VICEROY’S HOUSE

3.5 out of 10

UK/India co-production

Release date: 3rd March 2017

Director: Gurinder Chadha  (Viceroy’s House / It’s Wonderful Afterlife / Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging / Paris Je T’Aime / Bride and Prejudice / Bend It Like Beckham / Bhaji On The Beach)

Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Neeraj Kabi, Denzil Smith, Tanveer Ghani, Lily Travers, Simon Williams, Darshan Jariwala, Arunoday Singh, Jaz Deol, Roberta Taylor  with David Hayman and Simon Callow

Writer: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges & Moira Buffini

Trailer: VICEROY’S HOUSE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Hugh Bonneville: Paddington 2, Paddington, Downton Abbey (TV), W1A (TV), Muppets Most Wanted, The Monuments Men, The Return Of Captain Nemo (2013), Third Star,  Burke & Hare, Glorious 39, Iris, Mansfield Park, Notting Hill
  • Gillian Anderson: Crooked House, American Gods (TV), The X-Files (TV), Robot Overlords, The Fall (TV), Hannibal (TV),  Mr Morgan’s Last Love, Shadow DancerJohnny English 2, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, A  Cock and Bull Story, Straightheads, The Last King Of Scotland, The House Of Mirth, The X-Files 2, Playing By Heart, The Mighty, The X-Files
  • Michael Gambon: Dad’s Army, Paddington (voice), Fortitude (TV), Quartet, The King’s Speech, Harry Potter – parts 2-8, The Book Of Eli, Fantastic Mr Fox (voice), Brideshead Revisited (2008), The Good Night, The Good Shepherd, The Omen (2006), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,  Layer Cake, Sky Captain and The World Of Tomorrow, Sylvia, Open Range, The Actors, Ali G In Da House, Charlotte Gray, Gosford Park, High Heels and Low Lifes, Sleepy Hollow, The insider, Plunkett & Macleane, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Gambler, Wings Of The Dove, Mary Reilly, The Innocent Sleep, Two Deaths, Nothing Personal, A Man Of No Importance, The Browning Version (1994), Toys, Mobsters, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, A Dry White Season, The Rachel Papers, Paris By Night, The Singing Detective (TV)
  • Om Puri: The Hundred-Foot Journey, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, West Is West, Shoot On Sight, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Ballad Of Mangal Pandey (voice), Code 46, The Parole Officer, East Is East, Such a Long Journey, My Son The Fanatic, The Ghost and The Darkness, Brothers In Trouble, Wolf (1994), In Custody, City Of Joy
  • Manish Dayal: Agents of SHIELD (TV), The Hundred-Foot Journey, 90210 (TV)
  • Denzil Smith: The Lunchbox
  • Tanveer Ghani: Amar Akbar & Tony, Eastenders (TV), Bhaji On The Beach
  • Lily Travers: Me Before You
  • Simon Williams: Holby City (TV), Doctor Who (TV), The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu, The Prisoner of Zenda, Jabberwocky, Upstairs Downstairs (TV), The Blood of Satan’s Claw
  • Roberta Taylor: Green Street 3, The Bill (TV), Eastenders (TV), Tom & Viv
  • David Hayman: Taboo (TV), Macbeth (2015), Dartmoor Killing, Queen & Country, Castles In The Sky, Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit, Sawney – Flesh of Man, ScrewedBurke and Hare, Flood, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Rag Tale, Tailor Of Panama, Vertical Limit, The Match, My Name Is Joe, Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, Regeneration, The Jackal, The Near Room (dir),  Twin Town,  Rob Roy, The Hawk (dir), Venus Peter, Silent Scream (dir), Hope and Glory, Sid & Nancy
  • Simon Callow: Hampstead, 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

THE VIOLATORS

7 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 17th June 2016

Director: Helen Walsh

Cast: Lauren McQueen, Brogan Ellis, Stephen Lord, Liam Ainsworth, Derek Barr, Callum King Chadwick, Jennifer Hennessy with Sean McKee and Roxanne Pallett

