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Pudsey The Dog: The Movie Cashes In On A Reality Star


James Richardson

Over the past decade or so, filmmakers have been cashing in on the success of British TV comedies while trying to earn a bit of box office glory. The uniting feature behind these movies is a low budget and a release based on lots of advertising and very few press screenings, as opposed to more long-lasting British TV comedy-based films featuring Monty Python, Mr Bean or Alan Partridge. Clearly the goal for these cheaper productions is to have a huge first weekend.

Pudsey The MoviePudsey: The Movie

Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke brought their silly teen sketch-comedy characters to the big screen for Kevin & Perry Go Large in 2000, while Sacha Baron Cohen put his rapper in cinemas for Ali G Indahouse in 2002. But everything changed with The Inbetweeners movie in 2008, which stormed to major financial success against all expectations. It even caught critics off guard because there were no press screenings at all. And this is the pattern that has repeated over the years, from The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005) to Keith Lemon: The Film (2012) to last month's Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie.

Continue reading: Pudsey The Dog: The Movie Cashes In On A Reality Star

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.

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James Richardson - Saturday 12th February 2011 at New York Fashion Week New York City, USA

James Richardson
James Richardson and Sean Lennon

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.

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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

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James Richardson 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,...

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Monsters Movie Review

Monsters Movie Review

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

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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