3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 19th July 2010 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Sarjit Bains (Triads, Yardies and Onion Bhajees)

Cast: Ameet Chana, Ronny Jhutti, Pooja Shah, Manish Patel, Laurence Stevenson, Peter Peralta, Lee Latchford-Evans, Brian Jackson, Prem Modgil, Richard Angol with Jonathan Hansler and Jamie Bannerman

Writer: Christine Edwards & Manish Patel


Unknown-2The most inventive aspect of this dumb addition to the London gangster flick is its title Cash and Curry. Operating on a budget that wouldn’t even buy a curry flavour Pot Noodle our friends from Triads, Yardies and Onion Bhajees and Full English Breakfast have assembled one of the most witless heist movies I’ve ever seen. Strangely watchable despite of it’s lazy plotting, clip-on double-cross twists, at least its lively. The cast all put in spirited performances so Cash and Curry elevates its status due to it’s ‘have a go’ cast. The lead trio (AMEET CHANA, RONNY JHUTTI, POOJA SHAH) look like they’re having a great time, so much fun that they fail to notice the rotten lines and over cooked plot.

Three low-level criminals decide to run off with their boss Gabbar’s (MANJIT PATEL – FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST) money whilst trying to pin it on a rival drug baron, Isaac (LAURENCE STEVENSON). They scarper to the countryside (well their idea of the countryside – Barnet?) and wait for the shit to hit the fan. Hiding out with a bunch of well-connected criminal pals lead by Peter Peralta (TRIADS, YARDIES & ONION BHAJEES) is far from brainy though and their presence gets sussed within 10 minutes leading to a farm yard shoot out to end all low-budget shoot outs.

The trouble with Cash and Curry is that the makers think they’ve made a really nifty, witty and sharp little caper movie. They’ve failed. The characters get away plan wouldn’t even look inspired in a comedy and all three of the leads are majorly stupid. The film seems to say ‘why work hard for a living when you can steal off hard working criminals?’ These heroes are one-dimensional, greedy dick heads who have mistaken a life of crime for something more honourable. On the technical side, it’s a largely a point and shoot affair with some dated (well it was released 4/5  years ago) special effects during some endless montages. The script is very poor and even attempts to address what it’s like being an second generation Asian in England but doesn’t give any real insight, so why is it here? Wrong film because it just comes across as ill thought out ‘daily mail’ style rhetoric. Even the presence of a comedy NF thug called Tarquin as one of the villains (JAMIE BANNERMAN – FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST) highlights the intellect of the makers.

This is still an easier watch than Triads and Full English Breakfast and could be considered a comedy by the most undemanding of viewer but all in all this is tepid and lazy.

3.5 out of 10 – Watery for a curry.



2 out of 10

Release Date: 14th June 2005

Director: Andrew Goth (Gallowwalkers)

Cast: Luke Goss, Kevin Howarth, Matt Lucas, Carly Jane Turnbull, David Baker, Carrie Clark, Steven Elder, Jake Curran and David Gant

Writer: Joanne Reay


1422545_755647314473233_3028191104595137343_nHere’s a first – a buddy cop horror set in Falmouth and St Agnes in North Cornwall. Andrew Goth director of the unusually flashy yet muddled Gallowwalkers cut his horror teeth on this weird yet far from wonderful movie. It begins like a tepid buddy cop movie in the Hollywood mould of good cop and wild cop on the trail of evil Cornish people smugglers and then turns into a horror (comedy?) that aspires to be an update of  early 90s Brit-pic Split Second. Luke Goss (INTERVIEW WITH A HITMAN) is John Dark, the nice cop and Kevin Howarth (SUMMER SCARS) is Mortimer Shade, the odd one. Near the beginning Shade gets turned into a monster inside a fridge and goes about using his new form as an excuse to kill all the bad guys. Dark seems to like this but what happens when there’s no bad guys left to kill? Who will Shade turn into his next bed time snack.

