EAT LOCAL

2.5 out of 10

Release date: TBC (UK)

Director: Jason Flemyng

Cast: Billy Cook, Eve Myles, Charlie Cox, Mackenzie Crook, Tony Curran, Freema Agyeman, Robert Portal, Annette Crosbie, Ruth Jones, Johnny Palmiero, Lukaz Leong, Jordan Long, Alistair Petrie, Nicholas Rowe, Nick Moran with Dexter Fletcher and Vincent Regan

Writer: Danny King

Trailer: EAT LOCAL

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Whilst this isn’t the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels reunion you’d hoped for – two leads behind, and two leads in front of the camera, Eat Local still has a knockabout sense of fun. However, little of the juice translates to the finished product, with virtually all of the decent gags spunking off in the trailer. Actor-turned-have-a-go-director Jason Flemyng (THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON) turns in this remix of Dog Soldiers (werewolves vs squaddies is swapped for squaddies vs vampires), only he’s ended up with a remake of Lesbian Vampire Killers, the Un-DOA horror-comedy vehicle for James Corden and Matthew Vaughn.

A coven of vampires meet for an AGM in a serial-killer’s cottage (DEXTER FLETCHER –  CARAVAGGIO), only to find out that they are being watched very closely by the British Army led by Robert Portal (STIFF UPPER LIPS) and Mackenzie Crook (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN). Throw into the mix a pure-breed cockney gangster/gypsy who, unbenownst to him, is being lined up as a new vampire lord. He is about to get turned when the army burst in and the bullets, and stakes begin to fly.

I wish I could say there’s fun to be had for the viewer, but Billy Cook is no Danny Dyer, so casting your mind back to the similar Doghouse, and the  horror Severance, the former just doesn’t cut it in the comedy stakes. Laugh out loud moments are very rare, especially if you’ve seen the trailer, and there are no memorable scenes to make this stand out in any way. Stalwarts like Vincent Regan (LOCK OUT) and Annette Crosbie (MONARCH OF THE GLEN) look like they are having a good time, but like the rest of the variable cast they are wasted.

Eat Local plays like a squandered opportunity.  Competently made, it still gets by on a wing and prayer. Of the four leads from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, for some the quintessential Brit-gangster caper comedy, Dexter Fletcher is the most visible, in a supporting role as a murderous farmer, Jason Flemyng directs, Nick Moran (LONDON HEIST) is one of the soldiers (for a walk-on) and Jason Statham remains off-screen but did the fight choreography for the one martial arts scene – which is fairly good to be charitable. Oh and fifth cast member Nicholas Rowe (YOUNG SHERLOCK) was also in Lock Stock too. It’s a small bit of trivia thats unlikely to impress that many people.

Eat Local does very little to distinguish itself, except that Flemyng has drew in a super cast, full of British film and TV faves. The trouble is that all that good will has come to nothing and its really sad to have felt my interest in the film on the wain really early on. It’s a good idea and a tight scenario, it’s just a shame that the writers forgot to write any good jokes as this is as funny as Zero Dark Thirty and the Hurt Locker put together.

It’s also part produced by the gruesome twosome of Jonathan Sothcott and Neil Jones – the former is an inconsistent force in low-budget filmmaking in the UK, with a hit rate of 1.5 movies in 5. Neil Jones is a sloppy film director who would be better off directing traffic.  As for Flemyng as director, you’d have thought his BFF, Dexter Fletcher (who also directs), would have given him some tips on how to make a great film.

2.5 out of 10 – A flat movie experience, which was probably a hoot to make. Flemyng has a lot of friends in high places and draws and awesome cast but then forgets to return the favour by gifting them worthwhile roles. Fangs a lot, Jase.

