'SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN!' Available on demand now

Morgan Spurlock is back, the man behind 'Supersize Me' (2004) is back with 'Super size Me 2 :Holy Chicken. In his original documentary Spurlock looked at the concequences of a fast food based diet on the body by using himself as the guinea pig. Fifteen years later  chain restaurants tout food that's "healthy," "organic," and "natural." Spurlock explores this new reality with an approach even more immersive and subversive than that used for his first film: he sets out to open his own chicken franchise. We follow him every step of the way, from raising poultry and conjuring recipes to designing the brand and scouting a location. Spurlock brings his disarming humour to uncover the truths and lies behind this multibillion - dollar industry.

Spurlock is probably the most authentic and real documentary filmmaker and his ferarless approach made 'Supersize Me' connect with audiences all over the world as it became a suprise hit. The original made for uncomfortable viewing as Spurlock's body was put to the test but 'Holy Chicken' is far more immersive and holds a mirror up to the modern fast food industry as he goes deeper and looks into the inner workings behind it. 

In a world where fast food is a billion dollar industry and growing all the time Spurlocks documentary opens up opportunities to test the new "fresh" ingredients behind well known food chains and can at times be quite shocking. 

Spurlock "When Super Size Me came out in 2004, it took off like a rocket and connected with audiences in ways I could never imagine, both in the US and around the world. The film finally ignited in people a realization of personal responsibility and a desire to take control of their own lives. The first film really told the story of our relationship to fast food. SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN! examines this from the corporate side, show ing you the decisions that are made, the stories that are the spun, the corners that are cut and the lives that are impacted to get you, the consumer, what you believe to be the best food possible, at the most affordable price". 

'Super Size Me 2' is a documentary with mixtures of comedy and character but also has elements that will scare you. Spurlock is a man who redefined how documentaries are seen as his are not just informative but are more entertainingly informative which is mostly down to Spurlock himself he is likeable and down to earth but not afraid to fight for his own beliefs.

'Super size Me 2:Holy Chicken' is authentic and packed full of real life shocks as Morgan Spurlock once again takes on the ever growing fast food industry.

Sinister psychological thriller 'TILT' - Available on digital download from 25th November

From director Kasra Farahani (The Good Neighbor), comes the menacing thriller 'TILT'.

The story follows Joseph and Joanne. Joanne has a good job as a nurse and is pregnant with their first child. Joseph is hard at work on a documentary. Life in their little urban house is cozy. But something is off - Joe doesn't seem excited about the baby. He watches over Joanne as she sleeps. An injury he causes her might not have been an accident. Work on his film - a rambling indictment of American capitalism - is becoming increasingly untethered. 'TILT' explores how quickly the most familiar person in your life can become the most terrifying. How quickly we can become terrifying to ourselves. Joseph is a man who has spent his life doing everything he is expected to do, who has everything he is supposed to want...until suddenly, he's done. And now there's nothing left to do but blow it up."

Much like the recent Joaquin Pheonix film 'Joker', 'Tilt' feels like a broken mind being overtaken by a reactive compulsion for the darker things in life. A dark tone as we travel through a nightmare fall as Joseph loses his grip on himself. Farahani smartly avoids cliche horror elements and instead creates an almost found footage style visual which compliments the obssesive nature of the narrative. While the film could be said to be more of a thriller it can be argued that it is more of a horror due to its at times disturbing visuals but at the same time is unapologetic in its execution.

A powerfully emotive performance from Joseph Cross gives this story a gritty edge that you do sometimes find to be a little too close and scarily realistic. With a narrative that is more of a character study show the swiftness of how a man's mind can be negatively impacted as their life spirals out of his own  control. Cross is measured in his approach but is also clear and gives himself over to the story gladly. There is a downside to a strong central performance as it can often impact the performances of those around them.

Kasra Farahani handles the story with soft hands but gritty visuals. With stories like this directors can often force the films to make sense which ends up with the film being too slow paced or incoherent in the execution of narrative. With the documentarian styled approach Farahani gives the story the dimension it requires and is probably the best and most appealing side to this film.

'Tilt' is a slow burning thriller with a strong central performance but lacks a little something. It makes for an interesting and compelling watch but does leave you feeling like you want more  mostly due to the story feeling at points a little lacklustre as if a longer running time would open up more opportunity.

'Tilt' will be available on Digital Download from 25th November

 

'State Like Sleep' will be available on Digital Download from Monday 18th November

The film follows Katherine Grand (Katherine Waterston) who one year after the sudden death of her celebrity husband, receives a phone call that pulls her back to Brussels and the life there that she's tried to forget. Once back, she discovers a web of secrets that compel her to unravel the mysteries surrounding Stefan's last days alive. 'State Like Sleep'  stars Academy Award nominated Michael Shannon (The Shape Of Water) and the Fantastic Beast Series' Katherine Waterston as well as Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) and the scene stealing Julie Khaner (Chloe).

From writer/director Meredith Danluck is a smart psychological thriller that feels like a throwback to thrillers of the 70s. At times a little slow paced and is a story that challenges audiences which not enough films do now. Much like a Hitchcock or a Christopher Nolan film 'State like Sleep' walks a fine line between mystery and thriller but with a smart tension that gets more intense as the film plays out. Anyone expecting just another generic thriller will be pleasently suprised but its more slow burning nature and narrative means some people might not buy into this as much as others. 'State like Sleep' has an ending you wont see coming and it will leave you with questions but you will no doubt be talking about it.

With a standout performance from katherine Waterston the film is blessed with talent. Michael Shannon is excellent as ever giving an understated performance and sharing an almost emotionally menacing persona within his character. Luke Evans feels a little under used in this story with his performance feeling a little more like a back seat driver. 

Writer/Director Meredith Danluck smartly lays this film out in simplistic fashion but maintains a gripping narrative throughout. Often thrillers aim to be ambitious in their execution but they can easily become over ambitious and lose some appeal, Danluck's smart story is this films central appeal which you can also be the attractive factor to such a quality cast.

From start to finish the film feels like a story told in a dream state and is a thriller that will keep you talking after the credits roll. 

'Ghost In The Graveyard' a chilling horror will be released on digital platforms Nov. 5th

From director Charlie Comparetto 'Ghost In The Graveyard' is an atmospheric horror with elements of Stephen King and Alejandro Amenabar's 'The Others' you feel the sense of unease from the start and you get drawn into the slow burning terror and it doesnt let go.

The story revolves around the town of Mt. Moriah which comes under the thumb of Martha, a ghost who comes back to haunt the teens, who witnessed her death as children, during a "game" of 'Ghost in the Graveyard.'The narrative unfolds like an urban myth similar to ghost stories you tell when you are younger which benefits the narrative at is creates a more grounded sense of realism.  It is smartly paced and retains a constant air of mystery much like the myth created by the Blair Witch film where the backstory becomes an added dimension.

A well cast film that does also include some recognisable faces like Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) and Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), there are some terrifying and even beauftiful performances. Jake Busey in particular gives a well measured performance again proving him to be a versatile actor. Key to the films cast too is the outstanding performances of the younger stars who more than hold their own with the bigger name actors.

Writer/director Comparetto smartly lays out the story and the narrative like a mystery and allows the atmosphere to build slowly with a tension that the audience feel could snap at anytime but all it does is keep you guessing. It is a visually striking tale that from the outset has a simplistic but effective approach that is both gritty and dark but with a tone of a docu-drama.

'Ghost In The Graveyard' is a unique ghost story that is more of an urban myth tale rather than a film but its back to basic style of storytelling and approach to horror is what makes the films appeal. It is both vicious and unnerving but at the same time it also maintains a sense of beauty.

 

Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne to star in explosive drug thriller 'Running With The Devil' Available on Digital download from 4th November

When a cocaine shipment is compromised to the dismay of the Cartel's ringleader, The Boss (Barry Pepper) orders his most trusted Man (Laurence Fishburne) and another master drug trafficker, The Cook (Nicolas Cage), on a dangerous journey to audit the company's supply chain.

The film stars the iconic Nicolas Cage (Face Off / Mandy), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix / Hannibal) as well as Cole Hauser and Leslie Bibb. Jason Cabell makes his directorial debut, as well as writing the film. The former active-combat Navy SEAL will utilise his military experience and knowledge, having served in over 100 countries across the world.  

From the start the film feels like a Nicolas Cage film from the 90's when he was at the height of his career, and with the starry cast it maintains a real quality in performances. Cage leads the ensemble but is supported by the ever brilliant Laurence Fishburne with the pair showing a real strong chemistry no doubt built from both experience and a clear respect for each other. Alongside the two A listers the supporting cast do work well with each other with some scenes feeling more like a student film which does benefit the overall story.

Writer/director Jason Cabell uses personal experience well mixing it in with the films narrative which does give the film an extra dimension. Cabell much like Peter Berg with his films carries his projects with military like precision but he has a documentary style when it comes to visuals with the camera becoming the third person in more intense scenes rather than just an observer.

'Running With The Devil' is at times predictable  but much like the action/thrillers of the 80s and 90s as a viewer you have to allow yourself to be lost in the story and follow these well written characters. Escape for 90 minutes in this gritty thiller and you wont be disappointed. It is good to see Nicolas Cage continuing his recent comeback and is once again enjoying making movies.

Terrifying horror The Curse of Buckout Road comes to digital download from 28th October

'The Curse of Buckout Road' will be available on digital download, via all the major platforms, from the 28th October. The story follows a college class, whose project on the destruction of modern myth turns deadly when a trio of students discover that a series of horrific urban legends surrounding New York state's famed Buckout Road may actually be true.

Featuring performances from Lethal Weapon's Danny Glover, Henry Czerny (Ready or Not)& Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Wynonna Earp), the horror has been called an "...entertaining ride" by Eye For Film and is sure to get everyone in the Halloween mood this October!

Indie horror is a place where you can find the best storytellers can really flex there imaginations thanks to the genres ability to moulded in more ways than any other. Directed by Matthew Currie Holmes, 'The Curse of Buckout Road' is a nicely paced atmospheric horror that does offer up a likeness to a Ti West style film, slow burning chiller with a story you cant predict. There are elements here where the story is shot in a way that it does often feel as if it has a documentary feel when it is shot using a more rough guerilla style.

The film is laced with a talented cast and backed with some very experienced actors like Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Henry Czerny (Mission Impossible), Colm Feore (Thor) even David Hayter the acclaimed writer of X-Men 1 and 2 and Watchmen. The mix of experience and youth benefits the film greatly as the younger cast do play off their better known co-stars showing good chemistry.

As with most indie horror films audiences either love or hate them rarely do their views fall in the middle. 'The Curse of Buckout Road' is a smartly paced story with a very interesting back story but as a slow burner it could fall negativly for some audiences. Its sometimes hammer horror feel benefits its appeal and the cast do carry the film well and given the opportunity it does make for a tense ride and will make Halloween that little bit more unnerving.

Brutal, honest and gripping 'Hate Crime' has to be seen

'Hate Crime' is a story which has an all too real place in the world today. The story revolves around a crime which sees a young gay man being murdered by his friend with the killer being sentenced to death. The families of both facing a long and draining time as the clock slowly ticks towards the execution and they both struggle to deal with the concequences of both sides. Fear becomes the defining factor for these families and their entire exsistence head down a dark path.

An expertly crafted story the narrative becomes a character study and delves deep into the inner workings of how suffering effects different people. In todays wold where hate is spread mostly by ignorance and 'Hate Crime' is a refection of one particular section of this with the story being disturbing and unnerving but at times feeling more like a documentary with its fact like approach. Often with films like this they can be over written with certain scenes packed with dialogue but lacking emotional connection but here there is a more grounded approach where dialogue is more minimal offering a more human approach.