Ludicrous plot turns and gaps in production continuity render huge parts of Cold and Dark incomprehensible. The makers seems to have used choral music and slow motion to pave over the cracks in the narrative just because they look and sound cool. Later on Matt Lucas’ (BRIDESMAIDS) MI-5 Fox Mulder alike turns up with some long overdue explanations as to what is happening. But this is where the film turns into a comedy!? I was giving up trying to keep up with events at this pout and tried to spot familiar places in Cornwall or admire the work that went into the lo-fi gory effects.

The performances were wildly erratic across the board from the wooden – hello Carly Jane Turnbull, to the theatrical ham to the power of 1000+ David Gant (OUTPOST 2) (putting in the strangest performance I’ve ever seen in a Britpic – worth a look maybe?) The script has huge gaps and what remains is tin eared and nonsensical. I did like one exchange in which Shade explains “It’s how you wear it,” when Dark compliments him on how well he suits the whole demonic possession thing. A brilliant line in a rear underpants explosion of a thriller/comedy/horror. Anything in which our hero shares bananas with his giant dog in the bath has to have been made by deluded loonies. And like my companion asks below, what the fuck happened to the dog?

2 out of 10 – Too weird to have been this way by design. Unusual but very, very trying. Gallowwalkers is way better.

Review Below by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher



5 out of 10

Release Date: 31st October 2014

Director: Mike Leigh (Another Year Happy Go Lucky / Vera Drake / All Or Nothing / Topsy Turvy / Career Girls / Secrets & Lies / Naked / Life Is Sweet / High Hopes / Mean Time / Nuts In May / Abigail’s Party)

Cast: Timothy Spall, Marion Bailey, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Martin Savage, Ruth Sheen, Joshua McGuire, Karl Johnson, Patrick Godfrey, Karina Fernandez, Mark Stanley, Jamie Thomas King, Richard Bremmer, Leo Bill, Sandy Foster, Stuart McQuarrie, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Katie O’Flynn, Sam Kelly with Peter Wight and Lesley Manville

Featured Extras: James Fleet, Eileen Davies, Elizabeth Berrington, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Oliver Maltman, Lee Ingleby

Devised by Mike Leigh

Trailer: MR TURNER


To be proofread: It’s no secret that I am a huge Mike Leigh fan. It’s also true that his period dramas are never amongst my favourites. My heart always sinks slightly when I learn that his next movie will be fact-based or set in the days of yore. Mr Turner has amazing moments and some startling performances but it never woke up enough stir the heart and mind like his material based in the present day. It’s a huge accomplishment and perhaps Mike Leigh’s most ambitious movie to date but I struggled to engage with the whole beast. Lights turned on for short spells but the movie was so episodic my interest levels wained more than peaked.

Focussing on the painter William Turner‘s  (TIMOTHY SPALL – VANILLA SKY) last few years in the public eye as the nation’s leading painter. Pushing through a new impressionistic style he finds his popularity dimming. His lose of personal verve also has much to do with the passing of his father (PAUL JESSON – CORIOLANUS) with whom he has a wholesome and friendly relationship with. His father helps him exhibit his paintings with great flourish and the film also seems to suffer once this character leaves the picture (so to speak.) The film also explores his relationships with his new wife (MARION BAILEY – MEANTIME), his housekeeper and neglected lover (DOROTHY ATKINSON – CALL THE MIDWIFE) and the angry estranged mother of his children (RUTH SHEEN – RUN FATBOY RUN) each of whom reveal a different face of the maestro. However, there is no grand sweep to the film. It was a movie of short episodes and like my learned friend Joe Pesci II points out in his review below – Mike Leigh may well have flicked through a book on Turner’s life and chose to adapt random events / non-events.

