Reviews written by registered user
|28 reviews in total|
If I make a list this year of 'films you should watch' then Hard Tide
is going to be on it. I thought I was going to see drug deals, mid
level violence and handguns and all three of those are in fact in Hard
Tide but what I didn't expect was what I got. Hard Tide isn't just
another drug deal, thug movie (and trust me. I watch enough of those)
this film has it all. Its beautifully shot and a lot of the time it has
this wonderful 'old movie' style to it with sun reflections and
lighting tricks making the film look far more impressive than a lot of
films I've seen recently. If I say that a lot of the film reminded me
1970's films, then I mean that as a compliment. I love that look of
The plot took turns that I didn't know about (and I don't mean in a 'he sees dead people ' manner. I'm not talking about plot twists. I'm talking about plot development. Nathanael Wiseman is great as 'Jake' who is the lead in the film. I only realised when the end credits rolled that Nathanael (along with Robert Osman) wrote and directed the film. 'Jake' shouldn't be a likable character because he deals drugs for a living, but he breaks that stereotypical drug dealer role that so often isn't broken in films. He is a person who has a conscience and who cares for other things in life, not just money. It doesn't take long for the audience to care about Jake, and thats down to the writing of his story and of course the performance by Nathanael. Sequel please!!!!!
The rest of the cast are great. There is a single scene very early on with Ralph Brown which actually was the first moment in the film where I realised how clever the writing was in Hard Tide and that I was in for something different. But it wasn't the last time I realised how smart the writing was.
Newcomer Alexandra Newick is great as 'Jade' and hopefully this will lead to more roles for her. Actually there isn't anything I could fault about Hard Tide. I had tension, it had dark humour, it had charm. Hard Tide was a great way to start my day (I started watching it at 8am).
Terry Jones (played by Nick Nevern) has agreed to let Charlie (played
by Manuel Atkinson) follow him around as part of a student film
project. What we the viewer see is the point of view from the camera as
Terry goes about his regular life. 'Terry is such an unusual but really
cool idea for a film, I dare say a lot of people will lump this film
into the found footage genre, but Terry is more than that. I can
honestly say that I cant think of another film in the British film
world that has done this before or actually done it since. The
storyline is as basic as it needs to be 'man followed by cameraman' but
its insanely engaging to watch and most of that is down to the
performance of Nick Nevern in the title role. Nick also wrote and
directed the film, even though its director credit is titled as Charlie
Ruez (the character of the filmmaker)
What a weird and wonderful film Terry is. It took me a couple of years to watch for the first time, but It wont be two years before I watch it again. Definitely check it out if you can.
Twisted Part 1 was first hatched in 2010 with the script and has
finally seen the light of day with a new script by filmmakers Louis
Taylor and Daniel Atrill, both UK indie filmmakers and who both should
be very proud of the work they have done with Twisted, a twenty two
minute short film that the guys have made viewable for free on Youtube.
Twisted is visually stunning, even more so considering the ultra low budget that the crew had to work with. Im not sure what cameras they filmed on but it looks great. Shot in mostly a field and a forest, Im pretty sure there were no lighting rigs or dolly tracks so tons of praise to the camera crew for their work. So how do the characters fair in the story, well some do okay and some don't. Thats hardly a spoiler seeing as this is a horror short called Twisted.
You should sit and watch the film with your friends and place bets on who is smiling at the end and who isn't. I love this sort of film, the classic template of a slasher flick and even though there are a few moments of 'why do they do that', you let them off because this is a fun horror film meant for fans.
A large part of the film is dialogue driven and its done wonderfully in a way that would be totally genuine with five friends sitting around in nature and talking about life. These are friends id like to have and are as follows
Do I have a complaint? Well yes but its only a small one. Will someone give these guys a bigger budget and let them show just how much they could do with a feature length project. Twisted could so easily have worked as a feature film and I can hope that one day we see a remake of it with the same cast and the same premise, but on a far bigger screen.
