MONTANA

7 out of 10

Release Date: 11th December 2014

Director: Mo Ali (Shank)

Cast: Lars Mikkelsen, McKell David, Adam Deacon, Ashley Walters, Darrell D’Silva, Sinead Michael, Zlatko Buric, Rocky Marshall, Richie Campbell, Oliver Stark, Duane Henry, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Clint Dyer, Ryan Oliva with Brad Moore and Michelle Fairley

Writer: Peter Lowe & Jeremy Sheldon

Trailer: MONTANA

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There’s a good level of fun to be had watching Montana. For a Britpic of this kind it’s way above average, on a more general scale it delivers the very least an action film can get away with if you’ve paid for a night out at the flicks. Montana was afforded a limited cinema run and it deserves it. Taking a huge amount of inspiration from Luc Besson‘s 90s action classic Leon it still has enough of it’s own ideas and style to stand on it’s own two feet.

Montana (MCKELL DAVID – #LEGACY is an orphaned drug runner for a heavyweight east European ex-war criminal called Ratko (DARRELL D’SILVA – NORTHMEN). Montana is stitched up when one of Ratko’s footsoldier’s Pitt (ADAM DEACON – COMEDOWN) frames him for stealing some cash at a drugs drop. Ratko suspects that Montana has stolen it or is just plain careless and orders Pitt and the more forgiving Ryan (ASHLEY WALTERS – DEMONS NEVER DIE) to execute him. Little does Ratko know that a vengeful hitman called The Whispering Death (LARS MIKKELSEN – WHAT RICHARD DID) is also in town. The WD wants to kill Ratko in revenge for the killing of his family.  WD rescues Montana from certain death and then sets about teaching how to become a deadly fighter through weapons training and martial arts.

Where Montana excels is in it’s casting. Lars Mikkelsen is a revelation as the taciturn yet deadly assassin intent on avenging his dead family. He is perfectly cast as a force to be reckoned with. He is given added depth by the prescense of a likeable foil in newcomer McKell DavidDavid‘s storyline is a bit far fetched but the young actor convinces well enough and he’s a great contrast to the deathly serious Mikkelsen. The top heavy cast is filled out with about eleven bad guys who all meet grisly ends courtesy to our deadly duo who are intent to level the playing field. Laying waste to more British gangsters than all the Essex Boys films put together it’s an entertaining ride. The action is well-stage and filmed and at times Montana is danger of looking like a real film. There are lots of stock shots of the London skyline at night and this helps to cement the illusion that you could be watching a Michael Mann film. It lacks the pyrotechnics and sheen of it’s American cousins but director Mo Ali (SHANK) can walk away from Montana knowing that he’s done low-budget British cinema a good service by providing a solid 90minutes of good old action entertainent. He even manages to get a decent performance out of Adam Deacon – who plays a stock rent-a-mouth bad man. Elsewhere Ashley Walters hints at greater depths in a small role as Ratko’s more sensitive enforcer and newcomer Brad Moore (THE SEARCH FOR SIMON) (who also produces) impresses as a sleazy undercover detective. Only Michelle Fairley (GAME OF THRONES) is wasted as a senior police woman who only seems to be in the film to bulk out the impressive name cast.

7 out of 10 – A well-cast, well made, solid actioner with an interesting lead cast.  Even though this is essentially ‘Leon-In-Da-Hood’ it’s still an enjoyable enough time passer that delivers on its promises.  Recommended.

