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I, Anna Review


Weak

Even though this British mystery-drama is rather too creepy for its own good, it gives Rampling yet another superb character to sink her teeth into. She's working with her son, writer-director Southcombe, who reveals the plots secrets very slowly, manipulating the audience by withholding key details and misleading us with red herrings. But Rampling makes it gripping.

She plays the eponymous Anna, who is trying to get her life back on track after the end of her marriage. Living with her single-mum daughter (Atwell), Anna attends speed-dating events to meet men, and one night goes home with George (Brown), who turns up dead in the morning. Police detective Bernie (Byrne) connects Anna to the death and secretly gets to know her without telling her that she's a suspect. Meanwhile, Bernie's colleague Kevin (Marsan) follows the trail to a mother and son (May and Deacon). And as clues begin to emerge, Anna starts to remember what happened that fateful night.

Southcombe cleverly creates an eerie tone that often makes this feel like a horror movie. So before he gives us any real details about what's going on here, we already know that something very nasty is involved. The problem is that he dribbles the truth to us so slowly that we lose interest in the plot long before the actual revelations. Which makes it all feel like a cheat when he pulls the rug out, since the filmmaker has been lying to us all along.

Continue reading: I, Anna Review

Tower Block Review


OK

Gritty and claustrophobic, this British horror-thriller holds our interest with well-played characters rather than the wobbly plotting. It's a clever idea for low-budget suspense, because it essentially has just one set. And the premise is unnerving even if we instantly realise its implausibility. Still, once everything is set in motion, the story has no where to go, trapped like the characters themselves on the top floor of a condemned London apartment building.

Aside from the residents of the top floor of this block, everyone else has already been relocated. And after a violent murder in the corridor, these people are ready to get out too. Then one morning sniper fire starts picking them off one by one through the windows. Their phones and internet are down, every way out is blocked, and they have to work out a plan of action. Intriguingly, it's a young woman, Becky (Smith), who rises as the group's leader, tenaciously refusing to give up. Other residents include a local thug (O'Connell), a depressed alcoholic (Tovey), a couple of pensioners (Brown and Baker), a tense mum (Graham) and her teen son (McEntire), and two drug dealers (Elouhabi and Robinson).

As we begin to understand what's happening, there are some massive lapses in logic that continually niggle. The sniper is shooting from one side of the building, so presumably the flats on the other side are safe and undisturbed, and yet everyone remains huddled in the hallway. The building's front door is blocked, but they ignore the fire exit. And how exactly do you block a mobile phone signal at the top of a tall tower in a massive city? Fortunately, the actors make us believe that they aren't worried by these gaping plot holes. Smith is especially good as the feisty Becky, a refreshingly complex female hero who doesn't have to be rescued by the boys. O'Connell adds a few layers to his annoying character, and Tovey is as likeable as ever.

Continue reading: Tower Block Review

Picture - Julie Graham and Ralph Brown , Monday 27th August 2012

Julie Graham and Ralph Brown - Julie Graham and Ralph Brown Monday 27th August 2012 Film4 Frightfest: Tower Block closing film - Arrivals

Picture - Ralph Brown , Monday 27th August 2012

Ralph Brown Monday 27th August 2012 Film4 Frightfest: Tower Block closing film - Arrivals

Ralph Brown

Jack The Giant Slayer Trailer


Jack is a young farmhand working for the King. One day, he comes across small bean-like objects, which are described as 'holy relics' from a faraway land. The relics, however, are full of dark magic and could change the world if placed in the wrong hands. Jack is entrusted with them, on the condition that he doesn't lose them or get them wet. Jack is puzzled but accepts the relics anyway.

That night, a terrible storm rages. Jack has left the bean shaped objects on a surface in his hut, where rain falls on them through a hole in the ceiling. At first, nothing happens; then Jack looks on in horror as a beanstalk grows from the ground under his hut. The beanstalk connects the human world to a world where giants roam.

Jack lands himself in trouble when a giant kidnaps the beautiful Princess Isabelle. The King sends some of his best men up the beanstalk with Jack to rescue Isabelle. Their rescue attempts are nearly in vain, though, when the giants wage war on the humans. It is up to Jack to save Isabelle and his kingdom.

Jack The Giant Killer is directed and produced by Bryan Singer, who is well known for directing the films The Usual Suspects; Superman Returns and the X-Men films. The film is based on the British fairy tale; the screenplay for the film was written by Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney.

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane, Ewen Bremner, John Kassir, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ralph Brown, Ben Daniels, Daniel Lapaine and David Frost

Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: 15TH June 2012
Certificate: TBC
Running Time: TBC

Killing Bono Review


OK
Based on a true story, this film vividly captures the frustrating randomness of fame. The sharp and funny characters are nicely played, but the plot gets lost along the way, spinning in circles and trying too hard to ramp up the action.

In late-70s Dublin, brothers Neil and Ivan (Barnes and Sheehan) form a band called The Undertakers, creating a friendly rivalry with their friends Paul, David, Larry and Adam (McCann, Mark Griffin, Sean Doyle and David Tudor), who form The Hype. Then The Hype changes its name to U2 and becomes the biggest band in the world. Over the years, Neil's bull-headed attitude scuppers every chance he and Ivan get, even when they find minor fame in London with the help of manager/girlfriend Gloria (Ritter). he also indebts them to an Irish gangster (Townsend).

