HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES

Starring

Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness)
Harry Treadaway (Honeymoon)
Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman)
Alan Ford (Snatch)
Georgia King (The Duchess)
Jack Doolan (Marcella)
Ashley Thomas (4.3.2.1.)
Tony Gardner (Lovesick)
Tony Selby (Superman)
Georgina Hale (AKA)
Dudley Sutton (The Football Factory)
Richard Briers (Peter Pan)
Honor Blackman (The Upper Hand)
Elizabeth Webster (Game of Thrones)
Dexter Fletcher (Kick-Ass)

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)In a building site being developed by Hartman Construction in the East End of London, two builders discover a 17th-century catacomb, sealed by order of Charles II. When they enter to search for treasure, they are bitten by zombies, setting off a zombie outbreak in the area.Honor Blackman, Alan Ford, and Rasmus Hardiker in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)Elsewhere, Terry MacGuire and his younger brother Andy have planned a bank robbery so they can save their grandfather Ray’s retirement home from being demolished. They recruit their cousin Katy, hopeless Davey Tuppence, “Mental” Mickey, an unstable war veteran who has a metal plate in his forehead, and gather a large supply of weapons. During the robbery, the group find they have crashed an embezzlement deal between the bank manager and the head of Hartman Construction. Expecting to find a few hundred grand, they find themselves staring at 2.5 million pounds in cash. The bank manager had thought they were from Hartman due to their costumes, but quickly realises otherwise and presses an emergency button to summon the police. With the bank surrounded, Mickey takes charge of the escape plan and takes bank workers Emma and Clive hostage. However, upon attempting to leave the bank, the group find that the police have been killed by a growing horde of zombies. They escape in their van with the cash from the vault.Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)Meanwhile, at the retirement home, the zombies attack the residents. Ray and residents Peggy, former gangster Daryl, Doreen and Eric take refuge in the kitchen; Ray also rescues a resident named Hamish and gets him inside. The MacGuires, Katy, Mickey, Davey and their hostages drive through a devastated East End until they reach their safe-house, where they stowed their car earlier. Mickey is bitten by a zombie, and the group finds out from the radio about the extent of the epidemic but don’t know what to do with themselves. Emma pleads with Mickey and Davey to let her and Clive go, saying she does not care about their ‘selfish’ plans, and Katy tells her they are not robbing the bank for themselves, but to save the retirement home.Tony Gardner, Michelle Ryan, Ashley Thomas, Jack Doolan, and Georgia King in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)Mickey, growing more irrational and tired of the friendliness of his fellow bank robbers, decides to leave and takes Emma and Clive with him to a side room where he ties them up, and sits down to rest. Soon after, Mickey dies and turns into a zombie. Realising shooting him in the head is failing to kill Mickey, Terry destroys him with a hand-grenade he confiscated earlier. In the subsequent confusion, Clive picks up Mickey’s gun and insists on handing the group over to the police. However, he is promptly attacked and eaten by zombies, and reflexively shoots Davey dead by accident in the process.Honor Blackman, Alan Ford, Tony Selby, Rasmus Hardiker, and Harry Treadaway in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)The group pack the money and themselves into Terry’s waiting car, intending to travel to the retirement home, but on the way they stop to look for Emma’s younger sister. Terry and Emma find her as a zombie, but Emma decides not to kill her in case a cure is found. They set off again, deciding to arm themselves from Mickey’s gun cache. However, the group realise that the car is inadequate for ferrying the pensioners, so Katy hot-wires a traditional red London double-decker bus.Michelle Ryan and Rasmus Hardiker in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)Arriving at the care home, they manage to break the zombie siege and rescue Ray and the other surviving residents. They all escape aboard the bus, but it breaks down before it can reach safety and the group are forced to abandon it. Realising they are close to the river, they head off to find a boat. Making their way to a mooring they find a boat, and Peggy finds the keys, but they realise as they try to pull away that it is still chained up. Ray decides to sacrifice himself to save the others, but he still manages to survive and joins the rest on the boat as they make their final escape. On the river, the group wonder what will happen next; Ray tells them they can take East London back for themselves.Michelle Ryan, Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, and Georgia King in Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)In the end, it is about a fun, gory ride and “Cockneys vs Zombies” sure delivers when it comes to that. However, productions such as “Tucker and Dale vs Evil” or “Shaun of the Dead” have demonstrated that one doesn’t have to rely on formulaic dialog and one-liners so heavily in order to create a fun splatter film that is actually fun.

REVIEW: TRISTAN & ISOLDE

CAST

James Franco (This Is The End)
Sophia Myles (Underworld)
Rufus Sewell (A Knight’s Tale)
David O’ Hara (Wanted)
Mark Strong (John Carter)
Henry Cavill (Man of Steel)
Ronan Vibert (Dracula Untold)
Lucy Russelll (World War Z)
JB Blanc (War Dogs)
Dexter Fletcher (Kick-Ass)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones)

The film is set in Great Britain and Ireland, in the Dark Ages, after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. Lord Marke of Cornwall plans to unify the peoples of Britain – Celts, Angles, Saxons, and Jutes – under himself as high king to resist Irish domination.
Most lords agree to this, as Marke is highly regarded and respected as a fair and courageous leader. The Irish king Donnchadh discovers this and sends troops to attack a Jutish castle where a treaty between the British tribes is being discussed. The raid claims the lives of the castle’s lord and his wife, but Marke manages to save their son, Tristan, at the cost of losing a hand. Feeling compassion for the young boy, whose father loyally supported him, Marke welcomes Tristan into his home and regards him as a son.

