11th Dec2016

The Pass (Film)

by timbaros

19-arinze-kene-ade-russell-tovey-jason-smallTwo footballer players end up scoring with each other in Ben A. Williams feature film debut ‘The Pass,’ which was recently featured at London’s BFI Film Festival.

‘The Pass’ take place in a ten year time span which tracks the relationship between two Premiership football players. There’s always been some kind of chemistry and attraction between James (an electric and very good Russell Tovey) and Ade (Arinzé Kene – Hollyoaks – also very good). We meet both of them while they’re sharing a hotel room in 2006 in Bulgaria right before one of their first big matches. They’re both very young, and they’re also both very fit, masculine and extremely sexy, and they spend the first third of the movie in their tight white underwear. James and Ade are talking lads stuff, having a laugh about other players, and watching a video that was taken of another player having sex. The sex talk continues, and the banter goes something like ‘getting as hard as your sister sitting on my face.’ They’re playing around with each other; it’s hot, it’s erotic, it gets brutal, and homophobic, plus, we find out later, it leads to more than just talk.

‘The Pass’ takes us beyond the hotel room to tell us the story of the relationship between these two men, but especially about the relationship James has with himself. He’s all man, a star footballer, with all the trappings of stardom; money, women, celebrity, and eventually a wife with two kids. But he’s also battling with his sexuality, and even though he buys whatever, and whomever, he wants when he wants it, the thing he wants most is out of his reach. And when he’s questioned about his sexuality by a woman who has been paid to videotape having sex with him, he wants to go through with it, just to prove to the world (and obviously to himself) that he’s not gay. He’a a man who is not able to accept who he is and who he really wants to be with.

‘The Pass’ is 88 minutes of purely charged up adrenaline. It’s a movie that’s full of dialogue, dialogue that goes from playful banter to sexually-charged hi-jinks, up to and including the final third scene of the movie, which involves a hotel bellboy that’s a bit over the top. But it’s not to take away from a movie that brings up a real issue – that there is not one out gay football player in the game now. Let’s hope this film opens up the dialogue that it’s fine for a player to come out of the closet. Originally produced for the Royal Court Theatre in 2014, ’The Pass’ makes an excellent transition to the big screen. Kene brings a real toughness kindled with a bit of softness to his role, but it’s Tovey who owns the movie. He’s never been better; his James is battling with his sexuality while at the same time trying to uphold his image. Tovey is electrifying and is at the top of his game. This is one pass that you have to catch.

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04th Dec2016

Chi-Raq (Film)

by timbaros
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Chicago has such a high murder rate that from 2003 to 2011 there were more murders there than in the same years in the Iraq war. On one Independence Day, 55 people were murdered. And in one year alone, 400 school kids were shot. With stats like this, a film with a message about violence and murder in the Windy City is seriously needed. But don’t expect it from Spike Lee’s new film called ‘Chi-raq’ (Chicago and Iraq).

What we do get instead is a musical drama where woman ‘take away the pussy’ from the men in order to stop them from using their guns. This is triggered by the death of a local girl who is the daughter of a church going religious momma (Jennifer Hudson). This in turns leads Lysistrata (yes, that’s her character’s name – and she’s played brilliantly by Teyonah Parris), to withhold sex from her boyfriend Demetrius, whose nickname is ‘Chi-raq (a surprisingly good turn by an unrecognizable and very buffed up Nick Cannon a/k/a the former Mr. Mariah Carey). Lysistrata rallies her girlfriends to do the same, and they all band together to declare ‘no peace, no pussy’ while wholed up in an armory in downtown Chicago (the scene where Lysistrata seduces the general in charge of the armory is got to be the most ridiculous scene this year). This sex strike makes the men crazy, they’re missing their women, and even the mayor’s wife joins the strike, causing him (played by D.B. Sweeney) to intervene in this major crises that’s taking place in his city, and, of course, right before a re-election.

It’s the women who take center stage in this movie; they’re sexy and hot and all of them seem to be wearing very little clothing, and what they do wear is extremely provocative – tight fitting tops and shorts – with padlocks over their crotches (yes, for real). It’s quite misogynistic. It all comes to a head when Lysistrata and Demetrius have a sort of sex-off to resolve the crises that’s televised live for everyone to see. Really stupid stuff there.

