BURKE AND HARE

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 29th October 2010

Director: John Landis: (The Stupids, The Blues Brothers 2000, Beverly Hills Cop 3, Innocent Blood, Oscar, Coming To America, Spies Like Us, Trading Places, An American Werewolf In London, The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Kentucky Fried Movie)

Cast: Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Curry, Michael Smiley, Jessica Hynes-Stevenson, Ronnie Corbett, Bill Bailey, David Schofield, David Hayman, Allan Corduner, Hugh Bonneville, John Woodvine, Reece Shearsmith, Pollyanna McIntosh, Christian Brassington, Paul Whitehouse, Michael Winner, Simon Farnaby, Tom Meeten with Jenny Agutter and Christopher Lee

Writer: Piers Ashworth & Nick Moorcroft

Trailer: BURKE AND HARE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  •  Simon Pegg: Star Trek 3, The Gathering, Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Absolutely Everything, Mission Impossible 5, Kill Me Three Times, Man Up, The Boxtrolls (voice), Hector and the Pursuit of Happiness, The World’s End, Star Trek 2 (2013), Ice Age 4 (voice) , A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, Mission: Impossible IV, Paul, Star Trek (2010), Ice Age 3 (voice), How To Lose Friends & Alienate People, The Good Night, Run Fat Boy Run, Mission Impossible 3, Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, Guest House Paradiso, Spaced (TV)
  • Andy Serkis: Jungle Book – Origins (mo-cap), Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Avengers 2, The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Mo-cap), The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (Mo-Cap), Wild Bill (2012),  The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (Mo-Cap), Tintin (2011) (Mo-Cap), Brighton Rock (2011),  The CottageSex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll, The Prestige, 13 Going On 30,  King Kong (2005)(Mo-Cap),  Alex Rider-Stormbreaker,Deathwatch, 24 Hour Party People, Lord Of The Rings – Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, The Return Of The King (Mo-Cap), Mojo, Stella Does Tricks, Career Girls
  • Isla Fisher: Now You See Me, The Great Gatsby (2013), Bachlorette, Rango (voice), Horton Hears a Who (voice), Confessions Of a Shopaholic, Definitely Maybe, Hot Rod, The Lookout, Wedding Crashers, I Heart Huckabees, Scooby Doo, Home and Away (TV)
  • Tom Wilkinson: Bone In The Throat, Good People, Unfinished Business, Belle, Felony, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lone Ranger (2013), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Mission Impossible 4,  The Green Hornet, The Debt, The Ghost, 44 Inch Chest, Duplicity, Valkyrie, Rock-N-Rolla, Michael Clayton, Cassandra’s Dream, The Last Kiss, Seperate Lies, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Girl With a Pearl Earring, Before You Go, The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002),  In The Bedroom, Black Knight, Another Life, Essex Boys, The Patriot, Ride With The Devil,  Shakespeare In Love, Rush Hour, The Governess, Oscar & Lucinda, Wilde, The Full Monty, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, The Ghost and The Darkness, Sense and Sensibility, Martin Chuzzlewit (TV), Priest (1994),  A Business Affair, Paper Mask
  • Tim Curry: Saving Santa (voice), Garfield 2 (voice), Valiant (voice), Kinsey, Scary Movie 2, Rugrats In Paris (voice), Charlie’s Angels Film, Sorted, The Rugrats Movie (voice), Muppet Treasure Island, Congo, The Shadow, The Three Musketeers (1993), National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1, Home Alone 2, It, Oscar, The Hunt For Red October, Clue, Legend, Blue Money, The Ploughman’s Lunch, Annie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Michael Smiley: The Lobster, The Devil Went Down To Islington, Glasslands, Black Sea, We Are The Freaks, SvengaliFor Those In Peril,  Shell, The World’s End, A Field In England, The ABCs of Death, Luther (TV), Kill List, Down Terrace, Outpost,  Big Fat Gypsy Gangster
