icons-02 icons-01 MM Logo Instagram FILM FREEWAY LOGO

blog

Movie news, reviews, features and more thoughts coming soon...

By midlandsmovies, Jul 23 2019 08:26PM



Midlands Review - Date Night


Directed by Nisaro Karim


2019


Five Pence Productions


From Five Pence Productions comes Date Night, a short film about an awkward blind date that ends in unexpected disaster. What's the worst that could happen?


Date Night focuses on Serena and Reginald, two single adults who have organised a date through matching on Tinder, however when Reginald arrives both his and Serena's expectations of a successful match plummet.


From the off their personalities clash, not helped by the fact that neither are impressed with the others actual appearance. We can see Reginald has used older pictures of himself where he used to boast thick, brown hair whilst Serena has been accused of resembling nothing like her dating profile pictures which she and other patrons disagree with.


Their awkward exchange is the films highlight as they go back and forth trading off insults, exasperated with the result of the hook-up. The director, Nisaro Karim, does a great job at capturing Reginald's obnoxious behaviour as he eats with his mouth open, is rude to fellow customers and confesses how working out is similar to an orgasm. It comes as no surprise to the viewer when Serena finally throws in the towel then throws on her shawl to leave the building, ending the date.


What does surprise the view however is the three armed robbers that rush through the restaurants doors before Serena can exit, telling everyone to put their hands up and be silent. Serena and Reginald's date just got worse, much worse.


As I was watching for the first time I was surprised by the change in tone as the masked raiders enter the scene, initially I was expecting them to join as more comic relief as that was the mood that had been set early on.


As police sirens echo closer and closer so do the nerves of the assailants as they ponder their next move, this final act is reminiscent of films like Collateral or Heat, Michael Mann crime films with a very American feel to them.


Whilst I could see the effort of ambitiously creating such a huge sub-plot this ultimately hindered the film as the gulf in tone from what the film started with was too much, it felt like two different films spliced together.


Written and directed by Nisaro Karim, a known talent amongst the Midlands independent film scene, Date Night serves as his first time behind the camera which is evident as his excitement and ambition spills onto the screen. He is helped by his director of photography Tomek Zontek who helps capture the vibrant Birmingham city as well as shooting the main action inside local restaurant The Gateway to India.


As the credits roll you are left with an undeniable impression Karim has more stories to tell and will not be far behind with his second short film.


Guy Russell

Twitter @BudGuyer


By midlandsmovies, Jul 20 2019 03:24PM



Midlands Spotlight - Lucky


Lucky is the new forthcoming film from award-winning writer/ director David L Knight and is his first project since returning to film production.


Unlike his previous films Suicide Blonde and Rachel, Lucky is a romantic drama set in a unique world all of its own, full of quirky colours and possibilities as it tells the story of Lucy and Mark who have never believed in true love.


However, the film hopes to show that with a little luck somebody is about to teach these two strangers that destiny has other plans.


With Lucky, David and his team wanted to create a story that was a little different to a lot of films that are currently being watched on the festival circuit. More light-hearted in tone he hopes the film leaves the audience with a wonderful sense of optimism, while also delivering on the drama.


As with his previous films not giving the story focus to one single character, David has assembled an amazing cast from across the UK, including Chelsea Grace, Luke Maskell and Stoke based actor/ filmmaker Craig Ostrouchow.


Creating further collaborative partnerships with fellow Midlands-based filmmakers, David has brought on established production designer Chloe Brown to help create Lucky’s world.


While he also continues his collaboration with director of photography Martin Tucker and other returning crew Janine Bevan and Tim Vickerstaff.


Lucky is currently running a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for its production (click here) and check below their promotional video:




By midlandsmovies, May 30 2019 01:19PM



Midlands Review - Hope


Directed by Tee Visuals


2019


Hope is a new emotional drama from local director Tee Visuals starring Tenisha White and Andre Pierre as a couple facing sadness and sorrow in their poignant relationship.


Filmed with heavenly sunlight streaming into a bedroom, Hope opens with Jesse (Pierre) waking up his partner Faith (White) before he finds a pregnancy test in the kitchen which she confirms is positive.


Jesse’s happiness is at odds with Faith’s reticence but he suggests the name of ‘Hope’ if the baby is a girl. “We’ve got a long journey ahead of us”, he adds. Very true indeed as we’ll find out later. The director frames and films shots well and the visuals have a high quality sheen to them. The on-set sound is okay but could perhaps do with another pass in the editing suite to balance/boost the consistency of the dialogue volume.