Writer: Helen Walsh

Trailer: THE VIOLATORS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Lauren McQueen: The Wasting, The Mill (TV)
  • Brogan Ellis: Waterloo Road (TV)
  • Stephen Lord: Penny Dreadful (TV), Shameless (TV), Desperate Measures (2011), Casualty (TV), Until Death, SW 9, Common As Muck (TV), Raining Stones
  • Liam Ainsworth: Genesis, Kajaki
  • Derek Barr: Casualty (TV)
  • Jennifer Hennessy: Dickensian (TV), Psychoville (TV), Coronation Street (TV), The Office (TV)
  • Sean McKee: Dead Mans Cards, Going Off Big Time, Liam, Liverpool 1 (TV), Brookside (TV)
  • Roxanne Pallett: Habit, Devil’s Tower, It’s a Lot, Wrong Turn 6, Lake Placid 3, Emmerdale (TV)

VIKINGS – THE BERSERKERS

5 out of 10

Release Date: 15th September 2014 (DVD Premiere)

REVIEW COMING SOON

Director: Antony Smith

Cast: Sol Heras, Douglas Russell, Amber Jean Rowan, Kezia Burrows, Freddie Hutchins, Lily Stanton, Harry Feltham and Simon Armstrong

Writer: Antony Smith

Trailer: VIKING – THE BERSERKERS

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

 

 

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?

VIKING – THE DARKEST DAY

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 2nd November 2013 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Chris Crow (The Lighthouse (2016) / Panic Button / Devil’s Bridge)

Cast: Marc Pickering, Joshua Richards, Mark Lewis Jones, Elen Rhys, Christopher Godwin, Gary Mavers, Jason May, Sarah Parks and Michael Jibson

Writer: Chris Crow & Graham Davidson

Trailer: VIKING – THE DARKEST DAY

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

VENDETTA

8 out of 10

Release Date: 22nd November 2013

Director: Stephen Reynolds (Interrogation / 12 Rounds 3)

Cast: Danny Dyer, Roxanne McKee, Vincent Regan, Alistair Petrie, Josef Altin, Michael Ryan, Joshua Osei, Tony Denham, Emma Samms, Alexis Rodney, Tamaryn Payne, Anna Brecon, Sam Kane, Ryan Oliva, Sam Hudson, Ben Shockley, Tracy Kirby,  Simona Roman, James Mullinger, Martin Fisher, Charlie Bond, Lucy Drive, Dani Dyer with Nick Nevern, Ricci Harnett and Bruce Payne

Writer: Stephen Reynolds

Trailer: VENDETTA

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There have been many false dawns heralding the return of celebrity punchbag Danny Dyer. The publicity for each film he appears in seems to exploit his unpopularity by trumpeting the fact that ‘this one is different / see this, Danny is back’. Except he never is. It’s another DOA turd. Never was this more apparent than with the recent Deviation which touted itself as the comeback we were all waiting for, a career defining performance in what turned out to be a laughable dog. So when approaching Vendetta, it’s quite reasonable to be sceptical but I have to let everybody who loves good British movies know that the boy is back.  This isn’t back handed praise. I wouldn’t have sat through so many Danny Dyer movies if I hated the guy’s films, its just that I’ve been looking for a film like Vendetta for a very long time. THIS is the long overdue Danny Dyer film we’ve been waiting for.

The plot sees SAS interrogator Jimmy Vickers (DANNY DYER – RUN FOR YOUR WIFE) returns from the theatre of war after the brutal murder of his parents.  What ensues is a quest to kill all those responsible. The police are on the look out for his unstoppable vigilante as are members of his own unit from back in the Middle East. Throw into the mix an uneasy reunion with his estranged wife, Morgan (ROXANNE MCKEE – GAME OF THRONES) and you’ve got yourself a decent crime thriller.