Spike Lee has a voice and the talent to make a film that could’ve highlighted the problems and issues dealing with Chicago’s murder rate, but instead he’s written, produced and co-wrote a satire/comedic farce that can’t decide whether it’s a musical, a tragi-comedy, or something so surreal and stupid that you can’t believe that it’s is unfolding right before your very eyes. The cast is first rate, including Angela Bassett as a woman who had a daughter that was killed by a stray bullet, and John Cusak as the local white priest who has to preside over the many funerals that take place in the black neighborhood. The music is excellent and the locations and cinematography are all first rate. Samuel Jackson is ridiculous as a narrator who pops up every now and then wearing very bright colored suits – his role is a distraction that doesn’t really help the film’s narrative. ‘Chi-raq’ was released in U.S. Cinemas in 2015 and was a commercial bomb, making only $2.7 million from a budget of $15 million. It’s a film that’s likely to recoup it’s costs back – deversedly so.

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26th Nov2016

A United Kingdom (Film)

by timbaros

thumb-image2The story of an African King who meets and falls in love with a British office worker is told in the middling film A United Kingdom.

Why do I use the term ‘middling’ to describe this film? Because it’ just that – middling – it goes through the motions – it tells a story like someone who is reading a book in monotone voice – there’s not much life or excitement to it.

If it wasn’t for David Oleyowo who plays Seretse Khama, ‘A United Kingdom’ would not be worth the watch. He is electrifying as Khama, a future king of African nation Bechuanaland who, while in London studying in 1947, meets plain and simple office worker Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), and they instantly fall in love (the scene where they set eyes on each other for the first time looks very staged and thereby unrealistic). But their love was not meant to be, Khama’s uncle, who was the king as Khama’s father had passed away, forbade him from marrying this pasty white woman – and she looked nothing like the women from his tribe whom Khama was expected to marry.

But there were not only problems from his side, Ruth’s father was very disappointed in her choice to date, and eventually, a black man – he didn’t approve of the relationship. But this was the least of their worries. The British government stepped in to meddle in their romance – they attempted to prevent the couple from getting married in the church fearing that their marriage would destabilise the British government’s relationship with it’s colonies in Africa. When Khama and his new bride Ruth do go back to Bechuanaland, he then returns back to the UK to get the British government to recognize his marriage, however, they then forbade him from going back to his homeland while Ruth, all alone except for the tribeswomen who eventually came around and accepted her, gives birth to their first child. Their interracial marriage was one of the first for it’s time, and for some reason not many people have heard of this historic relationship until now.

But A United Kingdom, directed by Amma Asante (Belle), tells the story like a playbook. It’s as if each scene was shot just as it was written, then the filmmakers went on to shoot the next scene, while failing miserably to make the scenes look believable and have emotion to them at all. And it’s Pike’s performance that also brings down the movie. She was excellent as the spurned girlfriend in Gone Girl, but as the romantic lead of a very important story about a love affair that almost changed the world, she just can’t carry it. She just doesn’t have the facial emotions nor the likability of a woman that a future king would risk all just because he’s in love with her. This film is based on extraordinary events, but the film itself is in no way extraordinary.

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20th Nov2016

Panic (Film)

by timbaros

image-17-11-2016-at-18-38Andrew (David Gyasi) is afraid to leave his apartment, but when the attractive oriental neighbor in the building across the street from his apartment disappears, he is determined to overcome his fears to find her.

Due to an altercation that resulted in him being knifed, music journalist Andrew conducts his work, and affairs, in his home. But when Amy (Pippa Nixon), a married woman he meets online, comes over for a hanky panky session, she’s witnesses through the window a man beating up a woman, a woman who Andrew is infatuated with. Andrew is concerned for her safety, and he wants Amy to go with him to tell the police, but she’s doesn’t want to (her husband will then find out she was at Andrew’s flat), so it’s up to Andrew to investigate her disappearance himself. This means overcoming his fear of leaving his flat, which he ultimately does, which then takes him to a seedy underworld of Chinese gangsters and human trafficking. His life gets threatened but will he be able to locate the woman while at the same time not getting himself killed at the same time?

