ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Gandhi (1982)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: John Briley (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard

 

Plot: Gandhi’s character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.


Tagline – A WORLD EVENT It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people. His goal was freedom for India. His strategy was peace. His weapon was his humanity.

Runtime: 3 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational

 

Story: Gandhi starts in 1893 when Mohandas K Gandhi (Kingsley) an Indian lawyer travelling in South Africa is thrown off a train for sitting in first class, he is opposed to this laws which see Indians as second class citizens in a land which is under the British Empire and starts to lead a non-violent stand to make a change in the country.

After turning the laws in South Africa, Gandhi gets a hero’s welcome return to India, where he goes around the country to learn about the impending war against the British as India is looking for its own independence, and Gandhi’s teaching will become the key to non-violent protests against what is happening to the people of land at the hands of the British.

 

Thoughts on Gandhi

 

Characters – Mohandas K Gandhi was an Indian lawyer educated in England, he gets treated like a second class citizen in South Africa, which makes him want to change the laws, create freedom for people in the British Empire to be treated equal in any of the lands, he wants to fight without ever being violent, he sees war as a tactical idea that could be done without spilling blood. After winning in South Africa, he head home to India where he starts his latest mission to stop the British having control of India, once again preaching his non-violent ways once again, trying to change his own’s people mentality to take the country to a new future. Kasturba is the wife of Mohandas she stands by his side through ever campaign he leads, showing the women of Indian they can be as strong as their men. Pandit Nehru is one of the first followers of Gandhi, he will have differences along the way, but he does know that he is always trying to do the right thing. We do get a host of people that were part of Gandhi’s life and campaigns, we have the reporters that spread his stories, the Indians who learnt to support him and the British who were always trying to remain in control.

PerformancesBen Kingsley is truly breath-taking in this leading role, covering the inspirational man’s life for over 50 years, it shows how he really is one of the greatest actors of all time, in a role he was born to play. The rest of the cast are fantastic too, we have plenty of smaller roles with big name actors who all shine in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Mahatma Gandhi the man that wanted to use non-violent methods to create freedom for the Indians in two different countries, first South Africa, secondly in India itself trying to break free of the British Empire unfair rule. Seeing the life of Gandhi over the 50 odd years of his life shows us just how much he achieved even while being patient in the achieving his life changing goals for the people of the countries. The story is told in chronological order which shows us just how famous Gandhi become as the man that wanted change, how different people tried to stop him and others reluctantly put themselves in a position where they had to go against him, even though he agreed.

Biopic/HistoryWe do follow Gandhi’s life from the moment he first gets discriminated against until his death, we go through the history of the changes Gandhi fought for through the years as just how he ended up changing the history of India with his teachings.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings used for the events in history with ease, we will believe that we are part of this world and part of the world Gandhi choices to live in.


Scene of the Movie –
Courtroom acceptance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel too long at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows us just how inspirational Gandhi was to the world let alone just the people of India.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of cinema.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – C – Chaplin (1992)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: William Boy, Bryan Forbes, William Goldman (Screenplay) David Robinson, Charles Chaplin (Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw, Moira Kelly, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Marisa Tomei

 

Plot: A movie about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.


Tagline – Everyone has a wild side. Even a legend.

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Biopic

 

Story: Chaplin starts as an older Charlie (Downey Jr) is telling his life story to his publicist George Hayden (Hopkins), we move back to 1894 when Charlie first took the stage, taking over from his mother Hannah (Chaplin) who froze on stage. Charlie and his brother Sydney (Rhys) had to learn to adapt to the rough life in London. Charlie soon became one of the hottest prospects in comedy performance in England.

We see how Charlie moved to America with the dawn of the motion pictures, being given a job on the production of Mack Sennett’s (Aykroyd) movies. We see just how fast Charlie became the biggest name in comedy getting his own studio, while continuing his own vices, young women. Charlie made enemies along the way which would lead to the downfall of his career.

 

Thoughts on Chaplin

 

Characters – Charlie Chaplin is one of the most influential men in comedy history, we follow his life, through his own autobiography, from is tough upbringing for the child labour camps in England, to his break out in comedy in England. He would go on to become a sensation of the motion picture world, only to fail to make adapt to American life when the Talkies came into circulation. He made enemies which would see his career come to an end. Outside the celebrity status, he finds himself drawn to teenage women which would see him go through multiply marriages, never finding true happiness. George Hayden is the one learning the story from Charlie, he is pushing him into going over each of the details of her story. Sydney is Charlie’s older brother, he helped get him started and became his manager, he tries to help Charlie make the right decisions to keep his career in Hollywood. Douglas Fairbank is another one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, he is one friend Charlie never seems to lose through his time there.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr gives his career best performance here, he is stunning as Charlie, be it recreating the iconic moments or the personal life situations. Anthony Hopkins is wonderful too even just in an almost narration role, while the whole cast which is huge makes the impact they need to for their own roles.

