DAD’S ARMY (2016)

3 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date:  5th February 2016

Director: Oliver Parker (Johnny English 2 / St Trinians 2 / Dorian Gray / St Trinians (2007) / The Importance of Being Earnest (2002) / An Ideal Husband (1999) / Othello (1995))

Cast: Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Courtenay, Daniel Mays, Blake Harrison, Alison Steadman, Sarah Lancashire, Mark Gatiss, Felicity Montagu, Emily Atack, Holli Dempsey, Annette Crosbie, Julia Foster, Mark Tandy, Andrew Havill, Martin Savage, Ian Lavender with Bill Paterson, Oliver Tobias and Michael Gambon

Writer: Hamish McColl

Trailer: DAD’S ARMY (2016)

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Toby Jones: Jurassic Park 5, The Snowman (2017), Atomic Blonde, Wayward Pines (TV), Tale of Tales, Anthropoid, Morgan, Alice In Wonderland 2 (voice), The Man Who Knew Infinity, Dad’s Army, Serena, Hunger Games – Mockingjay 2, By The Gun, Marvellous, Muppets Most Wanted, Captain American 2, My Week With Marilyn, Snow White & The Huntsman,  The Berberian Sound Studio, The Hunger Games, Red Lights, Tintin (voice),Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows- part 1 (voice), Captain America, Your Highness, The Rite, Sex Drugs and Rock N’ Roll, St Trinians 2, Nightwatching, Creation, W., Frost / Nixon, City Of Ember, St Trinians, The Mist, The Painted Veil, Infamous, Mrs Henderson Presents, Finding Neverland, Ladies In Lavender, Harry Potter & The Chambers Of Secrets, Simon Magus
  • Bill Nighy: The Limehouse Golem, Their Finest, Pride (2014), I Frankenstein, About Time, The World’s End (voice), Jack The Giant Slayer, Total Recall (2012), Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Wrath Of The Titans, Arthur Christmas (voice), Chalet Girl, Rango (voice), Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows- part 1, Wild Target (2010), Glorious 39, The Boat That Rocked, Underworld 3, Valkyrie, Pirates Of The Caribbean 3, Hot Fuzz, Notes On a Scandal, Flushed Away (voice), Alex Rider- Stormbreaker, Pirates Of The Caribbean 2, Underworld 2, The Constant Gardner, A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (2006), The Magic Roundabout (voice), Enduring Love, Shaun Of The Dead, Underworld, Love Actually, State Of Play (TV), I Capture The Castle, Auf Wierdesen Pet! (TV), The Lost Prince, Lucky Break, The Lawless Heart, Blow Dry, Guest House Paradiso, Still Crazy, Alive and Kicking (1996), Being Human, True Blue
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones: RED 2, Side Effects, Broken City, Rock of Ages, Lay The Favourite, Playing for Keeps, The Rebound, Death Defying Acts, No Reservations, Ocean’s 12. The Legend of Zorro, The Terminal, Intolerable Cruelty, Chicago, America’s Sweethearts, Traffic, High Fidelity, The Haunting (1999), Entrapment, The Mask of Zorro, The Phantom, Blue Juice, Darling Buds of May (TV), Splitting Heirs, Christopher Columbus – The Discovery
  • Tom Courtenay: Guernsey, The Legend of Barney Thomson, 45 Years, 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
  • Daniel Mays: The Limehouse Golem, Star Wars – Rogue One, The Infiltrator, Victor Frankenstein, Byzantium, Welcome To The Punch, Tintin (mo-cap), Made In Dagenham, Nanny McPhee 2, The Firm (2009), Shifty, The Bank Job, Atonement, Vera Drake, All Or Nothing
  • Blake Harrison: Prime Suspect 1973 (TV), Bob The Builder (voice)(TV), The Inbetweeners 2, Keeping Rosy, The Inbetweeners, The Inbetweeners (TV)
  • Alison Steadman: Burn Burn Burn, In The Blood, Gavin & Stacey (TV), Confetti, Fat Friends (TV), The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Adrian Mole (TV), Chunky Monkey, Topsy Turvy, Pride & Prejudice (TV), Blame It On The Bellboy, Life Is Sweet, Wilt, Shirley Valentine, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Stormy Monday, Clockwise, A Private Function, P’Tang, Yang, Kipperbang, Nuts In May