With a well written script the film feels like an ensemble piece with most characters having at least one scene where they are able to showcase their own talents. The emotional core to the story means there are a number of draining scenes particularly for the central characters but there is a simple but effective feel to the approach where it at times feels more like a student film in the way that the actors are allowed to be creative and less restricted.

Director STEVEN ESTEB handles the sensitive subject matter carefully avoiding the generic and cliche attributes you would normally get with stories like this and instead creating a more grounded and gritty thriller like approach. The film is visually beautiful with a very raw feel to it even natural to a point from lighting to music. It could have been easy to just let the story speak for its self and it would have but it is credit to Esteb who manages to create a realistically visual and immersive experience that will have you talking after the credits roll.

'Hate Crime' is a disturbing story that never lets up from start to finish and should be seen by all.

TriCoast Entertainment has released ‘Hate Crime’ onto digital platforms (Amazon, InDemand, DIRECTV, FlixFling, FANDANGO, Hoopla, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, AT&T, and Sling/Dish)

'The Prey' Asian Survival-Thriller will be available on Digital Download from 7th October

Directed by Jimmy Henderson (Jailbreak), newcomer Gu Shangwei and Vithaya Pansringarm (Only God Forgives, The Last Executioner) lead an International cast, with fight choreography handled by Jean-Paul Ly (Nightshooters, Doctor Strange).

Xin (Shangwei) is an undercover Chinese detective. When the criminals that he is investigating are arrested, he is mistakenly sent with them to a remote Cambodian prison. He quickly discovers that the warden (Pansringarm) has no intention of rehabilitating the prisoners, instead offering wealthy businessmen the ultimate hunting experience; human prey. Xin has no choice but to fight for his freedom in a brutal and sadistic game of hunter verses prey.

The film plays out like a John Woo film when he was in his best stage of his career making classics like 'The Killer'. With some incredible set pieces 'The Prey' is a smart but effectivly simplistic story that packs a punch that is at times disturbing. The story is at times violent but it is used in a way that it does not become an overriding factor in the film.

It is an intelligently designed story that is at times very restricted in dialogue but where as this is normally a negative it actually elevates the importance of the actors in this film. The minimalist apporach to the story means there is more responsibility laid on the actors to carry the narrative both visaully and emotionally which the cast do confidently. 

While films like this dont always find their audience it does have the properties to become find a cult following like films like 'Ong-Bak' back in 2003. 'The Prey' is a film that will either be loved or hated but it deserves to be given a chance and it is beautfully written but also visually effective and well directed. It is an intense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

Commenting on the release, Peter Thompson, Sales & Acquisitions Director at Lightbulb Film Distribution, said: “We are delighted to be releasing The Prey in the UK. As fans of the director’s last film, Jailbreak, we thought we knew what to expect – but Henderson delivers even more intense violence and spectacular martial arts. It’s 90 minutes of fast-paced action, which will more than satisfy genre fans.”

The Prey will be available on Digital Download from 7th October 

 

'ISABELLE' STARRING ADAM BRODY AND AMANDA CREW TO BE RELEASED ON DEMAND FROM 30TH SEPTEMBER

A Wanting Film Inc production, ISABELLE is about an all-American couple whose dream of starting a family is shattered after they move into the perfect neighbourhood in upstate New York. Once settled, they soon descend into the depths of terror as they struggle to survive a genuine threat from a dark presence that appears to want to end their very lives.

'Isabelle' is directed by Rob Heydon (director of the award - winning film Ecstacy ), from a screenplay by Donald Martin ( Milton’s Secret ). Heydon ( Th e Journey Home ) also produces the film, with Sid Ganis ( Akeelah and the Bee , Big Daddy ), Joni Sighvatsson ( Z for Zachariah ), Rey Cuerdo ( Dim Sum Funeral ) and Donald Martin ( Milton’s Secret ) as Executive Producers. Cinematographer Pasha Patriki ( Anonymous ), production designer Diana Abbatangelo ( He Never Died ), costume designer Ruth Secord ( Wet Bum ), and editor Diane Brunjes ( Suicide Squad ) complete the creative team.

Director Rob Heydon describes Isabelle “as a psychological thriller a bout a husband and wife who lose a child, and must deal with the wife’s psychological crisis that follows; it’s about a marriage falling apart, and it’s also about the mother and daughter next door and their impact on the couple.”

Star Adam Brody describes the idea of grieving that threads through the story. “The grief in this movie is visceral. You don't have to dig too hard to empathize with the cha racters and most people of a certain age can relate to the fear of losing a child.” The death of a beloved family dog gave Brody a glimpse into the effect grief can have, and the feelings it evokes. “There's nowhere to go but forward. That's the craziest t hing about it, that there's nothing to do. In terms of grieving, in terms of fearing for a child, I can certainly relate.”

Donald Martin’s screenplay is his homage to Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, two classic films that loomed large in his imagination while he was growing up: “Rosemary's Baby isn’t a story about Satan. It's about a marriage. The Exorcist isn't a story about a possession. It’s about a mother and a daughter. These stories are firmly rooted in reality,” Donald said. Similarly, ISABELLE is about a couple. “It’s a story that, initially, is about a woman's depression after losing a baby and her husband's inability to grasp the full emotional implications of their son being stillborn,” explains Martin. “The husband was always the person who said, "Everything's going to be all right. Everything's going to be all right." But, suddenly, this couple finds themselves in a scenario where the husband can't say that anymore.”

It was love for the script that attracted Producer/Director Rob Heydon to the project  “I just couldn’t stop reading it. I kept turning the pages, wanting to find out what happens next. Donald Martin mastered the twists, the turns and the surprises. I was in.”

Low budget indie horror films always carry the burden that they are either loved or hated there is rarely a middle ground with them and 'Isabelle' is no different. With a smartly laid out narrative it does have the benefit of starting out with an interesting and gripping story. Director Rob Heydon sets out his vision from the start weaving a tight well paced story that keeps you guessing right to the end. There are at times though were the story feels forced as if the actors are over playing the dialogue which can cause the audience to disconnect and lose interest.

The films saviour are the visuals, echoing films like 'The Ring' and 'The Grudge' where simplicity is the key attraction to drawing in viewers. Heydon handles this eclectic cast well but you do at times feel performances are restrained and generic and would benefit from a little more freedom particularly with actors like Adam Brody.

While 'Isabelle' is far from perfect it does have its appeal and will most probably find its market as in a more cult fashion.

 

RAPID RESPONSE in UK cinemas 6th September

Back in 1966 Medical student and racing fan Stephen Olvey was handed an opportunity that would change both his life and the face of motorsports forever. Olvey was asked to volunteer on the medical team at the Indianapolis 500.

As he witnessed the race from a viewpoint he had never had before even befriending some of the drivers. But as he looked on at one particular incident, which turned out to be fatal, and he soon came to realize that the medical support needed was near non existent. Olvey set out on a mission to build a team to apply the science develop and prioritise the safety of the drivers. Olvey's pioneering work has gone on to inluence everything from the United States military, NASA, and the passenger cars we drive today as well as modern trauma medicine. Rapid Response is the true story of this terrifying era in motorsport and the 30 year journey to redefine the safety of the  drivers. These safety pioneers transformed the world’s most dangerous sport into the still spectacular, markedly competitive, but much safer activity it is today. Death and serious injury s till lurk at each and every venue but racing drivers can now expect to survive through their careers. Many individuals combined their efforts to deliver these results and Rapid Response sets out to tell the story of how it happened.

At the spine of the film is the team: Dr Stephen Olvey, Dr Terry Trammel, Mario Andretti, Robert William 'Bobby' Unser,  Alfred 'Al' Unser, Rick 'Ravon' Mears, Hélio Alves de Castro Neves, Antoine Rizk allah Kanaan "Tony" Filho, Refus Parnell ‘’Parnelli’’ Jones, Floyd " Chip " Ganassi Jr.

Co-Director Michael Miles "I was Doctor Trammell’s patient from the time I was about 8 years old until he retired from practice a few years ago. Naturally growing up in the Indianapolis area I was a racing fan and one of my favorite drivers was Rick Mears.

In 1984 Mears had a frightening accident at IndyCar race at Saniar Raceway in Canada where both of his lower legs were very badly shattered. B oth of Rick’s feet were so mutilated that the local trauma doctors were suggesting amputation. Instead he was flown to Methodist in Indianapolis where my doctor and his team saved Rick’s lower legs and feet in an operation that lasted more than half the night.

Later, when I would visit his office for checkups, he’d tell me wonderful stories about Mears, the other drivers, the race tracks that he had visited, and the sort of things that he and his team were able to do for injured drivers. His work is almost legendary, except that it’s all true and tough. Brave drivers like Rick will always choke up a bit talking about it.

Doctor Trammell never liked the term “miracle worker” and always gave his surgical team the greatest part of the credit. As it turns out my personal exposure to this man when I was quite young has been a large part of what got me interested in this project in the first place. Dr. Trammell operated to fuse my spine for my scoliosis when I was just 16, and a few years later he performed anot her surgery on my right collar bone.

Years later, when I was working and living in Los Angeles I got hit by a car in while in a pedestrian crosswalk on Ventura Blvd. which destroyed my right hip. My West Coast Doctors called Doctor Trammell for my records and had him review my x - rays to make sure no damage was done to my spine in the accident. Always sweating the details, he continued to consult with them on my rehabilitation almost daily from halfway across the country.

A few weeks after I was out of the hospital Doctor Trammell was in Los Angeles on business and came by to visit me while I was recovering at home. It was really just supposed to be a drop - by social visit, but the doctor, being Doctor Terry Trammell of course, actually gave me a very thorough looking over right there in my little apartment.

It was that day sitting talking to him about his work and the passion that he had for it, that I decided I was going to make Rapid Response as soon as I was healed. Doctor Trammell, Doctor Olvey, and others like those two giants don’t do what they do for glory, I honestly think that they have something that burns inside that won’t allow them to do anything else. I only hope our team has been able to capture some of that spirit in this film."

Co-Director Roger Hinze talked about the origins of the film "Looking back, I guess this project has been a decade in the making if you start from the point that Mike optioned the rights to the book Rapid Response from Dr. Olvey . It was 2010 when Mike first showed me a copy of the book and told me about his plan to shoot a documentary."

Documentaries of the last few years have become more widely accepted on a cinematic scale and at times carry just as much appeal as mainstream films.Rapid Response is gripping journey that has all the twists and turns of a full on cinematic thriller. From the start the film, alot of which is beautifully crafted from stock footage, has you gripped as it unfolds slowly and has an odd sense of suspense you dont expect to get with documentaries. While the film is ultimately one of succeeding over adversity it is at times disturbing at you follow incidents, some fatal, that had happened that lead to the research that makes racing safer today. Racing fans will love this insightful film but it will also appeal to film fans much like the documentary Blackfish which captivated cinema audiences not so long ago.

 

 

In UK Cinemas September 6th

Killers Anonymous - Action Thriller heading for UK Cinemas from 27th August & Digital Download from 26th August

Cinema legend Gary Oldman leads a rag tag cast in this off the wall thriller. A relativly straight to DVD style film but it doesnt as most would think mean it is not worth checking out. 

A support group of killers is held regularly, the participants sit in a circle of trust and share their transgressions. On this particular night, the city has been rocked by the failed assassination of a Senator and the brutal and professional demise of his attempted assassin. A chain of events is already in motion, as the group congregates for their late-night session. The very fabric of the group begins to unravel, as one layer of betrayal leads to another. Welcome to Killers Anonymous. 

