Tag Archives: Premiere

Getting The Reel Deal on British film with #IAmSoldier @thereelfilmshow #supportbritishfilm

17 Mar

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 08.09.42

So a certain type of British film gets a bit of flack now and again. Normally its to do with East End gangsters usually has the line “You Mug” in it and it becomes something that those highbrow critics “love to hate.” Each to their own, however these films make huge amounts of money, they’re well made, open gateways to new actors and really portray the passion from their film makers like nothing I’ve ever seen.

So, as part of The Reel Deal, I will be fronting a brand new strand of content, which celebrates this type of film, why? Because I personally love them, and think that even if it doesn’t fit into everyone’s taste, we should be encouraging British cinema in all ways shapes and forms. Throughout this series I’ll be celebrating everything from first time British directors through to those considered some of the most prolific in the industry. I’ll also be looking at the taboo surrounding British cinema and what makes us love and loathe it.

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 08.10.54

To start with, I took the team off to the deepest darkest depths of Essex to meet with prison guard, come writer, come director (of films like Tower Block) Ronnie Thompson to talk about his brand new SAS based drama I Am Soldier – which hits cinemas today.

This film shocked me with how good it was. My dad was in the SAS and Paratroopers so it definitely has some personal interest and meaning to me, but I loved everything from the performances, to the story lines and even the grading! Every detail was thought about brilliantly and is a perfect example of why this type of film should be celebrated, so start saluting great cinema, because this is Becks’ Best of British.

 

Advertisements

Happy Valentines Day! Now go watch some movies! @thereelfilmshow #film #movie #whattowatch

14 Feb

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 17.36.51

Happy Valentines Day one and all – if you’re planning a trip to the cinema, back row, none of that nonsense, then I’ve got a great little nugget of information for you on what to watch. There’s something for every type of romantic out there, from the toe tapping through to the quirky and reserved, and even the big kid romantic in you.

There’s a super large amount of great stuff on at the moment, so if you don’t have any plans as yet then take advantage of your local multiplex. Spread the love for cinema if nothing else!

This weeks top flicks were hand picked by the brilliant @thereelfilmshow (follow them on Twitter please!) and there really is something for everyone, there’s also still some fab films out that were released in the last week or so, so make sure you check them out too, and don’t forget subscribe, subscribe, subscribe! (obviously subscribe to this blog but also The Reel Deal’s channel!)

Happy film watching and an even happier Valentines Day! x

The world is going crazy for little plastic pieces – oh it must be #thelegomovie

13 Feb

Everyone’s going Lego crazy and I have to say I’m one very much joining the band wagon. Its a great film, nostalgic, funny and insanely clever, the animation is unprecedented!

So for our very first outing The Reel Film Show were invited along to a very special ‘celebrity screening’ of The Lego Movie (get us eh?!) and I had a chat or two with some famous faces (of sorts).

Bottom line is that everyone has and always will love lego and the excitement to see the film was incredible. Its out tomorrow and I’ll be bringing you my usual round up of films to watch in 60 seconds so please stay tuned for that, but in the meantime enjoy!

The Great Gatsby – Review #film #filmreview

16 May

245345id1_Gatsby_Gatsby_INTL_Daisy_96inH_x_60inW_2p.indd

An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island-set novel, follows mid-Westerner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he documents his lavish encounters with neighbour Jay Gatsby; who seems to have all the wealth and wonder in the world, but remains childishly unsatisfied without one thing, the woman he adores, Daisy (Carey Mulligan).

Following all the hype about the decadence of this film, fans of Baz Luhrmann’s work will not be disappointed with the spectacle that this film delivers in the first half at least. Taking the concept of the ‘roaring twenties’ to its literal extreme, as the film begins you are introduced to a booming New York full of promise, prosperity and parties! Intercutting re-purposed original footage with some of Luhrmann’s newly developed settings; the audience follows Nick Carraway as he discovers and becomes a part of this world. Slowly, through the eyes of Nick, we discover the main nouveau rich players in this story, starting with Nick’s cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton).Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.52.04

Upon entering this world, we are faced with an immense sense of overwhelming intensity, the editing is fast paced from one character to the other and at times you’ll feel breathless trying to keep up. You will find yourself trying to take in the scenery in front of your eyes and attempt to keep up with the storyline as well. This puts you straight in Nick’s shoes, a new world, new people and a whole new lifestyle.

Tom Buchanan is expertly played by Joel Edgerton, and is dominating in every scene, bringing a sense of rich, butch, manliness, which is neither Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.52.21endearing nor trustworthy. With him is Daisy, brought to life by Carey Mulligan, an interesting choice for the part, she makes a promising entrance making the character feel care free and wistful as we meet her – quite like a bubblegum princess – but as the film progresses ever so slightly fails to demonstrate the complexities and shallowness of the literary Daisy that fans of the book will have built in their minds. Alongside these characters is Jordan Baker (newcomer Elizabeth Debriki), Daisy’s best friend, this other than Gatsby is probably the best casting of the whole film – looking like a real product of the time and acting with the arrogance and elegance you would expect from a flapper socialite. Debriki carries herself in a scene-stealing manner that, like Edgerton, dominates any screen time she has.