The Stagg Do is a film directed by James DeMarco and written by James
DeMarco and Martin Paterson and is bonkers. But its bonkers in a fun
I was swapping tweets with some of the crew and a comment that cropped up a couple of times was 'Its not a film for everyone'. I could see where that comment came from and well, most films aren't for everyone but The Stagg Do is a film for most people. A mental comedy film that is about friendship and life. Four friends go on a stag do (the male party before a wedding) in the hope of having one fantastic blow out before Staggy (played by Andrew Stagg) marries his fiancé, Charlotte (played by Therase Neve). Booze, Women and insanity is all lined up by the guys but things turn a little trickier when Charlotte makes sure that her Father, 'The Judge' goes along to keep an eye on everyone. But that doesn't mean the night will be uneventful.
The Stagg Do is a lot of fun to watch with snappy realistic sarcastic dialogue and anyone who has long term friends who love to drink and say what they wish should be able to relate to some of the craziness. I hate labeling films but could this be the 'Geordie' version of The Hangover. It could be Shot on a low budget but it doesn't really show, I bet the shoot was a lot of fun. The guys behind the film have done a fantastic job on The Stagg Do and I can see this film becoming one of those films carried by word of mouth into the type of film that is quoted for years Like the way Four Lions is quoted left right and centre. There are so many one liners in here that already I've seen people on social media using the quote 'fanny f*cking-tastic' when it comes to talking about not only just this film but things in general. Even the DVD menu has 'Play Fillum' and 'Fanny-tastic Features which made me chuckle before the movie had even begun.
The cast also do a wonderful job and its always a pleasure to see Craig Conway (The Descent,The Myth Of Hopelessness) doing comedy. Im a fan of his dramatic work but also a huge fan of his comedic roles (How To Stop Being A Loser) Martin Paterson who co wrote the film does a great job in the role of Pob, the best man, hated by Charlotte but with a heart of gold. This is Martins screen debut but hopefully not his last appearance. I could go on about the cast, but check out the film for yourself and see which characters are your favourites.
I cant wait to check out whats next from the guys and girls behind The Stagg Do. It was such a fun way to spend an hour and ten minutes. Grab yourself some beers, a pizza and put your feet up. Check out The Stagg Do. A film made by people with a sense of humour for people with a sense of humour.
and 2016 continues to be the year of finding 'gems' in the film world.
Keeping my promise to myself and watching more independent films than I
have previously watched. Today I spent a wonderful ninety minutes
watching a film that to be honest, needs more people to talk about it.
I spend a lot of time reading about films, watching films, checking out
trailers and going through press release articles to find diamonds
among the sea of movies out there.But the only place I had heard about
todays film was a solitary Twitter account that I had been following
for a little while.
The film is Amar Akbar and Tony,
Written and Directed by Atul Malhotra and is available on iTunes,Amazon,Google Play,Virgin Media,Blinkbox,Talk Talk and Wuaki platforms. So what made the film a gem, but more to the point, what is Amar Akbar and Tony about? Well I am never one to give away plot points for a film, part of the beauty of discovering new films is to learn the story as you go alone with the characters. But to summarize the plot. I will borrow from the Internet Movie Database summary and describe it a realistic, multicultural coming-of age comedy drama following the lives of three childhood friends as they stumble through life from their carefree twenties into adulthood. Set in present-day London but beginning in the eighties. Such a charming film.
Amar Akbar and Tony had be by moment one with its realistic humour rather than scripted humour (although Im sure there was a script), the humour all felt very realistic, and the sort of dialogue and situations that could happen to any of us. We follow lifelong friends Amar (played by Rez Kempton), Akbar (played by Sam Vincenti) and Tony (played by Martin Delaney) who all come off as perfectly likable people straight off the bat. But don't just think that the film is all comedy. Amar Akbar and Tony (the film) is part comedy, but with a huge injection of drama mixed perfectly into a feature length film. It was strange once I reached the end of the film, which although lasted only an hour and a half, has left the characters extremely memorable in the same way, had I watched a 10 hour mini series.
There are no filler scenes in the film, and these are charactersI will think of when someone asks me for my favourite films I've seen. I was asked today what I felt the film reminded me of and I came up with Part East is East, Part Shameless and perhaps even Part This Is England. But Amar Akbar and Tony is such a fresh film and its been a total pleasure to have watched it today.
