Saturday, 30 April 2022

REVIEW: Fortress: Sniper’s Eye - Stars Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray and Jesse Metcalfe

Review By Jon Donnis
It wasn't that long ago that I reviewed Fortress. And when I saw this new release, I thought it was the same film, just with a slightly different name for a new market, but then I realised it is actually the sequel! Yes the sequel that no one asked for, but we have it, so thought I would take a look.


In the past I have been quite harsh on Bruce Willis for churning out an endless stream of straight to digital, low budget films, that he hardly appears in, but with his diagnosis of aphasia, (brain issues), I now can understand why he did these films, which for him meant little time actually filming, but also making a living. In fact I already have another Bruce Willis film queued up to watch and review, and I believe after that there is still another 6 Bruce Willis films ready to be released!


With Fortress: Sniper's Eye now confirmed to be the second film in a trilogy, let's quickly remind ourselves of what happened in the first film. Bruce Willis stars as Robert Michaels, a retired CIA agent who lives in a secret retirement village in the middle of the woods. His estranged son Paul, played by Jesse Metcalfe decides to come to the village to visit his father, straight away Paul realises things are a bit strange as the retirement village is surrounded by high security, fences and guards. Fast forward a few weeks, and we are now in the new film's timeline. 


Robert (Bruce Willis) makes a daring rescue to save Sasha, the widow of the bad guy from the first film played by Balzary (Chad Michael Murray). Sasha seems to be grateful for being rescued, but before you know it, the "Fortress" is back under attack. Bruce Willis was shot in the rescue, so seems to stay in a bed for most of the film. And we have shoot outs, escapes, and the usual action you would expect.


There are a few flashbacks to scenes from the first film to help you remember who is who and how we got here.


The Good
I do think this film is better than the first, being released so close together, helps keep everything in your mind if you saw the first film, they get to the action much quicker, and despite the low budget, everything looks decent and at about 90 minutes, it is the perfect runtime.

The Bad
It's low budget and Bruce Willis is hardly in it.

Overall
If you liked the first film, you will like this. Like the first film it isn't going to set the world alight, they do a decent job with a low budget.

With the limitations in mind, I score Fortress: Sniper's Eye a fair 7.5/10

Out now on Digital, and on DVD/Bluray shortly - Fortress: Sniper’s Eye

Friday, 29 April 2022

COMPETITION: Win Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks At Their Finest on LP (Vinyl)


Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks At Their Finest - Released from 29th April

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

Synopsis: 
CAM Sugar releases a compilation album on LP, CD and digital celebrating the iconic sound of Italian jazz soundtracks, including 11 previously unreleased tracks

BOOM! is a 33-track compilation of the finest Italian jazz soundtracks, due for release on CAM Sugar on 29 April to mark International Jazz Day [30 April]. Featuring some of the most iconic soundtracks from the late 50s to 60s, BOOM! includes scores by Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovajoli, Piero Piccioni, Luis Bacalov and many more. Taken from CAM Sugar’s extensive archive of over 2000 soundtracks, the collection celebrates the golden age of Italian jazz music with 33 remastered tracks, curated by Pierpaolo De Sanctis. Eleven of the tracks have previously been unreleased and a further nine will be available on vinyl for the first time. The artwork for BOOM! was created by world-renowned calligrapher Luca Barcellona.

For a whole decade, spanning the second half of the 1950s to the second half of the 1960s, jazz took over Italian screens. Italian jazz became the soundtrack of Italy in its economic boom, representing the country’s industrial, social and cultural transformation following World War II. The BOOM! compilation also offers insight into the Italian jazz scene of the times, featuring soloists including Gianni Basso (sax), Oscar Valdambrini (trumpet) and Nunzio Rotondo (trumpet), as well as international stars like Chet Baker and Gato Barbieri.