  • Jessica Hynes-Stevenson: Nativity 2, Magicians, Son Of Rambow, Confetti, Bridget Jones 2, Pure, Spaced (TV), Born Romantic, Staying Alive (TV)
  • Ronnie Corbett: Fierce Creatures, Sorry (TV), The Two Ronnies (TV), No Sex Please We’re British, Casino Royale (1967)
  • Bill Bailey: Chalet Girl, Nanny McPhee 2, Hot Fuzz, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (voice), Black Books (TV), Saving Grace
  • David Schofield: Da Vinci’s Demons (TV), The Last Passenger,  All Things To All MenGhosted F, Devil’s Bridge, The Pirates Of The Caribbean 1 – 3, The Wolfman, Valkyrie, The Musketeer, From Hell, Gladiator (2000), Anna Karenina (1997), An American Werewolf In London,
  • David Hayman: Dartmoor Killing, Castles In The Sky, Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit, Sawney – Flesh of ManScrewed, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Flood, Rag Tale, Tailor Of Panama, Vertical Limit, The Match, My Name Is Joe, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, Regeneration, The Jackal, The Near Room,  Twin Town,  Rob Roy, Venus Peter, Sid & Nancy, Hope and Glory
  • Allan Corduner: Woman In Gold, The Sweeney Movie, The Waiting Room, Defiance, Me Without You, The Imposters, Topsy Turvy
  • Hugh Bonneville: W1A (TV), Paddington, Muppets Most Wanted, Downton Abbey (TV), The Monuments Men, The Return Of Captain Nemo (2013), Third Star,  Glorious 39, Iris, Mansfield Park, Notting Hill
  • John Woodvine: Miss Potter, Leon The Pig Farmer, Wuthering Heights (1992), An American Werewolf In London
  • Reece Shearsmith: The World’s End, A Field In England, Psychoville (TV), The Cottage, The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse, Birthday Girl, The League Of Ordinary Gentlemen (TV)
  • Pollyanna McIntosh: The Blood Lands, Let Us Prey, MI High (TV), FilthExam
  • Christian Brassington: The Smoke, Hummingbird, St Trinians 2
  • Paul Whitehouse: Mortdecai, Alice In Wonderland (2010) (voice), Finding Neverland, Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkabhan, Kevin and Perry Go Large, The Fast Show (TV), The Harry Enfield Show (TV)
  • Michael Winner: Decadence
  • Simon Farnaby: Aaaaaaaaah!, Paddington, All Stars, Your Highness, Bunny and The Bull
  • Tom Meeten: The Ghoul, Paddington, Weekender
  • Jenny Agutter: Tin, Captain America 2, Avenger’s Assemble, Outside Bet, Midwives (TV), Glorious 39, Blue Juice,  Child’s Play 2, Dark Man,  An American Werewolf In London, Equus, The Eagle Has Landed, Logan’s Run (1976),  Walkabout, The Railway Children
  • Christopher Lee: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey, Dark Shadows, Hugo, Season Of The Witch, The Resident, Alice In Wonderland (2010)(voice),  The Wicker Tree, Glorious 39, The Heavy, The Golden Compass, The Corpse Bride (voice), Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005),  Star Wars- The Attack Of The Clones, Star Wars- The Revenge Of The Sith, The Lord Of The Rings- The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, Return Of The King, Sleepy Hollow, The Stupids, A Feast At Midnight, Funny Man, Gremlins 2, The Howling II, Airport ’77, James Bond- The Man With The Golden Gun, The Wicker Man, The Satanic Rites Of Dracula, The House That Dripped Blood, Taste The Blood Of Dracula, Count Dracula

MERCENARIES

2 out of 10 

Director: Paris Leonti

Release Date: 27th January 2012

Cast: Robert Fucilla, Kirsty Mitchell, Rob-James Collier, Vas Blackwood, Michael Nardone, Danny Sapani, Anthony Byrne, Ian Burfield, Robert Boulter with Geoff  Bell and Billy Zane,

Writer: Paris Leonti

Trailer: MERCENARIES

Mercenaries-UK-DVD-CoverIn some cases when a film says crap on the tin you can take the lid off and find something good inside.  I’ve been finding that approaching each low budget British Indie as if it could be a hidden gem has been the best way to go, recently.  In this case a turd is a turd though. I’m glad to warn off the majority here, only my worst enemies need apply, Mercenaries is pretty crap-lustre.

