Archive | February, 2011

Full List of Razzie Winners (or Losers)

28 Feb

The Academy Awards were not the only movie awards to take place over the weekend.  Now in its 31st year, the Razzies award pictures and performers with their infamous award for the worst of the year.  This years Razzies took place on February 26, the day before the Oscars (per usual) and featured some pretty violent offenders.  However, the night really only belonged to two films; The Last Airbender and Sex and the City 2  took home the bulk of the awards and rightfully so.  On a weekend that is dedicated to the film industry’s self recognition, the Razzies provide a much-needed check to the industry.  Additionally, this infamous award program created two categories that deserved special recognition in 2010 and hopefully help put an end to these growing trends.

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel (Combined Category for 2010) Winner 2010:

Sex and the City 2

Worst Screenplay Winner 2010:

The Last Airbender

Worst Director Winner 2010:

M. Night Shyamalan

Worst Screen Couple /Worst Screen Ensemble Winner 2010:

The entire cast of Sex and the City 2

Worst Eye-Gouging Mis-Use of 3-D (Special Category for 2010!) Winner 2010:

The Last Airbender (Released in “Fake 3-D)

Worst Supporting Actress Winner 2010:

Jessica Alba (The Killer Inside Me, Little Fockers, Machete, and Valentine’s Day)

Worst Supporting Actor Winner 2010:

Jackson Rathbone (The Last Airbender, Twilight Saga: Eclipse)

Worst Actress Winner 2010:

The Four “Gal Pals”: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City 2)

Worst Actor Winner 2010:

Ashton Kutcher (Valentine’s Day, Killers)

Worst Picture Winner 2010:

The Last Airbender

TAKE TWO: Hall Pass (2011)

28 Feb

Hall Pass

Rated: R

Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate, Jenna Fischer

Director: The Farrelly Brothers

Chris’ Take: The Farrelly Brothers hadn’t released a full length comedy film in three years, but I hadn’t missed them. While Dumb and Dumber will probably always be one of my favorite comedies, and There’s Something About Mary is always good for stopping on the FX channel for ten minutes before moving on, they seemed to be making a whole bunch of movies centered around a few brief laughs involving a comedic gimmick. This film was no different.

When a married man, Rick (Owen Wilson), falls into marital woes, his wife (Jenna Fischer) decides that it might be best to give him a “Hall Pass”, which means a week off from marriage. For that week, Rick is free to relive his bachelor days and attempt to bed women to his heart’s content. His pal, Fred  (Jason Sudeikis), convinces his wife to let him join Rick on his marital misadventures, but the two soon find out that they aren’t the pick up artists they imagined themselves in their minds.

The premise for the film had a lot of potential. Two married guys get in over their heads hitting on younger women. Mix in some sight gags, and a dash of the always great Richard Jenkins, and you have the makings for an entertaining comedy. However, the Farrelly Brothers decided that it would be great to set up the premise for the first forty minutes of the film with some quick laughs, but then when the meat of the film arrives, the plot seems to come to a dead halt. There is a solid thirty minutes in the movie where nothing happens besides watching a bunch of guys hang out and repeat some of the laughs of better comedies. Plus, while it would be a challenge to see how the marriages could get to the point of requiring a “Hall Pass”, they certainly didn’t do nearly a good enough job of making that decision make sense, it just kind of happened.

One of the problems for me is that Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis are decent on their own, or when paired with Richard Jenkins (who could mess that up?), but together they lacked comedic chemistry. A lot of the lines that were funny, seemed rushed or ill-timed, and I think a lot of that had to do with the instincts of one playing off of the other.

I think these guys really miss each other.

Another issue is that the film not only struggles with its pace, but with making the character development seem natural. The characters seemed to just be transported from scene to scene, but their reactions were inconsistent and didn’t make sense. One minute they are doing something completely and shamelessly debased, but then a split second later are a saint and devoted husband. There was no transition period or logical progression for these characters, which completely detached me from them because I couldn’t really figure out who they were.

