KIDS IN LOVE

3.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 26th August 2016

Director: Chris Foggin

Cast: Will Poulter, Alma Jodorowsky, Sebastian De Souza, Cara Delevingne, Preston Thompson, Gala Gordon, Pip Torrens, Geraldine Somerville, Robert Portal, Jack Fox and Jamie Blackley

Writer: Sebastian De Souza & Preston Thompson

Trailer: KIDS IN LOVE

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K-SHOP

5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 1st August 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Dan Pringle (The Extremist)

Cast: Ziad Abaza, Scot Williams, Kristin Atherton, Reece Noi, Nayef Rashed, Sean Cernow, Samantha Lyden, Lucinda Rhodes, Harry Reid, Edmund Dehn and Darren Morfitt with Chris R Wright and Ewen MacIntosh

Writer: Dan Pringle

Trailer: K-SHOP

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KILL COMMAND

6.5 out of 10

Release Date: 27th June 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steven Gomez

Cast: Vanessa Kirby, David Ajala, Thure Lindhardt, Mike Noble, Tom McKay, Kelly Gough, Osi Okerafor and Bentley Nalu

Writer: Steven Gomez

Trailer: KILL COMMAND

KILL-COMMAND_UK-QUAD-600x426Steven Gomez’s debut is one of the better original sci-fis out there at the moment. Doing wonders with a smallish budget it rivals a lot of bigger films for ideas. Kill Command smuggles some interesting ideas into a standard ‘men on a mission’ template. So it delivers top notch action as well as giving you pause to stop and think too.

A small team of soldiers are summoned to an island on a training exercise. What begins as a routine skirmish with some drones and self-automated weaponry, someone somewhere wants to see how some new advanced robots work in a simulated combat situation. Alongside the group of soldiers is a cyborg observer (VANESSA KIRBY – JUPITER ASCENDING) who programmes the robots at assmebly line stage. When the new robots begin to pick off the soldiers in a series of ambushes, the cyborg comes under suspiscion as being in league with the tech.

The soldiers are a basic lot, but most of the boring ones are picked off in rough order of interoduction on the helicopter ride in. This is where the film flounders, characterisation is minimal before the shit hits the fan. Only three of the 8 soldiers are given anything to do besides die promptly. One is characterised by having a robot eye implant (BENTLEY NALU) to make him a better sniper, but that’s hardly depth. Thure Lindhardt (THE BORGIAS) is the sarge but he makes zero impact. It’s down to David Ajala (FAST AND FURIOUS 6) and he gets the most interesting character out of the humans. He is inquistive about the cyborg because he’s never worked closely with one before and he’s genuinely interested in the place technology can take the human race, as opposed to the other ‘techist’ squad members. The cyborg is a complex character, who was born without full use of her body until the ‘company’ offered to complete her if she worked for them. She has a natural affinity for how the malevolent machines work and she could be the only one with the key to saving her squad.

The new robots look like a deadly, giant version of Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, but despite this they are menacing. Remember Ed209‘s malfunction? Well when the characters go up to sleeping robots to download / upload / fiddle you feel the urge to hold your breath. They are characterised with some eerie sound bites like repeating the word ‘Error’ before going batshit.

Kill Command works as a good, sleak action sci-fi and it has a nice bit of icing on about the nature of sentience in man-made tech. But it doesn’t try to be Bladerunner or Solaris. So whilst a longer cut may have allowed for some characterisation and depth to be sketched into the lesser members of the squadron, it still works well. The robots are fantastic too.

6.5 out of 10 – Slick, action sci-fi with very cool special effects and some interesting side stories. Thin characterisation almost ruins it. Recommended for the best low-budget sci-fi of 2016 so far.

Review below by Matt Usher

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KICKING OFF

3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 25th April 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Matt Wilde

Cast: Warren Brown, Greg McHugh, Alistair Petrie, Danielle Bux, Bailey Patrick, Jon-Paul Gates, Robbie Savage, Mark Bright and Geoff Hurst

Writer: Robert Farquhar

Trailer: KICKING OFF

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Kicking Off has a lot of energy. It has two central performances full of energy and a great supporting turn from Alistair Petrie (VENDETTA), so why does Kicking Off stink as a comedy?  Most of all it’s written by a person who has no idea how footballers behave int he real world, so we’ve got cartoon characters who are dealt very ‘heavy’ plot cards like suicide attempts, extreme violence and relationship woes. So we have slapstick, cheeky chappies and then a massive dose of Christian dogma dropped into the mix.

