LONDON TOWN

3.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 11th October 2016 (DVD premiere)

Director: Derrick Borte (The Joneses)

Cast: Daniel Huttlestone, Dougray Scott, Nell Williams, Natascha McElhone, Anya McKenna-Bruce, Samuel Robertson, Jack Morris with Tom Hughes and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers

Writer: Matt Boyd & Sonya Gildea

Trailer: LONDON TOWN

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A wishful-thinking fantasy that throws real-life famous people into a fictional brush with the ordinary is what London Town is. We’ve been here with The Committments and Hear My Song.  Anonymous non-famous person has a brush with fame and is star-struck when fame reaches out and pats them on the head. This time it’s Joe Strummer of The Clash (JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3) turn to get the re-imagining. He cameos in a tale of rote derring do, which sees Shay (DANIEL HUTTLESTONE – LES MISERABLES) as 15 year old who has a brush with the late 70s punk-scene when he runs into Vivian (NELL WILLIAMS) and follows her to some gigs and a record shop that stand in for London. Meanwhile he has to look after his 6 year old sister whilst his taxi-driver/piano shop owner father (DOUGRAY SCOTT – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2) recovers in hospital after a bad accident. Meanwhile, he becomes obsessed with his errant mother played by Natascha McElhone (SOLARIS) who lives down in London in a squat with a bunch of artists, hippies, and punks. She’s a bad mother who falls from mythical status to reprobate in a few predictable scenes.

And that’s London Town’s problem is it’s lack of authenticity. Beyond a good but empty performance from Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, this coming of age tale doesn’t miss a single cliched beat. The dialogue is too modern, people never spoke like that back in the 1980s, I was there. TV exec demands or lazy writing it still adds to the annoying pile of unimaginative story turns this takes. It lacks charm despite the best efforts of the young lead, Daniel Huttlestone, who was so good as Gavroche in Les Miserables. Nell Williams is rather flat as the punk kid with a secret, so the love affair has no spark. Dougray Scott scraps over whatever’s left but is largely sidelined in a slim role in a film full of wax dummies. The climax where Shay puts on a concert to save his dad’s shop – advertising Strummer as the headliner is dead-eyed and rushed. The scene has no spirit or life, and is over before it starts. I bored the law and bore won.

3.5 out of 10 – It’s an exercise in cookie-cutter filmmaking for people who don’t like originality in their films. A trip down memory lane for those that weren’t there. Punk purists would hate it. I bored the law and bore won.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Daniel Huttlestone: The Lost City of Z, Into the Woods, Les Miserables (2013)
  • Dougray Scott: The Rezort, Snatch (TV), Fear The Walking Dead (TV), Taken 3, Tiger House, The Last Passenger, Dr Who (TV), Death Race 3, A Thousand Kisses Deep, My Week With Marilyn, Love’s Kitchen, United, New Town Killers, Hitman, Desperate Housewives (TV), Dark Water, One Last Chance, To Kill a King, Ripley’s Game, Enigma, Mission Impossible 2, Gregory’s Girl 2, This Year’s Love, Ever After, Deep Impact, Another 9.5 Weeks, Twin Town, The Crow Road (TV), Soldier Soldier (TV)
  • Natascha McElhone: Mr Church, Believe, The Sea, Californication (TV), Romeo & Juliet (2014), The Kid (2010), Big Nothing, Guy X, Ladies In Lavendar, Solaris (2012), feardotcom, Killing Me Softly, Love’s Labours Lost, Ronin, The Truman Show, Miss Dalloway, The Devil’s Own, Surviving Picasso
  • Samuel Robertson: The Legend of Barney Thompson
  • Tom Hughes: Dare To Be Wild, 8 Minutes Idle, I Am SoldierAbout Time, Cemetery JunctionSex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll
  • Jonathan Rhys-Meyers: Vikings (TV), Stonewall, The Mortal Instruments, Albert Nobbs, The Tudors (TV), From Paris With Love, August Rush, Mission Impossible 3, Match Point, Alexander, Vanity Fair (2004), I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Octane, Bend It Like Beckham, Prozac Nation, Ride With The Devil, Titus, The Loss of Sexual Innocence, The Governess, The Tribe, Velvet Goldmine, The Disappearance of Finbar

