Wednesday, 7 June 2023

The London Action Festival 2023

THE LONDON ACTION FESTIVAL has revealed a raft of new events joining the already impressive programme set to burst into London later this month.

The one-of-a-kind Festival is year on year proving itself in its ambitions to be Britain's answer to the San Diego Comic Con and will bring together influential figures responsible for creating some of the most iconic Action moments in Film and TV history, running from Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th June.

The extensive program offers professionals and fans alike the opportunity to immerse themselves in all things Action. Every day is 'action-packed', with more events to be announced soon, and the program currently boasts:
THREE NIGHTS OF SPECIAL EVENTS - including the return of last year's sell outs:

The FRIDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN – The Festival's Moving Target Awards' Show.
Award Winner's announced so far to be honoured for their Outstanding Contributions to Action Film & TV include:

For Direction: Martin Campbell, who directed the debuts of both Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in CASINO ROYALE and GOLDENEYE as well as the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated THE MASK OF ZORRO.

For Special Effects: Chris Corbould OBE is an Academy-Award and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor with an incredible body of work that takes in 15 entries in the "James Bond" franchise including NO TIME TO DIE, as well as Christopher Nolan's BATMAN trilogy and INCEPTION.

The WORLD'S GREATEST EVER SCREENING…(PROBABLY!) of the great British Classic THE ITALIAN JOB following in the footsteps of last year's history making DIE HARD screening, with special guests, music and surprises.

And Brand New for 2023, a special one-off LIVE PERFORMANCE of the critically acclaimed 'YIPPEE KI YAY' by award-winning comedian and action aficionado Richard Marsh - matched with a Q&A where Richard meets the writer of his most beloved film, DIE HARD Steven E. de Souza live on stage.


SPECIAL SCREENINGS Announced So Far – The Festival celebrates director Martin Campbell's Moving Target Award win with a special screening of THE MASK OF ZORRO plus Q&A; and meet the man who proved Arnold Schwarzenegger was more than a Terminator in a screening of COMMANDO with legendary writer Steven E. de Souza. Hear from Welsh virtuoso action director Gareth Evans after a screening of THE RAID 2. It's 50 years since the martial arts classic ENTER THE DRAGON hit our screens - we offer a special screening and panel event exploring the legacy of Bruce Lee.

EXCLUSIVE PANELS Announced So Far– Get up close and personal with discussions and masterclasses featuring on-screen and behind-the-scenes stars of Action Film & TV covering every addictive adrenaline-filled step from the page to the screen, including:

Meet THE VILLAINS OF JOHN WICK, Mark Dacascos (Zero in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM) and Scott Adkins (Killa in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4) – two of the most memorable villains from the $1 billion worldwide box office smash JOHN WICK franchise.
Renowned show runner Jed Mercurio (BODYGUARD, LINE OF DUTY).

BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee, Lesley Paterson (ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT).

Iconic Screenwriter Steven E. de Souza (DIE HARD, COMMANDO and THE RUNNING MAN)

Directors Miguel Sapochnik (GAME OF THRONES), Nia DaCosta (CANDYMAN, upcoming THE MARVELS) and Gareth Evans (THE RAID).

Editor extraordinaire Nathan Orloff (JOHN WICK 4).

Academy Award winning Special Effects Supervisor Chris Corbould OBE (15 James Bond films, BATMAN trilogy).

Composer Natalie Holt (LOKI, OBI-WAN KENOBI).

Full program details for THE LONDON ACTION FESTIVAL 2023 including dates, times, locations and all ticket options can be found HERE.

The LONDON ACTION FESTIVAL is co-founded by Julian Alcantara and Ron Fogelman along with financiers Lee Vandermolen (serving as Chairman) and Stewart Peter. The Advisory Board includes Colin Burrows, Maria Giacchino, Ian Nathan and Den of Geek's Mike Cecchini and Chris Longo.

Den of Geek is the event's Senior Media Sponsor with design services from Secret Origin Studios, A Den of Geek Company.

