Tag Archives: uk

Crooked Rot

 

Duration 4.19
Dir: David Firth /UK/2008
Link: www.fat-pie.com

You can also view this in reverse here http://youtu.be/SLp3tyCacxU

Life, sex and death? Or just an unusual imagination.

I’ve been a long admirer of David Firth for a quite a long time now and have enjoyed a lot of his flash based animations like the heroic bass playing Burnt Face Man,  ultimate creepy guy Salad Fingers and other random sketches that he has lovelingly produced. A sort of young hero in the world of modern surreal animation and definitely a cult figure. Crooked Rot doesn’t come as a surprise! Although I wasn’t aware of David doing a lot of Stop Motion Animation (Call myself a fan huh).

I’ve never really tried to make sense of David’s work it has a dreamlike.. no scrap that..  nightmarish ambiance, David has a talent for getting a lot of people out of their comfort zones. to try and make sense of this fully I think I’d need therapy but it does suggest interesting themes about relationships, birth, death and communication, this is purely if you look at the symbolism.

You could stretch it to suggest it tells about relationships,  birth, life and death. The symbolism of the male and female head, the egg and the halo could represent offspring and god,  or alternatively it could just be an experimental piece while David tested out a new camera?! Who knows?!  Either way it’s a quirky little animation that you can watch either forwards or backwards. Not entirely sure why but give it a go, you might get something out of it. then again you might not.

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Black Sea (2014)

image Black Sea (Adventure, Thriller 2014) (15) D: Kevin Macdonald: P: W: Dennis Kelly: C: Jude Law, Mihcael Smilie, Scoot Mcnairy, Grigory Dobrygin, David Threfall 1h 54. UK. Synopsis: In order to make good with his former employees, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the black sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold  blacksea1 Divided by language a disgruntled British and Russian submarine crew lead by an abrasive Aberdeen enhanced Fraser (Jude Law) are flooded into the depths of mystery, greed and paranoia in this dark tense thriller. Filled with intense confrontations, daredevil underwater performances. Black Sea offers an unforgettable voyage. Starting out slow-paced as Fraser (Law) is discarded by his employer, he stumbles upon an almost perfect plan to recover missing Nazi gold after a meeting with an old friend Kurston (Daniel Ryan) he is soon meeting with executives and commandeering an old rust bucket “whore” of a submarine to take him and his new crew to the bottom of the black sea to pirate the abandoned gold. Early on he meets a strange young man Liam (Karl Davies) who informs him that Kurston has committed suicide, and the boy is asked to take his place and is a constant source of amusement for the rest of the crew. Once the men are below decks the insanity and paranoia starts wafting around in the darkness. The claustrophobia beings to steep as the story and plot accelerate. The minimal soundtrack twinned with the darkness of the submerged vessel draws the film into proper submarine territory with only minimal sonar bleeping, and looking more like a craft than a sub, all of this is cast aside once the crew are worked up and the strangeness occurs. High on the prospects of becoming millionaires and realising the booty will need to be divided it soon becomes every man for himself and no man is safe. Kevin MacDonald’s work is generally outstanding and only rarely does he let himself down, primarily the Eagle (2011) comes to mind, but rising from this black sea epic, I can see him back on track for better things and able to deliver the goods once again. Pushing his cast to their full potential, both new and seasoned actors such as David Threlfall, it seems to have taken time out to sculpt the actors outside of their typecast/stereotypes. Jude Law’s Scottish accent does help enhance his character giving him more kudos. Taking the sweaty rawness of Das Boot (1981) and melding it with the strong modern edge of Hunt for Red October (1990), Black sea actually ends up as a western style showdown on a sub. Overall the murder and intrigue that the film has to offer will keep the ploy fresh until the end. Sub movies are an exclusive genre that have produced some of the finest cinema to date, Black sea doesn’t let the genre down, providing a new shady edge and strangely manages to successful combine a large amount of mystery to the confines of a small stage. Hopefully this will open up the doors on what can be achieved when you apply a good story to any setting. I wouldn’t expect anything like the current zombie revival that seems to be going on forever but hopefully there will be some more genuinely good sub movies inspired by this new chapter.     AOFA6 Rating : 6/10 R: Das Boot (1981), Hunt for Red October (1990), Outpost (2007), Ronin (1998) Q: “I lost my family because of this job..” “What if we sink”? “It wouldn’t be a good submarine if it didn’t sink” TIL: Submarines are whores too! L: Submarine Movies. 5B: Jude Law, Michael Simile Kisha

Kill List (2011)

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Kill List (Crime, Horror, Thriller, Supernatural 2011) (18) D: Ben Wheatley: P: W: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley: C:Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Michael Smiliey, Struan Rodger 1h 35m. UK.

