ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – Y – The Young Victoria (2009)

Director: Jean-Marc Vallee

Writer: Julian Fellowes (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Thomas Kretschmann, Mark Strong

 

Plot: A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.


Tagline – She was the queen of an empire, but her heart belonged to one man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Biopic

 

Story: The Young Victoria starts as young Victoria (Blunt) has been guarded from the world, knowing she will be next in line for the throne, Sir John Conroy (Strong) has been trying to get her to sign a regency order, meaning he would become king until she came of age, only for Victoria to refuse. We follow her 17th year as she starts meeting suiters for her husband, Belgium’s Prince Albert (Friend) being the prime candidate.

When King William (Broadbent) dies, it places Victoria in the position of Queen of England, Lord Melbourne (Bettany) must try to guide her in the decisions that she may face, while Victoria and Albert stay in contact through letters, that shares their love.

 

Thoughts on The Young Victoria

 

Characters – Victoria was raised to become Queen one day, forced to follow strict rules including walking down stairs holding somebody’s hand and sharing a bedroom with her mother. She is always under pressure about signing a regency, only to refuse because she knows that one day she will become Queen, she wants to make her rule, her own, which sees her wanting to pick her love, instead of following the rules the rest are trying to place for her. Prince Albert is the son of King Leopold of Belgium, the two fall in love and know that their union will keep the countries together stronger. Lord Melbourne is the advisor to Victoria, he has his own agenda which he wants to put into place, making him a danger figure in her connection to the common people of England. The Duchess of Kent is the mother of Victoria, who has been following the rules to protect her daughter and stuck following whatever John Conroy says.

PerformancesEmily Blunt shines in this leading role as the young Victoria, she brings the grace and determination to change the country through with her performance which you could believe the real Victoria doing to Britain. Rupert Friend as Prince Albert is wonderful too as he shows us the one person that would truly stand up against the Queen as many others would be in fear of her. Paul Bettany and Miranda Richardson round off the main cast as they both are great in their roles through the film.

StoryThe story follows the firs year that Queen Victoria was on the throne, we see how she had to learn quickly with how the politicians would try to sway her, meet a husband and try to help sort out a country with big divides between the upper class and the lower class. We see that even at a young age she was able to make these decisions to bring Britain forward and mark herself down as one of the most important leaders the nation ever saw. After becoming a fan of The Crown this was an easy story to step into as smaller moments made sense, if you don’t know certain historic rules the Queen must follow, you might not get why certain scenes in the film happen.

Biopic/History/RomanceThis movie shows us how important Queen Victoria’s reign was, we might only follow around a year, but she wanted to start making changes early on which will later become her legacy, the romance that she goes through shows how the Albert came into her life and showed her, they could rule together if they challenged the rules they believed to be wrong.

SettingsEach setting used in this film feels like the true settings we would see the royals living in, each one shows just how they could be living in the upper class, with the set design showing the beauty within the buildings.


Scene of the Movie –
The ride around town which changed everything.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have certain rules that never get explained, which people might not understand.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautifully shot biopic that shows us the first year’s reign of Queen Victoria, the difficulties she faced and how she overcame them all.

 

Overall: Must watch historical drama.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Director: Mark Herman

Writer: Mark Herman (Screenplay) John Boyne (Novel)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Jack Scanlon, Vera Farmiga

 

Plot: Set during WWII, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a German concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.


Tagline – A story of innocence in a world of ignorance

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Heart Shattering Movie

 

Story: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas starts as Bruno (Butterfield) and his family Mother (Farmiga), Father (Thewlis) and sister Gretel (Beattie) move from Berlin to the countryside during World War II. The new home takes Bruno’s family near a concentration camp, this leaves Bruno wondering why everyone there is where Pyjamas and leaving him forbidden from going out of the house.

When Bruno befriends one of the boys Shmuel (Scanlon) who is in the camp, Bruno must start to learn why the people are being kept like this as he learns that Jews are considered the enemy of his country, but he doesn’t understand this. The truth will only shatter Bruno’s view on the world.

