ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – G – Gemma Bovery (2014)

Director: Anne Fontaine

Writer: Pascall Bonitzer, Anne Fontaine (Screenplay) Posy Simmonds (Novel)

Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng, Isabelle Candelier, Niels Schneider, Mel Raido

 

Plot: Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only are the names of the new arrivals Gemma and Charles Bovery, but their behavior also seems to be inspired by Flaubert’s heroes.


Tagline – Can life really imitate art?

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Romance Film

 

Story: Gemma Bovery starts when small village baker Martin Joubert (Luchini) learns about his new English neighbours, Gemma (Arterton) and Charlie Bovery (Flemyng), who just so happen to share the names of his favourite novel characters Madame Bovery, Martin starts to see the similarities with the neighbours and the characters as he spends time watching Gemma.

Gemma ends starting to have an affair with the local French man, one that Martin sees happening and wants to figure out how to stop her making what he sees as a mistake, just like the characters in his favourite novels.

 

Thoughts on Gemma Bovery

 

Characters – Martin is the village baker, he is a huge fan of Flaubert’s novels with Madame Bovery being his favourite, he has been living his normal life until his new neighbours spark an interest in his life because of their names, he spends his time following Gemma around trying to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistakes that the character in the books once made, making bets with his dog along the way. Gemma Bovery is the English neighbour that has just moved to France with her husband, she has started to become bored of that relationship getting involved in an affair, one that Martin witnesses, seeing the end of her relationship. Charlie is the husband that has always supported Gemma only to see the distance building between the two. Valerie is the wife of Martin, who sees her husband get into the mindset of trying to help because of his obsession with books.

PerformancesFabrice Luchini is entertaining to watch through the film as he is often talking to himself. Gemma Arterton is a great choice for this role, she gets to thieve through the role too. The rest of the cast do struggle to make an impact in the story on the levels you would imagine, which disappoints.

StoryThe story follows a French man that believes his neighbour Gemma is following the footsteps of Madame Bovery and starts to get worried about her decisions, when she starts having an affair. This story does follow the ideas of how a person can become obsessed with life imitating art and just how dangerous trying to stop art going can be, it shows how easily affair can happen with people who do seem to be happy, in the end the story doesn’t really engage on the levels it wants to and soon becomes one that you could easily forget.

Comedy/Romance The comedy comes mostly from the sneaking around that Martin does, it gets laughs in places which will be fun, the romance shows how easily love can come and go from the people in your life.

SettingsThe film is set in a small French village which makes for a beautiful backdrop to everything going on in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Who is to blame?

That Moment That Annoyed Me I have always disliked a film that bounces between English and another language.

Final ThoughtsThis is a romance film that shows how obsession can take over life whether it be to see how people see somebody’s else life or their own.

 

Overall: Romance with a novel.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – S – Sunshine on Leith (2013)

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Stephen Greenhorn (Screenplay) Stephen Greenhorn (Stage Play)

Starring: Paul Brannigan, George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Jane Horrocks, Peter Mullan, Freya Mavor, Antonia Thomas, Jason Flemyng

 

Plot: Two soldiers return home to Edinburgh to resume their romantic and family lives.


Tagline – When it happens… there’s nothing like it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolute Delight

 

Story: Sunshine of Leith starts as the two soldiers Davy (MacKay) and Ally (Guthrie) return to Edinburgh to continue their lives, Ally dating Liz (Mavor) while Davy meets Yvonne (Thomas) and the romantic lives of the four-young people come through in the tough times they must live.

As the young men learn to adapt back to a normal life they sing their way through different situations young couples and even the older couples must go through in normal life.

 

Thoughts on Sunshine of Leith

 

Characters – Davy is one of the two soldiers who returned, the squad leader who has lost men, but returns with a few issues, but starts enjoying life more when he meets Yvonne, he needs to show that he will be haunted by moments from his past and deal with them the right way. Ally has returned home believing he can get a job and just marry his girl Liz, he must learn that not everything is what he had planned for. Liz is Davy’s sister, a nurse and Ally’s girlfriend, she has been dreaming of seeing the world one day, that time is now, can she handle letting Ally know what she wants the most. Yvonne is a fellow nurse, an English girl who moved to Scotland for love once, she has a connection with Davy, but not sure how to accept Davy’s past and his reactions to trouble. We do also have Rab and Jean the parents of Liz & Davy who are going through their own struggles even after their long marriage.

PerformancesThe performances across the board here are fantastic, with the leading men George MacKay & Kevin Guthrie showing the emotional trauma of returning from war. Freya Mavor shows how the ambition of one person can show in conflict they are showing in her and Antonia Thomas shows us how hesitate someone can be to open up to someone who could have problems of their own.

StoryThe story follows 6 lives, two soldiers returning from war, one older couple who must put the past behind them and two young women who careers are about to take them in new directions, but love could hold them back. The stories blend together wonderfully that gives us relatable characters who have everyday problems they must overcome to find the answers they want from life, it will leave you with a smile on your face when it ends.

Comedy/Romance/MusicalThe comedy is light-hearted as we get to see how the lives of the characters is not taken overly serious for them, the romance shows us just how difficult love can be for people who have dreams to follow. Everything is told in a musical style which is filled with catchy songs that give our characters the express of their feelings.

SettingsThe Scottish setting works for the film, it gets to show how normal people are going and return from war to live normal lives.


Scene of the Movie –
500 miles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I get most of the references, if you don’t know too much about Scottish culture, you may struggle to understand certain moments.

Final ThoughtsThis was a treat of a movie, it has real characters that must make life changing decisions that could have affect on the people they love, it has delightful songs you can sing along to and wonderful performance.

