Making Friends As The World Ends Film Review

 

Jon Pegg, a film maker I’ve had the pleasure to interview a few times now after his movie ‘The Quiet One’ a brilliantly told story which went on to win numerous awards at various film festivals.

It surprising to think that this isn’t his day job, Jon the owner of the Eastside Gym in Birmingham is a boxing trainer / manager who has guided the career of many fighters including Sam Eggington.

So this time we have ‘Making Friends As The World Ends’ with a cast that includes Kia Pegg, Former WBC super middleweight champion Richie Woodhall, Keir Poutney, James Parsons, Corey Campbell, Amey Woodhall, Jenny Stokes, Louise Osborne, Charles Nicklin and Sindy Campbell

The film starts off with all the characters sat around a table in a safe house because the world as the title suggest is coming to an end. However the time has come for one person to venture outside of the safe house to explore and try and make contact with the outside world. Not surprisingly there are no volunteers so the group must come to a decision of who they elect be the one to go outside.

Firstly I want to talk about what I enjoyed about the film and in my opinion Jon Pegg, the team and the cast has done it again, with what id imagine was a shoe string budget and everyone there in their free time they’ve managed to carve out yet another interesting and engaging film.

It is filmed competently and I love how the film is so realistic, its not a brightly lit movie or a vast lavish set it’s just as it would be if this scenario were real, I also enjoyed how the film explores the lengths people would go to to save themselves from a dangerous situation and stay in the safe haven of the safe house.

The cast all do a very good job in portraying their respective characters there is a very good dynamic to the group and each character gets their own time to shine. I particularly enjoyed Richie Woodhalls’ and James Parsons’ performances as both characters have interesting story arcs and there are twists and turns along that may catch you off guard.

The other thing I must add is I enjoy the scope of the film because even though this is a very isolated story it sets up a larger world that could include many different characters with many different stories. There are comedic moments that act as good relief to the more serious parts of proceedings which adds a nice change of pace at the right moments.

Negative wise are things that are really out of the film makers control, due to budget constraints we don’t really venture outside of the safe house so don’t get to explore too much of what the cast is hiding from this however could be explored further in the sequel.

On the whole the I really enjoyed Making Friends As The World Ends and I think it thoroughly deserves the praise it is getting. Its so nice to see that with a group of people, some equipment and a lot of determination films like this can be made. I look forward to see what Jon and the team do next and hopefully in the future this film may have a sequel where we can explore this world a little more.

My Verdict: A MUST WATCH!!

Mikey

King of Thieves Movie Review

Im pretty sure that everything a film fan would look for before deciding whether to see if a film or not King of Thieves has. Good cast – check, good director – check, good story of which the film is based on – check and a good trailer – check! This film seems to have everything going for it and I must admit I was excited to see it, I’m a big fan of the cast and have grown up watching films they’ve starred in.

So how is it that a film that seemingly on the surface look to be so good end up being so poor? I really didn’t enjoy King of Thieves which is a real shame.

Lets set the scene so based on a true story Brian Reader played by Michael Caine is a retired thief who is legendary for pulling of major heists in the past is enjoying the easy life with his wife. Sadly his wife passes away with the dying wish that Brian stay out of trouble and enjoy the rest of his life. Brian keeps that promise for all of about a day because before you know it Basil (we never learn of his real name) played by Charlie Cox turns up with a plan to pull off one last big heist and Brian is more than happy to help.

So its time to get the band back together with Danny Jones (Ray Winstone), John Kenny Collins (Tom Courtenay), Terry Perkins (Jim Broadbent) and Carl Wood (Paul Whitehouse) making up the rest of the crew.

This film unfortunately will go down as one of my biggest disappointments of the year. The first thing I have to mention is the pacing, it really is all over the place. We spend literally no time on learning who any of the characters are as they mostly get one line introductions at best, Im pretty sure Ray Winstone’s character Danny is just introduced by doing a hand stand at a funeral. We then have the planning and execution of the robbery that once again feels really rushed, Id understand if we were being rushed through for a reason, maybe so we could get to the good part but we are not, we just seem to rush through it all so we can  dwell for what feels like an eternity on the aftermath of the robbery, why? Surely the most entertaining part of a heist film is the heist?

To assemble such a great cast just to completely underutilise them is once again a real down point of this film, Charlie Cox the star of Marvel’s Daredevil is painfully under used in the movie and he just doesn’t feel suited to the role at all. Why get an actor of Cox’s calibre if he’s mainly going to stay in the background and be used as the butt of pretty much every joke. I also have to mention Michael Gambon’s character who really doesn’t suit his role at all, in my opinion Gambon shines in roles such as his role in layer cake where he plays a more serious role, in this movie however he seems to play a bumbling idiot.

