Tagged: Billy Connolly

The Hobbit Battle Of Five Armies

Summary: Peter Jackson’s last foray into the world of Middle Earth begins with Lake-town under severe attack after Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) has left the Mountain and is looking for revenge. Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and co can do very little but watch as the attack occurs.

Meanwhile while others group together to rescue Gandalf (Ian McKellan), Bilbo is left stunned as the Mountain has a strange affect on Thorin (Richard Armitage) who seems to be going crazy as he insanely looks for the Heart Of The Mountain. His group grow increasingly worried as various armies march on the mountain to claim it and Thorin continues his search without honouring his debts or even bothering to help those who are trying to defend the Mountain.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, New Zealand

Director: Peter Jackson

Screenwriter: Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, J.R.R. Tolkien (novel)

Cast: Richard Armitage (Thorin), Erin Banks (Lobeila Sackville Baggins), Timothy Bartlett (Master Worrywort), John Bell (Bain), Manu Bennett (Azog), Nick Blake (Percy), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Jed Brophy (Nori), Adam Brown (Ori), John Callen (Oin), Billy Connolly (Dain), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer (voice)), Luke Evans (Bard), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Stephen Fry (Master Of Laketown), Ryan Gage (Alfrid), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), Miranda Harcourt (Olga), Ian Holm (Old Bilbo), Brian Hotter (Otho Sackville Baggins), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Kelly Kilgour (Soury), William Kircher (Bifur), Martin Kwok (Ragash (voice)), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Simon London (Feren), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast), Ian McKellan (Gandalf), Thomasin McKenzie (Astrid), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Mark Mitchinson (Braga), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Mary Nesbitt (Tilda), Peggy Nesbitt (Sigrid), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Lee Pace (Thrandiul), Sarah Peirse (Hilda Bianca), Mikael Persbrandt (Beorn), Allan Smith (Ragash), Merv Smith (Tosser Grub), Conan Stevens (Keep Of The Dungeons), Ken Stott (Balin), John Tui (Bolg), Aidan Turner (Kili), Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Runtime: 145 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam RossYou can check out Adam’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111.

Stars(3)

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

Nick GardenerYou can check out Nick’s The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111.

Stars(3)

 

David Griffiths:

Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth six-peat is understandably a life-long ambition that he wanted to achieve. Outside of George Lucas and Star Wars it is arguable that no director in the history of cinema has ever shown so much dedication to a series of films. And let’s be honest while The Lord Of The Rings trilogy were a real feat in filmmaking The Hobbit series has rarely reached the same amazing peaks. The first film while serviceable at times seemed more like a documentary on a walking tours of New Zealand than it did as a huge mythical epic, while it was also plagued by the new technology Jackson brought to the film which had some cinema goers feeling like they were watching the film in fast forward.

What gave us hope that Jackson would be back to his best with The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies was its predecessor, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug. Smaug was what everybody was expecting from this series, Jackson back to being able mix good characterisation with some very creative action, but sadly it seems that film is going to be the high mark of the series because Five Armies seems to be completely hit or miss.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies is going to be a film that will be enjoyed if you like epic battles, but if you’re a serious movie buff there will still be things that seriously irk you about the film. The battle itself is lengthy but to be honest the directors of Game Of Thrones seem to have spoilt us so much over the past couple of seasons that even some of the action here seems to be a little disappointing on the big screen.

There are several moments during which the audience will be left completely scratching their heads. For example the scene in which Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Elrond (Hugo Weaving) sweep in to save Gandalf not only contains some shockingly bad special effects that look like they may have been lifted from a 1980s straight-to-video nasty but also leaves you wondering that with the power of Elrond on show for all to see why he doesn’t then and go and help out with the battle?

Then to be honest there are some incredibly amazing moments in the film as well. Some of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Thorin’s fight scenes with Orcs on the ice-cap mountain do look extremely good, despite the fact that at times such as Legolas’ rock-jumping sequence the audience is left having to suspend their believability of what it is happening. Then Jackson also creates some very touching moments between characters that tug on the audience’s heart strings in a way that an epic action film like this shouldn’t be able to. The up-and-down nature of The Hobbit series seems to battle itself to no end in this finale of the franchise.

