Neil Maskell

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The Rise Trailer


Harvey Miller had only just got out of prison having spent 12 months inside. Once reunited with his best pals Dempsey, Dodd and Charlie, he became hellbent on revenge, determined to get back at the man who put him inside in the first place: Steven Roper. After a 'business proposition' was made to him by a fellow prisoner, Harvey sets about planning the ultimate heist - a job that could bring them over £100,000, and not only that, he's willing to do anything to bring Roper down. Unfortunately, his plans go awry when he is subsequently arrested with a handful of eye-witnesses naming him as a criminal. Detective Inspector West, baffled at how the boys could've got a robbery so desperately wrong, hands over the opportunity to tell the truth from his point of view.

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The ABCs of Death Review


Good

With 26 short segments, it's expected that this horror anthology will be hit and miss. But the experiment is an intriguing one, as the producers gave 26 filmmakers a letter of the alphabet and complete artistic freedom. The result is a mix of clever invention, pointless silliness, head-scratching indulgence and blatant misfires. Oddly, while all of them indeed deal with death, only a couple are actually creepy.

From Nacho Vigalondo's Apocalypse to Yoshihiro Nishimura's Zetsumetsu, these films are packed with black humour and grisly violence. Some are produced to a very high standard, while others look like cheesy school projects. Highlights include the mind-bendingly clever Cycle (by Chile's Ernesto Diaz Espinoza), about a guy caught in a freaky time-loop, and XXL (from France's Xavier Gens), a rather revolting commentary on super-thin models. Other viciously inventive clips include Marcel Sarmiento Dogfight, set in a deranged fight club underworld, Jorge Michel Grau's Psycho-inspired Ingrown and Ben Wheatley's Unearthed, which offers a frenetic new perspective on the vampire genre. All of these add some social relevance to their brief scenes of nastiness.

Most shorts weave comedy into the grisliness, such as the Thai short Nuptials (by Banjong Pisathanakun), which takes an amusingly awful turn. Others are more gimmicky: Exterminate (by Angela Bettis) is a witty attempt to kill a spider, while the very brief Miscarriage (by Ti West) ends on a particularly yucky gag. And some are just wrong in every way: Libido (by Indonesia's Timo Tjahjanto) is the most repulsive game show you've ever seen; Hydro-Electric Diffusion (by Norway's Thomas Cappelen Malling) features a Nazi cat tormenting an Allied dog; and Fart (by Japan's Noburu Iguchi) is an indescribably outrageous tale of apocalyptic survival.

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Pusher Review


Grim

This film may look sleek and urgent, but it never feels like anything more than a run-of-the-mill London drugs thriller. The cast is good, and the imagery is striking, but it never adds anything new to the genre. And it certainly doesn't have the bracing impact of the original 1996 film, which introduced the world to Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive).

It centres on the young drug dealer Frank (Coyle), who with his friend Tony (Webb) is trying to bring a huge stash of drugs from Amsterdam to London. The cops are brutally trying to force Frank into turning in evidence against his supplier Milo (Buric), which puts him in a very bad position. With Milo's henchman (Ferda) breathing down his neck, Frank tries to call in his debts and raise enough cash so he and his stripper girlfriend Flo (Deyn) can get away. But all of his plans seem to go awry, which strains his relationship with Flo because he doesn't want to tell her the truth.

This is one of those movies in which events squeeze in on the central character from every side, forcing him to increasingly desperate actions. And Spanish director Prieto has a lurid visual style that jolts the screen with energy, even if it leaves everything feeling rather superficial. Coyle finds Frank's intriguing edges, playing him as a cocky nice guy whose confidence is beaten out of him. As he becomes a shell of himself, we have quite a bit of sympathy with him. So it's a shame that we never really feel much chemistry between Frank and Flo.

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St George's Day Trailer


Ray Collishaw and Mickey Mannock are two highly respected gangster cousins approaching retirement. Their visions of a relaxing retreat to a straight life are ruined when their gang loses a massive overseas delivery of the Russian Mafia's cocaine during a storm. Chased by enraged Russians and a vengeful police detective, the mob races across the continent through London, Amsterdam and Berlin in a bid to find a way to pay the Mafia back. Ray and Mickey hatch a devious robbery plan disguised as football hooligans for the upcoming England Vs. Germany match; they are about to embark on a diamond heist that could either define or terminate their criminal careers - and with a double agent among them, who knows which way it could go?