 

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

 

ELIMINATORS

2.5 out of 10

Release date: 23rd February 2017 (DVD Premiere)

Director: James Nunn (Green Street 3 / Tower Block)

Cast: Scott Adkins, Wade Barrett, Daniel Caltagirone, Lily Ann Harland-Stubbs, Nick Nevern, Ty Glaser, Stephen Marcus, Renee Castle, Olivia Mace, Mem Ferda, Sean Cronin, Dean Ridge with Mark Wingett and James Cosmo

Writer: Nathan Brookes & Bobby Lee Darby

Trailer: ELIMINATORS

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Director James Nunn distinguished himself as a filmmaker to watch with Tower Block, he brought character to the idiotic Green Street 3 , but at least it was fun. Eliminators sees our man in journeyman mode. Sadly his third film fails to engage on any level, Nunn has failed to leave his fingerprints on one of the most bland and dull action films I’ve seen in some time. Hero, Scott Adkins (ZERO DARK THIRTY) plays a character with about as much character as John Major. He’s paired up with a really bad actor this time, former WWE all-star Stu Bennett aka Wade Barrett (DEAD MAN DOWN). His character is a bad shot, selects the wrong weaponry for nearly all of his fights, and forgets to act. All of the dialogue is boiled down to the instructional like, “Where’s my daughter?”, “Let’s go,” “Get him!” and “F8ck you>…” All the principles are British except they sport terrible American accents, the generic sort with no idea of region or state – just the TV version. The plot could have been devised by an unimaginative six year old son of a tax auditor. There’s zero flare. A potentially good location – the Canning Town cable cars (whatever they’re called) pop up in a fight but there’s no pace.

There are a few good fight scenes but the gun battles are boring and inauthentic. Wade Barrett doesn’t help matters by delivering his lines like he’s trying to shit them. They are shit as well. The supporting cast are generally wasted with good actors like James Cosmo (TRAINSPOTTING), Mem Ferda (LONDON HEIST) and Ty Glaser (HOLBY CITY) left picking their noses on the sidelines awaiting their screen deaths. Nick Nevern (MRS BROWN’S BOYS D’MOVIE) looks like he’s dreaming of better times when he was playing the baddy in the fan-made tribute to Mrs Brown’s Boys.

The most disappointing aspect of this, is that it was meant to be fun and it wasn’t. It was as flat as Nick Nevern‘s head, the whole thing. A missed opportunity in pretty much every department.

2.5 out of 10 – More like Constipators. Boring, sluggish, slow and a waste of reasonable acting talent. Sorry Scott, we need more imaginative action films and not cures for insomnia.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

ESSEX HEIST

2 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 23rd January 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steve Lawson (The Haunting of Annie Dyer / Footsoldier / Killer/Saurus  / The Silencer)

Cast: Glenn Salvage, Adam Collins, Marcus Langford, Dean Leon Finlan, Georgia Annable, Richard Carter with Raven Lee and Steven Dolton

Writer: Steve Lawson

Trailer: ESSEX HEIST

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Essex Heist is Steve Lawson‘s best film since his debut The Silencer. Yes you read that right. Maybe it’s because both of these feature my co-critic Matt Usher‘s favourite actor Glenn Salvage (NEVER LET GO) in, or is it just a sad fact that all Lawson’s films are a new order of terrible. The good thing about Steve Lawson‘s films is that he takes the craft very seriously. He know’s how to frame and light a shot, his camera angles and movements are very professional. Where he falls down, and he falls down further and harder than most is in his insistance on showing off his non-skills as a director/script writer. The actors, no matter how talented that may have been in other films, aren’t expert enough to make his scripts even remotely convincing. The storylines and their lines of dialogue are just shit and they sound  like they were written by someone who only vaguely understands the English language.

Jez (Salvage) runs a back street garage for paedophile gangster Terry Slade (STEVEN DOLTON – ROBERT 2). When he learns that Slade is transporting a million quid across town later that week he decides to plan a heist, a plan so devious even my dog could have decipered it. So feeble minded is the plan, and so drop dead dumb are the perpertrators that when it transpires that the booty has been swapped for SPOILER wads of paper the mechanics turn on one another, and the bodies stack higher.We are treated to a reasonably good martial arts fight near the end but on the whole this is 90 % cinematic torture by way of frontal lobotamy. Mind you the opening line where Jez introduces himself in an award winning (unintentional humour in the movies category award winner tm) is a classic… I won’t spoilt the line where he describes his Mum… Classic.

2 out 10 – For fans of Steve Lawson only…. hello! hello? Come back….

