KIDULTHOOD

7 out of 10

Review by Matt Usher below

Release Date: 3rd March 2006

Director: Menhaj Huda (Soul Survivor / Coronation Street (TV) / Comedown)

Cast: Aml Ameen, Red Madrell, Noel Clarke, Adam Deacon, Femi Oyeniran, Jaime Winstone, Madeleine Fairley, Ray Panthaki, Kate Magowan, Cornell John with Rafe Spall and Nicholas Hoult

Writer: Noel Clarke

Trailer: KIDULTHOOD

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

Posted in K.

HOOLIGANS AT WAR – NORTH vs SOUTH

0.5 out of 10

Release Date: 13th April 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steven M Smith (Haunted 5 / Haunted 4 / Haunted 3 / Haunted 2 / Borstal / Invasion Earth I Am Hooligan / Essex Boys – Laws of Survival / Haunted (2013)) and Chris Bell

Cast: Chris Bell, Alan Lund, Ross Boatman, Sam Brown, Danny Howard, Colin Burt Vidler, Pat Garner, Jon-Paul Gates, Dean Martins and Eddie Webber (narrator)

Writer: Chris Bell & Steven M Smith

maxresdefaultHooligans At War is probably the sloppiest and most amateur entry into the cannon of UK gangster movies I’m yet to see.  Underpowered and embarrassingly slack, it attempts to come at the genre from a new perspective but beyond making a lazy comparison between the violent lives of British soldiers and football hooligans it fails on all fronts. The film falls into just about every trap that low budget filmmakers are prone to drop into. Productions this cheap often require the producers and directors to double up as actors – whether through vanity or necessity this route rarely proves to be successful. Acting is a tough and pressured gig, so to be torn between making your dream film in the two weeks you’ve managed to get off from your day job, putting in a dynamic performance and ensuring everything else on your sprawling epic runs smoothly, it’s a real miracle if your end product will end up half watchable. The scale of Hooligans At War is pretty wide and ambitious considering the level of resources the makers had at their disposal, so from the ‘off’ they’ve bitten off a lot more than their miserable gobs can chew. The story flits between flashbacks in the theatre of war (or a field near Dagenham) and the present day where ex-soldiers Northy (CHRIS BELL) and Southy (ALAN LUND) resume their places (with little opposition) as top dogs of their respective football / crime firms of north and south London. A particular heist tears the two comrades apart to little effect. And the bodies pile up (slowly).

The movie trundles from one badly-acted scene to the next with little rhyme or reason – the plot is straight-forward but it still manages to get crucial aspects wrong. The use of a typed introduction to every single last location is a major irritation, as we wait for each letter to be keyed in – this also occurs with locations that the story has previously visited at least six times. Also pity poor Eddie Webber (THE FIRM) who does his best Alan Ford impression as an unseen narrator who introduces a procession of minor characters who only feature long enough to be introduced. Someone somewhere thought that this addition would be funny and act as a decent story aid, it wasn’t. It’s pointless and embarrassing to watch. Everyone involved, even the professionals like Ross Boatman (LONDON’S BURNING) and the aforementioned Eddie Webber should have ran the opposite direction when the script landed on their desk. It’s truly bad. The poster / DVD cover art is about as professional as the whole affair ever gets. If the cover had been drawn in crayons that would have given you a better idea of the quality to expect.

Hooligans At War even makes Looters Shooters and Sawn-Off Shooters look like a deluxe and professional production. With a really basic plot (just terrible) , a very abrupt, laughably corny and shit ending we have the worst UK Hooligan / Gangster movie to grace the UK film industry to date. Britpic hopes that actor / director Chris Bell spent all his money on this turd as it may well stop him from commiting anymore crimes against film lovers.  The notorious and infamous actor/producer Simon Phillips (JESUS VS MESSIAH) is one of the producers on this I see.  We think he got credit for letting them use one of his favourite words in the title ‘Hooligan’.  The makers couldn’t afford to use the words ‘rise’ or ‘fall’.

0.5 out of 10 – Truly abysmal in every way. It’s scary how amateurish a film can be and still get a national DVD release. Vanity projects have never been made to look so bad.

ed’s note: Some months later Britpic discovers that these guys have made yet another Landrover / Essex Boys movie called Essex Boys: Law of Survival.  Next we’ve got Essex Boys: Return on Investment (ROI)….

