SHOOT ON SIGHT

4 out of 10

Release Date: 22nd August 2008

Director: Jag Mundhra (Monsoon / The Other Man)

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Greta Scacchi, Om Puri, Mikaal Zulfikar, Ralph Ineson, Laila Rouass, India Wadsworth, Stephen Greif, Gulshan Grover, Julian Glover, Josie Kidd, Tolga Safer with Sadie Frost and Brian Cox

Writer: Pervaiz Alam & Carl Austin

Trailer: SHOOT ON SIGHT

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Naseeruddin Shah: Namastey LA, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Monsoon Wedding, Such a Long Journey, Electric Moon
  • Greta Scacchi: The Falling, Brideshead Revisited (2008), Flightplan, Beyond The Sea, Cotton Mary, Tom’s Midnight Garden, The Red Violin, The Serpent’s Kiss, Emma (1996), Cosi, Jefferson In Paris, Country Life, The Browning Version (1994), Salt On Our Skin, The Player, Turtle Beach, Shattered, Presumed Innocent, White Mischief, Defence of the Realm, The Coca-Cola Kid, Heat and Dust
  • Om Puri: The Hundred-Foot Journey, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, West Is West, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Ballad Of Mangal Pandey (voice), Code 46, The Parole Officer, East Is East, Such a Long Journey, My Son The Fanatic, The Ghost and The Darkness, Brothers In Trouble, Wolf (1994), In Custody, City Of Joy
  • Ralph Ineson: The Witch, Kingsman – The Secret Service, The Selfish GiantCass, Sex & Drugs & Rock-n-Roll, Coronation St (TV), The Office (TV)
  • Laila Rouass: Holby City (TV), Spooks (TV), Primeval (TV), Freebird, Footballers’ Wives (TV)
  • Stephen Greif: Back In Business, Sixty Six, Casanova (2005), Citizen Smith (TV), Blakes 7 (TV), No Sex Please, We’re British
  • Julian Glover: Game of Thrones (TV), Nazi Vengeance, UFO (2013)Airborne (2012), Troy, King Ralph,  Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Cry Freedom, James Bond – For Your Eyes Only, The Empire Strikes Back
  • Tolga Safer: Desert Dancer, Sugarhouse
  • Sadie Frost: Deadly Virtues, The Heavy, Beyond The Rave (TV), An Ideal Husband, Love Honour and Obey, Rancid Aluminium Captain Jack, Final Cut, Bent, Crimetime, Shopping, Splitting Heirs, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), The Krays, Press Gang (TV), Empire State
  • Brian Cox: Pixels, Believe, The Anomaly, Her (voice), Red 2, Blood (2013), The Campaign, Coriolanus, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, The VeteranIronclad, Red, Fantastic Mr Fox (voice), The Escapist, The Water Horse, Zodiac, Red Eye, Match Point, The Bourne Supremacy, Troy, X Men 2, 25th Hour, Adaptation, The Ring, The Bourne Identity, Super Troopers, For The Love Of The Money, The Corruptor, Rushmore, Desperate Measures, The Boxer, Kiss The Girls, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Glimmer Man, Chain Reaction, Braveheart, Rob Roy, Iron Will, Hidden Agenda, Manhunter

COMES A BRIGHT DAY

4.5 out of 10

Release Date: 12th July 2012

Director: Simon Aboud (This Beautiful Fantastic)

Cast: Craig Roberts, Imogen Poots, Timothy Spall, Kevin McKidd, Josef Altin, Anthony Welsh and Geoff Bell

Writer: Simon Aboud

Trailer: COMES A BRIGHT DAY

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THE HARRY HILL MOVIE

0.5 out of 10

Released: 20th December 2013

Director: Steve Bendelak

Cast: Harry Hill, Julie Walters, Simon Bird, Matt Lucas, Sheridan Smith, Julian Barratt, Marc Wootton, Guillaume Delauney with Johnny Vegas (voice) and Jim Broadbent

Writer: Harry Hill

Trailer: THE HARRY HILL MOVIE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