StoryThe story here follows Charlie Chaplin’s career from his poor beginnings right up to the moment the Academy finally recognised his work. We get to see his personal life his many marriages which didn’t go to plan because of his work. We do get to see how the films were made, how the Tramp became the biggest character in comedy history. We see how the tension in Hollywood only made him an enemy forcing him out of the country and how his failure to truly adapt to the talkie era saw his career come to an abrupt end. If you want to see the career of one of the greatest comedians of all time, this is how the story comes to the light.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic shows the career of Charlie Chaplin we get to see his professional and personal life through his career to see just how much lost potential his career had. The comedy in this film comes from just how certain moments will get laughs along the way.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings of the world that you would expect when it comes to looking it Hollywood in the early 19th century.


Scene of the Movie –
The Oscars moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of Hoover’s scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best biopics that you will see, it has the life and career of one of the biggest names in Hollywood history and makes us understand the difficulties he will have gone through.

 

Overall: Biopic for a true legend.

Rating

 

 

Chorus Line (1985)

This is a movie I got to watch from a special Park Circus Cinema showing in my local theatre.

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: Arnold Schulman (Screenplay) James Kirkwood Jr, Nicholas Dante (Book)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins

 

Plot: Hopefuls try out before a demanding director for a part in a new musical.


Tagline – One singular sensation

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Musical

 

Story: Chorus Line starts as the latest Broadway musical is casting the chorus line, director Zach (Douglas) and his choreographer Larry (Mann) have 100s of hopefuls that want this big break. We see scores of auditions going on with the numbers whittled down to 16 hopefuls, 8 women and 8 men, with former star of the show Cassie (Reed) trying to get Zach to give her a chance to audition.

We watch how the hopefuls must prove their quality to Zach so they can be in this latest show, we see how they have come from different backgrounds with their own motives for going into this field.

 

Thoughts on Chorus Line

 

Characters – Zach is the director of the show, he needs perfection and knows what he is looking for, he pushes the auditions to the limits, but gives them the motivation they need to improve for their next audition. Larry plays the nice guy, he will put his arm around anyone that needs help, to deal with the short tempered Zach, he has worked with people like this for years and knows the weakness they can hold. Cassie was once Zack’s top dancer, when things have changed she wants to return to be just one of the chorus line, a direction Zack doesn’t believe she should go in.

PerformancesMichael Douglas is now the biggest name in this movie, he does stand out because of his role as the director showing the calmness when looking out for the dancers, but the strictness while putting them back in their place. Terrence Mann is strong in this role too, we see just how important this is to his character. When it comes to the dancers they are all great through the film too.

StoryThe story shows us the routine a group of dancers must go through to try and make an impact on Broadway, we see how they have come from different background with a common dream to break the moulds of what is the normal. The whole film takes place over the one day of auditions which show how the process must go through to be selected and we are left to feel their stories and desperation to make an impact.

MusicalThe musical numbers are enjoyable through the film, with a number of the performers having their own song to make them stand out.

SettingsThe film takes place on just the Broadway location, where we see the performers on the stage, this is nice because we clearly see how this could be a live performance too.


Scene of the Movie –
Paul’s story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have slightly too many performers to whittle down for duration.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good musical, that translates well to screen and to the stage, we have good performance and good songs too.

 

Overall: Musical for all the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

Magic (1978)

logoDirector: Richard Attenborough

Writer: William Goldman (Screenplay) William Goldman (Novel)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Ed Lauter, E.J. Andre, Jerry Houser, David Ogden Stiers

 

Plot: A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy while he tries to renew a romance with his high school sweetheart.

 

Verdict: Killer Dummy?

 

Story: We start by seeing how a young wanna be magician recounts his tale of how his first attempt at performing goes completely wrong leading him to snap at the audience. One year later everything has changed, he has worked on his act to include a dummy and now he is on the verge of becoming a major sensation. After the network want him to have a medical he decides to spend some time away from the limelight and tries to rekindle a romance with an old love. All this is happening as the dummy starts to take over his life.

This shows how fame could end up breaking someone as we see our hero slowly start to break with his multiple personalities coming through as his dummy. The dummy ends up being his dark side that is almost tired of everything not going his way next to his mild calm good guy. It uses the idea of a creepy dummy really well because even though you know who the voice and who is controlling him it still has that high level or pure creepiness. In the end it comes off as a very interesting look psychological horror that keeps you guessing. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Anthony Hopkins: Corky Withers our young magician turned ventriloquist who is going to hit it big time, but when his dummy starts to take over his life things start to take a sour turn. Anthony shows why he is one of the best in the business by shining from start to finish. (9/10)

 hopkins

Ann-Margret: Peggy Ann Snow the object of Corky’s affection who he wants to run away but her commitments to her husband could stand in his way. Ann-Margret gives a good performance opposite Hopkins. (7/10)

 

Burgess Meredith: Ben Greene Corky’s agent who is trying to give him a deal of a lifetime and finds him after he runs away, he is the first person to see how Corky is changing and offers help. Burgess gives a solid performance but doesn’t get enough time to shine. (6/10)

 

Ed Lauter: Duke Peggy’s husband who questions both after he returns from a business trip, he gets very suspicious but his curiosity will get the best off him. Ed gives a solid performance but never pulls of anything stand out. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: We only see any support cast early in the film who are mainly other people in the entertainment business or hecklers.