Stand-out scenes are when Turner is strapped to the mast of ship in a storm, or when he witnesses the inspiration to his most famous painting ‘The Fightin Temeraire’. Lesley Manville (ASHES) beguiles with a quieter scene where she shows Turner light refractions with her collection of prisms. Timothy Spall in the titular role delivers the performance of a lifetime. He’s a fine actor who’s often miscast (see The King’s Speech or The Last Samurai) but his Turner is a complex creation and a masterclass in persuasion. It’s a shame that the film wasn’t more interesting or less conventional. Although the film is loose in structure we are subjected to a completely unnecessary and drawn out death-bed scene. Such films as Mr Turner were ten-a-penny in Channel 4’s 1980s-90s hey-day and this would have been considered quite mediocre – think Tom & Viv, The Heart of Me, The Bridge (1992), Howard’s End, American Friends etc. All forgotten but equally pedestrian as Mr Turner which is only getting a lot of attention because the British film industry no longer make films like this anymore. It’s strange considering the popularity of the new Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey but there you have it.

Mr Turner is the most visually stunning Mike Leigh film yet and his beautiful recreations of the scenes which inspired the artist’s paintings are incredible. These are of course bolstered by the inclusion of many replicas of Turner’s finest paintings. It’s a shame that like Mike Leigh’s Vera Drake and Topsy Turvy it turned out to be mostly drab and overlong.

5 out of 10 – An acting tour-de-force from Timothy Spall can’t stop this feeling like an over-inflated euro-pudding-style souffle. If this came out 20 years ago it would have been greeted with a shrug. A film out of time. Paint me another Mr Leigh!

Review by Matt ‘paint’ brUsher aka Joe Pesci II below


  • Timothy Spall: The Love PunchThe RiseLove BiteComes a Bright Day, Ginger and RosaThe King’s Speech, Harry Potter – parts 3 – 8, Wake Wood, Reuniting The Rubins, Heartless,  Alice In Wonderland (2011) (voice), Apaloosa, The Damned Utd, Sweeney Todd, Pierrepoint, Lemony Snickets Series of Unfortunate Events, The Last Samurai, Nicholas Nickleby (2002),  All Or Nothing, Vanilla Sky, Rock Star, Lucky Break, Chicken Run (voice), Loves Labours Lost,  Topsy Turvy, Still Crazy, Wisdom Of Crocodiles, Hamlet (1996), Secrets & Lies, Life Is Sweet, The Sheltering Sky, White Hunter Black Heart, To Kill a Priest, The Missionary, Auf Wierdesen Pet (TV), Quadrophenia
  • Marion Bailey: Vera Drake, All or Nothing, Nasty Neighbours, Shine On Harvey Moon (TV), Mean Time
  • Dorothy Atkinson: Call The Midwife (TV)
  • Paul Jesson: Coriolanus, Rome (TV)
  • Martin Savage: Another Year, Topsy Turvy
  • Ruth Sheen: SuperBob, Welcome To The PunchAnother YearHeartless, Hush Your Mouth, All Or Nothing, Vera Drake, The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, High Hopes
  • Joshua McGuire: Get Santa, Scrotal Recall (TV), About Time
  • Karl Johnson: The SeaGood Vibrations, The Deep Blue Sea (2011), Third Star, Hot Fuzz, Close My Eyes, Edge Of Love, Pure, Wittgenstein, Let Him Have It, Prick Up Your Ears, The Tempest (1979), Jubilee
  • Patrick Godfrey: The Borderlands, The Duchess, The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), Everafter, The Gambler, The Remains Of The Day, Maurice, Clockwise, A Room With A View, Dr Who (TV)
  • Karina Fernandez: Pride (2014), Another Year, Happy Go Lucky
  • Mark Stanley: Kajaki, Game of Thrones (TV)
  • Jamie Thomas King: Tower Block, Storage 24, The Tudors (TV)
  • Richard Bremmer: 13th Warrior, The Girl With Brains In Her Feet
  • Leo Bill:  A Long Way Down, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), Alice In Wonderland (2010), The Fall, Kinky Boots, 28 Days Later
  • Stuart McQuarrie: Isle of DogsBlood (2013)Hush
  • Sylvestra Le Touzel: Happy Go Lucky, Amazing Grace, Smith & Jones (TV), The Boy From Space (TV)
  • Katie O’Flynn: Happy Go Lucky
  • Sam Kelly: All or Nothing, Porridge (TV)
  • Peter Wight: Kon Tiki, The Look Of Love, My Week With MarilynHardboiled SweetsGhosted, Best Laid Plans (2012)CloneAnother YearCass, Hot Fuzz, Babel, Flood, Pride & Prejudice (2005), Vera Drake, Shiner, Naked, Mean Time
  • Lesley Manville: Maleficent, The Christmas Candle, Ashes, Romeo and Juliet (2013), Spike IslandCloneAnother Year,  All Or Nothing, Vera Drake, Topsy Turvy, Secrets and Lies,High Hopes, Sammy & Rosie Get Laid
  • James Fleet: The Decoy Bride, Coronation Street (TV), The Vicar Of Dibley (TV),  A Cock & Bull Story, The Phantom Of The Opera (2004), Blackball, Charlotte Gray, Kevin & Perry Go Large, Remember Me? (1997),  Sense and Sensibility, The Grotesque, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Electric Moon, Blue Black Permanent
  • Eileen Davies: Sightseers, Mean Time
  • Elizabeth Berrington: Stella (TV), Waterloo Rd (TV), Hard Boiled Sweets, Psychoville (TV), Moving Wallpaper(TV), In Bruges, Nanny McPhee, A Cock and Bull Story, The Office (TV),Quills, The Little Vampire, Mad Cows, Onegin, 8.5 Women,  Secrets & Lies, Naked
  • Roger Ashton-Griffiths: Game of Thrones (TV)
  • Oliver Maltman: Another Year, Happy Go Lucky
  • Lee Ingleby: Best Laid Plans (2012),  Inspector George Gently (TV), Doghouse, Borstal Boy


