Tag Archives: Jason Maza

Welcome to the Punch – Film Review @welcome2punch

14 Mar

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Eran Creevy ups his game tenfold following his impressive micro budget debut with Shifty. Now backed by executive producer Ridley Scott, and with a considerable amount more money behind him, Creevy demonstrates what he can do when he’s playing with the big boys, in an impressive but not quite perfect classic cop chase style film.

Welcome to the Punch stars James McAvoy as Detective Max Lewinsky a man on a three-year hunt for ex criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong). After hiding in Iceland, as you do, Sternwood is forced back to London when his son gets involved in a heist gone wrong. The East End battle begins.

The opening of Welcome to the Punch shows London in an impressive light, a drawn out motorbike chase through the back drop of Canary Wharf atScreen Shot 2013-03-14 at 11.08.51night, makes London look like its had the $10 million Hollywood effect sprayed across it, and I have to say, it looks stunningly beautiful and certainly sets the tone for this fast paced, well acted and glossy film.

McAvoy is strong as the lead character, and once again shows off his versatility as a disgruntled, scarred and determined officer, focused on nothing other than to get his man. Mark Strong is a fantastic counterpart to McAvoy’s good guy, he’s understated and calm, so you can’t ever quite read him correctly, and this plays out for the audience who spend the majority of the film trying to work out if he’s a “bad guy gone good”, or if its just one big double bluff?! On the filp side, rising Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 11.10.19star Andrea Riseborough is sadly one of the more forgettable characters in this film, as one can’t help but feel that she is under-utilized throughout. She’s a supporting character, but sadly with not a huge amount to do or for us to care about, which does not bode well three quarters of the way through, and is perhaps one of the biggest shames about this film.

On the upside, however, There’s a fantastic array of dark humour throughout and the use of well known cameos such a Jason Flemyng and Jason Maza who have no more than a few minutes on screen, still throw is back to Creevy’s Shifty days and provide a warm and nostalgic reminder that this is a great British film.

Another great point about this film is that although the setting and style of delivery is very much London in feel, you can’t avoid seeing Creevy’s influences from much further afield. His love of Hong Kong cinema and John Woo can be picked up easily in the fight sequences, particularly the Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 11.10.58hotel gun shooting scene, and this is a refreshing move forward for this film, it widens the field and its homages remind us of some great films that have come before it, and that Welcome to the Punch is paying a considerable tribute to them all.

Overall, this is a strong offering from Eran Creevy. Having major acting players like Mark Strong and James McAvoy involved does take this film up a notch, but Welcome to the Punch has managed to break a number of barriers in terms of British police based film making and visually looks as stunning as a multi-million dollar Hollywood film, but maintains the level of dark British undertones and humour which helps it to stand out from the crowd. It may not be perfect, but its enjoyable and very much worth a watch.

Will you be ready to tie The Knot in February?

9 Jan

It might still be just a tad too early for wedding season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching a film to get you all excited for when it actually kicks in!

British film The Knot is ready for you to pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray, and will be yours to own in early February. Back in September 2012, I was lucky enough to attend the Gala Premiere of the film and chat to its lovely stars and supporters, it was a great night, a funny film and worth you supporting British Cinema by picking it up at your local HMV etc in the coming weeks!

Hope you enjoy the interviews, and also if you’re a fan of Millie’s Cookies, then this video was created for its online TV show Freshly Baked – which I present!

Enjoy!



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For the new generation of British talent, its PAYBACK SEASON!

9 Mar

So in the same week that The Guardian brought out an interesting article about the number of upper class, well educated men and women becoming successful actors – http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/mar/07/being-posh-helps-actors – I attended the film premiere for Payback Season, featuring “the underdog” Adam Deacon. 

The stars of this film are not the graduates of Eton and Cambridge, but lesser known schools with, in some cases, the Anna Scher theatre training as the most notable training credit on their cv as opposed to RADA or LAMDA. They are the ones really living the dream, feeling privileged to be walking the red carpet for yet another successful British film, if not by the critics, then by the masses of 13-2o year old girls who scream as they arrive on the red carpet, and the boys who admire these actors as they’re at home nurturing their X-Box’s.

