ABC Film Challenge – Animation – V – Valiant (2005)

Director: Gary Chapman

Writer: Jordan Katz, George Webster, George Melrod (Screenplay) George Webster (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, John Hurt

 

Plot: Set in 1944, Valiant is a woodland pigeon who wants to become a great hero someday. When he hears they are hiring recruits for the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, he immediately sets out for London. On the way, he meets a smelly but friendly pigeon named Bugsy, who joins him, mainly to get away from clients he cheated in a game of find-the pebble, and helps him sign up for the war.


Tagline –  Some pigeons eat crumbs, others make history.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: Valiant starts as small young pigeon Valiant wants to help out during World War II by joining the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, taking his chance a heading to London he meets hustler pigeon Bugsy as the pair con their way into the recruitment process.

Going through the recruitment process the pigeons are sent on their first mission with the danger of the falcons with the evil Von Talon waiting for any pigeons that try to cross the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Valiant

 

Characters – Valiant is a plucky young pigeon that wants to be a hero of war by becoming a carrier pigeon for the royal homing pigeon service, he has the guts even if he doesn’t have the build for it, he will risk his life to save his country. Bugsy is a cowardly con artist pigeon that uses joining the service to escape magpies, only to try to get out of it on a constant basis. Von Talon is the evil falcon that has been hunting the pigeons trying to return home, he is the typical foreign villain for this film.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely group of homing pigeons that must deliver secrets back to the soldiers in England during World War II. This gives you everything you want to enjoy in an animated story, the idea of a character overcoming his weaknesses to become the strongest part of a team, even if this does make light of the war itself, even when it is trying to tell the importance of the animals in the war.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure out pigeons go on is life or death and a real one pigeons would have gone on during the war, the comedy does hit well for the British audience which is nice to see with a string of British comedies offering the laughs. This will be one the whole family could enjoy too, having moments that all ages will understand.

SettingsThe settings play into the idea that the animals will be involved in the war and just how they will be seeing the biggest moments too, while also decreasing the scale of everything.

AnimationThe animation looks great in the foreground, while the backgrounds have been scaled down, which is fine, but doesn’t show the busyness around the big cities.


Scene of the Movie –
The crossing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I personally didn’t like how small London seemed to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun animation that can be enjoyed by everyone, though it does have a very British core, certain jokes might miss for a more international audience.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and fun.

Rating

 

 

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James McAvoy Weekend – Filth (2013)

Director: Jon S Baird

Writer: Jon S Baird (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: A corrupt, junkie cop with bipolar disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.


Tagline – This Little Piggy went to town!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Offensive Mess

 

Story: Filth starts as we follow foul-mouth sex crazed cop Bruce (McAvoy) as he gives us his thoughts on his department Lennox (Bell) and Drummond (Poots) to mention a few. He believes he is on the verge of the promotion he has been waiting for, for years, but after a trip to Dr Rossi (Broadbent) we learn there may well be a deeper problem is Bruce.

With this going on, we follow Bruce as he looks to solve the murder of a Japanese student by a local gang, his may rival is Drummond who he believes is offering sex for promotions.

 

Thoughts on Filth

 

Characters – Bruce is a junkie, sex addict cop who will use his position to get whatever he wants, abusing his power, while not being mentally stable in anyway. He is desperate to get his promotion while battling his own demons. The rest of the characters are just cops that are just as dirty of Bruce and the random wives we just see Bruce having sex with.

PerformancesWhile James McAvoy does full commit to this role and shows how he can go to the extremes in roles which is soon going to be his trademark. The performances from the rest of the cast are fine, but they don’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story just seems to be Bruce going around having sex, collecting drugs, taking drugs and being a general asshole. I think that is the story, there doesn’t seem to be anything constructive going on through the film in anyway, even though there is a clear alternative issue going on which doesn’t seem to get enough attention.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy level is poor with most of the jokes being misses and the crime tries to focus on how the police are just as bad as the criminals.

SettingsThe settings put us in Scotland which work for the accents, but never making anything iconic.


Scene of the Movie –
Dr Rossi Trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No direction for the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy movie, the story doesn’t follow any direction, we follow a character with no redeemable qualities through troubles but overall this is just offensive with how it treats women and how men are meant to act towards them.

 

Overall: Awful watch for the whole audience.

Rating

 

 

The Iron lady (2011)

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Writer: Abi Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E Grant, Olivia Coleman, Alexandra Roach, Iain Glen

 

Plot: An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: The Iron Lady starts as we meet an elderly former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Streep) who has been having conversations with her husband Denis (Broadbent) while finding herself trying to escape the guards guarding her.

Margaret (Roach, younger Margaret) has flashbacks to the war time the lessons her father Alfred (Glen) gave her in life as she gets into Oxford. Getting through Oxford she meets Denis who loves her determined mindset on making change, we continue to watch in flashbacks as the elderly Margaret remembers her rise through political career to become one of the most famous Prime Ministers England has every had.

