THE LAST SHOWING

5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 22nd September 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Phil Hawkins

Cast: Robert Englund, Finn Jones, Emily Berrington, Malachi Kirby and Keith Allen

Writer: Phil Hawkins

Trailer:

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Robert Englund: The Gathering, Lake Placid 4, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Zombie Strippers, Hatchet, 2001 Maniacs, Freddy Vs. Jason, Urban Legend, Wishmaster, Killer Tongue, The Mangler, Nightmare On Elm Street 1 – 7, V (TV), Big Wednesday
  • Finn Jones: Game of Thrones (TV), Wrong Turn 5, Hollyoaks (TV)
  • Emily Berrington: The Inbetweeners 2, 24 (TV), The White Queen (TV)
  • Malachi Kirby: Fallen (2016), Dough, KajakiGone Too Far, My Brother The DevilOffender
  • Keith Allen: Hec McAdam, Blood Shot, Vinyl, The Magnificent Eleven, The Good Night, De-Lovely, 24 Hour Party People, The Others, Rancid Aluminium, Preaching To The Perverted, Twin Town, Trainspotting, Loch Ness, Blue Juice, Shallow Grave, Second Best, Captives, Beyond Bedlam, The Young Americans. The Comic Strip (TV), Carry On Columbus, Rebecca’s Daughters, Kafka, Making Out (TV), Chicago Joe & The Showgirl, Scandal, The Supergrass

WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAY

6.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 26th September 2014

Director: Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin (OUTNUMBERED (TV))

Cast: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Ben Miller, Amelia Bullmore, Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge, Eben Young, Lewis Davie with Celia Imrie and Annette Crosbie

Writer: Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin

Trailer: WHAT WE DID ON OUR HOLIDAYS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Rosamund Pike: Gone Girl, Hector & The Search For Happiness, A Long Way DownThe World’s End, Jack Reacher, Johnny English 2, Wrath Of The Titans, Made In Dagenham, Surrogates, An Education, Doom, Pride & Prejudice (2005), James Bond – Die Another Day
  • David Tennant: Broadchurch (TV), Dr Who – Day of the Doctor, Postman Pat Movie (voice), Nativity 2, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (voice), The Decoy Bride, Fright Night (2011), St Trinians 2, Glorious 39, Dr Who (TV), Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, LA Without a Map
  • Billy Connolly: Wild Oats, The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies, Quartet, Brave (voice), Billy Connolly’s Route 66 (TV), Gulliver’s Travels (2011), X-Files 2, Garfield 2, Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, The Last Samurai, Timeline, White Oleander, The Aristocrats, The Man Who Sued God, The Debt Collector, Still Crazy, Paws (voice), Mrs Brown, Muppets’ Treasure Island, Pocahontas (voice), The Big Man,  The Kenny Everett Show (TV), The Secret Policeman’s Ball (TV)
  • Ben Miller: 4-3-2-1Huge (dir), Razzle Dazzle, The Prince and Me, Johnny English, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble, Birthday Girl, Primeval (TV), The Parole Officer
  • Amelia Bullmore: I’m Alan Partridge (TV), Festival, Mrs Dalloway, Coronation St (TV)
  • Celia Imrie: Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Nativity 3, The Love PunchBest Exotic Marigold Hotel, St Trinians 2, Nanny McPhee, St Trinians, Imagine Me & You, Wah-Wah, Bridget Jones  2, Wimbledon, Calendar Girls, Heartlands, Thunderpants, Bridget Jones, Lucky Break, Gormenghast (TV), Dinner Ladies (TV), Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, Hilary & Jackie, The Borrowers (1997), In The Bleak Midwinter, Frankenstein (1994)
  • Annette Crosbie: Little Dorrit (TV), Calendar Girls, One Foot In The Grave (TV), The Debt Collector, Shooting Fish, Doctor Finlay (TV), Solitaire For 2, Leon The Pig Farmer, The Pope Must Die, Hawk The Slayer

GALLOWWALKERS

5.5 out of 10

Release Date: 5th May 2014

Director: Andrew Goth (Deus Ex Machina / Cold and Dark)

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kevin Howarth, Riley Smith, Tanit Phoenix, Simona Roman, Jenny Gago, David DeBeer, Hector Hank, Diamond Dallas Page with Derek Griffiths and Patrick Bergin

