WHITE SETTLERS

4 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release date: 5th September 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Simeon Halligan (Splintered)

Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Lee Williams and Joanne Mitchell

Writer: Ian Fenton

Trailer: WHITE SETTLERS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

 

LUNA

5 out of 10

Release Date: 4th April 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Dave McKean (The Gospel of Us / Mirrormask)

Cast: Michael Maloney, Dervla Kirwan, Ben Daniels, Stephanie Leonidas and Maurice Roeves

Writer: Dave McKean

Trailer: LUNA


VB14-Luna-poster

Film director, animator, artist, author and famous Neil Gaiman collaborator, Dave McKean needs to delegate when it comes to making films. Luna is the result of an amazing visual mind working at full tilt, much like a more anchored brother to Terry Gilliam, yet it stutters and stumbles because of a clunky script – he should have employed a dialogue writer because he has a ‘tin ear’ for how people speak. The talented actors falter at times too and fall on rocky ground. Where some visuals, or a look would have sufficed we are treated to unlikely monologues.  All the same, it’s a treat to see another Dave McKean film, because as awkward as he is, he still dazzles on a small budget.

Old friends gather at the house of Dean (MICHAEL MALONEY – TRULY MADLY DEEPLY), a McKean-like author whose in a happy marriage with his much younger second wife, Freya (STEPHANIE LEONIDAS – AMERICAN GOTHIC). Visiting couple, Grant (BEN DANIELS – BEAUTIFUL THING) and Christine’s (DERVLA KIRWAN – BALLYKISSANGEL) baby son< Jacob has died and this is their first trip to see Dean since it happened. Old wounds open and instead of bringing comfort all the couples do is fight. Christine and Grant suffer from bold hallucinations of their son at varying ages including very old age.  The visit may bring salvation or damnation.

Out of the four lead actors Stephanie Leonidas seems the most at ease, but then her character has the least to do. Her ‘no self-censorship’ rule when it comes to discussions only seems to apply to the men, as she bonds with Dervla Kirwan’s Christine, who needs to be muted and sad. The anger and action is left to Daniels and Maloney. The fantasy elements struggle to blend in with the very realistic storyline. And that’s the point, its about the collision of the real and the not real. And this will divide the audiences because there’s enough to satisfy fans of both in their films. The animation and special effects are even better than the ones we saw in his film debut Mirrormask (I haven’t seen The Gospel of Us yet) and they bewitch and help weave a mood. When applied to the story however it stutters. These scenes only seem to be here because that’s what Dave McKean does. It’s an auteur laying his style on thickly. And if you like you stylings thick then you’ll be happy. You have to seek this film out and the directors involvement will be the reason most people’s reason to see it. So is it a good Dave McKean film? The answer is a resounding yes. Is it a good film? Well, it’s OK. It’s a very mixed bag. I’ll take the visuals but leave the script behind for some more editing.

5 out of 10 – Visually dynamic, but a clunky script and unsure story make it a lumpy proposition.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

YOUTH (2016)

8 out of 10

UK / Italy / France / Switzerland

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 29th January 2016

Director: Paolo Sorrentino

Cast: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Alexander McQueen, Ed Stoppard, Robert Seethaler, Roly Serrano, Chloe Pirrie, Tom Lipinski, Mark Gessner, Alex Beckett, Nate Dern, Luna Zimic Mijovic, Madalina Diana Chenea, Sumi Jo with Paloma Faith and Jane Fonda

Writer: Paolo Sorrentino

Trailer: YOUTH (2016)