Synopsis: Nearly a year after a botched job, a hit man takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings, What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.

Nearly a year after a disastrous job; a hitman Jay (Maskel) and his trusty sidekick Gal (Smilie) take on a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for a mere three killings. What begins as an effortless task soon unravels; sending the killers on a wild psychological roller coaster.

Kill List opens as a fairly mundane drama set around a dysfunctional and violent couple and a quiet often ignored son. Gradually the plot descends into bloody gore, shrewd psychological disturbances, occult and a healthy lashing of “thrill  kill”.

It encapsulates the downward spiral of a semi retired hitman, We being to feel sympathy for Jay, his mission in Kiev and now potters around his house imagining himself as having a bad back, pissing off his spouse Shel (Burning) and the two constantly switch between love and hateful outbursts over Jay’s inactivity and the families poor financial situation. The pace starts to sharpen once Jay finds a new contract and a mysterious character known simply as The Client (Rogers) offers the duo a 3 person kill list during an unsettling meeting in a hotel.

At this point the pair start to drift apart as Jay starts to rage more and loses control and his grip on reality and the walls close in.

The screenplay is very characteristic of Wheatly/Jump’s style of film like Sightseers (2012) and Down Terrace (2009). Filmed in a similar manner of a fly on the wall documentary, the cinematography follows suit with shaky cam and close ups, zooming in on the graphic violent scenes, all of this is backed up with raw and unprepared script sporadic soundtrack, sometimes holding up and allowing space for deep personal scenes.

The acting is brilliant, it looks very realistic which is the entire angle of this movie, its main point of driving home the message that this could happen to anyone is to see it happening to people you can easily identify with. It feels as if Wheatley is bringing this story to the viewer. trying to force them to digest everything for themselves. This identification with the main cast helps pull you into the movie. Suddenly Jay isn’t James Bond, he’s doing what you would in that situation, but when he starts going off the rails does this mean you could also. For an example when Jay and Gal find some disturbing videos, Gal is very passive and Jay goes off all half cocked, which is what most people would do in his place but would they really press it as hard as him?

Wheatly and Jump work together so well, constantly they are producing characters that could live on your street but who have this dark and sinister backgrounds. The quiet family down the street are revealed as trained killers and yet blend seamlessly, everyone has a hidden face, everyone is hiding a secret.

With its raw and uncompromising dialogue, Kill List hits hard, it’s raw with a gloomy undercurrent, you have no where to hide. Combining the difficult family drama such as Once Were Warriors (1994) with a brutal hitman action movie and topping it off with constantly surreal occult references the melting pot is set to dish up a curious and unique movie.


09

Rating : 9/10
AOFAPD

R: Sightseers (2012), A Field in England (2015) Devil Rides Out (1968) Borderlands (2013), Rosemarys Baby (1968)
Q: Gal “I fucking hate dirty soap”
BS: Some of the most realistic blood is scene in the hotel scene when Jay gets his hand cut. The brutal killing of he Librarian is very gruesome ans violent!
OST: Nb. Sharksong used in tunnel chase.
L: Selected Occult Movies, Hitmen Movies, Modern British Thrillers
5B: Ben Wheatley, Michael Smiliey, Neil Maskell
DGI: Chug a bear for each of the killings..

Kisha

the Krays (1990)

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Krays (Biography, Crime, Drama 1990) (18) D: Peter Medak: P: W: Philip Ridley: C: Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Billie Whitelaw, Susan Fleetwood, Kate Hardie 1h 59m. UK.

