There's enough charming energy in this loose London music scene comedy to keep us entertained, but the plot drives us round the bend by refusing to go anywhere. Yes, this is one of those achingly British films that pulls the rug out from under its characters (and indeed its audience) every time they're threatened with even a moment of happiness.
Our hero is Dixie (Jonny Owen), who leaves rural Wales when he discovers a band on YouTube that he thinks he can manage into stardom. In London, he discovers that the Premature Congratulations (Michael Sosha, Dylan Edwards, Joel Fry and Curtis Thomson) are four hapless young men who make great music but have barely a whiff of common sense between them. So his efforts to promote them are more difficult than expected, especially since his record-exec childhood friend Horsey (Roger Evans) won't give him the time of day. Then just as Dixie's girlfriend Shell (Vicky McClure) gets fed up with his debt-incurring ways, The Prems suddenly become the hottest unsigned band in London.
Not that Dixie is capable of getting them signed to one of the labels clamouring for them. No, this is one of those movies in which everything goes wrong on cue. Not only does success remain tantalisingly out of reach, but Dixie also has problems with a loan shark (Michael Smiley) and a surly record-shop boss (Martin Freeman). And his father is dying too. These are far too many obstacles for a scruffy little movie, and not one of them feels either relevant or necessary. It's merely Owen the screenwriter torturing Owen the actor. He may be relentlessly charming on-screen, but it's all so contrived that we know it's pointless to care about anything.
Continue reading: Svengali Review
Dixie is a Welsh postman who has arrived in London to follow his dreams of becoming the next big music mogul. After months of watching YouTube videos, he comes across The Premature Congratulations - a band that he thinks could make it big. Teaming up with his partner Michelle, he searches for the band and offers to be their manager. They're initially nonchalant about the situation, but they start to grow in confidence as Dixie lands them more and more gigs. However, they also start lacking in appreciation for poor Dixie, who is struggling to pay his rent on very little income and is facing difficult times ahead if he wants to communicate with the major powers of the UK music industry. With The Prems slowly slipping from his grasp and Michelle becoming increasingly more frustrated with him, Dixie is forced to think carefully about his future both privately and professionally.
This musical comedy is about the struggles of the backbone of any music industry - the managers. It was written by and stars Jonny Owen in his screenwriting debut, and was directed by John Hardwick ('33X Around the Sun'). 'Svengali' is due for release in cinemas on March 21st 2014 and on DVD and Blu-ray on April 7th.
Still need convincing to go and see 'Gravity'? Let these celebs show you the way.
As if emphatic reviews weren't enough to propel Alfonso Cuarón's heart-racing 3D space thriller, Gravity, to the top of the box office charts, now celebrities are doing their bit to provide the movie with some publicity by telling all their followers how out-of-this-world is really is.
'Gravity' Has Garnered Rave Reviews Internationally.
Gravity has been released in the UK today much later than its US release which means our American friends have been driving us crazy telling us how stupendously awesome the movie is whilst we crossed off the days on our calendar until we could find out for ourselves.
Leona Lewis is linking up with Katy Brand for a feel-good British musical movie.
Leona Lewis will make her film debut in a new musical titled Holiday! From the team behind the successful StreetDance franchise. The movie - described as a classic feel-good flick - also stars comedian Katy Brand and will feature the songs of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.
Directed by Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, the movie could help Lewis recapture her past glory. She became one of biggest pop singers in the world following her X-Factor triumph, though her latest single Lovebird failed to chart in the Top 200. She is said to be readying a Christmas album, according to the Independent.
"Feeling very lucky to be part of a project in which everyone is so passionate and supportive of one another," she tweeted of her movie role, "I'm loving the experience."
Continue reading: Leona Lewis Making Foray Into Movie World With 'Holiday!'
Celebrity Mastechef is back, but do we already know the winner?
Celebrity Masterchef - one of the most easy watching and addictive programmes on television - is back! It all got underway on Wednesday night (July 31, 2013) with a spurious group of famous chefs including comedian Katy Brand, former Sugababe Heidi Range and Jo Wood. Yes, that Jo Wood. The ex-wife of Ronnie Wood.
However, it was the ballsy journalist Janet Street-Porter who emerged as a potential winner, "She knows how to bone a duck," mused the pensive John Torode as the former newspaper editor went to work on a bird.
Former greengrocer and Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace is known for his blunt dismals of contestant's food - despite seemingly having no credentials to judge good food, other than selling bags of onions in Covent Garden - though even he looked terrified as Street-Porter gave him as much back.
Continue reading: Celebrity Masterchef: Is Janet Street-Porter The New Ferran Adrià?
Feet are mid-tour and promoting their debut album, and tonight they played Ramsgate Music Hall with support from local band Malpractice.
Famed for performing one of her own songs as her opening gambit on The X Factor, Lucy Spraggan rocked up at the Booking Hall as part of her UK and...
After nearly thirty years since his first solo record Mark Lanegan has just released one of his very best and there's not many artists who can claim...
Listen to their new single 'People Change'.
For the first, and almost certainly last, time Cambridge indie rockers Mallory Knox performed at The Booking Hall in Dover.
'Devour You' is a fantastic follow up to Starcrawler's debut album and represents a move on in terms of sound and, in part, direction.
Salvation Jayne's third birthday bash was a riot of colour and a celebration of a band very much enjoying what they do.
We're feeling the nostalgia this month.