The golden years of Italian jazz came after the genre was banned by the Fascist regime, during which time jazz was secretly listened to on records smuggled into the country from the United States or through the BBC’s Radio Londra broadcasts. After this period, jazz venues in Italy – also known as hot clubs – started opening across Italy’s major cities, and in 1949 Piero Piccioni hosted a show introducing the country to jazz and its culture on Italian public service broadcaster RAI.

CAM Sugar is the most extensive and representative catalogue of Italian original soundtracks, with over 2000 original scores from over 400 composers. Soundtracks from the archive have won over 500 international awards, including an Oscar for “Best Original Score” for Il Postino. The CAM Sugar team undertakes extensive research to revive and remaster tracks from the archive, 70% of which is currently unreleased. They undertake specialized work to restore original master tapes, reinforcing the legacy of the soundtracks for current and future listeners to enjoy.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3OOjS6R

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 16-05-22
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.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

REVIEW: The Bezonians (2022) - Starring Andreas Karras, Savvas D. Michael and Vinnie Jones


Review by Jon Donnis
A film about Greek Cypriots in London? Why yes, I would be happy to review! Since I am Greek Cypriot and I grew up in London, I consider myself something of an expert on the genre.

The Bezonians is the name of a social club of sorts in London, run by a character called Plato (played by Andreas Karras), where various generations of Cypriot immigrants come to socialise and gamble away their hard-earned wages, as well as drink and party deep into the night.


We meet a mixture of characters, the super cool Achilles (Savvas D. Michael), the tough guy Costas (Peter Polycarpou), Mavro Mike (Chris Tummings) and Anthony (Jamie Crew), most days it is just about a bit of weed dealing, partying with girls, and gambling, but one night Plato gets goaded into a game of poker with Lola (Lois Brabin-Platt), but she is a hawk, and wins big, and if Plato doesn't pay up the £50,000 he loses, then her boyfriend Willard Greb (Vinnie Jones) will come to collect.


The film is pretty much half over by the time Lola comes into it, and by then we have got to know and enjoy a lot of the characters of the club. But this is important, as it will be up to these characters to find the money to help Plato and save their social club.

It is rare that a film introduces a major plot point so late into a film, but by doing it this way, you already have a real affinity with the characters, you know their backstories, and that makes you care even more.


Every actor in the film really puts in a good showing, everyone is at the top of their game, and even the little stand alone scenes really fit well within the context of the whole film.

Now, I will say that as a Greek Cypriot I wish we had more of the culture, there are bits here and there, but there are things missing, and that is partly down I expect to the fact not all of the cast are Greek Cypriot. For example, if you spend 5 minutes with a Greek, you will hear the word "Malaka" about 20 times. You will also hear "re", and "ep". These are just little things. And then there is the London accent, many of the characters sounded like just typical Londoners, but Greek Cypriots in London have a very specific accent, and I hardly heard it in the film. And I think when you have a film where the culture and ethnic background of the main characters are one of the focus points, you have to have a certain amount of authenticity in there. Now I don't mean stereotypes, but you need  that little bit extra. The two old guys playing backgammon in the corner with Ouzo or Raki, just little touches like that really make the difference, and I do think this film misses a few of these things that only a Greek Cypriot might notice. 


One thing that Greek Cypriots do is have different accepts depending on who they are talking to. If you are British born, but you are talking to a Cyprus born person, and you are talking in English, then you tend to use Greek grammar, and pronounce certain words differently, it is hard to explain, it is not quite "Greeklish" but it is along those lines, it is a type of comedy that I have never seen used in any film or TV show with Greeks. It is very strange to non-Greeks so when showing it to a non-Greek audience it would be funny.

With that said, no one else will even think of any of that, so does it really matter?

The Good
Really well directed, with great likeable characters from top to bottom. A fun story, with plenty of great set pieces.

The Bad
I felt in needed to be more Greek Cypriot. I swear I only saw one Komboloi the entire film? I literally saw 3 sets today alone visiting my Dad.

