I gotta tell ya, if you didn’t already know this about me, I love British films. I’ve watched the casts in British T.V., films, and American movies alike, starring alongside other big name actors. They crush their lines with timing and precision, they hold an air of Shakespearean flair, and
The Lock and Stock gang (not actual name).
they got the whole suave, posh thing goin’ on. I gotta hand it to Jason Statham, he’s a godawful muscle man stunt actor in American films, but he fits right in when the rest of the cast is from the U.K. And Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is this perfect case when it comes to that. A flavorful British cast with a renowned British director in one of his first film debuts, Guy Ritchie. Let the guns fly and the villains die.
Always out for a pint.
That’s basically what this movie is. Although there’s not really any big hero vs. villain gun fights or anything (you can’t tell the heroes from the villains anyway. Why would you want to?) you love the situation and the feel of the movie. It seems like everyone in the film has got a mouth on them, and they all speak the crime lingo. Everyone’s out for themselves with the big payday, and this movie has a big payday indeed.
The movie starts out with Bacon (Jason Statham) a two-bit swindler who speaks easy and cons you out of your money. Selling less than par jewelry, he and Eddy the Card Shark (Nick Moran) run through the streets of London after they’ve been had. Meanwhile, Tom (Jason
Talk about your smoking barrels…
Flemyng) is finishing his last deal with Nick “The Greek” (Stephen Marcus). He’s the brash leader of the group. Then there’s Soap (Dexter Fletcher), the straight walking saucier chef of the bunch. They all bring together 100,000 pounds for Eddy to play with versus Harry “The Hatchet” (P.H. Moriarty). After being forced into a loan and some shady dealings with some cameras and Morse code, Eddy loses and all four of the guys have to pay back 500,000 pounds. Oh no.
Cage match. For keeps.
With no means of being able to pay Harry back, the gang decides to drop in on a fellow gang’s robbery idea, stealing from the thieves. With a domino effect of a plot ensuing, you’ll never see the ending coming (or will you?). I personally was very satisfied with this film. Considered one of those “classic films” you should probably see before you die, I do agree. It is. It has a witty cast and a great vibe to it that just reeks of British gangster (as it should. They’re pretty ballin’.)
I want to spend a bit more time on that ballin’ cast I was talkin’ about. I already said Jason Statham, familiar with his feet set on the other side of the pond (not in America, obviously). There’s Nick Moran, who is someone I’ve seen occasionally in small roles, but after seeing this, I think he is destined for bigger and better things.
You bald buffoon.
Jason Flemyng is one of those actors I love seeing (besides his classic role and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentelmen), and I can’t get enough of his versatility. It was nice to see Dexter Fletcher without gray hair (he plays Nathan’s dad in the British T.V. show, Misfits) and his character is worth a few laughs. And I have to admit that I found P.H. Moriarty to be a pretty nefarious gang boss in this one. He played Gurney Halleck in the Dune series movies for cryin’ out loud! And there’s Vinnie Jones, the former club soccer player in England. Ever since he did this movie, he’s been poppin’ up all over the place. More power to him.
I’m the Juggernaut, female dog.
I loved the plot of this film. I don’t know if I can speak highly enough of it. It has at least 6 moving parties in the film (even some bumbling idiots you wouldn’t expect to do much), and everyone gets in a whole lotta shenanigans by the end. It’s not very often you see such complicated plots like this with such a great amount of dialogue that is pulled off so well. Leave it to the British to do that.
Combine all this with a solid soundtrack, colorful references and
Let’s get it poppin’.
language and a dialect all its own, and you have a crime film that defines the late 1990’s (even into the 2000’s). I’m just sorry I hadn’t seen this earlier. It kicked my ass, and left me wanting to see some other crime flicks. Looks like Revolver and RocknRolla are up now on my list of things to watch. 8.8 out of 10.
We know that everyone who watches this series misses Nathan. It’s true, Robert Sheehan was the standout star of this show, really bringing down the house with his no holds barred comedy and wise cracking. Hell, I miss him more than anything. So much so, that I didn’t watch the third series until now. My grieving was great, but it was time to figure out who gets what new powers in this series.
Amazingly enough, this series doesn’t ease old viewers in with the typical start you’d think of the old characters reuniting. This series hits you off kilter at first with Joseph Gilgun who plays Rudy, the psychologically ripped apart sociopath with two personalities. So what do you think his power is? Who would’ve guessed?
