REVIEW: BLITZ

CAST

Jason Statham (Hummingbird)
Paddy Considine (The World’s End)
Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones)
David Morrissey (The Reaping)
Zawe Ashton (Nocturnal Animals)
Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Mark Rylance (Dunkirk)
Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones)
Christina Cole (Hex)
Ian Hughes (Power Rangers Ninja Steel)

Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)A serial killer is targeting police officers in South East London. After two police constables are shot dead and Chief Inspector Bruce Roberts (Rylance) is bludgeoned to death, the hunt for his identity begins. Sergeant Porter Nash (Considine) is transferred to the South East London branch of the police to head the investigation, even though Nash is an outsider and widely ridiculed by his fellow officers for being openly gay. To his surprise he finds an unlikely ally in the hot-headed, gruff Detective Sergeant Tom Brant (Statham), who has a history of violent incidents.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)While the investigation is ongoing, PC Elizabeth Falls (Ashton) is visited by a friend, a young gang member nicknamed Metal, who is afraid his gang might have actually killed someone. Promising him to look into the situation, Falls contacts Detective Inspector Craig Stokes (Evans), who agrees to help if Falls goes on a date with him. One of Brant’s informants, Radnor (Dennehy), points Brant and Nash towards a man named Barry Weiss (Gillen) who recently bragged about setting a police dog on fire, “for practice”. Although Brant and Nash visit Weiss’ flat, they cannot immediately find any evidence against him. Brant does recognize Weiss as the man he beat up in a fight in a billiard hall a year earlier. Unknown to either of them, Radnor decides to conduct an investigation of his own and eventually discovers the seemingly abandoned car where Weiss keeps the trophies of his kills, confirming that Weiss is the killer.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)Meanwhile, Weiss contacts a newspaper reporter, Harold Dunlop (Morrissey), to make sure his murders get enough coverage in the press. Weiss promises to keep Dunlop updated about his murders and declares he wishes to be known as Blitz. Soon after, Dunlop is also contacted by Radnor who is interested in selling his information for a high price. Although Radnor leads Dunlop to Weiss’ car, he is killed by Weiss before he can disclose Weiss’ name. Dunlop then alerts the police to the car, but they find it empty. Brant and a fellow police constable come to realize that all of Blitz’s victims so far have been police officers who have arrested Weiss in the past and that PC Falls is most likely the next victim. Falls, after coming home from her date with Stokes, is attacked by Weiss but saved by Metal, who is killed in the ensuing struggle. Before Weiss can attack Falls again, the police arrive.Jason Statham and Paddy Considine in Blitz (2011)Brant and Nash decide to release a picture of Weiss to the media to flush him out, which eventually, after a lengthy chase, leads to Weiss’ capture. There is no concrete evidence against Weiss however, so after 48 hours and an interrogation which does not yield results, the police are forced to let Weiss go. Exasperated, Brant and Nash devise a plot to trick Weiss, knowing that Weiss will want to take revenge on Brant for the billiard hall fight. Weiss infiltrates the funeral of Chief Inspector Roberts, dressed in Roberts’ uniform which he had stolen after murdering him. During the service, Brant leaves, followed by Weiss. Brant leads Weiss to the top of a parking garage, only to reveal that Brant and Nash had switched places along the route. Surprised by a hidden Brant, Weiss is overpowered and relieved of his gun. Explaining that they will never find enough evidence to convict Weiss legally, Brant concludes that they are now in a convenient situation: since Weiss is dressed as a police officer, and Brant has Blitz’s gun, they can shoot him with his own gun, and it will look as if Weiss was just another of Blitz’s victims.Jason Statham in Blitz (2011)Nobody is going to be winning any awards for this one, but it was an entertaining watch. .