While the film is far from perfect and eagle eyed viewers could pick apart the plot holes in the narrative fans of brit gangster flicks could find some attraction with this. Oldman is as ever reliable but does at time struggle with the shaky story and script which almost screams 'Tarantino wanna be', but having him as the back bone to the film is easily the biggest selling point. Alongside Oldman is a wealth of british talent including Suki Waterhouse (Assassination Nation), Tim McInnerny (Eddie the Eagle), Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy), Michael Socha (This Is England), as well as Jessica Alba (Sin City). Elements of the film do have shades of Robert Rodriguez and his El Mariachi trilogy but it unfortunatley lacks the inventivness and slickness of the cult favourites.

Director Martin Owen (Lets Be Evil) tries to steer the muddled narrative and for the most part fails but is saved from being an overall flop by his experienced cast. When you have Gary Oldman in your film it will never be a failiure but Killers Anonymous definetly falls closer to failiure than overall success.

The Movie Partnership and Bird Box Distribution are excited to announce that star studded action thriller Killers Anonymous will premiere at King's Cross Everyman Cinema on 27th August, with a special Q&A. The film will be released in selected UK cinemas from 28th August and will also be available on Digital Download, DVD & Blu-ray from 26th August.

Jamie Lee Curtis stars in political thriller, An Acceptable Loss, available on Digital Download from 15th July

Stylish and slick with a suprisingly appealing visual it is a gripping story that could have easily played out as a TV thriller as the narrative is flexible and could have packed in more detail. A well measured cast and performances that give a full likeability factor that means that audiences are more likely to buy into the story. At times slow paced it relys on the appeal of the cast which can does negativly effect the story but there is a strength in the narratives twists.

Fans of shows like Designated Survivor will revel in the tightly woven story which Chappelle handles well although his direction is a little more visually focused at timesmaking it more style over substance. A smart score melds well with the story and enhances the narratives intensity driving each scene with extra substance.

Although not a central star in the cast one key selling point for the film is the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis. An underrated actress who is best known for her role in the Halloween franchise but has starred in pretty much every genre going. 

An Acceptable Loss has its faults but maintains the feel of a tightly woven thriller and in ways like a 90s thriller like the Tom Cruise Starring The Firm.

The film features Golden Globe winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis (True Lies, Halloween), in a role where she "creates a monster so terrifying she’d have Michael Myers turning tail and running away" (Chicago Sun) and Tika Sumpter following her stand out performance as Michelle Obama in Southside With You.

Written and directed by Joe Chappelle (The Fringe, The Wire) An Acceptable Loss is a gripping political thriller following Libby (Sumpter). Libby teaches at a university, but 4 years ago she was top aide to Vice President Rachel (Curtis) and was part of a total victory action. Rachel is now US president and worried about Libby keeping quiet. Libby also has problems within her own university as she fears a student spying on her.

 

British comedy gem Eaten By Lions will be available on Digital Download on 22nd July, available to pre-order now and on DVD from 29th July.

With an all star cast including Jack Carroll, Antonio Aakeel, Asim Chaudhry, Johnny Vegas and Hayley Tamaddon 'Eaten By Lions' is the heartwarming feel good film that has everything.

Director, co-writer Jason Wingard has crafted an emotionally driven story about family and togetherness. While the cast pull off well thought out performances, alot of credit has to go to Wingard. His beautifully laid out script lays out a narrative that will have you belly laughing but at times crying. Wingard creates beautiful visuals with an eye pleasing colour pallet that seems to smartly brighten as the story plays out. He uses the seaside location of Blackpool as an almost supporting actor as it provides an extra dimension to the journey the characters find themselves on. There is a smartness and grittyness to the story which Wingard fine tunes with his natural comedic instincts. Like a blend of Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry Wingard has a unique style which is eye catching and at times eccentric but always visually appealing.

The core strength of the story is the chemistry between Omar and Pete (Antonio Aakeel, and Jack Carroll), both play off each other perfectly and they feed off of each other and as the film plays out they become clearly more confident. One particular scene involving Tarot cards is particularly well played out with the pairs timing absolutley spot on. Aakeel gives a mature performance in the central role seemlessly adapting from comedy situations to more downplayed emotional scenes and he seems born to play this role. Jack Carroll just seems to enjoy everything he does. His comedy instincts are faultless and it just seems at times effortless.  With Comedy greats Johnny Vegas and Asim Chaudhry offering their support in smaller but perfectly measured roles the films comedy appeal is both vast and appeals to a wide audience. By the end of the film you will feel both fulfilled but also that you want more as you will be in love with these charcters by the time it reaches its climax. With any film the cast are the ones that pull in the audiences as they are the visual reference and the 'Eaten By Lions' ensemble are perfect they are the backbone to the films overall mass appeal. If a cast look like they are having fun then audiences are more willing to join them on the ride.

A particular highlight for me is the quirky use of music and mixing it with visual stylings. A perfect example of this being the visually beautiful title sequence.

'Eaten By Lions' is a gem of a film that has a feel good factor. If you need to escape the crazy world for a few hours  this is the perfect film.

Congratulations to the cast and crew on a beautful film.

#EatenByLions

Q&A with writer and director Jason Wingard

Q -How did Eaten ByLions become a feature film?

A: The idea for the film started back in 2011. I’d won Virgin Media Shorts and myself and David Isaac wereworking on a comedy short with Chris Collins from the BFI at the time. We were shortlisted on that years iFEATURES with a comedy road trip idea called (at the time) ‘Going To Mecca’. Chris Collinssuggested to me that we make our iFeatures pitch into a short rather than the other short -which was about a middle-classriot -it was called ‘Looters’. He said it could be a precursor to a feature film, so ‘Going To Mecca’ it was ...Mike Elliott at EMU films produced it. Sadly Chris Collins passed away not long after we completed the short, so for a while we put the film to bed. Then in 2014 the filmwas resurrected by Matt Carroll who introduced me to executive Chris Bouckley. There seemed to be an infectiousenthusiasm for the project from Matt and with the investors help a script was commissioned in 2015/16. Soon after thatwe started filling key positions and Hannah Stevenson (who had also worked with me on the short) was lined up toproduce. After years of hardwork and persistence we managed to go into production in May 2017.The film was written with Jack Carroll and Asim Chaudhry in mind. Both are fantastic comic performers and we knew rightaway we wanted them in the film. Many of the cast I had worked with before such as Jack Carroll, Johnny Vegas, PeterSlater and Tom Binns -who are all a joy to work with and supremely talented. We added Nitin Ganatra, Vicki Pepperdineand Kevin Eldon to the cast and for me it was like working with your comedy heroes. I’m so delighted this film has beenmade. It very much feels like we’ve formed a close knit group of cast and crew and hopefully we will all get to collaborate again.

Q -This is your second feature film –Your first film was very different wasn’t it?

A: Yes, very different. Almost a polar opposite. ‘In Another Life’ was a zero-budget drama we shot in the Calais Jungle andwas largely improvised using refugees as actors and mixing them with actors we had with us. Our reasons for making itwere driven by an emotional response to what we had seen on TV. We had a good start on the festival circuit andrecently won Best UK Feature at Raindance 2017 and then went on to win theBIFA discoveryaward. ‘Eaten By Lions’ has been like returning to my comedy roots in many ways, not thatI see myself only making comedies in the future it’s just that it feels like a natural home. I met many of the people workingon or in the film whilst gigging on the stand-up comedy circuit inManchester in thelate nineties. It was around that time Istarted making comedy shorts with comedians I knew. These films resulted in me making content for BBC ComedyNorth. Tom Binns and I made loads of shorts together during that time. I think we really thrived on that freedomand the shorts we made became the basis for Tom’s BBC series -“Hospital People’. I think when you work withcomedians on films they really respond if you create a safe environment for them to try things. I’ve always wanted to takethe pressure away and just let them have fun with the material. You get some unexpected and often very funny results.

Q -What is the film about?

A: I always wanted to make a progressive comedy. The film follows Pete and Omar (half brothers) who have been raised by their granafter their parents (Pete’s mother and father) pass away after a bizarre accident. The story is essentially about the importance of familyand we wanted to draw attention away from stuff like Jack’s disability. I wanted the viewer to forget about it and just treat him as acharacter. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big contemporary issues (class, diversity,disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. But it is not aboutthose big issues it is about people and relationships. It is a very modern relevant comedy that will hopefully will be viewed for years to come.

Q -What would you like an audience to take away from the film and were there any inspirations for it?

A: Well first and foremost it is a comedy so we want to entertain and make people laugh. I think the film also has a lot of emotionalheart. I think this is important for a comedy too. If you think about your favourite comedy moments they are usually situations ratherthan jokes or one liners that people remember. I think in order for a viewer to really relate and engage with the film you need that heartwithin the characters. I’d like to think it’s relatable and that viewers will enjoy going on the journey of discovery with the young boys inthe film. Essentially they are smart kids surrounded by stupid adults. There are plenty of comic appearances in the film and this tookthe pressure off the young performers. I suppose the biggest inspiration would be the documentary film maker and photographerMartin Parr. I love his satirical look at life in the UK and his take on class, culture etc. His photographs were possibly the films biggest influence.

'Unromantic Comedy' For Love Or Money Starring Samantha Barks Available on Digital Download From 8th July

FOR LOVE OR MONEY follows Mark, and life is sweet, or so you might think if you were in Mark's shoes. He's about to make £20 million on a business deal that he's kept secret from everyone, even his best friend Tim. To add to his luck, a chance encounter at a funeral has given him another shot with the love of his life, Connie. The two fall head over heels in love and not long after get engaged. The film features a strong British cast with leading performances from Broadway star and Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated actress Samantha Barks (LES MISÉRABLES) & Robert Kazinsky (TRUE BLOOD), FOR LOVE OR MONEY also stars Outlander's Ed Speleers, After Life's Tony Way & Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral). 

While the film has its faults it is far more quirkier than expected.There are alot of generic points here as you find in most 'romantic comedies' 'For Love Or Money' tries to steer away from predictable, succeeding and failing at the same time. The plot is relativly slow but it is the characters that feel like a saving grace as they are both relatable and endearing, apart from Ed Speleers who becomes one of the most annoying characters you have ever seen. Leading man Kazinsky gives an assured but underwhelming performance doing what he has to do to carry the story without really shining. Samantha Barks plays against type here avoiding her pigeon hole character of the pretty innocent girl and plays a more hard edged woman.

The film was never going to break records it has a number of both appealing and suprising aspects. It is beautifully shot with each scene having its own artistic scope which makes the story shine, even on a low budget the right approach can give a film its own identity. 

 

Available on Digital Download From 8th July

Sinister horror Boo! set for Digital Download release on 17th June

 

Married with two kids, James and Elyse are struggling to keep the family together. Along with the couple's own rifts, their daughter, Morgan, is hiding her own suicidal thoughts, while younger son, Caleb, channels his suppressed emotions through troublingly macabre artwork.

One night, their true test arrives: a strange Halloween game left on their doorstep that, legend has it, leaves a curse on those who choose not to play. Unfortunately, that's the choice this family makes—and all kinds of evil spirits are ready to make them pay.

At times predict the narrative of these sorts of films but BOO! while at times cheesey is actually still quite smartly laid out. You can feel the influences of Blum house horror such as Insidious and Sinister (Executive Producer Brian Kavanaugh-Jones acted as a producer on both) which always have relatable characters at the center of their stories.

The story itself is suprisingly slick but at times suffers pacing issues as most low budget horror do. Films like this are not always for everyone but from the outset you feel it will find a cult status especially among horror fans. Often witty the story is nothing new but is more different in its execution offering its scares through atmosphere rather than straight up jumps, although there are a few of those. There is always something appealing about a film that you feel like you are genuinly drawn into and riding along with the characters, that is down to the credit of the writers and director.