After a coup in the Balkans were an exiled dictator,Olodan Gragovic (ANTHONY BYRNE) seizes power, a group of four mercenaries – lead by Andy Marlow (ROBERT FUCILLA – SHANK) are sent in to neutralise the threat and rescue any surviving staff at the US embassy.  Briefed by a sleepwalking Billy Zane (SNIPER) as General Torida, Marlow and three buddies, fake American, Callum (ROB-JAMES COLLIER – DOWNTON ABBEY), loose cannon, Zac (VAS BLACKWOOD – THE LENNY HENRY SHOW) and a disposable with about two lines, get driven up the road to an area where the UN or US army can’t intervene or even be seen without kicking off a war. The two hostages are played by feisty can-do girl, Beatrice (KIRSTY MITCHELL – HOLBY CITY) and a nameless ambassador in red knitwear (DANIEL SAPANI – HARD BOILED SWEETS) and their lack of experience in combat exacerbates the rescue mission. On kidnapping Gragovic, the gang find themselves pursued by his one-eyed second in command, Radovic (MICHAEL NARDONE – INTRUDERS) and a mysteriously inert henchmen in aviators played by Geoff Bell (SOLOMON KANE)? Hmmm, what’s his secret?  He keeps on checking his mobile phone when no-one’s looking. That’s funny, this film made me do the same thing.

If only the characters were made of quality cardboard but this is cheap pulp.  Reconstituted paper-mache that’s been left in the rain to go a bit soggy. Now what’s wrong with this cut price rip off of Billy Zane‘s cut price Sniper franchise?  Well Billy Zane is OK, just sleepy and barely in it. He’s been airlifted in for approximately four short scenes.  So yes, it does carry the warning “contains mild Billy Zane“.  No this film belongs to the charisma vacuum Robert Fucilla in his first (?) lead role. If you cast your mind back, Fucilla is the stock market millionnaire that bought himself an acting career by producing and editing his own performance into The Big I Am back in 2010?  Glory knows that he’d still be having unsuccessful auditions if he hadn’t been good at his city job.  He’s fine in smaller roles, like Pimp or Shank but he demonstrates here that he is a terrible leading man. The role is underwritten to the point of non-existence and he just looks lost.  His efforts at the physical stretch to little beyond rolling around in the mud and firing an armalite.  He’s aptly backed up by a marginally interesting Vas Blackwood, but disappointingly his Zac buys the farm a third of the way in leaving a huge vacuum.  Rob-James Collier‘s character vanishes for so long I thought I’d slept through his demise.  Turns out he was just lost in the woods…  Oh yeah, the setting.

Mercenaries expects us to believe that a private country estate in East Sussex is deepest, inaccessible, deadly Balkans. Much of the action takes place around a few rhodeddendron bushes and one or two portakabins.  Much of it looking too much like England.  The best thing about the movie were the accents (excepting Rob-James Collier‘s extremely wack attempt at a Texan one).  Geoff Bell delivers 80% of his lines in a foreign language and I was surprised to read that all the principal cast were English (Billy Zane excepted).  It’s a small thing, but at least it’s there.  Yes, I know we’re in trouble if the quality of accents is the only thing to recommend, it’s like the Jamie Foreman vehicle The Grind where I highlighted what a good OST it had.  What should have been a straight forward action thriller turns out to be leaden and very boring. Normally budgetary constraints shouldn’t be a factor, plenty of low budget movies have been made in a few acres of woodland, but Mercenaries is let down by it’s cheapness. Bad post-production effects, like muzzle flashes, explosions and even smoke fail to convince.  The guns sound like and look they’ve been bought in Pound Land, I think they are plastic.  The actors certainly wave them around like they weigh the same as a packet of crisps.  Gore has been added in post as well, with a negative blotted with a red felt-tip here and there.  Also it’s mis-cast, Fucilla and co are just too short to be world class military freelancers.  They come across like the seven dwarfs with their massive rucksacks that can barely fit through the doorways in Gragovic’s HQ (lol).  Man, this film sucked hard.  There were heaps of continuity errors and mistakes too that remain in the film.  Geoff Bell even trips over on a branch at one point and carries on regardless, it’s that type of cheapo!