  • Harry Hill: The Postman (2015), Harry Hill’s TV Burp (TV), Whatever Happened To Harry Hill (TV), You’ve Been Framed (voice) (TV)
  • Julie Walters: Indian Summers (TV), Brooklyn, Paddington, Effie Gray, One Chance, Brave (voice), Harry Potter- Part 1-8, Mamma Mia!, Becoming Jane, Driving Lessons, Wah Wah, Calendar Girls, Before You Go, Billy Elliott, Titanic Town, Girls’ Night, Intimate Relations, Sister My Sister, Just Like a Woman, Stepping Out, Killing Dad or How To Love Your Mother, Buster, Victoria Wood (TV), Prick Up Your Ears, Personal Services, She’ll Be Wearing Pink Pyjamas, Educating Rita
  • Simon Bird: The Inbetweeners 2, The Look of LoveThe Inbetweeners Movie, The Inbetweeners (TV)
  • Matt Lucas: Alice In Wonderland 2, Paddington, In Secret, The Look of Love, Small Apartments, Bridesmaids, Gnomeo & Juliet (voice), Alice In Wonderland (2010), The Infidel, Cold And Dark, Shooting Stars (TV), Little Britain (TV), The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer (TV)
  • Sheridan Smith: The C-Word, Cilla (TV), The Powder RoomQuartet, HysteriaTower BlockHow To Stop Being a Loser
  • Julian Barratt: Aaaah!,  A Field In England, Bunny and The Bull, Nathan Barley (TV), The Mighty Boosh (TV)
  • Marc Wootton: The Bad Education Movie, Nativity 3, Nativity 2, Arthur Christmas (voice), Nativity, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, Confetti
  • Johnny Vegas: Ideal (TV), Benidorm (TV), Bleak House (TV), The Libertine, Sex Lives of The Potato Men, Blackball
  • Jim Broadbent: War & Peace (TV), Lady In The Van, Brooklyn, Big Game, Paddington, Get Santa, Postman Pat (voice), Closed Circuit, Le Week-EndFilth, Cloud Atlas, The Iron Lady, Arthur Christmas (voice), Another Year, Harry Potter- part 8, Harry Potter- part 6, The Damned United, Young Victoria, Inkheart, Indiana Jones 4, Hot Fuzz, Chronicles Of Narnia- The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, Bridget Jones 2, Vera Drake, Vanity Fair, Bright Young Things, Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Gangs Of New York, Iris, Moulin Rouge, Bridget Jones, Little Voice, Topsy Turvy, The Avengers, The Borrowers, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, The Secret Agent, Rough Magic, Richard III (1995), Princess Caraboo, Bullets Over Broadway, Widow’s Peak, The Crying Game, Enchanted April, Life Is Sweet, Erik The Viking, Vroom, Brazil

UNDER THE MUD

3 out of 10

Release date: 9th February 2007 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Sol Papadopoulos

Cast: Andrew Schofield, Lenny Wood, Lisa Parry, Kate Fitzgerald, Lauren Steele, Dave Hart, Laura Hoey, Mick Colligan and James McMartin

Writers: Sophia Barlow, David Catterall, Mick Colligan, Howard Davies, David Dearden, Dave Hart, Ged Hunter, Graham Mullen, Leah Pritchard, Ana Ribiro, Natalie Southern, Toni-Ann Stevenson, Tanya Taylor, Lenny Wood

Trailer: UNDER THE MUD

images

TO BE PROOFREAD: The producers of Under The Mud teamed up with the young people of Garston, Liverpool to make this community led project. Such a noble quest to give the public at large a chance to exercise their talents – so it’s a shame to report that Under The Mud is little more than a scrappy jape. It’s not a serious film and it pretty much highlights the main differences between what a ‘real’ film is and what an am-dram community effort is. I’m not being disparaging about community projects, just about everybody I know has been involved at some stage and they are fine hobbies. A select few will have the opportunity to push beyond the barriers of the neighbourhood into the industry and these types of projects are were tomorrow’s stars discover and hone their talents. As not everybody can afford to get an endorsed education at RADA or LAMDA, this is the closest many will get. Under the Mud is directed by Sol Papadopoulos who is an estblished Liverpool producer having rescued Terence Davies from obscurity by producing the amazing documentary / love poem Of Time and The City. The man knows quality – so why he’s soft pedalled the need to demonstrate his familiarity with such fare is a mystery. My guess is that he’s given free reign to his actors and his team of about 20 young writers.