There is a feeling of an 80s horror to this along even down to its stylings and often darkly comic narrative. BOO! is an unusal experience that wont suit most people but horror fans will enjoy this particularly fans of 70s and 80s horror.   

 

Highlighted films from the 2019 SCI-FI London Film Festival

After We Leave : Director- Aleem Hossain

Near future, Los Angeles is a bleak place: permanent recession, water shortages, and rising crime. Six years ago, Jack abandoned his wife and vanished. Now he's back because before he left, they'd applied for a visa to immigrate to a better life on an off-world colony. The permit has finally come through, but there's a catch: it's a couple’s visa, and Jack cannot leave Earth without his wife. Is Jack back because he wants to make things right or because he needs his wife so he can use this "lottery ticket" to a better life?

A hypnotic Philip K. Dick style story. With a narrative that keeps on edge throughout it offers up a suprising amount of heart but also maintains elements of a suspensful thriller. Hossain maintains a calm controlled love story with his smart but slick script, which does also feel quite theatrical which is amplified by the driven performances. The cast are the key to the soul of this film as they carry the beat of the story well and are very relatable.

Critical- 7/10 Audience- 7/10

Artist Depiction :Director- Brett Ryan Bonowicz

Conceptual artists Don Davis, Charles Lindsay, and Rick Guidice have helped bring NASA projects to life. Their incredible pioneering artwork, which helped define the aesthetics of futurism and space travel, is ubiquitous; and yet these artists have always been hidden behind the scenes until now.

Stunning, a beautiful view of the magic of space through the eyes of three incredible artists. Like nothing you have ever seen before it offers a unique insight into a side of space exploration little known until now.

Critical- 8/10 Audience- 7/10

Lucid : Director- Adam Morse

Isolated in a big city with no friends, young Zel simultaneously fears and craves intimacy. He has a pitiful obsession with a dancer called Jasmine and is caught spying on her by an eccentric neighbour Elliot (Billy Zane) who offers to help him win her heart. Lust leads Zel on an intense subliminal adventure as Elliot teaches him how lucid dreaming can be used to practice the art of seduction but will Zel be able to charm Jasmine in reality?

A thought provoking film with incredible visuals. While the concept is not really anything new it is executed with flair which gives it a unique angle. It is cast well and while the narrative does have a section where it is a little slow it does build up enough pace to maintain interest.

Critical- 7/10 Audience-7/10

 

'Black Flowers' is a new take on the apocalypse

Two years after the nuclear bombs dropped and welcome to the future, where there's no fuel or power, and society is a barbaric mess. Survivors Kate (DeMille), husband Sam (Ron Roggé), and daughter Suzi (Andrea Sweeney Blanco) are searching for a rumored bunker that people say is full of food and medicine. On route, they meet the solitary Joe (Jesús Lloveras), who may not have the group's best interests at heart. Kate will have to do everything possible to protect her family.

From writer/director Martin Gooch (The Gatehouse, The search for Simon) comes 'Black Flowers'  a apocalyptic tale that packed with beautiful visuals and outlandish characters. The film opens with a punch as we witness the end of the world and the start of a new darker nightmarish landscape. The opening is a particular high point of the film as it sets a tone that carries throughout. It offersd up elements of a Terry Gilliam film but with a more gritty edge.

The film follows a family of survivor Kate, who along with her husband Sam and daughter Suzi who follow a path through the toxic landscape as they seek safety and a place to live out what little life they can. Krista DeMille gives a charasmatic performance as Kate, a woman willing to do what ever it takes to survive and protect her family. DeMille offers up an emotionally driven performance but effortlessly blends this with comedic timing too. The most powerful scenes involve the interactions between DeMille and Andrea Sweeney-Blanco who plays her daughter Suzy their performances are well measured and the pair clearly play well off of each other  which shines through.

Director Martin Gooch, who also produces the film alongside DeMille, handles this film with flair. He utilizes the beautiful locations framing them as supporting artists in the film, the bunker is a particularly striking location. Most apocalyptic stories become generic quite quick and are run of the mill showing a survivor or group of survivors working their way through the narrative fighting monsters or other survivors but 'Black Flowers' saviour is its humor. The basis for the humorous element is the slick dialogue and quite open ended narrative where it keeps you guessing all the time. Gooch paces the film well and mixed with the humor it feels more realistic than most apocalyptic films, showing a more human struggle with a new more non exsistant society.

'Black Flowers' has alot to offer and is a brave new approach to an apocalyptic sci-fi thriller but yet it keeps you gripped and you are escorted through the beautiful but toxic landscapes to the unexpected ending.

'Black Flowers'

'Shed Of The Dead'  World Premiere May 18th then available May 20th on digital download

Narrated by the legendary Brian Blessed and boasting a stellar cast including some horror royalty Kane Hodder (Jason X, Hatchet), Bill Moseley (Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses) and Michael Berryman (Hills have eyes, Lords of Salem), Shed of the dead is a love note to the zombie genre.

Directed by Drew Cullingham the film wont be appealing to all but will most defiently find its home with cult audiences. Much like Shawn of the dead it plays off of a comedy horror narrative but while it lacks the slickness of the Simon Pegg classic it does have some very clever visuals and with Blessed narrating it carries an almost fairytale like overtones. Spencer Brown gives a likeable performance as the down trodden Trevor hiding away from the outside world in his allotment shed and dreaming of his fantsy alter ego, his heroic wargames character. Things begin to unravel in his perfect hideaway as one of the other allotment tennats petitions to have him removed and leaves Trevor with a corpse to hide but his problems dont end their as a zombie apocalypse begins unfolding around his shed fortress of solitude.

With a wide ranging ensemble there is good chemistry with performances theat do just enough to have you at times belly laughing but at other times can lose focus a little which slows the narrative and it steers away from comedy and heads more towards outright predictable. Luckily the visually pleasing mixture of the fantasy dreamscapes and the zombie onslaught save this from being a bargain basement film. 

It might not be for everyone and it might not be showered with awards but 'Shed Of The Dead' will dind its audience particularly with the fans of the zombie genre.

 

One of the most uplifting films in years 'A Boy Called Sailboat' available on digital download May 6th

A charming story that will have you smiling from ear to ear. From writer/director Cameron Nugent comes this enchanting tale of a young boy who with the discovery of a little guitar embarks on a magical and emotional journey with his loving but often off the wall family.

Nugents story packs an emotional punch and is smartly set out to allow for audience interpretation allowing them to follow Sailboat but keeping the story on an almost fantasy like edge. It can be easy with films like this to over rely on predictably attractive aspects like the cuteness of the kids but Nugent maintains the narratives integrity while being encouraging to the kids and their performances. With a refreshingly uplifting musical undertone to this story it becomes an emotional rollercoaster that is smart and compelling but most importantly original, something which cinema has lacked in the last few years.

Starring JK Simmons, who is as reliable as ever, and Jake Busey the film has a cast of actors you will recognize but might not know their name such as Noel Gugliemi who has been in films like The Fast and the furious and Training Day, but as you can guess it is the kids who shine here lead by a star turn from Julian Atocani  Sanchez as Sailboat. His perfectly measured performance will have you gripped but also emotionally drained. His performance has shades of Abigail Breslin's award worthy performance in indie hit 'Little Miss Sunshine', he is both note worthy but also on a professional level very competent.

A Boy Called Sailboat does have it flaws and might not be for everyone because it is at times slow burning but does have enough character to maintain both attraction and thought provoking elements. It is a film that will just make you smile and puts life into perspective.

Available on digital downlaod May 6th this charming film deserves to be seen.

 

'A Boy Called Sailboat' available on digital download May 6th

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles set to offer free admission to under 18s thanks to a grant from George Lucas Family foundation

The George Lucas Family Foundation committed a grant to the Academy Museum in honour of Sid Ganis, former president and current VP of the Academy’s board of governors and chair of its Museum committee. 

The transformative grant will go towards enhancing the educational aims of the museum and create an atmosphere for the filmmakers and visual artists of the future to grow and learn. A key aspect will be to use the funds to create and endowment underwriting free admission for visitors aged 17 and under. This is aimed at developing both opportunities and inspiring the younger generation and showcasing the magic of cinema. The funds also allow the museum to open financial barriers to experience the museum and everything it has to offer.

Opening up the doors to the younger generation creates further opportunities for engagement inspiring them to be confident to tell their own stories and create their own visual magic. The educational goal of the museum is to inspire the visitors and open them up to cultural inspiration but while not all who visit may choose to go into filmmaking, the cultural and artistic incentives when utilized right can open up a person’s individual confidence.

Sid Ganis said “I could not be more honoured and humbled by George’s gift to young movie lovers around the world. Education has always been a primary goal of George’s storytelling. Now through his incredible generosity young people from everywhere can experience and learn about the arts and techniques of filmmaking. With the impending openings of the Academy Museum and the Lucas Museum of narrative art, Los Angeles will soon have two major new resources for cultural and education with a shared focus on the art of storytelling and a dedication to the next generation. We are proud and grateful that the George Lucas Family Foundation is making this tremendous commitment to serving the young people of LA.”

As the museum looks to expand its educational reach Amy Homma has joined as the first director of education and public engagement. Homma will oversee the museums K-12 programming which includes the Shirley Temple Education Studio initiatives as well as implementing public programmes which includes things such as lectures, talks and online offerings. Homma will carry the museums educational offering developing links with local schools and communities creating a space for youngsters to develop a critical approach to the media and how it works and develop both the confidence and skillset to make their own film and digital content.

Homma said “movies and the magic that surrounds them, offer limitless opportunities to delight, challenge and educate both children and adults. The Academy museum’s programming will offer something for everyone. I am delighted to be joining the team and especially grateful to the George Lucas Family Foundation for ensuring a barrier free experience for our next generation of movie makers and movie lovers.”

Family favourites retain top billing at the UK box office 18/04/19

The experts at Applaudience see the Easter holiday warmth hitting the UK box office but Dumbo and Shazam still holding strong. Alongside Dumbo and Shazam!, other family films including Wonder Park and Missing Link remain in the top ten. Wild Rose is expected to keep its place in the top 10 and set to earn an additional £400,000 in Box Office sales with new stalker drama Greta forecast to reach £450,000.

1 - Dumbo - £1,600,000 - £1,700,000 (-32%)

2 - Shazam! - £1,450,000 - £1,550,000 (-44%)

3 - Red Joan - £730,000 - £830,000 (New Entry)

4 - Captain Marvel - £680,000 - £880,000 (-12%)

5 - Wonder Park - £610,000 - £810,000 (-14%)

6 - Hellboy - £450,000 - £550,000 (-62%)

7 - Greta - £400,000 - £500,000 (New Entry)

8 - Missing Link - £360,000 - £460,000 (-23%)

9 - Wild Rose - £350,000 - £450,000 (-51%)

10 - Pet Sematary - £320,000 - £420,000 (-56%)

Red Joan starring british legend Dame Judi Dench is a strong entry this week in a period wherethe box office is gearing up for AVENGERS Endgame next week. While Endgame is predicted to dominate the box office for a long period the pre sales at the box office are maintaining a steady pace:

Advance ticket sales as of 11am 18th April 2019

Dumbo - 11,437 Advanced Ticket Sales from 6,671 Showtimes

Shazam! - 5,645 Advanced Ticket Sales from 6,598 Showtimes

Red Joan - 6,576 Advanced Ticket Sales from 3,741 Showtimes

Captain Marvel - 4,266 Advanced Ticket Sales from 4074 Showtimes

Wonder Park - 3,788 Advanced Ticket Sales from 4,118 Showtimes

Hellboy - 2,225 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,926 Showtimes

Greta - 3,073 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,841 Showtimes

Missing Link - 2,434 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,841 Showtimes

Wild Rose - 2,281 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,007 Showtimes

Pet Sematary - 1,599 Advanced Ticket Sales from 2,382 Showtimes

Showtimes are the number of individual screenings across all cinemas

Avengers Endgame is set for release next week and with pre sales soaring it could become the biggest film of the decade and secure Marvel's dominance of the UK box office. As we reach the final week before Avengers: Endgame launches across the globe and culminates ten years of films in the MCU, the incredible figures are starting to stack up. Audiences will need to start pre-booking their tickets very soon or miss out, with an estimated 180 UK screenings already fully booked and over 900 screenings listed as Selling Out*. With a staggering 1,258,144 tickets sold as of 11am today, Avengers: Endgame has already made £13,150,171 in Box Office sales already. This means Endgame has already beaten Captain Marvel's opening weekend and a staggering 1.9% of the British population already have bought tickets!  