 

Thoughts on The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

 

Characters – Bruno is the 8-year-old boy living in Germany during World War II, he doesn’t understand the world yet, he must learn that his new friends are Jews and considered the enemies to the non-Jews. He tries to become friends while not becoming blinkered like his own sister to what is expected within Germany at the time, showing us the innocence that was affected by war. Father is the rest why the family must move, he is in charge of the concentration camp but hiding the truth from his family. Mother tries to put a smile on but when she learns the truth she is in shock with what her husband is doing but can’t talk out because it would leave her with the same fate. Shmuel is the Jewish boy that Bruno befriends, he is in the concentration camp which makes their friendship forbidden but through him we see how Bruno doesn’t see how the world truly is.

PerformancesAsa Butterfield is fantastic in the leading role, he shows all the innocence to play this character. David Thewlis is always good in the almost villainous role, while he is the bad figure in history, he is a good father. Vera Farmiga is great as the mother that sees the light in what is going on and how wrong it is. Jack Scanlon is great as the Jewish boy that is behind the fence that befriends Bruno, he shows the despair in what the Jews would be going through.

StoryThe story is already dealing with one of the most disturbing events in modern history as we see how the Germans handled the Jews. Seeing this from the perspective of an innocent Germany boy who doesn’t know what is wrong or right about the war shows us how horrific the events were. This is a story of how he must learn what is really going without ever being shown the truth he doesn’t know what is going on while we see both sides of his family react to what is happening differently. This is by far one of the most disturbing and shocking stories you will ever see that shows the heart break of what happened and how the children never knew the horrors of war.

WarThis doesn’t show the conflict of war, it shows the separation that the Germans had with the Jews through the eyes of young boy who didn’t know what was going on.

SettingsThe settings are Berlin and a countryside location never mentioned, it shows the divide created by the Germans in the war for no reason other than God figure people believed in.


Scene of the Movie –
The adventure in Bruno’s mind.

That Moment That Annoyed Me English accents.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most heart breaking movies you will see, it shows that the victims of war came from all sides and the reality of it was even worse.

 

Overall: Brings your tissues along.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Outlaw (2007)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Bob Hoskins, Rupert Friend, Sean Harris, Lennie James, Sally Bretton

 

Plot: A group of people who feel betrayed by their government and let down by their police force form a modern-day outlaw posse in order to right what they see as the wrongs of society.


Tagline – There will be no excuses. The guilty will be punished. No one is above OUTLAW

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal British Action Film

 

Story: Outlaw starts as we meet five everyday working guys, returning soldier Danny Bryant (Bean), office worker Gene Dekker (Dyer), broken victim Sandy Mardell (Friend), security guard Simon Hillier (Harris), lawyer Cedric Munroe (James) and former police officer Walter Lewis (Hoskins) who have seen the effects of the violence behaviour going on in London.

Simon recruits Danny to build a group they get Gene, Sandy and Cedric to prepare to be fight back against the thugs and criminals in the world. Walter helps feed the information needed to get the job done cleanly, will there be a price for what they are doing.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw

 

Characters – Danny Bryant is a soldier returned from his tour in Iraq, he finds his life gone with his wife moved on, he sees the abusive behaviour of the people and builds a team to fight back. He does control how far the men go. Gene Dekker is an office worker that suffers a beating after an accident which drives him join to fight back. Simon Hillier is a security guard, he is the loose cannon of the group, he wants to push things too far, but he also brings the guys together. Cedric is a lawyer who has his wife and unborn child killed by his latest case, he does offer the biggest moral compass about whether to go through with the murders. Walter Lewis is a former police officer, he has been reduced to pick ups and offers inside help to help clean up the streets.

PerformancesWe have a great British cast here, Sean Bean in the leading role gives us a demanding performance where we always want to see what his character does next. Danny Dyer is giving his best Danny Dyer performance, do well but not offering anything new. Bob Hoskins is good too he shows how people will have been affected by what happened in the past well. Lennie James and Sean Harris show us both sides of the scale as they could take their characters to either side of the fence.

StoryThe story shows us how crime rates are going up with the criminals not facing the consequences, we see the men that got pushed too far and decide to fight back. We have everything you would imagine with an outlaw move would take place, yes we are in London during modern day which adds something new, to the tried and tested formula.

Action/CrimeThe action is thug related behaviour which comes off a brutal as it needs to for the movie, sometimes it will be harder to watch. The crimes are brutal to watch as the behaviour is shown to be out of control.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, this shows the high crime rates, which helps the countryside showing the hiding places for everyone to hide.


Scene of the Movie –
The preparations.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It seems like Gene isn’t quite like the rest.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the British fans of action films, it keeps us feeling like we are seeing real crimes committed and the idea of an outlaws helps make us understand their motives.