Look below for another review by Joe Pesci II

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

FAINTHEART

4.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 27th January 2009 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Vito Rocco

Cast: Eddie Marsan, Ewen Bremner, Jessica Hynes-Stevenson, Paul Nicholls, Bronagh Gallagher, Anne Reid, Joseph Hamilton, Chloe Hesar, Richard Ridings, Gary Sefton, Sandra Voe with Tim Healy and Kevin Eldon

Writer: David Lemon

Trailer: FAINTHEART

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Eddie Marsan: The Kaiser’s Last Kiss, Concussion, A Kind of Murder, Emperor (2015), Jungle Book – Origins (voice), Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (TV),  X+Y, Still Life, God’s Pocket, Filth, The World’s EndI Anna, Snow White & The Huntsman, War Horse, Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2,TyrannosaurJunkheartsThe Disappearance Of Alice CreedHeartless, Hancock, Happy Go Lucky, Grown Your Own, Miami Vice Movie, 21 Grams, London Boulevard, The Illusionist (2007), Mission Impossible III,  The New World, Pierrepoint, Vera Drake, Gangster No.1, Gangs Of New York, The Bunker, Janice Beard 45wpm
  • Ewen Bremner: Porno, Banished (TV), Get Santa, Exodus – Gods and Kings, Snowpiercer,  Jack The Giant Slayer, Great Expectations (2012), Perfect Sense, Fool’s Gold, Hallam Foe, Death At a Funeral (2007), Match Point, Alien Vs. Predator, Around The World In 80 Days, Welcome To The Jungle, 16 Years Of Alcohol, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbour, Snatch, Julien Donkey Boy, The Acid House, Mojo, Trainspotting, Judge Dredd (1995), Naked, As You Like It (1992)
  • Jessica Hynes-Stevenson: Swallows and Amazons, Winter, W1A (TV), Pudsey The Dog, Nativity 2, Burke and Hare, Magicians, Son Of Rambow, Confetti, Bridget Jones 2, Pure, Spaced (TV), Born Romantic, Staying Alive (TV)
  • Paul Nicholls: Genesis, The C Word, Lake Placid 4, Life Just Is, Law & Order UK (TV), Bridget Jones 2, Goodbye Charlie Bright, The Clandestine Marriage, The Trench, Eastenders (TV)
  • Bronagh Gallagher: Shooting For Socrates, Grabbers, Albert Nobbs, Malice In WonderlandThe Big I Am, Last Chance Harvey, Botched, This Year’s Love, Pulp Fiction, The Committments
  • Anne Reid: Believe, Song For Marion, Last Tango In Halifax (TV), Cemetery Junction, Wallace & Gromit In Curse Of The Were-Rabbit (voice), Hot Fuzz, The Mother, Love and Death On Long Island, Coronation Street (TV)
  • Richard Ridings: Peppa Pig (voice) (TV), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (mo-cap), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Fat Friends (TV), Lara Croft – Tomb Raider 2, Joan of Arc (1999), Up n’ Under, Fierce Creatures, Erik The Viking, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Billy The Kid and The Green Baize Vampire
  • Sandra Voe: Blood (2013), The Winter Guest, Breaking The Waves
  • Tim Healy: Benidorm (TV), Still Open All Hours (TV), United, Waterloo Road (TV), Coronation Street (TV), Auf Wierdesen Pet (TV), Purely Belter, The Grand (TV), Boys From The Bush (TV)
  • Kevin Eldon: The Comedians’ Guide To Survival, Danger Mouse (voice) (TV), Up All Night, Set Fire To The Stars, The Wedding Video, Hyperdrive (TV), Hot Fuzz, Nathan Barley (TV)

HONEYMOON

6.5 out of 10

UK/USA co-production

REVIEW BELOW

Release Date: 26th September 2014

Director: Leigh Janiak

Cast: Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Hanna Brown and Ben Huber

Writer: Leigh Janiak & Phil Graziadel

Trailer: HONEYMOON

honeymoon640PTRead review below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

EX-MACHINA

8.5 out of 10

UK/USA co-production

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 16th January 2015

Director: Alex Garland

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac and Sonoya Mizuno

Writer: Alex Garland

Trailer: Ex Machina

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

IN SECRET

4 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 16th May 2014

Director: Charlie Stratton

Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Lange, Tom Felton, Shirley Henderson, Matt Lucas, John Kavanagh and Mackenzie Crook