Overall
Although slightly advertised as a London Gangster film, I didn't really see it like that. It was just an enjoyable 90 minutes, of great characters and great storytelling. We need more films featuring Greeks and Greek Cypriots, we have one of if not the richest culture in history, we have the best real-life characters, the best language, the best food. We need more.

I loved The Bezonians and I score it a very strong 9/10. But to get that elusive 10/10 I need perfection. And a film with Greeks and no one says "ep Apagorevete"?, Come on man!

The Bezonians on DVD and digital from 2 May (101 Films).


REVIEW: Echoes of the Past Starring Max Von Sydow

Review by Jon Donnis
There have been countless films made about "The Holocaust", but not so many films made about the genocides of other ethnic groups. On December 13, 1943 there was such a genocide, one you will probably never have heard of if you live outside of Greece. 

Σφαγή των Καλαβρύτων (The Kalavryta Holocaust) and the massacre by Nazi troops is a dark day in the history of a great country.

Echoes of the Past tells two fictional stories side by side, but based on a very real historic event, a modern story about the Greek Government launching a claim against Germany for reparations and the story of Nikolas Andreou (played by Max von Sydow in the Modern era), as a child he managed to escape the massacre, and now is on his final days on this earth, haunted by the horrors he witnessed and escaped from.

Caroline Martin (Astrid Roos) is a Berlin lawyer hired by the German Government to investigate the claim by the Greeks. The fear from the German government being that if they were to pay Greece reparations, it would open the door to many other countries of whom they massacred citizens. Her job is to travel to Greece and find anything that can undermine the case for reparations. 

Through flashbacks to Nikolas' youth the story of the occupation and genocide is told. And when Caroline tracks down adult Nikolas, the film takes a long hard look at the painful memories, and how Caroline has to deal with the truth.

Max von Sydow who died in March 2020 is excellent in his final ever role. A powerful performance drags the viewer into the film, and although tough to watch at times, due to the subject matter, it will leave a lasting effect on your psyche.

There is a very powerful moment in the film when Caroline Martin visits the very real Museum of the Kalavrytan genocide. We see photos of the victims and the background you hear voices of the murdered, it is a moment that will bring you to tears because it is so real.


The Good
A truly powerful film, that anyone with an interest in history should watch. There are so many stories like this of real events that never get told, and although this is a fictional story, it is based on events that are very real.

The Bad
In the flashbacks, the Greeks are speaking in Greek, yet the Germans are speaking in English. I understand why they did this, as they want to appeal to the English speaking audience, but if we can read subtitles for the Greek bits, then the German bits shouldn't be a problem either.

Overall
Have I used the word Powerful yet? A very well-made film, which did huge numbers when released in Greece, because for the Greek people these historical events are still so painful, and the fact that their stories are rarely told, so when one is told it means so much in raising awareness. I can only hope this film encourages other filmmakers to cover other historical events.

I score Echoes of the Past a strong 8/10

Out now on Digital and VoD 
Watch on Amazon https://amzn.to/3I7sfGQ
Watch on Apple TV


Monday, 25 April 2022

COMPETITION - Win The Bezonians on DVD


The Bezonians - Released from 2nd May

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

Synopsis: 
Head over to the mean streets of North London where you’ll find The Bezonians, an exclusive social club for a bunch of bloody blinding blokes, who would do anything to protect their mates. This brand new brash and ballsy, no holds barred gangster caper promises tongue in cheek violence, sharp wit, and a corking cast of Greek and cockney talent including Andreas Karras (Crooked House, Righteous Villains) and none other than genre royalty Vinnie Jones (Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels).

Greeks take on geezers in The Bezonians, a satirical Brit gangster thriller that gets its UK debut on DVD and digital this May from 101 Films.

Meet big boss man Plato (Andreas Karras), he’s a family man with old fashioned values and questionable beliefs who runs the Bezonians Social Club, where a colourful bunch – from Greek immigrants to a merry mix of lonely locals – have spent much of their lives. Gambling away their savings, drinking away their sorrows deep into the night while putting the world to rights – over the years they have become his second family.