Finally, when they actually get around to doing something with their time off, it kind of sputters by trying to wrap up a lot of mildly humorous plot threads in a short period of time. In reality, the Farrelly Brothers could’ve cut out the middle forty minutes and ended up with a more cohesive project that would be great for an HBO special or something.

At this point, The Farrelly Brothers reign in comedy has been over for about a decade now. The torch has been passed to a new generation of comedians, and while they were once great, there is very little spark in their humor now and they just end up doing a greatest hit tribute to other comedies.

The elevator music type of greatest hits, not actual covers.

  • Characters: C-
  • Directing: D+
  • Plot: C+
  • Humor: C
  • Performances: C
  • OVERALL: C-

Pac’s Take:  I left our screening of Hall Pass a lot more satisfied than Chris did and was expecting there to be a lot of disparity between our two reviews.  One of the benefits of Chris writing the first part of these reviews is that I get to read his thoughts before I write my own (and I don’t have to do a film description).  However, after reading Chris’s take on Hall Pass there is a lot of points that I can agree with.  The pacing was a bit off as it took a while for the film to get to the “hall pass” portion of the movie, and the chemistry between the two leads was not spectacular.  However, the humor of this film was spread out enough to keep me interested for the entire film and I found myself laughing throughout.  It was when Owen Wilson or Jason Sudeikis had the screen to themselves that I laughed most (or with Richard Jenkins), but that was a lot of the time.

Another point Chris mentioned that was the build up to the two leads actually receiving the hall pass.  While the actions of these men (especially Owen Wilson’s character) didn’t necessarily warrant such an extreme “punishment”, they couldn’t do anything too extreme or that would have made the (very predictable) ending extremely unbelievable.   My biggest gripe was with the supporting cast and their role in the plot of this film.  While Richard Jenkins is always entertaining, all of Rick and Fred’s other friends were boring stock characters who provided little to no contribution to the film.  Furthermore, continuing to jump back to Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate’s break from their husbands was completely boring and unnecessary.  Their sole purpose in this film was to appeal to the female demographic, providing a wider range of film goers who may pay for admission.

I didn’t have high expectations going into this film, and that may be why I enjoyed it as much as I did.  The film provided everything you’d expect from a Farrelly Brother’s R-rated comedy, mostly crude and raunchy humor.  I would consider this the 4th best film these two have made together, behind Me, Myself, and Irene, Dumb and Dumber, and There’s Something about Mary.  Your money is best spent waiting for the DVD/Blu Ray rental, but if you’re in the mood for a movie about getting a vacation from marriage, this is definitely your best bet.

Unless you need help falling asleep

 Here are my grades:

  • Characters: C
  • Directing: B-
  • Plot: B-
  • Humor: B
  • Performances: B-
  • OVERALL: B-

TAKE TWO: The 2011 Academy Awards

28 Feb

Chris’ Take: I remember when I first started this blog in June of last year how disheartened I was by the outlook of the cinema in 2010. All I really had to seriously look forward to last summer was Inception, and at that point I was only slowly beginning to hear the murmurings of The Social Network and Black Swan. But even then, how excited could I be when all I had to go on was “a movie about Facebook” and a “psycho-horror ballet thriller”? With the bleak outlook of 2011, last night’s Oscars made me nostalgic for 2010,  because it truly ended up being a great year for film.

For the most part, everything was about what I expected. With all the buzz about The King’s Speech going into last night, I was almost positive it would take away the most coveted prize, and it certainly deserved recognition. I would have been content if The Social Network or Black Swan won as well because they were both superb films, but for different reasons.

What does surprise me about last night was that Tom Hooper took home the Best Director award for The King’s Speech. While the film really tells a great story and the script is spectacular, the direction seemed fairly straightforward. Hooper had a top-notch cast to work with as well, which I’m sure made his job even easier. In terms of direction, I think someone like Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan should have won. His combination of so many different technical aspects of film, especially sound and color (or lack thereof) and the frenzied pace of the film, were all crafted under his genius and certainly worthy of recognition. I am sure everyone has their opinion about this, you could make an argument for everyone on that list, but I was a little disappointed with the Academy for that one, making it seem like a package deal with the Best Picture winner. 