Now, Joseph Gilgun is kinda meant to replace Nathan. His character Rudy is, for lack of a better word, rude, and insensitive. He never
Look! They’re all friends!
apologizes and is always looking for the next shag. Often confused and slow, this hides his sensitive side that never wants to be hurt. He is a good replacement. I have to say it. I enjoyed Gilgun just as much as I enjoyed Sheehan’s wisecracking. They’re both sexually ignorant and rude, and they both have this immaculate sense of timing. I was impressed, so give him a chance, you lot of Nathan lovers out there.
Some serious stuff going down this series…
From there we hit the ground running. Everyone has their new powers all lined up in a row, Alisha can do this, and Curtis can do that, and Simon has his own thing going on. Kelly, well, she’s just Kelly. (And she has become a Hell of a lot funnier.) Out of community service, it just so happens that Rudy stumbles upon them, befriends them, and steals a car, getting them all back into community service as accessories to the crime.
From here, the show features 8 episodes, most focusing around Simon’s destiny with the past and Alisha. Some focus around Rudy and his new spice he brings to the group, and, in a surprise twist, some focuses around Seth (Matthew McNulty) the drug dealer turned power swapper. There’s some juicy gossip there I can’t get into, but you’ll see soon enough. I also have to mention this before I forget, but, if while watching this show, you feel Rudy talks and acts like a comic version of Christian Bale (skinny of course, and lanky…) then let me know via comment.
A bigger part this series?
As with every season of Misfits, I am more and more impressed with the show. It has such great characters that you grow with and hope for the best for. The comedy is spot on and there’s even more geeky references to movies and pop culture in this season! The sex is toned down and the relationships between the characters have improved. Nobody hates each other as much as they used to, and you can see the friendships growing. There’s not even that much gripe about Rudy joining the group. The ending is bittersweet and I have no idea what they’re gonna do next season.
Here’s why. Kelly (Lauren Socha) is leaving for personal reasons. Her character wasn’t properly sent off or anything so I have no idea what’s happening there. Simon (Iwan Rheon) and Alisha (Antonia Thomas) were properly sent off, and each of them made the appropriately professional and separate choice to leave the show. They had a great run and this is what you come to expect from British T.V. Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) is staying on, which I found a surprise. This leave Rudy (Gilgun) and Curtis on the show currently. They are only seeking out another female, and two male roles. Looks like the makings of a sausage fest.
They have made strides in who they have picked for the new series though. It has been confirmed that three new
You’ll be sorely missed Lauren. I will always adore you.
characters named Jess, Finn and Alex. Jess will be played by Karla Crome will play Jess. From the pictures I’ve just looked up on Google (she hasn’t done anything I’ve seen) she should be a good, darker character addition to the show (and I don’t mean skin color, the pics online show her to be a femme fatale). Finn was confirmed as Nathan McMullen, the goofy and nice kid. They have one pic of this kid online over and over, and he looks like a sweet, curly headed kid. Guess he fits the part. These kids are so young these days…
So I hope everyone is ready for a hell of a good time with Series 3, and looking forward to Series 4. I know I am, and I’m gonna give Series 3 a good rating that it deserves. Not the same as Series 1 or 2, but something different and good all the same. 9 out of 10.
What would it have been like growing up living in the shadow of Bono and U2? Well Neil McCormick, author of Killing Bono: I was Bono’s Doppelganger knows exactly what that feels like. And his book turned out to be quite a good movie based on his experiences. With a huge interest in seeing Robert Sheehan in a role other than Misfits, I sat down to check out Killing Bono. In an odd turn of events, this is one of those films of one-upsmanship. I find McCormick’s character to be intriguing and tragic, especially with his circumstances and the adversity he faces. So let’s blast out to some U2… and Shook Up.
In the late 70’s, Paul Hewson, soon to be known as Bono (Martin McCann) and his friend David Evans (The Edge) would form a band that would sweep the world, in a similar fashion to The Beatles. Neil McCormick’s brother Ivan (Robert Sheehan) was recruited at first by Bono, but it was Neil’s (Ben Barnes) decision to keep him from the band. Holding this secret inside, Neil will do anything in his power to beat Bono and his fast rising star. With travels to England, a few
A little bit of Martin McCann as Bono.
relationships, and some fiddling around with record producers, It is up to Neil to prove to his brother and everyone that his mistakes were made for a reason.