  • Sarah Lancashire: Happy Valley (TV), Last Tango In Halifax (TV), Lark Rise To Candelford (TV), When Did You Last See Your Father?, Rose and Maloney (TV), Clocking Off (TV), Where The Heart Is (TV), Coronation Street (TV)
  • Mark Gatiss: Taboo (TV), Sherlock (TV), Denial, Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie, Our Kind of Traitor, Victor Frankenstein, London Spy (TV), Game of Thrones (TV), Wolf Hall (TV), Dr Who (TV), Starter For 10, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (voice), The League of Gentleman’s Apocalypse, Sex Lives of the Potato Men, Birthday Girl, The League of Gentlemen (TV)
  • Felicity Montagu: Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa, I’m Alan Partridge (TV)
  • Emily Atack: Iron Sky 2, Ibiza Undead, The Bunker (2016)Almost Married, Get Lucky, Outside Bet, The Inbetweeners (TV)
  • Holli Dempsey: Aaaaaaaah!, The Aliens (TV), Derek (TV)
  • Annette Crosbie: Eat Local, Into The Woods, What We Did On Our Holiday, 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
  • Julia Foster: All Coppers Are…, Half a Sixpence, Alfie (1966), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
  • Mark Tandy: The Limehouse Golem, Maurice, Defence of the Realm
  • Andrew Havill: The Children Act, My Cousin Rachel, The Carer, Hyde Park On The Hudson
  • Martin Savage: Mr Turner, Another Year, Topsy Turvy
  • Ian Lavender: Eastenders (TV), The Hooligan Factory, Dad’s Army (1971), Dad’s Army (TV)
  • Bill Paterson: The Healer, High-Rise, Outlander (TV), Law & Order UK (TV), Creation, Dr Who (TV), How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, Miss Potter, Amazing Grace, Rag Tale, Kingdom of Heaven, Bright Young Things, Crush (2001), The Match (1999), Hilary & Jackie, Spice World, Victory, Richard III (1995), God On The Rocks, Truly Madly Deeply, The Witches, The Rachel Papers, Hidden City, Auf Wierdesen Pet (TV), Defence of the Realm, A Private Function, The Killing Fields, Smiley’s People (TV)
  • Oliver Tobias: Highway To Hell (2013), The Brylcreem Boys, Cobra Mission, Dick Turpin (TV), The Stud, Arthur Of The Britons (TV)
  • Michael Gambon: Mad To Be Normal, Victoria & Abdul, Viceroy’s House, Paddington (voice), Fortitude (TV), Quartet, The King’s Speech, Harry Potter – parts 2-8, The Book Of Eli, Fantastic Mr Fox (voice), Brideshead Revisited (2008), The Good Night, The Good Shepherd, The Omen (2006), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,  Layer Cake, Sky Captain and The World Of Tomorrow, Sylvia, Open Range, The Actors, Ali G In Da House, Charlotte Gray, Gosford Park, High Heels and Low Lifes, Sleepy Hollow, The insider, Plunkett & Macleane, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Gambler, Wings Of The Dove, Mary Reilly, The Innocent Sleep, Two Deaths, Nothing Personal, A Man Of No Importance, The Browning Version (1994), Toys, Mobsters, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, A Dry White Season, The Rachel Papers, Paris By Night, The Singing Detective (TV)

DON’T HANG UP

4 out of 10

Release date: 12th June 2017 (DVD premiere)

Director: Damien Mace & Alexis Wajsbrot

Cast: Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton, Bella Dayne, Philip Desmeules (voice), Jack Brett Anderson, with Parker Sawyers and Sienna Guillory

Writer: Joe Johnson

Trailer: DON’T HANG UP

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Competent thriller which splices Saw and Scream together. Trouble is our heroes are despicable throwaways who pretty much deserve everything that comes there way, depending on how ‘old testament’ your views are.