‘Panic’ is writer/director Sean Spencer’s striking feature film debut. It’s a very good debut – Spencer keeps the suspense going throughout the film – especially when Andrew is navigating his way in London’s underworld. Shot over eighteen days in East London, with some scenes shot in unbroken takes, ‘Panic’ gives us a fictional account where migrant labor and the criminal world intersect. Fine acting and an excellent score by Christopher Nicholas Bangs perfectly set up the scenes of confusion and paranoia, scenes that are part of Andrew’s, and perhaps ours, daily life.

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06th Nov2016

Nocturnal Animals (Film)

by timbaros
50805_AA_4609_v2F Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

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Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release.
Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling.

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.

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23rd Oct2016

I, Daniel Blake (Film)

by timbaros

i-daniel-blake-3A middle aged man is down on his luck. He can’t work because he’s got a heart condition while at the same time he’s having trouble navigating the UK’s benefits system. He is I, Daniel Blake and it’s a film that opened this weekend.

I, Daniel Blake, which won the Palme d’Or at this years Cannes Film Festival, and directed by Ken Loach, is the story of one man, in Newcastle, and the trials and tribulations, and the humiliation and despair, he goes through in an attempt to receive benefits he thinks he’s entitled to. Stand up comedian Dave Johns eloquently plays Blake, a man with so much heartbreak and despair where nothing goes his way.

We first meet Blake after he’s had a heart attack and can’t work anymore. So he applies for Employment and Support Allowance, but first he must go through a rigorous telephone assessment by a health care professional who asks him some very intrusive questions. He then heads to the Jobcente where me meets single mom Katie (Hayley Squires). She’s got two kids and has just been moved from London to Newcastle by the system because Newcastle is a cheaper place to house people on benefits. She barely has two dimes to rub together, and her and Blake form a special bond. He’s there to help her around her house, he’s their to support her in any way possible, even after she shoplifts. And he’s there at her side when she makes a wrong decision to earn money. But it’s Blake who is spiralling down a hole; he can’t apply for benefits online because he’s never used a computer. Then he’s been judged fit to work, so his benefits stop, however he doesn’t have a C.V. to look for work so he handwrites one. More despair comes his way when he is told that he’s doesn’t qualify for any benefit so he has to wait for a ‘decision maker’ to decide his fate, while Katie has to rely on the local food bank in order to feed her family. It’s one thing after another for both in this very bleak film that shows how life really must be for people on benefits.

Johns, who has very few acting credits, is superb as Blake. He beautifully portrays a man down on luck who keeps losing his optimism and will to live along the way. Squires is just as good trying to survive in a town where she doesn’t know anyone with two kids who need to eat and have new clothes for school. Loach, who is British born, harshly displays the reality of the UK’s benefits system for people who are really in need, people who lose their dignity, navigating a system that works against them and not for them. As Blake says in the film: “When you lost your self respect, you’re done for.” This film is a wake up call with a strong message that this could happen to anyone of us.

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22nd Oct2016

Photos from the London Film Festival – Film

by timbaros

The stars came out for the BFI London Film Festival, and The Entertainment Website was at almost every single gala! Here’s a selection of photos:
img_1147 img_0975 img_0996 img_1054 img_1180 img_1144-1 img_1127From top left: Clare Stewart, LFF Director with Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio presenting their documentary ‘Before the Flood;’ Steward with David Oyelowo and Lupita N’yongo at the gala for ‘Queen of Katwe;’ Stewart, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner at the gala for ‘Arrival;’ Stewart with the producers and Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel at the gala for ‘Lion;’ Stewart with Director Ben Wheatley and star Armie Hammer, among others, at the closing night gala for ‘Free Fire;’ Director Oliver Stone, Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson at the gala for ‘Snowden;’ and Michael Fassbender along with the writer and director at the screening of ‘Trespass Against Us.’