 

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE GIRL WITH THE GIFTS

Starring

Gemma Arterton (Byzantium)
Paddy Considine (Macbeth)
Glenn Close (Hoodwinked)
Sennia Nanua (The Fight)
Anamaria Marinca (Ghost In The Shell)
Fisayo Akinade (The Works)
Anthony Welsh (Red Tails)
Dominique Tipper (The Expanse)

Glenn Close in The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)In the near future, humanity has been ravaged by a mysterious fungal disease (a mutation of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis). The infected have turned into fast, mindless flesh-eaters, referred to as ‘hungries’. Humankind’s only hope is a small group of hybrid, second generation children who crave living flesh but retain the ability to think and learn. The children are imprisoned by a group of soldiers led by Sgt. Eddie Parks, and go to “school” at an army base in the Home Counties, where they are experimented on by Dr. Caroline Caldwell. Helen Justineau is responsible for educating and studying the children. Among the children is an exceptional girl named Melanie.Sennia Nanua in The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)Melanie is taken for experimentation by Caldwell when the base is overrun by hungries and the lab is breached, resulting in the infection of a nurse. Melanie escapes the lab and wanders outside, where soldiers are violently attacked in a failing, chaotic mass breach. Melanie is stunned by what she sees, but violently attacks and infects two soldiers who are trying to restrain Helen. Helen and Melanie jump aboard an escaping armoured van with Parks, Caldwell and a surviving soldier Kieran.Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Gemma Arterton, and Fisayo Akinade in The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)The soldiers want to shoot Melanie, but Helen shields her and Caldwell insists she needs her. Melanie is muzzled and restrained as the group escapes into the wilderness. After the van breaks down, the group reaches London on foot and are able to make their way through a group of dormant hungries, using a ‘blocker’ gel which masks their scent, before barricading themselves overnight in an abandoned hospital. Caldwell reveals to Melanie that “second generation” hungries were discovered after newborns killed their infected mothers by burrowing out of the womb. In the morning, the group realize they have been surrounded by a horde of hungries, and Melanie volunteers to help. She captures a small dog to use as bait, leading the hungries away so the group can escape.Glenn Close, Fisayo Akinade, and Sennia Nanua in The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)As they progress through London they come across a mass of infected bodies encircling the overgrown BT Tower. Caldwell explains to the group that the fungal growth contains seed pods, which if released could end humankind. The group also come across a mobile laboratory in which they take shelter. Caldwell, injured during the initial attack on the base, reasons that she can save Helen and the human race by sacrificing Melanie to complete her vaccine research. As the group runs out of food, Kieran ventures into the city alone on a supply run, but is trapped and killed by a tribe of feral children. Caldwell stays behind as the remaining group attempts a rescue, only for them to be surrounded by the feral children. Melanie is confronted by the leader, but is able to subdue and kill him with a bat. The remaining children back off, allowing Melanie, Parks and Helen to escape.Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Fisayo Akinade, and Sennia Nanua in The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)Upon their return, Caldwell sedates the group and confronts Melanie. Melanie comes to the realization that she is not an experiment, and that her kind will be the future. Melanie escapes to the centre of London and sets the towering seed-pod structure alight, causing it to release an immense cloud of airborne spores. Caldwell chases after her but is killed by the tribe of children. Parks finds Melanie by the blazing tower, but is infected by the spores. He cries over the inevitable end of the world, whereas Melanie simply states it’s just “not yours anymore”. He hands Melanie his sidearm, and she tearfully obliges and shoots him as he is about to turn. Melanie then returns to the lab. Helen, standing just inside the hermetically sealed door, fearfully watches as the released spores fall around the lab.The film ends with a tearful Helen awakening, secure but imprisoned inside the sealed mobile med lab. Outside, the second generation hybrid children of the army base, along with the feral children sit together, kept sternly in place by Melanie. Helen speaks through a microphone, once again to educate the children.The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)The Girl with All the Gifts is a solid movie in it’s own right, but it stands amongst the very best zombie movies. It certainly gives 28 Days Later… a run for its money, both in it’s use of it’s low- budget and it’s re-invention of the zombie trope. It’s another fresh new take on a genre perpetually at risk of going stale, but finding itself constantly injected with more creativity and imagination.