Nine years later, Tristan has grown into a fierce, courageous warrior whose loyalty to Marke is not that of a knight to his lord, but rather a son to his father. Tristan and other Cornish warriors launch an attack on an Irish slave caravan. Tristan fights Morholt, the champion and leader of the army of Donnchadh, whose lord’s daughter, Princess Isolde, has been promised to Morholt in marriage. Though Tristan kills Morholt and Donnchadh’s forces are overrun, he is severely wounded in the fight and believed dead, though he is in fact only suffering the effects of Morholt’s poisoned sword.

Tristan’s body is put out to sea on a funeral boat which eventually washes up along the shores of Ireland. He is discovered by Isolde and her maid, Bragnae, who administer an antidote that revives him. Bragnae insists that Isolde conceal her identity so Isolde tells Tristan her name is Bragnae. Tristan and Isolde fall in love as she nurses him back to health. The two lovers must separate after Tristan’s boat is discovered. Tristan returns to Cornwall and receives a hero’s welcome. A confused but overjoyed Marke welcomes him back with open arms.

Plotting to defeat Britain, Donnchadh proposes a peace treaty, promising his daughter Isolde in marriage to the winner of a tournament. Tristan wins the tournament on behalf of Marke, unaware that “the prize” is the woman he fell in love with in Ireland. When he discovers the truth about Isolde, he is heartbroken to see her betrothed to Marke, but accepts it since the marriage will end “a hundred years of bloodshed.” Marke is kind to Isolde and genuinely falls in love with her. Isolde grows fond of him, but her heart still belongs to Tristan. Isolde tells Tristan that she is his anytime he wants. Tristan is torn between his love for Isolde and his loyalty to Marke, a man whom he loves as a father. Marke is confused over what is tormenting Tristan and disappointed by the distance he is putting between them.
Tristan eventually gives in to Isolde; they renew their love and begin an affair behind Marke’s back. The affair is discovered by Lord Wictred, a longstanding dissenter to Marke’s leadership. He informs Donnchadh of the affair and they conspire to use their love to overthrow Marke, with Wictred getting Marke’s throne in exchange. Marke confides in Tristan that he believes Isolde is having an affair. Tristan is tormented by the guilt and burns down the bridge where he would meet Isolde. After Marke and Isolde’s coronation, Tristan attempts to end their relationship, but Isolde begs him not to leave her. They are caught in an embrace by Marke, Donnchadh, and the other British kings. Donnchadh pretends to be furious that his daughter is being treated as a “whore” and ends the alliance. Seeing this as weakness on Marke’s part, the other kings also decide to part ways with him.

Marke is hurt and furious over his wife and son-figure’s betrayal. He tells Tristan he has ruined everything and that he wishes that he had never saved his life. However, after Isolde explains their history, Marke relents. Tristan is taken to the river and Isolde tells him that Marke is letting them run away together. Tristan puts Isolde in the boat meant for their escape and tells her that if they leave they will be remembered for all time as those “whose love brought down a kingdom.” Tristan pushes the boat away from the shore and runs off to the ensuing battle. At the same time, Marke’s nephew and Tristan’s old friend, Melot (Henry Cavill), resentful of his uncle’s long favouring of Tristan, shows Wictred an old passage into the Roman foundations of Marke’s castle. Wictred had made Melot believe that he will become king when Marke is defeated. Once they are in the passage, Wictred stabs Melot and sneaks his army into the castle. Marke and his forces swiftly become pinned down by Donnchadh’s army outside the castle and Wictred’s men within.

Tristan sneaks back into the castle via the secret tunnel, which he used to carry out his affair with Isolde. On the way, he finds the dying Melot; the old friends forgive one another before he dies. Tristan emerges from the tunnel and attacks Wictred’s men, allowing Marke’s soldiers to secure the castle, but he is mortally wounded in combat by Wictred, whom he still manages to kill. Now outnumbered, Tristan, Marke and the soldiers loyal to him emerge from the castle and present Wictred’s severed head to Donnchadh. Marke urges the British kings standing with the Irish to aid them in making Britain a single, free nation. Inspired by his words, the British kings and their men attack Donnchadh and his army.

As a fierce battle between the British and Irish erupts, Marke carries a dying Tristan to the river, where they are met by Isolde. Marke leaves to lead the British to victory, while Tristan eventually dies in Isolde’s arms after uttering his last words: “You were right. I don’t know if life is greater than death. But love was more than either.” Isolde sees to his burial beneath the ashes of the Roman villa where they had met to be with each other. She plants two willows by the grave, which grow intertwined. She then disappears from history and is never seen again. Marke, it is said, defeated the Irish, united Britain, then ruled in peace until the end of his days.