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

ESTRANGED

3.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 29th August 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Adam Levins

Cast: Amy Manson, James Cosmo, Craig Conway, Eileen Nicholas, Nora Jane Noone, James Lance and Simon Quarterman

Writer: Simon Fantauzzo

Trailer: ESTRANGED

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

 

ESSEX VENDETTA

1.5 out of 10

Release Date: 9th May 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Terry Lee Coker (Hatton Garden – The Heist)

Cast: Michael McKell, Kris Johnson, Danniella Westbrook, Eddie Webber, Lucinda Rhodes, Paul McCarthy, Sidney Livingstone, Molly Henderson, Matt Hookings, Johnny Sachon, Jimmy Roussounis, Tony (AG) Longhurst,  John Altman with Joe Egan and Ian Burfield

Writer: Terry Lee Coker

Trailer: ESSEX VENDETTA

essex-vendetta-(2016)This film ends with a terrifying threat to the viewer.  Over the closing credits you realise that lead actor Michael McKell (OUTPOST 3) is also a pop singer, and that the lyrics in the chorus go something like this, “And when the night falls, I come for youuuuu…”  Oh my gosh. Not only does the star, co-writer and producer of this floppy gangster yarn have aspirations to gain a career in the film industry but he’s also got his eye on the pop charts. It’s megalomania at its most cringeworthy.

That said Michael McKell is a pretty good actor and luckily for Essex Vendetta, a few of his friends can act as well. Unfortunately, him and his director and co-writer Terry Lee Coker have served up one of the worst plotted (if you could say that) films I’ve seen since Hooligan Wars. The presence of some talent saves it from being fully DOA.

Essex Vendetta made no sense and there was no vendetta. Story twists happen from which characters recover in seconds. People commit suicide, get shot, stabbed only to turn up minutes later. There’s a a weird kidnapping at a funeral which everybody notices but no one reacts to. The main character’s father mercy kills his wife has a tiny fight with his son then it’s forgotten all about. The father’s suicide is handled in a majorly distasteful and cackhanded way.  The inheritance is spent on a drug cache, also the main character borrows money from a local hood to open a tattoo parlour . This is also a place where drug deals are brokered and people die, but scenes pile up where the incident is half-realised and rushed through. It’s slap dash and largely nonsensical and if it was a photo it would be very blurred.  The acting is competent but the script and story is a dead dog. It even seems like pages have been skipped out, lots of them.The Vauxhall-Carlton league of decent actors all run past the camera to say a few lines but it all generally amounts to yet another amateur gangster actor love-in retitled last minute from On a Prayer to Essex Vendetta so that it sells 3 more copies at Asda in Dagenham. Terry Lee Coker also wrote Hooligan Legacy which is streets better than this sorry heap of sh*t. Kris Johnson from this and Hooligan Legacy could be a new face to watch as he’s very good at the shifty geezer character. Other than him and some nice Malta locations this is about as close to watchable as Essex Bendover ever gets. Oh yeah and the weird Ennio Morricone-style score with a whistler on it is curiously catchy but played randomly over any old scene. Joyless.

1.5 out of 10 – A poor, poor effort to make a ‘crime pays’ opus but this was just hopeless. I even watched it twice to see if it made sense. It still doesn’t.

Review below by Matt ‘Yorkshire Pudding Vendetta’ Usher

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

 

EDDIE THE EAGLE

5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 28th March 2016

Director: Dexter Fletcher (Sunshine On Leith / Wild Bill (2012))

Cast: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, Tim McInnerny, Mark Benton, Iris Berben, Edvin Endre, Rune Temte, Daniel Ings, Ania Sowinski, Paul Reynolds with Jim Broadbent and Christopher Walken

