Showing posts with label alice lowe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alice lowe. Show all posts

19 March 2013

Sightseers Blu-Ray Review

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Sightseers is the third film from Ben Wheatley, one of the top British directors working today. It is a dark, twisted comedy about a couple on a caravan holiday who go on a killing spree. Think Badlands but in the Peak District and with far more laughs.

The film is a fantastic advert for Britain, in more ways than one. It shows how we still have the capacity to make great movies and it also shows just how stunning some areas of our country are. Alice Lowe and Steve Oram star as the murderous couple and are simply brilliant. They also wrote the script which, while being bleak, is stunningly funny. I have been a fan of Alice Lowe since seeing her in and I hope that the success of this film will lead to us seeing her more on the big screen and indeed television. Her performance here is quite remarkable as she treads the fine line of looking lost and innocent but being deadly and dangerous at the same time. Oram, as her boyfriend, plays confused and lost to perfection, but when he turns on the menace he is genuinely frightening. Both the leads remind us just how good British comic talent can be, and I do hope that they will continue to write and star in films.

The actors had at one point tried to make the story as a television show and looking at it you could see it working in that format, but with the masterful direction of Wheatley this feels truly cinematic. It's simply gorgeous. There is almost a feeling of Sergio Leone, with intense close-ups mixed with huge landscape shots. As the couple descend more and more into violence and isolation, the locations become more breathtaking. Wheatley directs the comic moments in a wonderfully deadpan way, lingering on the characters and their sad lives; but he is equally adept at directing the violence. It is brutal and shocking but, cleverly, does not show too much.

The editing in Sightseers is very memorable and inventive. Wheatley's use of cutting and his juxtaposing violence with the mundane or odd moments is incredibly successful. His style of editing reminded me of Nicolas Roeg's work, and it is so nice to see someone trying to do something different and unusual and, more impressively, making it work.

Reluctantly, I have to say the film isn't entirely successful, however. While the first two thirds are hilarious and constantly take new turns and developments, the last third is a little more predictable and not quite as funny. Its true though that the story gets darker, therefore the fall in laughs is understandable. It reminded me somewhat of God Bless America, a film about a man and a girl going on a killing rampage in the US. It was directed by Bobcat Goldthwait (in my mind one of the top comedic directors working today) and was quite similar in basic story and structure but while it takes Sightseers a good hour before becoming slightly obvious, God Bless America manages it after about ten minutes. There have been many films about couples going on murder sprees and so to keep us from guessing where it is going to go it really needs to do something remarkably different and in the case of Sightseers this is where it falters.

This is my only problem with the film. Everything else about it is a true delight and I thoroughly recommend seeing it, and on blu ray if possible. It looks great and it is fantastic to see a low budget British film putting its money in all the right places. The blu ray also contains an amusing and informative Making Of, a blooper reel and audio commentaries.

Sightseers is without a doubt one of my favourite films of 2012. Its funny, frightening, and very, very British.

Harry Davenport


★★★★


Rating: 15
Release Date: 25th March 2013 (UK)
Directed ByBen Wheatley
CastAlice LoweSteve OramEileen Davies

Buy SightseersDVD / Blu-ray


Win Sightseers On DVD: Enter Here (ends 7th April 2013)


19 February 2013

Dingly Dells, National Trust And Daily Mail Readers, Sightseers Coming This March

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Dingly Dells, National Trust, Tins of Pasta sauce and Non Humans better known as Daily Mail readers it could only mean Ben Wheatley's Black comedy Sightseers! Studiocanal have announced the follow up film to Kill List will be released in UK&Ireland this March!

Synopsis: Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way - on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina's led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see - the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that accompanies these wonders in his life. But it doesn't take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina's meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris's dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him up the wrong way, over a very jagged edge...



Extras:
Behind The Scenes
Outtakes
Trailer
Cast commentary: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Richard Glover and Ben Wheatley
Technical commentary: Laurie Rose & Ben Wheatley

Pre-Order/ Buy Sightseers : Blu-ray / DVD

Stay tuned for a new review and a competition which we will launch in March over at The Peoples movies

Sightseers will be released by Studiocanal on 25th March 2013 on DVD and Blu-ray

29 November 2012

Sightseers Review

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Ever get the impression that you were watching a different film from everyone else? I'm not sure what I was missing with Sightseers (2012), the new film from director Ben Wheatley and written by and starring Steve Oram and Elizabeth Sladen lookalike Alice Lowe, all three of whom were involved with the recent cult hit Kill List (2011), but half way in I was praying for the end to come mostly as a result of boredom and disgust. Marketed as a comedy, the film attempts to leaven this with a liberal dose of horror, failing dismally to achieve either satisfactorily.

In order to escape from her overpowering mother, Tina (Lowe) agrees to go on a caravan trip with her new boyfriend Chris (Oram). However what starts off as a sightseeing trip of North Yorkshire soon becomes the road trip from hell after Chris's true psychotic tendencies come to the fore, following a misunderstanding at a local tourist attraction, with murderous results for all involved.

