THE HIPPOPOTAMUS

6 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 28th May 2017

Director: John Jencks (The Fold)

Cast: Roger Allam, Tommy Knight, Fiona Shaw, Tim McInnerny, Emily Berrington, Dean Ridge, Geraldine Somerville, John Standing, Lyne Renee, Emma Curtis, Emma West, Richard Glover with Russell Tovey and Matthew Modine

Writer: Stephen Fry  / Blance McIntyre, Tom Hodgson & Robin Hill

Trailer: THE HIPPOPOTAMUS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

 

HAMPSTEAD

2.5 out of 10

Release date: 23rd June 2017

Director: Joel Hopkins (The Love Punch / Last Chance Harvey / Jump Tomorrow)

Cast: Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson, Lesley Manville, James Norton, Jason Watkins, Adeel Akhtar, Alistair Petrie, Hugh Skinner, Brian Protheroe, Rosalind Ayres, Deborah Findlay, William Smith, Peter Singh with Simon Callow and Phil Davis

Writer: Robert Festinger

Trailer: HAMPSTEAD

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This is one of those films made for people that don’t like films. You know what I mean… Similarly there are bands that make music for people who have no interest in music. The music just plays to the masses to tick a box, to scratch an itch for the disinterested and lazy. Hampstead is such a film. A bland rom-com full of caricatures and blandy pandys running around in an unrealistic depiction of a London neighbourhood? Not that Richard Curtis directed or wrote this, but he has a lot to answer for with his form for presenting the wider film viewing public with a vision of London and England at large, as  apicture postcard, chocolate box world full of rich, people with first world problems, whose money problems are cute. Tramps look like they smell of roses, the sheds were they live look like they are out of a ‘shabby chic’ supplement from the Sunday Times, and there’s racial diversity is crowbarred in to the story as an after thought.  Films like Notting Hill, Love Actually, The Love Punch, Tamara Drewe, and, The Holiday need to be erased from history. It’s lazy filmmaking for upper middle-class prats with no interest in anything other than mediocre entertainment like this.

Queen of ‘rom-coms’ Diane Keaton (MANHATTTAN) plays an American widow living in London. She lives in a pristine looking Hampstead opposite the heath. She spends most of her time avoiding her horrible neighbours, led by the owner, played by Lesley Manville (MALEFICENT). The land opposite is ripe for development, and Lesley Manville’s husband is a property developer involved. One day Diane Keaton spots Brendan Gleeson (LIVE BY NIGHT), a tramp living in a picture perfect shack deep in the woods from her attic window.  She therefore befriends him and helps him fight eviction off the land, and it all nice dovetails into the most puke-inducing love affair since The Holiday.  This Hampstead is full of squeaky clean crustys, and happy yuppies – It’s always sunny and people eat outdoors. There’s a wacky Richard Curtis-style crusty played by Hugh Skinner (POLDARK) and elsewhere there’s a comedy Pakistani door-man (PETER SINGH), a cuddly judge (SIMON CALLOW – A ROOM WITH A VIEW), shocking use of the word ‘wanker’ to provoke titters from the old folk, and eventually a vaguely funny cameo by Phil Davis (DOUGH). But its all for nothing as cliches get wheeled out in the bucket load, major obstacles are overcome with ease and a cheery montage, and most insultingly the film peddles the idea that you can sell a one bedroom flat in Hampstead and buy the Thames boathouse lodge at Cliveden with the proceeds. The ending is just shit and lazy, and I just want to punch everybody involved.

Brendan Gleeson is a fine actor, but here, along with the rest of over-qualified cast he phones it in for a big pay cheque. He looks like a big, troubled teddy bear and would’ve been well-cast if they hadnt have decided to go all-CGI for Paddington. He softly growls and raises a cocked eyebrows at the madness around him to evoke pathos. Whilst Diane Keaton and Lesley Manville’s posse run around like headless chickens. What a mess. So many of the cast are veterans of Mike Leigh‘s films. If I was Mike Leigh, I’d lock this lot out of the actors’ studio because this is a severe blot in everybody’s copy books.

