Kinsey (2004)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Bill Condon (Screenplay)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O’Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliva Platt

Plot: A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.


Tagline – Let’s talk about sex.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: History Lesson 101

Story: Kinsey starts as we meet Alfred Kinsey (Neeson) has started to teach his students about how to ask the neutral questions to their candidates, we dive into his past where his father Alfred Seguine Kinsey (Lithgow) didn’t want him going anywhere needed around science, which his son Alfred learns, he meets his wife Clara (Linney) and when they have their own sexual problems, it inspires Alfred to open up the idea of teaching sex in school.

Professor Kinsey starts a marriage class with Clyde Martin (Sarsgaard) becoming his assistant in the class, as the students and married couples learn more about how to open people can be sharing their sexual experiences and preference, changing how people study sex.

Thoughts on Kinsey

Characters – Alfred Kinsey Jr breaks his family traditions by heading into the field of biology, he soon sees his worked praised, but nothing coming from it, it is when his wife and himself struggle in the bedroom, that he learns not enough research has been done in the field of sexual activity which sees him change history and the field of its study. Clara is the wife of Alfred’s, it is their problem which opens up the eyes, as they work together to learn about sexual choices, she supports from home for the most part. Wardell, Paul and Clyde are three of the assistants that work with Alfred learning as they discover more about everything in the sexual world. We do meet the professors that will support Kinsey’s work along with the ones that go against him.

PerformancesLiam Neeson is wonderful in this leading role, he gets to follow through many years of Kinsey’s life which shows the different moments of success and struggles he faced trying to open the eyes of the world. Laura Linney is great in the supporting role showing the supportive side to Kinsey’s work, with the whole supporting cast being strong through the film not putting a foot wrong anywhere through the film.

StoryThe story does follow Professor Alfred Kinsey as he went to onto change the mindset of the educational system that has shied away from for years, he pushes the limits and educates the generation about sex. This is an interesting look at how the education system was used to open up the world of sex to a new generation, we get to see just how difficult the fight to get everything through a system that wouldn’t accept anything outside the traditions and wanted to put an end his research. For a history lesson this is interesting and well worth watching because the story does show different ages opening up in ways that we would consider almost normal now.

Biopic/RomanceWe do get to see most of Alfred Kinsey life and career, how his work changed research already the world and educated people to be safer when engaged in sexual activities. The romance is mostly about how Alfred and Clara are open to working together and show how they are going to exploring themselves along with others.

SettingsThe film is set through different times of history from how the small classroom to the full department being used for research.


Scene of the Movie – The first class.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get to learn just how much he changed everything.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting history lesson that shows us just how sex was needed to be taught from everyone to everyone.

Overall: Interesting history lesson.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – V – Valiant (2005)

Director: Gary Chapman

Writer: Jordan Katz, George Webster, George Melrod (Screenplay) George Webster (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, John Hurt

 

Plot: Set in 1944, Valiant is a woodland pigeon who wants to become a great hero someday. When he hears they are hiring recruits for the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, he immediately sets out for London. On the way, he meets a smelly but friendly pigeon named Bugsy, who joins him, mainly to get away from clients he cheated in a game of find-the pebble, and helps him sign up for the war.


Tagline –  Some pigeons eat crumbs, others make history.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: Valiant starts as small young pigeon Valiant wants to help out during World War II by joining the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, taking his chance a heading to London he meets hustler pigeon Bugsy as the pair con their way into the recruitment process.

Going through the recruitment process the pigeons are sent on their first mission with the danger of the falcons with the evil Von Talon waiting for any pigeons that try to cross the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Valiant

 

Characters – Valiant is a plucky young pigeon that wants to be a hero of war by becoming a carrier pigeon for the royal homing pigeon service, he has the guts even if he doesn’t have the build for it, he will risk his life to save his country. Bugsy is a cowardly con artist pigeon that uses joining the service to escape magpies, only to try to get out of it on a constant basis. Von Talon is the evil falcon that has been hunting the pigeons trying to return home, he is the typical foreign villain for this film.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely group of homing pigeons that must deliver secrets back to the soldiers in England during World War II. This gives you everything you want to enjoy in an animated story, the idea of a character overcoming his weaknesses to become the strongest part of a team, even if this does make light of the war itself, even when it is trying to tell the importance of the animals in the war.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure out pigeons go on is life or death and a real one pigeons would have gone on during the war, the comedy does hit well for the British audience which is nice to see with a string of British comedies offering the laughs. This will be one the whole family could enjoy too, having moments that all ages will understand.