About Applaudience

Applaudience combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication during the theatrical movie release processes. They own real-time showtime, occupancy, ticket price and film marketing performance data for all major exhibitors in Europe and North America. The supply revenue-driving insights about the industry’s performance and identify marketing opportunities with the highest ROI. Their goal is to increase attendance of the existing audiences by enabling data-rich collaboration between exhibitors and distributors.

https://applaudience.com/

For more data from Applaudience, please contact saulius@applaudience.com

*Selling Out is considered in this instance to be a screening with 71% or over tickets sold.

How Applaudience work their magic

Using data mining software and sales analysis from the top 10 cinemas chains, Applaudience calculates the remaining seats available per screening, thus providing a reliable forecast of the numbers of tickets sold. Once the advanced ticket sales are calculated, Applaudience can accurately forecast weekend box office revenues.

As the Endgame for the Avengers approaches audiences pack cinemas

Thanks to the team at Applaudience you are able to see in real-time which screenings in the UK are already selling out. As of 10.30am today, 188 screenings across the UK are already sold out with another 675 are listed as 'Selling Out’ (71% of tickets sold) which means Endgame is on course to dominate at the Box Office.

As it stands, Endgame has sold over 865k tickets so far (for an approx £9.3m pre-sales box office), meaning that 1.3% of the UK population have already bought tickets, despite the film still another two weeks away from release. akes in tickets sold on cinema websites all over the country. Updated by the second it is now possible to track the best performing films from here they can create a model to predict a particular films performance over any given weekend.

Applaudience’s data and insights are beneficial for both distributors and exhibitors, who can adjust their marketing accordingly and work to tackle the 21st century challenge posed by streaming services. As streaming services grow cinemas need to become more attractive again and Applaudience is a can be a key asset to starting this.

Their predicted box office breakdown is below. This weeks top ten is:

1 - Shazam! - £2,700,000 - 2,900,000 (-30%)

2 - Dumbo - £2,400,000 - £2,600,000 (-28%)

3 - Hellboy - £1,300,000 - £1,500,000 (New Entry)

4 - Captain Marvel - £840,000 - £940,000 (-23%)

5 - Pet Sematary - £790,000 - £890,000 (-46%)

6 - Wonder Park - £775,000 - £875,000 (New Entry)

7 - Wild Rose - £760,000 - £860,000 (New Entry)

8 - Us - £510,000 - £610,000 (-40%)

9 - Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun - £490,000 - £590,000 (-45%)

10 - Missing Link - £480,000 - £580,000 (-18%)

 

Welcome to ChewBoy Productions

"ChewBoy creates surrealist comedy work which aims to give you something to chew on long after you’ve experienced it; and each piece is left open enough for audience interpretation, so that no two people come away with the same experience."

ChewBoy Productions is a company born of both passion and drive to create and entertain. The brain child of two friends Georgie and Hal who both have strong back grounds within the creative industries, particularly theatre. Their backgrounds feed into their artistic approach to stoytelling "ChewBoy Productions was established in February 2018, when we had to create a company to enter the Camden Fringe with our play EUAN that we’d been knocking around ideas with for a few months. We spent many a night around a kitchen or pub table working through ideas of what we wanted to do with the company and what name would surmise it".

The pair have a particular approach to how and where they want their company to progress "We are a multi-arts company specialising in theatre, film and working with emerging artists. Each project is unique in that we work with brand new creatives each time around who have expertise in different areas; blending the mix of art forms through digital, visual arts, performance and film.  Our main aim is to work with as many different emerging artists as possible, and to eventually blend different art forms e.g. digital into theatre."

Audiences appreciation and entertainment is central to the aims of this budding company and as they grow so does the confidence in what they are doing which impacts positivly on the audiences watching "On the whole, we want people to enjoy themselves and forget about the world outside and everything that’s happening. Simultaneously, we want to give people self-reflection time, and time to mull over the work they’ve just seen; realising the relevancy to their own lives. Ultimately, across all our work, we want people to be invested in our stories and characters by seeing something of themselves within them. And, as always, we want no two people to come away with the same idea of what they’ve witnessed – making each experience entirely unique". Their passion shines through positivly through their work and it reflects well as it becomes a staple in creating an escape for audiences making them more willing to buy into what they are watching.

One of the most admirable thing the company has going for them is their bravery. Often artists can lack the confidence to persue certain avenues for their work and it can create missed opportunities "Our inspirations change depending on what art form we’re working in for each project, and we draw our plans up based on who we admire the work of in that particular area. For film, and particularly for this trilogy, we’re definitely mostly inspired by the surrealist styles of David Lynch and Steve Pemberton/Reece Shearsmith – bordering on the line between comedy and darkly abstract. We’d also have to say that for TPT we’ve taken a great deal of tips from The Mighty Boosh in our thinking and planning; conjuring up something, debating whether it should go in, then putting it in anyway to experiment".

Passion is the key driving force behind succeeding in any industry and with passion comes enjoyment too. ChewBoy is driven by the bond of the people behind it "For us, the process of creating films from idea conception right through to the viewing experience is incredibly enjoyable to us. We absolutely love planning ideas from one little spark and then fleshing them out to full and whole stories and characters. Filming days are also incredible, as we have a relaxed and informal approach to our work, taking pressures of our actors an creatives to allow them the room to explore and be free to experiment; meaning we all get the most out of their time and the best possible performance on the day. As a pair, we also love playing around with how audiences interact with films, and, as you’ll see with this trilogy, we’ve had a lot of fun with deciding how they’ll engage with the work."

On the verge of their latest work 'The Process Trilogy' ChewBoy Productions are a company growing in both stature and confidence. You have to respect the team behind it as they were driven by a love for the arts and a passion to entertain.

ChewBoy Productions present 'The Process Trilogy'

ChewBoy Productions upcoming project book tickets now https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/chewboyproductions-the-process-trilogy

Eaten By Lions in cinemas now. Director Jason Wingard talks about the film and the long journey from page to screen

Interview with Co-writer and director Jason Wingard

Interview with Eaten By Lions star Antonio Aakeel

Antonio Aakeel disscusses his role as Omar in Eaten By Lions

'Eaten By Lions' in cinemas March 29th

Top 5 'fanatic' ways to celebrate the legendary film ALIEN on its 40th Anniversary

1. It’s long been enjoyed to get constant reminders of happiness and hope tattooed, however these people took that in a different direction. It can’t be denied that they are horrifyingly good portraits. (https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/qkqeg7/these-alien-fans-have-the-most-hardcore-tattoos-in-sc

2. You’d have to have no emotions to not enjoy a good photo of a baby dressed up but we will completely understand if you’d never been tempted to add one of the top loved horrific moments of cinema onto your baby’s chest (we kind of love it). (https://rdbl.co/2Em9BfQ)

3. On what is meant to be the greatest day of your life, how else would you want to celebrate than to remind people of a relentless monster that wants to destroy humanity…each to their own we guess but we approve of this one. (https://geekologie.com/2016/10/different-strokes-for-different-folks-an.

4. Admittedly, having seen the film and knowing the fate of the characters it’s hard to imagine much else than the carnage that ensues but it’s an interesting idea with a strange result. (https://gendrong.myportfolio.com/alien-1979-trailer-edit)

5. It has become a special event to publicly announce a pregnancy and people have come up with very inventive ways but did you ever think to use a Chestburster? Probably not but the results are amazing, although we’d hope raising this little one wasn’t as dangerous as the film! (https://www.columbi

Witness ALIEN in an all new 4k restoration on its 40th Anniversary from March 1st

ALIEN is arguably Ridley Scott's best film ever. From his haunting use of sound, choosing to show the films central monsters very sparingly instead building tension by allowing the audiences to create their own anticipation, to the infamous chest burster scene ALIEN has become a landmark film in both horror and cinema as a whole. Restored in all new 4k to celebrate the 40th anniversary revisit ALIEN and witness a film like no other. 

 

The film was restored in 4K in 2018 by 20th Century Fox at Company 3/Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, supervised by Ridley Scott and Pam Dery. The 4K scans were done at EFilm and the audio restoration was done by Audio Mechanics.

 

Winner of the 1979 Academy Award® for Visual Effects (H.R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, Denys Ayling), and the film which spawned a vast media franchise of films, novels, comic books, video games, and toys, Alien remains a visceral, captivating and poetic blend of sci-fi and horror – and what better way to mark its 40th anniversary than to experience it back on the big screen, where it truly belongs.

 

Following a special screening at Glasgow Film Festival on February 28 2019, Alien will open at BFI Southbank on 1 March 2019 for a two-week run, before screening at cinemas across the UK and selected international territories.

 

ALIEN by numbers:

 

273 Cinemas – That’s how many cinemas will be showing Alien’s 4K restoration and re-release in cinemas from 1st March

 

the number of words it took to sell the script: “Jaws in space”

 

3 hours 12 minutes the length of the original cut of the film

 

the number of cats playing Jonesy in the film

 

4 minutes the screen time of the Xenomorph

 

the number of directors considered before Ridley Scott

 

7 foot 2 The height of Bolaji Badejo in his one and only role playing the titular monster

 

26 the number in feet of the height of the Space Jockey prop

 

130 The number of prop Alien eggs made

 

$ 38,461 The average made per cinema by Alien on opening weekend in 1979, totalling $3.5 million

 

$ 4.2 million The original budget of the film, which was doubled after Ridley Scott storyboarded his ideas

 

26 - Alien is a member of the exclusive club of only 26 horror films that have ever won an Oscar

ALIEN 4K restoration in cinemas from March 1st

Landmark film ALIEN returns to cinemas in an all new 4K restoration on its 40th anniversary

ALIEN still stands as a landmark film even as it approaches its 40th anniversary. From March 1st an all new 4K restoration of the classic sci-fi horror will hit selected cinemas throughout the UK.

From legendary director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Blade Runner) and starring Sigourney Weaver the film spawned five sequels and two crossover films as well as a number of comic books and games etc but nothing came close to matching Scott's original. Central to the film are the Alien creatures created by HR Giger, nothing had ever been seen like this before and the team of Giger and Scott created a film that has stood the test of time and to this day is considered among the best films ever made. With elements of horror and sci-fi and with the tension of a Hitchcock film it stands as Scott's best film to date.

John Hurt is the man to watch here as he plays out in the films most pivotal scenes.

4k is the best visual clarity and adds new depth to the legendary film and whether your a first time viewer or a returning viewer this is an experience you will not want to miss.

