Antonia Thomas - 2016 EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) afterparty held at the Grosvenor House. at British Academy Film Awards, Grosvenor House - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 14th February 2016
The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security officer (Milla Jovovich) is posted in the US Embassy in the United Kingdom, she is tasked with ensuring that known or suspected terrorists are unable to make their way to the United States. But when she come under fire from a deadly assassin known only as "The Watchmaker" (Pierce Brosnan), she ends up framed for various crimes she didn't commit and is forced on the run. Now, she must do her best to keep doing her job while being hunted and tracked by not only The Watchmaker, but US Security Services and Marines.
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Carter (Charlie Cox) is completely down-on-his-luck. Eleven months after breaking up with his girlfriend, he is unemployed and now homeless. When he is inspired to get back in touch with her, he makes his way through his phone-book, trying desperately to get hold of her new contact details. In addition to this, he in a race against time to get back on his feet before he is kicked out of his mother's house - and if he's lucky, it'll help his ex become attracted to him again. Along the way, he goes on an adventure around the city with an accountant and a one-time actor.
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A drama set around a cultural movement in 1970s Britain, this film captures the period beautifully, but its story is so underdeveloped that it leaves the fresh young cast without proper characters or relationships to play. The depiction of teens in need of their own sense of belonging is strong, but without a story to connect with, the film leaves its audience struggling to maintain interest.
It's 1974 in Lancashire, and teenager John (Elliot James Langridge) is an outcast at school in search of some friends. Then the lively Matt (Josh Whitehouse) introduces him to Northern Soul, underground American R&B that's circulated on bootleg records. So he drops out of school, disappointing his favourite teacher (Steve Coogan) and his parents (Christian McKay and Lisa Stansfield). As he digs deeper into the movement, John makes some new friends (including Antonia Thomas and Jack Gordon) and takes on the star DJ Ray (James Lance) by scrounging for never-heard recordings. But along with learning a new way to dance, John is also introduced to the drug scene, which basically scuppers his and Matt's plan to save cash for a trip to America. And it's Ray who understands that John's only hope of success as a DJ is to ditch Matt.
The best part of this film is this friendship between John and Matt, which was sparked by a shared interest in soul music and then was strained by the scene itself. Writer-director Elaine Constantine vividly captures this world, including the teen sense of hopefulness and independence. But she seems far more interested in depicting the period and the music than in keeping a focus on the characters and their friendships. People drift in and out of the story, relationships refuse to develop into anything meaningful, subplots come and go at random, the romance is barely hinted at and the drug-addiction strand starts to get preachy.
Continue reading: Northern Soul Review
John (Elliot James Langridge) doesn't fit in. He is victimised by his teacher (Steve Coogan), his mother (Lisa Stansfield) is ashamed of him, and he is often bullied. He fights back in whatever small way he can, but there is nothing he can fully channel his energy into. That is, until he discovers northern soul. Not only can he express his heart and soul on the dance floor, but he steadily begins to gain more and more confidence from day to day. He and a friend decide to start up their own northern soul dance club in order to raise funds to travel to America. As events steadily escalate out of control, the one thing that remains constant in the boy's lives is the soul music.
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British filmmaker Martin Simon Hewis uses dark humour and visual trickery to overcome what is clearly a very small budget. So even if the comedy feels low-key and uneven, it continually catches us off-guard with inventive touches that bring out deeper themes. It's also strongly reminiscent of that time of life when youthful carelessness has to give way to grown-up responsibilities. And the characters are hilariously realistic.
Set in a Bristol call centre, the story focuses on Dan (Hughes), a hapless guy who has just been thrown out of his house by his angry mother (Haywood), who's sure he let his drunken dad (Kaye) steal her winning lottery ticket. With nowhere to live, Dan takes his cat and camps out in the office without telling his colleagues, a gang of bored phone operators (including Thomas, Ashton and Ladwa) who liven things up with pranks and after-hours partying. But his life gets even more complicated when his maneating boss (Lombard) tells him to sack Teri (Lovibond), the coworker he has a secret crush on.
In other words, amid all of the workplace antics, Dan needs to grow up and sort out his life. But it's a lot more fun to hang out with his goofy colleagues and let someone else take responsibility. The script nicely captures this time of life without ever getting heavy-handed about it, focussing on the colourful characters and situations as well as the internal fantasies that torment Dan. Hughes plays him as one of those standard British protagonists who can't quite get anything right, and yet we root for him. Lovibond is a feisty foil for him, although their rom-com subplot remains in the film's margins. And the surrounding cast bring all kinds of sparky wit to their roles.
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Gary (aka Tits) and his friends Dodge, Zippy, Little Gaz and Penfold are an ambitious amateur indie band from Manchester with an unshakeable adoration for The Stone Roses. As a once in a lifetime major gig for the legendary group approaches, the friends are determined to watch musical history unfold as they set out to gatecrash the show on Spike Island. Their plan? Break into the venue without tickets and hand over their precious demo tape to the lead singer with the hope that it will shape their musical futures. However, things aren't as easy as they sound with school and girls as constant distractions, and no initial way of getting to the Island. Not to mention the swarming security and high fences they'll have to pass to get in. Their determined mission will no doubt test their friendship and the way they view the future as they are about to face hard facts about life and dreams.
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The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security...
Carter (Charlie Cox) is completely down-on-his-luck. Eleven months after breaking up with his girlfriend, he...
A drama set around a cultural movement in 1970s Britain, this film captures the period...
John (Elliot James Langridge) doesn't fit in. He is victimised by his teacher (Steve Coogan),...
British filmmaker Martin Simon Hewis uses dark humour and visual trickery to overcome what is...
Gary (aka Tits) and his friends Dodge, Zippy, Little Gaz and Penfold are an ambitious...