And it’s a long journey from the bottom to the top (or as close as it gets). This movie has some twists and turns (on a downward spiral), and leaves you realizing that it doesn’t matter if Neil succeeds, it is up to him to do what he thinks is best for himself, and realize he cannot choose for others. He can only be as good as he himself can be. Now there’s a bit of some moral wisdom to dish out at the end of a film.
A little taste of the McCormick brothers!
I had only seen Ben Barnes in a few things before he burst onto the scene in this film. Stardust and Prince Caspian in the Narnia series to name the few. But this is one of those out there roles for Barnes. He’s all over the place, he’s ecstatic, he’s cocky and ready to roll at any moment. This is a hard role to pull off if you don’t have the personality for it, but Barnes does a good job of it. I wouldn’t have minded to see Robert Sheehan in the pivotal role, but this was all good all the same.
But my what a young actor Robert Sheehan is turning into in the world of movies. First there’s his strange appearance in Nic Cage’s Season of the Witch, and then followed by this movie? Soon he’ll make a name for himself as a period piece actor in the American film world. And I hope his unforgiving comedy will be able to come across the “big pond” in order to become a mainstay in America. I see big things for this young star, and I wish him the best.
Pete the ridiculous record exec.
It is rather unfortunate that this is Pete Postlethwaite’s last performance before his death. This actor who I will always remember as the whimsical man who gave James the seeds that would send him on his journey in James and the Giant Peach. In this film, he’s a bit of a different character. Pete plays a garishly homosexual landlord with a penchant for large parties. Helping Neil and Ivan along the way in London, it is Pete who brings together Gloria (Krysten Ritter) and Neil as Karl, Gay Landlord Extraordinaire.
That’s some great hair there, Robert.
And you can’t forget Peter Serafinowicz as Hammond, the ridiculous record producer. First he was Pete, the dick roommate in Shaun of the Dead, but he has gone on to do some great T.V. work Look Around You and various other writing and starring in British television. He was the voice of Darth Maul for god sakes! What an accomplishment! This strangely wonderful man is just the kind of quirky actor this film needed.
Oh, and we have to talk about the soundtrack! This movie didn’t directly feature any U2 tracks, this features all original (or did Neil make it?) music for the film, or something or other. And I really enjoyed the music. Ben Barnes had a great musical performance and really captivated what it meant to be a popular band in the 1980’s. Couple this with a combo of darkish humor and drama, and you have a film about triumph and revenge. I’d give this film a watch for any U2 fans. 6.9 out of 10.
Let’s get some dark eyeliner on and hit up this club.
The Misfits are back for series two, even bigger and stronger than ever. By this point (and I hope those people who follow me have watched it) you know the ASBO 5’s powers. There’s Kelly and her ability to hear people’s thoughts. Alisha and her irresistible sex appeal through touch. Simon and his invisibility, Curtis and his power to turn back time under stress, and Nathan’s immortality that is discovered at the end of the season. I really enjoyed that aspect of mystery in the show and going on the journey of discovery with the Misfits in finding their powers. And, lo and behold, Nathan has the best power of all.
But I have a theory about these powers. Due to Kelly’s insecurity with her self image and fighting attitude, it is her punishment that she hears what other people think, especially her. Simon’s invisibility almost goes without saying, due to his lack of social abilities. Curtis wishes to go back and fix the mistakes he made, as is depicted in the first season. Alisha exudes sex and is treated thus, and Nathan, well, the phrase sticks and stones may break my bones is ironically applied to him. This wonderful analysis of the characters and the back stories we discover is why this show is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
That's what I like to see, Nathan.
And yes, I gave last season a 10 out of 10. Is it a stretch to say that the second season is even better? More strangers with powers, more life and death situations, AND a new masked parkour artist out to help the Misfits. What could be better? A bit of video game violence and cheese never hurt anyone, and adds to this series tremendously. Nathan is still making my sides hurt with his ridiculously offensive quips, and Alisha is as sexy and sassy as ever. Kelly has her smart mouth and Curtis is classic as well. And Simon, well, Simon is Simon.
Oh, and all the twists in this show! Everything connects, things you won’t expect will happen, and you’ll be tragically, yet happily surprised by the end. This show does not spare feelings and will make you care for these characters. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand more times. Get on Hulu and watch this show. Now. You won’t regret a minute of it.
I don’t want to reveal too much at this point about the show because of every episode’s potential to blow your mind. I really enjoy the length and breadth of every episode and how much is delivered entertainment-wise in each episode. I will tell you that this season takes place towards the end of their community service. And you may say, “Hey, the series must be over when they leave, right?” I would tell you I wish it were so, especially because of Nathan’s departure, but the show must continue for some reason. With a third series filmed and a fourth planned, let’s hope this show ends gracefully at some point.