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06th Oct2016

BFI London Film Festival has started (Film)

by timbaros

bfi-london-film-festival-2016This year’s BFI London Film Festival looks to be one of the best in recent memory. The schedule is loaded with lots of must-see films by A-list filmmakers and A-list stars.

Here’s just a small selection of what’s on offer:

20151102-_auk0605_h_color-1mgThe Opening Night Gala on Wednesday October 5th is ‘A United Kingdom.’ David Oyelowo plays Sir Seretse Kharma, an African president who marries a white English woman – it’s a postwar relationship that shocked two continents. Rosamund Pike plays the English woman; the film is directed by Amma Asante (‘Belle’).

‘King Cobra’ is definitely one of the most scandalous films shown at the festival. A young man travels to Los Angeles at the urging of a sleazy gay porn producer (Christian Slater) to be his next star. A parallel story has James Franco as another gay porn producer who is in a relationship with his young male star. There’s lots of skin in this film which is based on the real life story of former gay porn star Brent Corrigan.

A film getting lots of excellent buzz is ‘Moonlight.’ It takes place in Miami in the 1980’s and focuses on one man’s journey through three stages of his life. He’s black and gay, and we witness key moments that made him the man he is. Compelling, with excellent performances all around. Naomie Harris plays his crack-addicted mother.

‘The 13th’ is a documentary that uses archival footage and contemporary interviews to discuss what the American constitution’s 13th amendment means to people of color in this day and age of Black Lives Matter.

la_la_land_dancingExpect ‘La La Land’ to garner lots of acclaim during next year’s awards season. It’s Director Damien Chazelle’s (‘Whiplash’) bitter-sweet love letter to Los Angeles and the golden era of Hollywood musicals, bringing together an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and a struggling musician (Ryan Gosling).

‘Manchester by the Sea’ has Casey Affleck giving an indelible performance as Lee, a man whose sparse existence is suddenly ruptured when the death of his brother Joe forces him to return to the hometown he abandoned years ago. Also stars Michelle Williams.

Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair.

Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair.

‘The Queen of Katwe’ is based on the true story of young Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi. Despite being unable to read or write, she has a natural aptitude for strategic thinking. Starring Lupita Nyong’o and introducing Madina Nalwanga as Mutesi.

Science fiction film ‘Arrival’ has Amy Adams, alongside scientist Jeremy Renner, as a linguistics professor who is brought into the government to decipher the language when a group of extra-terrestrials make contact. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario).

‘London Town’ is set in 1979 when a bright-eyed teenager attempts to juggle too many responsibilities and falls for a confident punk and together they experience the music scene that’s a whole new world to them.

Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) plays a man who was orphaned in India and brought up by adoptive parents in Australia in ‘Lion.’ He soon discovers the truth about his origins. It’s a real-life story on the life of Saroo Brierly; Nicole Kidman plays his adoptive mother and Rooney Mara plays his girlfriend.

What would happen if a famous and well-known footballer was gay? Well, in ‘The Pass,’ two aspiring Premier League footballers (Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene) share a passionate night while sharing a hotel room right before a big game, a night which profoundly impacts Tovey’s characters life. Hard-hitting stuff with great performances.

Wonderkind director Xavier Dolan (Lawrence Anyways) presents his latest film ‘It’s Only the End of the World.’ A terminally ill writer returns home to break the news of his debilitating condition to his estranged family. It’s lots of sadness and sorrow – typical of a Dolan movie. With Marion Cottilard.

50805_AA_4609_v2F Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Tom Ford presents his second film (the first was the well-received ‘A Single Man’) with ‘Nocturnal Animals.’ One of the festivals must-see films, the film focuses on Susan (Amy Adams), a glamorous and accomplished Los Angeles gallery director whose current marriage appears to be unravelling, and who fuels her insomnia by reading the manuscript of a disturbing novel – written and sent to her by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal). Expect lots of lush scenery and fabulous costumes. With Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

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Oliver Stone directs and Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in ‘Snowden,’ a supercharged political thriller about Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked classified information from the United States National Security Agency in 2013. This film is a dramatic recreation of ‘Citizen Four’ – the documentary about reporter Laura Poitras (played by Melissa Leo) and journalist Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Pinto) and their many meetings with Snowden.