TAGLINE : When People are afraid of you, you can do anything. Remember that.

 

Synopsis: This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lord in London’s ’60s underworld.

A sentimental and raw biography of twin London gangsters, this film documents their rise from the back streets of London to the headlines of the international press. The film charismatically details their devotion to their mother and the unique bond.

As with a lot of biographical movies, it is difficult to encapsulate a lifetime into a short piece. So the movie only touches on several key events in the lives of the Kray twins. While some of the grimy and often violent crimes that are still evident in the London boroughs, are recorded in the movie. It still misses some of the more difficult and hard hitting facts about the crime duo.

Maybe a lot was missed out purposely, as the overall theme of the movie that comes across suggesting, quite rightly; that the brothers were seen as celebrities during their time. The film oozes scenes of the twins dressing up models in tailored suits and being spoken of highly among the local people almost as robin hood type characters and getting their photograph taken with lots of other celebrities in their lavish clubs. i think this image was the main purpose of the film. Secondly they are portrayed as being extremely devoted to the elder female figures within their family primarily the mother and aunt rose (Susan Fleetwood) and then finally they are described as being  violent and psychotic criminal masterminds.

While the screenplay itself is quite simplistic it is highlighted with casually placed well-directed scenes not always making the most of cinematography or soundtrack track, the character and energy from the film comes mostly from the sincere acting of the two brothers and ballsy cameos from Whitelaw as opposed to any background music camera mechanics.

The first half of the movie focuses in on the twins at children growing up during the London blitz, going to school, and a protective mother and a almost invisible father. the second half of the movie lands them is grown men in the middle of a ready made empire. A large part of the building of a criminal hq and dodgy businesses was completely missed and is possibly one of the more interesting aspects of their lives.

The acting could very well be described as polished. There is definitely some panache from each brother. It’s not the kind of acting that will win anybody an Oscar, but it will definitely be remembered as one of the more stylised British performances. Which in turn is homage to the two original characters. The film is often pulled back from the violence by inserts of wisdom and powerful performances from Fleetwood and Whitelaw (RIP to both) as they attempt to interject the raw emotion and thoughts of a strong iron lady who is the backbone of her community.

Hungarian born director Peter Medak at the time was typically filming numbers of shorter television shows. Maybe he lost his sense of timing when given something of much more magnitude to direct the pace seems to slow and quicken and the ending is sudden. It’s a homage to the Krays, it neglects the controversy, instead it presents a stylised history of the Krays as much as Goodfellas (1990) tried for Henry Hill Just placing the boys on a British pedestal instead.

 

 08

 

Rating : 8/10

R: The End (2008), Essex Boys (2000), Rise of the Footsoldier (2007)

Q: Aunt RoseOne day they’ll drain Victoria Park lake and you know what they’ll find? Babies, that’s what. Bullets and dead babies”..
BS: The big showdown finale is great, the set up is similar to the killing montages similar to the Godfather and Infernal Affairs.
L: London film, British Crime and Gangsters, Crime Biographies, Biographies, Twins in Film.
5B: Billie Whitelaw, Susan Fleetwood, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp

Black Water Gospel

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http://youtu.be/vVkDrIacHJM

Duration 9.33

Dir: Bo Mathorne /UK/2011
Links: http://bomathorne.blogspot.co.uk/

A god fearing desert community in a western wasteland lead by a perverse minister who controls his flock through fear and promises of heaven are suddenly faced with a mysterious dark silent stranger who descends on the town. But why…

The animation is backed with a soulful song by Justin Cross called Drink the water in some renditions (http://youtu.be/wXFK82TGh7c) . Otherwise you have a great sounding ost and realistic effects.

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Graphically the film is very uniquely characterised by an urban kustom graphic style of art,  enhanced by superb 3D renders  its incredibly rustic and vibrant in movements and structure. The clarity of the graphics are beautful ,  style and atmosphere is top notch.

The story playes along a similar plot of Needful Things (1993) the main character is dark and sinister. The top hat and wide smile reminds me of Tom Petty, basically a devil who descends apon the town to feed, but there is a twist.