But until then, watch on and discover why I rant about this show for paragraphs at a time, not saying a single bad thing about it (other than that Nathan leaves after the second season…) and loving every minute of it. It’s well worth the watch, and I’ll have to give this bad boy an 11 out of 10 because of how highly I thought of the last season in comparison to just how damn good this one is. Misfits Series 2 breaks my charts. Redonkulous.
I would like to start off with a special thanks to my girlfriend’s sister Dana for making me aware of this wonderful show simply titled Misfits. I know she’s just paying me back for telling her about Foxy Shazam, and so it’s all good now. I would also like to thank Hulu for showing this in the U.S. for free. It is not small wonder this is one of the most watched shows that you have in your archive.
Hailing from the wonderful little island of Britain, Misfits is a series about, well, a group of misfits. Being as vague as I can about the series, I’m not going to tell you what they did or just exactly what happens, but I will tell you one thing. Freak electrical storm. These five Misfits gain bizarre superpowers that get them into some pretty strange situations (and sometimes gets them out of them). With a culture different from our American teenagers, a whole new kind of token characters are created.
A great cast of heroes has been assembled here.
And what a wildly awesome bunch they are. It’s not to say they are completely different from us, but, I swear, if MTV tires to touch this show I will burn their headquarters to the ground. This is a show that, in its context, can only be done amazingly by those who originally did it. Any bastardizing of this show will be seen as blasphemy. Anyways, back to the characters. There’s Simon (Iwan Rheon). He’s the quiet outcast of the group that never really had any friends, and, at first, it appears to be plausible. We gain an emotionally connected insight into his life as the series progresses and, if you don’t like him as much as I think everyone should/does, then you might wanna stop watching. Being one of the key characters, it’s sad to see that he’s leaving after Series 3.
This is why she's hot.
Next is Alisha (Antonia Thomas). This smokin’ hot and fiery young black woman is beautiful and knows it. She uses every man she can for what she wants (usually sex) and then throws them to the gutter. As with almost all the characters, she doesn’t give a shit what people think of her. Typical of a delinquent. After Alisha comes Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), the athlete gone bad on that one mistake. With his track days over, Curtis has given up on life and wishes anything to have things back to the way they used to be. It does my heart good to see more than one minority in a “superhero show” like this and Curtis and Alisha are good representations.
You better recognize.
Next is Kelly (Lauren Socha), the spitfire “slag” of the group. Representing the “lower class of Britain” in this show, she jumps on everyone’s case with her unique way of speaking. As one of my favorite characters, I love that she’s always the one dishing out the hits on all the guys. And not flirting. And then we come to Nathan (Robert Sheehan). I recognized him from Cage’s Season of the Witch and was surprised that HE IS ONE OF THE BEST ACTORS IN THIS SHOW. I was constantly laughing and believing that the young choir boy I saw from Cage’s disaster was a completely different person. In looking forward to watching everything this kid ever does, Sheehan does an amazing representation of the smartass class clown.
True. And funny.
So there we have all the characters. In the first episode, you begin to discover just who they are and how their powers relate to their lives. Seen as punishments that accurately fit the crime, these five must deal with a series of horrific events and the consequences of their actions. Set in an imagined suburb of London named Wertham, this is one of the best British shows I’ve ever watched, and I’ve seen all of The Mighty Boosh and Little Britain. (Just roll Nathan into both those shows and he’s just as funny.)
I can’t reveal too much about the plot because its just too good to discover what happens. The series is fantastic and I really can’t say more than that. I encourage any superhero/anti-superhero, nerdy, British loving, dramatically inclined, film lovers to check out this show on Hulu. At least watch the first series. All the characters develop into these amazing people that you wish were your friends and you care deeply for them and the relationships they form with each other. (And there are some steamy relationships you won’t see coming.) Coming from a guy who’s not that into the gossip/Skins style focus on love and sex, it was a bit over the top for me in this show, but it gave an adult quality to the 20 year olds acting on screen. Focused solely around their time in their community service building, a lot more is going on than meets the eye.
Discover all the mystery. And what's going on here.