 

ALIEN returns to cinemas from March 1st at selected cinemas (see local listings)

ALIEN returns to selected cinemas in an all new 4k restoration from March 1st

ALIEN returns to cinema on its 40th anniversary in a new 4K restoration

Ridley Scott's landmark film returns to the big screen for its 40th anniversary

EATEN BY LIONS will be released in UK cinemas 29th March 2019 www.eatenbylions.com #EatenbyLions

AWARD-WINNING BRITISH COMEDY ‘EATEN BY LIONS’ TO CELEBRATE ITS UK RELEASE ON 29TH MARCH

EATEN BY LIONS In UK Cinemas 29th March 

Winner of the Lebara Play Audience Choice Award at theLondon Indian Film Festival 2018

Starring: Jack Carroll (Trollied), Antonio Aakeel (Tomb Raider), Johnny Vegas (Still Open All Hours), Asim Chaudhry (Black Mirror), Kevin Eldon (Hot Fuzz), Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On), Nitin Ganatra (Bride & Prejudice), Hayley Tamaddon (Coronation Street)

 

Director Jason Wingard said: “The story is essentially about the importance of family. I wanted the viewer to forget about incidentals such as race or disability and focus on the characters. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big contemporary issues (class, diversity, disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. A comedy with heart without skimping on laughs.”

Johnny Vegas said: “It’s a very relatable story about searching for something...like we all do, and the realisation that what you think you’re looking is often right in front of you.”

Jack Carroll said: "I loved the warm, yet still cutting-edge nature of the comedy, the expertly drawn characters and the positive message at the heart of the story. I'm playing a sarcastic, semi-annoying disabled teenager. This role was a huge stretch for me."

 

Q&A with writer and director Jason Wingard

 

Q -How did Eaten By Lions become a feature film?

A: The idea for the film started back in 2011. I’d won Virgin Media Shorts and myself and David Isaac wereworking on a comedy short with Chris Collins from the BFI at the time. We were shortlisted on that years iFEATURES with a comedy road trip idea called (at the time) ‘Going To Mecca’. Chris Collinssuggested to me that we make our iFeatures pitch into a short rather than the other short -which was about a middle-classriot -it was called ‘Looters’. He said it could be a precursor to a feature film, so ‘Going To Mecca’ it was ...Mike Elliott at EMU films produced it. Sadly Chris Collins passed away not long after we completed the short, so for a while we put the film to bed. Then in 2014 the filmwas resurrected by Matt Carroll who introduced me to executive Chris Bouckley. There seemed to be an infectiousenthusiasm for the project from Matt and with the investors help a script was commissioned in 2015/16. Soon after thatwe started filling key positions and Hannah Stevenson (who had also worked with me on the short) was lined up to produce. After years of hardwork and persistence we managed to go into production in May 2017.The film was written with Jack Carroll and Asim Chaudhry in mind. Both are fantastic comic performers and we knew rightaway we wanted them in the film. Many of the cast I had worked with before such as Jack Carroll, Johnny Vegas, Peter Slater and Tom Binns, who are all a joy to work with and supremely talented. We added Nitin Ganatra, Vicki Pepperdine and Kevin Eldon to the cast and for me it was like working with your comedy heroes. I’m so delighted this film has beenmade. It very much feels like we’ve formed a close knit group of cast and crew and hopefully we will all get to collaborate again.

Q -This is your second feature film –Your first film was very different wasn’t it?

A: Yes, very different. Almost a polar opposite. ‘In Another Life’ was a zero-budget drama we shot in the Calais Jungle andwas largely improvised using refugees as actors and mixing them with actors we had with us. Our reasons for making itwere driven by an emotional response to what we had seen on TV. We had a good start on the festival circuit andrecently won Best UK Feature at Raindance 2017 and then went on to win theBIFA discoveryaward. ‘Eaten By Lions’ has been like returning to my comedy roots in many ways, not thatI see myself only making comedies in the future it’s just that it feels like a natural home. I met many of the people workingon or in the film whilst gigging on the stand-up comedy circuit inManchester in thelate nineties. It was around that time Istarted making comedy shorts with comedians I knew. These films resulted in me making content for BBC ComedyNorth. Tom Binns and I made loads of shorts together during that time. I think we really thrived on that freedomand the shorts we made became the basis for Tom’s BBC series -“Hospital People’. I think when you work withcomedians on films they really respond if you create a safe environment for them to try things. I’ve always wanted to takethe pressure away and just let them have fun with the material. You get some unexpected and often very funny results.

Q -What is the film about?

A: I always wanted to make a progressive comedy. The film follows Pete and Omar (half brothers) who have been raised by their granafter their parents (Pete’s mother and father) pass away after a bizarre accident. The story is essentially about the importance of familyand we wanted to draw attention away from stuff like Jack’s disability. I wanted the viewer to forget about it and just treat him as acharacter. It’s an attitude we applied to everyone in the film really. The story deals with big 9contemporary issues (class, diversity,disability, inter-racial relations, foster and adoption, sexuality, love, life and death) in a sharp and often irreverent way. But it is not aboutthose big issues it is about people and relationships. It is a very modern relevant comedy that will hopefully will be viewed for years to come.

Q -What would you like an audience to take away from the film and were there any inspirations for it?

A: Well first and foremost it is a comedy so we want to entertain and make people laugh. I think the film also has a lot of emotionalheart. I think this is important for a comedy too. If you think about your favourite comedy moments they are usually situations ratherthan jokes or one liners that people remember. I think in order for a viewer to really relate and engage with the film you need that heartwithin the characters. I’d like to think it’s relatable and that viewers will enjoy going on the journey of discovery with the young boys inthe film. Essentially they are smart kids surrounded by stupid adults. There are plenty of comic appearances in the film and this tookthe pressure off the young performers. I suppose the biggest inspiration would be the documentary film maker and photographerMartin Parr. I love his satirical look at life in the UK and his take on class, culture etc. His photographs were possibly the films biggest influence.

 

 

 

AWARD-WINNING BRITISH COMEDY ‘EATEN BY LIONS’ TO CELEBRATE ITS UK RELEASE ON 29TH MARCH

AWARD-WINNING FILM ‘THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE’ TO BE RELEASED ON DEMAND IN THE UK & IRELAND FROM 21ST JANUARY

AWARD-WINNING FILM ‘THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE’ TO BE RELEASED ON DEMAND IN THE UK & IRELAND FROM 21ST JANUARY

Director Ari Gold said: "I wanted to make a movie about America's secret class struggle, and how our nostalgia for the past can be both intoxicating and toxic. There's nothing more potent than music to trigger longing - for our own past, as well as for the seemingly perfect lives of others. I was thrilled to work with performers and musicians from both side of the pond, who understood that we have to taste the romantic dream - at least once! - in order to wake into the sway of real life."

 

From director Ari Gold (Adventures of Power) comes the award winning 'The Song of Sway Lake' starring Rory Culkin and Robert Sheehan. The story takes place one summer on Sway Lake, former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Young music collector Ollie Sway (Rory Culkin) recruits his only friend, a homeless Russian drifter (Robert Sheehan), to help him steal a one-of-a-kind vintage record from his own family's glamorous estate. Ollie believes the secret recording of the WW2-era hit, "Sway Lake," will redeem his father, who committed suicide there. But the arrival of Ollie's aristocratic grandmother, Charlie Sway (Mary Beth Peil), changes everything. The matriarch transfixes the class-conscious young Russian, while she sees in him the glory of her youth. And the mysterious song, which hasn’t been heard in half a century, may answer the deepest riddles about love and death, for whichever lost soul is first to find it.

Endearing and often disturbing the film explores the dynamic of a mismatched family torn by loss and tragedy but driven by a passion of music. Culkin is a smart lead who carries the films emotional narrative with grace. Key to the films appeal is the relatable nature they have and Culkin carries an emotional balance in a film that at times can be slow but is saved by the endearing nature the musical element brings. Culkin has become somewhat of an indie darling starring in films like 'Mean Creek' (2004) but also mixing it in bigger films like 'Scream 4' (2011), but he is in some ways underrated and not appreciated for what he can bring to a film.

Robert Sheehan gives an off the wall performance and plays well with Culkin as the two show good chemistry and play off each other. Playing a sort of emotional anchor in the narrative, Sheehan connects the characters on all levels but also offering a comedic element as well as being the trigger for the narrative twists and turns. 

Director Ari Gold paints cinematic tapestrys with his films and always maintains an emotional connection through music. A far cry from his first feature 'Adventures of Power' (2008), Sway Lake feels like Gold is maturing as a film maker handling this emotionally driven story with care and consideration while also maintaing his continually evolving visual artistry. 

 Featuring a sparkling soundtrack of classic and original songs, THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE also stars Tony-nominated Mary Beth Peil (The Good Wife, Collateral Beauty), Isabelle McNally (Bates Motel, Flirting with Love), Elizabeth Peña (Rush Hour, The Incredibles) and Jack Falahee (How to Get Away with Murder, Mercy Street). The New York Times called THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE “Offbeat, continually intriguing.”

 

Directed by ARI GOLD Written by ARI GOLD & ELIZABETH BULL Produced by MICHAEL BEDERMAN, ZAK KILBERG, ALLISON ROSE CARTER, ARI GOLD Executive Producers ANNE BERNSTEIN, GARRETT FENNELLY Co-Producers ELIZABETH BULL, BRAD PAYNE Cinematography by ERIC LIN Original Music and Songs by ETHAN GOLD Production Designer ADA SMITH Costume Designer STACEY BERMAN Edited by TODD HOLMES, GABRIEL WRYE Sound Design ELI COHN Casting JESSICA KELLY, SUZANNE SMITH CROWLEY

 

THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE will be released on the following platforms on Monday January 21st in UK and Ireland: iTunes, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Google Play, YouTube Movies, Amazon, BT Store, Sky Store, Virgin Movies & Chili TV

2018 has been a strong year for documentaries

Documentaries are rapidly becoming a staple in the cinematic landscape. Where they were once restricted to the small screen they have rapidy evolved to carry a larger scope. From 'Going Clear: Scientology and the prison of belief' to 'Beware the Slenderman they are developing narratives as a way to inform. At times the larger scopes have also been used to change social issues in the world like  Gabriela Cowperthwaite's 'Blackfish' which had a major impact on Seaworld and their handling of killer whales.

2018 has been a good year for documentaries with a number of them begining to find a more mainstream audience.

To celebrate the release of Jonathan Hacker's 'Path of Blood', available on DVD from the 10th of December I look at other documentary highlights from the past year.

PATH OF BLOOD Director- Jonathan Hacker

A vicious look at the inner workings of Al Qaeda. Young "thrill seekers" attending a Jihadi boot camp deep in the Saudi desert as they develop a violent plan to overthrow the Saudi government.

NAE PASARAN Director-  Felipe Bustos Sierra

The unlikely story of a group of scottish pensioners who during the 70's took a stand against the repressive Chilean regime under General Pinochet and all from a Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride which is gripping as years later they come to the realisation of the concequences of their actions.

McQUEEN Director-  Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui

A look at the life and times of designer  Lee Alexander McQueen from his start as a tailor to his rise to fame and his untimely death.

FREE SOLO Director-  Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Alex Honnold attempts to fulfill a lifelong ambition of free climbing El Capitan, a 3000 foot rock in Yosemite national park, a feet of both daring and endurance.

THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES Director-  Mike Day

A local professor makes an unprecidented discovery which looks to change the landscape of the fishing heritage which is seen as a way of life on the islands and has a major impact on the residents.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS Director-  Tim Wardle

In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they're triplets who were separated at birth. Then they discover why.

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. Director-  Steve Loveridge

An intamate look at the inner workings of artist M.I.A. Pulled together from over 700 hours of her personal home videos.

EVELYN Director- Orlando von Einsiedel

Director Von Einsiedel named the documentary after his brother who at 22 commited suicide after an intense state of depression and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Einsiedel and his family retrace walks in the british countryside his brother loved as a way of handling the loss.