Continue reading: Killing Bono Review

Killing Bono Trailer


Neil McCormick always had a dream of becoming a rock n' roll star. Having auditioned to join a band at school, Neil found himself losing out and his best friend Paul being picked as the lead singer of the hottest band in Dublin The Hype. Feeling he would've been the better person for the job, Neil sets up the band 'Shook Up' with his brother Ivan - their most important aim: to be more successful than The Hype.

Continue: Killing Bono Trailer

Alien 3 Review


OK
Since Alien and its sequel Aliens received universal praise, Fox just had to make a trilogy (which later became a quadrilogy). Trilogies (and especially quadrilogies) can pose some risk since a premise can lose its edge and outlast its welcome. Ironically, Alien 3 doesn't suffer from the trilogy syndrome as much as it suffers simply from bad writing.

Alien 3 continues with the series tradition, beginning exactly where Aliens concluded. When we left Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the android Bishop (Lance Henriksen), Cpt. Hicks (Michael Biehn), and Ripley's surrogate daughter Newt (Danielle Edmond), they managed to destroy the creature, board a spacecraft, set course for Earth, and fall into deep sleep. Unfortunately, another alien has found its way onboard with them.

Continue reading: Alien 3 Review

Mean Machine Review


Weak
Paramount Classics is eager to inform you that Mean Machine, a remake of Robert Aldrich's 1974 film The Longest Yard, is from the same people who brought you Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Given the expectations this creates, it's no surprise that what's delivered is diverting, fast paced and, of course, violent. In the end Mean Machine is also utterly disposable, but goes down quickly and painlessly. Danny Meehan (Vinnie Jones) is an ex-soccer (football to you Brits) star, who finds himself serving a three-year prison sentence after drunkenly assaulting two policemen. When Meehan arrives at jail, he discovers that the prison governor (David Hemmings) has his mind set on the man taking over coaching duties of the guard soccer team. The plan is undermined by the fact that the guards won't allow a prisoner to be their coach, and several of them explain their feelings to the new celebrity convict in no uncertain terms. A lunchroom scuffle leads Danny to a stay in solitary confinement, where he is presented with an idea by a fellow inmate named Massive (Vas Blackwood): Tell the governor that you are going to build a team of prisoners to square off in a game against the guards. Meehan takes the advice and with the help of Massive and seen-it-all prison veteran Doc (David Kelly), assembles a makeshift squad for the monumental event. But if you thought Meehan's troubles ended there, you are sorely mistaken. He also has to contend in a power struggle with the leader of the inmates, Sykes (John Forgeham), whose authority in the prison outweighs that of the governor. There's also a matter of a notorious incident from Meehan's past when he "threw" an important soccer match in order to pay off a large gambling debt. Meehan braves all of the obstacles and eventually prepares his athletically crude unit, now known as The Mean Machine, a bit too well in the eyes of the governor, who has placed a huge wager (thanks to a tip by the double crossing Sykes) on the team of guards to try and pay off his own debt to a bookie. When the prisoners take a lead in the no-holds-barred match, the governor demands that Meehan revisit his game-throwing tendencies.

Executive Producer Guy Ritchie's influence is more than slightly evident in first time feature director Barry Skolnick's style. You get the requisite mini music videos, a camera which refuses to sit still, shots that don't appear on screen for more than a few seconds (what ever became of the art of composition?), and an abundance of stylized violence tossed in for good measure. Many of Ritchie's regular actors are along for the ride too, such as Jones (who's actually asked to do more than just wear his patented steely glare), Blackwood, Jason Flemyng, and most notably Jason Statham, as martial arts savvy psychopath Monk.

Continue reading: Mean Machine Review

Withnail and I Review


Good
Bittersweet tale of two loser actors, who spend a weekend drunk at an uncle's country cabin. George Harrison executive-produced. Best known for launching the underexposed Grant's career. And for being severely overrated.

Wayne's World 2 Review


Grim
Gotta love those references to An Officer and a Gentleman. Having Chris Farley channel depressed pilot-in-training Richard Gere during the tear-soaked line, "I got no place else ta go-ho-hooooooooo," is almost worth the price of admission right there. Too bad that Wayne's World 2 is mostly just mining the same pop culture terrain as its far more worthy predecessor. It was a surprise to see that Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were able to take their "two guys on a couch" cable access rock 'n' rollers through even one feature length adventure, with enjoyable detours to an Alice Cooper concert as well as a playful game of street hockey. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was instantly embraced by a generation of kids who didn't even know Freddy Mercury from Adam -- poor bastards. Hasn't anyone seen Highlander? Jesus Christ, what the hell's wrong with the kids of America, anyway? Don't answer that.

Wayne's World 2 opens with our dynamic duo still running their own show, though they've moved from their basement to a warehouse. Good for them, right? But when smarmy record producer Bobby Cahn (Christopher Walken, coasting but still The Man) steps in to make life miserable and steal Wayne's lovely girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere, who still can't act but is still One Hot Tamale), Wayne is told in a vision by Jim Morrison(!) that he should stage a rock concert in Aurora, Illinois. Waynestock, of course. "If you book them, they will come." This will bring Cassandra back and, no doubt, provide a sense of meaning in Wayne's slacker life. Right? Right? Uh... maybe.

Continue reading: Wayne's World 2 Review

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