2.5 out of 10 – Sappy, idiotic and lazy romantic comedy for old people and people that don’t really have any interest in films or quality.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Diane Keaton: The Young Pope (TV), Finding Dory (voice), The Family Stone, Something’s Gotta Give, Town & Country, Hanging Up, Marvin’s Room, The First Wive’s Club, Father of the Bride 2, Look Who’s Talking 3, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Father of the Bride, The Godfather 3, Baby Boom, Radio Days, Mrs Soffel, Reds Interiors, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Love & Death, The Godfather 2, Sleeper, Play It Again Sam, The Godfather, Love & Other Strangers
  • Brendan Gleeson: Paddington 2, Alone In Berlin, Trespass Against Us, Live By Night, Assassin’s Creed, In the Heart of the Sea, Song of the Sea (voice), Suffragette, Stonehearst Asylum, The Grand Seduction, The Smurfs 2 (voice), Edge of Tomorrow, Calvary, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (voice), The Raven, Safe House, Albert Nobbs, The Guard, Harry Potter- part 7, Green Zone, In Bruges, Beouwulf (mo-cap), Harry Potter- part 4 & 5, Breakfast On Pluto, Kingdom Of Heaven, The Village, Troy, Cold Mountain, Dark Blue, Gangs Of New York, 28 Days Later, AI- Artificial Intelligence, The Tailor Of Panama, Mission Impossible 2, Lake Placid, This Is My Father, The General (1998), I Went Down, A Further Gesture, The Butcher Boy, Turbulence,  Trojan Eddie, Michael Collins, Braveheart, Into The West
  • Lesley Manville: Molly Moon, Mr Turner, The Christmas Candle, 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
  • James Norton: Flatliners 2 (2017), Grantchester (TV), War & Peace (TV), Happy Valley (TV), Northmen – a Viking Saga, Bonobo, Belle, Rush, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
  • Jason Watkins: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The Children Act, Watership Down (TV)(voice), Taboo (TV), W1A (TV), Dr Who (TV), Nativity 3, Psychoville (TV), Being Human (TV), Nativity 2, Little Dorrit (2008) (TV), Nativity!, Wild Child (2008), Sixty Six, Confetti, Bridget Jones 2, Circus, Onegin, High Hopes
  • Adeel Akhtar: Swimming with Men, Victoria & Abdul, The Big Sick, The Night Manager (TV), Convenience, Pan, Utopia (TV), Jadoo, The Dictator (2012), Four Lions
  • Alistair Petrie: Silent Hours, Eat Local, Star Wars – Rogue One, Kicking Off, The Night Manager (TV), Victor Frankenstein, The Face Of An AngelA Little Chaos, Vendetta, Rush (2013), AshesDevil’s Playground
  • Hugh Skinner: Poldark (TV), W1A (TV), Day of the Dead (2008)
  • Rosalind Ayres: Beautiful People, Gods & Monsters, Titanic (1997), Black Beauty (1994), The Lovers!, That’ll Be The Day, General Hospital (TV)
  • Deborah Findlay: The Lady In The Van, Truly Madly Deeply
  • Peter Singh: Coronation Street (TV)
  • Simon Callow: Victoria and Abdul, Mindhorn, Viceroy’s House, Golden Years, Outlander (TV), Love’s Kitchen, Ripley Underground, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Bright Young Things, Thunderpants, No Man’s Land, Shakespeare In Love, Bedrooms and Hallways, The Scarlet Tunic, James and The Giant Peach (voice), Ace Ventura 2, Jefferson In Paris, Streetfighter, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Soft Top Hard Shoulder, Mr & Mrs Bridge, Postcards From The Edge, Maurice, A Room With a View, Amadeus
  • Phil Davis: Pegasus Bridge, We Can Be Heroes, Dough, Poldark (TV), Golden Years, Mr Holmes, Age of KillIn The Blood (2015), Silk (TV), Whitechapel (TV), Being Human (TV), Borrowed Time, Fast GirlsOutside Bet,  Brighton Rock (2011)Another YearDead Man RunningThe Big I AmJust For The Record, Cassandra’s Dream, Notes On a Scandal, The Baby Juice Express, Vera Drake, Rose & Maloney (TV), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Photographing Fairies, Crimetime, I.D. (dir),  Blue Ice, Alien 3,  High Hopes, The Bounty, Quadrophenia

THE HATTON GARDEN JOB

3 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 14th April 2017

Director: Ronnie Thompson (I Am Soldier / Tower Block)

Cast: Matthew Goode, Phil Daniels, Larry Lamb, David Calder, Clive Russell, Mark Cooper Harris, Jack Doolan, Sam Adewunmi, Warren Brown, John Alford, Kugan Cassius with Stephen Moyer and Joely Richardson

