PQR Triple Bill

As 2015 moves rapidly to an end, there's a flurry of activity to complete the 2015 Alphabet Film Project, which aims to reduce the number of films recorded off the tellybox by watching them in alphabetical order. Today's post brought to you in time-honoured fashion by the number 3 and the letters P-Q-R.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky, 2012) is a pretty tidy teen drama, adapted by the director from his own successful novel of the same name. It focuses on Charlie (Logan Lerman), a introverted 15-year old with some emotional issues who is worried about fitting in at high school in his freshman year. There he is taken under the wing of cool-but-in-a-nerdy-way seniors Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) and begins to blossom as he finds himself. It's all straightforward coming-of-age stuff but it's nicely played by the appealing cast and does give itself a little heft by tackling some darker themes as the story develops, albeit in a fairly superficial and sanitised way. Being a soft-hearted, touchy-feely sort of bloke, I quite liked it, although I'm not surprised to see others dismiss it as the navel-gazing perks of being white, middle-class and privileged.

Quatermass and the Pit (Roy Ward Baker, 1967) is the third and probably the best Quatermass film. Even if it's not as good as the BBC TV series upon which it is based, it's still a thoughtful little sci-fi production form Hammer studios. Based on an intelligent script by Nigel Kneale, Professor Quatermass (ANdrew Keir) is called in to help when a mysterious alien artifact is discovered in the London Underground, leading to all manner of sci-fi staples such as Martians, mind-control, human evolution and dodgy special effects. It may be a bit creaky by today's standards, but there's still some interesting ideas and concepts lurking in the deeper recesses of its mind. Also goes by the alternative title Five Million Years to Earth, but that would have bollixed up my alphabetical list, so balls to that.

Be warned, Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953) really will make you want to visit Rome, hire a Vespa and go cruising round the Colosseum shouting Ciao! at people. It's an effortlessly charming romantic comedy about an American reporter (Gregory Peck) who encounters a royal princess (Audrey Hepburn) who has taken incognito to the streets of Rome to escape her stifling royal duties. Naturally, they get into all sorts of hi-jinks and a developing connection makes it harder for them to try and hide their true identities from each other. Peck (sporting an alarmingly baggy suit) is a dashing lead, if a little out of his comfort zone with the broader moments of comedy - one can't help thinking original choice Cary Grant would have been a better fit for both the role and the suit. Hepburn (sporting an alarmingly tiny waist) made the most of her first appearance in an American film, however, going on to win her only Oscar and become a superstar in the process. A warm and witty script also won an Oscar, although co-writer Dalton Trumbo was unable to collect the prize due to being Hollywood blacklisted for alleged Communist activities, so it wasn't until 2003 that his name was rightfully restored to the credits. It doesn't quite do enough to rank as an all-time classic, but it's funny and romantic and pretty much perfect viewing if you're planning a smoochy date night with your loved one. Also amusing to note that the first thing even a princess does upon borrowing a man's money is spend it on shoes, hair and ice-cream. Women, eh?

This series has been brought to you by the number 26 and the letters A to Z. The entire list of reviews can be viewed in one handy list here, in reverse order for extra excitement. Or you can click on the links below because it's still Christmas and I'm feeling helpful. Until next year, farewell

Previously on the Alphabet Film Project....


Atlantic City
Blood of Fu Manchu
Curse of Frankenstein


Esio Trot


Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Hiroshima Mon Amour


Julius Caesar
Late Chrysanthemums



Perks of Being a Wallflower
Quatermass and the Pit
Roman Holiday

Sherlock Holmes & the Scarlet Claw
Tender Mercies
Under the Skin

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

You're Next
Zombie Flesh Eaters

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