Writer: Andrew Goth

Trailer: GALLOWWALKERS

UnknownTo be proofread: This Wesley Snipes (JUNGLE FEVER) vehicle has been in deep-freeze since before he got ‘done’ for tax evasion about 5 years ago. Remember when he made the headlines for absconding? Well, it turned out he was actually working on this small British horror-action fest in Namibia. Now Gallowwalkers has gotten an unfair whipping by the majority of reviewers but this is actually a cut above your average low-budget Z-movie. Exhibit A is Snipes himself – who is about the only trained actor to fall into the action genre after making a bold impression in dramas and he demonstrates (at least on this occasion) that he’s still interested in putting in a decent performance. Exhibit B is that the makers of Gallowwalkers clearly have ideas to burn. So many ideas are presented in it’s story mythology that it struggles to pay more than lip-service to more of them. The curious production value choices, the whole ‘look’ of the movie from the mystical African desert locations (doubling as the wild west of the USA) to the wonderful outfits and creature effects / make up. It seems like some bold ideas where shelved because of production difficulties so the plot does suffer from a giant dollop of ‘what just happened?’

Wesley Snipes‘ gunslinger, Aman lives near the gates of hell and is cursed so that anybody he kills comes back to life as an undead miscreant. Avenging the death of his sister / lover he goes Colonel Kurtz by breaking into the jail where the killers are being held.  Unfortunately, with hell being in his locality the dead “just won’t stay put.”  Lead ghoul, Kansa (KEVIN HOWARTH – THE SEASONING HOUSE) is baffled because his son (also in the gang) wasn’t granted with a second life (because unbeknownst to Kansa he’d committed suicide in jail). So Kansa thinks that he can renew his sons life by consuming human flesh, and adorning the skin of his victims. Somehow this connects to a pilgrimage to the gates of hell – which someone got chopped out of / or never got filmed in this version.

Various ascending, descending and strangely casted actors and 1970s children’s TV presenters seem to enjoy themselves immensely whilst the makers look for missing pages of script in the dust. It seems that Gallowwalkers may well have been assembled out of completed scenes. Maybe Wesley Snipes was arrested half way through production leaving it to the rest of the cast to carry on regardless. The climatic battle seems like more of scuffle and not the throw down Kansa has promised us at the gates of hell. The seven sisters of mercy, constantly referred to never show up and we’re left wondering why supporting villain Derek Griffiths character really sewed a gigantic tentacle onto his head.

So what’s left? Well, strangely enough Gallowwalkers can be enjoyed despite making zero sense scene to scene and can be taken as a horror art house flick in the tradition of Richard Stanley’s Dust Devil (also set in Namibia).  Pick out individual scenes which work by themselves but as part of the whole are little more than a formality. The training up of Aman’s oppo ‘The Kid’ (RILEY SMITH – 8 LEGGED FREAKS) by throwing him down a mine-shaft filled with your more traditional form of zombies is quite thrilling (why don’t these zombies exist elsewhere in the plot – and if they are Aman’s victims who where they seeing as he only kills for revenge and the forces of good?)  In another scene Patrick Bergin (PATRIOT GAMES) turns up as a small town sheriff just long enough to deliver a pissed up monologue and disappear back to Ireland for a refill – he’s perfectly good but you wish he’d stuck around for longer. Namibia’s a long way to go for a very short cameo.

Certain visuals will stay with you, like the troubled gang member who turns to religion in his ‘afterlife’ and sews his lips up as penance (actually there could be a theme in here somewhere about men being men but still begin able to sew in the wild west) and Kevin Howarth‘s make up which renders him like a plastinated ghoul.  If you like stories go elsewhere because at best Gallowwalkers is all pre-amble that never arrives at it’s destination. The true stories behind it’s journey to our supermarket DVD shelves is probably very interesting but rest assured this film will never receive much interest or a cult DVD reissue. It was probably a nightmare to make. If it’s any consolation though it’s been salvaged in part by being pretty to look at, being a weird curiosity for Wesley followers and having ideas way beyond it’s budget. Those expecting a stop gap before Blade 4 turns up will hate it.

5.5 out of 10 – Action hounds will wonder where all the action is.  Ideas to burn but this is clearly an unfinished movie cobbled together by money men. Still it’s an interesting folly all the same.