Kirsty Mitchell was OK too and I actually thought she was an American compared to Collier‘s terrible efforts.  It features some fine actors, Blackwood, Bell and Sapani but in casting the permanently confused hamster-Andy Garcia love-child Fucilla in the lead was a mistake.  A more experienced, bigger (in size) actor could have taken the focus off the bad script, messy plot dynamics and the hardcore boredom.  There are worse films but Mercenaries is unforgivable in that there’s a great little action film idea in here somewhere.  Shame it was shot in some obscure Lord’s back garden, starring the UK Industries biggest  (and shortest) gift to ego!

2 out 10  – It’s rare to see a crap film were Billy Zane isn’t to blame for the result.  Robert Fucilla concretes what I suspected when I saw The Big I Am – money can’t buy natural talent, mate. If he’s going to insist on being a leading man he’s got to spend some of his millions on acting lessons or just stick to smaller supporting roles were he’d have fewer lines to remember and can focus on getting into the character. Mercenaries is amateurish in most respects and f*cks up  the most basic of action plots and turns it into death by rhododendron.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

OUTPOST

1.5 out of 10 

Release Date: 16th May 2008

Director: Steve Barker (Outpost 2)

Cast: Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Michael Smiley, Brett Fancey, Enoch Frost, Paul Blair, Julian Rivett and Johnny Meres

Writer: Rae Brunton

Trailer: OUTPOST

READ JOE PESCI’S DESPICABLE REVIEW OF OUTPOST…. Hahahahahaha! Downnnn Below in his hairy bunker….

Outpost was released in 2008 and is only really getting the Britpic treatment because of the existence of its wayyyyy superior sequel, Outpost 2: Black Sun.  It’s certainly not because it’s a landmark film like Rise Of The Footsoldier or Kidulthood.  There is absolutely nothing I can recommend about this movie apart from a really great sequel.  It’s strange that you have to wade your way through such a turgid and boring film to get to the interesting parts of the story.  What’s stranger is that something this moribund spawned not one, but two sequels (part 3 is still in post-production).  There is a really compelling idea here that is loosely tied in with the theories of Vril and the speculated Nazi obsession with all things occult.  In opening out the story in part two it may be a reason to revisit the first part.  Although, I don’t personally see the need. Life’s too short.

To the story (what there is of it). Five or six mercenaries led by DC (RAY STEVENSON – THOR) are employed by Hunt (JULIAN WADHAM – THE ENGLISH PATIENT) to recover a piece of military equipment from a bunker in deepest Eastern Europe.  On arrival it becomes apparent that they have uncovered a WW2 German bunker that houses a unique machine with powers to alter time and space perception that can also re-animate the dead. In short, its a device that was created by Nazi scientists to make an indestructible super soldier. Hunt and co find a survivor (JOHNNY MERES – OUTPOST 2) amongst a pile of mysteriously fresh corpses and events go awry as one by one the mercenaries get picked off by the undead.

So far so perfunctory.  As competently made as Outpost is there is no pace, no flare, no thrills. It just plods along at the speed of a snail. Each of the character meeting one in the most boring series of death sequences known to horror.  It really is as dull as it could be. How such an initially good idea has had all the life crushed out of it is a mystery.  Basically a military take on Assault On Precinct 13 this could win the award for least scary horror going. None of the cast are stand-out. Usually reliable supporting actors like Michael Smiley (KILL LIST) and Richard Brake (BATMAN BEGINS) show less life and vibrancy than the zombie extras.  Johnny Meres who returns in the sequels barely makes a mark here as the lead ghoul. But he makes up for this in the sequel.