Gregg Sulkin’s  (FAKING IT) Sam and Garrett Clayton’s (TEEN BEACH) Brady are the ring leaders of a YouTube channel phone pranking gang. Brady is the heartless asshat without a conscience who is quite obviously addicted to the kicks he gets out of phoning and winding up complete strangers. Sam has more of a moral compass, his girlfriend (BELLA DAYNE – HUMANS) is on the verge of dumping him for his involvement, except she’s little better.  One day the chickens come home to roost when they find themselves under siege from a vengeful caller who seems to hold all the cards – who is he/she? And what happens if they disobey his command, “Don’t Hang Up!”

If you’ve never seen this kind of film, you may well be able to predict some of its twists and turns, so derivative of better films is it. However, the tension levels are present and correct and the performance flawless. It’s definitely watchable and a good time passer. The mixture of British and German actors and actresses do well with their American accents, yet you can still tell it’s a British production down to the production values, the set and single locations. Sienna Guillory (FORTITUDE) turns up for a a brief cameo too give the film an ounce of pedigree, in a role as the pranksters first onscreen ‘victim’. Elsewhere the lead duo, do a good job of selling their utterly odious ‘heroes’. It’s quite rare to cheer on the evil villain, who unnerves with a Kevin Spacey-like phone demeanour and a very creepy mask. The lead duo walk into so many traps that you’d think lads like this would have seen in famous films, but no, these guys aren’t the cast of Scream, and there’s no sense of meta. The high-stakes game runs out of steam by the end, and the ending doesn’t quite come off – but in the main this was a diverting 90 minutes designed as a late night throwaway on a film channel.

4 out of 10 – You’ll be rooting for the bad guy in this tidy, yet predictable quickie that borrow large dollops of inspiration from Saw, Scream and When a Stranger Calls. A solid time passer.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Gregg Sulkin: Anti-Social, Faking It (TV). Sixty Six
  • Garrett Clayton: Teen Beach 2, Teen Beach
  • Bella Dayne: Humans (TV), Plebs (TV)
  • Jack Brett Anderson: Wolfblood (TV), House of Salem
  • Parker Sawyers: Southside With You, The Calling, Monsters 2
  • Sienna Guillory: Abduct, Fortitude (TV), Lucky Man (TV), High-RiseThe Goob, Luther (TV), Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 4, Inkheart, Eragon, Resident Evil 3, Love Actually, The Principles of Lust, The Time Machine (2002), Late Night Shopping, Sorted

 

DARKEST DAWN

1.5 out of 10

Release date:  27th March 2017 (DVD premiere)

Director: Drew Casson (Hungerford)

Cast: Drew Casson, Bethan Mary Leadley, Cherry Wallis, Tom Scarlett, Sam Carter, Mark Cusack, Jamie Paul, Mawaan Rizwan, Jesse Cleverly, Stuart Ashen, Sarah Perugia, Georgia Bradley

Writer: Drew Casson and Jesse Cleverly

Trailer: THE DARKEST DAWN

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Director, writer and actor of this sci-fi The Darkest Dawn, Drew Casson does have some talent. His low-budget special effects are amazing for the amount of budget they had to play with. He really should have concentrated on this area rather than trying to be all things to all film fans because he crashes and burns in all over departments. As a director, film actor and writer he’s fucking crap. This highly derivative, cringy, awful sci-fi is is emblematic of everything that’s wrong with low-budget filmmaking. Talentless divs, who clearly don’t know a thing about storytelling getting hold of a camera and some mates to give themselves the illusion their working on something worthwhile. Remarkably, this is the break-out result of a YouTube series of shorts and the second in the Hungerford trilogy. Hungerford is only availble online at the moment, so its a strange decision for GiltMedia to release it on DVD without the first installment.

This sequel, begins with new leads, sisters Chloe (BETH MARY LEADEN) and Sam (CHERRY WALLIS) who are survivors of an ongoing alien attack. The bugs jump out of alien spaceships and turn their prey into zombies (I think). They run into the main characters from part one led by Drew Casson’s Cohen, and a few others who are looking for Adam’s (TOM SCARLETT) sister.  They go on a hunt across Berkshire looking for her, avoiding detection from the bugs, zombies and hostile survivors.