WHITNEY Director-  Kevin Macdonald

An eye opening insight into the life of Whitney Houston. Beautiful but at times disturbing.

SHIRKERS Director-  Sandi Tan

 In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan, an admitted cinephile, shot Singapore's first road movie with her  American mentor, Georges, who then left with all of the footage. The 16 mm film is recovered 20 years later which offers Tan the opportunity to revisit the film she made when she was seventeen, but never got to see – and to try to understand the man behind its theft.

Documentaries 2018

From the Producer of 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'The Hurt Locker' comes 'Path of Blood' available on DVD December 10th

From acclaimed director Jonathan Hacker comes 'Path of Blood', depicting Islamist terrorism as it has never been seen before. Pieced together from various forms of video footage. The Jihadi footage, captured by Saudi security services, tells the story of Muslim terrorists targeting Muslim civilians. Muslim security agents eventually bringing the terrorists to justice.

'Path of Blood' is a cinematic portrayal of youth and idealism how it can become a powder keg when given incentive. The footage is untouched and offers some deeply disturbing forms of expression while at times testing the audiences belief system and their own viewpoint of the world. Possibly one of the most disturbing elements in this is the viewpoint from a Jihadi boot camp where young thrll seekers agree to over throw the Saudi Government and by any means necessary. A dangerous game plays out as they plan to detonante car bombs in the middle of Riyadh but as government forces close in their tactics turn more brutal as their insious agenda becomes real. 

This is a documentary unlike anything you have ever seen before. Gripping in every sense yet at times unwatchable and is based upon the novel 'Path of Blood' by Jonathan Hacker and Thomas Small.

The film is somewhat of a passion project for Director Jonathan Hacker: 

How did PATH OF BLOOD come about?

Six years ago, our executive producers Adel Alabdulkarim and Abdulrahman Alrashed heard of several hundred hours of captured footage from the Saudi campaign against Al Qaeda. They spent a long time negotiating access to the footage using their contacts with Prince Muhammad bin Nayef who was head of thesecurity services at the time.All together we received around 500 hours of footage, both seized Al Qaeda material and footage the security services had shot themselves. We felt this was an important story that should be shared with a wider audience and the film progressed from there.

PATH OF BLOOD covers Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia from 2003 to 2009. How relevant is the film to current events?

Terrorism has not gone away. It has a potent ideology, and there are always going to be young, vulnerable people who are prone to these kinds of ideas.Just when you think you’ve defeated it in one place, it has an uncanny habit of reappearing in another.We’ve seen this most spectacularly in recent years in the meteoric riseand fall of Isis in Iraq and Syria—which, people should remember, began life as an Al Qaeda franchise, just like AQAP, and in terms of ideology differs only very slightly from the parent organization.At the same time, the temptation is still to de-humanize the phenomenon of Islamist terrorism, to make ill-informed sweeping generalizations, whichcan have a devastating impact on communities both in the West and in the Middle East. This film presents a nuanced, wholly humanizing portrait of both terrorists and the Muslims who are fighting them—a much-needed addition to an increasingly polarizing discussion.

What were your first impressions of the footage you received?

For a few minutes I was concerned about the amateur nature of the footage I was looking at, but then as I watched the footage unfold I saw how astonishingthe imagery was, how fresh itwas, and how intimate it was. We had access behind the scenes with Al Qaeda, with an intimacy that you would never ever have dreamed of seeing.

What was your approach to making the film?

The first challenge was identifying the dramatic tone. That was the first thing –scary, edgy, and intimate. Then it was about creating a clear narrative drive, a kind of cat-and-mouse chase between the security forces and the terrorist cells, with the terrorists trying to cause as much death and destruction as they could,and the security services trying to stop them before they killed any more innocent people. Finally, and most importantly, we wanted to use that narrative to create a nuanced understanding of the ordinary foot soldier in Al Qaeda. We’ve got some funny scenes and then we’ve got scenes of unspeakable cruelty, Al Qaeda killing and shooting innocent people. It’s importantto see that those two things can coexist in the same individual, and I think that’s part of what we were trying to do, to capture that complexity and see the terrorists as ordinary but corrupted human beings. 

Al Qaeda is an emotive subject, how did you tackle this?

One of the other decisions we made relatively early on was to avoid over-editorialising, to let the audience try to understand these men for themselves. This is a difficult and controversial subject and so we made a decision that no commentary would be placed over the footage and in fact to have as little commentary as possible, allowing the scenes to unfold on their own and let youjust be engrossed in the film. We wanted the audience to experience each scene from the point of view of its source, whether that was Al Qaeda, the Saudi security forces or ordinary Saudi citizens, and try to offer the audience that privileged access. By doing this we are able to encourage the audience to have their own personal insights into what Al Qaeda really is.

What is your take on Al Qaeda?

They are a kind of death cult; in fact, that is part of their appeal. They revel in killing and even in their own deaths. The tragicimplications of that are what we are exploring in the film. The huge waste of life –their victims’and their own.

How do you think Muslims will react to the film?

I think that the vast majority of Muslims who see the film will really appreciate it. They’ll point to this film and say, ‘Look, we told you, Muslims are victims of terrorismas much as non-Muslims.’They’ll point out just how simple-minded and ignorant these terroristsare and say, ‘How can you say these peoplerepresent our religion?’What is more, the film makes clear that, in the Middle East –where, the worst and most frequent acts of terrorism occur–the people on the front lines combatting the terrorists are in fact Muslims. Not only their victims, but the people tracking them, fighting them, trying to stop them: they’re all Muslims.We in the West forget this. We know about 9/11, the LondonBombings, the Madrid bombings, and more recently, rogue attacks in Europe and America inspired by Isis–but we don’t really know about the way Middle Easterners themselves are suffering from terrorism.

What were the challenges in making PATH OF BLOOD?

The major practical challenge was that we had 500 hours of footage all in a foreign language, not just in Arabic, but in Saudi Arabian regional dialects, which presented enormous logistical problems –just logging the footage and translating it was a major undertaking. It took a huge amount of work and expertise, and we had a big team of talented guys working on the translation for a very long time.And that was all before we started editing the film –that’s when the real work began. Luckily I was working with a brilliant editor, Peter Haddon.

Why did you choose to narrate extracts of the Al Qaeda magazine ‘Voice of Jihad’?

We were trying to make a film that gives you intimacy with AQ, so that you feel you’re with them in the cells, you’re with them in the safe houses, you’re withthem in the gunfights, and you’re reading what they read. This sense of directness was quite important to us, and with an actor’s voice it becomes invisible, just like a voice in your head.We used Tom Hollander to re-voice Al Qaeda’s propaganda as he’s got a sort of warm yet slightly brittle texture to his voice which makes it engaging and dangerous at the same time.

This film contains some very graphic, gruesome scenes. Why did you choose to include them?

We spent a lot of time discussing where the boundaries should be. Some extremely graphic material was left on the cutting room floor. Also,we were careful to avoid showing the faces of victims murdered by Al Qaeda, although we don’t show that respect to the terrorists themselves.But I decided very early on not to pull any punches. Because these events are all seen in context, I felt that we were duty bound to be honest, even if it meant includingsome unpleasant scenes. It would be irresponsible to turn what Al Qaeda does into some kind of sanitised ‘entertainment.’ The result of their activities is endless bloodshed. Real human beings are being killed including children, and it is incredibly sad and tragic. They’re not a statistic in a news report, they’re not a cut away on the 10 o’clock news, this is something that we let people look at in the film andlet people think about.Those scenes are there to be understood, to show the very real consequences of the actions of Al Qaeda. 

Why do you think the Saudi Arabian government agreed to release this footage?

The Saudi government didn’t tell me why they chose to release it. But I suppose it was because it’s actually one of their great success stories. 9/11 caused a great deal of shame and embarrassment to Saudi Arabia; so many of its citizens had been involved in that act and they were in denial about it for quite a long time.Even more, as we all know, Saudi Arabia has played a large role in the propagation of Islamic fundamentalism around the world—the government recently went public about this, acknowledging their record and signalling a policy shift away from funding extremist madrasas and so on. But really, our film is anobjective andimmersive humanstory of a terrorist campaign at a specific time and place. For Saudis, it came asa hugeshock for them when Al Qaeda declared war on their government and targeted Saudi citizens.I certainly believe that experience jump-started a lot of soul searching in the Kingdom—perhaps we’re seeing the fruit of that now.Much to our surprise, the Saudi security services never asked for or had any input on the final cut of the film. We were only asked to blur the names on a couple offorged passports, plus the faces of certainindividuals for legal reasons.

PATH OFBLOOD features many characters. Who was the most interesting?

There are a lot of interesting characters. You’ve got the larger-than-life sheikh, Abdullah al-Rashoud, who is straight out of central casting. He’s so extreme, he’s so outlandish, that if you created him as a fictionalcharacter, you’d think that he was a cliché but when you see him for real, it’s just incredible –andquite funnytoo,in a dark way. Then you’ve got a guy called Abdulaziz who we openthe film with;‘Ali’was his nom de guerre. He’s a partly sympatheticcharacter in the sense that you can see he is like the class fool:he’s a little bit dim, but cracks all the jokes, and is constantly in trouble with the teacher. But at the same time there’s something very sad about him, it really draws you in when you see his dawning realisation that he is about to die. I think the opening scene, in a sense, represents one of the themes of the film. These really are ordinary guys; they’re not all like the stereotypical image of a thuggish Al Qaeda terrorist. Ali is a clown, yet he’s involved with this organisation, and he’s going to blow up himself and a lot of innocent people. I think that’s very important for people to think about and understand.

What have you learnt about Al Qaeda through making the film?

One of the things that really came across in the footage is the degree of naivety and incompetence that is prevalent among the young Saudi kids in Al Qaeda. There are lots of characters and moments in the film that would not be out of place in a farce. Many of them are relatively incompetent, relatively ignorant, and that was quite a revelation to me. Having said that, this kind of organisation also attracts individuals who are thrilled by the idea of killing and by the power of being a member of a terrorist organisation. So one should be careful of making generalizations.

 

'Path of Blood' is a must see but is not for the faint hearted.

 

 

Path Of Blood is available on DVD December 10th

 

 

'Path of Blood' on DVD December 10th

As engrossing as it is disturbing 'Path of Blood' arrives of DVD December 10th

'Gloves Off' star Brad Moore names the sporting comedies that he cant get enough of

With the release of 'Gloves Off' on DVD and on demand co-writer and star Brad Moore discusses his favourite sporting comedies.

Starting with his passion project, Brad takes a look back at the classic sports films over the years that have brought the family together for big laughs and a tug on the heart strings. With Hollywood heavyweights like Bill Murray and John Candy to a star turn from an orangutan From screw ball comedies to heart warming scenes, Moores choices are as varied as they could be.

 

1. Gloves Off Directed by Steven Nesbit 

“GLOVES OFF is a piece of entertainment but it also represents to me what people can achieve when they pull together and pride kicks in.”

 

2. Slap Shot Directed by George Roy Hill

“Unlike some, Paul Newman’s performances just got better and better as his career evolved. He again teams up with George Roy Hill in this crazy ice hockey romp. I loved watching this quirky film in my teens and the ‘goons’ unprovoked scraps. Tickled my Dad and I pink!”

 

3. Every which way but loose Directed by James Fargo

“What a gem of a film with Clint showing he’s more than capable in a dustup. A beautiful backdrop in the San Fernando Valley and with his Mrs Sandra Locke and a huge Orangutan in tow they must have had a blast. Right turn Clyde!”

 

4. Mike Bassett: England Manager Directed by  Steve Barron

“Our very own Ricky Tomlinson in full swing as the doomed England Manager. It’s not coming home sadly....”