Is it possible to skip this movie out and go straight to part 2?  Well no, but you could get away with only seeing the trailer for this. All the important plot points and some of the deaths are accounted for, so yes. You’ll be sorry if you let curiosity get the better of you.  There was a similar movie a few years earlier than this that I have to check out from the UK called The Bunker.  Maybe that contains the story, tension and scares that are lacking here. It’s also similar in plot and quality to Michael J Bassett’s Deathwatch, a very boring WW1 drama starring Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis.  I can’t remember if that out bores Outpost.

Outpost is probably a contender for the most boring zombie movie I’ll ever see.  It would’ve been confined to the gloom and doom of forgotten and crap horrors that litter my past but like I said the sequel expands and emboldens the slim plot of the first and makes for a very competent slice of zombie action!  If you have seen the first one, don’t let it stop you watching the sequel and the return of an intriguing lead ghoul. It’s a good thing that pretty much all of the sleepy cast gets wiped out in this instalment.  The choice of story elements are impeccable and compelling.  There’s an curious amount of evil and intrigue about the Nazi interest in the supernatural, the occult alongside alternative science and energy sources.  Shame there’s no intelligence on display here.

1.5 out of 10 – There’s less thrill in this movie than twenty years of the Queen’s Speech and even then the edits are sharper in her Xmas day TV appearances.  The superior sequel is the only reason to give this any passing interest.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

STALKER (2011)

4 out of 10

Release Date: 17th October 2011 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Martin Kemp (Top Dog)

Cast: Jane March, Anna Brecon, Billy Murray, Jennifer Matter, Danny Young with Linda Hayden and Colin Salmon

Writer: Martin Kemp / James Kenelm Clarke

Trailer: STALKER

Who remembers 1992’s erotic art-house movie L’amant (The Lover)?  I remember the controversy but was actually bewitched by the story of longing and first love.  I think I was one of a handful that understood the film and saw beyond the soft-porn tags the media were flinging around.  The director Jean-Jacques Annaud was notorious for being vague about whether the sex scenes starring Jane March (THE COLOR OF NIGHT) and Tony Leung (THE KILLER) were real. Jane March was dubbed the Sinner From Pinner and after one or two other films in the 1990s, she disappeared into obscurity.  Until now.  Martin Kemp (JACK FALLS), himself an former icon from a lost decade, has here reinvented himself as a film director and chosen Jane March for his first leading lady.  A good match.  As a comeback for Jane March and a directing calling card for Martin Kemp this is perhaps a little low-key to begin shouting about it from the rooftops.  Whilst it’s not the sharpest horror debut ever there is still enough to like about Stalker.

Stalker’s hinges on that old chestnut where a blocked writer begins work on a new book in a remote location, usually their agent’s house.  Here the house belongs to a long lost relative. Our heroine, Paula (ANNA BRECON – VENDETTA) surely enough begins to have flashbacks to a sunny childhood , but quite quickly the dreams develop into something darker.  A young boy is seen at her peripheries.  The creepy staff led by Mrs Brown played by Hammer Horror alumnus Linda Hayden hint that the house could be haunted.  Fears are allayed with the arrival of Linda (Jane March) who has been employed by the publishers to help her over her recent breakdown and get her writing again. Possibly even to ghostwrite.  But after coming across as a caring and kind soul, Linda becomes obsessed with the task of getting the story down and her behaviour becomes increasingly aggressive and alienating. That’s as much of the preliminary as I’ll give you.  Needless to say nothing is what it seems and everything has it’s place and time to be tumbled out of the closet.