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Michael Caine: Now You See Me 2, The Last Witch Hunter, Kingsman – The Secret Service, Stonehearst Asylum, Interstellar, Mr Morgan’s Last Love, Now You See Me, The Dark Knight Rises, Cars 2 (voice), Gnomeo & Juliet (voice), Inception, Harry Brown, Is Anybody There?, The Dark Knight, Sleuth (2007), The Prestige, Children of Men, The Weather Man, Bewitched, Batman Begins, Secondhand Lions, The Actors, The Quiet American, Austin Powers 3, Last Orders, Miss Congeniality, Get Carter (2000), Cider House Rules, Shiner, Quills, Little Voice, Blood and Wine, On Deadly Ground, The Muppets Christmas Carol, Blue Ice, Noises Off, Bullseye, Mr Destiny, A Shock To The System, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Without a Clue, Jaws 4, The Fourth Protocol, Half Moon Street, Mona Lisa, Hannah and Her Sisters, Educating Rita, Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, Ashanti, The California Suite, The Swarm, The Eagle Has Landed, The Man Who Would Be King, Sleuth (1972), Get Carter (1971), Battle of Britain, The Italian Job (1969), Alfie (1966), Gambit (1966), The Ipcress Files, Zulu
  • Harvey Keitel: The Ridiculous 6, By The Gun, Rio I Love You, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Congress, Moonrise Kingdom, Meet The Parents 3 – Little Fockers, National Treasure 2, Be Cool, National Treasure, Red Dragon, Little Nicky, U-571, Holy Smoke, Fairytale – A True Story, Copland, City of Industry, Head Above Water, From Dusk Till Dawn, Ulysses’ Gaze, Blue In The Face, Smoke, Imaginary Crimes, Somebody To Love, Pulp Fiction, Monkey Trouble, The Young Americans, Dangerous Game, Rising Sun, The Piano, The Assassin (1993), Bad Lieutenant, Sister Act, Reservoir Dogs, Bugsy, Thelma & Louise, Mortal Thoughts, The Two Jakes, The January Man, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Pick Up Artist, Wise Guys, Saturn 3, The Duellists, Mother Jugs & Speed, Taxi Driver, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Mean Streets
  • Rachel Weisz: The Lobster, Oz The Great and Powerful, 360,The Bourne Legacy, Dream House, The Deep Blue Sea (2011), The Lovely Bones, The Brothers Bloom, My Blueberry Nights, Eragon (voice), The Fountain, The Constant Gardner, Constantine, Runaway Jury, the Shape Of Things, About a Boy, The Mummy 1 & 2, Enemy At The Gates, Beautiful Creatures, I Want You, Land Girls, Bent, Chain Reaction, Stealing Beauty, Death Machine
  • Paul Dano: Swiss Army Man, War & Peace (TV), Love & Mercy, 12 Years a Slave, Prisoners (2013), Looper, Ruby Sparks, Cowboys & Aliens, Meek’s Cutoff, Knight & Day, Where The Wild Things Are (voice), Taking Woodstock, There Will Be Blood, Fast Food Nation, Little Miss Sunshine, The King, The Ballad of Jack & Rose, Taking Lives, LIE
  • Alexander Macqueen: The Inbetweeners 2The InbetweenersAnuvahood, Bonded By Blood, Four Lions, The Inbetweeners (TV), In The Loop, In The Thick of It (TV)
  • Ed Stoppard: Cryptic, Blackwood, Cilla (TV), Papadopoulos and Sons, Upstairs Downstairs (TV), Nanny McPhee 2, Joy Division, Bridehead Revisited (2008), The Pianist, The Little Vampire
  • Chloe Pirrie: War & Peace (TV), Burn Burn Burn, Blood Cells, Shell
  • Tom Lipinski: Suits (TV), Labor Day
  • Paloma Faith: St Trinians
  • Jane Fonda: This Is Where I Leave You, The Butler, Monster-In-Law, Stanley & Iris, Old Gringo, On Golden Pond, Nine To Five, The Electric Horseman, The China Syndrome, California Suite, Klute, The Shoot Horses, Barefoot in The Park, Barbarella

 

VAMPIRES (2014) aka BLOODLESS

2 out of 10

Release Date: 31st January 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Richard Johnstone

Cast: Victoria Hopkins, Anna Scott, Lucas Hansen, Melissa Advani, Angela Zahra, Louis Murrall, Edd Muruako, Kristian James, Patrick Wilde, Judith Alexander, Holly Newton, Jody Baldwin, Stewart Blackburn and Bill Fellows

Writer: Richard Johnstone

Trailer: No Trailer Available

vampires-101-dvd

Oh dear. Vampires meet Big Brother. Several couples go on a medical trail at a remote old castle. Little do they know that their hosts are really blood harvesting fang-faced killers.

This film boasts not one but two heroines. One is tough and smelly looking (VICTORIA HOPKINS – ZOMBIE WOMEN OF SATAN) and one (ANNA SCOTT) is a dumb middle-class blonde who doesn’t understand anything that’s going on around her. They are the only two characters that make any impression out of the procession of boring wallys that fill out the large cast. There’s a child vampire (HOLLY NEWTON) who impresses in a quite way, in that everybody else looks like they’re too cold to deliver they’re lines comfortably.

The plot shambles from one poorly set-up, nonsensical scenario to the next. The characters are set against one-another by their carers / vampires in disguise to test the stress related drugs in the trial. Alarms are tripped, doors are banged upon, and a dog is set loose making some of the number disappear.

Most of the script is terrible. It’s so bad that even a professional actor would struggle to find a way to deliver the lines in anyway sensibly. As the vampires finally show up and the cast dwindles, the pace seems to pick up, but it’s all an illusion as the film was stood still, this material is slow. The make up and gore is pretty good but none of the SFX made up for a badly editing, underlit scenes and terrible acting.  Crucially, it’s unscary and vampire followers will do well to give this one a swerve. It’s shows no sign of improvement as it goes through some ‘obvious’ motions. It even squanders it’s wonderful castle location. Fangs for nothing guys.

2 out of 10 – Deadly boring and amateur. The cast deserved to be bitten in the collective neck, forever… vor hor horrrrr.

Another review by Bat Usher below..