Where were you on this one Academy?

I was glad to see that Inception received some accolades as well, even if it was in the technical department (Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing). It lacked the emotional punch of a Best Picture winner, but it certainly was one of the most visually striking films of the year, and really was a labor of love for Nolan and crew.

As for the acting awards, I think each of them went to the right person in each category. I have no complaints there and I am happy that “Christian Bale‘s Reckless Weight Loss Guide to Winning an Academy Award” finally paid off. Melissa Leo certainly was almost speechless that she won, except for the f-bomb she managed to drop before getting off the stage.

I heard that she studied with this guy.

Then we move on to some of the second tier awards. There was never a contest for Best Animated Feature, Toy Story 3 was going to win and that’s that. Best Original Score ended up in the right hands. Trent Reznor’s soundtrack really set a pensive tone to The Social Network and really made it a three-dimensional film.

The good kind. Not the kind you have to shell out extra money to have your eyes abused.

 As far as I know, the other awards (i.e. costume design and art direction) went to the right people. I am not well versed enough in those categories to argue one way or the other. The only thing that makes me sad is that The Wolfman gets to add “Academy Award Winner” to its new DVD cover.

In big letters: ACADEMY AWARD WINNER!!! In small letters: for something everyone forgets is a category.

Again, congrats to all the winners. It’s been a great year and hopefully I will be as pleasantly surprised this time next year when we report on them again.

Pac’s Take:  The Academy Awards this year, more so than others, was one of the more enjoyable watches.  Possibly because I made a substantially greater effort to see many of the nominated films, maybe because the hots (James Franco and Anne Hathaway) are two performers that I enjoy and have a lot of charisma, or maybe because the Academy Awards are becoming more about my generation.  The only disappointment – the lack of surprise in almost every category.  Again this may be due to my knowledge of the films but as The King’s Speech continued to pick up awards throughout the night I could tell it was going to win Best Picture, a sentiment that made the night anti-climatic (even though the film deserved the award).

One thing that kept getting mentioned during the awards that it was a pleasure just to be nominated for an award, and I think in a year like 2010 this couldn’t be more true.  This was certainly the case, as pointed out by Steven Spielberg, for the Best Picture category when snubs like Raging Bull were recognized.  In years past they recognize a lot of those snubs by awarding them Oscars for current works that may not be as good as their previous efforts, this year that didn’t seem to be the case. 

Point (Break) in case...

 Okay, so maybe The Departed was a better example, but consider the Best Director winner – Tom Hooper.  Chris mentioned Darren Aronofsky for this award but I was certain that David Fincher would go home victorious.  No disrespect to Hooper, his film was great and deserved the accolades it received but the track record of the Academy at least the past decade has been to go with a name, and Tom isn’t even the most famous director with the signature T. Hooper (though now he’s the most awarded).

Take my name, fine I'll take your face

I made my guesses when the nominees were announced and I wanted to compare those guesses to last night’s results so I’ll leave you with that.  Also, for good measure and the spirit of competition I’ve included Chris’s guesses as well.  Here’s to 2011 hopefully being as pleasant a surprise as 2010.

 

Award Winner Chris’s Guess Pac’s Guess
Best Supporting Actor Christian Bale Christian Bale Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo Jacki Weaver Amy Adams
Best Original Screenplay David Seller (The King’s Speech ) David Seller David Seller
Best Adapted Screenplay Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) Aaron Sorkin Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Best Foreign Film In a Better World Biutiful In a Better World
Best Animated Film Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3 Toy Story 3
Best Actor Colin Firth Colin Firth Colin Firth
Best Actress Natalie Portman Natalie Portman Natalie Portman
Best Director Tom Hooper Darren Aronofsky David Fincher
Best Picture The King’s Speech The King’s Speech The King’s Speech

Opening This Week (28 Feb – 06 Mar, 2011)

28 Feb

This past weekend proved quite a success for K.N.O.T.S., Nic Cage’s $50 million dollar exploitation film (on more than one level) raked in a measly $5.3 million, which is less than Season of the Witch, again proving that Cage may not be as bankable as some predict. The weekend was topped by Gnomeo and Juliet ($14.2M), continuing a nice little run during the weak February film season. The Farrelly Brothers’ new comedy, Hall Pass (13.4M) came in second, with Unknown ($12.4M) coming in third.