 

THE LAST SCOUT

5 out of 10

Release date: TBC in UK

Director: Simon Phillips (GBH)

Cast: Blaine Gray, Rebecca Ferdinando, Deji LaRay, Simon Phillips, Rita Ramnani, Paul Thomas Arnold, Mercedes Synodis, Kevin Chua, John Chang with Petra Bryant and Peter Woodward

Writer: Paul Tanter

Trailer: THE LAST SCOUT

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Those waiting for Hooligans in Space or Essex Astronauts will have to wait a bit longer. Filmmaker enfants awfulles: Simon Phillips and Paul Tanter, have delivered a grown-up (mature not porno) attempt at movie entertainment and I am happy to report that this is largely enjoyable, as it takes more risks and scores more hits than misses. At times, some concepts and ideas fall wide of the mark, but this largely straight-faced sci-fi thriller is a good place holder until the big boys like Alien 5 and Life arrive. In a word, it commits minor crimes but no atrocities.

The characters are largely ciphers, but are invested with some warmth and conviction by a varied cast of unknowns and Brit-pic heroes. Some of the crew are stock-types but at least some attempt has been made to flesh them out. How these guys are humanity’s last hope is anybody’s guess though.  As we know, the training for the rigours of life and the isolation of space travel take years of training for and the psychometric testing is intense, so half of these loonies wouldn’t have been let within three planets of an airlock. Seven years into a mission to secure the future of humanity when the Earth’s population is decimated by a nuclear war, The Pegasus is one of the last remaining space ships on a mission to find a habital planet – Interstellar-style.  The shipmates consist of go-to characters like the doomed captain (BLAINE GRAY – ABDUCTED) who is haunted by the death of his wife, who was on another scout ship who’s mission failed<?>, yet he’s a level-headed type who the crew generally look up to for answers. There’s the chirpy engineer, a winsome Simon Phillips (STAGGER), who also directs the movie this time as opposed to producing partner Paul Tanter (who wrote the script). Phillips has the plum role and rarely grates beyond an excrutiating opening dialogue with Space Cowboy pilot Mike (DEJI DELARAY – ABDUCTED), about who loves the ship the most and lost screws (yes not shags – real screws). We get to hear this exchange twice, but no spoilers allowed! Rebecca Ferdinando (HE WHO DARES) and Rita Raminani (HEDDA GABBLER) have strong roles as the ships pilot and doctor, both share some good moments and they frequently come to the fore. More confusing, are the prickly characters; terminally ill, passenger (his role is unclear) Gerry (PAUL THOMAS ARNOLD) would have been blasted out into space by the crew after an hour or two let alone seven years. He is a xenophobic, selfish liability that Arnold does wonders with as  his motivations are thin and his reason for being there seems to be to add friction to the dynamic and nothing else – a dodgy role saved by good acting. More worrying is the usually dependable Peter Woodward (SHAME THE DEVIL) who runs into strife in a role that’s little more than a scribble in the margins – he just has to be an arsehole with an important job, but he hams it up a little too much as if he’s in a competition.  Acting awards go to Gray and LaRay for their effortless turns . Phillips is also better than he’s been in his Hooligan comedies. So he can file this with his cameo in The Disappearance of Lenka Wood and his heist botching doofus in Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan.

The special effects aren’t very special, and to mention this seems like a pointless ‘pop’ at the makers but whilst you wouldn’t send humanity’s last hope into space in a set that looks like the Laser Quest in Slough circa 1993, it’s the acting, the story and some spirited acting which will keep you on board until the end.

