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

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – Q – The Queen (2006)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings, Michael Sheen, Roger Allam, Sylvia Syms, Helen McCrory

 

Plot: After the death of Princess DianaQueen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.


Tagline – Our Leaders. Ourselves.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict:

 

Story: The Queen starts on the day Tony Blair (Sheen) gets appointed Prime Minister in 1997, he meets the Queen (Mirren) in his appointment following in the footsteps of icons like Sir Winston Churchill. The start of his reign becomes difficult after the sudden and tragic death of Princess Diana.

Tony trying to help the nation mourn the death of the Princess, clashes with the Royal family who want a private funeral, while the people want a public one to celebrate her life. As the public become restless about how the Royal Family have kept quiet about the death, Tony Blair must play the middle man, to keep the country calm.

 

Thoughts on The Queen

 

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, who suffered through a real tragedy, The Queen takes her family to mourn in their own way, by escaping the public life, but soon the decision gets questioned by her public. She must face the public with advice from her new prime minster. Tony Blair is the new prime minister, thought to be the man to bring a new image to the country, he does however find himself being the middle man between the public and the Royal Family after the death of Princess Diana.

PerformancesHelen Mirren won an Oscar for this role, she is fantastic in this role as you believe each and every scene with her. Michael Sheen proves to us all that he is one of the best talents in the acting world with his performance on a par with Helen Mirren’s.

StoryThe story follows one of the hardest weeks in the modern Royal Family history, the death of Princess Diana, loved by the people, mourned in private by the family. This cause minor tension between the two as the Prime Minister must try to balance this tragic event for both sides to be respected. This moment in history will always be remembered by the world, seeing how the private side of the tragedy unfolded is just as fascinating to see, which thanks to my new love for ‘The Crown’ I have start to enjoy watching.

BiopicThe Queen’s life and time is going to be stuff of legends, longest reigning monarch is going to give us plenty of moments of her life to see, this was a glimpse and a brilliant one.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the private locations for the Royal Family through the difficult times, each setting shows us the production design being used.


Scene of the Movie –
The Queen and Blair discussions.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think Blair should have an Oscar just as much as Helen Mirren.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at the royal family at one of their darkest moments and how they get through this week that change the world view of the family.

 

Overall: Wonderful drama.

Rating

 

 

Frost/Nixon (2008)

frostnixonDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay) Peter Morgan (Play)

Starring: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfadyen, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones

 

Plot: A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Compelling and Fascinating Drama

 

Story: Frost/Nixon starts going through the historical events behind Richard Nixon’s resignation after Watergate. With his resignation, British journalist David Frost (Sheen) sees it as a chance for a rating winning interview by hosting an interview with Richard Nixon (Langella). We follow how Frost turns to John Birt (Macfadyen) to secure the interview with Nixon letting Swifty Lazar (Jones) handling it from his end.

Frost must find a way to get funding and the interview put on air with James Reston Jr (Rockwell) and Bob Zelnick (Platt) joining his team to make this happen as we see how this side understands just how important this interview could be for America.

We follow the lead up to the series of interviews that have been pre-agreed subjects with only one of the four being open to the Watergate incident, this becomes a battle between the two men to get the first punches in seeing how each other will react to either question or answer.

 

Thoughts on Frost/Nixon

 

Characters/PerformanceLooking at the characters in this story they are all based on real people with former President Nixon and David Frost being the ones we get to connect with most, the background staff on each side have different opinions on how the interviews and research goes is show brilliantly.

Performance wise Langella and Sheen give arguable two of the best in leading performances of any pairing of modern cinema, they carry this film with their compelling performances. When you dive into the supporting cast Rockwell, Bacon, Platt, Macfadyen or Hall they are all great too not overshadowing the lead pairing.stars

StoryConsidering this story we must look at the deeper story before the events of the film, you do need to understand the basics of the Watergate incident to understand just how important this interview actually was. The build-up itself to the interview shows how much is at risk and seeing how both sides tried to keep one step ahead of the other is captivating throughout.

Biography/HistoricalLooking at this pivotal moment in both Richard Nixon and David Frost’s lives is what makes this hit on every level because one risked everything to make the truth came out while the other risks everything to be put back in the positive light of the country.

SettingsEach setting used through the film make us feel like we are part of the theatre experiences which is how this story first got told, we do get to see how the time in question would have looked in each and every scene.genre

Final ThoughtsLooking at history this event is one of the most impactful moments in American history and this shows just how it was finally exposed.

 

Overall: This is a must watch for all the film fans out there.

