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.




Amy Adams Weekends – The Master (2012)

asterDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Ambyr Childers, Rami Malek, Jesse Plemons


Plot: A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Missed Opportunity


Story: The Master starts as we follow the naval veteran Freddie Quell (Phoenix) as he returns after World War II, he struggles to find a place after what he has been through working as a photographer at a before moving on to a farm job. Struggling with everyday life after the war Freddie finds himself on-board a boat, the boat offers him a chance to meet Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman).

On-board the ship Freddie learns that Lancaster is leading a cult like group of people that believe each moment on all lives lived are able to be communicated and Lancaster sees Freddie as his protégé. As the group gathers momentum we see how Freddie is embracing where he is within the cult but will his nature push the limit of how the Master sees him.

The Master is a drama showing the slow rise of a cult like group that should be one of the more compelling stories out there, the problem is that it comes off very slow and you never really believe the cause they are trying to bring together. The acting can’t be questioned but everything just feels very messy and almost never goes in a direction that makes much sense. I may have misunderstood the film in which case I do apologise but in all honesty I didn’t enjoy this story.


Actor Review


Philip Seymour Hoffman: Lancaster Dodd is the leader of ‘The Cause’ he has the power to pull people into his belief and sees Freddie as a protégé what could continue spreading the word. We can see the comparison of Scientology with this character.  Philip is great in this role as you would expect from the late great.

Joaquin Phoenix: Freddie Quell is a Naval veteran of World War II, he is struggling with life once he has returned but when he ends up on Lancaster Dodd’s boat he joins The Cause as the protégé to the Master. He is aggressive and easily switched into a fight mode. Joaquin shines in this role showing the full range of emotion needed.

Amy Adams: Peggy Dodd is the wife of Lancaster and firm believer in the Cause so much so that she does have a big say in what is going on behind the show Lancaster puts on. Amy is also good in this role standing strong next to the leading men.

Support Cast: The Master has a strong supporting cast that all do a great job in a film where acting isn’t the problem.

Director Review: Paul Thomas AndersonPaul is a director that has given us some of the best films we have ever seen but this time I feel the film gets dragged down with a slow story.


Drama: The Master is a drama that doesn’t seem to get enough out of the potential story it has but can’t have anything bad to say about the acting.

Settings: The Master doesn’t have any memorable settings trying to make us feel like a cult could be raised within your local neighbourhood.

Suggestion: The Master is one film I think people would like but I can see many people like myself not enjoying this. (Try It)


Best Part: The acting.

Worst Part: The Story


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Budget: $32 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes


Overall: Brilliantly acted but such a slow moving story.




Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

casting card


Plot: Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Nice Conclusion to Trilogy


Story: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb starts by taking us back to 1938 when Ankmenrah (Malek) tomb is discovered saying about a curse. Move back to present day and the Natural History Museum where Larry (Stiller) is preparing for a big show but the tablet has started to corrode which makes the exhibits acting out of character.

Larry must learn the story about the tablet from an old enemy Cecil (Van Dyke). This leads Larry to travel to London with Teddy Roosevelt (Williams), Jedediah (Owen Wilson), Octavius (Coogan), Attila (Gallagher), Sacajawea (Peck) Dexter and Laaa (Stiller) to learn the secret of the tablet and along the way make some new friends from history.

Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has story that is fitting to finish any trilogy because we get to see Larry move on the way he wanted to in his life, we also get an adventure in another famous museum bringing it over to my shores of England. This side of the story was good without being outstanding. The hardest part of this move to watch now is the final act in the London museum because of the speech Robin Williams gives will bring a tear your eye. I will say this feel like what Toy Story 3 was with the time to move on side to the story working really well, but not reaching the same levels.


Actor Review


Ben Stiller: Larry is now the ‘effects’ man within the museum but when the tablet starts corroding he must find the answers in the London museum where the adventure becomes a battle for life and death as he deals with his parenting issues. Ben is good in this leading role where he does have a few serious scenes as well as the comic ones.