When Plato makes the mistake of playing poker with scheming bombshell Lola (Lois Brabin-Platt) it’s not long before things go terribly wrong…  When Lola wins big, Plato is put in a tough bind, made all the worse when her sadistic boyfriend, Willard Greb (Vinnie Jones) gives him just 24-hours to come up the cash, putting everything and everyone he knows at risk.

When Plato’s life – and his beloved club – are threatened, only the suave Achilles (Savvas D. Michael), bruiser Costas (Peter Polycarpou), hard-headed Buster (Nicky B), wily Mike (Chris Tummings) and sweet Anthony (Jamie Crew) will stand by Plato as he faces intimidating threats from a psychopath. Can this mismatched group of down-and-outs come together and save their home away from home?

Written and directed by Savvas D. Michael (Red Rage, Original Gangster) this Brit flick is not for the faint hearted, or easily offended… Join The Bezonians they’ll always have your back.


Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3EGz7Kx

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 09-05-22
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.

COMPETITION: WIN CONSTANTINE – THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY ON BLU-RAY™


To celebrate its release, we're giving three lucky winners a copy of the new collection of DC Animated shorts, Constantine – The House Of Mystery on Blu-Ray™!

The new DC Showcase line of animated shorts elevates the beloved characters Constantine, Kamandi, The Losers, and Blue Beetle. In the anchoring short, John Constantine wakes up in the eerie House of Mystery with no recollection of how he got there. Fortunately, Zatanna and his friends are all there. Unfortunately, they have a bad habit of turning into demons and ripping him to shreds, over and over again!

Matt Ryan (Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his live-action and animated role as the Hellblazer himself in Constantine - The House of Mystery. Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) and Ray Chase (Licorice Pizza) reprise their roles as Zatanna and Jason Blood/Etrigan, respectively. The shorts are directed by Matt Reeves (Constantine – The House of Mystery and Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth!) and Milo Neuman (The Losers, Blue Beetle). Scriptwriters for the shorts are Ernie Altbacker for Constantine – The House Of Mystery, Paul Giacoppo for Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth! and Tim Sheridan for The Losers, with Jennifer Keene penning the screenplay for Blue Beetle.

Constantine – The House Of Mystery is set for release on Blu-ray™ on 2nd May 2022 and on Digital Download on the 3rd May 2022.


For your chance to win a copy of Constantine – The House Of Mystery on Blu-ray™, simply answer the following question:

COMPETITION CLOSED


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 09-05-22
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.

COMPETITION: Win The Boy Behind the Door on DVD


The Boy Behind the Door - Released from 2nd May

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

Synopsis: 
The Boy Behind The Door is the dramatic and evocative feature film debut from writing-directing duo David Charbonier and Justin Powell. This Shudder Original from the talented team – who went on to create the critically acclaimed horror The Djinn – has been described by the NME as ‘practically flawless’ and is now set for its UK Blu-ray, DVD and digital release, from Acorn Media International.

The film, set for its UK physical premiere on 2 May 2022, is unrelentingly fast-paced and conjures up the nerve-jangling sense of dread of a childhood nightmare.

A night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis – This Is Us) and best friend, Kevin (Ezra Dewey – The Djinn) when they are abducted on their way home from school and taken to a house surrounded by miles of bleak, dark country in every direction.

Bobby manages to escape his confines and quietly navigates the dark halls in a bid for escape, but when he hears Kevin’s screams, he realises he can’t leave his friend behind... Avoiding his kidnapper (Kristin Bauer van Straten – True Blood) and her menacing acquaintance (Micah Hauptman – Everest) at every turn and with no means of calling for help, Bobby embarks on a high-stakes rescue mission, determined to get himself and Kevin out alive...or die trying.

Filmed from the perspective of the two young protagonists The Boy Behind the Door tackles an undeniably dark and disturbing subject matter, while giving audiences a gripping and commanding tale of endurance and alliance in the face of evil.