THE LONDON ACTION FESTIVAL runs from Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th June. Tickets are on sales now via the website

Monday, 5 June 2023

COMPETITION: Win Local Heroes on Blu-ray

Local Heroes On digital, DVD and Blu-ray 5 June 2023

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Meet the Local Heroes… three inspiring young men who, through their passion for football and determination to succeed despite the odds, went all the way to the top. Now the story of this powerful piece of footballing history is told in a brand-new feature-length documentary which is set for its World Premiere at home in Nottingham, on 25 May 2023, followed by a limited theatrical release. The premiere will have the footballing legends in attendance, along with a stellar team of supporters. The film will then kick-off on digital, DVD and Blu-ray this June courtesy of Miracle Media.

This eye-opening film tells the incredible, little-known tale of three Nottingham Forest football players, Viv Anderson, Garry Birtles and Tony Woodcock who triumphed over adversity – during a time of major political and social upheaval and cultural change in the UK – to win the European Cup in 1979 and 1980, under legendary football manager Brian Clough.

The talented players defied the odds to rise to the top of professional football to become true sporting legends… Anderson made history as the first black footballer to play for England, he went on to have many wins, both on and off the pitch, he was awarded an MBE in 2000 and was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Birtles, who started his career as a carpet fitter, went on to play for England and Manchester United and Woodcock’s career saw him play for Arsenal and Germany’s FC Cologne. This rousing documentary offers a window into British modern history through the eyes and stories of these unlikely heroes.

Sharing their fascinating journey, the trio recount their rise to fame and the obstacles they faced along the way, and how, during a time of economic difficulty, they persevered and prevailed. Local Heroes explores football's political and cultural transformation over the years and draws parallels between life as a footballer in the 1970s to life in the footballing world now.

This must-see film provides a captivating and moving glimpse into the lives of these determined individuals and sheds light on an inspiring, rarely heard story from the history of the beautiful game.

You’ll all be singing for the Local Heroes – a must-see documentary.

Pre-Order from Amazon at

Enter now for a chance to win.

Which football team did Viv Anderson, Garry Birtles and Tony Woodcock all famously play for?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here

1. Closing date 19-06-23
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Sunday, 4 June 2023

REVIEW: Hypnotic (2023) - Starring Ben Affleck & Alice Braga

Review by Jon Donnis
A new Ben Affleck film is out, and apparently the studio releasing it forgot to do any marketing at all. Meaning that no one knew the film was coming and hardly anyone has bothered to go to the cinema and watch it, meaning it has bombed at the box office. But should you make the effort to watch it? Read on to find out.

In the therapist's office, Danny Rourke (Ben Affleck), a detective from the Austin Police Department, recounts the haunting memory of his seven-year-old daughter, Minnie (Ionie Olivia Nieves), being abducted, a tragic event that ultimately led to the dissolution of his marriage. Deeply affected by this traumatic experience, Danny seeks solace in therapy.

Shortly after his therapy session, Danny is joined by his partner, Nicks (J. D. Pardo), who shares an important development with him. They have received an anonymous tip-off call indicating that a safe deposit box at a local bank is going to be targeted by criminals. Determined to prevent the robbery, Danny and Nicks embark on a stakeout near the bank, keeping a close eye on any suspicious activities.

To their astonishment, they witness a mysterious man (William Fichtner) issuing unheard instructions to civilians, bank employees, and even their fellow policemen. Surprisingly, everyone seems to unquestioningly obey his commands, allowing him to effortlessly enter the bank. Intrigued and alarmed by this strange phenomenon, Danny's curiosity is piqued.

Driven by a mix of concern for the safety of the people inside the bank, Danny rushes to the targeted safe deposit box. There, he discovers a photograph of his beloved Minnie, accompanied by a chilling message: "Find Lev Dellrayne." Confusion and anxiety consume him as he tries to make sense of the enigmatic message and its connection to his daughter.

With newfound determination, Danny resolves to track down the mysterious man, who now occupies the forefront of his investigation. Their pursuit takes them to a rooftop, where Danny witnesses a harrowing scene unfold before his eyes. The man effortlessly manipulates two police officers, compelling them to turn against each other, resulting in a tragic exchange of gunfire. In the chaos that ensues, the enigmatic man manages to escape, leaving Danny both enraged and determined to bring him to justice.