As is the case with most revenge thrillers, the model is quite repetitive but there is more meat on Vendetta‘s bones than its  competitors / inspirations like the Death Wish cycle, Harry Brown, Taken, The Crow or low budget bores like the Australian The Horseman and the Bedford-set snooze inducer Wayland’s Song. By fleshing out the characters (just enough) and giving shade to some of them, Vendetta convinces, engages and ultimately entertains. Like Harry Brown before it, it is a Daily Mail reader’s wet dream. Murderers and drug dealers live in every street and we’re all going to get mugged every day, but saying that, who cares about Vendetta‘s politics, it’s a straight up thriller, first and foremost an entertainment device. And on that level it works. Dyer has been gifted with a part were he’s been encouraged to act and punch his weight and play well within his range. The dialogue is a bit ropey at times but like I said the actors cover up the cracks by embodying their characters. The plot is tight although MILD SPOILER: I thought the ending at the docks was really stupid, but not enough to ruin or dent the film up to that point. Another couple of important plus points to note are the fantastic cinematography which gave the film a wonderful Hollywood gloss. It made a great change from the stock helicopter shots we get in these type of movies. The other plus was the vibrant and moody synth score – worthy of a (good) John Carpenter movie! So please take a bow maestro! 10373786_725037957537415_3354157182079370870_n

The decision to surround Dyer with a cast of strong supporting actors (some known to me / some unknown) was a wise decision. Good character actors like Nick Nevern (OUTPOST 2), Ricci Harnett (TURNOUTand Vincent Regan (TOP DOG) all do some of the heavy lifting further down the cast. There’s barely a weak link.  Besides Dyer, kudos goes to the young actors who played the villains of the piece: the ever up and coming Josef Altin (EASTERN PROMISES) is one to watch, as is Joshua Osei (LIFE IS JUST) and Alexis Rodney (LIFE AND LYRICS).  Veteran actor Bruce Payne (GETAWAY) from countless UK 1980s classics and the immortal Passenger 57 nearly steals the movie with a plum role as the icy head of British black ops. He needs more work (somebody rescue him from the rubber monster crap quickies that he hangs around like the plague)! The only weak link in the acting stakes was from Emma Samms (THE COLBYS), who seemed like a fish out of water as Danny Dyer‘s Mum. A lot of the tin-earred dialogue was rescued by the actors who were able to turn it into gold but she was the only one caught ‘acting’. Seems a shame to highlight her in an otherwise solid film. Back to Danny Dyer – the dialogue “I’d have bled to keep the red in the Union Jack (or something)” sounded odd and out of context in the trailer but in the body of the film this scene is electric. One or two other scenes establish that he’s been in the doldrums for too long. So welcome back and thanks to the producer Jonathan Sothcott, the director Stephen Reynolds and all involved for giving us the UK genre film we’ve been waiting for.  I look around at a lot of British movies and I think, who asked for this type of film?  For example – ‘One Chance‘? a film about a reality show TV show winner; ‘Diana a 21st Century version of the Carol Carpenter movie? The Harry Hill Movie? Fuck Me!!! Things are bad.  Just who is responsible for turning Judi Dench into a box office star to rival Arnold Schwarzenegger? It’s not only grannies that go to see UK films is it?Also on another point Vendetta is, for once,  a UK film that does not short change us by featuring a famous actor, firing a gun, cars and sky scrapers blowing up on the DVD box /poster only to find out that the famous guy is in it for 2 minutes, and the storyline is about flower sellers with no guns. In short VENDETTA delivers.

8 out of 10 – A non-supernatural tribute to THE CROW, this is the overdue Danny Dyer movie we thought we’d never see. Some foresight and faith may have saved Mr Dyer’s bacon whilst restoring my faith in the UK action film. Onwards and upwards for producers Richwater Films!  PS: More Bruce Payne, please!

Review by Britpic’s own Jimmy Vickers – Joe Pesci II aka Scummy Biscuits is below…

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

VINYL

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 15th March 2013

Director: Sara Sugarman (Confessions Of a Teenage Drama Queen / Very Annie Mary / Mad Cows)

Cast: Phil Daniels, Keith Allen, Perry Benson, Jamie Blackley, Christopher Roy Turner, Julia Ford and James Cartwright

Writer: Jim Cooper & Sara Sugarman

Trailer: VINYL

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Phil Daniels: 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
  • Keith Allen: In a Heartbeat, The Magnificent Eleven, 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
  • Perry Benson: Borrowed Time, I AnnaOutside Bet, Anuvahood, This Is England ’86 (TV), Dead Cert, Somers Town, Mum & Dad, This Is England, Mr In-Between, The Last Resort, Love Honour and Obey, Final Cut, Sid & Nancy, Scum
  • Jamie Blackley: uwantme2killhim?
  • Julia Ford: A Room For Romeo Brass