Wigsy (WARREN BROWN – LUTHER) and Cliffy (GREG MCHUGH – MARVELLOUS) kidnap a football ref, Greaves (Petrie) after he disallows a crucial goal. The stupid, semi-psychotic, comic book hooligan Wigsy runs the whole gamut of eye popping, yelling football chants to an empty church, jumping into rivers, becoming a born again Christian and also wanting fame and fortune for being a kidnapper. Meanwhile Cliffy looks on but doesn’t have the smarts to save him or talk him out of his mission. Petrie is wonderful as the put upon hostage, who almost escapes by making them believe they’ll get to heaven if they free him.

It has more action, and energy than a dozen brit-pics and about the same number of good line, but it’s wildly erratic in tone making it hard to sympathise or understand where one minute we’re laughing at a stupid character only to see him kick the person who’s playing the joke on him half-to-death. The christian sermon half-way through is a bit much too, as its as if its been smuggled in in order to brainwash a few football fans who watched this because they thought it was a hooligan flick. Hence the DVD decoration, complete with St George flags. This is the 2nd hooligan film where the church has turned up at an inopportune moment – the other was Blood Feud. I wonder whether this is a Christian initiative in low-budget film making. “Forgive them for they know not what they do…” is one of Greaves lines and I think this extends to the filmmakers who tried to pack too much into what would have worked as a simple comedy but got to big for its boot too early on. Shame as the writer does show (at times) that he has a good ear for comic dialogue.

3.5 out of 10 – Potentially good football comedy that dispenses the funny stuff for a trip to church, and has some pretty odd subjects to deal with like suicide and a penchant for violence. Uneven.

Another review below by Matt Usher

KILL YOUR FRIENDS

2.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 16th November 2015

Director: Owen Harris (Misfits (TV) / Diary of a Call Girl (TV))

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Tom Riley, Georgia King, Edward Hogg, Craig Roberts, Jim Piddock, Joseph Mawle, Ed Skrein, Damien Molony, Ella Smith, Dustin Demri-Burns, Bronson Webb, Osy Ikhile, David Avery, Al Weaver, Jumayn Hunter with Moritz Bleibtreu and Rosanna Arquette

Writer: John Niven

Trailer: KILL YOUR FRIENDS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

KILL KANE

2 out of 10

Release Date: 16th January 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Adam Stephen Kelly

Cast: Vinnie Jones, Sean Cronin, Sebastian Street, Nicole Faraday, Dan Richardson, Conor Boru, Benjamin Way, Sarah Alexandra Marks, Michael Bailey, Mitchell Fisher and Jared Morgan

Writer: Andrew Jones, Adam Stephen Kelly & Christian Sellers

Trailer: KILL KANE

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This shocker comes from Independent Moving Pictures who have, in the last 12 months, started a low-budget movie revolution out of Swansea. Producer / Director Andrew Jones (THEATRE OF FEAR) and actor Lee Bane (ROBERT) have succeeded in putting out a string of reasonably competent horror flicks on DVD.  This is the first real misstep in a pretty good long run. It’s also their first star vehicle – stand up Vinnie Jones (SNATCH). The other main difference between this film and the first 9<?> releases is that this isn’t directed by Andrew Jones and Lee Bane‘s nowhere to be seen (he has a tiny off-screen role). Kill Kane is the first feature film by a chap called Adam Stephen Kelly. He’s got a long, long, long way to go and lessons to be learnt.

