Allan Niblo

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Pudsey The Dog: The Movie Review


Bad

With inept directing and editing and an incoherent script, this film utterly wastes any chance to create a charming little movie around the winner of 2012's Britain's Got Talent competition. Among a multitude of filmmaking sins, director Nick Moore (Horrid Henry: The Movie) never even lets the scruffy-cute dog Pudsey strut his stuff, limiting him to one rather dull trick. And the choppy way the film is assembled makes the audience wonder if the A-listers in the cast were working from the same script.

After being kicked off the set of a period-style movie, Pudsey (voiced by Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams) wanders into London and meets three kids: surly teen Molly (Miekle-Small), her bratty little brother George (Spike White) and their younger sibling Tommy (Malachy Knights), who hasn't said a word since their dad moved out. Their mum Gail (Jessica Hynes) is holding things together best she can, and is just about to move them to the remote village of Chuffington for a fresh start. But Pudsey stows away in their stuff, immediately causing trouble with their new landlord Thorne (John Sessions), who despises dogs. Soon, Jessica and Molly start flirting shamelessly with the nearby hunky farmer Jack (Luke Neal) and his fit teen farmhand Will (Luke Tittensor), while Pudsey snoops around, discovering Thorne's nefarious plan to level Jack's farm to build a huge shopping mall.

Screenwriter Paul Rose tries to include every conceivable British movie cliche, from a village fete to a random moment of adventure when Tommy falls into a well (where's Lassie when we need her?). At least the cinematography is pretty, even if director Moore seems more interested in repulsive jokes involving a pig who thinks he's a chicken laying eggs. There are also some startlingly grown-up gags involving surprisingly rude innuendo for a movie that's otherwise aimed at very young children. But most of the script's jokes never make it to a punchline, and plot threads start and stop with no warning at all. The worst diversion is when Pudsey is incarcerated in a kind of doggy Auschwitz outside the village, then leads a lame Great Escape after a bit of mind-numbing rapping.

Continue reading: Pudsey The Dog: The Movie Review

The Sweeney Review


Good
The iconic 1970s British TV series gets the big screen treatment from crime-drama aficionado Nick Love (The Business). And this slick cop thriller is enjoyable even if the plot never amounts to much more than an extended episode of a television show. But it looks great, and the cast is thoroughly entertaining.

Jack (Winstone) is a grizzled veteran of the Flying Squad, known in rhyming slang as "the Sweeney", an elite team of undercover London cops who deal with armed crime. His right-hand man and protege is George (Drew), and as they investigate a suspiciously messy jewellery heist, they are distracted when internal affairs officer Lewis (Mackintosh) starts looking for a reason to shut them down. Their captain (Lewis) tries to help, but things are complicated by the fact that Jack is having an affair with Lewis' wife (Atwell).

Continue reading: The Sweeney Review

StreetDance 2 Review


Good
The filmmakers haven't bothered coming up with either a plot or title for this sequel, but they know that Part 1's success was its lively mix of dance and 3D.

This time they're mashing-up street with salsa, not ballet. So at least this one's a bit zestier.

Ash (Hentschel) is a cocky American in London, recovering from humiliation at the hands of street-dance crew Invincible. Then he runs into fast-talking Eddie (Sampson), who offers to help him assemble an even better crew, hand-picking dancers from all over Europe for the final showdown in Paris. With six weeks to rehearse, Eddie then introduces Ash to Latina hottie Eva (Boutella), and they hatch a plan to fuse street edge with salsa passion and knock Invincible off its perch.

Continue reading: StreetDance 2 Review

Monsters Review


Extraordinary
For an alien-creature thriller, this film has such an unusual tone that it immediately takes us aback, focussing far more on the characters than the monsters. The result is like District 9 crossed with Right at Your Door. Yes, it's that good.

Andrew (McNairy) is a photographer covering the six-year-long alien infestation of Central America. Annoyingly, his work is sidetracked when he's assigned to escort his boss' daughter Sam (Able) back to the US before he's even seen one of the gigantic spider-squid things in person. But their travel plans go awry, and they miss the last ferry around the "infected zone", namely northern Mexico. Can they get through on foot instead, escorted by a network of armed human traffickers? And why are they carrying gasmasks?

Continue reading: Monsters Review

StreetDance Review


Very Good
Directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini boldly apply 3D filmmaking to the dance genre with this energetic British drama. The requirements of the formula are too strong to resist, but the film is thoroughly watchable thanks to its skilled cast.