Onto the main man, for a modern day Jay Gatsby, Leonardo Di Caprio is the best choice. Smart, mysterious, yet at times vulnerable with a buffoon like quality; the moment the actor raises a glass to the crescendo of music with a beaming smile at one of his lavish parties, you can only imagine teenage girls once again placing posters of this man up on their wall as teenagers of over fifteen years ago did with his last outing with Luhrmann.

Bringing all these characters together really does make one hell of a party, and if there’s one person who likes to put on a party bigger than Jay Gatsby, its Baz Luhrmann. This is what the audiences are most looking forward to out of his films, and if we’re honest, this is what the film is entirely sold on. Three scenes of stunning clothing, expensive jewelry, amazing choreography and stereotypical nods to the era that had it all. Once the audience is introduced to the world of Jay Gatsby’s parties, you really see the trademark Luhrmann come to life.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.51.46

 As much as this spectacle is what Luhrmann fans are craving, the novelty can only go so far. Part of the films downfall is its pressing focus on style. Sadly there is not enough substance to support it. Throughout the second half of the film, the parties dim down and you are left with the love triangle story. When you watch it unfold, you become more attuned to the flaws in the film.

Firstly, the extravagant sets that populate the initial part of the film feel more contrived and fake, as there are less people in the room. You find yourself feeling like you are watching a play, with purpose-built backgrounds and a very clear distinction between what is a real location set and what is constructed. Once you see this, you feel that there are more contrived elements to the film, everything is so detailed and so precise – particularly thinking back to the blocking of every character from extra to main – Looking back at Luhrmann’s other films, particularly Moulin Rouge, he managed to create a fake Paris that felt real, you could almost smell the stinking sewers of Montmartre and taste the champagne being poured into the glasses on screen, perhaps it was the limitations on technology that allowed him to be more artistically experimental and in this case as more has been offered to Luhrmann on a plate, it feels like he’s used it because he can and not because it’s right. Whatever the reason, with The Great Gatsby, something just doesn’t quite marry up – and this is similar to the issues that one may find with Joe Wrights Anna Karenina.

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 11.45.50Alongside this, you feel so distracted by the set that the fundamental plot line gets lost, and where you would expect to feel real emotion towards the situation Jay and Daisy are in, and build dislike towards Daisy’s fickle nature, you just don’t care. There are tender moments, such as when they meet once again after five years, and this is where DiCaprio shines with relatable buffoonery and nervousness. But that is about it, suddenly there is a lacking of focus and complexity within the acting and you do feel like the actors are sadly moving around a room to hit their mark and deliver their lines, rather than providing a real rival performance to the Redford/Farrow Great Gatsby that people know and love. Perhaps a much simpler setting could have allowed time to focus on the real story at the heart, and provide a more complex character study, which those fans of the book will crave more.

Depending on what you’re looking forward to most within this film, you’ll either love The Great Gatsby for its decadence or loathe it for its lacking in substance. Whichever way you look at it, you’ll definitely be seeing something different to what is in the cinema at the moment. However, The Great Gatsby is another problematic product of too much hype in the build up and not enough clout in the end product. Fans of Luhrmann’s work will enjoy seeing him bring another film to the cinema screens, however may still feel he peaked at Moulin Rouge and has struggled to live up to that success ever since. But if there’s one thing you do take away and treasure forever from this film, it’s the incredible soundtrack, just like Baz intended; it’s the perfect accompaniment to any party.

3 Stars.

Here’s the latest from The Great Gatsby premiere at the Cannes Film Festival…

 

All is not what it seems – UFO review

20 Dec

 

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 11.42.02

Nowadays, when you think of a low-budget British film, you’d normally associate the term with some form of Hackney based, gang culture film not too far from the likes of Kidulthood, or My Brother The Devil. That genre is slowly declining and new ambitious film-makers are stepping outside of that particular box to try their hand and something new, and sci-fi film UFO provides a refreshing break to that mold.

Director Dominic Burns brings to the big screen a small budget sci-fi movie with hints of Transformer-esq effects in this tale of human survival during an invasion of those not of our kind. The great thing about this film, and perhaps the misleading element from the poster is that the story is not directlyScreen Shot 2012-12-20 at 11.44.51 about ghoulish looking creatures from a universe far far away, but more about the reaction from humankind amidst tragedy, invasion, and imminent destruction.

