I often find it difficult to work out my feelings about the seemingly endless parade of British urban dramas. To me these supposedly gritty, realistic looks at urban youth are often rather unconvincing. They seem like a fantasy based on reality – a version of inner city life that’s been mashed through gangster film cliché and social realist poverty porn to create something that’s miserable enough that people think it feel true, even though it isn’t. However I’m also aware that growing up on a farm limits my knowledge of the realities of destitute, gangland, housing estate life. [Read more…]
When K-11 was in development, there was talk of Twilight stars Kristen Stewart and Nikki Reed starring in the movie. However they left the film behind, but we’re still left with a pretty good cast including Goran Visnjic, Kate Del Castillo, Portia Doubleday, D.B. Sweeney, Jason Mewes and Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister.
The film follows Visnjic’s Raymond Saxx Jr., who wakes up after a heavy night of drink and drugs locked up in K-11. He can’t remember how he got there and doesn’t really know where he is, initially thinking he’s in some sort of institution, as he seems to presume that’s the sort of place that would be full of drug-dealing homosexuals and transsexuals. [Read more…]
In the modern world there are all sorts of non-traditional families. Gayby takes a look at what happens when a straight woman and her gay best friend decide to have a baby together.
Jenn (Jenn Harris) and Matt (Matthew Wilkas) have been friends for years. In their youth they made a pact that if it hadn’t happened for either of them, they’d have a child together. Now in their 30s and with both of them single, Jenn decides to hold Matt to his promise. Keen to have a child of his own, he agrees. However there is one proviso – Jenn wants to have conceive the natural way, without turkey basters or any other equipment than what Matt has attached to him already. [Read more…]
Normally remakes of European movies are made in the US but Nicholas Winding Refn’s 1996 movie Pusher got to the UK and decided to do the double, with two remakes in the past three years. The first was a British Indian take, while this new one brings across a Spanish director for a London-set version of the story. [Read more…]
When The Knot was released in cinemas it’s not an understatement to say it was met with bad reviews. It currently has a score of 0% on RottenTomatoes and the invective spewed at it reached a point that it even led to a spat between a few of the cast (and their relatives) and some of the reviewers.
To be honest, many of the cinema reviews were a lot harsher than the film deserves – that not to say it’s good, just that’s there are far worse films out there. I think perhaps part of the problem was seeing it on the cinema screen, as it’s seems far more suited to television. Indeed it would probably have been better to have made it as a six-part comedy series for TV. [Read more…]
Based on Julia Strachey’s 1932 novella that was championed into print by Virginia Woolf, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding is set on the morning of the marriage of Dolly Thatcham (Felicity Jones) to Owen Bigham. While the family prepares and Dolly’s rather fussy and sharp mother (Elizabeth McGovern) fusses and tries to control her brood, a fly in the ointment arrives in the form of Joseph (Luke Treadaway). [Read more…]
In the years running up to the London Olympics, there were quite a few films planned to tie in with the sporting extravaganza. Few of them actually went into production but one that did was Fast Girls, which focuses on a group of female British athletes as they train for a big competition.
Shania (Lenora Crichlow) is a working class girl from a rundown part of London, who wants to be a great athlete but only has dilapidated tracks to run on. However thanks to her coach and her natural talent, she qualifies for the World Championships and is invited to join the relay team by trainer Tommy Southern (Noel Clarke). Suddenly thrown into the world of major meets, Shania almost immediately clashes with the posh Lisa (Lily James), whose father is a former champion and also a major player in the UK team selection. As the two butt heads, Shania’s will is tested, as well as her discipline to do what it takes to win at the highest level. She’s got the talent, but can Shania make it? [Read more…]
Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), along with her father and uncle, head for an old, crumbling lakehouse retreat, to pack things up and get ready to sell it. Not long after arriving, Sarah gets a visit from a young woman claiming to be an old friend, although Sarah can’t remember her. Soon Sarah finds herself trapped in the house and someone or something seems to be in there with her, trying to get her.
The setup for the plot of fairly simple and generic, but that’s probably as it should be, because with the movie’s formal conceit, it might have become unmanageable if it got too complex on the story front to quickly. The main interest in the film is that it’s shot to look like it was made in one single take (although it’s actually several long takes stitched together), following Sarah as she becomes trapped in the house and things become ever stranger and more disturbing. [Read more…]
Aardman Animation is one of the most reliable animation houses outside Emeryville (the headquarters of Pixar). From the early days of Morph through the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit onto films like Chicken Run and Flushed Away, you can always be fairly sure of fun when the company is involved. Unfortunately that hasn’t always translated into big box office, which resulted in their deal with Dreamworks Animation ending early. Luckily though Sony was looking for ways to expand their animation output and so they stepped up for The Pirates! (and last year’s Arthur Christmas).
Peter Lord co-founded Aardman with David Sproxton back in the 1970s, but this is the first film he’s directed since he co-helmed Chicken Run with Nick Park back in 2000. Thankfully he hasn’t lost his touch, as The Pirates! is great fun, full of Aardman’s trademark attention to detail and visual jokes, along with a playful sense of humour and a plot that never takes itself too seriously, but still manages to create memorable characters. [Read more…]
With a cast including Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender and Michael Douglas, alongside newcomer and MMA fighter Gina Carano – not to mention that it’s directed by Steven Soderbergh – you’d expect something pretty special from Haywire. Sadly though the film doesn’t live up to expectations, beyond a few very good fight scenes.
Carano plays Mallory Kane, a covert operative for hire who does the jobs governments and companies don’t want to admit any part of. After a mission to Barcelona she heads to Dublin for another job and soon realises something is amiss and that she’s suddenly a target herself. Knowing she’s been double-crossed, Mallory must use all her skills to stay one step ahead of those who are out to get her and work out exactly what’s going on. [Read more…]