What ensues is a suspenseful, chilling and expertly crafted game of cat and mouse, so tense that viewers will watch with the same trepidation as The Boy Behind The Door.

Pre-Order DVD from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3kbCoYE
Pre-Order Blu-ray from Amazon at https://amzn.to/38hrXAb

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 09-05-22
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.

COMPETITION: Win JACKASS FOREVER on BLU-RAY™


Enter for a chance to win JACKASS FOREVER on BLU-RAY™

Experience uncontrollable laughs at home!

Available on digital to Download & Keep now and on Blu-ray™ & DVD from May 2nd, with a butt-load of never-before-seen stunts. - Pre-order at https://amzn.to/3Mt8WJX

Embraced by critics and audiences alike, the sublimely inspired and seriously messed up jackass forever arrives on Blu-ray™ on May 2nd, with exclusive footage of more ill-advised and outrageous stunts not seen in cinemas. Enter now for a chance to win a copy of your own.

Certified Fresh® on Rotten Tomatoes®, jackass forever brings the crew together with new friends and celebrity guests for a whole lot of stunts, pranks, and bad ideas.  The Blu-ray™ release is loaded with nearly 40 minutes of outrageous and hilarious stunt footage not seen in cinemas: 

tarantula bite
face your rear
dark shark & the bear
fire in the hole
broke zach mountain
virtual reality
plug and arrow
the breakaway
soccer ball surprise
poopies only wipes twice
fire extinguisher
wee man throws zach under the bus
toilet geyser
telephone pole (susan)
telephone pole (millie)
telephone pole (A.D.)

Synopsis
Older and grayer but not wiser, johnny knoxville and the gang are back for another outrageous round of stunts and bad ideas. with new friends and loads of celebrity guest stars, the crew take pranks to ridiculous lengths where absolutely no one is safe, and all senses are frayed. from exploding port-a-potties to hockey pucks to the nuts and performing magic for an unamused bull, jackass forever is a hilarious roller coaster ride like you’ve never experienced before. 

Enter now for a chance to win.

jackass forever is available to Download & Keep now and on Blu-ray™ and DVD 2nd May

Pre-Order Blu-ray from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3Mt8WJX

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 09-05-22
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, 24 April 2022

REVIEW: Uncharted (2022) - Starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle & Antonio Banderas

Review by Jon Donnis
As the big Hollywood blockbusters are coming thick and fast, the latest one is Uncharted, based on the Uncharted video games made by Naughty Dog.

I have played a few of the games, so was interested to see if the film matched up.


Tom Holland stars as Nathan Drake, the lead character from the video games. Mark Wahlberg plays Victor Sullivan, with Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, and Antonio Banderas in supporting roles

The film starts with Brothers Sam and Nathan "Nate" Drake as they are caught by museum security trying to steal the first map made after the Magellan expedition. Sam is kicked out of their shared orphanage,  but before he leaves, Sam promises to return to Nate, and gives him a ring with the inscription "Sic Parvis Magna".


Fast forward 15 years and Nate is working as a bartender in NYC, he is an expert pickpocket and helps himself to wallets from the well-off guests.

Victor Sullivan is a fortune hunter, and he approaches Nate, he explains that he worked with his brother Sam tracking treasure that was hidden by the Magellan crew, he explains that Sam went missing after helping him steal Juan Sebastian Elcano's diary. Nate agrees to help Victor (Sully) find Sam.


Sully and Nate go to an auction to steal a golden cross linked to the Magellan crew, and there starts your classic action-adventure film, with clear nods to Indiana Jones and the Tomb Raider films.

Tom Holland is excellent as the lead, and Mark Wahlberg is just ageless.

Although the film is roughly 1 hour 50 minutes, it did feel longer, but that doesn't mean it dragged, as it didn't, I just feel like this should have been a 90-minute film.