 

Overall: This is a MUST WATCH

Rating

 

 

Great Expectations (2012)

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: David Nicholls (Screenplay) Charles Dickens (Novel)

Starring: Toby Irvine, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, William Ellis, David Walliams, Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter

 

Plot: A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic story

 

Story: Great Expectation starts as we meet the orphaned boy Pip, living with his sister and brother in law Joe (Flemyng) a blacksmith raising Pip to be his assistant. After Pip learns of a better life he dreams of becoming a gentleman in London after spending time with Miss Havisham (Carter) and her own orphan Estella.

Now a young man Pip (Irvine) gets to move back to the city after an unknow inheritance, so leaving his family and friends behind, Pip gets to start on the road to becoming a gentleman. Pip finds himself needing to learning the hierarchy of the wealthy as he also wants to know who gave him the chance to become one of the gentlemen of the city and even after his childhood sweetheart Estella (Grainger) returns to his life, love takes over his life.

 

Thoughts on Great Expectation

 

Characters/PerformancePip is a young man who dreamt of being a gentleman in London, but achieve this he must learn a new way, forget his past and even find himself wondering about who put him in a position of power while dealing with love. Magwitch is a prisoner that Pip helped at a young age and a man that comes back into the life to learn the truth about the past. Miss Havisham is a lonely woman left heartbroken after being conned and left at the alter, she has been teaching Estella about the ways of the man, teaching her to never love. Estella is the young woman that Pip falls in love with when they are children and no as adults doesn’t believe she has a heart even though Pip wants to love her.

Performance wise, we have a very impressive cast that all give us wonderful performances fitting into the period piece that this film is.  

StoryThis is one of Charles Dickens classics tales and one I was unfamiliar with, so I thought I would give it a go. This story shows the social hierarchy during the early 19 century, this is one that has forbidden love, revenge and a position of what would be the right thing in life. I do feel this is one story people should be enjoy even if this might not be the best version.

RomanceThe romance side of this comes from Pip falling for Estella and is left wondering if he could fall in love during a time when status would put people together.

SettingsEach setting makes us believe we are in the time the film is set whether it be the small marsh like area of the city of London.

Final ThoughtsClassic story and one that goes in a direction you could only find yourself wanting to know more about.

 

Overall: A must watch for classic literature fans.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Seed of Chucky (2004)

seedDirector: Don Mancini

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Billy Boyd, Redman, Hannah Spearritt, John Waters, Jason Flemyng

 

Plot: Chucky and Tiffany are resurrected by their innocent son, Glen, and hit Hollywood, where a movie depicting the killer dolls’ murder spree is underway.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Addition

 

Story: Seed of Chucky starts as we meet Glen (Voiced by Boyd) the son of Chucky and Tiffany who has been having nightmares about killing people but he knows nothing about his parent’s past as he is just used in a ventriloquist competition.

Elsewhere in the world, there is a new Chucky movie being made following Chucky and Tiffany with Jennifer Tilly returning to the franchise. When Glen sees a feature about the making of the film he sets out to find what he believes to be his parents all the way in Hollywood.

When Glen brings Chucky and Tiffany back to life the killing spree begins once again but this time in Hollywood. With the dolls looking for new bodies Chucky and Tiffany battle with what sex Glen or Glenda is as he learns how his parents are killers and they need to teach him their ways.

 

Thoughts on Seed of Chucky

 

StoryWhen you look at the Chucky film franchise it went in a new direction with Bride of Chucky and this story continues that idea with the family dynamic, this story as well before it’s time by tackling the transgender character in Glen/Glenda as well as having the parental reaction one supporting the other against. Putting the film within the settings of the real world of making a film does borrows heavily from New Nightmare and the Scream franchise which works adding a new dimension to the comedy but in the end this became the of the franchise direction.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film comes from the references being used within the film to other films as we see how the dolls try to cover up their kills from their child. The horror is a slasher and comes off very effective for the genre with all blood, gore and unique kills.

Characters/PerformanceThe returning characters are al fun throughout the additions all work well with Glen/Glenda adding to the laughs and Jennifer Tilly not being afraid to poke fun at herself. The performances all fit the film well without being one of the most iconic of the franchise.

SettingsBring the action to Hollywood makes this film have a lot more fun with itself where it gets to bring the characters into the real world of being the stars of the films they are being made for.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the special effects, you can see how it has started to date over time which does take away from some of the kills.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun addition to the franchise not being the best or the worst just another addition to it.

 

Overall: Enjoy the crazy adventures of Chucky and his family.

Ratingcard

 

 

Forbidden Kingdom (2014)

forbiddenDirector: Oleg Stepchenko

Writer: Aleksandr Karpov, Oleg Stepchenko (Screenplay) Nikolai Gogol (Story)

Starring: Jason Flemyng, Andrey Smolyakov, Aleksey Chadov, Adnia Ditkovskite, Yuriy Tsurilo, Olga Zaytseva

 

Plot: An 18th century English cartographer, Jonathan Green, sets out on a journey to map the uncharted lands of Transylvania, only to discover the dark secrets and dangerous creatures hidden in a cursed, fantastical Ukrainian forest.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: I Gave Up

 

Story: Forbidden Kingdom starts as we meet English cartographer and womanizer Jonathan Green (Flemyng) who escapes the reaches of the father of the woman. We move to Ukraine where we see a girl taken by the Viy spirit that terrorises the people.

Ok I am going to be honest here, I really just got completely lost watching this film, not sure if it is the terribly dubbing going on or awful wigs.

Forbidden Kingdom is the first film that I abandoned this year because it really just became unwatched after only thirty minutes. I also thought it was going to be the Jackie Chan and Jet Li film.

 

Overall: Just total garbage.

Rating N/A