REVIEW: THE WORLD’S END

CAST
Simon Pegg (Run Fat Boy Run)
Nick Frost (Paul)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Pierce Brosnan (After The Sunset)
David Bradley (Game of Thrones)
Michael Smiley (Perfume)
Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes)
Rafe Spall (Prometheus)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
Alice Lowe (Prevenge)
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Gary King (Simon Pegg), a middle-aged alcoholic, tracks down his estranged schoolfriends and persuades them to complete “the Golden Mile”, a pub crawl encompassing the 12 pubs of their hometown of Newton Haven. The group had previously attempted the crawl as teenagers in 1990 but failed to reach the final pub, The World’s End. Gary arrives in Newton Haven with friends Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost), and they begin the crawl. In the second pub, the group is briefly joined for a drink by Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike), whose affections Gary and Steven fought over in school. At the third pub, Gary is turned away due to being barred as a teenager, but drinks some beer left behind on a table outside. In the toilets of the fourth pub, Gary picks a fight with a teenager and knocks his head off, exposing a blue blood-like liquid and subsequently exposing him as an alien android. Gary’s friends join him and fight more androids, whom they refer to as “blanks” to disguise what they are talking about.
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They decide to continue the pub crawl so as not to make the androids suspicious of their actions, as Gary had told various people that they were doing the Golden Mile. At the seventh pub, the group runs into Sam again. In the garden, Gary, Sam and Steven get into a fight with androids impersonating Sam’s twin friends, making Sam convinced of the androids’ invasion after previously not believing Gary. At the eighth pub, androids impersonating attractive girls from their youth attempt to seduce Gary, Andy and Peter, while Basil, a man whom they had spoken to in their previous pub crawl in 1990 and who had been known for making wild theories, explains to Steven the details of the android invasion. At the ninth pub, Guy Shepherd (Pierce Brosnan), their old schoolteacher, encourages them to accept their fate and be replaced by androids. Andy realises that Oliver has been replaced with an android after seeing the return of his birthmark, which he had earlier told he had removed with cosmetic laser treatment, and crushes his head with a barstool. Another fight breaks out and the group scatters. Gary and Sam escape the pub together and Gary tells her to leave for her own safety.
Once reunited, the four remaining friends accuse each other of having been replaced by androids, but prove that they are human. At this point, it is revealed that earlier in their adult life, Gary had betrayed Andy and allowed him to be arrested and almost killed, explaining Andy’s hostility towards Gary. The androids close in on the group and capture Peter after he picks a fight with the android representing his former childhood enemy, but Gary is determined to finish the pub crawl. However, Andy refuses and demands that they return to London, knocking Gary out in the process to make him go with them. Andy and Steven find that to get to the car, they must go through the tenth pub, where Gary wakes up. After having his tenth pint, he decides to carry on alone, which leads to Andy chasing after him. After quickly having a drink at the eleventh pub, he runs towards the final pub, the World’s End. Steven is overwhelmed by the androids while attempting to drive the car away, and Andy continues to chase Gary towards the final pub.
At the World’s End, Andy confronts Gary. In the quarrel, Andy reveals that his wife has left him, and realises that Gary attempted suicide in the years since school. As he tries to stop Gary from drawing his final pint, they discover a hidden chamber and are reunited with Steven. A disembodied alien entity, the Network (Bill Nighy), reveals that the limited android invasion has been responsible for all of humanity’s advances in telecommunications in recent decades, bringing humanity closer together as a first step to joining the galaxy’s community of planets. The Network offers the men the chance to contribute to Earth joining the galactic community, even offering them eternal youth by becoming androids, but they refuse as they point out the numerous flaws in The Network’s plan. Exasperated, the Network abandons the invasion after Gary manages to prove that the Network had to replace nearly all of the citizens in the town to make it acceptable enough for its standards. Sam arrives just in time to drive the group out of Newton Haven as it self-destructs.
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Some time later, Andy recounts this story around a campfire in the ruins of London. The destruction of Newton Haven triggered a worldwide chain reaction that wiped out modern technology and set humanity back to the Dark Ages. The remaining androids have reactivated and are mistrusted by surviving humans. Andy’s marriage has recovered, Steven is in a relationship with Sam, android Peter returned to his family, and android Oliver returned to his estate agent’s job (with a new head made out of a football). In the ruins of Newton Haven, the now-sober Gary enters a pub with the younger android versions of his friends and orders five glasses of water. When the bartender refuses to serve androids, Gary draws a sword and leads his android friends into a brawl.
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From the opening minutes, you’re just completely hooked by Pegg’s hugely endearing wackiness and charisma.  I really like the way this film blends laugh-out-loud comedy with intense fantasy action violence, as this makes it very original. And the fight scenes aren’t overly tacky or cheesy. They’re all very well choreographed and polished. A great comedy that can be watched again and again.