The action scenes are all well done, the visual effects are top quality, and despite a few silly moments in the final big scene, this is a thoroughly good movie, that needs to be seen on the big screen.


The Good
Big budget, big action, big stars, what more could you want,

The Bad
The film would be better if it was a little shorter, I blame the director!

Overall
This is the kind of film I love; I know it is full of clichés, I know it is the type of story you have seen a hundred times before, and I know you will roll your eyes at some parts, but with that said, I still enjoyed it.

I score Uncharted a solid 8/10


Wednesday, 20 April 2022

REVIEW: The Contractor (2022) - Starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, J. D. Pardo, Florian Munteanu, and Kiefer Sutherland

Review by Jon Donnis
I am not quite sure how they managed this, but they took a film with a decent sized budget, paid some big name actors to appear, and then made a film that comes across as if it was a low budget Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson film.


Chris Pine stars as James Harper, he finds himself involuntarily discharged from the United States Army Special Forces due to his use of narcotics to treat a nasty knee injury. With no income after losing his pension and a dodgy knee, Harper contacts his friend Mike (played by Ben Foster) who works with a private military company run by fellow veteran Rusty Jennings (played by the always entertaining Kiefer Sutherland). Now it is worth noting for Kiefer fans, that he isn't in the film much, which is such a shame, because when Kiefer has good writers behind him, he has shown consistency in putting in awesome performances, sadly in The Contractor he is given something of a side role.

Anyway, Rusty runs clandestine operations for the US Department of Defence and Harper signs on for a mission in Germany. Rusty gives an advance of $50,00 to Harper, so he can pay off his debts, and off Harper goes to Germany.

Hollywood sure does like their cemetery shots

In Germany Harper tracks a middle eastern scientist called Salim (Fares Fares), and gathers what information he can. Rusty informs the team that Harper is a part of that Salim is working for ISIS, and is developing a chemical weapon and to take him out and retrieve all of the work done by Salim.

Before you know it, there is cross after double cross, Harper is on the run, and the film then plays out.

Chris Pine plays his part ok, nothing memorable, but not bad by any means. The problem is that the film is just a bit dull. As I said it is like watching a low budget film, but with a few high budget moments thrown in. The film has bombed at the cinema, which I think is a bit harsh. I just think that they could have easily made the exact same film but instead of a budget of $50m, it could have been done for $10m or less, and the viewer wouldn't really have known the difference.

Kiefer Sutherland with his cool beard!

The Good
The action scenes, shoot outs etc are all ok, pretty standard Hollywood stuff these days. Chris Pine plays his part well, and what little we see of Kiefer Sutherland is very welcome.

The Bad
It is all just a bit predictable and in parts dull.

Overall
A huge budget for what should have been a straight to digital release.
Not bad by any means, but expected much more.
I score The Contractor a disappointing 6/10

Monday, 18 April 2022

REVIEW: Agent Game (2022) - Stars Dermot Mulroney, Adan Canto, Katie Cassidy, Jason Isaacs, Mel Gibson, Barkhad Abdi, Rhys Coiro, Annie Ilonzeh, and Matt Riedy

Review by Jon Donnis
With Bruce Willis having to take a back seat due to his health, Mel Gibson seems to be the man to step up and take his seat in the "Low Budget, hardly in the film" chair.

The basic synopsis of Agent Game is as follows

"A CIA officer finds himself the target of a rendition operation after being scapegoated for the death of an interrogation subject."

The film starts off with Mel Gibson sat on a bench in the middle of the day, on a quiet street. He sees something, which has him reach for his gun and start shooting at an unknown target. This is also the very final scene of the film, but with added context.

The film does seem to jump between multiple timelines, which adds to the confusion.


CIA Operators Harris and Bill played by Dermot Mulroney and Jason Isaacs answer to the mysterious Olsen character played by Gibson. They are at a black site interrogating Omar (Barkhad Abdi). Omar and his group are connected to terrorism, but Omar is seemingly unaware.

