This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based on a Stephen Fry novel, the snappy wit in the dialogue zings with his specific brand of intelligent humour. This keeps the audience entertained as the story plays lightly with ideas of social privilege and deep-seated faith. The film is overcrowded, and the themes are all over the place, but it's often quite funny.
The story is told through the eyes inebriated curmudgeonly writer Ted (Roger Allam), a former poet who has just been sacked as a theatre critic. Thankfully, he has a distraction when he's asked to look into the rumours that his 16-year-old godson David (Tommy Knight) has some sort of mystical healing powers. So he heads to the manor house where David lives with his parents (Matthew Modine and Fiona Shaw) and older brother Simon (Dean Ridge). As Ted tries to get to the bottom of things, he speaks with a local playwright (Tim McInnerny) and his old flame Rebecca (Geraldine Somerville). But it's not easy to keep focussed on his task when he's drinking so much.
The film is very loosely directed by John Jencks (The Fold), which means that the tone is all over the place. Some scenes are played for slapstick value, while others are darkly pointed or intensely emotional. There are also so many characters that it's tricky to work out the connections between them, especially as their constant bickering reveals a labyrinth of past issues, and Ted never stops talking in the voiceover narration. All of this is amusing but noisily chaotic. So it's up to the actors to hold our interest. Allam is reliably entertaining as the likeably smug Ted, and his interaction with each of the others is energetic and sometimes funny. Amid the shameless scene-chompers in the cast, it's Knight who emerges as the most sympathetic figure even though, like everyone else, he's just using other people to get what he wants.
Continue reading: The Hippopotamus Review
In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on television, but fast-forward to the present day and he's balding, ungroomed and trying to convince himself that he is exactly where he needs to be in life with desperate daily positive affirmations. Fate does have one more adventure in store for the actor, however. A suspected serial killer named Paul Melly (Russell Tovey) has escaped from a secure unit at Darkmoor Hospital and is now taunting Isle of Man police that more will die unless he can speak to Detective Mindhorn. The police are well aware that Mindhorn is just a TV character, but they try their luck and enlist the help of the actor who plays him nonetheless. Unfortunately, Thorncroft turns out to be much less efficient than his onscreen persona, as much as he'd like to believe otherwise.
Continue: Mindhorn Trailer
Russell Tovey was inspired to start acting by the late Robin Williams, but he was unfortunately unable to ever meet the star before he died in 2014.
The 35-year-old actor has admitted the 'Mrs Doubtfire' actor - who tragically died in August 2014 aged 63 - made him want to have a successful career in front of the camera.
Speaking about the person who influenced him to ES Magazine, the 'The Pass' star said: ''The late Robin Williams. he made me want to do it all.''
Continue reading: Russell Tovey's Inspiration By The Late Robin Williams
Russell Tovey has apologised for his comments about drama students.
The actor Russell Tovey, who's been in everything ever made but nothing you can remember the name of, has apologised for suggesting drama school students "prance around" being "effeminate."
Russell Tovey apologised for his comments on drama students on Twitter
Tovey, who stars in the HBO series Looking about a group of gay friends in San Francisco, had been speaking to the Observer about his satisfaction at his father's refusal to send him to Sylvia Young Theatre School. The actor suggested that being educated at an Essex state school meant that he had to "toughen up."
Continue reading: Russell Tovey Sorry For Suggesting Drama Students "Prance Around"
Russell Tovey - A variety of stars from the music industry were photographed as they arrived at the Brit Awards 2015 which were held at the O2 arena in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th February 2015
Based on a notorious true story, this film takes a muted approach that matches the Victorian period and attitudes, which somewhat undermines the vivid emotions of the characters. It's a fascinating story about a woman caught in her society's harshly restrictive rules about women, and the script by Emma Thompson captures some strong observations, interaction and personal feelings, but the film is so dark and repressed that it ultimately feels a bit dull.
In the mid 19th century, Effie Gray (Dakota Fanning) has been courted by noted art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) since she was only 12 years old, and he has waited for her to come of age to marry her. But as she moves in with his suffocating parents (Julie Walters and David Suchet) in London, Effie soon realises that she's trapped in a hopeless situation. While he's loving, John simply refuses to touch her, which makes her doubt her own intellect and femininity. She's befriended by Lady Eastlake (Thompson), who knows a thing or two about cold marriages and helps her make a plan. Then Effie and John travel to Scotland with John's protege, the painter Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge), and Effie begins to understand that there might be other possibilities out there.
Since the film is made in Victorian style, it leaves all of the heaving passion far beneath the surface. It's obvious that Effie (and the audience) are craving a bit of lusty bodice-ripping, but any action remains behind closed doors, only hinted at in the clever dialogue. This makes the film realistic and intriguing, but difficult to get a grip on. And instead of the scandalous love triangle of historical record, the film plays out more as a drama about a young woman working out a complex escape from male-dominated society. Even so, it's a compelling journey, with some remarkable twists and turns along the way, and the complex characters add plenty of detail.
Continue reading: Effie Gray Review
When young Effie Grey (Dakota Fanning) is married to John Ruskin (Greg Wise), a man ten years older than her, she feels no pleasure whatsoever. She is soon whisked away from her native Scotland and follows her husband as he travels to Venice in order to work on his book, 'The Stones of Venice'. People often notice that there is no love between the pair, and they drift apart during their time in Italy, with Effie spending her time walking the streets of Venice and spending more and more time with her husband's protégée John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). With the two steadily falling in love, the struggle between right and wrong rages within Effie, as she is forced to make the choice between what she is told, and what she wants.