Writer: Sean Macaulay & Simon Kelton

Trailer: EDDIE THE EAGLE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Taron Egerton: Kingsman 2, Legend (2015), Kingsman – The Secret Service, Testament of Youth
  • Hugh Jackman: X-Men – Wolverine 3, X-Men 5, Pan, Chappie, X-Men 4, The Prisoners, Les Miserables (2013), X-Men – The Wolverine 2, Movie 43, Rise Of The Guardians (voice), Real Steel, X-Men-Wolverine, Australia, Happy Feet (voice), Flushed Away (voice), The Prestige, The Fountain,  Scoop, X-Men 3, Van Helsing, X-Men 2, Kate & Leopold, Swordfish, X-Men, Paperback Hero
  • Jo Hartley: David Brent – Life On The Road, This Is England ’90 (TV),  When The Lights Went OutIll Manors, This Is England ’88 (TV), Inbred, This Is England 86 (TV), Soulboy, Crying With Laughter, This Is England
  • Keith Allen: Football Kingdom, Hector, North V SouthBlood Shot, The Last Showing, Vinyl, The Magnificent Eleven, Come On Eileen, The Good Night, De-Lovely, 24 Hour Party People, The Others, Rancid Aluminium, Preaching To The Perverted, Twin Town, Trainspotting, Loch Ness, Blue Juice, Shallow Grave, Second Best, Captives, Beyond Bedlam, The Young Americans. The Comic Strip (TV), Carry On Columbus, Rebecca’s Daughters, Kafka, Making Out (TV), Chicago Joe & The Showgirl, Scandal, The Supergrass
  • Tim McInnerny: The Comedian’s Guide To Survival, The Hippopotamus, Spooks – The Greater Good, Automata, Castles In The Sky, New Tricks (TV), Johnny English 2, Black Death, Dr Who (TV), Severance, Casanova, 102 Dalmatians, Rogue Trader, Notting Hill, 101 Dalmatians, Richard III (1995), Erik The Viking, Blackadder (TV)
  • Mark Benton: The Devil Went Down To Islington, Waterloo Road (TV), Breaking and Entering, Booze Cruise 3 (TV), Three and Out, 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)
  • Edvin Endre: Fortitude (TV), Vikings (TV)
  • Rune Temte: Fortitude (TV)
  • Daniel Ings: W1A (TV), Scrotal Recall (TV), Psychoville (TV)
  • Anya Sowinski: Draw On Sweet Night
  • Paul Reynolds: Level Up, The Guvnors, Croupier, Blue Juice, Press Gang (TV), Let Him Have It, Slipstream, Castaway (1986), Beastmaster
  • Jim Broadbent: Bridget Jones 3, The Sense of an Ending, War & Peace (TV), Brooklyn, The Lady In a Van, Big Game, Get Santa, Paddington, Postman Pat (voice), The Harry Hill Movie, Closed Circuit, Le Week-EndFilth, Cloud Atlas, The Iron Lady, Another Year, Harry Potter- part 8, Harry Potter- part 6, Arthur Christmas (voice), The Damned United, Young Victoria, Inkheart, Indiana Jones 4, Hot Fuzz, Chronicles Of Narnia- The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, Bridget Jones 2, Vera Drake, Vanity Fair, Bright Young Things, Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Gangs Of New York, Iris, Moulin Rouge, Bridget Jones, Little Voice, Topsy Turvy, The Avengers, The Borrowers, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, The Secret Agent, Rough Magic, Richard III (1995), Princess Caraboo, Bullets Over Broadway, Widow’s Peak, The Crying Game, Enchanted April, Life Is Sweet, Erik The Viking, Vroom, Brazil
  • Christopher Walken: Nine Lives, The Jungle Book (voice) (2016), Jersey Boys, Stand Up Guys, A Last Quartet, Seven Psychopaths, The Legend of Harrow Woods (voice), Dark Horse, Hairspray (2006), Click, Domino, Wedding Crashers, The Stepford Wives (2004), Man On Fire, Welcome To The Jungle, Gigli, Kangaroo Jack, Catch Me If You Can, America’s Sweethearts, Sleepy Hollow, Antz (voice), Blast From The Past, Mousehunt, Excess Baggage, Last Man Standing, The Funeral, Basquiat, The Addiction, Nick Of Time, Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, Wild Side, The Prophecy – parts 1-3, Pulp Fiction, A Business Affair, Wayne’s World 2, True Romance, Batman Returns, Mistress, The Comfort Of Strangers, King Of New York, Communion, Homeboy, Biloxi Blues, At Close Range, James Bond – A View To a Kill, The Dead Zone, Dogs Of War, Heaven’s Gate, The Deer Hunter, Annie Hall

