All the Devil’s Men (2018)

Director: Matthew Hope

Writer: Matthew Hope (Screenplay)

Starring: Milo Gibson, William Fichtner, Milo Gibson, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Elliot Cowan, Joseph Millson, Yavor Baharov

 

Plot: A battle-scarred War on Terror bounty hunter is forced to go to London on a manhunt for a disavowed CIA operative, which leads him into a deadly running battle with a former military comrade and his private army.


Tagline – The World is a Battlefield

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night Action 101

 

Story: All the Devil’s Men starts as we meet the bounty hunter team working for CIA agent Leigh (Hoeks), we have Collins (Gibson), Brennan (Fichtner) and new member Samuelson (Akinnagbe), whose latest job was a success, now in London they start to investigate the latest mission.

When the team gets set up Collins must lead the remaining members of the team in an operation around London which puts him against an old military brother Deighton (Millson).

 

Thoughts on All the Devil’s Men

 

Characters – Collins is the seal that has been working as a bounty hunter for the CIA, he has a dark past with missions he has completed and knows to trust the team around him, he won’t give up till the mission is complete. Leigh is the one that runs the operations, she puts the team together and tends to be their eyes in the sky, though she is willing to do anything to close the deal for the good of the country. Brennan is the older member of the team and the member that Collins has worked with the longest, he knows how the system operates and who to bring in when needing extra hands. Samuelson is the newest member of the team, he doesn’t want to be known as a bounty hunter more of a shadow warrior, he does following instructions well, but talks more than Collins wants him too.

PerformancesMilo Gibson as the leading action man is solid, he doesn’t have too much to do that is overly difficult, few driving, shooting and ducking scenes, no real emotional moment required. Sylvia Hoeks was fantastic in Blade Runner 2049, which is a disappointment here because we know how great she can be, it feels like this wasted her talent. William Fichtner is solid enough which is here to give the biggest name for the film and Gbenga Akinnagbe gets laughs for the film when needed.

StoryThe story follows CIA bounty hunters that are tracking down suspects in London over one night before a major deal goes down, which could see weapons being giving to the wrong hands. The story gives us a chance to see how the unit uses their skills to track and try to stay ahead while also showing the villains planning for what happens next. For an action film the story is very simple, it doesn’t have anything overly complicated when it comes to twists and can be watched without needing to give the full attention. This is a late-night action film story which is all we want at times.

ActionThe action gives us set-up location for confrontations with bullets flying around, the fights are simple, though not shot the best with too many cuts. With the bang, bang and bodies falling it is easy to watch.

SettingsWe are mostly set in and around London at night, which is fine, we know London can be busy and full of deals going on, we do seem to stay on the outside of everything going on though.


Scene of the Movie –
Plane chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does waste Sylvia Hoeks full talents.

Final ThoughtsThis is good for a late-night action fans, it keeps everything very simple and could easily be put in the lists of any straight to DVD Seagal or Van Damme movies.

 

Overall: Simple actions film.

Rating

 

 

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Backtrace Release Date On Digital HD from 7th January 2019 On DVD from 14th January 2019

Stars:

Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Creed, The Expendables)

Ryan Guzman (Heroes Reborn, Everybody Wants Some)

Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises)

Christopher McDonald (Quiz Show, Happy Gilmore)

Meadow Williams (The Intruders, Apollo 13)

Directed by Brian A. Miller (Officer Down)

Written by Mike Maples (The Unexpected Journey)

Synopsis:

Action legend and three-time Academy Award® nominee Sylvester Stallone (including Best Actor, Rocky, 1976) co-stars with Ryan Guzman (TV’s Pretty Little Liars, Notorious), Meadow Williams (Reach Me, The Intruders), Christopher McDonald (Quiz Show, Terminal Velocity) and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, Stranger Things) in BACKTRACE, a riveting crime thriller that hinges on memory, fury, and betrayal.

After suffering a brain injury from a bank heist gone wrong, MacDonald (Matthew Modine) develops amnesia and is put into a prison psychiatric ward. Following his seventh year in evaluation, he is coerced by an inmate and a ward doctor (Ryan Guzman and Meadow Williams) to break out of prison and injected with a serum that forces him to relive the life he’s forgotten. MacDonald must now elude a local detective (Sylvester Stallone), a toughened FBI agent (Christopher McDonald) and the drug’s dangerous side effects in order to recover the stolen money all while confronting his past.

‘THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS’ TAKES HOME THE DORFMAN BEST FILM AWARD AS THE 22nd UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS ARE ANNOUNCED

 

 

 

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS’ TAKES HOME THE DORFMAN BEST FILM AWARD AS THE 22nd UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS ARE ANNOUNCED

 

UK, London: Thursday 22rd November 2018 – The UK Jewish Film Festival are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s awards following this evening’s Closing Night Gala award ceremony at London’s Curzon Mayfair.

 

The festival awards recognise achievement in both fiction and documentary feature-length films, with The Dorfman Foundation sponsoring the festival’s ‘Best Film’ award. The UK Jewish Film Festival are determined to ensure that nurturing and supporting new creative talent is at the heart of the festival.