 

Thoughts on The Iron Lady

 

Characters/PerformanceMargaret Thatcher is easily one of the most iconic Prime Ministers England has ever had, seeing how her life from humble grocery’s daughter to leader of a country comes about, she was one of the strongest women in history taking on the world centred around men, but in her elderly age she looks back at her role in defying the country. Denis is her husband, we see how he keeps her grounded even after he passes on he plays a big part in what she sees when looking back. The rest of the characters are people from her life, her whole life which all have an impact on the decision-making process.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep is fantastic and you can see why she went on to win the Oscar. Jim Broadbent is fun in this role as the husband both alive and dead talking to Margaret. The rest of the cast all go great even if this is the Meryl Streep Show.

StoryWe all know that Margaret Thatcher is one of the most famous prime minsters the UK ever had. This film focuses on how Margaret was looking back on the key incident leading to her run to Prime Minister, through it and what led to the end of it. I really liked how we looked back without getting bogged down with the politics of her reign. The story is told as if a once great leader looked at what she sees as success and failure.

BiographyThis is a great look at Margaret Thatcher, a woman who came from a family of groceries to become leader of the Prime Minister, we see the good and bad moments of her life as well as paving the way for women in politics.

SettingsEach setting used fits the time we are seeing, nothing looks out of place for this great moment she lives through.

Final ThoughtsHaving a history lesson can sometimes get boring when looking at one person’s life, but this doesn’t focus on this too much instead looks at the idea of how she remembers everything.

 

Overall: This is a biopic with a difference and well worth a watch.

Rating

 

 

John Leguizamo Weekend – Moulin Rouge! (2002)

moulinDirector: Baz Luhrmann

Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Garry McDonald

 

Plot: A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Flamboyant Musical Stunner

 

Story: Moulin Rouge starts as a young English writer Christian (McGregor) moving to Paris for dreams where he finds himself having to work on a play Spectacular Spectacular, but he needs to be passed off as a famous writer to impress Satine (Kidman).

When Christian gets mixed up with The Duke (Roxburgh) the two fall in love but when the Duke discovers them they must arrange a new play to prove they are just rehearsing for the latest play throwing Christian into the biggest show in town.

As The Duke becomes jealous he forces the director Harold Zidler (Broadbent) to sign a contract where he has exclusive rights to Satine and the Moulin Rouge, this throws the love between Satine and Christian up in the air because her chance to become the next big actress could be ruined.

Moulin Rouge is a flamboyant romantic musical that opens with all singing and dancing and never holds back from the over the topness of the songs being used. Going in completely blind I was left shocked with the choice of songs which include versions of Nirvana, The Sound of Music and David Bowie which all work apart from the creepy version of ‘Like a Virgin’. The setting is beautifully re-created with each performance embracing the location perfectly. The love story starts with the tragic ending which is against the normal as we are leading to find out what happened.

Kidman and McGregor are both brilliant in the leading roles but it is the supporting character which in places get left behind as The Duke comes off strange with the rest all coming off letting the main to shine in this performance. This is big, bold and breath-taking in places with anybody with the love for these songs finding a way to enjoy.

 

Overall: This is one of the most over the top style films with glorious use of music throughout.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Director: Andrew Adamson

Writer: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) C.S. Lewis (Book)

Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Williams Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Start to a Franchise

 

Story: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe starts as the Pevensie children Lucy (Henley), Edmund (Keynes), Peter (Moseley) and Susan (Popplewell) are evacuated to the country during World War II.

When the youngest Lucy discovers a wardrobe in the house she finds the magical world of Narnia and Mr Tumnus (McAvoy) who teaches her all about this winter ravished land with the evil White Witch controlling. With Edmund finding his way into Narnia he meets the White Witch (Swinton) who asks him to bring the rest of the children to her kingdom.

When the four children are reunited, they learn they must fight alongside Aslan the lion in a battle against the evil Witch in an adventure they could never imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

Characters/PerformanceLucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan are thee four children, they all have their difference but most of all they work together to succeed on their mission. They must look after each other through the human war and the fantasy war they find themselves fighting in. thee White Witch is a character that works on the villainous side of the story and with her deceiving white image we can get misled to her true nature. With any extra characters being the different fantasy creatures the children meet along the way we know the world we find ourselves in.

Performances now, the four children all do a good job in their roles showing each of the character’s strengths and weakness. Tilda Swinton always makes for a great villain with McAvoy giving us a good supporting performance.

StoryStory wise this plays into the idea of what children could find themselves doing when they have escaped from a war-torn country. I do understand that this is meant to be a real adventure they find themselves on but the reality is it can be looked at as an escape. The idea of a battle between good and evil is all fine and needed for this film as it is the start of a bigger set of stories to come.

Adventure/Fantasy/FamilyThe adventure is massive for these children as they find themselves in a fantasy world they could never imagine, this is one the whole family could find themselves enjoying.

SettingsThe settings all come off very well for this film as we see the bleakness of the world the children find themselves escaping from and the wonder of the fantasy world they find themselves entering.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects here are brilliant, we do have a lot of CGI which in the most part in flawless it would only be the voice acting for some of the creatures that I would question.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good starter for a franchise, it does go generic with the male children doing the fighting and the female being considered for magic and curing style but this franchise came at the wrong time getting buried by the Harry Potter one.

 

Overall: This is how you start a franchise correctly.

Rating