REVIEW: THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM

CAST
Matt Damon (Dogma)
Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook)
David Straithairn (L.A. Confidential)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of The Lambs)
Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz)
Edgar Ramirez (Wrath of The Titans)
Albert Finney (Big Fish)
Joan Allen (The Notebook)
Daniel Bruhl (Captain America: Civil War)
Scott Adkins (X-Men Origins)
Following his pursuit by Kirill, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) evades Moscow police. Six weeks later, CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) divulges the audiotaped confession of Ward Abbott, the late former head of Operation Treadstone, to Director Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn). Meanwhile, in Turin, journalist Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) of The Guardian meets an informant to learn about Jason and Operation Blackbriar, the program succeeding Treadstone. The CIA tracks Ross as he returns to London, after his mention of “Blackbriar” during a cell-phone call to his editor is detected by the ECHELON system. Jason reappears in Paris to inform Martin Kreutz (Daniel Brühl), the step-brother of his girlfriend Marie Helena Kreutz (Franka Potente) of her assassination in India.
Jason reads Ross’s articles and arranges a meeting with him at London Waterloo station. Jason realizes that the CIA is following Ross and helps him evade capture, but Ross ignores Jason’s instructions, despite warning him and is quickly assassinated by Blackbriar assassin Paz (Edgar Ramirez), on orders of Deputy Director Noah Vosen (David Straithairn) right in front of the crowd of citizens. Vosen’s team, reluctantly assisted by Landy, analyzes Ross’s notes and realize Neal Daniels (Colin Stinton), a CIA Station chief involved with Treadstone and Blackbriar, was his source. Jason makes his way to Daniels’s office in Madrid but finds it empty. He incapacitates gunmen sent by Vosen and Landy. Nicolette “Nicky” Parsons (Julia Stiles), a former Treadstone technician who shares a history with Jason, tells him that Daniels has fled to Tangier and aids his escape from an arriving CIA unit.
Nicky learns that Blackbriar “asset” Desh Bouksani (Joey Ansah) has been tasked with killing Daniels. Vosen sees that Nicky accessed information about Daniels and sends Bouksani after Nicky and Jason as well, a decision with which Landy fiercely disagrees. Jason follows Bouksani to Daniels but fails to prevent Daniels’s death by a planted bomb. However, Jason manages to kill Bouksani before he can kill Nicky. After sending Nicky into hiding, Jason examines the contents of Daniels’s briefcase and finds the address of the deep-cover CIA bureau in New York City, where Vosen directs Blackbriar. Jason travels to New York.
Landy receives a phone call from Jason, which is intercepted by Vosen. Landy tells him that his real name is David Webb and mentions “4-15-71”. Bourne tells Landy to “get some rest” because she “look[s] tired”, tipping off his presence in New York. Vosen intercepts a text to Landy from Jason, apparently of a location to meet up and leaves his office with a rendition team to capture him. Instead, Jason enters Vosen’s office and takes classified Blackbriar documents. Realizing that he has been hoodwinked, Vosen sends Paz after Jason, resulting in Paz forcing Jason’s car to crash into a concrete barrier. Jason holds Paz at gunpoint before sparing his life.
Jason arrives at a hospital at 415 East 71st Street, memories of which were triggered by the numbers that Landy had given him earlier. Outside, Jason meets Landy and gives her the Blackbriar files before going inside. Vosen figures out Landy’s code and warns Dr. Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney), who ran Treadstone’s behavior modification program, that Jason is coming. He follows Landy inside the building but is too late to stop her from faxing the Blackbriar documents out. Meanwhile, Jason encounters Hirsch on an upper floor and, with Hirsch’s help, remembers that he volunteered for Treadstone. As Jason flees to the roof, he is confronted by Paz, who asks, “Why didn’t you take the shot?” Jason repeats the dying words of The Professor: “Look at us. Look at what they make you give.” Paz lowers his gun, but Vosen appears and shoots at Jason as he collapses into the East River.
Some time later, Nicky watches a news broadcast about the exposure of Operation Blackbriar, the arrests of Hirsch and Vosen, a criminal investigation against Kramer, and the whereabouts of David Webb a.k.a. Jason Bourne. Upon hearing that his body has not been found after a three-day search of the river, Nicky smiles. Jason is shown having survived from his attempted killing and swims away.
Wonderful. It just keeps on getting better., every new Bourne film improves on the last and this is, without a doubt, the best of them.