Carly (Burley) is horrified when her boyfriend Jay (Roach) announces that not only is he leaving their successful street dance crew, but he also wants to break up with her. Suddenly she's in charge of the team, and she makes a deal with a ballet teacher (Rampling) to use a dance studio in exchange for adding five of the students to her team. One of them, Tomas (Winsor), takes a special interest in Carly, but the ballet dancers struggle to add street-cred to their moves. And the big competition is in just five weeks.

Continue reading: StreetDance Review

Dogging: A Love Story Review


Weak
For a film about people who have sex in public places, this film is strangely sweet and shy about sex. Also in fine British tradition, it plays the romantic plotlines like a charmingly awkward farce.

In order to kick-start his career, wannabe Newcastle journalist Dan (Treadaway) decides to write an article about dogging, people who have random sex in car parks. Just broken up from his intense girlfriend Tanya (Dobson), he's living with his sex-mad friend Rob (Riddell), who found his new girlfriend Sarah (Glenton) while dogging. Meanwhile, Dan is chatting online to Laura (Heppell), who's intrigued by the idea and thinks that maybe it's a way to get rid of her hyperactive stalker Jim (Socha).

Continue reading: Dogging: A Love Story Review

The Firm Review


Good
While Nick Love remains in his milieu of violent British cinema, at least this remake of an acclaimed 1989 TV movie is a superior hooligan movie. Even if we can't really identify with the characters, their story is fascinating.

In 1980s London, Dom (McNab) lives on an estate with his parents (Webber and Coduri), trying to find something he feels passionate about. He and his pal Terry (Seymour) just tend to get in trouble, and then they cross paths with Bex (Anderson), feared leader of the local football fan gang. Bex sees something interesting in Dom and invites him to join the firm, and soon Dom's dressing in top-brand tracksuits and heading off to wage war against other gangs. But when Bex's obsession turns more violent, Dom begins to have doubts.

Continue reading: The Firm Review

It's All Gone Pete Tong Review


Good
Whatever you think about It's All Gone Pete Tong the movie, it is unquestionably one of the worst titles for a film I've ever heard.

At first I thought I was reading it wrong: The title was just It's All Gone and "Pete Tong" was a wayward producer credit or something.

Continue reading: It's All Gone Pete Tong Review

Human Traffic Review


Extraordinary
Any movie about the underground music scene is a difficult beast to master. Any meaning found in the underground is usually lost by the dumbing-down of the experience to make it "more accessible" to the general public. Or the film is produced and directed by people that have about enough understanding of the subject matter that they ought to work as production assistants for VH1. Human Traffic, a new film exploring the British underground party/rave scene and the people immersed in the world of clubbing, pubbing, drugs, sex, and the beautiful, beautiful music, is an example of how it really ought to be done.

The film follows five Brits in their young twenties during a wild weekend of parties, drugs, dancing, sex, pop culture discussions, relationships, and wanking off in front of a mirror while mum interrupts. The cast of character consists of Jip (John Simm), our narrator, who has a bit of a problem with his willy, known as Mr. Floppy. Koop (Shaun Parkes), our black DJ maestro, who has insecurity issues, afraid his girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds) is shagging other men. Nina herself can't stand her McJob and longs for the freedom of the weekends. Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington), Jip's best mate, is tired of her cheating boyfriends. And Moff (Danny Dyer) can't seem to escape the black hole of his awful life. The film follows these five individuals during one weekend as each of them discovers love, friendship, and self-fulfillment, all against the raging party background.

Continue reading: Human Traffic Review

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Benedict Cumberbatch Interviews Tom Hiddleston, But Avoids The Taylor Swift Question

Benedict Cumberbatch Interviews Tom Hiddleston, But Avoids The Taylor Swift Question

One Marvel Universe star interviewed another, as part of Interview magazine's October edition.

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Allan Niblo Movies

Pudsey the Dog: The Movie Movie Review

Pudsey the Dog: The Movie Movie Review

With inept directing and editing and an incoherent script, this film utterly wastes any chance...

The Sweeney Movie Review

The Sweeney Movie Review

The iconic 1970s British TV series gets the big screen treatment from crime-drama aficionado Nick...

StreetDance 2 Movie Review

StreetDance 2 Movie Review

The filmmakers haven't bothered coming up with either a plot or title for this sequel,...

Monsters Movie Review

Monsters Movie Review

For an alien-creature thriller, this film has such an unusual tone that it immediately takes...

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StreetDance Movie Review

StreetDance Movie Review

Directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini boldly apply 3D filmmaking to the dance genre with...

The Firm Movie Review

The Firm Movie Review

While Nick Love remains in his milieu of violent British cinema, at least this remake...

It's All Gone Pete Tong Movie Review

It's All Gone Pete Tong Movie Review

Whatever you think about It's All Gone Pete Tong the movie, it is unquestionably one...

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