Robin Williams: Teddy Roosevelt comes along on the adventure once the tablet starts losing its powers which causes him to act out of character, he continues to give the lines that shows Larry needs advice for. Robin is good in this role that is very difficult to watch in the final act.

Owen Wilson: Jedediah along with his best friend Octavius get stuck in the middle on their own adventure in the London museum, he is the cowboy character we all know and love in this film. Owen is good in this role playing to his strengths.

Steve Coogan: Octavius is Roman general that works with Jedediah in a good set of adventures that all add to the comedy involved in the story. Steve is good in this supporting role where we see his comic side shine through.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has one of the smallest supporting casts with only a few characters used from the original and only a few added in the London museum.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn finishes the trilogy very well with the touching moments that work for real life events.


Adventure: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb takes the adventure to London where we get what we have seen before.

Comedy: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has good laughs that will have things for everyone while some are good to me others missed.

Family: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb is one the whole family could enjoy from start to finish.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb continues the fantasy elements of the story without being too different.

Settings: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb uses the London museum which work without being anything new.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb has what I would consider the worst effects in the trilogy where you can clearly see the CGI moments which is really disappointing.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum 3 Secret of the Tomb is one the whole family could enjoy from start to finish. (Family Watch)


Best Part: Williams final scenes.

Worst Part: I am a fan of Rebel Wilson I do really think she is funny but in this she comes off very awkward.

Funniest Scene: Pompeii


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: Maybe in the final act.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $127 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: One final night to save the day


Overall: Beautiful goodbye to the characters we have all come to know and love.




Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum (2006)

casing card


Plot: A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Twist on History


Story: Night at the Museum starts as down on his luck father Larry Daley (Stiller) who dreams of striking it rich decides it is finally time to get a job for now and his latest job is as a night guard at National History Museum replacing the three outgoing guards Cecil (Van Dyke), Gus (Rooney) and Reginald (Cobbs). After being given a quick tour Larry is left with one warning not to let anyone in or out.

When Larry learns the truth about what happens at the museum at night he learns to bring the different parts of history together to have a party before learning the danger that is within the museum.

Night at the Museum brings us into a world of dying interest because we do have an increasing number of history on the internet with a lot easier access. The story brings us into the idea that the history comes to life so we can all learn it but at a museum. I do think certain moment over play the childish at times but this is a family film. This is filled with fun from start to finish with a few elements that are on the serious side.


Actor Review


Ben Stiller: Larry Daley is a down on his luck father that to continue seeing his son needs to find a job when the role of night guard comes up at the natural history museum. Larry must learn to deal with all of the historical characters while a bigger problem is going on within the museum. Ben is good in this but I would say his has a few moments that come of annoying.

Carla Gugino: Rebecca is one of the employees that Larry sees as a potential love interest while the two come off as total opposites. She is studying history through her work there. Carla is solid in the supporting role without doing anything special.

Dick Van Dyke: Cecil is the man that hires Larry as he knows he and his partners are being replaced. They all plan to get rich off the museum before they go though. Dick is a solid villainous character without being too big for what is needed.

Mickey Rooney: Gus is another one of the departing guards that wants to continue to have the power the museum gives them at night. Mickey is also just a basic villain without being a threat.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum has a massive supporting cast who have their own take on characters inside in the museum with Robin Williams giving us one of his great supporting roles.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn gives us a film you would expect with being just fun throughout.


Adventure: Night at the Museum brings us into an adventure in the middle of a museum which really makes us enjoy what is going on.

Comedy: Night at the Museum has good moments of comedy that works for all levels.

Family: Night at the Museum is one for the whole family could enjoy with moments for all to enjoy.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum has good fantasy elements with the creations from history to coming to life.