Another review by Marsh Mallowwalker Matt Usher Below

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE:

  • Wesley Snipes: Expendables 3, Brooklyn’s Finest, Unstoppable (2004), Blade 3, Undisputed, Blade 2, The Art of War, Play It To The Bone, Blade, US Marshals, One Night Stand, Murder At 1600, The Fan, Waiting To Exhale, Money Train, To Wong Foo – Thanks For Everything – Julie Newmar, Drop Zone, Demolition Man, Sugar Hill, Rising Sun, Boiling Point (1993), Passenger 57, White Men Can’t Jump, The Waterdance, Jungle Fever, New Jack City, Mo’ Better Blues, King of New York, Major League, Streets of Gold, Wildcats
  • Kevin Howarth: The Seasoning House,  The Magnificent ElevenSummer Scars, Cold and Dark, The Last Horror Movie, Razor Blade Smile
  • Riley Smith: True Blood (TV), 90210 (TV), 24 (TV), 8 Legged Freaks, Not Another Teen Movie, Freaks & Geeks (TV)
  • Tanit Phoenix: Spud 2, Death Race 3, Spud, The Lost Boys 2
  • Simona Roman: Vendetta
  • Jenny Gago: My Family (1995), Alien Nation (TV), Old Gringo, Knots Landing (TV)
  • Derek Griffiths: Run For Your Wife, Porkpie (TV), Fierce Creatures, Super Ted (voice) (TV), Rising Damp Movie, Watership Down (voice), Head and Tails (TV), Pitkins (TV), Playschool (TV)
  • Patrick Bergin: The Age of Kill, The Wee Man, Highway To Hell (2012), Strength and Honour, Ella Enchanted, Eye Of The Beholder, The Invisible Circus, Lawnmower Man 2, The Map Of The Human Heart, Patriot Games,  Love Crimes, Robin Hood (1991), Highway To Hell, Mountains of the Moon

BENNY & JOLENE

REVIEW COMING SOON

4 out of 10

Director: Jamie Adams

Cast: Craig Roberts, Charlotte Ritchie, Dolly Wells, Rosamund Hanson, Keiron Self, Gary Knowles, Ian Smith, Laura Patch and Nick Mohammed

Writer: Jamie Adams

Trailer: BENNY & JOLENE

UnknownTO BE PROOFREAD: I usually like the ‘comedy of cringe’ but the humour and performances in Benny & Jolene felt forced to me.  A hipster take on This Is Spinal Tap, Benny & Jolene bring a zero amount of freshness to what must be an industry full of things to lampoon. Two other recent films about the British music industry are better; the first Svengali took the route of oblivoid on a mission to make his band succeed inspite of himself – and it was fairly enjoyable but not as good as You Instead – a semi-improvised yarn set at a rock-festival.  Benny & Jolene is packed full of comedy performers from ‘hip’ TV shows but  the whole thing fails to gel.

My problem is with the leads who are too weird to engage the emotions. We’re supposed to identify with these cretinous self-obsessed bell ends who are too young and inexperienced to be able to have any influence on their journey to fame via a UK record label. Charlotte Ritchie‘s (FRESH MEAT) ‘cooky’ Jolene is just a bag of annoying ticks with her bad David Brent impression and Craig Roberts (22 JUMP STREET) as Benny channels nerd to better effect but in a film of ‘moments’ in which actors are permanently trying to out weird / funny each other it just irritates rather than engage the emotions or entertain.

The plot follows up and coming ‘Folk’ duo Benny & Jolene as they get a record deal. They get sent on a ‘pre-pre-pre release tour’ to a festival in Wales that includes a meeting with a stadium boss who has no idea they’ll never fill a stadium, a record shop signing and a weird photo shoot.  Needless to say, nobody organising the trip has really organised a thing and on the whole film rambles. And maybe there’s more to Benny & Jolene’s platonic relationship. Well of course there is, this is supposed to be cooky and well as hipper than thou.

Sadly it’s a bit of an unfunny way to spend 90 minutes when the makers clearly worked hard on perfecting the ‘cringe’ method of humour, but it all rings hollow giving those that pull it off successfully further kudos. Or maybe it’s time to pull the plug on the self-irony and get on with making us laugh at things that are ‘really funny once more.

