Sam Hazeldine

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71 - Clip


Gary Hook (Jack O'Connell) is a British soldier, nervous about his placement in Belfast during the political riots of 1971. With little to no experience being barely out of school, the only thing he can trust is his own instincts, while being uncomfortable and suspicious of both the locals and his fellow soldiers. Unfortunately for him, his fear of the volatile situation is only about to get worse as he finds himself abandoned on unfamiliar streets when his own regiment takes flight. Now all alone surrounded by savage and angry Northern Irish residents, he has to find a way to survive the rest of the night before joining his team once again.

Continue: 71 - Clip

71 Trailer


1971 - The height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. When Gary's regiment is sent to Belfast in an attempt to quell rioting in the area, all hell breaks loose and the unit leaves without him. Trapped in a strange and alien world, Gary is aware that almost everyone in the city wants to kill him. From here, the gripping thriller begins, as Gary struggles to stay alive throughout the night, in a desperate attempt to find rescue and make it back home to his family. '71 has so far received rave reviews from the Berlin Film Festival, where it premiered earlier this year in February.   

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The Machine Review


Good

British filmmaker Caradog James makes the most of a tiny budget with this chilling sci-fi thriller. Toying with big ideas about the repercussions of artificial intelligence, James keeps the focus on the human element, which makes it thoroughly engaging and darkly haunting. It may feel somewhat over-serious, but it also gets us thinking.

Set in the near future, the story centres on top scientist Vincent (Toby Stephens), who is hired by the Ministry of Defense to create a sentient machine that will help the West win the arms-race against China. Vincent has already perfected robotic repairs for wounded soldiers, and now begins working with sharp new assistant Ava (Arrow's Caity Lotz). But as Ava's snooping gets her in trouble, Vincent decides to combine her knowledge of programming with his technical expertise and create a thinking, feeling robot. And of course, Vincent's boss (Denis Lawson) immediately wants to put it to military use.

The film looks terrific, as writer-director James uses military imagery and a creepy underground bunker setting to build an overpowering sense of menace. So even if the script only barely cracks the surface, the characters all seem shifty and dangerous as we discover more about them. Especially the military meatheads who have had corrective brain implants and can communicate between themselves in a secret language.

Continue reading: The Machine Review

The Monuments Men - International Trailer


'The Monuments Men' is based on the true story of seven unlikely museum directors, curators and art historians who were tasked with the virtually impossible mission of rescuing artistic masterpieces from the prevailing Nazi thieves during World War Two. 

Directed by Academy Award Winning Actor, George Clooney (Ocean's Eleven) The Monuments Men must risk their lives behind enemy lines as they fight against time in order to save hundreds of years of artistic history and man's greatest cultural achievements which are due to be destroyed by the Reich in this action comedy drama that encapsulates the triumphs and heroic deeds of the unsuspected heroes of World War Two. 

The Monuments Men aims to avoid the cynicism of War and bring a new approach to this previously reclusive story based on the Monuments Men book by Robert Edsel. 

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The Monuments Men - Alternative Trailer


The Monuments Men are a group of seven scholars from art historians to museum curators who are enlisted by the American government in the 1940s to retrieve some of the world's most priceless artefacts and art pieces from the hands of the Nazis during World War II. They plan to destroy certain parts of mankind's history bit by bit and, though it seems like a suicidal mission in itself, it is absolutely essential that the US doesn't let that happen. The men involved in the program have only received basic army training having been thrust into action with precious little time to lose. Encountering tumbling down shelters and landmines everywhere, they truly encapsulate the meaning of bravery by taking to the front line to protect history, no matter what the consequences.

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The Monuments Men Trailer


It's the 1940s and with World War II at its most fierce, Hitler's Nazi army is threatening whole worlds of culture and history. He wants entire generations to be wiped from time but America isn't going to let it happen. The government set up a Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, enlisting seven men - from art historians to museum curators - to march headfirst in the conflict and rescue important art masterpieces and artefacts from the thieving hands of the Nazis. Having only been given basic training and with very little time to waste, the brave men thrust themselves in the face of danger to protect mankind's history no matter what the consequences. With enemies everywhere and a terrain covered in landmines, the journey will not be a straightforward one.

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The Raven Review


Good
An acerbic sense of humour and a gleefully grisly production style make this gothic thriller good fun to watch. It may be rather preposterous, but it's also a grippingly complex mystery populated by some terrific actors.

In the weeks before his inexplicable death in 1849, author Edgar Allan Poe (Cusack) finds himself at the centre of a series of murders in which a killer is recreating his stories in grotesque scenarios around Baltimore. Detective Fields (Evans) asks Edgar to help with the case, but he's distracted by his girlfriend Emily (Eve), whose harsh father (Gleeson) refuses to allow the couple to marry. As the murders get increasingly personal for Edgar, he realises that his own fate is entwined with the fiendishly clever killer, whoever he may be.

Continue reading: The Raven Review

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