However, the editing is steady and measured and the film has good use of fade-outs and metaphorical white-outs alongside some slow but meaningful scene transitions.


As the couple take their car out into the countryside for a walk in what looks like the Peak District, the tone moves into darker territory with a secret torment apparently under the surface of their relationship. More great shots are filmed here amongst the rolling valleys and hills and the director does well to capture the wide vistas and dramatic lighting of the location.


With a few drone shots as well, the filmmaker really does explore the expansive horizons, perhaps representing an unknown future to come. But here the film flashbacks to 6 weeks prior and we see the couple arguing about the difficulty of conceiving - leading to their potential break-up. 3 days after this, the couple decide to not give up despite the circumstances. But their good intentions may not be enough to see them through.


Hope's use of flashback to uncover plot details is a good but simple device to change and switch focus and create an air of intrigue over the different narrative questions the audience has.


* Some spoilers ahead*


However, as the couple begin to repair their relationship, a slow motion sequence sees Jesse involved in a hit-and-run and even though Faith says ‘yes’ after finding an engagement ring in his pocket, she cannot save him and Jesse passes away.


Sadly, a character as a ghost “twist” is quite overused in the local arena. Even last month with Leaving Home, it used the same conceit and, although I watch more local films than most, it’s a common – albeit powerful – trope that means the short isn’t quite original as it could have been.


That said, there’s enough positives to let it slide as the film has emotional gut punches and scenes that also tug on the heart-strings. And this is down to the performances of the talented White and Pierre. Both convey strong feelings of blame, guilt, sadness and loss and whether it’s a teary glance (White) or a longer passionate speech (Pierre) the two leads really hold the story together.


A bigger but slightly less welcome surprise was Hope’s post-credit scene set 25 years later (!) which featured a note that says “dad’s killer”, police sirens and a young man with a gun. I have to admit that it’s a brave choice but the sequence jolts you into another film entirely and may have been best left off this particular short.


And a melancholy piano-led song adds to the sad tone throughout and a great soundtrack overall from Marco Micucci and music from Punch Records help give the short an angelic vibe.


The (non post-credits) ending of Hope finishes on a positive note with Jesse giving some virtuous advice to instil strength and positivity to Faith to help her deal with the unfortunate situation she is facing, before he leaves her forever.


And as we are shown a drone shot that takes the audience up and away into the celestial heavens, the film’s wholesome and hopeful message very much shines through. With two divine and passionate performances and some heart-breaking scenes, Hope ends up being an impressive short containing a whole host of tender themes provided with conviction and a lot of flair.


Michael Sales



By midlandsmovies, Jan 23 2019 02:22PM



90s classic GHOST resurrects at CURVE Leicester


A new touring theatre production comes to Leicester’s CURVE this month as the successful 90s movie Ghost gets a re-imagining for the stage.


Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy thriller film directed by Jerry Zucker and stars Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as a couple who suffer tragedy . Their lovers in limbo tale is complimented by an Oscar-winning performance from Whoopi Goldberg as a psychic.


The new stage show will feature the familiar story as the couple walk back to their apartment late one night and a tragic encounter sees Sam murdered and his beloved girlfriend Molly alone.


But with the help of a phoney psychic, Sam – trapped between this world and the next – tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving her from grave danger.


The movie Ghost has proven to be one of cinema’s biggest all-time hits. The film grossed over $505.7 million at the box office on a budget of just $22 million.


Goldberg received acclaim from critics for her performance as Oda Mae Brown and Ghost was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Score and Best Film Editing.


It won the awards for Best Supporting Actress for Goldberg and Best Original Screenplay for Bruce Joel Rubin whilst Swayze and Moore both received Golden Globe Award nominations for their performances.


The movie and the musical features The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody – made famous by the well-known pottery scene – and will be featured alongside many more terrific songs co-written by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart.


This production contains gunshots, smoke, loud bangs and strobe lighting so is suitable for over 12s and tickets range from £45–£10 with discounts available.


Performance times:


Tue 29 Jan 7:30pm

Wed 30 Jan 2:15pm

Wed 30 Jan 7:30pm

Thu 31 Jan 2:15pm

Thu 31 Jan 7:30pm

Fri 1 Feb 7:30pm

Sat 2 Feb 2:15pm

Sat 2 Feb 7:30pm


Book Tickets via the box office here:

https://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/ghost-the-musical/






RSS Feed twitter