EYE IN THE SKY

6 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 15th April 2016

Director: Gavin Hood (Ender’s Game / Rendition / X-Men – Wolverine / Tsotsi)

Cast: Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam, Phoebe Fox, Monica Dolan, Aisha Takow, Babou Ceesay, Richard McCabe, Kim Engelbrecht, Gavin Hood, Jessica Jones, Laila Robbins with Michael O’Keefe and Iain Glen

Writer: Guy Hibbert

Trailer: EYE IN THE SKY

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Helen Mirren: Trumbo, Woman In Gold, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Red 2, Hitchcock, Arthur (2011), Red, Brighton Rock (2011), Legend Of The Guardians – The Owls Of Ga’Hoole (voice), The Tempest (2010), The Debt, The Queen, State Of Play, Inkheart, National Treasure 2, Calendar Girls, Gosford Park, Last Orders, The Pledge, Greenfingers, Teaching Mrs Tingle, Some Mother’s Son, The Madness Of King George III, The Hawk, Where Angels Fear To Tread, The Comfort Of Strangers, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, When The Whales Came, Mosquito Coast, Cal, Excalibur, The Long Good Friday, Caligula
  • Alan Rickman: Alice In Wonderland 2 (voice), A Little Chaos, The Butler, Gambit, Harry Potter – parts 1-8, Alice In Wonderland (voice), Bottle Shock, Sweeney Todd, Perfume, Snow Cake, Love Actually, Blow Dry, Galaxy Quest, Dogma, The Winter Guest (dir), Michael Collins, Rasputin, Sense and Sensibility, An Awfully Big Adventure, Mesmer, Bob Roberts, Close My Eyes, Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves, Closet Land, Truly Madly Deeply, Quigley Down Under, The January Man, Die Hard
  • Aaron Paul: Central Intelligence, Triple 9, Exodus, Need For Speed, A Long Way Down, Breaking Bad (TV), Smashed, Big Love (TV), The Last House On The Left (2009), Mission Impossible III
  • Barkhad Abdi: Grimsby, Captain Phillips
  • Jeremy Northam: Our Kind of Traitor, The Man Who Knew Infinity, Glorious 39, Creation, Dean Spanley, The Tudors (TV), The Invasion (2007), A Cock & Bull Story, Guy X, The Singing Detective, Cypher, Possession (2002), Gosford Park, Enigma, The Golden Bowl, The Winslow Boy, An Ideal Husband, Happy Texas, The Tribe, Amistad, Mimic, Emma, The Net, Carrington, Soft Top Hard Shoulder, Wuthering Heights (1992), Wish Me Luck (TV)
  • Phoebe Fox: War Book, The Woman In Black 2
  • Monica Dolan: Mid-Morning Matters with Alan Partridge (TV),  The Falling, W1A (TV), The Casual Vacancy (TV), Wolf Hall (TV), Pride (2014), Alan Partridge – Alpha PapaSightseersThe Arbor
  • Babou Ceesay: Free Fire,  ’71, Half of a Yellow Sun, Severance
  • Richard McCabe: Wallander (TV), Indian Summers (TV), Nightwatching
  • Gavin Hood: Ender’s Game (dir),  Rendition (dir),  X-Men – Wolverine (dir),  Tsotsi (dir), American Kickboxer, The Sheltering Sky
  • Laila Robbins: Homeland (TV), The Good Shepherd, Female Perversions, Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael, An Innocent Man, Planes Tranes and Automobiles
  • Michael O’Keefe: Sleepy Hollow (TV), Masters of Sex (TV), Homeland (TV), Frozen River, Michael Clayton, The Hot Chick, The Pledge, Ghosts of Mississippi, Roseanne (TV), Nina Takes a Lover, Fear (1990), Ironweed, Caddyshack
  • Iain Glen: Resident Evil 6, Beautiful Devils, Dusty and Me, The Bad Education Movie, Game of Thrones (TV), The Iron Lady, Kick Ass 2, Resident Evil 3,  Harry Brown, Kingdom Of Heaven, Resident Evil 2, Tomb Raider, Beautiful Creatures, The Young Americans, Silent Scream, Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead, Mountains Of The Moons, Gorillas In The Mist