 

Director Review: Richard Attenborough – Richard does a great job directing a truly creepy film starring a pre-Hannibal Lecter Hopkins and he gets the dark side out of him perfectly. (9/10)

 

Horror: It is creepy but never reaches any real horror levels. (7/10)

Settings: After Corky runs away he ends up in an isolated location with no easy escape where he starts to break as the film unfolds. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try, Hopkins gives a brilliant performance but it might not show enough horror for the true horror fans. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Hopkins is brilliant

Worst Part: Lack of real horror.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Anthony Hopkins was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA.

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $7 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Abracadabra, I sit on his knee. Presto chango, and now he is me. Hocus Pocus, we take her to bed. Magic is fun; we’re dead.

Trivia: Upon seeing Fats for the first time, Anthony Hopkins was allowed to take the doll home to work with it. However, he wound up being so unnerved by it that he called the consulting ventriloquist in the middle of the night, threatening to throw Fats into the canyon if someone didn’t come and get the doll immediately. Richard Attenborough ended up going to Hopkins’ house to calm him down.

 

Overall: Creepy Horror Questioning One Man’s Mind

Rating 71

 

Jurassic Park (1993)

logoDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Michael Crichton, David Koepp (Screenplay) Michael Crichton (Novel)

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L Jackson, Wayne Knight

 

Plot: John Hammond (Attenborough) has built an amusement attraction that only dreams could imagine one with dinosaurs. John needs to get some expects in to give it the recognition it deserves. Doctors Alan Grant (Neill), Ellie Sattler (Dern) and Ian Malcolm (Goldblum), all experts in different subjects of Jurassic period get bought to the Island. The three of them get a guided tour of not just the basics but the science behind it all.

 

The tour includes an electric car trip that they are joined by John’s grandchildren Lex (Richards) and Tim (Mazzello). With a hurricane heading towards the island they have to cut the tour short, but an inside job against John from the greedy Dennis (Knight) leaves the power down and the dinosaurs free to cross the fences. The three experts must use all their know how to survive all the different dinosaurs that will be hunting for food.

 park

Verdict: A True Classic

Story: The story tells of such an adventure that will never be forgotten by the people who have seen it. It follows so many different ideas that challenge all the characters thoughts. With all the adventures you could have imagined in a film based theme ride. Really just sit back and enjoy the visual story feast. (10/10)

 

Actor Review: Sam Neill – Alan Grant an old school palaeontologist who would rather dig a hole than embrace the technology that will make the job easier. Gets bought along as he is respected expert but is not ready to deal with children. Great performance from Neill who shows he can handle an action adventure genre. (9/10)

 niell

Actor Review: Laura Dern – Ellie, Grant’s partner who studies vegetation in the Jurassic period. Always trying to help Grant evolve but often unsuccessful. Good performance but it would be fair to say the weakest of the three scientists. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Jeff Goldblum – Ian Malcolm the showman palaeontologist who has quick wit and against the logic of the idea of the park. Jeff steals the show with all the best lines and his crazy theories. (10/10)

 jeff

Actor Review: Richard Attenborough – John Hammond the ambitious owner of the Jurassic Park trying to make something for the world. Good performance from Richard showing how he can still make an impact in his older age. (9/10)

 john

Actor Review: Bob Peck – Robert head warden for the dinosaurs but has an unhealthy fear of the raptors. Good supporting role performance. (8/10)

 peck

Actor Review: Joseph Mazzello – Tim the young boy who loves his dinosaurs and has read plenty of books about them, ends up getting trapped in the park with Doctor Grant and his sister. Good early role from the young boy showing great fear throughout. (9/10)

 kids

Actor Review: Ariana Richards – Lex the sister of Tim who also gets trapped in the park and goes through the survival adventure too. Good performance from the young lady that also shows genuine fear throughout. (9/10)

Actor Review: Wayne Knight – Dennis the greedy technician who controls the whole place but would rather make money. Good greedy character performance. (8/10)

knight

Director Review: Steven Spielberg – One of the best directed films of all time, ground breaking for its time, it still looks better than many of the new special effects based films over 20 years later. (10/10)

 

Adventure: The adventure the heroes have to go on is unseen before and will always be remembered. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Great use of sci-fi creating something we could only dream of. (9/10)

Special Effects: It would be hard not to say this is the best use of special effects in 90s cinema. (10/10)

Music: John William’s score is stuff of legends now. (9/10)

Believability: No the science isn’t possible yet. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The Island makes for a brilliant setting for the film, making everything feel completely real. (10/10)

 

Suggestion: Simple this is a must watch for everyone. (Watch)

 

Best Part: T-Rex first showing.

Action Scene Of The Film: T- Rex first appears.

Kill Of The Film: The Lawyer.

Trivia: Universal paid $2 million for the rights to the book before it was even published.

Oscar Chances: Won 3 Oscars

Chances of Sequel: Has two sequels and a remake/reboot on the way.

Tagline: The most phenomenal discovery of our time… becomes the greatest adventure of all time.

 

Overall: A Masterpiece That Changed Special Effects Cinema Forever

Rating 95