3 out of 10

Release date: 25th January 2013 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Michael Axelgaard

Cast: Emily Plumtree, Matt Stokoe, Sam Stockman, Jessica Ellerby, Simon Roberts

Writer: Matthew Holt

Trailer: HOLLOW

Unknown-3Hollow cancels out any potential spills and thrills by showing us (or rather telling us) the film’s ending in the first three minutes.  This storytelling device renders the whole film toothless and unscary. Having had all its tension robbed Hollow stumbles around in the dark like a lobotomised Blair Witch Project wannabe. The recent The Borderlands proved that the found-footage horror sub-genre still has abundant life in it only for young filmmakers to continue to use the framing device to sloppy and unwatchable effect.

We find ourselves stranded with two couples who are spending a long weekend out at a family home out on the Norfolk coast.  Emma (EMILY PLUMTREE) is already spooked because the house belonged to her recently deceased grandfather, a vicar who was investigating a cursed local tree. Said ancient oak tree is said to lure young lovers to an early death by hanging. Emma has also decided that it’s a good idea to holiday with her creepy cam-corder obsessed ex James (SAM STOCKMAN – HOLBY CITY). Her fiancee Scott (MATT STOKOE – THE VILLAGE) is the archetypal rugby playing knob head and James’ new girlfriend is an angry single Mum Lynne (JESSICA ELLERBY – SCROTAL RECALL) (who has great boobs!)  They all seem to hate one another. Emma gets more jumpy as the tree seems to relocate to any filed she appears to be walking through, James unravels, then they all snort a load of cocaine to unwind and make themselves even more paranoid and less scared. The ending is a fait-a-complis, so essentially Hollow becomes a gore-less, suspense-less waiting game.

The cast are fairly good and try their best to generate an atmosphere of doom but their characters don’t possess a single sympathetic note between them. That all four of them are pretty hateful made it all the more boring. Emma is probably the most high-maintenance drip to begin with that she’s even scared of her own couch so when she’s all alone falling over in the dark you’ll probably come to same conclusion that this is just an average Saturday night for her.  She probably took along her least favourite people to have them slain by the unseen hooded merchant of death! Oh yeah, shame on the costume department for clothing their lead ghoul in a North Face winter coat.

Ultimately, we’ve been here too many times and Hollow has arrived way too late in the found-footage cycle to offer anything new. Dull.

3 out of 10 – The title just may be referring the films’ quartet of drippy victims.