Continue: Effie Gray Trailer
Cory Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel on Saturday (13th July). Monteith is best known for his role as Finn in the television musical 'Glee'. Fellow actors, musicians, celebrities and fans worldwide have been shocked by the news of the 31-year-old's untimely death.
Cory Monteith was found dead at noon on Saturday 13th July 2013. He'd been staying at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver. The actor was due to leave the hotel after a week's stay but failed check out at noon. His body was discovered by hotel staff and early reports suggest the 31-year-old had been dead for several hours. Reports have not indicated why the Calgary born actor was staying alone in Vancouver.
Cory Monteith at 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, California.
Monteith's representative, Melissa Kates, released a statement confirming the 31-year-old's death. Speaking to USA Today, Kates said: "We are so saddened to confirm that the reports on the death of Cory Monteith are accurate. We are in shock and mourning this tragic loss".
Aside from being a hugely entertaining romp, this film also works as a far above-average Irish rural comedy as well as a freaky monster movie. With a fiendishly inventive script and hilariously complex characters, it grabs hold of our attention and never lets go. It's scary, grisly, silly and hysterically funny, often all at the same time.
The story takes place on Erin Island, a sleepy community off the coast of Northern Ireland where the pristine beauty is about to be invaded by tentacled creatures that arrived in a meteor. The drunken local cop O'Shea (Coyle) and his newly arrived partner Nolan (Bradley) check out a report by the colourful Paddy (Roddy) about something that's definitely not a squid. And a local marine ecologist (Tovey) confirms that it's not even from earth. But as Erin comes under siege from these "grabbers", the islanders have to come up with a clever plan to save the world.
Where this goes is both sublimely ridiculous and very clever, as the filmmakers gleefully play with the monster movie genre (there's a storm rolling in!) while stirring in elements of comedy, romance, sci-fi and horror. But this is never played as a spoof, which makes it surprisingly engaging as we bond with sharp-witted characters who face both these terrifying beasts and quite a few red herrings. As they improvise weapons from whatever is at hand, they also find time to bicker, flirt and even develop some lasting relationships. And Coyle, Bradley and Tovey are terrific in the central roles, as are the riotously eccentric villagers.
Continue reading: Grabbers Review
Gritty and claustrophobic, this British horror-thriller holds our interest with well-played characters rather than the wobbly plotting. It's a clever idea for low-budget suspense, because it essentially has just one set. And the premise is unnerving even if we instantly realise its implausibility. Still, once everything is set in motion, the story has no where to go, trapped like the characters themselves on the top floor of a condemned London apartment building.
Aside from the residents of the top floor of this block, everyone else has already been relocated. And after a violent murder in the corridor, these people are ready to get out too. Then one morning sniper fire starts picking them off one by one through the windows. Their phones and internet are down, every way out is blocked, and they have to work out a plan of action. Intriguingly, it's a young woman, Becky (Smith), who rises as the group's leader, tenaciously refusing to give up. Other residents include a local thug (O'Connell), a depressed alcoholic (Tovey), a couple of pensioners (Brown and Baker), a tense mum (Graham) and her teen son (McEntire), and two drug dealers (Elouhabi and Robinson).
As we begin to understand what's happening, there are some massive lapses in logic that continually niggle. The sniper is shooting from one side of the building, so presumably the flats on the other side are safe and undisturbed, and yet everyone remains huddled in the hallway. The building's front door is blocked, but they ignore the fire exit. And how exactly do you block a mobile phone signal at the top of a tall tower in a massive city? Fortunately, the actors make us believe that they aren't worried by these gaping plot holes. Smith is especially good as the feisty Becky, a refreshingly complex female hero who doesn't have to be rescued by the boys. O'Connell adds a few layers to his annoying character, and Tovey is as likeable as ever.
Continue reading: Tower Block Review
The film is almost too crowded with witty visual and verbal gags to catch on a single viewing. Although it's also too corny to be a real classic.
The Pirate Captain (voiced by Grant) never gets any respect, especially with the Pirate of the Year competition gearing up. But his first mate (Freeman) and rag-tag crew (Tovey, Gleeson and Jenson) are fearlessly loyal. While accumulating plunder to win the award, they accidentally hijack a scientific ship and then travel with Charles Darwin (Tennant) to win a science prize in London. But this means that the crew needs to get dangerously close to venomous pirate-hater Queen Victoria (Staunton).
Continue reading: The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists! Review
This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...
In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) was the most famous police detective on...
Maggie Smith couldn't be more perfect for the title role in this film if it...
Based on a notorious true story, this film takes a muted approach that matches the...
When young Effie Grey (Dakota Fanning) is married to John Ruskin (Greg Wise), a man...
Aside from being a hugely entertaining romp, this film also works as a far above-average...
Gritty and claustrophobic, this British horror-thriller holds our interest with well-played characters rather than the...
Aardman returns to hand-crafted clay-mation for this riotous seafaring romp. The film is almost too...
The Pirate Captain, although relentlessly optimistic, has never won the Pirate of the Year Award....