The build up in Stalker is nice and slow, I find horrors that dive straight into the action annoying. The main characters are established with economy but they are drawn well enough to understand what’s likely to happen to them.  Strongest of all is Billy Murray (RISE AND FALL OF THE WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN), well-cast as an literary journalist, who is keen to get an audience with Paula to talk about her past and the recent breakdown.  Jane March and Anna Brecon are well matched as the ying and yang, trying to produce a book at the stake of their collective sanity.  Where Stalker throws the game away are in the horror moments.  It’s one of those horrors that sign post every jump, every surprise appearance by a baddie / ghost / zombie / nun / cat  / pigeon (delete).  A character accidentaly impales their hand on a nail and it’s accompanied with a brass fanfare worthy of the Titantic going down.  I thought there was a cow sat behind the couch – BLAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! If the action doesn’t make you hit the ceiling in fear, the score will get you there.  What I did also find irritating whilst watching it, only to realise that its part of the grand design, where Paula’s mood-swings.  Horror fans won’t be in the dark beyond  twenty minutes in.  I’m afraid you have to be pretty dim for the penny not to drop (haha read Joe Pesci II’s review below – he didn’t work out the twist and he’s a supposed academic boffin!). But there’s still enjoyment to be had. Colin Salmon (THE KINGDOM) puts in another creepy cameo as Paula’s ‘friend’.  He’s seems to be competing with Billy Murray for cameo-king status in independent cinema these days.

Stalker trips up in the latter stages with a rash of inconsistencies, continuity errors and a need to fall back on every cliche in the creepy house reference book. It’s always the endings to these kind of films that stick with you as well because horror films with twists aren’t so much about the journey. They are big on the pay off instead.  Sadly it  all goes a bit limp and gormless.  A script clanger about Billy Murray‘s whereabouts would make the writers of Bladerunner proud (reference the 5,6 or 7 skin-jobs conversation).   Martin Kemp’s homages to Hammer with his disorienting camera angles, creepy locations and casting of Linda Hayden show that they have a certain type of audience in their sights.  I generally like this type of film but being objective it could have been tighter towards the latter stages. I still enjoyed it on its own trashy terms. I did enjoy the return of Jane March and the genre casting of some of my favourites in UK independent cinema today.  Martin Kemp shows promise as a director but beyond the odd tick, his style is anonymous but competent.  I’d be curious to see what he’s got up his sleeve next as I’ve enjoyed his recent cameos in the dire Jack Falls and the lunatic Strippers Vs. Werewolves.

4 out of 10 – What we have here is a lumpy re-tread of Secret Window featuring a good central comeback performance by Jane March. Good back up from Colin Salmon and Billy Murray. A satisfying build up leads to a metaphorical bowl of spaghetti with budget constrictions, script mistakes and continuity errors interfering with all the actual story.  An OK debut for Martin Kemp but the only thing that will frighten you is the soundtrack which comes across like The Shining on crack.  The producers have certainly gone on to make worse than this but they’re also on a promising up-swing so maybe Martin Kemp will get a second crack at directing to improve on his work here.  He also needs a script doctor! MEDIC!

READ JOE PESCI II’s favourable review below>>>

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

A FEW BEST MEN

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 31st August 2012

Co-Production with Australia

Director: Stephan Elliott- (Easy Virtue / Eye Of The Beholder / Welcome To Woop Woop / The Adventures Of Queen Priscilla Of The Desert / Frauds)

Cast: Xavier Samuel, Kevin Bishop, Kris Marshall, Laura Brent, Tim Draxl, Jonathan Biggins, Elizabeth Debicki with Rebel Wilson, Steve LeMarquand and Olivia Newton-John