Under The Mud tells the story of the Potts family led by the unmarried Dad (ANDREW SCHOFIELD – LIAM) and Mum (LISA PARRY – DEAD MAN’S CARD). There are about five kids (I lost count) and Magic (LENNY WOOD), a orphan taken in by the family. The story is told by Magic about the day of the youngest child Olivia’s Holy Communion. At the evening celebrations, an old family foe One Dig (JAMES McMARTIN – DANCIN’ THRU THE DARK) turns up to settle some old scores after years in jail. It turns out he also owns the social club where the party is being held, Magic loves Paula (LAUREN STEELE) with the invisible friend and a baby to local prick superstar DJ Worm (MICK COLLIGAN), the car obsessed younger son steals One Dig’s car, Mum and Dad break up big time and so on…

Under The Mud is certainly packed with event but it’s the dialogue and some of the unsure performances that let the side down. Some terrible sound (and no subtitles to aid this) also compounded the problem. The story goes for quirky but just comes across as flat. The usual verve and quick witted humour usually associated with Liverpudlian comedies is largely absent. Earlier this year (2013), Spike Island briefly brought back the ghost of Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale in the exchanges between the Mancs and the Scousers and it was very funny. There’s not a lot to laugh at in Under The Mud as it’s largely cliched and charmless. A handful of the lead actors have been haunting Liverpool film and TV for decades and have been way better in most cases. It’s not the worst film I’ve seen from Merseyside – that could be Dead Man’s Cards (off the top of my head) but it’s nowhere near the best.

3 out of 10 -The intentions were good but this will test the patients of anyone, most of all scousers. Only highly charitable liberals will put the initiative and project ahead of the quality of the actual film. Its a shame the finished product didn’t live up to the hype or the commitment. I wish the makers had thought to be stricter on the quality control when making this tepid re-run of Shameless. It’s got the verve of Bula Quo! and less  wit of one of Ken Dodd‘s socks.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Andrew Schofield: Dead Man’s Cards, Revengers Tragedy, Liam, GBH (TV), Distant Voices Still Lives, Sid and Nancy, No Surrender, Scully (TV)
  • Lisa Parry: Dead Man’s Cards
  • Kate Fitzgerald: The Bill (TV), Brookside (TV)
  • James McMartin: Dead Man’s Cards, Revenger’s Tragedy, My Kingdom, Going Off Big Time, Dancin’ Thru The Dark

THE LAST HORROR MOVIE

1.5 out of 10

Release Date: 13th May 2005

Director: Julian Richards (Summer Scars / Dark Days)

Cast: Kevin Howarth, Mark Stevenson, Antonia Beamish with Lisa Renee and Christopher Adamson

Writer: James Handel

Trailer: THE LAST HORROR MOVIE 

Image

If the majority of people spent their spare time watching low budget movies from the UK instead of zoning out in front of equally bad telly – The Last Horror Movie could well be the last film they ever watch. Julian Richards is right about one thing – his film is so crap it may be well be the very last horror movie you watch. It almost put me off horror flicks for good – but alongside my Chewbacca equivalent (JOE PESCI II) my quest for good low-budget movies continues.

Kevin Howarth (THE SEASONING HOUSE) usually so good, plays a murderous wedding photographer. A short-time into a set up in an American diner where Lisa Renee‘s waitress is stalked by slasher Christopher Adamson (EVIL ALIENS) – Kevin’s murderer interrupts to say that he’s taped over the slasher to show you how a real murderer operates. I wish he’d have left Christopher Adamson and co alone. He proceeds to guide us on a tour of his haunts with his dopey apprentice (MARK STEVENSON – FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY) in what seems to be a very tepid remake of Man Bites Dog which ends up more like Pimp.

Without wit, invention or a thought to entertain, The Last Horror Movie is truly one of the worst ‘found-footage’ films I’ve ever seen. ‘Found-footage’ being that I (and anyone who else that watches it)  will be the one who found it… Anyway, Kevin’s killer continuously hints that no witnesses are ever left – so the preposterous ending which is designed to have viewers looking out of their windows for Kevin Howarth with a knife is very silly. Unless he works for Lovefilm and really wants to expunge all existence of this movie from his CV then we’ve nothing to fear (except a permanent lobotomy at the hands of the filmmakers. I’ll say something nice now about Julian Richards the director – who has recently re-released his best film Summer Scars (which I highly recommend). I’d also say that Kevin Howarth is a fine actor on the rise and want to see him in way better films than this played out and tired piece of mandrill bum fluid; see the previously mentioned Summer Scars and The Seasoning House. There’s no reason to seek this out unless you are a fan of Julian Richards’ cult Dark Days (which has just been released in the UK) and Kevin Howarth. I’d say it only serves to put off seeing them in anything else again!

1.5 out of 10 – The tiredest and possibly worst ‘found-footage’ film I’ve ever seen. It’s a shame because both the director and lead actor have been so much better elsewhere.  Unforgivable crap.