Ill get the fact out of the way that I found myself attached to this project in its recent months, but before that I discovered Cops and Monsters through one of its actors (Sarah Madison) whom Id seen in another film. I then interviewed Cops and Monsters director Fraser Coull and have followed the development of this world ever since. The reason I came on as producer is that I saw how hard the guys and girls were working on it and thought id offer up some more help.....I have a lot of time for the people involved in this and see how hard they are working to raise the funding and thy refuse to give up. Now about to begin their fourth episode, the hard times are about to kick in once again and I wish them the very best of luck. To create the world of Cops and Monsters on a miniscule budget with all but no support from those companies who claim to support indie film, the crew of this project battle on. More power to them.......
Beginning with the October 1969 raid of the Charles Manson ranch in
California, and the capture of the infamous cult leader. Manson,
written and directed by Brandon Sagle is actually the first film I have
seen that gives me backstory into who Charles Manson was and why he did
what he did. (I know there are other projects out there, but I just
haven't seen them yet)
Titled House of Manson in other countries, but retitled Manson for its UK release. The film is beautifully filmed and has a wonderfully cinematic 1970s feel to it, the sort of feel that I got from Rob Zombies The Devils Rejects and the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre (yes I know that one was actually filmed in the 70s, but you see my point hopefully. The look and feel to the film works wonderfully seeing as this is a period piece taking us back to the beginning so we can learn about the Manson parents, the Manson childhood and of course we the audience just know the dark times to come and Manson shows it all.
Ryan Kiser (Truth or Dare) is the perfect choice to play Charles Manson and he comes off as scary as they can get without going over the top with it.even causing the audience to feel somewhat sorry for him in a few places, but never letting us forget just how insane and dangerous Charles Manson was and is. There is always the feeling when people think about Charles Manson was just a crazed lunatic, but in reality and shown here in Manson is the truth that people found him very charismatic and were hugely supportive of him and won over by his words and personality. That was a powerful tool but sadly added to the fact he is a crazy as they get. Makes for a very dangerous recipe.
Devanny Pinn (The Black Dahlia Haunting) is perfect in the role of Susan Atkins, one of the cult of Manson who is also captured during the 1969 raid following the Sharon Tate killings. Without even mentioning how good Devanny is in the role, I could go on about just how damn creepy her glare is in Manson.. Devanny and Ryan's are the best performances in the film, which isn't meant to take anything away from the other cast, its just that Ryan and Devanny are so damn good There are scenes in Manson that will chill you without a single word, but a single glance and head movement is all that is needed.
So is Manson a horror film? Is it a biopic? Is it a drama? Well yes to all really but horror fans, please be assured that when the violence kicks in. It sure as hell kicks in. When we finally get to the Tate killings, it doesn't hold back, and when thinking this is an actual real life event it just shocks you to the bone. (or at least it did me) The film could be described as a slow burner, but I felt like it was more a pressure cooker, raising its temperature until the lid flies off and hits us in the face.
The moment we see Charles Manson first knock on the door of the Polanski residence, my heart sunk as I have read many books detailing the events Hollywood biographies that mention the fact that people knew of Charles Manson, he was the charismatic hippie kid that hung around the neighborhood. Knowing what was coming next and how far would the film go in showing it, made me 100% nervous. I was right, when the lid flies off this pressure cooker it certainly does fly off and whilst the film 100% doesn't glorify the violence and insanity of that night, it doesn't hold back either and caused me to look away on a few occasions. Brutal, but realistic with it. Which I would hope is what the filmmakers were going for. What I also loved about the film and its not a spoiler, I promise. Is that over the end credits. We are given text updates on what happened to a lot of the main 'names' in this tragedy. Not just a single line but quite a few lines which told me things I didn't know.
All in all Manson (or House of Manson if you are outside the UK) is a tough watch and I still cant work ouit if Id class it as more biopic/drama than horror. It certainly has a lot of horror in it and will make you cringe beyond belief if you have one ounce of humanity in you. Highly recommended to everyone other than anyone who knows anyone involved in the real life events.