The acting is uniformly terrible from all except for Tom Scarlett, who shows some promise. The script and the scenarios are disastrous and as I said cringy and awful. You’ll not hear dialogue as rotten as this for a long time. Casson makes the UK’s answer to Uwe Boll, Steven M Smith look like David Mamet. Characters flit in and out, with the mood swings of a 14 year-old. Supposedly smart characters act stupid, sensitive characters act selfishly, and it’s possibly a candidate for the worst end of the world film I’ll ever watch. If it wasn’t for the very good special effects – depicting invading space ships, collapsing buildings, smashed vehicles, The Darkest Dawn would be scoring minus points. It’s straight-to-camera addresses by the main character, Chloe, are an embarrassing assortment of unrealistic confessions and badly written messages to their missing mother. A tired device that baffles all the more as it never seems to lose charge and is largely indestructable. Before kids like this make any films in the future they should find a writer, find some really good actors and rehearse for weeks to get the performances nailed before subjecting film fans to yet another amateur hour special. The pursuit for fame is littered with these have-a-go-bellends wasting our time with their shit passion projects. Tiresome, atrocious and a real bunch of bullshit.

1.5 out of 10 – Impressive, cheap special effects are all there is to recommend in this copy-cat homage to way better end of the world movies. Unbelievably, this is a sequel to something someone somewhere thought was worth following up. Total shit.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Drew Casson: Hungerford (dir)
  • Tom Scarlett: Hungerford
  • Sam Carter: Hungerford
  • Mark Cusack: Hungerford
  • Georgia Bradley: Hungerford

DON’T KNOCK TWICE

4 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 31st March 2017

Director: Caradog W James (The Machine (2014))

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Boynton, Pooneh Hajimohammedi, Richard Mylan, Jordan Bolger, Ania Marson with Javier Botet, and Nick Moran

Writer: Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler

Trailer: DON’T KNOCK TWICE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Katee Sackhoff: Oculus, Riddick, The Haunting In Connecticut 2, 24 (TV), Battlestar Galactica (TV), Bionic Woman (TV), White Noise 2, Halloween Resurrection
  • Lucy Boynton: Sing Street, Miss Potter
  • Pooneh Hajimohammedi: The Machine (2014)
  • Richard Mylan: Waterloo Road (TV), Doctors (TV), Where The Heart Is (TV), Bad Girls (TV), The Bill (TV)
  • Jordan Bolger: The Habit of Beauty, iBoy, Peaky Blinders (TV)
  • Javier Botet: Insidious 4, It, The Other Side of the Door, Rec 4, Mama, Rec 3, Rec 2, Rec
  • Nick Moran: My Name is Lenny, The Habit of Beauty, Eat Local, Terminal, London Heist, Age of Kill, Down Dog, Death (2014)St George’s DayThe Kid (2010) (dir), Goal 3, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 1 & 2, Telstar (dir), The Baby Juice Express, Puritan, The Musketeer, Another Life, Rancid Aluminium, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

DEPARTURE

8 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 20th May 2016

Director: Andrew Steggall

Cast: Juliet Stevenson, Alex Lawther, Phenix Brossard, Patrice Juiff with Niamh Cusack and Finbar Lynch

Writer: Andrew Steggall

Trailer: DEPARTURE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Juliet Stevenson: Diana, When Did You Last See Your Father?, Breaking and Entering, Infamous, Pierrepoint, Being Julia, Mona Lisa Smile, The One and Only, Bend It Like Beckham, Food Of Love, Emma (1996), The Secret Rapture, The Trial (1993), Truly Madly Deeply, Drowning By Numbers
  • Alex Lawther: X+Y, The Imitation Game
  • Niamh Cusack: The Ghoul, ChickLit, Testament of Youth, The Kid (2010), The Closer You Get, Heartbeat (TV), The Playboys (1992), Fools of Fortune, A Marriage of Inconvenience, Paris By Night
  • Finbar Lynch: Suffragette, The Numbers Station

A DOZEN SUMMERS

3 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 17th August 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Kenton Hall

Cast: Hero Hall, Scarlet Hall, Kenton Hall, Sarah Warren, Robert Bilic, Sanjiv Hayre with Ewen McIntosh and Colin Baker (narrator)

Writer: Kenton Hall

Trailer: A DOZEN SUMMERS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?