 

5. Kingpin Directed by  Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly

“The Farrelly brothers at their very best here in this screwball comedy. A fallen hero, a beautiful lady, a road trip, a strange hair do, a final show down (this sound familiar? Oh yeah Gloves Off, the film that I wrote!) Woody Harrelson’s performance takes his career to another level and the hair on Bill Murray should have at least won a BAFTA of its own...”

 

6. The Mean Machine (a.k.a The Longest Yard) Directed by Robert Aldrich

“Another film worshipped at the church of our family living room. Robert Aldrich of Dirty Dozen and Baby Jane fame directs this priceless prison break American football comedy. The British remake does its best but falls short of the charisma this cracker carries. RIP Burt Reynolds, we owe you one.”

 

7. Caddyshack Directed by Harold Ramis

“This crazy offbeat golfing extravaganza shouldn't work but it does and then some! It’s directed by none other than Harold Ramis of Ghostbusters and written by Bill Murray’s brother Brian Doyle-Murray, which may go some way to explain the absurdity of the magic!! Bill Murray’s scenes were reportedly all improvised and worth watching just to witness Chevy Chase on the piano "I was born to love you…I was born to lick your face..." genius.”

 

8. Cool Runnings Directed by Jon Turteltaub

“Based on a true story and with a gloriously high concept! This excellent film starring the late John Candy has you laughing while tugging at the heart strings.”

 

9. Jerry Maguire Directed by Cameron Crowe

“Cameron Crowe's riches to rags masterpiece featuring, in my opinion, Tom Cruise’s most well-rounded performance worthy of his Oscar nomination. Comedy, romance, drama, sport and our protagonist searching for a deeper purpose in life. What’s not to like! An almost cautionary tale of making sure you don't lose focus of what’s truly important in life, the film works on all levels. Supporting breakthrough roles from both Renée Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr and the birth of a worldwide catchphrase...’Show me the money!’”

 

10. There's Only One Jimmy Grimble Directed by John Hay

"A lovely example of British football fantasy comedy drama that us Brits do so brilliantly. Robert Carlisle, Ray Winstone, Gina McKee and a killer cameo by Ben Miller”

 

 GLOVES OFF is available On Demand & DVD now

GLOVES OFF is available On Demand & DVD now

“GLOVES OFF is a piece of entertainment but it also represents to me what people can achieve when th

GLOVES OFF is available On Demand & DVD now

Uk Jewish film festival 2018 closes with thrilling gala night award ceremony

At the core of UK Jewish Film’s values is the notion that film is universal. It crosses cultures and divides and has the ability to unite, engage and educate diverse audiences through the telling of cinematic stories that provide varied perspectives on Jewish and Israeli life and culture. UK Jewish Film aims to develop a culture where Jewish film is recognised and enjoyed by the widest possible audience, and to bring Jewish related film to the heart of British cinema culture.

 

Chief Executive of UK Jewish Film, Michael Etherton said: “Innovative approaches to filmmaking were among the stand-out themes of the awards made by this year’s juries at the UK Jewish Film Festival. We were privileged to host these outstanding jurors from across the UK film industry and they were particularly impressed by the quality of the films in competition this year. ‘Three Identical Strangers’ is the extraordinary true story that is already making waves, brilliantly told and expertly crafted; ‘Driver’ takes a gentle and surprising look at a little-known Orthodox community, and ‘Death of a Poetess’ mixes documentary and drama techniques to highly original and disturbing effect.”

 

With 85 films from 16 countries including 51 premieres the Uk Jewish film festival came to a close on Thursday 22nd November with the closing night gala award ceremony at London's Curzon Mayfair. 

Spread over 21 cinemas ranging from London to Glasgow the festival had everything from highly acclaimed documentary 'John Simons- A modernist' to a restoration of silent classic 'The Cohens and Kellys', the festival catered for all tastes.

 

 

The Winners and nominees were:

 

Dorfman best film award- Supported by the Dorfman Foundation

 

Three Identical Strangers: Dir. Tim Wardle (WINNER)

The account of Auschwitz: Dir Matthew Shoychet

Foxtrot: Dir. Samuel Maoz

Promise At Dawn: Dir. Eric Barbier

The Waldheim Waltz: Dir. Ruth Beckermann

Working Woman: Dir. Michal Aviad

 

“Three Identical Strangers is a joy to watch and, like an onion, reveals itself layer upon layer. Both terrific entertainment and a serious and very moving story, the film is cleverly constructed as an unusual mixture of documentary, drama and thriller. The jury was delighted to award the prize to this impressive film.”

Michael Kuhn, Head of Jury, Dorfman Best Film Award 2018, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

Best Debut Feature Award

 

Driver: Dir. Yehonatan Indursky (WINNER)

Closeness: Dir. Kantemir Balagov

Doubtful: Dir. Eliran Elya

Outdoors: Dir. Asaf Saban

Red Cow: Dir. Tsivia Barkai

Winter Hunt: Dir. Astrid Schult

 

"The jury were delighted and impressed by ‘Driver', a beautiful, moving and funny exploration of a father and his daughter and of the moral grey areas he navigates within an orthodox religious community. Powerful and surprising this is the unusual and often raw tale of a man whose job is coaching people to tell their stories but is unable to tell his own.”

Claudia Rosencrantz, Head of Jury, Best Debut Feature Award 2018, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

Best Screenplay Award

 

Death of a Poetess by Dana Goldberg and Efrat Mishori (WINNER)

Budapest Noir by Éva Gárdos

Foxtrot by Samuel Maoz

Promise at Dawn by Eric Barbier

To Dust by Shawn Snyder

Winter Hunt by Astrid Schult

 

“This provocative and intriguing drama, with its naturalistic, quasi-documentary style, hugely impressed the jury. An elliptical portrayal of a deeply troubling story that stays with you long after the film has ended.”

Nik Powell, Head of Jury, Best Screenplay Award, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

Audience choice Award

 

Forgotten Soldier: Dir.  Lucile Smith and Paul Goldin

 

 

For more information on the festival and future events visit:  http://ukjewishfilm.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Uk Jewish Film Festival 2018

British entertainment at its most original in Steven Nesbit's 'Gloves Off'

“Gloves Off is entertainment but it represents what people can achieve when they pull together and pride kicks in.”

Brad Moore (co-writer/star)

 

British actor Brad Moore arrived on the acting stage late on in life, "I started acting very late in life at 40 and I had spent my youth addicted to all films”, but he has gone on to carve out a very respectable career working with some highly respected people along the way.

 

His latest offering is Gloves Off where he re-teams with director Steven Nesbit, the pair had previously collaborated on North Vs South. Gloves Off also marks Moore's first time as a writer, co-writing the script with Nesbit. Speaking about how the project was born and how he came to be co-writer Moore said “We had so much fun making North vs South and the film release was a success so Steve and I became good friends. If it had flopped I’m sure he would have moved on to someone more talented! Steve then came down to London to discuss future projects he was writing with me in mind. We had a few beers and I pitched him the only script idea I have had about a boxer who inherits a debt-ridden gym from his coach and Steve suggested we write the script together”. Moore as a first time writer had his own way of contributing his own ideas “We spent several months meeting up when we could for writing sessions and we would work shop the scenes together. I would act out the different characters as best I could and I think he enjoyed having his very own performing monkey! Steve would then write up the work we had done and we would polish the scenes together. It’s an enjoyable way to write as opposed to slaving over a keyboard and ideas spring from the interaction”.

 

In Gloves Off Moore plays Doug, a once highly regarded boxer, who inherits a debt riddled gym after the death of his beloved trainer. With his life on the rocks, his family broken, Doug's only happiness is the gym he has and the rag tag loveable misfits that inhabit it. But as debt collectors circle Doug looks for a miracle to save his beloved gym. Moore drew on some of his own personal experiences from his own past the story has both heart mixed with comedic sharpness very much in the vein of Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock films, “ The film is fictional and not biographical in any way, however many of the story elements are very close to my own experiences and deep in my heart. For instance my own boxing coach and mentor "Taffy" died when a group of young boxers and I were still in our prime. I’ve also experienced the pain of being separated from my son and felt the pressure of being totally broke and about to fail miserably...again”.

 

Alongside Moore is a strong ensemble cast starring some the some of the best known talent Britain has to offer from Paul Barber (Only Fools and Horses/One Night In Istanbul) and Denise Van Outen (Love, Honour and Obey) to British TV legend Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family, Mike Bassett: England Manager) but a stand out in this film is comedy great Alexei Sayle. The film has carries the quirkiness of The Full Monty but has the comic sharpness of Snatch but you could also say its Britain's answer to Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller vehicle Dodgeball (2004). The film is typically British, a comedy with an emotional core with varying characters that represent different aspects of a well written story. Sayle acts as a guardian angel like character to Doug helping him through his emotional struggles, in his own special way. Paul Barber's Albert is a grounding force in Doug's life in an almost father figure like way, inspiring him when he needs it and giving him the confidence boost when he is down, his interactions with Nosher too are particularly heart warming and beautifully acted, Barber works as an emotional anchor to the stories overall narrative. The stories characters are both anarchic as well as relatable harking back to the old school ensemble comedies but never strays from its British roots, Moore added “I love wacky road trip comedies like 'The Cannon Ball Run' and 'Every Which Way but Lose'. These were big influences on the story. I had always dreamt of making something that harked back to these great comedies but with a British heart at its core in the vein of British classics like The Full Monty, Brassed Off and Waking Ned”. There are some stand out scenes in this film like Doug's bar room fight scene, very physical and simply but effectively shot with Moore looking more than comfortable with the demands of the scene. One stand out has to be Tomlinson freestyling folk songs which is something everybody should see.

 

The film has some beautiful visuals, in particular the flashback fight scenes which are stunning to watch and expertly put together by Nesbit, the film also has a soundtrack which plays well with the narrative acting as an almost extra character in the film. This film is pure entertainment start to finish and you feel that from in front and behind the camera. Far too many films today lack originality and characters you can relate to but Nesbit is a great story teller and alongside Moore has created one of the most entertaining British films of the last few years and it definitely deserves its place alongside British greats like Love Honour and Obey and Full Monty. Central to all of the success of this film is the budding friendship between director and his star and Moore has nothing but praise for Nesbit “Steve is a terrific director. He is ex-military and capable of mobilising an army! He has a universal focus on all elements of the film and he makes actors feel very safe and supported which helps you be courageous with your choices. If I go to big or too heavy he will reel me in. Steve was the first director to believe in me really when he cast me in North vs South. He stuck with me when other well-known actors who joined the project were all keen on my role as Gary Little. The press loved that character as he a proper nut-job much like myself so hopefully I didn’t let him down!”.

 

Brad Moore leads and all star cast in Gloves Off and has gained experiences he will keep for life “I know it’s a cliché but I just can’t help saying that the fun we had on set was easily the best thing about making this movie. Ricky and Denise kept everyone constantly entertained. They are proper wind up merchants. Denise is always trying to get a rise out of you and Ricky never stops telling funny stories which are incredibly entertaining but I had to avoid him before any of the more dramatic scenes otherwise I would turn up giggling! I’ve loved boxing all my life so working on the boxing and fight scenes were a dream come true! Especially as the stunt men are not actually allowed to hit me back…that’s perfect!”.

Steven Nesbit's 'Gloves Off' starring Brad Moore

Brad Moore leads an all star cast in Steven Nesbit's 'Gloves Off'. You will laugh, cry and feel about every other emotion in this roller coaster of a feel good film

With John Carpenter and Jason Blum behind it and The original stars in front of the camera Halloween is the sequel we have waited forty years for. Credit to director David Gordon Green for a smart and worthy sequel to the classic original.

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