100 STREETS

5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 11 November 2016

Director: Jim O’Hanlon (A Touch a Cloth (TV))

Cast: Idris Elba, Gemma Arterton, Charlie Creed-Miles, Franz Drameh, Kierston Wareing, Tom Cullen, Jo Martin, Kola Bokinni, Duayne Boachie, Ryan Gage with Ashley Thomas and Ken Stott

Writer: Leon Butler

Trailer: 100 STREETS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

45 YEARS

10 out of 10

Release Date: 28th August 2015

Director: Andrew Haigh (Weekend)

Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, David Sibley, Richard Cunningham and Dolly Wells

Writer: Andrew Haigh

Trailer: 45 YEARS

imagesWriter / Director Andrew Haigh could be the saviour of serious British cinema such is the success of this film and his last one Weekend. He makes films about ordinary people with stories of routines and comfort thrown into disarray by a game changing event.  In this case Geoff (TOM COURTENAY – QUARTET) receives a letter informing him that the body of his first girlfriend has been found after she fell down a fissure in a Swiss glacier 50 years earlier.  Said communication arrives a week before his 45th anniversary of his marriage to his wife Kate (CHARLOTTE RAMPLING – ANGEL HEART) and they’re throwing a gigantic party. As Geoff is quietly shook to the core by this news, Kate tries to help him cope. Slowly but surely she begins to suspect that Geoff has been in love with the dead woman all along and that their marriage may be a cruel sham.

As with many couples that have been together for decades, a short hand develops and communications seem to run on a series of assumptions. Even direct confrontations are avoided in order to keep the peace and that’s what I liked about 45 Years. The film is packed with moments of quiet realisation and slow heartbreak, and it never loses sight of what is real. Both of the leads give exemplary performances and even though Geoff is no angel, anybody who still pines for a lost love will empathise with his pre-occupation with an unobtainable past. 45 Years almost works as a ghost story (but not in the broad sense) because the dead girl haunts Geoff’s every waking moment. He even buys her old perfume and looks at old slides of her in the attic. Everywhere she turns to look, even the past, reveals evidence unhitherto seen, that had been hidden in plain view all along. It’s a superb slow burn with an intriguing mystery at it’s centre.

Perfectly paced and acted, it’s full of small details. It’s a sad film that never strikes a false note and an icy reminder that we never ever know what’s going on in somebody else’s head even if we’ve been married to them for decades.

10 out of 10 – Sad, real and an emotional treat for those that thought original British cinema was dead.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Charlotte Rampling:  The Forbidden Room, Broadchurch (TV), Dexter (TV), Night Train To Lisbon, The Sea, Nymphomaniac, Eye of the Storm, I Anna, Cleanskin, Melancholia, Never Let Me Go, Streetdance, The Invisible Woman, The Duchess, Babylon AD, Basic Instinct 2, Swimming Pool, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Spy Game, Under The Sand, The Wings Of The Dove, Paris By Night, DOA (1987), Angel Heart, Max Mon Amour, The Verdict, Stardust Memories, Orca, Sherlock Holmes in New York (TV), Jackpot, Farewell My Lovely, Caravan to Vaccares, The Night Porter, Zardoz, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Vanishing Point, Asylum, The Damned, Georgy Girl
  • Tom Courtenay:  Dad’s Army, The Legend of Barney Thomson, Night Train To Lisbon, Quartet, Gambit (2012), The Golden Compass, Flood, Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Last Orders, Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?, A Rather English Marriage (TV), The Boy From Mercury, Let Him Have It, The Dresser, Catch Me a Spy, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich, A Dandy in Aspic, The Day the Fish Came Out, The Night of the Generals, Doctor Zhivago, King Rat, Operation Crossbow, King and Country, Billy Liar, Private Potter, The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
  • Geraldine James: Alice In Wonderland 2, Robot Overlords, Diana, Utopia (TV), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2012), Sherlock Holmes 2, Made In Dagenham, Arthur (2011), Alice In Wonderland (2010), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Calendar Girls, The Luzhin Defence, Band Of Gold (TV), The Man Who Knew Too Little, Moll Flanders (1996), The Bridge (1992), Teen Agent, The Tall Guy, The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase, Gandhi
  • David Sibley: The Sleeping Room
  • Richard Cunningham: Breakdown (2016)
  • Dolly Wells: Black Mountain Poets, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Benny & Jolene, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (TV), Dolly & Em (TV), Some Girls (TV), Spy (TV), Morvern Callar