Writer: Ray Bogdanovich & Dean Lines

Trailer: THE HATTON GARDEN JOB

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Matthew Goode: Birthmarked, Guernsey, The Sense of An Ending, Allied, Self/Less, Pressure, The Imitation Game, Belle, Stoker, Cemetery Junction, Watchmen, A Single Man, Leap Year, Brideshead Revisted, Imagine Me & You, Match Point
  • Phil Daniels: Access All Areas, Vinyl, Eastenders (TV), Freebird, Outlaws (TV), Goodbye Charlie Bright, Nasty Neighbours, Chicken Run (voice), Bad Behaviour, Billy The Kid and Green Baize Vampire, Meantime, Scum, Zulu Dawn, Quadrophenia
  • Larry Lamb: Rise of the Footsoldier 3, Gavin and Stacey (TV), Eastenders (TV), Blood – The Last Vampire, The Bill (TV), Essex Boys, Buster
  • David Calder: Queen of the Desert, The Lost City of Z, The Lady In The Van, Rush (2013), Titanic (TV), The Mummy 3, Mr In-Between, The King Is Alive, James Bond – The World Is Not Enough, Fairytale, Hollow Reed, American Friends, Defence of the Realm, Widows 2 (TV), Widows (TV)
  • Clive Russell: Their Finest, Ripper Street (TV), Game of Thrones (TV), Still, Thor 2, Outpost 2, The Wicker Tree, Sherlock Holmes 2, Sherlock Holmes (2009), Coronation St (TV), The Wolfman (2009), Ladies In Lavender, Festival, Mr In-Between, The 13th Warrior, Oscar & Lucinda, Margaret’s Museum, The Hawk,  Neverwhere (TV), Soft Top – Hard Shoulder
  • Mark Cooper Harris: Once Upon a Time In London, Bonded By Blood 2, The Crypt, The Coven, Abducted, The Hooligan Wars,  GBHOffender, The HoldingOutside Bet
  • Jack Doolan: Bachelor Games, It’s a Lot, Green Street 3The FacilityMay I Kill U?Cockneys Vs. ZombiesDemons Never DieCemetery Junction
  • Warren Brown: Cargo, Genesis, Kicking Off, Captain Webb, Luther (TV), Borrowed Time, Dead Set (TV)
  • John Alford: Mike Bassett – England Manager, London’s Burning (TV), Grange Hill (TV)
  • Stephen Moyer: Detour, True Blood (TV), Devil’s Knot, The Double (2011), Priest (2011), Quills, Prince Valiant, The Grand (TV)
  • Joely Richardson: The Time Of Their Lives, Snowden, The Messenger (2015), Maggie, Endless Love (2014), Vampire Academy, Red Lights, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo (2011), Anonymous, The Tudors (TV), Nip / Tuck (TV), The Last Mimzy, Shoreditch, The Patriot, Maybe Baby, Return To Me, Event Horizon, 101 Dalmatians (1997), Hollow Reed, Loch Ness, Sister My Sister, I’ll Do Anything, Lady Chatterley (TV), Rebecca’s Daughters, Shining Through, King Ralph, Drowning By Numbers

HOUSE OF EVIL

4 out of 10

UK / Italy co-production

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 29th May 2017 (DVD premiere)

Director: Luca Boni & Marco Ristori (Reich of the Dead aka Zombie Massacre 2)

Cast: Lucy Drive, Andrew Harwood-Mills, Desiree Giorgetti and David White

Writer: Raffaele Picchio & Lorenzo Paviano

Trailer: HOUSE OF EVIL

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

HECTOR

7 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 11th December 2015

Director: Jake Gavin

Cast: Peter Mullan, Natalie Gavin, Sarah Solemani, Keith Allen, Laurie Ventry,  Ewan Stewart, James Tarpey, Christine Tremarco,  Darren Connolly, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Finlay McLean, Sharon Rooney, with Gina McKee and Stephen Tompkinson