Trailer: HOOLIGANS AT WAR

Now check out Joe Pesci II’s opinion of Hooligans At War – where he invents the term ‘Hooligangster‘ – see below.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

KEEPING ROSY

8.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 15th October 2014

Director: Steve Reeves

Cast: Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison, Christine Bottomley, Sam Hoare, Tori Hart and Elisa Lasowski

Writer: Steve Reeves, Matt Oughton

Trailer: KEEPING ROSY

Keeping-Rosy_dvd-UKThis taut little thriller is underrated Maxine Peake‘s (PRIVATE PEACEFUL) best lead role to date. Caught in a cycle of events that seem highly unlikely on your everyday scale, Keeping Rosy is the story of a highly-strung exec having the worst few days of her life. By any stretch the story follows an arc of such misfortune and bad fate that it could fill three movies. That Keeping Rosy works so well is down to a well-mounted, well paced, well written and acted thriller that doesn’t let up until its wonderfully succinct ending.

Maxine Peake plays Charlotte, who gets the sack from her high flying job one day. On arriving home she picks a fight with her Polish cleaner (ELSA LASOWSKI – SOMERS TOWN) and somehow ends up part of deadly game of cat and mouse with a blackmailing security guard played to perfection by comedian Blake Harrison (INBETWEENERS). The titular Rosy is a baby who ends up in her charge as a result of the very twisty unlikely tale. To give you a run through of the plot would be unfair as a lot of the film’s power is the enjoyment of what may happen next. Charlotte’s game of one upmanship with her tormentor Roger is deftly played and excellently scripted.

Maxine Peake has long been on the radar as ‘one-to-watch’. Here she has capitalised on her status with a brilliant performance which will likely get missed by all but the most dedicated of film fans. At last, here’s a crime flick from the UK that avoids all of the tired trappings that go along with the genre. Elsewhere, Blake Harrison impresses in a dark role. Most viewers may only know him from the superb BBC comedy Inbetweeners and it’s accompanying movies as the thick dork Neil. He’s a revelation here. Christine Bottomley (STRAWBERRY FIELDS) also supplies solid support as Charlotte’s working class sister who plays an integral part to the film.

The crisp cinematography and elegant score round out the quality. It’s a true shame that such a good film was buried in the cinematic schedules but hopefully readers will search it out on DVD and TV as it definitely punches above its weight proving that you don’t always need a bucket of CGI or cockney amateurs to make a gripping UK crime thriller.

8.5 out of 10 – One of the best small thrillers of recent years and fans of Maxine Peake will be glad they sought it out as this is her best and most interesting film role to date. Don’t miss.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

SUITE FRANCAISE

6 out of 10

UK / France / Canada co-production

Release Date: 13th March 2015

Director: Saul Dibb (The Duchess / Bullet Boy)

Cast: Michelle Williams, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Matthias Schoenarts, Sam Riley, Ruth Wilson, Tom Schilling, Harriet Walter, Heino Ferch, Alexandra Maria Lara, Clare Holman, Eileen Atkins, Martin Swabey with Margot Robbie and Lambert Wilson