The rest of the cast suffers with strange character turns and odd plot points that seem to come out of no where and no real reason of why or how they came to that decision, the whole affair just seems disjointed. The dialogue isn’t much better with actors not really having much to work with and jokes that miss a lot more than they hit. I don’t think I even chuckled at all through this film and there were points I could tell I was suppose to. I have to be honest by the time the credits role I was happy for it to end.

Positive wise I can’t think of much to say, the cast makes the best of what they’ve got to work with and are all competent enough in their roles.

This film works a lot better on paper and equals to less than the some of its parts, it almost pains me to write this review because like as I’ve already mentioned I really wanted to enjoy this film and before I walked into the cinema I genuinely thought I would being such a big fan of its main cast.

Sadly however it was meant to be

My Verdict: Don’t bother

 

Mikey

The Predator Movie Review

 

The Predator film series, another one of my beloved franchises, well I say franchise but lets be honest its mainly down to the first film. The first film was an action and sci fi masterpiece. The action, the cast and the fast pace, it was a very good movie. So lets fast forward 31 years and 2 sequels later (not counting the Alien vs Predator films) and we have The Predator. It had a lot going for it, Shane Black now in the directors chair having worked on the original film, good actors like Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Keegan Michael Key just to name a few and fans excited for it considering its been 8 years since the last movie.

Unfortunately though it doest quite work, just because you constantly use the music from and get a cast member of the original to direct doesn’t mean your film is going to be as good or as successful. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t hate The Predator it isn’t an awful film it just doesn’t live up to the hype.

The film begins with a predator ship in pursuit of another predator ship, the ship trying to make an escape ends up crashing on planet earth (why do predator ships always crash land on earth?) At which point Boyd Holbrook’s character Quinn McKenna a U.S army sniper and his team are in the middle of an operation until a the predator ship crash lands right in the middle of it (really annoying when that happens!). His squad is then eliminated by The Predator he however manages to escape but the U.S government certify him insane to cover up that the predator exists, he then gets put on a bus with a group of people who have dubbed themselves “The Loonies”.

Before things get too negative let me talk about the things I liked about the film and too be fair there are a few, when I go to see a film like this I want it to do three things. Firstly be entertaining secondly have likeable well developed characters so if anything happens to them I actually care and finally progress the overall narrative of the franchise by exploring further into its mythology.

The Predator is an entertaining enough film, it has good action sequences, its not exactly edge of you seat stuff but it isn’t bad, I was pleased to see it got an R rating so the film doesn’t pull any punches and it makes good use of that rating with plenty of adult jokes and gore.

The main cast as I’ve already mentioned is a good one and the film does a good job of exploring their characters just enough to make them likeable. Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook do a good job as the films two leads but its the supporting cast that really makes part of the film shine. Trevante Rhodes, Alfie Allen and Augusto Aquilera are all great but its Thomas Jane and Keegan Michael Key who are the real stars of the show, their Camaraderie really makes you care about the two of them and their relationship makes you root for them and genuinely care when they are in jeopardy.

The film also is very funny in parts there was probably at least 4 or 5 times when I had a good chuckle and it didn’t feel misplaced either, there are some good comedic moments.

I like the way they advance the franchise along also, I won’t go into specifics as I don’t want to ruin the story but it does move the overall narrative on quite nicely.

So lets get to the negative (breath in, here we go) The plot holes in the film are a plenty, there is one specific one that in my opinion is a franchise breaker and this film does it again! The whole ‘if the predator sees your unarmed and not a threat it won’t attack you’ so why does every character in the film persist to run around shooting left right and centre just to be cannon fodder for the predator!?

The decision making process of some of the characters is quite frankly ridiculous, unfortunately decisions are made that no one would ever make, there just made to move the plot forward and the reason the other predator ship (the one that was in pursuit) finds where the runway predator ship crash lands is plainly ridiculous as well.

The editing is quite questionable also as in one scene in particular where a character puts sun glasses on even though its night time just to walk into a well lit bright room to then take them off again, what was the point in that!?

Even though I’ve praised some of the dialogue I have to say other parts of it are awful, its usually the one liners that really brings things down and makes everyone in the cinema sigh, they even shoe horn a “GET TO THE CHOPPER!!” in there. It seems that a lot of the bad one liners are given to Sterling K Brown’s character who seems to go from one bad one liner to the next. Its a shame, Sterling K Brown is a good actor but he really doesn’t have much to work with here.

Overall The Predator is what it is, its a fun film that if you just sit back, don’t think too hard and just enjoy the action you’ll have a good time with. Anything more than that and the gaping plot holes, poor dialogue and stupid decision making will start to get annoying.

My verdict: What for it to come out on Blu Ray

 

Mikey