I can’t say enough how wonderful this show is. If you watch it/are currently watching it, there will be an update for how good Series 2 is in comparison. (I don’t know about Series 3, Nathan has left…) So keep up on it and discover all you need to know about Misfits. And I’m going to post the show opening song because of how perfectly it fits and how catchy it is. Get some of these Misfits, they’re 10 out of 10.
I also forgot how amazing the score to the show is. Enjoy!
In the same vein as Black Death and watched only a few nights afterwards, I came to the realization as to why this movie didn’t work for me. It’s not Nic Cage or Ron Pearlman. It’s not the lackluster accents put on by the cast. It’s not the Rock ‘n’ Roll ahead approach to the plot. It’s the fact that I didn’t feel that any of these actors were ever meant to or destined to star in period pieces. As in Black Death, Sean Bean was specifically bred and born to play the role of a Medieval knight. In Nic Cage’s case, I’m not at all positive. Sure, Ron Pearlman has wielded a sword in In the Name of a King (come to think of it, even Jason Statham can’t play an English peasant…) but Pearlman’s body size is really only perfect for Hellboy and Blade II.
And, in this manner, I was removed from fully immersing myself and enjoying the plot presented in Season of the Witch. (Original title idea for Scorsese’s
Do you believe this wench to be a witch?
Mean Streets.) I had to watch this though. My goal in life is to watch the entire career of Nicholas Cage in full. All the way from Fast Times at Ridgemont High down to Ghost Rider 5 (I hope…). I’ll take all the good (The Cage Renaissance) all the way down to his money problems (National Treasure and onwards… for now…). Seeing as this Medieval film really fits this quota, let’s dissect it.
Nic Cage and his flowing locks of sultry power.
So Behmen (Nicholas Cage) and Felson (Ron Pearlman) are two ex-crusaders. And to say that, I mean that after many wars, these two decided all the killing wasn’t worth it anymore. And I gotta say, some pretty pimp-ass helmets as well. They look like cauldrons. Whatever floats your boat. So these two ruffians hustle it back to Germany just in time to find that the Black Plague has hit Europe. (Actually accurate that a lot of Crusaders missed that bit in history.) Discovered in some barn area that they are wanted by the Church, these two duel for a quick second and then are whisked off to meet with Cardinal D’Ambroise (Christopher Lee).
Haggard as ever and possessed by the plague, the Cardinal orders these two men to escort a suspected witch to a hidden monk’s shindig house in order to LIFT THE ENTIRE CURSE OF THE BLACK PLAGUE. All because of one girl?
Unlikely… But that’s beside the point. So the two agree to avoid jail/death, and they assemble their Super Squad. First up we got Debelzeq (Stephen Campbell Moore). This is pronounced De-ball-sack. Unfortunate, but an actual name. One of the more believable period piece actors, Moore brings a bit of the clergy to the screen. There’s Eckhart (Ulrich Thomsen), the soft-spoken man with a heart of gold. He obviously can’t last. And there’s Hagamar the thief (Stephen Graham). He’s really not worth mentioning.
Robert Sheehan, the last bastion of hope in this film.
And then there’s the star of the show. Young altar boy turned knight, Kay von Wollenbarth (Robert Sheehan). This new up and coming actor stars in one of my favorite shows in the U.K., Misfits. This show (which will be reviewed soon) is a wonderful breakout role for Sheehan, and he has proved his mettle since then in Killing Bono and Red Riding. He’s really not given a chance to shine in this film with the limited script, but you’d barely recognize him. If only his Irish accent could flow from those lips in every film.
So, on this whirlwind roller coaster adventure, in every twist and turn, lives are at stake. Is Anna (Claire Foy) truly a witch? Or something more? Will Behmen and Felson survive? Only watching this movie from start to finish in hopefully one sitting will tell…
There’s really not much to say about anything else in this film, so I’ll summarize. The acting is a period piece, without a sense of the period. English accents failed to veil whatever was going on at the time. If those were even accents… I love the Cage, but when you want some Cage action, you expect a bit better from him. This one was toned down and I commend him for that action, but some more terror and mania was necessary. This supernatural film came across as realistic at first, and moved towards the CGI graphics and buffoonery towards the end. It seemed as if the movie was going in two different directions from start to finish. I don’t blame the actors or what was attempted onscreen, I would say the flaws started from the writing/pre-production phase. So, cast and crew of Season of the Witch, you gave it your all, but you let Nicholas Cage down. And for that, the Cage vehicle of dastardly deeds gets a measly 3.3 out of 10.
This haggardly crew must fight the witch in this touching film of evil.