There is a great story here, it harbours a lot of moral questions worth paying attention to. It’s beautful to watch an the option of having it all set to a stunning song. You just cant go wrong, Mathorne seriously needs to make more of this kinda magic.

10

R: 10/10

Kisha

Date Night

image https://youtu.be/rQPSWU6QET0

Found on Futureshorts YouTube Channel

Duration 5.54

Dir: Reggie Yates / UK / 2014

When three fidelity phobic misfits find themselves in the same cafe, their love and hate for all things

This short film portrays a few individual in a canteen at lunch time, all giving a “from the heart” talk about their single life and attracting a partner, the characters are all very different in their approach while all remaining total misfits. You have the macho executive (Tony Day) who is over-confident and eager to detail the immense size of his manhood, in the same cafeteria there is a guy who is over-cautious and meticulous, and just can’t seem to find perfection, finally a young lass who is deeply in love and incredibly angry as well. All of them are relating food with love and love with food, it’s charming and inventive dialogue. Most of it is a close up face on shot like an interview but the dialogue is crisp and witty. it’s a very clever short film, we all know one or two of characters which is a good indication that they have got it right. It’s insightful and opens many windows but answers no questions.

 

07

 

 


R
: 7/10

Scintilla (2012)

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An elite team of mercenaries is hired for a covert operation, deep inside a former Soviet state. Arriving at an underground laboratory, their mission is to secure specimens of genetically engineered human and alien hybrids. Battling with a ferocious armed militia as well as dark, menacing creatures, the odds of survival are stacked against them.

Mutants in a bunker, what could possibly go wrong!?

This unique brit flick, directed by Bill O’Brien who is not shy when it comes to cross breeding alien species or using John Lynch to deal with them, brings together an seemly unplanned trilogy Isolation (2005) Ferocious Planet (2011) and now Scintilla (2014) . The mercenaries are led by Powell (Lynch), have to infiltrate a bunker and bring back mutant samples from deep inside a war torn Russia.

The film is well acted but lacking in excitement, there is little expansion in some of the stranger aspects, such as why is Powel being tortured at the beginning of the film, the mutant hand that opens a door near the end, probably aimed at getting the film needs talking about sequels. The unique selling point are the two unique mutants test subjects,  I’ve never seen anything like them before. If you’re into raincoats and retro fashion, Dr. Irvine (Winslet) delivers the goods. It’s interesting to say the least, probably a little too subtle, there is a great story to be told here it just needed a bit more depth to wet the whistle.

Rating –  5/10
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R: Outpost (2007), Creep (2004), Doom (2005)

L : Bunker Movies

Kisha

Gnomeo and Juliette (2011)

GNOMEO AND JULIETTE – (Animation, Comedy, 2011) (PGD: Kelly Asbury C: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith 1h 40m  UK 

The neighboring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war, but the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, are in love.

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Yeah I still watch cartoons. Pixar garden version of Romeo and Juliette if you didn’t guess. It’s a kids film but it’s funny as f*ck! I love the flamingo, the teeny rabbits and the kitty clipper.. No something I’d expect anyone on my blog to really watch so i won’t go into any details.

06

Isolation (2005)

Isolation

(Horror, Thriller, Gore. 2005) (15) D/W: Billy O’Brien C:  Sean Harris, John Lync, Marcel Iures.  1h 35m. UK / Ireland.

On a remote Irish farm, five people become unwilling participants in an experiment that goes nightmarishly wrong.

TAGLINE : A horror film set on a lonely farm in rural Ireland.

 

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Well I don’t remember how I came about finding this flick, but it has two of my al time favourite UK actors in it and both were very hot to watch.. oh man!! It’s a keeper, just for Sean Harris and John Lynch visuals.

I do vaguely remember seeing this previewed on another DVD possibly Unearthed or the Decent and it looked terrible, I only recognised the movie from one of the final scenes..  I thought trailers were supposed to turn you onto a movie, make it look dazzling and schit? If they showed Sean Harris making out and John Lynch’s birthing scene the movie would have been higher on my to buy list!