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Piggy Review


Weak
Stylish filmmaking makes this dark thriller worth a look, even if the tricky premise feels rather stale. We understand from the start what writer-director Hawkes is doing here, so the way it plays out feels frustratingly flat, especially as the grisliness escalates.

Working as a messenger in London, Joe (Compston) is a loner who doesn't like to be around people but is bored with his repetitive, numb life. Things improve when he reconnects with older brother John (Maskell) and his girlfriend Claire (Dylan). But Joe is terrified of violence, and rightly so, as both he and John are attacked in the streets. Then he meets John's street-thug friend Piggy (Anderson), who wears a rubber pig-nose as a disguise. He makes Joe feel eerily safe as he teaches him how to get revenge.

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Piggy Trailer


Introverted but polite young man Joe is overcome with grief after beloved brother John is murdered by a violent gang following a heated disagreement in the local pub. The bereavement incites the arrival of one of John's old friends, Piggy, at his brother's doorstep.

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Picture - Neil Maskell, Claire Jones, Ben... , Sunday 25th March 2012

Neil Maskell - Neil Maskell, Claire Jones, Ben Wheatley Sunday 25th March 2012 The Empire Film Awards 2012- Arrivals

Wild Bill Trailer


Bill, known to his friends as Wild Bill, has just been imprisoned for eight years for drug dealing. Now out on parole, he returns to his flat in a tower block in East London to find his two sons, Dean and Jimmy, living alone. Their mother abandoned them a while ago, so the respective fifteen and eleven year olds have been fending for themselves.

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Wild Bill Review


Extraordinary
British actor Fletcher makes a terrific directing debut with this sharply told story of a family struggling to survive in a bleak environment. But this film is so full of hope that it thoroughly engages our emotions even when things get scary.

Since their mum left nine months earlier, 15-year-old Dean (Poulter) has been taking care of 11-year-old brother Jimmy (Williams) by working in construction at the Olympic park. But Jimmy is failing at school and getting increasingly involved with a gang of local drug dealers (Gregory, Maskell and Rheon). Then after eight years in prison, their dad Bill (Creed-Miles) comes home, realising that he must show some responsibility to keep his sons from being taken into care. But they don't know him, and he doesn't know anything about being a father.

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How to Stop Being a Loser Review


Grim
This British rom-com has enough energy to keep us watching even though it's not particularly funny or romantic. Fortunately there are enough bright sparks in the cast to distract us from the simplistic script and over-egged direction.

James (Phillips) is a geeky misfit who has a sign above his head saying "loser". Literally. After his friend Ian (Grant) commits suicide, he receives a message from him that challenges him to learn how to talk to women. His friends (Leonidas and Grezo) encourage him to try, starting with an awkward chat at Ian's funeral with his school crush Hannah (Atkinson). He then starts a mentorship with cocky motivational speaker Ampersand (Conway), a disciple of womanising writer guru Zeus (Kemp). But this will require changing almost everything about himself.

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Picture - Neil Maskell London, England, Monday 12th September 2011

Neil Maskell Monday 12th September 2011 at the UK film premiere 'Turnout' shown at the Genesis Cinema. London, England

Kill List Review


Extraordinary
British filmmaker Wheatley follows up his terrific debut Down Terrace with another genre-bending film that continually catches us off guard. This time we're watching a freak-out horror movie wrapped in a thoughtful exploration of the tides of relationships. Among other freak-outs.

Jay and Shel (Maskell and Buring) have a mercurial marriage, with full-tilt arguments followed by moments of tender closeness. Perhaps this has to do with their military backgrounds, but their young son Sam (Simpson) doesn't really understand. And neither does Jay's army pal Gal (Smiley), who visits for a tense dinner party with his girlfriend Fiona (Fryer). Then Jay and Gal embark on a business trip as a hitman duo, and as they progress through their kill list, they begin to fall into the clutches of what looks like a sinister pagan cult.

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Ghosted Review


Weak
This dark British prison drama is a bit too overwrought to keep us engaged right to the end. Without much subtlety, it tells an inflammatory, somewhat contrived story of guilt and redemption. But the actors make it worth seeing.

After four years in prison, on the anniversary of his young son's death, Jack (Lynch) finds out that his wife is leaving him. Meanwhile, new young inmate Paul (Compston) is quickly taken under the wing of tough-guy Clay (Parkinson).

Seeing this, Jack and his friend Ahmed (Malik) start to worry about Paul's safety. Sure enough, things turn violent, so Jack arranges to help Paul cope with the situation and becomes his mentor-protector. But there are more tensions brewing between various factions of inmates, and clearly things are going to get much worse.

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