Writer: Emile Zola / Neal Bell

Trailer: In Secret

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Elizabeth Olsen: I Saw The Light, Captain America 3, Avengers Assemble 2, Godzilla (2014), Captain America 2, Old Boy (2013), Kill Your Darlings, Liberal Arts, Red Lights, Silent House, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Oscar Isaac: X-Men 5, Mojave, Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Ex Machina, A Most Violent Year, Two Faces of January, Inside Llewyn Davies, The Bourne Legacy, W/E, Drive, Sucker Punch (2011), Body of Lies, Robin Hood (2009)
  • Jessica Lange: The Gambler (2015), The Vow, Don’t Come Knocking, Broken Flowers, Big Fish, Titus (1999), Cousin Bette (1998), Hush (1998), A Thousand Acres, Rob Roy (1995), Losing Isaiah, Blue Sky, Night and The City (1992), Cape Fear (1992), Men Don’t Leave, The Music Box, Tootsie, The Postman Always Rings Twice, All That Jazz, King Kong (1976)
  • Tom Felton: Against The Sun, Belle, Rise Of The Planet of The Apes, The Disappeared, Get Him To The Greek, 13 HRs, Harry Potter 1-8, Anna and The King, The Borrowers (1997)
  • Shirley Henderson: Urban Hymn, Set Fire To The Stars, Filth, The Look Of Love, EverydayAnna Karenina (2012), Meek’s Cutoff, Life During Wartime, Wild Child, Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, Marie Antoinette, Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire, A Cock And Bull Story, Bridget Jones 2,  Yes, Intermission, Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself, Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets, Once Upon a Time In The Midlands, 24 Hour Party People, Bridget Jones’ Diary, The Claim (2000), Wonderland (2000), Topsy Turvy, Trainspotting, Rob Roy
  • Matt Lucas: Consider Yourself, Alice In Wonderland 2, Paddington, The Harry Hill Movie,  The Look of Love, Small Apartments, Bridesmaids, Gnomeo & Juliet (voice), Alice In Wonderland (2010), Cold and Dark, The Infidel, Shooting Stars (TV), Little Britain (TV), The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer (TV)
  • John Kavanagh: Vikings (TV), The Invisible Woman, The Stag, The Black Dahlia, Alexander, Dancing At Lughnasa, The Butcher’s Boy, Some Mother’s Son, Braveheart, Circle of Friends, Widows’ Peak, Into The West, Cal, Paddy
  • Mackenzie Crook: Muppets Most Wanted, One Chance, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Game of Thrones (TV), Tintin (voice), Ironclad, Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll, Solomon Kane, Three and Out, City of Ember, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3, I Want Candy, Pirates Of The Caribbean 2,  The Brothers Grimm, Churchill – The Hollywood Years, Finding Neverland, The Merchant Of Venice (2004), Sex Lives Of The Potato Men, Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Office (TV)

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

5.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Released: 9th January 2015

Director: James Kent (The White Queen (TV))

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Dominic West, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Hayley Atwell, Joanna Scanlan, Anna Chancellor, Alexandra Roach, Henry Garrett, Jonathan Bailey with Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson

Writer: Vera Brittain / Juliette Towhidi

Trailer: TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Alicia Vikander: Bourne Identity 5, Tulip Fever, The Man from UNCLE, Seventh Son, Son of a Gun, Ex Machina, The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina (2012), A Royal Affair
  • Kit Harington: Spooks – The Greater Good, Seventh Son, Game of Thrones (TV), Pompeii (2014), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (voice), Silent Hill 2
  • Dominic West: Finding Dory (voice), Genius, The Affair (TV), Pride (2014), John Carter, Johnny English 2, The AwakeningCenturion, 300, The Wire (TV), Punisher – War Zone, The Forgotten, Chicago, Rock Star, 28 Days, The Gamble, True Blue, Richard III (1995), Surviving Picasso
  • Taron Egerton: Eddie The Eagle, Legend (2015), Kingsman – The Secret Service
  • Colin Morgan: Legend (2015), Merlin (TV), Island, Parked
  • Hayley Atwell: Ant Man, Avengers Assemble 2, Cinderella (2015), Agent Carter (TV), Agents of SHIELD (TV), Captain America 2, I AnnaThe Sweeney Movie, The Duchess, Captain America, Cassandra’s Dream, Brideshead Revisited
  • Joanna Scanlan: Tulip Fever, The Bad Education Movie, Get Santa, The Invisible Woman, The Thick of It (TV)
  • Anna Chancellor: Pramface (TV), How I Live Now, Hysteria, 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
  • Alexandra Roach: Utopia (TV), One Chance, Cuban Fury, Trap For CinderellaPrivate Peaceful, The Iron Lady
  • Henry Garrett: A Little Chaos, The Wicker Tree
  • Jonathan Bailey: Broadchurch (TV), Five Children and It
  • Emily Watson: Everest, The Theory of Everything, Belle, The Book Thief, Oranges and SunshineAnna Karenina (2012),War Horse, Cemetery Junction, Synedoche New York, Miss Potter, Seperate Lies, The Proposition, Corpse Bride (voice), Wah-Wah, The Life and Death Of Peter Sellers, Equilibrium, Red Dragon, Punch Drunk Love, Gosford Park, The Luzhin Defence, Angela’s Ashes, Cradle Will Rock, Hilary & Jackie, The Boxer, Metroland, Breaking The Waves
  • Miranda Richardson: Belle, Maleficent, Harry Potter 7, Made In Dagenham, The Young Victoria, Fred Claus, Southland Tales, Paris Je T’Aime, Harry Potter 4, Wah Wah, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Churchill Years, The Prince and Me, The Actors, The Hours, Spider, Get Carter (2000),  Sleepy Hollow, The Evening Star, Swann, Kansas City, Tom & Viv, Century, Damage, The Crying Game, Enchanted April, Empire Of The Sun, Black Adder 2 (TV), Dance With a Stranger

THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE

3 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 13th December 2013

Director: John Stephenson (Five Children and It)

Cast: Hans Matheson, Samantha Barks, Sylvester McCoy, Lesley Manville, Barbara Flynn, Susan Boyle, Sam Crane, Victoria Bewick with John Hannah and James Cosmo

Writer: Candace Lee / Max Lucado

Trailer: THE CHRISTMAS CANDLE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Hans Matheson: 300 – Part 2, Clash of the Titans (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Half Light, Deathwatch, Still Crazy, Mojo, Stella Does Tricks
  • Samantha Barks: Dracula Untold, Les Miserables (2013)
  • Sylvester McCoy: The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, Doctor Who – Day of the Doctor, Highway To Hell (2012), The Devil Rides Out, Dr Who (TV), Jigsaw (TV)
  • Lesley Manville: Mr Turner, Maleficent, Ashes, Romeo and Juliet (2013), Spike IslandCloneAnother Year,  All Or Nothing, Vera Drake, Topsy Turvy, Secrets and Lies,High Hopes, Sammy & Rosie Get Laid
  • Barbara Flynn: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Miss Potter, The Forsyte Saga (TV), You’re Dead, Cracker (TV), The Beiderbecke Tapes (TV)
  • Susan Boyle: Britain’s Got Talent (TV)
  • Victoria Bewick: Hummingbird
  • John Hannah: Genesis, Bone In the Throat, Shooting For Socrates, Angel (2015), The Wee Man, The Mummy 3, Before You Go, Rebus (TV), The Mummy 2, Circus, The Hurricane, McCallum (TV), Resurrection Man, Sliding Doors, The Mummy, The James Gang, The Innocent Sleep, Madagascar Skin, Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • James Cosmo: Eliminators, Whiskey Galore (2016), London Heist, Breakdown (2015), Tomorrow (2015), The Legend of Barney Thompson, We Still Kill The Old Way, Citadel, Hammer Of The Gods, Get Lucky, Game Of Thrones (TV), Outcast, Half Light, The Chronicles Of Narnia – The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe, Troy, The Four Feathers (2002), Once Upon a Time In The Midlands, The Match, Babe 2 (voice), Emma (1996), Trainspotting, Braveheart, Stormy Monday, Highlander