THREE IN A BED

4.5. out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 1st August 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Lloyd Eyre-Morgan (Celluloid)

Cast: Brennan Reece, Darren Bransford, Verity May-Henry, Coby Hamilton, Kimberley Simpson, Louisa Bettine and Jody Latham

Writer: Lloyd Eyre-Morgan

Trailer: THREE IN A BED

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

’71

6 out of 10

Release Date: 10th October 2014

Director: Yann Demange (Top Boy (TV) / Dead Set (TV) / Secret Diary of a Call Girl (TV))

Cast: Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris, Richard Dormer, Charlie Murphy, Killian Scott, Barry Keoghan, Martin McCann, Babou Ceesay, Corey McKinley, Sam Hazeldine, Paul Popplewell with David Wilmot and Paul Anderson

Writer: Gregory Burke

Trailer: ’71

Review below by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THREE AND OUT

4 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 25th April 2008 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Jonathan Hershfield (Party Pieces)

Cast: Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney, Imelda Staunton, Gemma Arterton, Gary Lewis, Annette Badland, Mark Benton, Rhashan Stone, Sharon Duncan-Brewster with Kerry Katona and Anthony Sher

Writer: Steve Lewis & Tony Owen

Trailer: THREE AND OUT

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?

  • Mackenzie Crook: In Secret, Muppets Most Wanted, One Chance, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Game of Thrones (TV), Tintin (voice), Ironclad, Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll, Solomon Kane, 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)
  • Colm Meaney: One Chance, A Belfast StoryAlan Partridge – Alpha PapaThe Hot Potato, The Cold Light Of Day, Bel Ami, Parked, Get Him To The Greek,  The Damned Utd, Intermission, This Is My Father, Claire Dolan, Con Air, The Road To Wellville, War Of The Buttons, The Committments, The Snapper, The Van, Star Trek – Deep Space 9 (TV), Under Siege, Into the West, The Last Of The Mohicans (1992), Far and Away, Die Hard 2
  • Imelda Staunton: Paddington (voice), Pride (2014), Maleficent, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (voice),  Another Year, The Awakening, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix, Freedom Writers, Shadow Man,  Nanny McPhee,  Vera Drake,  Blackball, Chicken Run (voice), Remember Me,  Twelth Night (1996), Sense and Sensibility, Much Ado About Nothing(1993), Peter’s Friends
  • Gemma Arterton: Gemma Bovery, Voices, Runner Runner, Byzantium, Song For Marion, Hansel and Gretel- Witch Hunters, The Clash of The Titans (2010),The Disappearance Of Alice Creed,  James Bond- Quantum Of Solace, Tamara Drewe, Prince Of Persia, St Trinians 2, The Boat That Rocked, Rock-N-Rolla, St Trinians
  • Gary Lewis: Filth, Not Another Happy EndingWhen The Lights Went OutNeds, Goal 3, Valhalla Rising, Yasmin, Eragon, True North, Goal!, Ae Fond Kiss, Gangs Of New York, Shiner, Billy Eliiott, Gregory’s Girl 2, The Match, East Is East, Orphans, My Name Is Joe, My Name Is Joe
  • Annette Badland: Eastenders (TV), Mother’s Milk, Legacy – Black Ops, Cutting It (TV), Dr Who (TV), Valiant (voice), Club Le Monde, Honest, Little Voice, 24-7 – Twentyfourseven, Hollow Reed, Angels and Insects, Captives, Beyond Bedlam, Anchoress, Making Out (TV), Bergerac (TV), Jabberwocky
  • Mark Benton: The Devil Went Down To Islington, Waterloo Road (TV), Breaking and Entering, Booze Cruise 3 (TV), Booze Cruise 2 (TV), Early Doors (TV), The Booze Cruise (TV), Mr In-Between, Topsy Turvy, The Lost Son, The Sea Change, Career Girls, Boon (TV)
  • Rhashan Stone: The Bill (TV), Desmonds (TV)
  • Kerry Katona: Celebrity Big Brother (TV), This Morning (TV), Dancing On Ice (TV), Loose Women (TV), Kerry Katona – The Next Chapter (TV)
  • Anthony Sher: War Book, Churchill – The Hollywood Years, The Miracle Maker (voice), Shakespeare In Love, Alive and Kicking (1996), Wind In The Willows (1995), The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, Erik The Viking

8 MINUTES IDLE

4 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 14th February 2014

Director: Mark Simon Hewis

Cast: Tom Hughes, Ophelia Lovibond, Monserrat Lombard, Antonia Thomas, Jack Ashton, Divian Ladwa with Paul Kaye and Pippa Haywood