With such a huge ensemble cast gathering together for this final film, it’s understandable that some actors don’t get the screen they deserve. As previously mentioned actors like Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett have their skills completely underused while Billy Connolly seems to only turn up for the comedic effect of playing Dain. The big winners out of The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies are Orlando Bloom, who on the back of his performance in Smaug should have done enough to remind Hollywood producers that he is always a pretty decent actor in big blockbusters, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Freeman has become a really easy actor to warm to throughout the series while Armitage who was mainly a television actor before this series of films has really revealed himself to be a seriously good character actor who should have a huge career ahead of him.

It is sad that Jackson’s Middle Earth saga has come to a close, it is even sadder that it has had to happen with such a mediocre film, especially when you take into consideration the lofty heights set by The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. That may well be something that comes to haunt Jackson’s career from here on in as it is just too easy to compare anything he makes now back to a series that really changed the cinema landscape. The best hope that The Battle Of Five Armies has is that it is like Unexpected Journey and begins to grow on you the more times that you watch it.

Stars(3)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Army reviews: For our full The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #111. You can also read our review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Quartet

Summary: Cecily (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly) are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday and they take part. Jean (Maggie Smith), who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on… and it does.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Screenwriter: Ronald Harwood

Cast: Shola Adewusi (Sheryl), Colin Bradbury (Olly Fisher) Virginia Bradbury (Daisy), Michael Byrne (Frank White), Pauline Collins (Cissy Robson), Billy Connolly (Wilf Bond), Tom Courtenay (Reginald Paget), Sarah Crowden (Felicity Liddle), Alexander Duczmal (Marta), Ania Duczmal (Eva), Ronnie Fox (Nobby), Michael Gambon (Cedric Livingston),John Georgeiadis (Bill),  John Heley (Leo Cassell), Ita Herbert (Regina), Jack Honeyborne (Dave Trubeck), Ronnie Hughes (Tony Rose), Jumayn Hunter (Joey), Dame Gwyneth Jones (Anne Langley), Denis Khoroshko (Tadek), Patricia Loveland (Letitia Davis), Iona Mathieson (Young Violinist Iona), Isla Mathieson (Young Violinist Isla), Cynthia Morey (Lottie Yates), Luke Newberry (Simon), Kent Olesen (Lars), Trevor Peacock (George), Eline Powell (Angelique), John Rawnsley (Nigel), David Ryall (Harry), Andrew Sachs (Bobby Swanson), Graeme Scott (Fred), Maggie Smith (Jean Horton), Sheridan Smith (Dr. Lucy Cogan), Patricia Varley (Octavia), Melonie Waddingham (Marion Reed), Nuala Willis (Norma McIntyre)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Quartet’ Review: 

‘Quartet’ is unashamedly aimed at an older audience, but that certainly shouldn’t put you off if you’re of the younger generation and enjoy a good film. Because age demographic aside ‘Quartet’ is an enjoyable film that is likely to provide a chuckle or two along the way.

Directed by legendary actor, Dustin Hoffman (who hasn’t directed a film since 1978’s Straight Time) Quartet’ finds three members of England’s once-most talented opera quartet living together in a retirement home for retired musicians under the charge of young doctor, Dr. Lucy Cogan (Sheridan Smith – Mr. Stink, TV’S Jonathan Creek).

The first member of the group is Reginald (Tom Courtenay – Gambit, The End Of An Era) who seems  so active and ‘with-it’ it would appear he has gone into the home too early. He is still extremely active and keeps his mind going by passing on his musical knowledge to young students. When asked why he went into the home he always says he is in there to be with his best friend, Wilf (Billy Connolly – Brave, TV’S House) who has lost the ability to censor himself after a stroke affected his brain. Rounding out the group is Cissy (Pauline Collins – Albert Nobbs, TV’S Mount Pleasant) who knows suffers from such severe dementia that she constantly needs to be reminded what she should be doing.

The trio’s world is turned upside down though when the new resident who moves in just happens to be Jean (Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, TV’S Downtown Abby) – the missing member of their quartet. While Cissy and Wilf thinks it would be great to get Jean to rejoin their quartet so they can perform in a gala night being put together by the extremely bossy Cedric (Michael Gambon – Restless, TV’S Luck). It seems like a good idea however Jean seems like she is reluctant to ever perform again while poor Reginald is at a loss at what to do as Jean once broke his heart.