4 out of 10 – Mediocre comedy that is too cool to bother being funny.  Whatever.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Craig Roberts: Kill Your Friends, Just Jim, Bad Neighbours, The Double (2014)Comes a Bright Day, Red Lights, Jane Eyre (2011), Submarine
  • Charlotte Ritchie: Call The Midwife (TV), Fresh Meat (TV)
  • Dolly Wells: Black Mountain Poets, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, 45 Years, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (TV), Dolly & Em (TV), Some Girls (TV), Spy (TV), Morvern Callar
  • Rosamund Hanson: This Is England ’90 (TV), We Are The Freaks, Life’s Too Short (TV), This Is England ’88 (TV), This Is England ’86 (TV), This Is England
  • Gary Knowles: Silent Night Bloody Night (2013)
  • Keiron Self: My Family (TV)
  • Laura Patch: Animals (2003)

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP

4 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 5th September 2014

Director: Rowan Joffe (Brighton Rock (2011))

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Anne Marie-Duff

Writer: Rowan Joffe

Trailer: BEFORE I GOT TO SLEEP

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Nicole Kidman: Paddington, Grace of Monaco, The Railway Man, Stoker, The Paperboy, Trespass (2011), Just Go With It, Rabbit Hole, Nine, Australia, The Golden Compass, Margot At The Wedding, Happy Feet (voice), Fur, Bewitched, The Interpreter, Birth, The Stepford Wives (2005), Cold Mountain, The Human Stain, Dogville, The Hours, Birthday Girl, The Others, Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut, Practical Magic, The Peacmaker, Portrait of a Lady, Batman Forever, To Die For (1995), My Life, Malice, Far and Away, Billy Bathgate, Flirting, Days of Thunder, Bangkok Hilton (TV), Dead Calm, Emerald City, BMX Bandits, Bush Christmas
  • Colin Firth: Kingsman – The Secret Service, Magic In The Moonlight, Arthur & Mike, The Devil’s Knot, The Railway Man, Gambit (2012), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The King’s Speech, St Trinians 2, A Single Man, Dorian Gray, Easy Virtue, Genova, Mamma Mia!, The Accidental Husband, St Trinians, And When Did You Last See Your Father, The Last Legion, Nanny McPhee, Where The Heart Lies, Bridget Jones 2, Trauma (2004), Love Actually, The Girl With The Pearl Earring, Hope Springs, The Importance Of Being Ernest (2002), Bridget Jones, Relative Values, Shakespeare In Love, A Thousand Acres, Fever Pitch, The English Patient, Pride & Prejudice (TV), Circle Of Friends, The Hour Of The Pig, Valmont, Apartment Zero, A Month In The Country, Another Country
  • Mark Strong: Kingsman – The Secret Service, The Imitation Game, Blood (2013), Welcome To The Punch, Zero Dark Thirty, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Kick Ass, The Guard, John Carter, Black Gold,  The Eagle, Robin Hood (2010), The Green Lantern,  The Way Back, Sherlock Holmes (2009), Rock-N-Rolla, Body Of Lies, Young Victoria, Flashbacks Of a Fool, Sunshine (2007), Stardust, Scenes Of a Sexual Nature, Revolver, Syriana, The Long Firm (TV), Heartlands, The Martins, Elephant Juice, Fever Pitch, Hotel (2001), Our Friends In The North (TV), Captives
  • Anne-Marie Duff: Suffragette, Closed CircuitNowhere Boy, Shameless (TV), The Waiting Room, Is Anybody There?, Notes On a Scandal, Enigma,The Magdalene Sisters

GANGS OF TOOTING BROADWAY

4.5 out of 10

Release Date: 4th February 2013 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Devanand Shanmugam (A Room To Die For)

Cast: Nav Sidhu, Elizabeth Henstridge, San Shella, Kabelan Verlkumar, Gary Pillai, Eve Pearson, Neeraj Singh, Kab Silva and Oliver Cotton

Writer: Tikiri Hulagalle

Trailer: Gangs of Tooting Broadway

Unknown-1Gangs of Tooting Broadway is a confusing crime thriller with political leanings. For the most part it’s well-acted but the plot is so muddled and it’s character’s motivations are so unclear that it hinders any enjoyment or insight into life in Tooting for Tamils.