To show a sample study of how the world may react, UFO focuses on a group of friends who, after a night out on the tiles awake to find that the end is nigh. Lead by Michael played by Sean Brosnan (the look and sound-a-like to his father Pierce) this small group of friends take under their wing Carrie (Bianca Bree – the not so look or sound alike to her father Jean Claude Van-Damme) who after a one night stand seems to have become Michael’s latest squeeze and an immediate addition to their circle of friends. The film follow’s how each of the characters react to the present situation and to each other at a time of crisis, and as the story unfolds, even within their close knit circle, things really aren’t all what they seem.

You have to commend this film for its bold storyline and yet intimate portrayal of its characters. This is a character study and not a Hollywood action film. The aliens are secondary in the plot, but you can understand the distributors point of view as to what marketing would be more likely to put bums on seats. Where the budget has been spent on the effects, you will see that they are well done, and carefully thought about, and not just a gimic to behold.

The director has also thought carefully about the portrayal of certain heightened sequences, such as the supermarket in Derby where the cast manage to break in through a side door to stock up on supplies before the rest of the public. In the same breath in which you think the characters would take as

The UFO premiere in Leicester Square

The UFO premiere in Leicester Square

they burst through the doors and quickly gathered what they needed, the audience follow them in what seems to be a ten minute tracking shot which never leaves their side. This helps keep the tension at an all time high as you seem to be in there, experiencing every moment with them.

In addition to this, the fight scenes are excellent, with one standout showdown between Michael and a police officer. Again, like the single tracking shot through the supermarket, you as an audience member get a sense of tension throughout this sequence, which in places almost verge on becoming ultra-violent. The choreography is commendable here and you definitely get the sense that this is a real fight, where the characters are getting naturally exhausted, and don’t just keep going for the sake of it. In a strange way, this section is probably the most natural bit of acting you will see throughout the film.

Unfortunately the problems that do arise in the film, are not anything to do with its ambition or technical ability, it’s with the performances. The beginning of the film seems like a warm up until the actors can really settle into their roles and even then, you just don’t quite believe them. Bianca Bree is the most natural in delivery and reaction, you believe her in most instances, and for a leading lady in this case, less really is more. Sean Brosnan allows you to forget that he served in the army at a high level as he loses the assertiveness of a commanding officer until he is provoked for a fight scene or the like, and his imbalance is somewhat problematic. However,

Director Dominic Burns and me at the UFO premiere

Director Dominic Burns and me at the UFO premiere

sadly it is the support cast that for me let this film down. The drunken scene at the beginning lacks maturity in its performance, and feels contrived and over acted plus the difference between relatively new on-screen actors and seasoned professionals such as Sean Pertwee and Jean Claude Van Damme becomes very apparent when their cameos appear on-screen and in an instant steal the show.

However, that being said, its great that a film maker like Dominic Burns is taking chances on unknowns and mixing them in with more experienced performers. I’m sure the actors will watch and learn from their performances here, and go on to do bigger and better things, and I’m a great believer in British film nurturing new talent in all shapes and forms.

So if you are planning on watching UFO when it hits selected cinema. Enjoy it for what it is, an ambitious project from an ambitious film-maker who has created something away from the expected low-budget British film genre and pushed the boundaries of budget and technical ability. For all its faults, it’s an enjoyable, engaging film, commendable on a number of different levels.

 

Men In Black 3 Premiere…

16 May

So one of the most enjoyable premiere’s I’ve covered recently, has to be tonights Men In Black 3 premiere. There are a few things I’ve learnt

1) The carpet doesn’t always need to be red

2) Jay-Z can rock up at any given moment

3) Will Smith deserves all his fame because he’s just so damn nice to all the fans! 

I also met and interviewed one of my favourite Goonies of all time, Josh Brolin and what a delight he was, so humble, so excited to be on the “blue carpet” and just generally amazing! 

So why was I there…well, its show 2 of Millie’s Cookies new TV show Freshly Baked and we’re so excited to bring you all the next episode. Myself included. The Men In Black 3 premiere is a great opportunity to speak to music, movie and reality stars, and boy did I manage to do that! From A-List to Z list they were all there, all charming and all so excited that after 10 years this great film franchise will be back on our silver screens. So here you go, some pics of me on the carpet and the main man, Will Smith himself, unfortunately I didn’t get to chat with him, but that’s because he spent so much time with all the fans, and really when you think about it, that’s the most important thing and he deserves every success for prioritising the people that really support him and camp out for him! Such a legend! 

Image

Me and the cameraman Alex getting ready on the carpet

Image

Will Smith making the most of the crowds! 

Image

Down to business…its presenting time for Freshly Baked! 

Image

Cant get me off of that carpet – Hey E! News, think you’ve got your new anchor right here! 

Image

And one little amateur paparazzi shot of the main man : ) 

So you can catch all of my interviews with the stars on the next Freshly Baked show coming out early June,  but in the mean time, check out Men In Black 3, in cinemas from the 25th May!

 

Thanks for reading!  

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