Here’s what we got coming out this week:

The Adjustment Bureau

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Terrence Stamp

Director: George Nolfi

Synopsis from IMDB: The affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: While the film looks exciting, my guess is that it will be merely entertaining without providing anything new to the thriller/conspiracy genre. It is based on a Philip K. Dick novel, which could bode well for its structure, and his stories have a pretty high success rate.

Well....for the most part.

Plus, the cast is pretty solid, so it has a lot of things going for it. Early in the week, it has a 67% on RottenTomatoes, which will probably change throughout the course of the week, but the question is which way will it go?

Rango

Rated: PG

Starring: Johnny Depp, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina

Director: Gore Verbinski

Synopsis from IMDB: A chameleon that aspires to be a swashbuckling hero finds himself in a Western town plagued by bandits and is forced to literally play the role in order to protect it.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: While the production of the film looks interesting, the plot does not. In fact, the main character sounds downright irritating and his face looks like it was taken from the movie poster for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I don’t expect much out of this one, but I’m sure it was a lot of fun to make.

Beastly

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris, Mary-Kate Olsen

Director: Daniel Barnz

Synopsis from IMDB: A modern-day take on the “Beauty and the Beast” tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: Well, I guess the Twilight crowd needed something to tide them over until Red Riding Hood, another adaptation of a fairy tale. I am still not sure whether I would want to see this emo version of Beauty and the Beast, or Beautician and the Beast.

 Take Me Home Tonight

Rated: R

Starring: Topher Grace, Dan Fogler, Anna Faris, Teresa Palmer

Director: Michael Dowse

Synopsis from IMDB: Follow an aimless college grad who pursues his dream girl at a wild Labor Day weekend party. He, his twin sister and their best friend struggle with their burgeoning adulthood over the course of the night.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: This looks like a run-of-the-mill comedy, but there is something endearing about it to me. I don’t think it will be anything spectacular, especially with Dan Fogler as one of the stars, but maybe it is the 80’s soundtrack bringing back memories of The Wedding Singer that attracts me to this film.

Limited Releases

I Saw the Devil

Rated: Unrated

Starring: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Ho-jin Jeon

Director: Ji-woon Kim

Synopsis from IMDB: A secret agent tracks a serial killer who murdered his fiancée.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: While this does look pretty badass, it doesn’t look like anything we haven’t seen in every other revenge flick. Still, it looks like it could be the best action film released in the U.S. so far this year.

Bereavement

Rated: R

Starring: Michael Biehn, Alexandra Dadarrio, John Savage

Director: Stevan Mena

Synopsis from IMDB: The horrific account of 6 year old Martin Bristol, abducted from his backyard swing and forced to witness the brutal crimes of a deranged madman.

Trailer:

Chris’ Take: The premise for this film is pretty disturbing and it looks like it is in the torture porn genre, but it is hard to tell. I would be interested in seeing this for the exploration of the psychological trauma this 6 year old kid would suffer in his later years. The film has a 7.5 on IMDB, but the RottenTomatoes reviews are mediocre. Probably a Netflix rental, but there is no rush.

Full List of Academy Award Winners

28 Feb

Well the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are in the books and most of them went down as predicted, with The King’s Speech reigning supreme. Pac and I will have our full critique out later, but here is the full ist of Academy Award winners in case you missed the action last night. Congrats to everyone, after a rough start, 2010 really was a great year for film.