Arun (NAV SIDHU – THE PATROL) returns to Tooting Broadway after 5 years of being an undercover spook for the MI-5 (or someone). His mission is to stop a terrorist act taking place at peaceful protest in Parliament Square by Sri-Lankan Tamils. His brother Ruthi (KABELAN VERLKUMAR) is somehow involved. There’s also a murder of a local girl, yet how is it connected?  Arun navigates the moody streets of Tooting Beck to win back his brother’s heart and mind whilst trying to avoid old gangster cohorts like San Shella and Gary Pillai. There’s also the question of the dopey girl he left behind (ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE – AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.) leading to 20 minutes of pointless romantic subplot from a different movie.

Nav Sidhu, who impressed in The Patrol, lends his honest, perplexed style to the proceedings in honourable fashion but sadly Gangs of Tooting Broadway collapses under the weight of its number of characters and plot lines that have been stuffed into it’s 90 minute running time. The action is below par and seems to be in there as a reward for those that walked in expecting a Sri-Lankan ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Biriyanis’.  Viewers with any knowledge or interest  in the history of the Sri Lankan civil war are short changed with lazy lip service and no real insight to the conflict. Special mention goes to this noble attempt of shining a spotlight on a very real conflict but the good intentions have been pushed aside in the name of a good old conspiracy thriller. Shame.

4.5 out of 10 – A different approach to the ‘gang’ movie turns out to be an over plotted muddle. Nice lead performances fail to salvage this beyond a pretty average viewing experience. An interesting proposition squandered.

Second review by Matt “Where’s Sri-Lanka?” Usher below…

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Nav Sidhu: Silent Witness (TV), The Patrol
  • Elizabeth Henstridge: Collection aka Reach Me, Agents of SHIELD (TV)
  • Gary Pillai: Doctors (TV)
  • Eve Pearson: Fallen Soldiers
  • Oliver Cotton: North V South, Shanghai Knights, The Dancer Upstairs, The Innocent Sleep, Son of the Pink Panther, Christopher Columbus – The Discovery, The Sicilian, Firefox

BELIEVE

REVIEW COMING SOON

2.5 out of 10

Release Date: 25th July 2014

Director: David Schienmann

Cast: Brian Cox, Natascha McElhone, Jack Smith, Phillip Jackson, Kate Ashfield, Anne Reid, James Callis and Toby Stephens

Writer: Massimiliano Durante, Carmelo Pennisi and David Sheinmann

Trailer: BELIEVE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Brian Cox: Pixels, 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, Shoot On Sight, 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
  • Natascha McElhone: The Sea, Californication (TV), Romeo & Juliet (2014), The Kid (2010), Big Nothing, Guy X, Ladies In Lavendar, Solaris (2012), feardotcom, Killing Me Softly, Love’s Labours Lost, Ronin, The Truman Show, Miss Dalloway, The Devil’s Own, Surviving Picasso
  • Phillip Jackson: Spike Island, My Week With Marilyn, Agatha Christie’s Poirot (TV),  Grow Your Own, I Want Candy, Mike Bassett- England Manager, Little Voice, Cousin Bette, Girl’s Night, Brassed Off, Bad Behaviour, High Hopes, The Fourth Protocol, Robin Of Sherwood (TV), The Doctor and The Devils, Give My Regards To Broad Street, Scum
  • Kate Ashfield: Party Pieces, Hangman, Still, Nymphomaniac, ByzantiumWhen The Lights Went Out7Lives, Shaun Of The Dead, Late Night Shopping, The Low Down, Pure, Guest House Paradiso, The War Zone
  • Anne Reid: Last Tango In Halifax (TV), Paradise UK, Song For Marion, Cemetery Junction, Faintheart, Wallace & Gromit In Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (voice), Hot Fuzz, The Mother, Love and Death On Long Island, Coronation Street (TV)
  • James Callis: Narcopolis, Austenland, Reuniting The Rubins, Battlestar Galactica 2 (TV), Bridget Jones 2, Bridget Jones, Soldier Soldier (TV)
  • Toby Stephens: 13hrs – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,  The MachineAll Things To All Men, Severance, The Ballad of Mangal Pandey, James Bond- Die Another Day, Possession (2002), Space Cowboys, Onegin, Photographing Fairies, Twelfth Night (1996)