Writer: Dean Craig

WHAT HAVE IS SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Xavier Samuel: A Few Less Men, Drift, Fury, Bait, Anonymous, Twilight: Eclipse, The Loved Ones
  • Kevin Bishop: A Few Less Men, Chinese Puzzle, All Stars, May I KillU?, Keith Lemon, The Kevin Bishop Show (TV), Muppets’ Treasure Island
  • Kris Marshall: A Few Less Men, Sparks & Embers, Death In Paradise (TV), Citizen Khan (TV), Easy Virtue, Death At a Funeral (2007), My Family (TV), My Life In Film (TV), Love Actually, Deathwatch, The Four Feather (2004), Iris, Dead Babies
  • Laura Brent: The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
  • Tim Draxl: Swimming Upstream
  • Rebel Wilson: Pitch Perfect 3, King Fu Panda 3 (voice), The Brothers Grimsby, Pitch Perfect 2, Night At The Museum 3, Pain & Gain, Pitch Perfect, Ice Age 4 (voice), What To Expect When You’re Expecting, Small Apartments, Bridesmaids, Bogan Pride (TV), Pizza (TV)
  • Jonathan Biggins: Getting Square
  • Elizabeth Debicki: The Man From UNCLE, Macbeth (2015), Everest, The Night Manager (TV), The Great Gatsby (2013)
  • Steve LeMarquand: Kill Me Three Times, Beneath Hill 60, Razzle Dazzle, Last Train To Freo, Kokoda, Vertical Limit, Two Hands
  • Olivia Newton-John: It’s My Party, Two Of a Kind, Xanadu, Grease, Funny Things Happen Down Under

ONE DAY

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 24th August 2011

Director: Lone Scherfig: (The Riot Club / An Education / Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself / Italian For Beginners)

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Rafe Spall, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott, Jodie Whitaker, Georgia King, Matthew Beard, Toby Regbo, Matt Berry and Romola Garai

Writer: David Nicholls 

Trailer: ONE DAY

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Anne Hathaway: Alice In Wonderland 2, Interstellar, Les Miserables (2013), The Dark Knight Rises, Love and Other Drugs, Alice In Wonderland (2010), Valentine’s Day, Bride Wars, Rachel Getting Married, Get Smart, Becoming Jane, The Devil Wears Prada, Brokeback Mountain, Havoc, The Princess Diaries 1 & 2, Ella Enchanted, Nicholas Nickleby (2002)
  • Jim Sturgess: London Fields, Broadhurst Asylum, Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, Ashes, Cloud Atlas, Upside Down, The Way Back, Heartless, Fifty Dead Men Walking, 21, Legends Of Guardians – The Owls Of Ga’Hoole (voice), The Other Boleyn Girl, Across The Universe
  • Rafe Spall: X+Y, Get Santa, What If?, The World’s End, I Give It a Year, The Life Of Pi, Prometheus, The Scouting Book For Boys, Kidulthood, Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, Green Street
  • Patricia Clarkson: Maze Runner 2, Maze Runner, The East, Friends With Benefits, Easy A, Shutter Island, Whatever Works, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Elegy, Lars and The Real Girl, Good Night and Good Luck, Six Feet Under (TV), Dogville, The Station Agent, Pieces Of April, All The Real Girls, Welcome To Collinwood, Far From Heaven, The Pledge, The Green Mile, High Art, Jumanji
  • Ken Stott: A Hundred Streets, The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, The Chronicles Of Narnia – Prince Caspian, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Mighty Celt, King Arthur, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, The Debt Collector, Plunkett & Macleane, The Boxer, Fever Pitch, Shallow Grave
  • Jodie Whitaker: Hello Carter, Broadchurch (TV), AshesSpike IslandGood Vibrations, Attack The Block, The Kid (2010), St. Trinians, Venus
  • Georgia King: AustenlandCockneys Vs. Zombies, St Trinians 2, Tormented
  • Matthew Beard: The Imitation Game, The Riot Club, Chatroom, An Education
  • Toby Regbo: Uwantmetokillhim?, Glorious 39
  • Matt Berry: The Toast of London (TV), Svengali, The Wedding Video, Snow White and The Huntsman, Huge, Moon, The I.T.Crowd (TV), Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place (TV)
  • Romola Garai: Last Days On Mars Junkhearts, Glorious 39, Atonement, As You Like It (2006), Match Point, Dirty Dancing 2, Inside I’m Dancing, Nicholas Nickleby (2002), I Capture The Castle