Second review by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II lurks below…


  • Matt Stokoe: The Village (TV), Misfits (TV), The Dyatlov Pass Incident
  • Sam Stockman: Holby City (TV), Family Affairs (TV)
  • Jessica Ellerby: Scrotal Recall (TV)


7.5 out of 10


Release Date: 14th November 2014

Director: Morten Tyldum (Headhunters)

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Steven Waddington, Tom Goodman-Hill, Tuppence Middleton, Alex Lawther, Jack Bannon with Charles Dance and Mark Strong

Writer: Graham Moore



  • Benedict Cumberbatch: Dr Strange, Black Mass, Penguins of Madagascar (voice), The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies (voice),  Sherlock Holmes (TV), Osage- August County, 12 Years a Slave, The Hobbit – Desolation Of Smaug (voice), The Fifth Estate, Star Trek 2, The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey (voice), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, WreckersThird StarFour Lions, Atonement, The Other Boleyn Girl, Starter For Ten
  • Keira Knightley: Say When, Begin Again, Jack Ryan -Shadow Recruit, Seeking a Friend For The End Of The World, Anna Karenina (2012), A Dangerous Method, Last Night, Never Let Me Go,   London Boulevard, The Duchess, The End Of Love, Silk, Atonement, Pirates Of The Caribbean 1-3, Domino, Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Jacket, King Arthur (2004), Love Actually, Pure, Thunderpants, Bend It Like Beckham, The Hole (2001), Star Wars- The Phantom Menace, Innocent Lies
  • Matthew Goode: Self/Less, Belle, Stoker, Cemetery Junction, Watchmen, A Single Man, Leap Year, Brideshead Revisted, Imagine Me & You, Match Point
  • Rory Kinnear: James Bond – Spectre, Trespass Against Us, Penny Dreadful (TV), The Casual Vacancy (TV), Man Up, Cuban FuryBroken (2013),  James Bond – Skyfall,  Wild Target (2010), James Bond – Quantum Of Solace
  • Allen Leech: Downton Abbey (TV), Grand Piano, In Fear
  • Matthew Beard: The Riot ClubThe Look of Love, ChatroomOne Day, An Education
  • Steven Waddington: Waterloo Rd (TV), A Little Chaos, One Night In Istanbul, When The Lights Go OutThe Sweeney Movie, Largo Winch, Breakfast On Pluto, The Parole Officer, The Hole (2001), Face, Carrington, Sleepy Hollow, The Last Of The Mohicans, Edward II
  • Tom Goodman-Hill: Mr Selfridge (TV), 7Lives, Fat Slags, Festival
  • Tuppence Middleton: Spooks – The Greater Good, Jupiter Ascending, A Long Way Down, The Love PunchTranceTrap For CinderellaCleanskinSkeletonsChatroom, Tormented
  • Charles Dance: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Child 44, Woman In Gold, Dracula Untold, Game Of Thrones (TV), Midnight’s Children,  St. George’s Day, Underworld 4, Your Highness, Ironclad, Starter For Ten, Gosford Park, Ladies In Lavender (dir), Swimming Pool, Ali G In Da House,  Black and White (2002), Hilary & Jackie, Michael Collins, Space Truckers, Exquisite Tenderness, China Moon, Century, The Last Action Hero, Alien 3, Hidden City, The Golden Child, White Mischief, James Bond – For Your Eyes Only
  • Mark Strong: Grimsby, Kingsman – The Secret Service, Before I Go To SleepBlood (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


6 out of 10 


Release Date: 5th September 2014

Director: Stuart Murdoch

Cast: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray. Pierre Boulanger and Cora Bissett

Writer: Stuart Murdoch




5 out of 10

Release Date: 3rd November 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Dominic Burns (UFO (2013)  / AIRBORNE (2012)  / HOW TO STOP BEING A LOSER / CUT)

Cast: Julian Ovenden, Chris Reilly, Matt Willis, Edmund Kingsley, Leon Vickers, Emmanuelle Bouaziz, David Sterne, Paul Ridley, Mark Moraghan, Felix Auer with Frank Leboeuf and Steven Hartley

