ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Q – Quartet (2012)

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Writer: Ronald Harwood (Screenplay) Ronald Harwood (Play)

Starring: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon, Sheridan Smith, Andrew Sachs

 

Plot: At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.


Tagline – Four friends looking for a little harmony

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Quartet starts as we head to Beecham House retirement home for musicians, where Reggie (Courtenay), Wilf (Connolly), Cissy (Collins) are preparing for their latest show for Verdi’s birthday with director Cedric (Gambon). We follow their everyday life at the home before an icon of their industry Jean Horton (Smith) arrives causing old wounds to be opened for Reggie.

The four must rebuild their friendship to bring their once famous quartet back to the stage for the concert, but some bridges are harder to build for Reggie compared to the others, can they forgive and forget before the concert.

 

Thoughts on Quartet

 

Characters – Reggie is the calm member of the quartet, he has lived in the home for a few years with two of his former members Wilf and Cissy, he conducts himself well and teaches when the students visit, but his life is pushed when his ex-wife arrives leaving him resenting being there needing to learn how to forgive his former love. Jean is the biggest name from the former quartet, but now she is left alone in the world needing to get used to her new environment, where she is forced to come out of retirement for one final recording. Wilf is a horny former musician, he flirts at every opportunity, he gets the funniest lines through the film because he knows how to use his charm to enjoy the moments in their lives in the home. Cissy is the absent minded member of the group, it is her age getting to her but Reggie keeps her mind in the right track when needed to be directed the right direction.

PerformancesMaggie Smith is great in this role, this great British actor shows she can handle any role with grace and ease. Tom Courtenay is great too being the strong leading role where he shows the dignity his character requires. Billy Connolly is the perfect choice for the added comic relief of the film, he gains a laugh in nearly every scene, even the serious ones you know he can pull off the laugh needed. Pauline Collins rounds off the leading quartet and she is great throughout the film too, the cast gives us everything we want from their performances.

StoryThe story shows how the once respected performers reaching the retirement age, will need to find something to do in the retirement home to continue their love of music. The main group we follow have their problems between them but to have that one final moment in the spotlight drives them all to perform. The four have sacrificed during their lives to be known as the best, including families which they regret at times but wouldn’t give up what they achieved in their limelight.

ComedyThe comedy comes from how Wilf looks at life and the everyday life within the retirement home.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the retirement home, this shows us how the members are still enjoying life, now with like-minded people in their later years.


Scene of the Movie –
The performance building.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While funny, sometimes Wilf is just seemingly there for comic relief.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable light hearted comedy drama showing us just where people can be enjoy their passions at any stage of their life.

 

Overall: Nice touching drama.

Rating

 

 

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016)

casting cardDirector: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin (Screenplay) Evan Daugherty (Characters)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith, Alexandra Roach, Sope Dirisu, Sam Hazeldine, Sam Claflin

 

Plot: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna’s wicked intentions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Sequel/Prequel

 

Story: The Huntsman: Winter’s War starts as we see Ravenna (Theron) first using her powers to gain the reputation we know as the evil queen along with her sister Freya (Blunt) her only weakness rise to the power in the kingdom as the Ice Queen after losing her child.

The Queen brings only one rule to her kingdom, you can never fall in love which her two best child warriors Eric and Sara do, once grown up Eric (Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain) become lovers leading them to be punished with separate banishment from the kingdom.

To confuse matter The Huntsman has to continue to fight for Snow White so now this is a sequel to stop Freya getting her hands on the mirror and its evil powers. The Huntsman teams up with his wife Sara who both believe something different happened during their banishment from Freya’s kingdom.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War comes off confusing because we are sold on the idea that this is a prequel only for it basically have a longer opening sequence to the original and being a sequel which means Ravenna is barely even in this one. The story comes off very familiar with not much actually happening through the film that we haven’t seen. I didn’t find the story very appealing because it ends up feel like a dark version of Frozen.

 

Actor Review

 

Chris Hemsworth: The Huntsman was trained from a child by Queen Freya to be one of her best warriors but when he falls in love he get left for dead believing his love has been killed. He has defeated Ravenna once and now he gets called upon to retrieve the mirror that has started to take control of the Snow White. Chris is good in this role doing what you would expect him to do.

Charlize Theron: Ravenna is the evil queen that is the sister to Freya, she has used her powers to make Freya rise to power before we know what happened to her in the first film. Now she is trying to control the world from inside the mirror. Charlize is only in a supporting role and doesn’t reach the levels we know she can with this character.

Jessica Chastain: Sara is another one of the huntsman trained by Freya taught not to love only to fall for our leading Huntsman.  Pushed out she teams up with the Huntsman as they look to rekindle their love once more. Jessica is solid in this role but I can’t help but wonder what happens to her accent through the film.

Emily Blunt: Queen Freya gets turned into the all-powerful snow queen once she witnesses the father of her child over a burnt out cot. She takes children to raise her own warriors cheating them not to love but when she learns her best warriors have fallen in love she exiles them as she continues to conquer the south. She learns of the mirror and wants it for herself. Emily is solid in this supporting role in what is meant to be the main villain.

Support Cast: The Huntsman: Winter’s War has a supporting cast that is stolen by the dwarf performance that are clearly the highlight of the film.

Director Review: Cedric Nicolas-TroyanCedric gives us a sequel we didn’t really need that offers little new to the story only expanding the world it is set in.

 

Action: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is filled with plenty of mindless fantasy action throughout that gives us nothing really stand out on this side of the story.

Adventure: The Huntsman: Winter’s War throws our characters on a reluctant adventure much like the first one.

Fantasy: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is in a fantasy world of witches and creatures etc etc etc.

Settings: The Huntsman: Winter’s War puts us back in the world created with nothing newly created.
Special Effects
: The Huntsman: Winter’s War has basic supporting effects which just don’t really come off completely believable.

Suggestion: The Huntsman: Winter’s War is one that can only really be watch if you loved the original. (First Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Dwarfs.

Worst Part: Wasting Charlize Theron.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Frozen

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $115 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: The story before Snow White

 

Overall: This is just a dark version of Frozen let’s all be honest here.

Ratingcard