Review: Cuban Fury (2014)

Cuban Fury

Built upon an original idea conceived by star and producer Nick Frost himself, Cuban Fury is a million miles away from the films Frost’s name has become synonymous with – and not solely because this one sees him dance. Yet thanks to his indomitable craft, the heart-warming, inspiring message at its core and its crowd-pleasing nature, the film is, by and large, a success, though not one that leaves a particularly lasting impression. Continue reading “Review: Cuban Fury (2014)”

Review: The World’s End (2013)

The World's End

Nine years after the release of Shaun Of The Dead, and five years after Hot Fuzz, The Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy draws to a sufficient, if unexceptional, close with The World’s End. Reuniting director Edgar Wright with stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, The World’s End is an amusing, heartwarming and nostalgia-filled comedy adventure that works well at the time, but leaves little to chew on once the end credits have rolled. Continue reading “Review: The World’s End (2013)”

Chris O’Dowd, Nick Frost & More Join British Comedy Cuban Fury

Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Nick Frost (Attack The Block), Rashida Jones (I Love You Man) and Olivia Colman (The Iron Lady) have signed up to star in new British comedy Cuban Fury, Variety has learned.

Marking James Griffiths’ directorial debut, and boasting a screenplay from British television writer Jon Brown (Fresh Meat), Cuban Fury centers on a down-on-his-luck man (Frost) who reignites his passion for salsa dancing thanks to his Continue reading “Chris O’Dowd, Nick Frost & More Join British Comedy Cuban Fury”

Review: The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (2011)

An avid fan, and the sole person trusted by Hergé to adapt his comic books, Steven Spielberg joins forces with Peter Jackson to bring the iconic drawings to life through the art of motion capture: a method which both filmmakers believe unrivalled for representing the author’s bewitching world.

Combining elements from three of Hergé’s celebrated tales, The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn centres on plucky newspaper reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his attempts to find the treasure of Sir Francis Continue reading “Review: The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn (2011)”

Review: Attack The Block (2011)

Attack The Block is a low-budget British sci-fi blockbuster from writer/producer extraordinaire Joe Cornish, starring a mix of established actors and unknowns engaged in an intense battle for their meagre council estate in South London.

The film begins with young nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) being mugged by a horde of teenagers from her South London housing estate, when they are interrupted by something large falling onto a nearby car. The action immediately switches to the youths confronting and killing a vicious, unearthly creature – unknowingly making themselves the target of an invasion of flesh-ripping aliens.

The premise may seem straightforward, but Cornish injects the script with such warmth, humour, action, violence and thrills that it evolves from a low-budget sci-fi film into something much larger. He finds that elusive dynamic that makes an instantly timeless blockbuster, which is as much a nail-biting action-thriller as it is an amusing character study.

The fact that the action remains within the surrounding environment of the titular “block” makes the film feel even more claustrophobic, realistic and altogether climactic. However, by littering the film with witty dialogue, playful characters and a wonderfully fanciful yet astute premise, Attack The Block manages to be hardcore and genuinely frightening, while never taking things too far and losing its earthy charm.

Cornish’s direction complements the confined action superbly. By layering it with throwbacks to 1980’s filmmaking, Cornish keeps the special effects, gimmicks and tricks to a minimum. Instead, he opts for laid back, restrained camera angles, letting the actors, action and scenery spur on events and take centre stage. The similarities to John Carpenter films are uncanny, but Cornish is bold and defiant enough to put his own mark on the creature feature genre.

The alien effects are almost entirely practical, and are exposed magnificently through abrupt snatches of ruthless imagery that’s reminiscent of several cult-classic horror films, including An American Werewolf In London and Ghostbusters. Their rugged design is blazingly original, making them undeniably more figurative than most mega-budget Hollywood beasts. A few subtle CGI enhancements add visceral gloss without ever ruining the authenticity of the aliens and supplementary gang war.

The cast, which is splendidly comprised of three known UK actors – Whittaker, Nick Frost and Luke Treadaway – alongside a smorgasbord of unknown teenagers, are uniformly top-notch. Frost delivers an over-the-top yet wonderfully humorous turn as Ron, Whittaker plays Sam with a captivating naivety and earthiness, and Treadaway brilliantly captures the personality of a posh stoner. Meanwhile, John Boyega stands out from amongst the unknowns, giving a powerful and genuinely unnerving performance as Moses.

The casting itself gives the film an extra layer of realism, as most of the actors were handpicked from council estates and youth clubs around London. Moreover, the willingness to address many current questions about war, racism, and violence in today’s society allows the film to remain level headed and appealing to a wide viewership. It’s unlikely to leave many feeling unimpressed or unaffected.

All in all, Attack The Block is a thoroughly entertaining, truly original, strikingly executed and – in my opinion – instantaneously classic British sci-fi cross-breed. It’s a film that simply cannot be missed.

Poster: Attack The Block

Director – Joe Cornish

Starring – Nick Frost, Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway and Joey Ansah

Review: Paul (2011)

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite in yet another bromance buddy film, this time from director Greg Motolla.

Paul sees two best friends, Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) embark upon a tour of UFO landing sites after visiting Comic-Con in San Diego. Fleeing into the night after angering some aggressive rednecks, they have a chance encounter with Paul (Seth Rogen), a wise-cracking alien who implores them to take him with them before he gets dragged back to Area 51.

All too keen to indulge in a geek fantasy, the two nerds stash Paul in the back of their rented RV and attempt to return him to his landing site. But things don’t go quite according to plan when they accidentally kidnap a trailer park attendant (Kristen Wiig) and discover that they have an FBI agent on their trail (Jason Bateman).

For the most part, the story is solid. It impressively finds the right balance between road movie and alien flick, and results in an old fashioned, grand, amped-up final showdown.

Motolla’s direction, however, is all-too tame and demonstrates that a Pegg and Frost film is banal without their counterpart Edgar Wright. Mottola makes a commendable effort, but is clearly out of his comfort zone.

Pegg and Frost, even without Wright, put their real-life friendship to good use and create a likable duo, with naturally blowing, witty banter and individualistic personalities, enough to differentiate them from their previous on-screen personaes.

Seth Rogen proves to be a inspired choice for Paul, reminding audiences he is in fact a talented actor, and not the one hit wonder he was in danger of becoming. And Kristen Wiig, in her first mainstream film, shows off her natural comedic talent, getting her own fair share of laughs in amongst an already headstrong cast.

Jane Lynch and Sigourney Weaver, though awarded with limited screen time, both bring a remarkable sweet-wise quality to their respective roles, making you ache for more.

Paul is an adequately enlivening Saturday night movie, with gratifying gags, a savvy cast and enough sci-fi references to keep everyone happy.