The movie revolves around an out of work farmer, Dan (John Lynch)  and the use of his farm by scientist unknown  to breed a more fertile bovine, he’s Irish but he’s not f*cking lucky at all, he is kept in the dark  over many aspects of the “project”.

Along with all these problems Dan has a young couple (Sean Harris and Ruth Negga) intruding on his laaand (oh wait he’s not from Somerset.. ) * ahem * on his land.. To the viewer it’s clear that the couple are on the run, to Dan they are just going to get him into trouble with the unknown powers, but he’s not a monster, he lets them stay, that kind act might have been a curse in disguise. Still Dan’s main concern is the livelihood of his herd.. although to be fair I only remember seeing one cow in the entire movie!

Things are wrong from the get go in this dark, biological nightmare of a movie, two people are bitten by an unborn calf.. bitten!!!  Mind you the little fekker gets swung around by the legs and over the head of Dan on entry into this world! Is this honestly common practice?? WOAH!

IsolationBirth

Then things get weird (if that wasn’t weird enough) There is a vigorous dose of gore and yucky moments, Cronehberg would be proud of the viral creatures, sliding around and biting folk. There are various arms up cows A$$es, strange cuts and bites, autopsies, vomiting, blood and guts, at least there was enough to make a little gore queen like myself squeal with delight!

 

A dose of Sean Harris and John Lynch makes me happy and get the old juices flowing, both are really great actors who aren’t afraid to get dirty for their work and it pays off. To be honest I don’t think nay shy actors fair well in such films.

While being a frim Reality Checked Drama, a Biological Sci Fi Breakdown and a Gore Bursting Virus movie, Isolation holds true to the modern British horror genre, it is a good movie, it doesn’t open up any new doors for any of the aforementioned genres but it does touch on a possible future crisis. I know a lot of conspiracy theorist, vegans and those sensitive to genetically modified foods/crops/herds will see this as a harsh bite of reality that we might have to face.

I have to give this movie huge thumbs up for using animatronics and not GCI, I really love when films do this, CGI can work at times but for this style of gore and horror you really need to see something with substance. We need to bring back blood soaked, repulsive, textured monsters and look and feel real man!

R: Squirm (1976), Slither (2006), Shivers (1975), Growth (2010), Ruins (2008), Bug (2006), Splinter (2008) ß do you see a pattern emerging here, infection movies all with one word titles…

7/10

07

Hummingbird / Redemption (2013)

HUMMINGBIRD/REDEMPTION

(Drama, Action, 2013)(15) D/W : Steven Knight C : Jason Statham. 1h 40m. UK.

Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London’s criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another mans identity – transforming into an avenging angel in the process.

Hummingbird

I get the impression that this was supposed to be the movie to prove that Jason Statham is more than just an action hero but Steven Knight got the formula right but proved nothing with this mundane movie. I decided to watch this to get away from the drama and I just wanted a non thinking action/violence flick.. I was disappointed.

The movie is full of unlikely events for example while running from a gang in central London Statham just happens to chance upon a totally empty apartment, without realising it he cleans up, showers, changes clothes etc.. most people would be more aware of owners impending return.. and he doesn’t realise that it’s going to be empty for some time until the morning after.. no matter move along..

Hummingbird doesn’t really live up to the potential of either the Statham or Knight, they have wowed audiences with brilliant films such as Eastern Promises (2007) and Transporter (2002). But all the situations just don’t add up, Statham isn’t bad but he seems awkward showing this other side here. Rather than blending any of the realism of the London streets into the movie, all the characters and situations seem aloof to what we see everyday. On top of that the nun’s back story, as tragic as it is; gives a shock but stacked on top of all the other implausibilites, just causes the movie to become even MORE unbelievable.

The movie could have been a slick ride, it has all the elements of a really good Korean style crime flick gone big smoke style, ex special forces, triad gang, a nun.. drugs, prostitution etc.. but the director and cast struggle to tie them all together in a meaningful way.

BS : My favourite scene in this movie which I thought might be a theme for the damaged Statham character is when he’s half asleep and the buzzing flies in the kitchen morph into helicopters and a battle emerges, Statham then envisions a hanging man and stats to shoot him, but the gun turns into a lamp stand and everything returns to reality.

5/10