Best picture

  • “Black Swan”
  • “The Fighter”
  • “Inception”
  • “The Kids Are All Right”
  • “The King’s Speech” – WINNER
  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network”
  • “Toy Story 3”
  • “True Grit”
  • “Winter’s Bone”

Best actor

  • Javier Bardem, “Biutiful”
  • Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”
  • Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
  • Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech” – WINNER
  • James Franco, “127 Hours”

Best actress

  • Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
  • Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
  • Natalie Portman, “Black Swan” –WINNER
  • Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”

Supporting actor

  • Christian Bale, “The Fighter” – WINNER
  • John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”
  • Jeremy Renner, “The Town”
  • Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
  • Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

Supporting actress

  • Amy Adams, “The Fighter”
  • Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”
  • Melissa Leo, “The Fighter” – WINNER
  • Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”
  • Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”

Director

  • Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
  • David O. Russell, “The Fighter”
  • Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech” – WINNER
  • David Fincher, “The Social Network”
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, “True Grit”

Animated feature

  • “How to Train Your Dragon”
  • “The Illusionist”
  • “Toy Story 3” – WINNER

Foreign language film

  • “Biutiful”
  • “Dogtooth”
  • “In a Better world” – WINNER
  • “Incendies”
  • “Outside the Law”

Documentary feature

  • “Exit Through the Gift Shop”
  • “Gasland”
  • “Inside Job” – WINNER
  • “Restrepo”
  • “Waste Land”

Documentary short

  • “Killing in the Name”
  • “Poster Girl”
  • “Strangers No More” – WINNER
  • “Sun Come Up”
  • “The Warriors of Qiugang”

Adapted screenplay

  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network” – WINNER
  • “Toy Story 3”
  • “True Grit”
  • “Winter’s Bone”

Original screenplay

  • “Another Year”
  • “The Fighter”
  • “Inception”
  • “The Kids Are All Right”
  • “The King’s Speech” – WINNER

Art direction

  • “Alice in Wonderland” – WINNER
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”
  • “Inception”
  • “The King’s Speech”
  • “True Grit”

Cinematography

  • “Black Swan”
  • “Inception”WINNER
  • “The King’s Speech”
  • “The Social Network”
  • “True Grit”

Costume design

  • “Alice in Wonderland” – WINNER
  • “I Am Love”
  • “The King’s Speech”
  • “The Tempest”
  • “True Grit”

Makeup

  • “Barney’s Version”
  • “The Way Back”
  • “The Wolfman” – WINNER

Film editing

  • “Black Swan”
  • “The Fighter”
  • “The King’s Speech”
  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network” – WINNER

Visual effects

  • “Alice in Wonderland”
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
  • “Hereafter”
  • “Inception” – WINNER
  • “Iron Man 2”

Original score

  • “How to Train Your Dragon”
  • “Inception”
  • “The King’s Speech”
  • “127 Hours”
  • “The Social Network” – WINNER

Original song

  • “Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
  • “I See the Light” from “Tangled”
  • “If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
  • “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″ – WINNER

Sound editing

  • “Inception” – WINNER
  • “Toy Story 3”
  • “Tron: Legacy”
  • “True Grit”
  • “Unstoppable”

Sound mixing

  • “Inception” – WINNER
  • “The King’s Speech”
  • “Salt”
  • “The Social Network”
  • “True Grit”

Animated short film

  • “Day & Night”
  • “The Gruffalo”
  • “Let’s Pollute”
  • “The Lost Thing” – WINNER
  • “Madagascar, carnet de voyage” (“Madagascar, a Journey Diary”)

Live action short film

  • “The Confession”
  • “The Crush”
  • “God of Love” – WINNER
  • “Na Wewe”
  • “Wish 143”

Remake Rundown: The New Bourne, The Bodyguard, and The Loft

25 Feb

It is no surprise that it is a busy time for remakes and sequels. 2011 is setting the record for having the most sequels in a year, beating out 2003 pretty handily. It looks like there will be no signs of slowing in the near future either. Here is some of the news that has come out in the last week:

The Bourne Legacy Casting Call

Last Fall, the tragic announcement was made that instead of leaving the Bourne franchise alone, ending on what was by far the best film in the series, the franchise would continue without Matt Damon or Paul Greengrass. Instead of making a direct sequel, Tony Gilroy, the writer for the first three films, is making a fourth film that will be a spinoff of the classic amnesia and adrenaline fueled spy thriller. The film won’t feature the Jason Bourne character, but instead bank on the recognizable name in the title while focusing on a new character with a similar background. According to Variety, the new character will somehow pave the way for the actual Jason Bourne to return for a fifth installment of the series as well.