Like the caravan holiday that forms the basis around which its story is built Sightseers swiftly looses its appeal. Its real problem, as with much of what currently passes itself off as humorous particularly in Britain, is that it tries too hard. As with most 'laddish' fun, the laughs here are more as a result of embarrassment than anything genuinely amusing.

Neither does it work particularly well from a horror point-of-view either. Comedians often see the field of horror as an ideal entry into the world of films. However they frequently make the mistake which many people do, of not taking the genre seriously. By it's very nature horror often lays itself wide open for parody, providing prime material for people to send up. However study them closely and you will discover that those horror films which are successful approach it with a degree of reverence, even when it's being poked fun at.

Those who understand the secret of real horror grasp the concept that less is more. The audience's imagination is always much stronger than anything filmmakers can depict on the screen, with most good horror films cutting away before you see anything at all - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) had a degree of black humour, but the secret of its longevity was that everyone believed they saw more than they actually did. The current crop of films from mainland Europe such as the upcoming Spanish chiller Sleep Tight (2011) succeed by taking this subtle approach, whilst the American hit Scream (1996), which marketed itself as neither a comedy or a horror film (though it was quite clearly both) worked by doing the whole thing quasi seriously. Much modern British horror on the other hand, like Sightseers and the recent crass monstrosity Inbred (2011), doesn't know when to stop, showing vivid violence and gore in nauseating close-up.

In its defence the film looks beautiful - the English backdrop against which the shenanigans play out is breathtaking. Unfortunately this does little to compensate for an otherwise lurid and inept attempt at offbeat wit. I know my opinion is likely to meet with universal disagreement, in which case please do fill me in on what I was missing.

Cleaver Patterson


★★☆☆☆


Rating: 15
Release Date: 30th November 2012 (UK)
Directed ByBen Wheatley
CastAlice LoweSteve OramEileen Davies


22 November 2012

Dingly Dells, National Trust & Pasta Sauce. Watch New Sightseers Clips

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Caravaning will never be the same when Ben Wheatley's dark comedy horror Sightseers is released in UK&Ireland next Friday 30th November. If you ever had the idea holidays in our fine lands was dull, boring thanks to our anti heros Chris and Tina (Chris Oram & Alice Lowe) you may now think twice in jumping a plane over to Benidorm or Torremolinos. Tonight our friends over at Studiocanal  have sent us over a brand new clip entitled 'Dingly Dell' which sees our protagonists roam the countryside for an ideal pitch for the caravan, Alice writes a postcard for her mother telling her about Chris and  the availability of her pasta sauce packets in Yorkshire! But as Chris finds an ideal spot to park he might have someone else determined to get that elusive caravan spot! Just below the new we have another new clip called 'National Trust' plus a quick tv spot that slipped under the radar last week.

Here at The People's Movies & Cinehouse The Kill List unfortunately didn't go down too well, more frustration than total resentment for the film.A couple weeks ago we had 2 reviewers (1 for each site, reviews online next week) and though both reviewers had different opinions on the film but the outcome is Sightseers looks the better film. What we do love is Chris' (Oram) 'their not human, their Daily Mail readers' which went down well, I'm really looking forward to seeing Sightseers as the cinema I volunteer at there is a few 'non-humans' there!

Sightseers will be released in UK&Ireland 30th November, 2013 USA.


Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way – on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina’s led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see – the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that accompanies these wonders in his life.But it doesn’t take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina’s meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris’s dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him up the wrong way, over a very jagged edge…


tv spot

9 November 2012

Daily Mail Readers Aren't Human! New Sightseers Trailer

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Thank the heavens for Ben Wheatley, finally someone who knows Daily Mail readers aren't human! Ah don't hire the firing squad just yet and check out the new 60 second UK trailer for Ben Wheatley's Sightseers which after a great first trailer  exploits the film's dark humour, the quirky feel and why Sightseers might be the surprise hit film of the year!

To be honest Ben Wheatley's last film The Kill List divided opinions at The People's Movies and Cinehouse HQ when it came out last year, we all came to an agreement it was confusing as well as overrated. So when Sightseers promotion started  we selfishly greeted the new film with a lot of scepticism even with the fantastic reviews from Cannes but like all good things it grows on you.

Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world and he wants to do it his way - on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford Caravan. Tina's led a sheltered life and there are things that Chris needs her to see - the Crich Tramway Museum, the Ribblehead Viaduct, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the rolling countryside that accompanies these wonders in his life.But it doesn't take long for the dream to fade. Litterbugs, noisy teenagers and pre-booked caravan sites, not to mention Tina's meddling mother, soon conspire to shatter Chris's dreams and send him, and anyone who rubs him up the wrong way, over a very jagged edge...

If your like me a generation who grew up with some childhood summer holidays in caravans or caravan Parks  around the UK some of the things will strike a chord, though some of the UK humour might be lost in translation if your not familiar. We're alot more optimistic Sightseers will be far superior film than The Kill List, with 7 nominations for British Independent Film Awards before it's even been released speaks volumes for the film.

We're watching this film next week so stay tuned for our review, Sightseers will be released in UK&Ireland 30th November, there's no confirmed American release but expect sometime 2013.