Now, burdened by the weight of his personal tragedy and fuelled by a burning desire for answers, Danny Rourke sets off on a relentless quest to find the elusive Lev Dellrayne (William Fichtner), hoping that doing so will unravel the mysteries surrounding his daughter's abduction and ultimately bring him closure.

Now I have deliberately not gone too far into the plot here, because to do so would give away too much.

Although the film is called Hypnotic and pushes Hypnotism as the main story plot point, it is not hypnosis, at all, it is psychic abilities. It does seem strange that they called the film Hypnotic, since no one is hypnotised in the classic sense of the word, they are controlled through people with psychic powers.

Anyway, this is ultimately a film about a father trying to reunite with his kidnapped daughter, due to the nature of the film, there are a LOT of twists and turns, and even by the mid credit's scene, you will still not be totally sure what is real and what is not. The story although not particularly original, is well told though, and when you get the first major twist, you will find that you are quite far into the film. And that will instantly have you questioning everything and everyone.

Both Ben Affleck and Alice Braga put in strong performances. Alice as fortune-teller Diana Cruz, is a likable character, who is a major part of what is real and what is not.

This film has a relatively large budget, and as such everything looks great, the tension building music is perfect, and the visual effects are spot on.

And at 85 minutes it has the perfect run time for a thriller. Really easy to watch, the film flies along at a great pace, and by the end you will want to watch it again, to see if you missed any clues.

The Good
Well made, well filmed, well-acted, Hypnotic is a good film deserving of your attention.

The Bad
This film was doomed to fail from the start due to the lack of marketing, I just hope that over time word of mouth will help the film grow its audience.

A thoroughly enjoyable action thriller, with a great cast and decent story.

I score Hypnotic a strong 8.5/10

Out in cinemas now and on digital at

Friday, 2 June 2023

REVIEW: Crater (2023) - Starring Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Mckenna Grace, Billy Barratt, Orson Hong, Thomas Boyce, and Scott Mescudi

Review by Jon Donnis
Disney has been having a terrible time recently, they have released a lot of box office flops due to their desperation to appease a violent minority, I found myself looking forward to Crate in the hope they would go back to what they do best and just make a nice kids/family film. Did they succeed? Read on to find out.

Set in the year 2257, humanity has exhausted the resources of the moon after their attempts to colonize it apparently failed. Miners were subjected to a gruelling 20-year service before being granted the opportunity to embark to a new planet called Omega for colonization. If a miner passed away before completing their 20 years, their next of kin would be responsible for fulfilling the remaining time, along with their own 20 years if they were above 18. I think we can all see the issue with this, as surely any decent parent would just kill themselves when the child is 17, as that would mean they would automatically get to go straight to Omega, and not have to fulfil any time left over from their parent, nor have to do the 20 years. I am guessing Disney never quite thought this through as a concept.

Caleb Channing (Isaiah Russell-Bailey), a young boy whose father, Michael, tragically died in a mining accident, finds himself caught in the above predicament. In his father's last will and testament, Michael explicitly stated that Caleb should be sent to Omega since he was still under the age of 18. However, Caleb has a deep desire to honour his father's memory by following a map that his father had left him, a map that leads to a crater on the moon. Despite his reluctance to leave, Caleb has only three days left before he is scheduled to depart for Omega.

In a desperate bid to seize this final opportunity, Caleb seeks out the help of his best friend, Dylan (Billy Barratt), as well as their friends Borney (Orson Hong) and Marcus (Thomas Boyce). Together, they concoct a plan to venture out to the moon's crater using a rover. To facilitate their escape from the mining base, Dylan enlists the assistance of Addison Weaver (Mckenna Grace), the daughter of a renowned scientist from Earth. Addison agrees to provide them with the necessary passcodes on the condition that she could accompany them on the expedition.

The five friends embark on their daring journey, driving the rover across the moon's surface until they reached a point where they pause to admire the breathtaking lunar view. Along the way, each of the kids open up about their personal struggles and secrets. (Yes, this is a coming-of-age story, sorry). Borney's neurotic tendencies were a result of his older brother's unsettling stories, and Marcus has a heart condition that required him to take medication regularly. Dylan shares the painful revelation that his father had come close to abandoning him and his mother due to his involvement in the moon mines.