Now, the casting call begins. Some names mentioned in Variety include Jake Gyllenhall, Tobey Maguire and Garrett Hedlund. On top of that, Deadline is reporting some other names as well, such as Paul Dano, Alex Pettyfer, Taylor Kitsch, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac and Luke Evans.

Out of all those names, I think I like Michael Fassbender for the role. I have no idea how Paul Dano would fit in there. While I like him as an actor, the only way I could see him working in is if they wanted a less physical Bourne. I don’t think I would like having someone that equals the star power of Matt Damon, such as Maguire or Gyllenhall. I think the best route for Gilroy to take is to use a lesser known actor and really focus on inventing someone that is completely different. I think if they try to repeat the same formula as the Damon Bourne, it won’t live up to the high expectations.

The Unnecessary Remake: The Bodyguard

I don’t have much to say about this one, but  according to Deadline , The Bodyguard, the 1992 film that combined the great singing talents of Whitney Houston and the mediocre acting talents of Kevin Costner into a box office hit, is getting an unrequested update. Maybe I hang out in the wrong circles, but I never really heard someone saying, “Man, I really wish they would update The Bodyguard.

I still have yet to hear anyone say they liked "The Bodyguard"

The update will be written by Jeremiah Friedman, whose work has primarily been with film shorts, but was placed on the 2010 Hollywood Black List, a list of the best unproduced scripts, for his Family Getaway screenplay. The concept for the film will essentially be the same, but with a technological twist. Back in the early 90’s Whitney Houston had to only deal with stalkers via following and phone harrassment. Now, bring in the cruel world of cyber bullying and there is a whole new dimension for Hollywood to make a quick buck.

James Marsden and Patrick Wilson to Star in Remake of The Loft

One of Hollywood’s new tricks is to take recently released foreign films and update them for the American audience by taking away all that work it takes to read subtitles.

There are so many words. So much work!

The most recent attempts at this were Death at a Funeral and Let Me In released last year, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo comes out this Winter. Some of these have been successful and it is nice to be made aware of some great foreign films that I might not have heard of otherwise.

The newest addition to this list will be the 2008 Belgian filmThe Loft, which is about five married men who go in together on a loft where they can bring  their mistresses for sexual misadventures. While this sounds comedic, it turns sour when one of their mistresses winds up dead in their hideout of infidelity. Each person begins to suspect the other and their lives begin to unravel. James Marsden and Patrick Wilson are set to star in this bizarre thriller.

I think I will want to check out how the Belgian film turned out before I can really comment on this. But, based on the premise I think this could be intriguing, and James Marsden and Patrick Wilson are great for this type of film as well.

What are your thoughts on all this? Are these remakes/sequels going to be worth it?

Weekend Film Recommendation: This is England (2006)

25 Feb

This week’s film recommendation comes from across the pond. This is England, written and directed by Shane Meadows, and based on his experiences, won multiple awards, including a 2008 BAFTA for Best British Film. The film follows a bullied youth, Shaun (Thomas Turgoose), who is befriended by a group of multi-racial skinheads in early 1980’s Britain. Among them he finds a welcoming family, but when a more vocal skinhead, Combo (Stephen Graham), gets out of jail, the boiling undercurrent of racism in changing times threatens to overflow in the tight knit group, it leads to an intense and emotional conclusion.

The performances in the film are spectacular, at times both heartwarming and vicious. Stephen Graham, who is finally getting greater acknowledgement in the States with his role as Al Capone in the HBO Series Boardwalk Empire, plays the unbalanced Combo with grit and humor, and his performance never feels forced. Thomas Turgoose carries most of the weight of the film on his young shoulders and superbly juxtaposes the innocence of youth with the harsher adult themes. Danny Cohen, the director of photography combines several techniques to show this juxtaposition as well, and with all these elements combined make a powerfully pensive film.

Here is the trailer:

Have a great weekend!