A restrained and potentially good Vinnie Jones is saddled with an unlikely role as a vengeful PE teacher who wakes up fully functional from a 3 month coma after his family has been murdered by gang footsoldier, Kane (SEAN CRONIN – HACKNEY’S FINEST) and his pals. He’s been left for dead himself. The investigation has been left unsolved by the small town police led by softy Sebastian Street (STAG NIGHT OF THE DEAD). Vinnie goes on a vengeful tour of the town that makes Ray Winstone‘s mope in Fathers of Girls looks like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible. Somehow, he knows were all his victims live, and despite some reasonable acting, the story cannot withstand the legion of plotholes and repetitive and stupid dialogue. The plot has been seen time and time again as the gang are dispatched in no short order right up to the gang leader – who can’t believe his men have been splatted by a PE teacher. Sean Cronin is impressive as the titular Kane and in a better scripted film with a tighter plot, Kill Kane had a lot of potential. As it is characters leave their finger prints all over places for the cops to ‘miss’, weapons are handled incorrectly and ineffectively but still manage to do their job, and a character escapes torture at one point only to run upstairs and cry loudly in a cupboard. Why hide?  There’s a funny fight to the death in the back of a hatchback car in a small garage which ends with Vinnie Jones pnned under a freshly killed gangster. The film could’v ehad more momentum had the film focussed on how Vinnie got out of the car – a gangster version of 127 Hours if ever there was. But invention is off the menu here.  It’s Independent Moving Pictures first non-horror to my knowledge and in three words I can some it up… It’s fucking crap.

2 out of 10 – A rare good performance from Vinnie Jones and up and coming nasty Sean Cronin but nothing can disguise the fact that this is a waste of time, talent and money on all fronts. Star power wasn’t the thing to sink Kill Kane. Bring back Lee Bane too.

PS: Check out the DVD cover. The only flames in this film are seen when someone lights themselves a cigarettes. Good poster though.

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KILLER/SAURUS

1 out of 10

Release Date: 6th July 2015 (DVD Premiere)

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

Cast: Helen Crevel, Kenton Hall, Steven Dolton, Julian Boote, Adam Collins and Vicki Glover

Writer: Steve Lawson

Trailer: KILLER/SAURUS

1012950_439579722883558_3177725272844278377_nWith its release timed with the cinematic release of Jurassic World, Killer/Saurus is bound to rope in a few extra sales. Killer/Saurus shows ambition but it’s a woeful demonstration of small-scale filmmaking. If watching horror that combines the low-fi thrill of 1980s Doctor Who / Red Dwarf and an acting style borrowed from the kids from the Pink Windmill Show then Killer/Saurus may be your new favourite film.  Sadly the Tyrannosaurus Rex that scientists have been able to bring back into existence with some cutting edge laser tech looks like a bath toy and this unfortunate flaw makes the whole film a joke to watch, (I’m sure they’ve given the dino from Toy Story a respray). Mind you the plastic toy does put in the film’s best performance.

Helen Crevel (SURVIVAL INSTINCT) plays a scientist at a top secret lab. Her boss (STEVEN DOLTON – DEVIL’S TOWER) has created a dinosaur from DNA coding and a new laser machine. The project is closed down when the dinosaur kills a few staff. Sometime later, co-erced by her Irish-Welsh-Canadian-Indian accented journalist boyfriend (KENTON HALL – CONJURING THE DEAD) to doorstep her old boss for unpaid wages she becomes trapped in the lab (situated on a normal suburban industrial estate) with the monster – just as the military arrive to take delivery of it (or something).

Anyway, the film is be-set with some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard.  The writer seems besotted with the tech but his actors don’t seem to know what they’re talking about. Steve Dolton reads his lines like he’s reading a restaurant menu, I think he even licks his lips. The leading lady, Helen Crevel certainly looks the part but lacks the fear and urgency of a scientist who’s helped to lift the lid on pandora’s box. Kenton Hall‘s character plays a slimy journo and a) it’s a weird person for a top secret scientist be in a relationship with and b) his accent is so distracting it accentuates his rotten reading of his villainous  role c) they seem to hate one another. His journo does nothing to alleviate the pain of watching this. He proceeds to derail proceedings in the way you may try to discourage a young child from pressing an elevator button or the bell on a bus. He’s perhaps the dumbest non-character to bless a Britpic in some time.

Killer/Saurus has a more finished feel to it than his debut The Silencer, which was a lot of fun. It’s a shame that all of that film’s scrappiness has been chased out as Killer/Saurus is so dry and unappealing – even to dino fans it could prove to be a super challenge not to turn it off before the ending.

1 out of 10 – This dino flick is toothless. Please make Silencer 2 next to make it up to us!

Check out another review below! – find out whether or not Glenn Salvage plays the dinosaur!

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