Movie Review – Downton Abbey (2019)

TL;DR – This is sort of the cinematic equivalent of sitting down under a doona in your PJs eating ice cream while vegging out on some TV. Perfectly pleasant and even enjoyable in places, but with not really any substance with it.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Downton Abbey. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

Well, I am going to get something out of the way right from the start, I have not watched a single episode of Downton Abbey before today. I, of course, know what it is and also thanks to the internet and the enormous fan following it has, I know most of the main plot points but it never interested me to hunt down the DVDs. I say this so if you are a fan of the show you can put my critiques in context, however, I am mostly writing this for those like me who have never seen it before and may get brought along for what is billed as the cinematic event of the year.

So to set the scene, it has been two years since the series finished off and life at Downton is moving on at its usual pace, but no one could be prepared for the letter that is making its way through the Royal Mail system all the way from London. For you see King George V (Simon Jones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James) will be spending the night at Downton as part of their Yorkshire tour. Suddenly everything is thrown into chaos as Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) and Cora Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern) rush to get the house ready, but there are more problems on the horizon and I am not just talking about the boiler kicking it in.

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Movie Review – The Favourite

TL;DR – At times funny, at times perplexing, and at times very dark, it explores the world of immense power and those who want to obtain it, and the damage that can do.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Favourite. Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review

We live in a world where thanks to technology we can explore galaxies far away, to fantasies imagined in every which way, but sometimes reality can be stranger than anything we can muster. Today we are exploring a film that is set around the power politics of last years of the House of Stuart as different people position themselves in an ever-shifting world. This would be interesting enough in itself, but in both a less and in some cases more dramatic way this is what really happened (or at least what was alleged to have happened) in real life. It is a snapshot of absolute power, but also of sadness, and regret.

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Movie Review – Bohemian Rhapsody

TL;DR – At the heart is the powerful story of Freddie Mercury, but you can see the difficulties of adapting a life as grand as his into a standard film runtime.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There footage during the credits that you want to stay back for.

Bohemian Rhapsody. Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review

There have been a lot of productions that have been stuck in ‘production hell’ for years before they get made (and some never exit it) and one of the big casualties of this was the Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic. It had gone through multiple directors and leading cast before finally going into production, only to find out that the difficulties were not done there. With clashes on set and the inevitable replacement of the director befalling production. When this has happened in the past, it has led to at best an uneven film, but often times the final product is a complete mess. Thankfully, Bohemian Rhapsody avoids the latter but you can still see the problems under the hood.

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Movie Review – Outlaw King (Outlaw/King)

TL;DR – It is a film that is completely serviceable, with some amazing action, but just comes off feeling lacking in many ways

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Outlaw King. Image Credit: Netflix

Review

This is a real odd duck of a film, even before it came out there were questions about its runtime and how it was edited together, with reports that over 20 minutes got cut for its final release. Add to this the only other thing it was noticeable for was a certain alleged scene involving Chris Pine and well, that was not a strong platform to release a film on. So, my real concern was – did taking a hatchet to the film trim it down to only its best parts, or did it turn it into a hacked up mess – and the answer is a bit of both. Now just a quick thing, I will let others more versed in Scottish history to comment on whether or not the film is accurate with history or not.

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TV Review – Doctor Who: Rosa

TL;DR – While on the technical side of things this was not the best episode of Doctor Who, the story is leaps and bounds above the norm, and it shows the power this show can have if they apply themselves.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

Rosa. Doctor Who. Image Credit: BBC

 

Review

When you can travel through all of time and space, you can visit wondrous alien worlds, go back and visit key moments in history like the construction of the pyramids, or even explore what looks an awful lot like a quarry on the outskirts of Cardiff a couple of times. However, would you go back in time a visit the less fun parts of our history, those parts that we politely pretend do not exist, even though the ripple of those events still dominate our world today. Well in a world that needs to visit this part of its past Doctor Who has decided to do so for them as we delve into the world of the 1950s segregated America.

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Movie Review – Ladies in Black

TL;DR – This is a film that is filled with joy from start to finish, a truly beautiful film   

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Ladies in Black. Image Credit: Sony

Review

There are times when you need to delve into the complex machinations of a political intrigue or see two superheroes brawl in the ruins of a fallen civilization or explosions in space as ships rocket past. However, there are times when you need to take a step back and just immerse yourself in the world of other people living extraordinary lives filled with glamour and beauty.

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Explore It – Moving History  

TL;DR – Today I explore the moving of historic St. Philips Anglican Church

The Move

Article

Today I drove south of Brisbane to the suburbs because for some people in Rochedale a big move was happening and I was asked to record it for history’s sake. For most people in the area it was the little brown church on the corner, but it is a building with a lot of history. As the older parishioners will tell you, the church was made out of wood salvaged from an American World War Two barracks. During WW2 Brisbane was the headquarters for the South West Pacific campaign, with places like the University of Queensland being converted into the advanced headquarters for the Allied Land Forces. The legacy of WW2 and the American presence still exists across Brisbane and St. Philips Anglican Church is but one reminder of it. But like all things, the march of progress is upon the area as Rochdale is transformed from a rural enclave into a new residential/commercial suburb, and the time for the little brown church on the corner has come to an end, of sorts. For the land it is on will soon to be turned into a traffic intersection so the choice was to move it or destroy it and Coles Supermarkets the new owners decided to give it a new lease of life as a community centre. However, it is an old building, and an old building that needed to be moved, and that precarious endeavour is what we are looking at today. Just a warning that there are a lot of images after the fold, so if you are on mobile you might want to check that you are on wifi.

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