Writer: Jeremy Sheldon & Dominic Burns

Trailer:  ALLIES

UnknownAllies’ film director Dominic Burns is getting better at his job. After one horror, one rom-com, one thriller and one sci-fi – he’s certainly not one for getting genre bound. He’s applied his talents to the ‘Dad Special’, yes that’s right the WW2 ‘men on a mission’ film.  For decades our Sunday afternoons have been littered with films like this and Allies at least makes the grade enough to rub shoulders with inauthentic fare like Kelly’s Heroes and Where Eagles’ Dare.  Taking a few pages out of the Sean Bean / Danny Dyer vehicle The Age of Heroes playbook from a few years ago, Allies springs very few surprises, but it is solid. Solidity is exactly what Burns and his merry men seem to be aiming for here though and why try to be flash when your audience is this easy to identify and probably please.

It’s August 1944, four British soldiers (CHRIS REILLY, MATT WILLIS, EDMUND KINGSLEY, LEON VICKERS) are sent behind enemy lines in France to steal some important maps from the Germans. They are led by an American (JULIAN OVENDEN – DOWNTON ABBEY) who has to prove his worth to the already established unit. It soon becomes apparent that our American hero is a good man, so tensions are quickly dismissed in exchange for a bunch of face-offs with the faceless Nazis and also a bizarre meeting with real-life footballer Frank Leboeuf (WHAT’S THE SCORE?) as a French Resistance hero.  As our heroes are whittled down in a series of predictably deadly scenarios we soon learn that some of the strongest friendships can be forged under the most harrowing circumstances.

Allies’ action sequences hold up well and have the requisite grit yet, (perhaps obviously) compared to the recent Hollywood WW2 entry Fury this is still small fry. It tries it’s hardest to be a real film though and it succeeds when the plot is put on hold for some welcome ballistically bolstered bombast. Elsewhere the actors wrestle with thin parts and some occasionally ropey writing and plotting, but somehow come away with their collective dignity intact. Only TV actor Steven Hartley (THE BILL) suffers with a weird American accent, whereas the ‘also’ English Julian Ovenden does a better job with his interpretation.  Two of the four Brits on the mission are despatched without building back-story or characters beyond serious Yorkshire man and eager kid – Burns needn’t have named these two characters beyond their joint fates.

Angling cynicism at a movie like this is pointless though as they’re from another era from fans of films from another era. This feels better assembled and plotted than the very similar The Ages of Heroes but it strangely suffers from the lack of star power. It’s good to see the director stretch himself with an all new cast  (he’d had an established bunch of recurring actors in his previous four movies) and he’s got some committed performers here. It’s such a shame that there’s no originality or flare here. Allies certainly doesn’t look cheap – the battles, tanks, artillery and uniforms all look like the real deal it’s just it’s all so beige and predictable.

5 out of 10 – Strictly middle of the road material for Dads and Granddads who can’t get enough of their WW2 movies. Predictable yet solid, but not as memorable as the very similarly plotted The Age of Heroes.

Review below by Matt ‘No allies’ Usher


  • Julian Ovenden: Downton Abbey (TV), First Night, Foyle’s War (TV), The Royal (TV), The Forsyte Saga (TV)
  • Chris Reilly: Everest,  The Devil Went Down To Islington, Doctors (TV)
  • Matt Willis: Birds of a Feather (TV), Eastenders (TV)
  • Edmund Kingsley: Capsule, Tomorrow (2016), The Carrier, Freddie As FRO7 (voice)
  • David Sterne: Blood Moon, #Legacy,  Truth or Dare
  • Mark Moraghan: Holby City (TV), Brookside (TV), Harry Enfield & Chums (TV), Judge Dredd (1995), Waterfront Beat (TV)
  • Frank Leboeuf: What’s The Score?, The Theory of Everything
  • Steven Hartley: Doctors (TV), The Bill (TV), Rumble (TV), Christopher Columbus (1992), Split Second, Eastenders (TV)