The Closing Night gala, on Sunday October 16th, is Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’ (he directed last year’s poorly received ‘High Rise’). It’s the tale of gangsters and guns set in Boston in the 1970’s. A top level cast includes Cillian Murphy and recent Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson.

The 60th BFI London Film Festival will screen a total of 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, including 18 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, and 39 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 144 short films, including documentary, live action and animated works.

Taking place over 12 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Vue West End and the iconic Odeon Leicester Square; central London venues – BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – the Ritzy in Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse and Curzon Chelsea. Festival visitors will be able to enjoy a brand new cinema experience with Competition and Strand Galas presented at the new Embankment Garden Cinema, in the beautiful Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Stars so far confirmed to walk on the red carpet include: Oyelowo, Pike, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls), Casey Affleck, Adams, Tovey, Nyong’o, Renner, Kidman, Patel, Ford and Taylor-Johnson, and Cotillard.
Festival Information & Ticket Booking:

Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
Online: www.bfi.org.uk/lff

In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:00 – 20:30

THE 60TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS®

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02nd Oct2016

Deepwater Horizon (Film)

by timbaros
  • dwh_d42_12682_r_crop-credit-david-leeIn what is the best action dramatic thriller you’ll see so far this year, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ delivers on all levels. It’s also very inspirational and heartbreaking as we all know it’s a true story.

On April 20th, 2010, eleven men were killed when their drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded, creating the worst oil spill in history. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ tells the events leading up to the disaster, then the actual explosion, and it’s aftermath and impact on the lives of the people who survived, and is also a tribute to the men who lost their lives.

Directed with much intensity by Peter Berg, a former actor turned director (2013’s Lone Survivor), and starring Mark Wahlberg as the real life Mike Williams – the Transocean chief electronics technician who worked for the company that owned the rig. Williams was the man who was overseeing the rig’s computers and electrical systems at the time of the explosion. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ shows, in detail, how family man Miller was in a race to save as many of the crew as possible, while putting his own life in danger. He also has a wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and daughter back home he desperately wants to get back to.

On that fateful day, the Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deep-water, advanced oil rig owned by the Swiss company Transocean and leased by British Petroleum, was drilling deep in a well named Macondo. What’s ironic is that when the explosion occurred executives from British Petroleum (who chartered the rig) were present because the drilling for oil was 43 days and $50 million behind schedule. John Malkovich plays Donald Vidrine, a BP executive who was there to push the men to complete drilling the well as soon as possible. Against the wishes of Deepwater Horizon’s installation manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell, very effective and in one of his best performances ever), Vidrine orders the crew to perform negative pressure tests (an attempt to lower the pressure inside the well to ensure that the well can withstand that pressure without any leaks). These tests were the catalyst to what happens next; mud, oil and water starts seeping out of the drills, intensifying and then stabilising, but then tragedy strikes. And when it does, everyone is caught off guard, including Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), the 23-year old woman who helped operate the rig’s navigation machinery. The BP executives are shell-shocked, and them and the crew scramble for lifeboats that would lead them to safety, while some men were caught up in the deadly flames. There are harrowing scenes of explosions, fire, and survival that will take your breathe away, and very emotional scenes at the end that will have you reaching for a tissue.

‘Deepwater Horizon’ excels in the way the story is told and shown; we are witness to the emotional and physical impact of the explosion, and we get to experience it with the flames and the crackling of the metal as it comes crashing down. This is thanks to special effects (and the pulsating soundtrack which adds to the intensity) that don’t even look like special effects – the explosion and flames are that intense, so intense that you can practically feel the heat come off the screen. And while some may blame the film for being about one man’s heroic efforts to save everyone (with Wahlberg in action star mode, perhaps maybe a bit too much), Mike Williams did save lots of lives and this is indeed his story, and this film is the chance to tell that story, and it does so extremely well. Berg’s human centred approach to the story brings us closer to the lives of the people who were caught up in the disaster – it’s the human element to the story that is the takeaway – the survivors as well as the dead.