If I had my preference for which red carpet events to attend and soak up, it would be these types of films, the energy in the room is amazing. No star of the film takes for granted the privileged positions that they are in promoting these films, they talk to people like me on the other side of the tape for as long as I’d like (instead of “one question only”) and you get the sense of pride in their achievements, passion for their work and support for their co-stars. More often than not, I’ve heard stories of junkets featuring stroppy actors who see this element of the promotional tour as a chore, and hate the publicity of the red carpet, and when asked simple questions about why they would take on a particular role and the challenges they faced embodying it, give some overtly artistic and pretentious answer.

Here you see their eyes light up and when questioned, hear the words, hard work, determination and dedication. And when you see this level of genuine love for what they do and how far they have come, you can’t but help become the next number one fan of this film even before seeing it.

All this is what makes me as an audience member realise that we really are in the presence of a new type of British film making and talent – and that its here to stay. Since Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters paved the way for the urban british film revolution, its been going from strength to strength and without egos to destroy it – if anything I feel that you’re being guided through this new wave by one large family of film makers and actors who know each other like they’d grown up together, support each others choices as family does and talk proudly not of themselves, but of their “brother and sisters” achievements next to them.

We’re seeing the stars who began their paths being plucked from obscurity in Kidulthood and Adulthood become the next writers, directors and BAFTA award winning actors. Next according to Adam Deacon is the international market, an exciting time to showcase what makes London unique in its approach to film and with that we wish him all the very best of luck.

Payback Season hits cinemas today so make sure you support your next generation of British film talent and go check it out…

Thanks for reading

 

Its October, Its Halloween at the end of the month – about time the UK brought out a fab slasher film!

11 Oct

Here it is folks, the moment you’ve been waiting for, a slasher film to contend with, if not out-do the king of killers ‘Scream’. Bringing some UK swagger, urban outlooks, the next generation of UK talent both on and off screen, and of course another fab entry to add to our country’s portfolio of new wave of outstanding young, hip, urban films.

The premiere at the Odeon West End didn’t disappoint either, if you ever needed a hub of talent in one tiny space then look no further than the VIP bar next to the press pen! Chattering busily on mobile phones, consuming the free champagne, networking furiously and generally having a great time, were actors, models, singers, rappers, directors, producers, practically every hotshot who  are going to make a name for themselves in the next five to ten years. To name drop a few, we had Dionne Bromfield (Amy Winehouse’s very talented god daughter), Craig Roberts (Hilarious lead in Submarine), The cast of Misfits, Jay from Dirty Sexy Things (He has a new music career by the way!), Jessie J and not to mention the fabulous cast of the film – Jason Maza, Andrew Ellis, Jack Doolan, Reggie Yates etc etc…

So what was the fuss all about and why were they all here – well, the first time director Arjun Rose (looking very dapper) tells you all about it in the first interview however here’s a quick synopsis:

Demons Never Die

Stylish teen slasher film Demons Never Die follows eight very different London students with one deadly secret: they have all made a pact to end their lives together. However, a mysterious masked killer emerges from the shadows to grant their death-wish in more terrifying fashion than they could ever have imagined. Misfit Archie (Robert Sheehan), model Samantha (Emma Rigby), wide-boy Kenny (Jason Maza), star pupil Ashleigh (Shanika Warren-Markland), conflicted Ricky (Jacob Anderson), goth-girl Jasmine (Jennie Jacques), and weakling James (Jack Doolan) are all battling their own private demons, from eating disorders to lost parents. But as a much deadlier assailant hunts them down one by one, their quest for death becomes a desperate fight for their lives. Can these friends survive long enough to discover what they have to live for? Or will their bleeding hearts be brutally slashed wide open?

Not only is this a great film, showcasing the UK’s up and coming acting talent, it also has a brilliant soundtrack featuring the best of the UK’s up and coming singing talent – lead boldly by Dionne Bromfield and her lead single Ouch! (check out the music video, it was directed by Arjun Rose and features Chloe Moretz). Just a melting pot oozing with talent from all angles and something that is sure to put any great US slasher to shame.

The perfect fright fest for Halloween – so forget Paranormal Activity 3 and go support our great homegrown talent – its sure not to disappoint and is a fantastic way to get everyone excited for more upcoming British film making at the London Film Festival – starting bright and early tomorrow morning!