Writer: Nicholas Blincoe / Matt Thorne

Trailer: 8 MINUTES IDLE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

12 IN A BOX

3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 25th March 2013

Director: John McKenzie

Cast: Brian Mitchell, Kenneth Collard, Belle Hithersay, Lucy Chalkley, Simon Clarke, Anjella Mackintosh, Katy Wix, Paul Williamson, Glynne Steele, Clare Welch, Phoebe Sweeney, Jane McDowell, Ian Groombridge and Miranda Hart

Writer: John McKenzie & Bruce Windwood

Trailer: 12 IN A BOX

12-in-a-box-1024x768

I, Britpic Dick have to admit that I’ve made a mistake. In my review of Run For Your Wife, I said that nobody made films like that anymore. Here’s the proof that there must be some kind of underground movement in the UK film industry to bring the bedroom farce back  to the big screen. So far, the movement has largely failed but don’t write it off. Even though they are exceedlingly naff there’s a bit more thought to plot and dialogue in these movies than two dozen gangster films. Now to 12 In a Box – which is, to be honest, like a filmed evening at the local theatre where the over privileged wile away their spare time writing and acting in such pale farces. These are the kind of comedies where the biggest laugh comes from an old lady saying “feck!” 12 In a Box is the kind of thing to play well to retirees who just want something mild to pass the time. Getting off the couch or sourcing the DVD is another thing. 12 In a Box is only likely to reach its proper audience by landing on their laps as part of scheduled TV programming. With it’s hugely unknown cast giving it all they’ve got as if it’s their one and only chance (for most of them it is), it’s vaguely entertaining in its own way but I still find it a miracle that it actually exists. It’s an escapee from the 60s or 70s like Run For Your Wife. It’s also remiss of me not to highlight the reason why 12 In a Box got a limited cinema release in the first place. Made back in 2006, this stars Miranda Hart (MIRANDA) in a minor supporting role. Nowadays, she’s one of the UK’s most famous and highly paid female TV actors / personalities, meaning (possibly) that 12 In a Box has a certain curiosity factor (for her fans).  If Hart had remembered being in the film she probably could have afforded to have it embargoed. But it does look like everyone had fun making it, maybe she had fond memories of it. She’s no more embarrassing than anyone else. Fans need not apply, because she’s barely in it despite dominating the poster / DVD sleeve. Another piece of marketing chicanery that’s prevalent in the low budget film biz.

In a nutshell, the plot of 12 In a Box is a bloodless episode of Saw played as a bedroom farce. As the twelve or so refugees from the local am-dram circuit convene on a country house for a school reunion they each learn that they will come into an inheritance of £1 Million if they can wait 96 hours without leaving the house or telling any outsiders the details of the plot. Also anybody that shows up at the house / estate cannot leave until the said time has elapsed either. Easier said than done. Several of the characters have important reasons not to be there, marriages, expensive deals, children at home. Then one of them unexpectedly die, burglars break in, the police arrive and yes, none of these can leave for the 96 hours either. Complications ensue as tempers fray, libidos clash and everyone seems to lose their mind.

Audiences may only hang on to see what the catch (if there is one) may be. No spoilers here, but I didn’t see the ending coming at all, so it does get points for a creative ending. But at 96 minutes, you really do feel like you’re there for 96 hours. The script is straight out of comedies like Executive Stress or Butterflies. You expect Geoffrey Palmer, Wendy Craig or Penelope Keith to high tail it on at any minute. But alas none of them did – only more village hall escapees. On the whole it’s slim pickings. I didn’t laugh once. And I enjoy laughing. However there is some thought at play here, I can see an attempt at appealing to a neglected audience. Will the chattering classes care though? Not enough to make this or Run For Your Wife a hit that’s for certain. There isn’t even any nudity to keep viewers happy, seeing as this is a sex comedy. So no blood and no boobs but an extended Miranda Hart cameo. Aren’t we lucky.

3.5 out of 10 – Reasonably watchable, only because there aren’t many films like this getting made. It’s still feint praise. Miranda Hart completists, beware.

WHAT HAVE SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Kenneth Collard: Cheerful Weather For The Wedding, Albert Nobbs
  • Katy Wix: Not Going Out (TV), Horrible Histories (TV), Torchwood (TV)
  • Ian Groombridge: Tony
  • Miranda Hart: Spy (2015), Call The Midwife (TV), Miranda (TV), The Infidel, Not Going Out (TV), Hyperdrive (TV)