* since this review was written Britpic has sat through at least 8 worse ‘found-footage’ movies (24/5/2015)

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

PARANORMAL DIARIES – CLOPHILL

3 out of 10

Director: Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett (Paranormal Diaries 2 / Zombie Diaries 2 / The Zombie Diaries)

Cast: Craig Stovin, Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett, Criselda Cabitac, Mark Jeavons, Mark Knight and The Luton Paranormal Society (as themselves)

Writer: Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett / Cast

Trailer: PARANORMAL DIARIES – CLOPHILL

Paranormal_Diaries_Poster_5_13_13

The diary-fixated team behind the Zombie Diaries series have now found a new peg to hang their low budget horrors on! So whilst they are still opting for the ‘found-footage’ method of horror filmmaking – which cuts out any need to frame any shots, block your actors or spend even a fraction of money on your production – sadly they’ve still managed to take a dramatic step backwards from their interesting Zombie Diaries 2.  Some aspects work very well in the Paranormal Diaries because the actors (some of whom were in the Zombie Diaries films) blend seamlessly with the real life paranormal experts / talking heads. For the same reason, their earlier film The Zombie Diaries (part one) failed and it was because none of the actors convinced the viewer that they were in a ‘real-life’ situation even for a minute but read that review in your own time. The on-screen talents are way better this time around.

A ‘fictional’ paranormal TV team show up to make a programme about the notorious derelict church at Clophill in Bedfordshire. The site of a Satanic disco in which graves were desecrated and animals sacrificed in 1963 and has since seen the odd incident to this day. The team decide to spend 3-4 nights up there to see if anything materialises.  No fewer incidents take place than you’d expect in the supposedly real-life equivalents on telly. There’s a high number of false alarms or just plain unscary incidents -which should ramp up the unease gradually. However, they are so small and repetitive they are pretty pale and waste everybody’s time. The inclusion in the cast (for one of the nights) of the Luton Paranormal Society as THEMSELVES!!! made me smile. It’s a shame the budget didn’t stretch to credits with letters dripping in blood and a booming Hammer House-style orchestral score. They turn up straight faced with all kinds of gizmos that are used in real life (not reel life) to capture supernatural occurrences. Said society capture a ghost on their radio in about 5 seconds, but do nothing to pursue the outcome when they are disturbed by a branch snapping nearby (a lot of this happens).

The initial set-up is interesting and generates a large degree of intrigue as the Clophill ruin’s history is illustrated by the cast (playing versions of themselves), interviewed experts and locals. The sense of foreboding is quickly dissipated once the story decamps to the actual site and the nearby refuge of a Bed & Breakfast whenever the cast get too tired to stay up any later. Also to say Paranormal Diaries is a ‘found-footage’ film isn’t quite accurate, this is a ‘took my footage back home at the end of the project and edited it’ horror.  There doesn’t seem to be all that much at stake until the ending – but this is telegraphed at the beginning.  SPOILERS: Characters are stalked by a heavy footed ghosts in the undergrowth, chavs throw rocks (or do they) at their fireside, animal bones are found, a principal character mysteriously goes missing (for a bit – I think he got bored and went dogging) and eventually a ghostly figure is seen – followed by a weird chase. Now was the ending evidence of villagers putting on show because they know a film crew is nearby or are these satanists ghosts from the 60s trapped in a time loop? Did Craig Stovin (ZOMBIE DIARIES) and crew travel through a worm-hole. I don’t know. It seems stitched on the end to sex-up everything that had proceeded it. Nothing about it is discussed after it happens though. Maybe the crew will allude to it in Paranormal Diaries 2 (due next year). END SPOILERS. I did find it strange how they spent 3/4 nights out in Luton countryside and didn’t encounter a single dogger. That would have livened up proceedings not that I’d have preferred to see this lot in a porno. There were hardly any women in it.

What Paranormal Diaries does have in its favour are believable characters. They seem naive and under-prepared for their missions and now having established some touch of characterisation, a bit more ego and friction would be good in the future episodes to give colour to the film crew. If there is to be no ghost or paranormal incident the characters need to be angrier. It’s actually refereshing to see a team of people get along so well and genuinely concerned for each other’s welfare. They all appear so jolly and friendly even when being chased by Sophia the restless ghost. So it’s a good start but only as an episode 1, they need to make characters standout and give them a dynamic. Saying that, I liked Criselda Cabitac’s version of herself immensely because she was realistic in the way she became genuinely scared and caught up in the shenanigans no matter how unscary. The two Asian eye-witnesses were good value too – the quieter one was making me laugh with his increasingly defensive body language the longer his pal was talking about the ‘white shape’ in the graveyard. For part 2 – the makers need to expand on the relationships now as well as finding a more interesting ‘legend’ to explore because they ended up making this film as scary as a trip to the local garden centre.