KILL KEITH

5 out of 10

Release Date: 11th November 2011

Director: Andy Thompson

Cast: Marc Pickering, Susannah Fielding, David Easter, Simon Phillips, Stephen Chance, Ellie Jacobs, Vanessa Feltz and Keith Chegwin with Joe Pasquale, Tony Blackburn and Russell Grant

Writer: Andy Thompson

Trailer: KILL KEITH 

Kill-Keith-DVDIf expectations are at their lowest before watching a certain film, is it inevitable that we’ll be pleasantly surprised on viewing it?  Well, after taking the accounting into well, account Kill Keith is still a bad film but it’s not a stinker.  It’s nowhere near the stinker I was expecting but by comparison to other recent UK comedies it’s actually fairly enjoyable.  I was also surprised at how much I like Keith Chegwin.  I used to see all his shows growing up in the late 70s and early 80s but his career re-birth on breakfast TVin the 90s  passed me by.  I think seeing him again and watching how he grips this role with both hands, acting for all he’s worth have earned the film a lot of good will on my part.  He’s not in the movie all the much but Kill Keith certainly becomes more vibrant when he’s about.  So there we are, embarrassing man-crush rediscovered.  Cheggers was my lost childhood hero! OK to the plot.

Cliff (DAVID EASTER – BROOKSIDE) is leaving the TV Breakfast Show “Up At The Crack Of Dawn”.  Dawn (SUSANNAH FIELDING – THE KNOT), his fellow anchor is due a new celebrity replacement.  Studio runner Danny (MARC PICKERING – THE TASK) has a really big crush on Dawn and Keith Chegwin (as himself) is their man in the field, with raids on unsuspecting families to give them the chance of winning prizes, Cheggars Can’t Be Choosers for instance.  Unfortunately for all concerned there is a serial murderer, badly dubbed the Breakfast Cereal Killer, who is offing famous TV presenters like Tony Blackburn and Joe Pasquale.  Who can it be?  As mass panic spreads and famous faces who happen to be in line for Cliff’s job either go to ground or are despatched in a cornflake or porridge inspired death.  Dawn turns out to be quite the damsel in distress for Danny, who in turn ruins every opportunity to come out smelling of roses.  Some of the humour hits the mark and Marc Pickering makes for a great comedy leading man. He’s a strange looking guy, but also photogenic at the same time. His Danny is very watchable and on the whole carries off the role well.

As a comedy, Kill Keith is patchy but still has some invention.  Moments of slapstick litter proceedings and it’s very much a product of the school of cringe.  A cardboard cut out of Dawn leads to an crushingly  embarrassing moment for him and the moment a character headers a stapler like a football is a highlight in idiocy.  There’s also a surreal edge to the movie, one of the staff may just be a ‘vampire’ and Tony Blackburn is played by a guy in his 20s (JOE FRANCINI), whilst his decoy is played by the real Tony Blackburn?  The fictional Keith Chegwin betrays a razor sharp yet gallows humour when questioned about the deaths of fellow celebs.  The identity of the killer will come as no surprise and is an early reveal so there’s zero mystery.  I mean could it be David Easter (who really wants to stay?), Simon Phillips(AIRBORNE) biscuit eating cleaner or even Cheggers? Will Danny get the girl? Well the denouement is very surreal, sloppily executed but also strangely surreal.  There’s also great superficial fun to be had  from seeing fictional takes of well-known celebrities playing bitter, swearing and jaded versions of themselves.  Joe Pasquale in particular is great fun in a brief turn in a Monkey costume. My favourite assassination of the year in the movies I think.

5 out of 10 – Kill Keith aims for cult-favour but it’s just too small-scale and not quite original enough. Keith Chegwin is great and the principal cast don’t seem to be that embarrassed t be there.  I think film snobbery snuffed this movie at birth because there’s lots of dumb fun to be had.  It’s not a good film by any stretch. The editing and directing is anonymous and it looks cheap.  Good on a very game cast and some unusual celebrities who prove they are game for a laugh.  Maybe Cheggers should be follow up Kill Keith with more acting roles. A good attempt but not quite the classic it could have been. But I don’t know what was missing to be honest….

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?