 

Overall: One for the British action fans.

Rating

 

 

Hitman Agent 47 (2015)

logoDirector: Aleksander Bach

Writer: Skip Woods, Michael Finch (Screenplay) Skip Woods (Story)

Starring: Rupert Friend, Thomas Kretschmann, Zachary Quinto

Plot: An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Bog Standard Action

Story: Hitman: Agent 47 starts with the idea that Dr Delriego (Kanies) has been searching for the answer of improving a human into a deadly hitman, the key is in a mysterious woman no one can find. Agent 47 (Friend) is also after this woman but now knows what he is really looking for.

The girl in question is Katia (Ware) who has been identified as a person of interest with John Smith (Quinto) following her. Agent 47 latest target is Katia and John Smith is the only person who can keep her alive as she aims to learn secrets about her father. Not everything is as it seems as Agent 47 has a previous connection with Katia and it is Le Clerq (Kretschmann) who is after her father.

Hitman: Agent 47 brings us back into the video game world only this time it is a reboot of the first Hitman which I might add I really liked. This well this was just basic action hitman has plan to complete latest job which will involve saving a girl, fighting an enemy strong than him, wait this is just Terminator isn’t it? I am going to be brutal on this film and the first 50 minutes we are lead to believe that Agent 47 is the bad guy, the film is about him why waste all the time lying to us when we all and I mean all know he is the hero of the film? This really disappoints me especially after the original was one of the better video game films.

Actor Review

Rupert Friend: Agent 47 is the deadly assassin whose latest mission brings him up against his employees while trying to save a young woman who is also trained but has a connection to his past. Rupert tries to fit into the assassin’s shows but simply doesn’t end up living up to original levels Timothy achieved.agent 47

Thomas Kretschmann: Le Clerq is the man looking for Katia’s father he is the man who wants Katia’s father and sends John out to find him, he never leaves his office but always get what he wants. Thomas is hardly in the film and is easily meant to be the villain but you never really believe him.

Zachary Quinto: John Smith is an ungraded assassin who starts off as a friend to Katia only to have his own motive for what he does as he is working for the people looking for her father. He is stronger than Agent 47 making him a worthy enemy to the hitman. Zachary brings out his Sylar again for this role where he is an unkillable machine.

Hannah Ware: Katia is a woman looking for her father, she is about to go on the run before all these assassins start coming after her. She does have abilities in combat making her alliance even more important to whoever has her by their side. Hannah does a basic job but never gets going in this role.

Support Cast: Hitman: Agent 47 doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast and the ones we see just someone for Agent 47 to fight.

Director Review: Aleksander Bach Aleksander doesn’t bring us the best video game that really doesn’t get started.

Action: Hitman: Agent 47 has very basic action that is all quick cut fight scenes to show how good both Agent 47 and John Smith really are in combat.

Crime: Hitman: Agent 47 has the hitman chasing angle but doesn’t really end up going to in depth with the criminal side of the story.

Thriller: Hitman: Agent 47 doesn’t keep you guessing because the first half is a giant dummy we see before we see what we know is meant to be happening.

Settings: Hitman: Agent 47 uses the setting you would expect from a film with this subject matter, nothing to fancy until the final over sized office.
Special Effects: Hitman: Agent 47 doesn’t let the effects come through with everything looking CGI.

Suggestion: Hitman: Agent 47 is one to skip this year, it doesn’t have enough to make it a worth while action film. (Skip)

Best Part: I’m not dead John Smith.

Worst Part: First half of the film is pointless.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It leaves it open to one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Overall: A disappointing action film that offers up nothing original through the story.

Ratings card

 

Trailer Alert – Hitman: Agent 47

Plot – An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.

Release Date: 28th August 2015

Stars:

  • Zachary Quinto (Star Trek)
  • Rupert Friend (Starred Up)

Director: Aleksander Bach

Highlight of the Trailer: The escape.

What Looks Good? The action looks fun and solid for a popcorn film.

What Looks Bad? Doesn’t look like too much of an improvement on original.

Summary: I personal enjoyed the first Hitman I thought it was cast well and would like to have seen Timothy return, I will give this new guy a chance but this looks confusing to start with and could have given away most of the action in the trailer.

Questions:

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 60%

My Guess Rating – 60%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No