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16th Sep2016

Set the Thames on Fire (Film)

by timbaros

48048e_a24ace3242df4855ae9de50e57f1ade0London is slowly being engulfed by water while two young men attempt to survive in a society that’s gone a bit loony in the new film ‘Set the Thames on Fire.’

Billed as ‘an agony in 3 acts,’ this dystopian fantasy slash black comedy is set in the future where the London we know of today is gone, and there’s water everywhere because the Thames has overflowed, with Monument almost covered half way up in water. There are two levels of society, the rich and the poor, and Art (Michael Winder) and Sal (Max Bennett) fall in the later category. They meet at a cocktail party for the rich – Art is hired to play the piano while Sal, who has just escaped from a psychiatric hospital, gets by on his very good looks.

The men form a bond, and Art invites Sal to stay with him in his dilapidated flat. The landlord, Mrs. Hortense (Sadie Frost) wants the rent from Art but is satisfied when Sal pays her in sexual favors. The men dream of one day leaving for Egypt, escaping the cruel city that London has become, and even more so to escape the evil and ugly Impresario (Gerard McDermott) who now rules over the kingdom. But they encounter many eccentrics and weirdos in the pocket of the city in which they live; a fortune teller (Sally Phillips) who expresses disbelief in her daughter’s stupidity; a mad transvestite (the excellent and scary Noel Fielding) who is quite deranged and who expects both men to perform sexual acts on him; a magician (David Hoyle); and masked policemen who roam the city and kill on the spot – no questions asked. ‘Set the Thames on Fire’ is a buddy movie where two young men try to survive, and attempt to leave, a city that’s pretty much no longer habitable, with the Thames rearing it’s ugly head. It’s first time director Ben Charles Edwards who brings us a film that’s both different yet compelling. Great turns by both leads and a great supporting cast make this film reminiscent of one of Terry Gilliam’s films (‘Brazil’) where society is not what it is today.

Set the Thames on Fire is in cinemas from 16 September, on demand from 19 September and on DVD from 26 September

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12th Sep2016

Theo & Hugo (Film)

by timbaros

theoandhugoheroTwo men meet at one of Paris’ most popular, and notorious, gay sex clubs, and then embark on an evening with lots of twist and turns, in the new film ‘Theo & Hugo.’

You might think you’re watching a gay porn film as the first 20 minutes of ‘Theo & Hugo’ is full on man-to-man action – erections and anal sex are all on full display, filmed at L’Impact – a naked gay sex club in the Marais district in Paris. ‘Theo & Hugo,’ In French, with English subtitles, is shot in real time, and it’s in that club where Theo and Hugo meet, at exactly 4:27 a.m., amongst the writhing and moaning group of men who are all enjoying each others’ company.

While there, Theo & Hugo connect sexually, intimately, and emotionally. They then decide to leave the club together to carry on their night with each other. But what wasn’t discussed while they were having unsafe sex at the club was the use of a condom to prevent HIV transmission, as Hugo (Francois Nambot) tells Theo (Geoffrey Couët) that he is HIV+. What transpires after is a rollercoaster of a night for both of them, when Theo goes to the hospital to get PREP (Post-exposure prophylaxis), medication that should kill any traces of the virus that might be in his system. Romantically, and responsibly, Hugo joins him there. They then wander the streets of Paris, on a night that could turn out to be either very romantic or very tragic, with the ramifications of HIV staring them right in the face, and the possibility that their encounter could be more than just an encounter.

Is ‘Theo & Hugo’ a porn film or is it a film with an important message? This is something that you will have to decide, but nonetheless, it’s guerrilla and gay filmmaking at it’s finest. And Kudos go to the actors for ‘baring it all’ in scenes that are relevant to the message of the film, and to writers and directors Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau for bravely, and successfully, having the balls to make this controversial, yet romantic and engaging film.