SettingsThe settings play into the idea that the animals will be involved in the war and just how they will be seeing the biggest moments too, while also decreasing the scale of everything.

AnimationThe animation looks great in the foreground, while the backgrounds have been scaled down, which is fine, but doesn’t show the busyness around the big cities.


Scene of the Movie –
The crossing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I personally didn’t like how small London seemed to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun animation that can be enjoyed by everyone, though it does have a very British core, certain jokes might miss for a more international audience.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and fun.

Rating

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay) Richard O’Brien (Original Musical)

Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams

 

Plot: A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Classic

 

Story: The Rocky Horror Picture Show starts as Brad Majors (Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Sarandon) get engaged as they were heading home they get trapped in a storm. Seeking refuge the couple find themselves in a mysterious castle full and strange and colourful characters hosted by Dr Frank-N-Furter (Curry).

Tonight, is a special night for the Doctor as he is about to bring his Creation to life in full Frankenstein style. The longer Brad and Janet spend in the castle the stranger the night becomes but one they will never forget.

 

Thoughts on The Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Characters/PerformanceDr Frank-N-Furter is bar far one of the most iconic characters in musical and film, leading the transsexual movement in the main stream, he is another version of Dr Frankenstein but one with extreme sexual motivations. Brad is the newly engaged man who feels out of place in the party but grows to respect the choice. Janet is Brad’s new fiancé who enjoys the sexually driven party more than Brad. The rest of the characters all add to the style of the film.

Performance wise, Tim Curry does steal the show with his eccentric performance that you can see he fully commits to, Sarandon and Bostwick are great as the new engaged couple put in the awkward situation with the rest of the cast all giving us the performance we need to see.

StoryThe story is easy to follow like you would imagine with musical and with the narration does make certain things easy. The idea of staying at a strange castle where you could end up involved in a mad party hosted by a crazy scientist. This is a unique story that does have moments from the Frankenstein story involved.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy is used to make this story come off fun with the musical numbers throughout.

SettingsThe castle makes for a wonderful setting full of the gothic style and the scientific laboratory used to make the creation.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few are far between but all come off when they are needed.

Final ThoughtsI knew this was a cult movie for years but never got around to see it, I found this exactly what I was expecting, unique, crazy and a stand-alone special event.

 

Overall: This is a true cult classic film.

Rating

 

 

The Cat Returns (2002)

catDirector: Hiroyuki Morita

Writer: Reiko Yoshida, Cindy Davis Hewitt, Donald H Hewitt (Screenplay) Aoi Hiiragi (Comic)

Starring: (Voice Talents in English) Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Judy Greer, Andrew Bevis, Kristen Bel, Rene Auberjonois, Andy Ritcher, Peter Boyle, Elliot Gould, Tim Curry

 

Plot: After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Fantasy

 

Story: The Cat Returns starts when Haru a school student who has no luck saves a cat from a traffic accident only to find out that the cats have their own kingdom. As a reward for save Prince Lune the King Cat goes out of his way to make sure Haru gets everything she wants but this also includes marrying the Prince Cat.

Haru knowing how crazy this idea is must find the Cat Bureau a turn to Baron to find a way out of the arranged marriage as we learn about the cat underworld.

The Cat Returns is a film from the amazing Studio Ghibli that gives us a fairy tale that has elements of Alice in Wonderland going on throughout. We get what is a simple storyline about one girl not fitting in her own world finding herself in the middle of another one. I will say this is one of the weakest of the film I have seen from Ghibli but in no way is it a bad film.

 

Overall: Solid addition to the works of Ghibli that will for the cat lovers out there.

Rating60