As they engage in a playful game involving oxygen canisters, Borney found himself perilously close to being launched into the vastness of space. Thankfully, the quick-thinking actions of the other children saved him from that terrifying fate. However, their rescue efforts consumed a significant amount of their oxygen supply. In dire need of replenishment, they stumble upon an outpost, which turns out to be a model home from the time when people had planned to inhabit the moon. Inside, the kids discovered a stockpile of oxygen, food, and other essential supplies, providing them with a place to rest for the night.

I don't want to say any more as I will give too much away, but they find something interesting at the Crater.

This is your typical kid's film, where physics and logic go out of the window, replaced with kids doing incredibly dumb things without ever really facing any consequences.

The ending is actually really well done, and I liked it, even if the film as a whole will have you rolling your eyes. As an adult you need to try not to criticise the glaring errors and stupidity, and instead just try to enjoy it as if you were a kid without such knowledge.

With this being a Disney film there are the usual attempts to tick all the diversity boxes needed. Black Kid, White Kid, Asian Kid, Girl, Boy, something in-between, you know the routine by now. However, after someone mentioned it online, it also occurred to me that Disney seems to think that 250 years in the future, racial segregation in procreating is a thing, you see there are no mixed-race characters in the film. Now I understand that Disney think they are pushing diversity by box ticking races etc, but the fact that everyone isn't mixed race, suggests that Disney views the future as black people only mating with black people, Japanese with Japanese, White with White and so on. Now normally people wouldn't really care much about such things, and I don't think you should either, but if you are going to down the "woke" route in every film you make, not having any mixed race main characters, and inadvertently pushing race purity and segregation as a future model for humanity, then perhaps you are not thinking this through properly, and your claims to support diversity and inclusion are nothing more than a marketing ploy, and a way to make sure you keep your diversity scores high for the investors like Blackrock.

The Good
The visual effects are of a high quality, the moon looks great, and the ending to the film is really well done. All of the child actors do a decent job, and will have good futures in the industry, I am sure.

The Bad
This is very much a kid's film, and anyone over the age of about 15 will find some of the dialog and scenes a bit silly. Some of the scenes on the moon, it is clear that the kids are on harnesses, and physics very much takes a back seat throughout the film.

This is a woke Disney kids' film, it will be exactly what you expect it to be, you will watch once, and forget about it.

It is not terrible by any means; I enjoyed the ending.

I score Crate a fair 5/10

Out now on digital -

REVIEW: Robots (2023) Starring Shailene Woodley and Jack Whitehall

Review by Jon Donnis
I like Jack Whitehall and his style of comedy, so when I saw the general premise of Robots, I was looking forward to seeing this.

In the year 2032, remarkable advancements in robotics granted humanity the ability to employ highly realistic androids as servants and manual laborers. Among the privileged residents of an affluent suburb, Elaine (Shailene Woodley) and Charles (Jack Whitehall) found a peculiar solution to bypass the limitations of their busy lives – they began using android replicas of themselves to navigate the challenges of dating. Little did they anticipate the unforeseen consequences that awaited them. Androids were originally used to replace cheap illegal labourers, and were not allowed to be used as robot clones, to do so is a major crime.

Ok, I am not gonna talk too much about the plot, the above gives you the general idea.

This film feels like a low budget film, despite the odd moment of camera trickery to show the doubles, it just feels very amateurishly made, which is suprising considering the cast.

There are some awful American accents from some of the periphery characters, which just seemed strange to me.

The problem with this film is that you have a well-known comedian as the lead, yet the film forgot to add any actual comedy. There are moments where you can see they are trying, but I don't think I raised even a smile throughout.

This really is a forgettable film, such a shame as the cast deserved more, but I guess it was a payday, not that Jack Whitehall needs the money of course.

Shailene Woodley is probably the best thing in the film, and she comes across well.

The Good
There is a nice moment where a friend of Charles hugs both Charles and the Robot at the same time, and it looked very realistic.

The Bad
Way too long at 93 minutes. Poorly written story, poorly acted. Very cheap and low budget feel. When you consider the fee that Whitehall would have charged to appear, they might have been better using that money for the film, and using an unknown actor instead.

Disappointed in this, expected much more.

I score Robots a poor 3/10

Out now on Digital.