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11th Sep2016

Bridget Jones’s Baby Premiere Photos (Film)

by timbaros

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The Entertainment Website went to the European Premiere of Bridget Jones’s Baby in London’s Leicester Square. In attendance was the whole cast and crew, including Renée Zellweger, Emma Thompson,
Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Patrick Dempsey, and Colin Firth, and Director Sharon Maguire and screenwriters Helen Fielding and Dan Mazer. Bridget Jones’s Baby opens in UK cinemas on September 16, 2016. Photos below taken by Tim Baros.

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The cast and crew giving speeches before the start of the film

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Renée Zellweger being interviewed outside of the theatre

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Colin Firth speaking to fans on the pink carpet

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Patrick Dempsey in selfie mode on the pink carpet

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Emma Thompson dashing down the pink carpet

 

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Attendee Freddie Fox mingling with the fans

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Olympic Diver Tom Daley taking selfie with fans on the way into the theatre

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03rd Sep2016

Chicklit (Film)

by timbaros

Bonar & Law at workFour men try to cash in on the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ phenomenom by writing their own racy novel in order to save a local pub in the new film ‘Chicklit.’

Set in a small village in Norfolk, the whole town seems to be reading ‘She Came in Chains,’ a new BDSM book by author Lady Lovelorn, including local newspaper editor David Rose’s (Christian McKay) wife Jen (Caroline Catz). So when the local pub is faced with closing unless a buyer can come up with £300,000 to save it, Rose has an idea – why don’t him and his pals write their own racy novel. So he enlists his card game buddies – pub manager Chris (Tom Palmer), school teacher Justin (David Troughton) and local bookstore owner Marcus (Miles Jupp) to each write their own section of a ‘mommy porn’ novel in the hopes that they can get someone to publish it. Well, David contacts London book agents Bonar and Law (John Hurt and Eileen Atkins), who are very interested in representing the book the men have called ‘Love Let Her.’ They get a publishing deal but with one caveat, they need to have the author available to do book tours and signings. So David enlists his struggling actress sister-in-law Zoe (Dakota Blue Richards) to play the part of the ‘author’ of the book. But with the book becoming a success, it’s harder and harder for them to keep the book’s real authors a secret, and even more so when Zoe starts getting tired of promoting something that is not hers.

‘Chicklit’ is a cute and funny take on chick literature and how almost anyone with an imagination and a computer can write a saucy novel. Filmed like a 1970’s style television show in a small English village with typical local characters, it’s a film that’s both charming and cute. Hurt and Atkins almost steal the movie as the uproarious book agents while the delightful music of Alex Britten (related to Director Tony Brtten who also wrote the film with Oliver Britten – it’s a family affair), who sings as part of the pub’s house band, adds a nice touch. This film is recommended.

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03rd Sep2016

Equity (Film)

by timbaros

equity-is-such-a-good-wall-street-movie-you-almost-forget-that-all-the-characters-are-womenA female investment banker is under pressure to bring to the market a successful IPO but she faces lots of obstacles in the new film ‘Equity.’

Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) is Naomi Bishop, a high-flying banker at Remson Partners who expects to be promoted to Global Head of her division but is hindered by the lackluster performance of her last IPO in a company called Dinosaur. She gets a second chance to lead another IPO in a company called Cachet because she knows the company’s founder Ed (Samuel Roukin). It’s a privacy company that can build social network which are hack-proof. But Bishop all too quickly loses her credibility and business acumen. Her assistant Erin (Sarah Megan Thomas) closes the deal by getting very close to Ed. And Bishop has a very curious (and a former acquaintance) prosecutor Samantha (Alysia Reiner) on her back asking lots of questions, questions that include her relationship with a junior banker at her firm (James Purefoy). Things get more complicated when a former employee at Cachet comes out with info that hurts the IPO putting the deal, and Bishop’s job, in jeopardy.

‘Equity’ tries to bring a fresh perspective on women in the world of banking and finance but fails miserably. Directed and written by women (Meera Menon and Amy Fox with Megan Thomas respectively), the entire plots just doesn’t add up. Bishop is not as smart as one would expect someone in her position to be, thanks to the poor choices, and mistakes, she makes. And her outfit choices are just plain bad. The performances are barely passable but the script definitely isn’t. ‘Equity’ is a sell and not a buy.

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