Category Archives: Film

Crawl – Review


Director: Paul China
Screenwriter: Paul China
Cast: Georgina Haig, George Shevtsov, Paul Holmes
Runtime: 80 mins
Certificate: 15
Release Date: On DVD & BD Now

crawl 2

An old car pulls into an auto-shop on a lonely road on an ordinary day and a man emerges. We meet him iconography first, slowly donning his large-brimmed hat as if he knows there’s a camera perfectly framing the back of his head. His boots clip-clop towards the door with precision and a bell ding-a-lings in close-up to announce his entrance, all scored to a Jaws-riffing tension-builder. The cowboy – European and sparing with dialogue – Anton-Chigurh’s his way through an enigmatic encounter with the shop’s owner, eventually leaving him as a crimson splatter, dribbling down the back wall…

Read more @ Rhythm Circus

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Crawl : Trailer

British director Paul China’s film debut is an Australian noir which pays homage to the Coen Brothers and Alfred Hitchcock. I will have a review online in the next few days but in the mean time, here’s the excellent trailer.

Aha! Partridge Trailer and Title Online Today

alan1Jackanackernory! Partridge fans are surely rubbing their eyes in disbelief that a movie is actually happening. The project was in preparation about 7-8 years ago but was notoriously shelved after the London Bombings due to the sensitive material lampooned in the script. Needless to say, there was doubt as to whether we would ever see Alan have the last laugh on the silver screen. Nevertheless, after a handful of recent projects – including the masterpiece that is the autobiographical I, Partridge: We need to talk about Alan – Steve Coogan’s comic miracle is finally about to bounce back.

alan filmingCook a cat! With veteran British TV director Declan Lowney at the helm, the writing team from I’m Alan Partridge and, of course, Alan and his tireless PA Lynn – 50 – in front of the camera, this should be the best film we have ever seen about the exploits of a disgruntled Norfolk radio DJ. The first official still (above) and a slew of on-location snaps showing Alan prating around with a rifle (right) are now online, making Partridge: The Movie a tangible prospect for fans, and anticipation is bubbling away. Lovely stuff.*

The news then, that the official Youtube channel for the movie ( will air the first teaser trailer at 12:00pm this afternoon is sure to have you, Partrige fan, jumping for joy, smelling cheese, buttering arses and cooking cats. Furthermore, the title will be announced (Bangkok Chick Boys, fingers crossed) and we should start to form an idea of what we might expect on our screens on the mooted release date of 16th August.

Spice World!

*Not my words, the words of Shakin Stevens.


Shell – Review

SHELL (Foto peliÌ-cula) 337

Director: Scott Graham
Screenwriter: Scott Graham,
Cast: Chloe Pirrie, Joseph Mawle, Iain De Caestecker, Michael Smiley
Runtime: 90 mins
Certificate: 15
Release Date: In Cinemas March 15

Scott Graham’s first feature is as bleak as its Scottish Highland setting. Confined almost entirely to a remote petrol station, this is a frustrating struggle of a picture which considers the effects of isolation, depression and illness on the relationship between a father (Joseph Mawle) and his daughter, the eponymous Shell (Chloe Pirrie).

The Scandinavian influences are well pronounced, Yoliswa Gärtig’s widescreen digital photography capturing the harsh beauty of the landscape and picking out the fragility of Shell’s world which rumbles and rattles as lorries pass along their highland road. With a careful use of close-ups and diagetic sound we are forced into a tactile relationship with this uncomfortable world that will make you shiver, wince and gasp. The narrative also echoes the Dogme movement, events unfolding laboriously with a focus on tedium and the kind of jobs that get dirt under your fingernails. With its slight nature, lack of sensational material or use of music (a few lovely key moments aside), this is low-key storytelling that manages to be enthralling in its own way … Read more @ Rhythm Circus

Shell is screening in selected cinemas from tomorrow. Buy tickets here.

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Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenwriter: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb
Cast: Roy Schneider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw
Certificate: 12
Runtime: 124 min

There is something about watching movies as an impressionable youngster – the age when repeated viewings are preferred (finish, rewind, play) –which causes incidental, non-essential moments stand out. Just as when a word is repeated until it becomes abstract,  (‘towel’ is a good one), snippets of dialogue, the twitch of a hand, the lost face of an extra who has forgotten he is on camera, become the transcendental personal reasons that you love film as an adult.

Jaws is a beautiful tapestry of such moments; a note played on a harmonica at a beach party, the sing-song cadence of Richard Dreyfuss’ “That’s not funny, that’s not funny at all”, a big tooth bending as a mechanical jaw breaks Robert Shaw down into bite-size chunks. There are the stars, the excitement, the time in history into which Jaws was born – all aspects of the film that have earned it it’s sterling reputation – but it is these almost inconsequential moments that make you smile or cry or quote along; moments that make Jaws yours.

The story – production, reception, legacy – has been reprinted ad nauseum, and when that
happens a film’s Greatness can lapse into cliché. Do yourself a favour: if you haven’t seen it in while or (grit teeth) never seen it, go and watch Jaws (available in endorphin pumping high-def) because this story of a menacing Great White Shark and the three men determined to catch it (“the whole damn thing”) really is a phenomenal experience.

It is not perfect (let me finish), but its imperfections are part of its beauty and every frame is infused with a twentysomething Steven Spielberg’s adoration for storytelling and cinema. He shares his enthusiasm with anyone who will listen, compounding a mix-tape of his favourite tricks with from Hitchcock to Tobe Hooper. It has a freshness, a buoyancy, and whilst there is no denying Jaws’ ability to shock – that poor little Kitner boy – the lasting impression is one of intimacy and warmth. Remember the story you wrote in your writing book in Year 1 about why you love your Stretch Armstrong so much? It feels like that.

Whilst borne out of technical difficulties, the restraint that the film has with its Big Bad feels perfectly calibrated, Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb’s script is snappily written, John Williams’ score is John Williams’ score, and the triumvirate of actors – Roy Schneider, Richard Dreyfuss, the fan-fucking-tastic Robert Shaw – share legendary chemistry.

Verdict: A family film, a horror classic, an adventure, the arrival of The Blockbuster. The whole damn thing.

Trailer for Scott Graham’s Shell

40304_largeHaving made significant waves on the festival circuit – including nabbing the Best Film prize at the Turin Film Festival – Scott Graham’s Shell is due for it’s theatrical release on 15th March. The film won’t have you jumping for joy as it’s subject matter and tone are difficult, but this is arresting, beautiful filmmaking with a strong performance from Chloe Pirrie.

My review will be online at Rhythm Circus in the next couple of weeks.

For now, here’s the trailer…