 

 

 

REVIEW: HOT FUZZ

CAST
Simon Pegg (Star Trek)
Nick Frost (Paul)
Matin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Stuart Wilson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3)
Paul Freeman (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie)
Timothy Dalton (Flash Gordon)
Jim Broadbent (Gangs of New York)
Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Rafe Spall (Prometheus)
Stephen Merchant (The Big Bang Theory)
Rory McCann (Game of Thrones)
Lucy Punch (Into The Woods)
Cate Blanchett (Hanna)
Olivia Coleman (The Favourite)
Bill Bailey (Chalet Girl)
Edward Woodward (The Wicker Man)
Alice Lowe (Prevenge)
David Bradley (The World’s End)
Steve Coogan (Philomena)
Peter Jackson (King Kong)
Police Constable Nicholas Angel, a high-achieving member of the Metropolitan Police Service, is promoted to Sergeant but it comes with being transferred to the village of Sandford, Gloucestershire, for being too good at his job while making his colleagues look bad by comparison due to his skills. Angel finds the town is generally devoid of any crime, with its local Neighbourhood Watch Alliance (NWA) helping to keep the peace as everyone prepares for the “Village of the Year” award contest. Angel finds minor instances of disorderly conduct, during which he confiscates a shed full of unlicensed fire arms including a naval mine, pursues an escaped swan, and arrests a drunk driver who turns out to be his new partner PC Danny Butterman, the son of town chief Inspector, Frank Butterman.
Just as Sgt. Angel begins to despair at Sandford’s apparent tranquility, the town is struck by a series of deaths. Angel begins to suspect a serial killer is afoot and that the murders are linked, although Danny seems more concerned with discussing his love of action and buddy cop films. Furthermore, the rest of the police force refuse to believe the deaths were deliberate and pass them off as mere accidents. Eventually, Angel’s investigations lead him to accuse the local supermarket manager, NWA member Simon Skinner, of the murders, but is rebuffed when Skinner’s alibi is backed up by video footage. Dejected, Angel considers the possibility of more than one killer being involved, but after this idea is shot down by Inspector Butterman, he returns home. As he opens his door, though, Angel is attacked by a cloaked figure, who turns out to be an employee at Skinner’s supermarket. Angel subdues the man, then impersonates him over a walkie-talkie to discover Skinner’s whereabouts.
Arriving at a meeting of the Sandford NWA, Angel confronts the group and tries to arrest them. They confess they are collectively carrying out the murders of any residents who could cause Sandford not to be crowned Village of the Year. Inspector Butterman then reveals himself to be the leader of the group, explaining that he is motivated by the memory of his late wife Irene, who committed suicide after her efforts to win that title were foiled by a group of “gypsies”. Upon hearing this, the Sergeant is forced to flee, but he becomes trapped in a crypt where he discovers the bodies of the NWA’s ill-fated victims. It seems that Angel is about to be caught, when Danny suddenly appears and stabs him, causing the Sergeant to lose consciousness. He awakens in Danny’s car, where the younger Butterman reveals he only faked Angel’s murder to cover his escape. Danny begs his partner to leave Sandford for his own safety.
Initially Angel plans to follow Danny’s wishes, but has a change of heart en route to London when he notices some of Danny’s favourite films for sale at a service station. He proceeds to return to Sandford, arms himself with the previously confiscated guns, and reunites with Danny. After a firefight with NWA townsfolk, the two policemen rally their fellow officers and besiege Skinner’s supermarket, eventually forcing Skinner to flee. Angel and Danny give chase, catching up to Skinner in the village’s miniature scale-model town and confronting both him and the elder Butterman, in turn. Sgt. Angel and Danny finally succeed in arresting them, after a fist fight and a swan-induced car crash.
Some time later, Angel declines a request to return to his job on the London force to remain in Sandford. As he and the other police officers process paperwork related to their recent activities, the last NWA member at liberty, Prof. Weaver, bursts into the station and attempts to kill Sgt. Angel. As the officers attempt to disarm him, he stumbles into the confiscated sea mine and triggers it. Angel and the others manage to survive the ensuing explosion which destroys the station. One year later, Angel and Danny are in charge of the Sandford Police as Inspector and Sergeant, respectively.
The film certainly keeps you entertained and interested. Its a sort of who-dunnit with a funny twist. If you love British humour, you will probably like this movie.