Writer: Matt Charman & Saul Dibb / Irene Nemirovsky

Trailer: SUITE FRANCAISE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Michelle Williams: Oz – The Great and Powerful, My Week With Marilyn, Take This Waltz, Meek’s Cutoff, Shutter Island, Blue Valentine, New York Synedoche, Wendy and Lucy, Deception, Incediary, I’m Not There, Brokeback Mountain, Imaginary Heroes, Dawson’s Creek (TV), The Station Agent, The United States of Leland, Me Without You, Dick, H20 – Halloween, A Thousand Acres, Species, Lassie (1994)
  • Kristin Scott-Thomas: My Old Lady, The Invisible Woman, Only God Forgives, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Bel Ami, The Woman In The Fifth, Sarah’s Key, Love Crime, Leaving, Nowhere Boy, Confessions Of a Shopaholic, Largo Winch, Easy Virtue, The Other Boleyn Girl, I’ve Love You So Long, The Golden Compass (voice), The Walker, Keeping Mum, Chromophobia, Code 46, Gosford Park, Up At The Villa, Random Hearts, The horse Whisperer, The English Patient, Mission Impossible, Angels & Insects, Richard III (1995), Le Confessional, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bitter Moon, Autobus, A Handful Of Dust
  • Matthias Schoenarts: Disorder, A Bigger Splash, The Danish Girl, Far From The Madding Crowd (2015), A Little Chaos, The Drop, Bullhead, Rust and Bone, Black Book, Daens
  • Sam Riley: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Maleficent, Byzantium, On The Road, Brighton Rock (2011), 13 (2010), Franklyn, Control
  • Ruth Wilson: The Affair (TV), Locke (voice), Saving Mr Banks, The Lone Ranger (2013), Luther (TV), Anna Karenina (2012)
  • Tom Schilling: Woman In Gold, The Baader Meinhoff Complex, Joy Division, Atomised
  • Harriet Walter: Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Man Up, The Wedding Video (2012), Morris – A Life With Bells On, Law & Order UK (TV), Cheri, Atonement, Babel, Chromophobia, Onegin, The Governess, Bedrooms & Hallways, Keep The Aspidistra Flying, The Leading Man, The Hour of The Pig, Sense & Sensibility
  • Heino Ferch: Downfall, Extreme Ops, Run Lola Run
  • Alexandra Maria Lara: Rush (2014), The Reader, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Miracle At St Anna, Youth Without Youth, Control, Downfall
  • Clare Holman: Inspector Lewis (TV), Inspector Morse (TV), The Lakes (TV), Tom & Viv, Afraid of the Dark, Let Him Have It
  • Eileen Atkins: Magic In The Moonlight, Doc Martin (TV), Beautiful Creatures, Wild Target (2010), Psychoville (TV), Robin Hood (2010), Last Chance Harvey, Scenes Of a Sexual Nature, Cold Mountain, The Hours, Gosford Park, The Avengers (1998), Wolf, Jack and Sarah, Let Him Have It, Equus
  • Margot Robbie: The Suicide Squad, Tarzan (2015), Z For Zachariah, Focus, The Wolf of Wall Street, About Time, Neighbours (TV)
  • Lambert Wilson: Babylon AD, Dante 01, Sahara, Catwoman, Timeline, The Matrix 3, The Matrix 2, The Leading Man, Jefferson In Paris, The Belly of an Architect, Five Days One Summer

THE MIRROR

5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 8th September 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Ed Boase

Cast: Jemma Dallender, Joshua Dickenson, Nate Fallows

Writer: Ed Boase, Keidrich Wasley

Trailer: THE MIRROR

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Jemma Dallender: I Spit On Your Grave 2, Community
  • Nate Fallows: The C-Word

SNOW IN PARADISE

9 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 13th February 2015

Director: Andrew Hulme

Cast: Frederick Schmidt, Martin Askew, Aymen Hamdouchi, Ashley Chin, Clare-Louise Cordwell, Joel Beckett, John Dalgleish and David Spinx

Writer: Martin Askew & Andrew Hulme

Trailer: SNOW IN PARADISE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

A BOY CALLED DAD

6 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 30th April 2010

Director: Brian Percival (The Book Thief / Downton Abbey (TV))

Cast: Ian Hart, Kyle Ward, Charleene McKenna, Lee Turnbull, Sacha Parkinson, Louise Delamere with Steve Evets and Crissy Rock

Writer: Julie Rutterford

Trailer: A BOY CALLED DAD

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Ian Hart: Boardwalk Empire (TV), Dough, The Last Ferry, Hard Boiled Sweets, Morris – A Life With Bells On, Breakfast On Pluto, A Cock and Bull Story, Rag Tale, Finding Neverland, Blind Flight, Killing Me Softly, Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone, Strictly Sinatra, Born Romantic, Liam, Best, The Closer You Get, The End Of The Affair, Wonderland (1999), This Year’s Love, Enemy Of The State, B-Monkey, Mojo, The Butcher’s Boy, Michael Collins, The Hollow Reed, Nothing Personal, Clockwork Mice, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, Land and Freedom, Backbeat, The Hour and The Times
  • Charleene McKenna: Ripper Street (TV), Small Engine Repair, Breakfast On Pluto
  • Lee Turnbull: Zebra Crossing
  • Sacha Parkinson: Mr Selfridge (TV), The Mill (TV), Coronation Street (TV), Grange Hill (TV)
  • Louise Delamere: Uwantme2killhim?, Mad Dogs and Englishmen
  • Steve Evets: Rev (TV), The Selfish Giant, The Facility, Spike IslandAnna Karenina (2012)Brighton Rock (2011)Wuthering Heights (2011), Looking For Eric, Summer (2008)
  • Crissy Rock: Angel (2015), Benidorm (TV), Crissy Rock Live, Ladybird Ladybird