These people will kidnap targets and then move them out of the country.

Another group have orders to kidnap Harris.

As the timelines catch up with each other, I was left a bit confused as to what was going on. Although answers are given towards the end, they were not necessarily to questions I was asking.


It doesn't help that the vast majority of the film seems to be in near darkness. Which made things even harder to follow. This dialog heavy film does have its moments however, towards the end there are some nice explosions, and the action scenes are well done, I would assume this was filmed during the pandemic, and as such actors were kept separate and filmed in chunks, which was then spliced together for the final cut. And with a low budget, it does seem they chose to spend most of the money on a decent cast, as opposed to the actual story or filming. I understand why they did this, but I think that taking your chances with an unknown cast, and spending your money on some lights so we can see what's going on, and better, longer action scenes is worth it in the long run.


The Good
The acting is all solid, everyone involved are professionals, and you will recognise most of them from the typical police procedural tv shows like NCIS, CSI, and stuff like that. Mel Gibson of course is the main name, and is the main draw for the film. Shame he isn't in it much.

The Bad
It's just too dark. I had to close curtains, and turn brightness on TV just to see what was going on. The story is overly confusing at times too.

Overall
Agent Game is one of those films that you have to give excuses to because of the low budget and circumstances of the filming.

You will watch this film once, maybe twice to figure out what actually happened.

I score Agent Game is middling 5/10


Sunday, 17 April 2022

COMPETITION: Win Belfast on Bluray


Belfast - Released from 25th April

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

Synopsis: 
An intimate and moving story of childhood memories hailed by critics as a “masterpiece” (The Times), BELFAST is available to own for the first time on Digital 11th April and on Blu-ray™, DVD 25th April from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Written and directed by BAFTA® and Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh, BELFAST on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital comes packed with all-new bonus content including a heart-warming alternate ending featuring Kenneth Branagh, deleted scenes, and featurettes about Branagh’s brilliant vision, the characters, and spectacular filming locations, plus personal childhood memories from the cast drawing audiences deeper into the authentic story about the power of family and community.

BELFAST is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy’s childhood amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. Buddy’s family lives in a largely Protestant district with a few Catholic families, but one day his community and everything he thought he understood about life is suddenly turned upside down. Buddy’s family gets caught in the mayhem and must decide to stay or leave the only place they have ever called home. Through it all, his passionate parents (Balfe and Dornan) and quick-witted grandparents (Dench and Hinds) keep the joy alive through music and the magic of movies in this feel-good story that reminds us that no matter how far you go, you never forget where you came from.

Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3uRbUlD

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 02-05-22
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.

COMPETITION: Win Sing 2 on Blu-ray™ - Released on 25th April

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Sing 2, we are giving you the chance to win a copy on Blu-ray™

SING 2 is available to Download and Keep now and on DVD and Blu-ray™ 25th April. To celebrate the home entertainment release we’re giving away a copy of the film on Blu-ray™ to one lucky winner. 

All of your favourite singing and dancing all-stars from Illumination’s Sing return in the definitive feel-good event of the year. The ever-optimistic Koala, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), and his cast have big dreams of staging their most dazzling show yet in the glittering entertainment capital of the world, Redshore City. There’s just one hitch: they must persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star, Clay Calloway (Bono), to join them. Rosita (Reese Witherspoon), Ash (Scarlett Johansson), Johnny (Taron Egerton), Meena (Tori Kelly) and Gunter (Nick Kroll) return with all-new characters, spectacular hit songs and electrifying performances in SING 2, a comedy about the emotional healing power of music.

SING 2 is available to Download and Keep now and on DVD and Blu-ray™ 25th April.

Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3JOU4Uv

Answer the below question correctly, for a chance to win this incredible prize. 