Writer: Jake Gavin

Trailer: HECTOR

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Peter Mullan: Keepers, Sunset Song, Sunshine On Leith, Hercules (2014), The LiabilityWelcome To The PunchThe Man Inside (2012), War Horse, TyrannosaurNeds, True North, Children Of Men, Criminal (2004), The Magdalene Sisters (director), On a Clear Day, Young Adam, The Claim (2000), Orphans (director), Miss Julie, My Name Is Joe, Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, Riff Raff
  • Natalie Gavin: The Knife That Killed Me, The Arbor, Shameless (TV)
  • Sarah Solemani: Bridget Jones 3, The Bad Education Movie, The Wrong Mans (TV), Psychobitches (TV), Bad Education (TV)
  • Keith Allen: Vengeance, 2Hrs, Eddie The Eagle, 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
  • Laurie Ventry: The Magdalene Sisters, Late Night Shopping
  • Ewan Stewart: Florence Foster Jenkins, Valhalla Rising, One Last Chance, Young Adam, The Closer You Get, Titanic (1997), Stella Does Tricks
  • James Tarpey: Robot Overlords, The Beat Beneath My Feet
  • Christine Tremarco: ID2, Casualty (TV), Outcast (2010), Waterloo Road (TV), Anita & Me, Clocking Off (TV), Face, Under The Skin (1997), Priest (1994)
  • Darren Connolly: The Caravan
  • Hardeep Singh Kohli: The Wright Stuff (TV), Meet The Magoons (TV), The One Show (TV), Celebrity Masterchef (TV)
  • Finlay McLean: Regeneration
  • Sharon Rooney: My Mad Fat Diary (TV)
  • Gina McKee: Line of Duty (TV), In The Loop, When Was The Last Time You Saw Your Father, Atonement, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby, Mirrormask, The Forsyte Saga (TV), The Lost Prince, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble, Wonderland (2000), Notting Hill, The Loss of Sexual Innocence, Croupier, Brass Eye (TV), Our Friends In The North (TV), Naked, Wilt, The Rachel Papers, The Lenny Henry Show (TV), The Lair of the White Worm
  • Stephen Tompkinson: Walk Like a Panther, A Dark Reflection, DCI Banks (TV), Detective Harrigan, Truckers (TV) Prime Suspect 7 (TV), Hotel Splendide, Drop The Dead Donkey (TV), Brassed Off, All Quiet On The Preston Front (TV), Minder (TV), Chancer (TV)

HARD TIDE

4.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 21st November 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Nathaneal Wiseman & Robert Osman

Cast: Nathaneal Wiseman, Alexandra Newick, Mem Ferda, Oliver Stark, Katarina Gellin, Andy Lucas, Beverly Hills, Grant Davis, Veronica Jane Trickett, Jel Djelal, Daniel Nehme with Sean Cronin and Ralph Brown

Writer: Nathaneal Wiseman & Robert Osman

Trailer:  HARD TIDE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

HIDE & SEEK (2016)

7 out of 10

Release Date: 18 July 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Joanna Coates

Cast: Hannah Arterton, Rea Mole, Josh O’Connor, Daniel Metz and Joe Banks

Writer: Joanna Coates & Daniel Metz

Trailer: HIDE & SEEK

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Hide & Seek is an unusual and fairly unique movie about a small commune for damaged people leaving their boring lives behind. Nothing is confirmed, and back stories are vague but what we do learn is that Leah (REA MOLE) is the owner of the property and possibly the designer of the cult’s routines. The other three – two boys and one girl alternate at sleeping in the marital bed with a different member each evening. The days are filled with playing games and sharing time preparing meals and going for walks around their idyllic Herefordshire locale.

Tensions rarely bubble to the surface and each member seems to be at ease with the processes. Only Jack (DANIEL METZ – COMPUTER CHESS) comes across as peculiar – all four take the routines seriously.  Charlotte’s (HANNAH ARTERTON – BURN BURN BURN) boyfriend Simon (JOE BANKS) shows up one day. He tells Charlotte that he loves her and wants to understand more about the group.

Within the ‘bubble’ all these fragile souls seem to enjoy the endless days of make believe and easy sex. The high emphasis on their performance art and play acting forcibly creates a disconnect with the real world and this rubs off onto the film itself making it an aloof and unusually cool customer for a no-budget britpic. You look for answers because the characters’ lives invite questions and our interest. Like the group though and like Simon, you are invited in to watch but you don’t feel included. It’s a clever and smart little film that doesn’t overstay its welcome and it features some nice performances, along with apt cinematography that hints that this ‘summer of love’ won’t last forever and we’ve just watched a film about the cult’s hey day.

7 out of 10 – A nice change of pace and story. It won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but much of the shenanigans ring true, emotionally, so for all it’s hipster leanings, it still has a beating heart.  Short, neat, and fairly original.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Hannah Arterton: Burn Burn Burn, Walking On Sunshine
  • Josh O’Connor: Florence Foster Jenkins, The Program, Ripper Street (TV), Peaky Blinders (TV), The Riot Club
  • Daniel Metz: Computer Chess