This movie has all the things you expect from a historic epic. Battles, betrayal and larger than life kind of love that ends in tragedy.

REVIEW: STARDUST

CAST

Charlie Cox (Daredevil TV)
Claire Danes (Terminator 3)
Ian McKellen (The Hobbit)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Dark Shadows)
Robert De Niro (Limitless)
Sienna Miller (Layer Cake)
Ricky Gervais (The Invention of Lying)
Peter O’Toole (Supergirl)
Ben Barnes  (The Chronicles of Narnia 2)
Henry Cavill  (Man of Steel)
Mark Strong (Green Lantern)
Jason Flemyng  (X-men: First Class)
Rupert Everett (Shrek 2)
Julian Rhind-Tutt (Rabbit Fever)
David Walliams (Little Britain)
Sarah Alexander (Green Wing)
Joanna Scanlan (The Bad Education Movie)
Mark Williams (Harry Potter)
Dexter Fletcher (Cockneys vs Zombies)

A village lies near a gap in a stone wall bordering the magical kingdom of Stormhold. The gap is guarded constantly but Dunstan Thorn manages to go through and meets an enslaved princess, Una. She offers him a glass snowdrop in exchange for a kiss, then invites him on her trailer. Nine months later, the Wall Guard delivers a baby to Dunstan, saying his name is Tristan.Eighteen years later, the dying king of Stormhold throws a ruby into the sky, decreeing that his successor will be the first of his fratricidal sons to recover it. The gem hits a star, they fall together and the remaining sons, Primus and Septimus independently search for the gem.In Wall, Tristan sees the star fall and vows to get it for the object of his infatuation, Victoria, in return for her hand in marriage. Tristan learns that his mother is from beyond the wall, and receives a Babylon candle that she had left for him, which instantly takes the user to any desired location. Tristan lights it and is transported to the fallen star, personified as a beautiful woman named Yvaine. He promptly chains her to take her home to Victoria.Three ancient witches in Stormhold resolve to eat the fallen star’s heart to recover their youth and replenish their powers. Their leader, Lamia, eats the remnants of an earlier star’s heart, and sets off to find Yvaine. She conjures up a wayside inn as a trap.Yvaine becomes tired, so Tristan chains her to a tree and promises to bring food. In his absence, a unicorn releases her but unwittingly takes her to Lamia’s inn. Tristan discovers Yvaine gone, but the stars whisper that she is in danger, telling him to get on a passing stagecoach, which happens to be Primus’s. At the inn, they interrupt Lamia’s attempt to kill Yvaine. Lamia kills Primus, but Tristan and Yvaine use the Babylon candle to escape into the clouds, where they are captured by pirates in a flying ship who teach Tristan how to fence.Septimus discovers that, as the last surviving son, he need only find the stone to claim the throne. He learns it is in the possession of the fallen star and realises that the heart of a star grants immortality. After leaving Captain Shakespeare’s ship, Tristan and Yvaine confess their love for one another and spend the night together at an inn. Come morning, Tristan leaves Yvaine sleeping and goes to Wall with a lock of her hair, to tell Victoria he won’t marry her, having fallen in love with Yvaine. When the lock turns to dust, he realises Yvaine will die if she crosses the wall, and rushes back to save her.Yvaine finds Tristan gone, and starts walking towards the wall, thinking he abandoned her for Victoria. Tristan’s mother Una notices Yvaine walking to her doom, so takes the caravan of her enslaver, a witch named Ditchwater Sal, to the wall to stop her. Lamia arrives, kills Sal, and captures Una and Yvaine, taking them to the witches’ castle. Septimus and Tristan both pursue Lamia, agreeing to work together for the time being. Barging into the castle, Septimus recognises the princess as his long-lost sister and Una informs Tristan that she is his mother.Septimus and Tristan kill two of the witches, but Lamia uses a voodoo doll to kill Septimus and make his corpse fight Tristan. Lamia is about to finish Tristan off, when she appears to break down over the loss of her sisters. Lamia frees Yvaine but her feigned defeat was just a ruse to bolster Yvaine’s broken heart. As Tristan and Yvaine embrace, their love allows her to shine once again, vaporising Lamia in a blinding flash of starlight.Tristan retrieves the jewel that Yvaine was wearing. As the jewel turns red, Una explains that, as her son, Tristan is the last male heir of Stormhold. He becomes king with Yvaine as his queen whilst Dunstan and Una are reunited. After 80 years of ruling Stormhold, they use a Babylon candle to ascend to the sky, where Tristan also becomes a star and the pair live forever in the sky.It’s difficult to think of any negatives with this movie. It’s light, breezy, fresh and fun but not shallow. A great story with intelligent characters it is laugh-out-loud funny in many places, but with some real moments of pathos and emotional intensity elsewhere. Fantasy movies as good as this don’t come along very often these days.