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40th Annual Saturn Awards

Neil Marshall - 40th Annual Saturn Awards - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 26th June 2014

NBC Gets Dark With "Constantine Series Order"


Lucy Griffiths Neil Marshall David S. Goyer

For some people May means summer break and hitting the beach, for others – network upfronts. This week, the fate of your fall television schedule is being decided with  a constant stream of series pick-ups, put-downs, renewals and cancellations. One notable series order among them is NBC’s pickup of Constantine, a dark comedic thriller (sounds exciting already, right?), adapted from DC Comics’ Hellblazer, created in part by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and Jamie Delano. Along with the CW picking up The Flash, this makes two DC comics to hit the small screen this fall, CinemaBlend reports.

Continue reading: NBC Gets Dark With "Constantine Series Order"

Centurion Review


Good
With a raucous, gruesome tone, this Roman-era British action movie takes us back in time in such a vivid way that we often feel a bit queasy while watching. If the story were stronger, we'd be glued to the screen.

Quintus Dias (Fassbender) seems to be an unusually lucky centurion. Stationed in the nastiest outpost on the edge of the Roman Empire in Britain, he's the only survivor of a Pict attack by the vindictive Gorlacon (Thomsen). So he teams with General Virilus (West) and heads back into the hot zone. Again, the Picts launch a devastating attack. This time seven Romans survive, and it becomes a cat-and-mouse chase as mute huntress Etain (Kurylenko) tenaciously tracks Quintus and company across the Highlands. Can they make it back to safety in the south?

Continue reading: Centurion Review

Doomsday Review


Terrible
Step aside, zombie films -- there's a new derivative genre in town. The post-apocalyptic thriller is out to trump your ongoing redundancy. Instead of bringing something new to the dystopian brave new world, writer/director Neil Marshall's Doomsday has simply decided to reference each and every offering in the oeuvre. A substantial slip from his championed efforts (Dog Soldiers and The Descent), this Escape from Newcastle calamity is like watching George Miller channel John Carpenter. Toss in a little Aliens, a few medieval riffs, and enough Mad Max references to choke Mel Gibson's ego and you've got a disaster pretending to be profound.

When the Reaper virus devastates Glasgow, the British government quarantines all of Scotland. A few survivors make it out. The rest are locked behind heavy steel walls and guarded gates. Nearly three decades later, the plague reappears, this time in downtown London. Desperate to find a cure, Cabinet Minister Caranis (David O'Hara) gets Police Chief Nelson (Bob Hoskins) to send his top officer back into the hot zone. He chooses lady loose cannon Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra). Her goal? Lead a group of soldiers to Kane (Malcolm McDowell), a doctor who was once in charge of Reaper research. Seems the satellites have been picking up images of humans in the supposedly uninhabitable realm, and if Kane has found a cure, they may be able to stop the insidious disease.

Continue reading: Doomsday Review

The Descent Review


Excellent
A huge hit last summer in its native Britain, writer/director Neil Marshall's The Descent finally hits the States with a compelling mix of action and horror. Not since Aliens have the two genres fit so seamlessly, if on a much smaller scale here. Marshall throws in a few twists on convention as well, just to keep things fresh. The result is a film that gives back some meaning to the otherwise overused "thrill ride."

The film begins with extreme sports enthusiast Sarah (Shauna Macdonald, whom you'll spend most of the film convincing yourself isn't Gwyneth Paltrow) undergoing a horrible accident. Her flashbacks to the event (not to mention the event itself) provide much of the startle factor for the first third of the film, probably the cheapest ploy Marshall uses, but he has much more up his sleeve.

Continue reading: The Descent Review

The Descent Review


Excellent
A huge hit last summer in its native Britain, writer/director Neil Marshall's The Descent finally hits the States with a compelling mix of action and horror. Not since Aliens have the two genres fit so seamlessly, if on a much smaller scale here. Marshall throws in a few twists on convention as well, just to keep things fresh. The result is a film that gives back some meaning to the otherwise overused "thrill ride."

The film begins with extreme sports enthusiast Sarah (Shauna Macdonald, whom you'll spend most of the film convincing yourself isn't Gwyneth Paltrow) undergoing a horrible accident. Her flashbacks to the event (not to mention the event itself) provide much of the startle factor for the first third of the film, probably the cheapest ploy Marshall uses, but he has much more up his sleeve.

Continue reading: The Descent Review

Dog Soldiers Review


Grim
It's a little bit Predator. It's a little bit American Werewolf in London. It says so right there on the DVD case. Too bad it's nowhere close to as much fun as either of its inspirations.

I'm guessing the "dog soldiers" in question are the bipedal werewolf creatures who attack our would-be heroes, a group of military soldiers on an exercise in the Scottish highlands. (Then again, for all I know, they're meant to be the dog soldiers.) When the soldiers come across another squad -- their torn-up remains, anyway -- they realize their little wargame has become a fight for survival against the werewolves on the loose.

Continue reading: Dog Soldiers Review

Killing Time Review


OK
The problem with the movie Cube is that it couldn't decide which it wanted to be: studio or independent. Cube was your basic horror movie, filmed for about $300,000 on a single 14' by 14' set with a total of seven people in the cast. It was a concept easily pitchable to the studios and done with corresponding quality, ending up coming out a fair disaster yet it persisted in giving the same cheesy enjoyment as any 80s schlock horror film. It wanted to be done independently, with all of the special attention and allure that Independent films get, yet wanted all of the look and advantages of a mainstream studio audience. The result is always a cosmic fluke.

Similarly, 1998's Killing Time is a cosmic fluke.

Continue reading: Killing Time Review

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