Rating

 rating

 

The Damned United (2009)

damnedDirector: Tom Hooper

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay) David Peace (Novel)

Starring: Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Graham

 

Plot: A look at Brian Clough’s 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Interesting

 

Story: The Damned United starts when Don Revie (Meaney) leaves his job as Leeds United manager being replaced by the controversial Brian Clough (Sheen). Brian goes straight into the job making an enemy of himself against the former manager as we learn the motivation for his actions where he was at Derby County a lower league club that played Leeds in a cup match where Don completely blanks him.

We flash between the two time periods as we watch the success at Derby and failure at Leeds, where we see how the friendship with Peter Taylor (Spall) is best friend and person he turns to for players at Derby but distant enemy while at Leeds.

The Damned United is the story of one of the most interesting men in football management in Brian Clough, I never personally got to experience Clough as a manager but I knew about his accomplishments. I found this very interesting as we see the battle between the two managers which works as we would believe to see this happen now a day. I did like how the story bounced between the time periods which works to keep everything running smoothly.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Sheen: Brian Clough is the famous controversial manager who rose to success with Derby County where he gets the chance to work and move to Leeds United. We see his success at Derby and failures at Leeds showing the style he has created and is still talked about now. Michael is brilliant in this role capturing Brian Clough perfectly.brian

Timothy Spall: Peter Taylor is the loyal assistant of Clough’s who helped him reach the title with Derby but with the clash they find themselves distant with Clough at Leeds and Taylor stepping down the leagues to Brighton. Timothy is great in this supporting role bouncing off Michael very well.pter

Colm Meaney: Don Revie is the former Leeds manager who leaves his job for England but has become the target of Brian Clough who always wanted to get one over. Colm is good in this role without outshining Michael.don

Jim Broadbent: Sam Longson is the chairman of Derby County, he constantly clashes with Brian Clough, he runs out of patients with him even after all the success he had bought the club. Jim is good in this role working well with Michael.

Support Cast: The Damned United has a great supporting cast that all give us great performance as the iconic footballers.

Director Review: Tom HooperTom gives us a great biographical film that shows just how impressive this man really was.

 

Biographical: The Damned United shows the abilities of one of the greatest managers’ football ever saw.

Comedy: The Damned United has a solid comic tone which is mostly how Clough looked at basic ideas of managing.

Sports: The Damned United brings us good football action throughout.

Settings: The Damned United recreates the settings for the time period really well making us think we are in the same time zone.
Suggestion
: The Damned United is one for everyone to watch, it is always good to learn a brilliant story of success and failure going next to each other. (Watch)

 

Best Part: First day at Leeds

Worst Part: You would need to know something about football to really understand how some things happen.

Favourite Quote: Brian Clough ‘I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the country. But I’m in the top one.

 

Believability: Based on the real events.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: “They love me for what I’m not… …they hate me for what I am.”

 

Overall: Brilliant Sports biographical movie about a great man

Ratingcard

Rush (2013)

logoDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Magan, Christian McKay, Alistair Petrie

 

Plot: The story of James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Bruhl) rise and rivalry in Formula One, One that will never be forgotten and has gone down in history as the fiercest in the sports history. We follow both drivers careers from small time Formula Three to the struggles to make it Formula One until they both get the drives for the big teams proving to the world how good they both are leading to the epic title chase in the 1976 season.

 cars

Verdict: A brilliant biopic story of two racing greats

Story: Historical sports dramas are sometimes difficult to give the full justice too. We see how each of them get into racing, challenge their personal lives to get there and what more can you say about the racing scenes breath taking. The fans who were lucky enough to see the excitement unfold live would know the story but for those who didn’t you get a real feel for it. (10/10)

 

Actor Review: Chris Hemsworth – James Hunt, the cocky ladies’ man of racing. Hemsworth is brilliant in the role with perfect accent and charm the character was. (9/10)

 hunt

Actor Review: Daniel Bruhl – Niki Lauda the straight to the point driver who suffers his horrific injury before making an early comeback to make the title race go down the final corner. Star Performance Award (10/10)

niki

Director Review: Ron Howard – Brilliant direction to recreate some of the scenes from fateful crashes as well as the rivalry between two legends of racing. (10/10)

 

Action: The race scenes are full of action. (9/10)

Drama: Great drama to show how the two driver’s mutual respect drove them to their limits. (10/10)

Special Effects: Great special effects for the races. (10/10)

Believability: It is a true story and what a story it is. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: You could have a few. (5/10)

Settings: The race setting a brilliantly put together to create a real feel about the time. (9/10)

Suggestion: Whether you like sport or not, you have to see this because it is about two people achieving everything even after one suffers an injury that could kill others and you will not see a display of determination from another person. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The Races scenes

Action Scene Of The Film: Final race scene

Favourite Quote: Niki Lauda ‘A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.’

Oscar Chances: Shamefully snub by the academy.

Chances of Sequel: No

Similar Too: Senna (Formula One story)

 

Overall: Brilliant, Breath taking Wonderful

Rating 97