PS: How did they afford Morgan Freeman to the do the voice over intro…? (nice impression Paul! or was it Simon?)

5 out of 10 – A good diversion, and a welcome addition to the men/women on a mission through space cannon. Good performances rescue this from the dustbin and it is lightyears better than the Essex hardmen DVDs that hog space usually reserved for tampons at Tesco.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

LET’S BE EVIL

3 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 31st January 2017 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Martin Owen

Cast: Elizabeth Morris, Kara Tointon, Elliot James Langbridge, Isabelle Allen and Natasha Moore (voice)

Writer: Martin Owen

Trailer: LET’S BE EVIL

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THE LIGHTHOUSE

7.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 31st October 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Chris Crow (Viking – The Darkest Day / Panic Button / Devil’s Bridge)

Cast: Michael Jibson, Mark Lewis Jones and Joshua Richards

Writer: Chris Crow

Trailer: THE LIGHTHOUSE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

DAVID BRENT – LIFE ON THE ROAD

7.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 11th August 2016

Director: Ricky Gervais (Special Correspondents / Derek (TV) / Life’s Too Short (TV) / Cemetery Junction / The Invention of Lying / Extras (TV) / The Office (TV))

Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith, Jo Hartley, Tom Basden, Tom Bennett, Mandeep Dhillon, Andrew Brooke, Diane Morgan, Stuart Wilkinson, Andy Burrows, Michael Clarke, Steve Clarke, Abbie Murphy, Miles Chapman, Rebecca Gethings, Ashley McGuire, Roisin Conaty, Alexander Arnold, Peter Andre with Nina Sosanya and Kevin Bishop

Writer: Ricky Gervais

Trailer: DAVID BRENT – LIFE ON THE ROAD

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Ricky Gervais: Blazing Samurai (voice), Special Correspondents, Derek (TV), Night At The Museum 3, Muppets Most Wanted, Cemetery Junction, Extras (TV), Life’s Too Short (TV),  Night At The Museum 2, The Invention Of Lying, Night At The Museum,  Stardust, Ghost Town, The Ricky Gervais Show (TV), For Your Consideration, The Office (TV)
  • Ben Bailey Smith: Level Up, Law and Order UK (TV), Wishbaby
  • Jo Hartley: Access All Areas, Prevenge, Eddie The Eagle, 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
  • Tom Basden: Plebs (TV), W1A (TV)
  • Tom Bennett: Mascots, Love & Friendship, PhoneShop (TV), The Booze Cruise 2
  • Mandeep Dhillon: Wolfblood (TV), 24 (TV)
  • Andrew Brooke: Babylon (TV), DaVinci’s Demons (TV)
  • Diane Morgan: Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe (TV)
  • Alexander Arnold: Poldark (TV), Skins (TV)
  • Ashley McGuire: Man Down (TV), Gold
  • Roisin Conaty: Man Down (TV)
  • Peter Andre: Keith Lemon
  • Nina Sosanya: W1A (TV), Last Tango In Halifax (TV), Wizards vs. Aliens (TV), Silk (TV), Dr Who (TV), Nathan Barley (TV), Code 46, Teachers (TV)
  • Kevin Bishop: A Few Less Men, Nigel Farage Gets His Life Back, Moonwalkers, Chinese Puzzle, All Stars, May I Kill U?A Few Best MenKeith Lemon, The Kevin Bishop Show (TV), Muppets’ Treasure Island

 

LEVEL UP

7.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 19th September 2016 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Adam Randall (iBoy)

Cast: Josh Bowman, Neil Maskell, William Houston, Leila Mimmack, Cameron Jack, Jonathan Arkwright, Leon Annor, Christina Wolfe, Ben Bailey Smith, Manpreet Bachru, Jack Fox with Paul Reynolds and Kulvinder Ghir

Writer: Adam Randall & Gary Young

Trailer: LEVEL UP

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?