comes from a rich background, she is curious and brave. Mrs Coulter comes along as the villainous character that believes in the cause she is fighting for with Lord Asriel is the explorer looking to change the future. The rest of the characters do their part well as Lyra goes on her adventure.

Performance wise, Kidman and Craig both do a good job in their roles, but it is Richards that really struggles in the lead role, she is meant to come off posh but too often comes off a common which takes away from the character.

StoryThe story is one I have come to believe was butchered from the book, which when you watch you can see, it gets the basics correct but anything which involved developing a character sadly gets forgotten as the film unfolds. The story ends up becoming slightly messy and focuses on just doing action to cover the lack of story.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure side of this film should be clear, but it just shows one person’s adventure, I don’t feel the family could enjoy this movie but the fantasy world we find ourselves in does work well.

SettingsThe settings all look good with their own fancy way of saying countries we all know in the world just having slight twists on them.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects all work well, but there are moments which look pretty bad for the CGI.

Final ThoughtsIf you want a cliff hanger that never gets complete, well here is the film for you.

 

Overall: This seems like a solid start to the franchise but we will never see the end.

Rating