Review: The Love Punch (2014)

The Love Punch

Many thought that Gambit was the worst caper comedy to be released in years. But little did they know that The Love Punch was right around the corner. With writer and director Joel Hopkins at the helm, whose Last Chance Harvey was a modest treat, this uninspired and woefully unfunny rom-com centres on Kate (Emma Thompson) and Richard (Pierce Brosnan), a divorced couple who decide to steal a costly diamond when a shady businessman strips them of their pensions. Continue reading “Review: The Love Punch (2014)”

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Review: Comes A Bright Day (2012)

Sam (Craig Roberts) is a wannabe businessman who’s found himself stuck as a bellboy for the Mandarin Oriental and its authoritarian, indifferent manager, when all he really wants is to open a restaurant with his best friend Elliot (Anthony Welsh). When on an errand to a local jewellery store, Sam finds himself caught up in a hostage situation by robbers Cameron (Kevin McKidd) and Clegg (Josef Altin). With the aid of store owner, Charlie (Timothy Spall), and his Continue reading “Review: Comes A Bright Day (2012)”

Review: Wake Wood (2011)

Directed by David Keating, Wake Wood is the latest film from the recently revived Hammer Film Productions, and stars Timothy Spall, Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Dan Gordon.

The film centers on the parents of a girl killed by a savage dog who are granted the opportunity to spend three days with their deceased daughter.

Whilst there are a few distinctly stale looking shots that disclose the paltry budget, there’s enough directorial flair from Keating to overcome any unfortunate imperfections, and make him a filmmaker worth keeping an eye on.

The special effects are mostly retro and wonderfully eerie, and though not the most visually memorable horror production, it does engender a suitably unpleasant sense of foreboding, artfully ushering classic Hammer conventions into the 21st century.

The screenplay, however, doesn’t hold up to much analysis, often falling foul to erroneous cliches, but it’s nonetheless a boisterous and disconcerted piece that thrills from start to finish.

Gillen and Birthistle each deliver suitably grim and tormented performances as the grieving couple, while Spall manages to reign in his borderline over-the-top performance to a level of creepiness that chills more than you’d think possible.

Wake Wood is a sly, compelling and notably spooky British horror that astutely reintroduces classic Hammer conventions into modern cinema.

Review: The King’s Speech (2010)

Tom Hooper returns to the period drama genre with The King’s Speech, a subtly told tale of life-long struggles and friendship, set during the build-up to World War II.

The King’s Speech tells the story of King George VI (Colin Firth) who, after his brother abdicates the throne, reluctantly becomes king. Plagued by a stammer, George and his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) enlist the help of unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).

From here, as the characters battle through countless speech sessions, comic fights and heartfelt exchanges, the film builds to a excellent, adrenaline-pumping crescendo, George VI’s first war-time speech.

Firth’s performance as King George VI is remarkable. Not only is he able to portray the character with conviction and believability, but he acquires the stammer as though he’s been plagued with it himself his whole life.

Rush and Carter bring comedy to the film, lifting the tone from morbid period drama to a rousing, and uplifting tale, each holding their own opposite the masterful Firth.

Each of the three actors here should be guaranteed plenty of award nominations, in particular Firth, who has again proved himself as one of Britain’s finest actors.

In addition to the three central leads, there is strong support from Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, Michael Gambon as King George V and Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII.

Hooper handles the material with care and style, producing a clever, humorous and emotional film that will have leave you lost for words.

A must see, by all accounts.