Today I decided to get around to watch Anti-Social, a British film,
written and directed by Reg Travvis (Screwed). I had heard of Anti-
Social around its release time due to one of its stars being Mr Josh
Myers, a very cool guy who has featured in a few films that I watched
and talked about. Namely Green Street 3 (Dir by James Nunn), White
Collar Hooligan 3 (Dir by Paul Tanter) and Screwed (Dir by Reg
Travvis). Josh s career is one that I am following as each role I've
seen him in, he always gives his all to the character. Anti-Social is
no different in that regard although the film itself is very different
from 90% of UK films I have seen lately, and actually 90% different
from most films.
I knew nothing of the storyline going into the film (I like to preserve that element in most films I watch) I knew the title, and had seen the front cover and of course knew some of the cast list. Other than those small details, I went into this film cold and it benefited me totally. Whilst the film doesn't have any 'major plot twists' what Anti-Social does brilliantly is let the story unfold over its running time. You watch characters do what they do and the story unfolds without any feeling of 'Oh I can see where this is headed' . I loved that about Anti-Social. It wasn't confusing and yet I had no idea where the storyline was going to go, and where it did go was done to perfection.
So often films are packaged as 'for fans of ' in the hope they can be sold lazily to the viewer. Anti-Social is a serious gritty, adult natured thriller which if I had to do the awful thing if labelling it for an easy sell. Id perhaps say its part Kidulthood, Part Julian Gilbeys Plastic. But more openly I would just tell you that Anti-Social is not just a really engaging story with great performances.(Gregg Sulkin as Dee, and Andrew Shim as Jason, to name two) But Anti-Social is also a damn fine piece of filmmaking.
Ill start by mentioning that I was never really a fan of the songs Amy
Winehouse released. That's not to say I don't realise just how much of
an amazing voice she was blessed with, just that I never listened to
her CD's, never watched a concert and would be lucky to name at least
two tracks she created.
However I am a fan of film, and this year seemed to watch more documentaries than I have watched in previous years. Maybe that's because I am trying to construct my own documentary film, or perhaps its because now and again I like to take a break from watching fiction films. Who knows. Who cares really.
This evening I watched the latest documentary directed by Asif Kapadia whose previous feature length project 'Senna' really took the world by storm on its release. 'Amy' a two hour plus documentary put together using archival footage of the late singer Amy Winehouse, who tragically died aged 23 after a roller-coaster career in jazz music. To go into the 'plot' of not only Amy's life but also Asif's documentary would do 'Amy' a disservice. This needs to be seen and heard and makes you not only realise how talented the girl was (if you didn't already know), but also how tragic a life in the spotlight can be. Taking you back to the beginning, and taking you through to the tragic end is a wonderful (for the most) journey using audio recordings of her friends, her colleagues, and her family. Building up what perhaps is the best picture possible of someones life. Of course its hard to tell just how accurate 'Amy' is, unless you knew her (I didn't) but it makes her out to be talented, tragic, wonderful and caring.
It also makes you realise just how intrusive some aspects of the media can be with scenes of camera flashbulbs going off like fireworks in November at the site of Amy leaving her house, walking down the street or even just getting in and out of a car. There are also some wonderful behind the scenes footage of her with her real life friends, smiling, laughing and joking around. Reminding you that the Amy Winehouse you think you know, isn't the real Amy Winehouse.
As the month of November draws to a close and the final month of 2015 nears.
'Amy' enters the top 10 films of the year as far as I am concerned.
Right from the opening credits of Soldiers of The Damned, we know what
sort of film we are about to view. With opening credits very
reminiscent of Army of Darkness,
I cant help but feel that if Sam Raimi made a film featuring Nazi's, then Soldiers of the Damned might well be the result. Taking the often told format of 'men on a mission' Soldiers of The Damned injects the 'genre' with a dash of the type of Germans often seen in the world of Indiana Jones. A fun film, whilst gory in places but its a fun gore and not the emotion draining seriousness of films of recent years. Schindlers List this isn't (not does it try to be), Soldiers of the Damned it is'
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