COMPETITION CLOSED

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 02-05-22
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.
6. One (1) winner will receive 1x SING 2Blu-ray™ each only. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

REVIEW: The Batman (2022) - Starring Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz and Jeffrey Wright

Review by Jon Donnis
Do you remember A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), when they tried to reboot the Freddy Krueger character and films, but took away everything that make him likeable? Well this is what they have done with The Batman.


First off, the story, Robert Pattinson stars as The Batman, we all know his history so pointless repeating it. A sadistic killer known as The Riddler begins murdering political figures in Gotham City. Detective Batman decides to investigate, and uncover the truth behind the corruption in the city and his own family's involvement.

Robert Pattinson does his best Batman voice, but never quite pulls it off. Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman has lost all of the sex appeal of previous Catwomen, don't get me wrong, she looks great, wears the nice outfits, but she has lost that something extra that Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway all were able to portray. 


Paul Dano plays The Riddler, but gone are the fancy suits and enigmatic personality, and in comes a sadist weirdo in a raincoat. Colin Farrell is The Penguin, but you would never know it was Colin Farrell, nor would you know it was The Penguin if they didn't tell you. He is just another gangster type. No monocle, top hat and umbrella.

There is no real threat to the city or the world, just a man in a suit, beating up muggers, solving a few crappy riddles and that's about it.


The film has no character, it is not a superhero film, you cannot imagine Superman turning up. None of the characters whose names you will be familiar with, have anything about them that is in the least bit interesting. The sad thing is that this film will make a fortune, purely by trading off the good will of the Batman franchise, the name, the history. And thinking back to A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), that film was the highest grossing film in that franchise's history. Yet no one thinks back fondly of it and there is no demand for another film in that new reboot's timeline.

The Batman is a dull film, in appearance and story, it might as well be in black and white for the lack of colour going on. There is a popular internet meme that compares the different Batman iterations over the years, with the joke being that each film got darker, until all you got was a black screen. I wonder if a black screen would have had more life in it than this.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, the film is 3 hours long. You get the impression that the Director just thought "screw it, nothing is going on the cutting room floor, include everything"


The Good
If you are struggling with insomnia, this film might help you drop off.

The Bad
They took a great franchise, with an incredible history, cast the worse possible, lifeless actor to play the lead, and churned out a 3 hour snore fest. 

Overall
I am sure there will be comic book nerds with their neckbeards saying how accurate this film is compared to the comics, or some nonsense like that, but for your average viewer who wants an escape from reality, I imagine many people will hate it.

I score The Batman a very poor 3/10
In cinemas now!

Monday, 11 April 2022

NEWS: Streamline (2022) - Starring Jason Isaacs & Levi Miller Released Today


Dive into Streamline, an emotionally rich coming-of-age-film, and a supremely impressive directorial debut from Tyson Wade Johnston, who also penned the piece. This gritty and gripping feature is produced by Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe and stars Hollywood favourite Brit actor Jason Isaacs (The Harry Potter Franchise, Mass) is now set to wow UK audiences with its digital release on 11 April from 101 Films.

15-year-old Benjamin Lane (Levi Miller – Pan, A Wrinkle in Time) is an introverted and gifted young swimmer, on the brink of qualifying for the Olympics. Pushed by his ruthless coach, Glen (Robert Morgan – Hacksaw Ridge) and his sacrificial mother, Kim (Laura Gordon – Undertow), it's unclear if he actually wants the life he's seemingly being forced to pursue.

When his enigmatic and estranged father (Jason Isaacs) is released from prison and tries to repair their damaged relationship, Benjamin struggles under the physical and psychological pressure and begins to self-destruct.

Drawn into the debauched lifestyle of his two older brothers, Dave (Jake Ryan – The Great Gatsby, Home & Away), and Nick (Sam Parsonson – Hacksaw Ridge, Love My Way), Benjamin is pushed to the limits as he’s forced to grapple with deep-seated childhood Raw and masterful coming-of-age drama sees gifted swimmer contend with trauma and toxic masculinity – can he stay in his lane?

Out now at https://apple.co/3E5xrK7