Settings: Night at the Museum keeps most of the setting inside the museum which helps the elements of the story easy to follow.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum has great effects to bring all the historical characters and creatures to life.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum is one you can watch with the whole family for everyone to enjoy. (Family Watch)


Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: Slapping scene.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has 2 sequels

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $110 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Million

Tagline: When the lights go off, it’s on.


Overall: Fun filled family adventure film




Need For Speed (2014)

logoDirector: Scott Waugh

Writer: George Gatins (Screenplay) George Gatins, John Gatins (Story)

Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez, Harrison Gilbertson, Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton


Plot: Framed by an ex-partner for a murder he did not commit, Tobey Marshall, a financially struggling custom-car builder and street-racer, spends two years in jail thinking about one moment. Fresh out of prison he reacquires the fastest car his workshop ever built and sold, and seeks to enter a secretive and extremely high-stakes race known as The DeLeon. His purpose; redemption, recognition from the world of racing and to solve his problems. Yet all this fades in comparison to his driving reason. Revenge. Above all, revenge.


Verdict: Fast & Furious For Gamers


Story: When you look at the story on paper you can see it is very simple, revenge mixed with justice. It has plenty of action to gloss of the lack of real story and supporting characters to make everything seem lighter entertainment, while the main character and villain have an intense rivalry which you do get invested in. it is hard to really decide how I feel about this film as I am very invested in my only car fix being the Furious franchise and this tries to create something similar but I don’t see it reaching that level yet. (7/10)


Actor Review


Aaron Paul: Tobey the small time mechanic who also happens to be a world class street race driver. When an old enemy turns up with a job offer, he can’t refuse due to financial difficulties. Once the job is complete he gets a chase to gamble for more money which leads to the death of a friend and himself being found guilty and landing in jail. Two years later he is out and ready to revenge by winning the DeLeon the race for the best of the best racers. Good performance after stepping away from Breaking Bad, but he doesn’t really get a chance to show off any acting skills here. (8/10)


Dominic Cooper: Dino the old enemy who offers the job, before pushing Tobey into a race for all the money and killing another driver and hiding the evidence that he was there. He has gone onto win the DeLeon and with the fear that Tobey could beat him he puts a bounty on his head before he gets to the race. Good performance in the villain performance, who thinks he is better than the other people around him. (8/10)


Imogen Poots: Julia the employee of a dealer who buys the car that Tobey does up off Dino. She goes on the road trip to the Deleon with Tobey to make sure the car stays safe. She isn’t an open book and is filled with plenty of secrets behind her British accent. Good performance, but I did find it a bit annoying and a nag after a while. (7/10)


Scott Mescudi: Benny a pilot who helps from the air during the race and pursuits, he always turns up in a different vehicle much to the team’s surprise. Good performance in the role that gets the most laughs. (7/10)


Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez: Finn, Joe the engineers who help keep the cars together and the streets clean during the races. It is only fair to treat them as one as they are always together and work perfectly together. (7/10)


Michael Keaton: Monarch the man the voice behind the DeLeon, he selects the drivers he thinks are worthiest to be in his secret race, and with the backstory between Tobey and Dino he has no choice to pick them. Good supporting character who offers plenty of good lines. (7/10)


Director Review: Scott Waugh – Puts together a very good action film with plenty of car chasing/racing scenes that really do put you at the edge of your seat. (8/10)


Action: The races are brilliant the chases are brilliant. (9/10)

Thriller: With the whole will he won’t he make it for the race out there this works well. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting makes the race/chase all that little bit more interesting. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the action fans out there, they will enjoy most of the film. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Rivalry between Toney and Dino

Worst Part: Dino’s girlfriend, Pete’s brother who stays with Dino after the crash and never once believes Tobey till he is out of prison TWO YEARS LATER!

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Chase

Funniest Scene: Finn quits his job.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

Post Credits Scene: Scene in the credits.


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $203 Million

Budget: $66 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes


Overall: Solid Video Game Adaptation

Rating 73