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THE KNIFE THAT KILLED ME

5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 24th October 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director:  Kit Monkman & Marcus Romer

Cast: Jack McMullen, Reece Dinsdale, Jamie Shelton, Oliver Lee, Rosie Goddard, Richard Crehan, Kerron Darby, Reece Douglas, Natalie Gavin with Andrew Ellis and Charles Mneme

Writer: Anthony McGowan / Kit Monkman & Marcus Romer

Trailer: THE KNIFE THAT KILLED ME

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THEATRE OF FEAR

4.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 8th September 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Andrew Jones (Werewolves of the Third Reich / Cabin 28 / The Toymaker / Robert 2 / The Exorcism of Anna Ecklund / Robert / Conjuring The Dead / Poltergeist Activity / The Haunting At The Rectory / The Last House on Cemetery Lane  / Amityville Asylum)

Cast: Jared Morgan, Lee Bane, Nathan Head, Shireen Ashton, Sam Harding, Tiffany Ceri, Kenton Hall  with Victor Ptak and Kevin Horsham

Writer: Andrew Jones

Trailer: THEATRE OF FEAR

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THE ADVENTURER – THE CURSE OF MIDAS BOX

1 out of 10

REVIEW below by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II

Release Date: 27th October 2014 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Jonathan Newman (Angel House / Swinging With The Finkels / Being Considered)

Cast: Aneurin Barnard, Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, Lena Headey, Mella Carron, Xavier Atkins, Tristan Gemmill, Sule Rimi, Brian Nickels, Vincenzo Pellegrino, Rory Mullen, Ian Reddington, Will Payne with Keeley Hawes and Ioan Gruffudd

Writer: Christian Taylor & Matthew Huffman

Trailer: THE ADVENTURER – THE CURSE OF THE MIDAS BOX

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Aneurin Barnard: Bitter Harvest (2015), War & Peace (TV), Legend (2015), Cilla (TV), Trap For Cinderella, Citadel, The FacilityElfie Hopkins, We’ll Take ManhattanHunky Dory, Powder (2011) Ironclad,
  • Michael Sheen: Alice In Wonderland 2 (voice), Far From the Madding Crowd (2015), Kill The Messenger, The Masters Of Sex (TV), Breaking Dawn 2, The Gospel Of Us, Breaking Dawn, Midnight In Paris, Resistance, Tron 2, Alice In Wonderland (voice), New Moon, The Damned United, Underworld 3, Blood Diamond, The Queen, Underworld 2, The League Of Gentlemen – Apocalypse, Kingdom Of Heaven, Laws Of Attraction, Timeline, Underworld, Bright Young Things, The Four Feathers (2002), Heartlands, Wilde, Mary Reilly, Othello (1995)
  • Sam Neill: Hunt For The Wilderpeople, The Daughter, Backtrack, Peaky Blinders (TV), A Long Way Down, Escape Plan, The Vow, The Hunter, Legend of the Guardians – The Owls of Ga Ho’ole (voice), Daybreakers, In Her Skin, Dean Spanley, Little FIsh, Wimbledon, Yes, Dirty Deeds, Jurassic Park 3, The Dish, Bicentennial Man, The Horse Whisperer, Event Horizon, Snow White (1997), Victory (1996), Children of the Revolution, Restoration, The Jungle Book (1994), In The Mouth of Madness, A Country Life, Sirens, The Piano, Jurassic Park,  Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Until The End of the World, Death In Brunswick, The Hunt for Red October, Dead Calm, A Cry In The Dark, Plenty, Reilly – Ace of Spies (TV), Attack Force Z, The Omen 3, My Brilliant Career, Sleeping Dogs, Landfall
  • Lena Headey: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Game Of Thrones (TV), Black Plague (2015), 300 – part 2, The Purge,  Dredd, The Broken, The Brothers Grimm, Imagine Me & You, St. Trinians, 300, The Cave, Ripley’s Game, The Parole Officer, Gossip, Onegin, If Only, Mrs Dalloway, Face, Waterland, The Grotesque, The Jungle Book (1994), Century, The Remains Of The Day
  • Tristan Gemmill: Flying Blind, Casualty (TV), London’s Burning (TV), The Bill (TV)
  • Sule Rimi: Silent Night, Bloody Night (2013), Night of the Living Dead (2012)
  • Vincenzo Pellegrino: The Story of Tracy Breaker (TV), Where The Heart Is (TV), Casualty (TV), Holby City (TV)
  • Ian Reddington: Coronation Street (TV), Eastenders (TV), Dr Who (TV), Highlander
  • Will Payne: Fright Night 2, Mr Selfridge (TV), Elfie Hopkins
  • Keeley Hawes: High-Rise, The Casual Vacancy (TV), Line of Duty (TV), Upstairs Downstairs (TV), Flashbacks of a Fool, The Bank Job, Death At a Funeral (2007), A Cock and Bull Story, Spooks (TV), Tipping The Velvet (TV), The Avengers (1998), Karaoke / Cold Lazarus (TV)
  • Ioan Gruffudd: Home Invasion, San Andreas, Glee (TV), Horrible Bosses, Sanctum, The Kid (2010), W., The Secret of Moonacre, Fireflies In The Garden, Fantastic 4 – Rise of the Silver Surfer, Amazing Grace, Fantastic Four (2005), King Arthur (2004), Hornblower (TV), The Forsyte Saga (TV), Shooters, Black Hawk Down, Very Annie Mary, Another Life, 102 Dalmatians, Solomon & Gaenor, Titanic (1997), Wilde