3 out of 10 – Featuring the Luton Paranormal Society as themselves. Now that was funny (not sure why!) Here they are though -> http://www.lutonparanormal.com/contact.html . I hope they get a cameo in part 2 as well or their own spin off set of horrors in Luton – Balti-Geist (set in Bury Park anyone?)

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Craig Stovin: Paranormal Diaries 2, Zombie Diaries 2, The Zombie Diaries
  • Kevin Gates: Paranormal Diaries 2
  • Michael Bartlett: Paranormal Diaries 2
  • Criselda Cabitac: Paranormal Diaries 2, Zombie Diaries 2
  • Mark Jeavons: Paranormal Diaries 2
  • Mark Knight: Paranormal Diaries 2

HYSTERIA

5 out of 10

Release Date: 21st September 2012

Director: Tanya Wexler (FINDING NORTH)

Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Ashley Jensen, Gemma Jones, Malcolm Rennie, Anna Chancellor, Kim Crisswell, Georgie Glen, David Ryall with Sheridan Smith and Rupert Everett

Writer: Stephen Dyer

Trailer: HYSTERIA

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal: Frank, White House Down, Nanny McPhee 2, Crazy Heart, Away We Go, The Dark Knight, Stranger Than Fiction, World Trade Center, Monster House (voice), Sherrybaby, Criminal (2004), Mona Lisa Smile, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adaptation, 40 Days and 40 Nights, Secretary, Riding In Cars With Boys, Donnie Darko, Cecil B Demented, A Dangerous Woman, Waterland
  • Hugh Dancy: Martha Marcy May Marlene, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Adam, The Jane Austen Book Club, Evening, Savage Grace, Blood and Chocolate, Basic Instinct 2, King Arthur, Ella Enchanted, Black Hawk Down
  • Jonathan Pryce: Narcopolis, GI Joe 2, Dark Blood, GI Joe, Bedtime Stories, Leatherheads, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, The New World, Brothers of the Head, The Brother’s Grimm, De-Lovely, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Affair of the Necklace, Very Annie Mary, Stigmata, Ronin, James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, Evita, Carrington, Shopping, A Business Affair, The Age of Innocence, Mr Wroe’s Virgins (TV), Glengarry Glen Ross, Freddie as FRO7 (voice), The Rachel Papers, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Haunted Honeymoon, Doctor and the Devils, Brazil, A Ploughman’s Lunch, Breaking Glass
  • Felicity Jones: Autobahn, The Theory of Everything, The Invisible Woman, Amazing Spider Man 2, Breathe In, Cheerful Weather for the WeddingAlbatross, Like Crazy, Soulboy, The Tempest (2010), Chalet GirlCemetery Junction, Cheri
  • Ashley Jensen: All StarsPirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (voice), Gnomeo & Juliet (voice), Ugly Betty (TV), How To Train Your Dragon (voice), Nativity, A Cock & Bull Story, Extras (TV)
  • Gemma Jones: Last Tango In Halifax (TV), Forget Me Not, Merlin (TV), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Bridget Jones 2, Shanghai Knights, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Bridget Jones, Captain Jack, The Winslow Boy, The Theory of Flight, Wilde, Sense and Sensibility, Feast of July, On The Black Hill, Paperhouse, The Devils
  • Malcolm Rennie: Mr Selfridge (TV), The Lenny Henry Show (TV)
  • Anna Chancellor: Pramface 2, Testament of Youth, How I Live Now, We’ll Take Manhattan, St. Trinians, Breaking and Entering, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,  Agent Cody Banks 2, The Dreamers, Crush (2001), The Man Who Knew Too Little, Princess Caraboo, Staggered, Tom & Viv, Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Georgie Glen: Waterloo Road (TV), My Week With Marilyn, Heartbeat (TV)
  • David Ryall: Quartet,The League Of Gentleman- Apocalypse, Around The World In 80 Days (2004), Blackball, Truly Madly Deeply
  • Sheridan Smith: Cilla (TV), The Harry Hill Movie, The Powder RoomQuartet, Tower BlockHow To Stop Being a Loser
  • Rupert Everett: Parade’s End (TV), Wild Target (2010), St. Trinians 2, St Trinians, Stardust, Shrek 2 & 3 (voice), The Chronicles Of Narnia – The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe (voice), Seperate Lies, Stage Beauty, To Kill a King, The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002), The Next Best Thing, Inspector Gadget, An Ideal Husband, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Shakespeare In Love, B-Monkey, Dunston Checks In, The Madness Of King George III, Pret a Porter, The Comfort Of Strangers, Dance With a Stranger, Another Country