Hoffman brings together a wonderfully brilliant film that certainly captivates it’s audience, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t made a couple of mistakes along the well. On the surface the idea of having the central characters played by actors and the other residents in the home being played by some of the Europe’s finest opera performers and musicians seems like a great idea, however during the film the ‘others’ seem to get dangerously out-acted by what can only be described as an A-List of some of the United Kingdom’s finest actors.

No matter your age you will find yourself drawn to the characters of ‘Quartet’. It’s a heartfelt story and let’s be honest you don’t have to be in this film’s demographic to know what heart ache or the lack of self-worth feels like. Don’t take any notice of the advertising this really is a film that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

Of course as you would expect one of the standouts about ‘Quartet’ are the acting performances. As usual Maggie Smith is brilliant while Pauline Collins also does a fabulous job. But even they seem to be outdone by Michael Gambon who seems to embrace a slight comedic part while Billy Connolly leaves everybody in his wake and he gathers up laughs left, right and centre.

‘Quartet’ is a great little film that reminds us all that you don’t need a big budget, just a great script, to work as a cinema piece.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Quartet′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Quartet’. Dave’s other review of ‘Quartet’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: Quartet (2012) on IMDb

Summary:

Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure to an ancient land full of mystery and tradition. Bursting with heart, unforgettable characters and Pixars signature humor, Brave is a rousing, gorgeously animated good time, raves Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.Take a heroic journey with Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defi es an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land. When Meridas actions inadvertently unleash chaos in the kingdom, she must harness all of her skills and resources including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers to undo a beastly curse before its too late, and discover the meaning of true bravery.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st June, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 21th November, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

Screenwriter: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Steve Purcell

Cast: Peigi Barker (Young Merida (voice)), Robbie Coltrane (Lord Dingwall (voice)), Billy Connolly (Fergus (voice)), Steven Cree (Young Macintosh (voice)), Craig Ferguson (Lord Macintosh (voice)), Eilidh Fraser (Maudie (voice)), Sally Kinghorn (Maudie (voice)), Kelly Macdonald (Merida (voice)), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin/Young MacGuffin (voice)), Callum O’Neil (Wee Dingwell (voice)), Steve Purcell (The Crow (voice)), John Ratzenberger (Gordon (voice)), Emma Thompson (Elinor (voice)), Julie Walters (The Witch (voice))

Runtime: 100 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Brave’ Review:

Okay sit down and strap yourself in because I’m about to say something that may be a shock to some people. Brave is one of the best animated films of all time. It doesn’t take rocket science to come to that conclusion because this is one film that simply doesn’t do anything wrong.

Disney Pixar answers their critics who recently slammed the company for never creating strong female characters by revealing Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, TV’S Boardwalk Empire), one of the strongest female characters to grace our screens in a long, long time.

While Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson – Men In Black 3, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2) wants Merida to be a good Princess and marry one of the Kingdom’s eligible batchelors her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly – The Ballad Of Nessie, Gullivar’s Travels) encourages to follow her dreams and become a warrior.

Angry that it seems her mother will get her way Merida meets a witch (Julie Walters – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) and asks her to do a spell that will change everything… the only problem is that happens in a way that becomes life-threatening.

One of the standouts with Brave is the fabulous work put in by the film’s directors, Mark Andrews (Violet, One Man Band) and Brenda Chapman (The Prince Of Egypt). Aided by spectacular feats of animation these talented directors bring a look and feel to this film that most animated films would be envious of. The detail in the shots taken in the forest are amazing, you can even see the lines on each of the leaves.

Another brave decision by the filmmakers that really pays off is the fact that they went with Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald (who most people would remember from Trainspotting) to voice Merida. Most producers would have lined up Hollywood’s latest starlet and just asked her to put on a Scottish accent, but in the case of Brave you feel that would have been something that really wouldn’t have worked.

With a brilliant script and some of the best animation work that you are ever likely to see Brave is one film that will be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Brave’: http://www.helium.com/items/2336831-movie-reviews-brave-2012.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Brave (2012) on IMDb