Tag Archives: Borstal Boy

A Week In Film #045: Medical Experimentation

10 Rillington Place title screen

10 Rillington Place
Dark, grim, sombre take on old-style Britflicks, with loveable DIckie Attenborough as fucked up psycho killer John Christie, drugging and raping and topping and hiding unfortunate women in post-war London. John Hurt is the illiterate Welshman who gets pinned with the blame. Judy Geeson and Pat Heywood are strong supporting presences as their wives. Richard Fleischer (a talented artisan, if too journeyman-like in his work choices) directs with authority, and it bears comparison (in tone and subject) with near-contemporary Frenzy.

Traitor title screen

Traitor
An interesting premise drifts under imprecise direction. Don Cheadle is an ex-military American Muslim who seems to have become involved in Islamic terrorism. Guy Pearce is the Fed on his trail. Written by Steve Martin, of all people.

City Rats title screen

City Rats
Interconnected lives in modern London. Some good performances and interactions from the likes of Tamer Hassan and Susan Lynch, and yes, even Danny Dyer, but too often it drifts into the horrors of mid-90s, underscript-edited British romcom conventions. A beautifully dark film is in there somewhere, but director Steve M Kelly isn’t quite there, despite choreographing some exhilarating scenes, and capturing some fine acting moments.

Borstal Boy title screen

Borstal Boy
My Danny Dyer retrospective continues with this Jim Sheridan adaptation of Brendan Behan’s autobiography about his time as an IRA boy prisoner. Dyer plays a cocky young cockney who befriends Behan (Shawn Hatosy) in borstal during WW2. Given the seriousness of the material, it all feels rather tame Sunday children’s drama.

Severance title screen

Severance
More Dyer drama. Danny is the cheeky one in a group of office drones sent on a team bonding exercise in Hungary only for their coach to break down in the middle of nowhere. It quickly descends into a Dog Soldier/Shaun Of The Dead type comedy/horror affair, only without the charm or wit. A shame, because there are good ideas in there, and excellent photography and sound design – just not so much effort in the script or direction. Still, there’s enough of interest – and sufficient technical prowess – on show to suggest that writer/director Christopher Smith might manage much better in the future. I have a few more of his films to work through, so will report back on them.

Assault On Precinct 13 (2005) title screen

Assault On Precinct 13
Right, so this is a remake of John Carpenter’s mis-monickered 1976 Rio Bravo retread. When originally I saw the trailer I figured it was one to avoid – it looked dreadful. But then I read a review of Nid De Gu√™pes which suggested that it had heavily influenced the new AOP13, so…

TBH I shouldn’t have bothered. Apart from a quite good prologue scene – setting up why former highflying street cop Ethan Hawke ends up caretaking a crumbling police station being closed down – it’s rather dull. Laurence Fishburne is quite a watchable actor, but his good guy villain isn’t a patch on the original’s Darwin Joston as Napoleon Wilson. My enjoyment of the film probably was impaired somewhat by bingeing on mephedrone at the time, which proved far superior in entertainment stakes.

The Incredible Hulk
The meph again was far better than the film, even though I am led to believe that this Edward Norton-starring moody Marvel mutant movie is better than the Ang Lee version it reboots. Transporter 2‘s Louis Leterrier directs some fairly pleasing foot chase scenes.

Beautiful Thing title screen

Beautiful Thing
It was a long meph session and I remember very little about this except it was a bit dour and very late 90s Britflicky. I think it was about a gay teenager in Thamesmead, or something similar. The drunk woman from EastEnders who used to be the top dog in Bad Girls was (I’m almost certain) in this.

A Room For Romeo Brass title screen

A Room For Romeo Brass
Shane Meadows’ first stone-cold classic, about the friendship of two teenage boys who grow apart when one becomes ill and the other begins hanging out with a local misfit. Andrew Shim and Ben Marshall are great as the boys, Paddy Considine a revelation as oddball Morrell, and Frank Harper at last gets a proper part as an estranged father.

Escape From LA title screen

Escape From LA
John Carpenter, you tit.