 

The festival awards this year were:

Dorfman Best Film Award – Supported by The Dorfman Foundation

Recognising powerful and outstanding filmmaking in both fiction and documentary films.

 

Best Debut Feature Award

An award for new filmmaking talent that displays originality and freshness of vision from a first-time fiction feature film.

 

Best Screenplay Award

Presented to acknowledge excellence in screenwriting in a fiction feature film.

 

Audience Choice Award

Audience’s favourite film at this year’s festival.

 

WINNERS:

Dorfman Best Film Award – Supported by The Dorfman Foundation

Winner: Three Identical Strangers by Tim Wardle

Jury: Michael Kuhn (Head of Jury), Clare Binns, Henry Goodman, Anita Land, Andrew Pulver, Michael Rose

 

“Three Identical Strangers is a joy to watch and, like an onion, reveals itself layer upon layer. Both terrific entertainment and a serious and very moving story, the film is cleverly constructed as an unusual mixture of documentary, drama and thriller. The jury was delighted to award the prize to this impressive film.”

Michael Kuhn, Head of Jury, Dorfman Best Film Award 2018, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

The award was be presented by film producer Michael Kuhn to the film’s producer Dimitri Doganis.

 

 

Best Debut Feature Award

Winner: Driver by Yehonatan Indursky

Jury: Claudia Rosencrantz (Head of Jury), Chris Auty, Ben Caplan, Paul Morrison, Dianne Nelmes, Carol Russell

 

“The jury were delighted and impressed by ‘Driver’, a beautiful, moving and funny exploration of a father and his daughter and of the moral grey areas he navigates within an orthodox religious community. Powerful and surprising this is the unusual and often raw tale of a man whose job is coaching people to tell their stories but is unable to tell his own.”  

Claudia Rosencrantz, Head of Jury, Best Debut Feature Award 2018, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

The award was presented by TV producer Claudia Rosencrantz to the film’s director Yehonatan Indursky.

 

 

Best Screenplay Award

Winner: Death of a Poetess, screenplay by Dana Goldberg and Efrat Mishori

Jury: Nik Powell (Head of Jury), Josh Appignanesi, Philippa Goslett, Amy Rosenthal, Georgia Slowe, Derek Wax

 

“This provocative and intriguing drama, with its naturalistic, quasi-documentary style, hugely impressed the jury. An elliptical portrayal of a deeply troubling story that stays with you long after the film has ended.” 

Nik Powell, Head of Jury, Best Screenplay Award, UK Jewish Film Festival

 

The award will be presented by film producer and Head of Jury Nik Powell to the film’s co-screenwriter Dana Goldberg.

 

 

Audience Choice Award

Winner: Forgotten Soldier. Director. Lucile Smith and Paul Goldin

 

 

Chief Executive of UK Jewish Film, Michael Etherton said: “Innovative approaches to filmmaking were among the stand-out themes of the awards made by this year’s juries at the UK Jewish Film Festival. We were privileged to host these outstanding jurors from across the UK film industry and they were particularly impressed by the quality of the films in competition this year. ‘Three Identical Strangers’ is the extraordinary true story that is already making waves, brilliantly told and expertly crafted; ‘Driver’ takes a gentle and surprising look at a little-known Orthodox community, and ‘Death of a Poetess’ mixes documentary and drama techniques to highly original and disturbing effect.”    

 

For more information about the festival please visit: http://ukjewishfilm.org/

FULL AWARDS NOMINEES AND JURIES

Dorfman Best Film Award – Supported by The Dorfman Foundation

Nominees

 

Three Identical Strangers – Winner

Tim Wardle| UK, USA| 2018 | 96’

 

The Accountant of Auschwitz

Matthew Shoychet| Canada | 2018 | 78’

Foxtrot

Samuel Maoz| Canada, France, Germany, Israel | 2017 | 112’

 

Promise at Dawn

Eric Barbier| Belgium, France| 2017 | 131’

 

The Waldheim Waltz

Ruth Beckermann| Austria| 2018 | 94’

 

Working Woman

Michal Aviad| Israel| 2018 | 93’

Jury

 

Michael Kuhn (Head of Jury)

Michael is a film producer and CEO of Qwerty Films. With Qwerty Michael has produced 11 features, including Florence Foster JenkinsThe Duchessand Suite Française. As CEO of Polygram Filmed Entertainment, he produced over 120 feature films, including Four Weddings and a FuneralTrainspottingBeing John MalkovichNotting Hill and Fargo, amassing 15 Oscars. Michael was awarded the BAFTA Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award in 1999.

Anita Landis

Anita is one of the UK’s leading talent agents. She specialises in news, current affairs and specialist factual presenters. She has recently partnered with Guy Freeman in Livewire Pictures to produce entertainment and music shows and live events; she has been an executive producer of music programming for both the BBC and Sky Arts. Recent projects have included Don Black: A Life in SongTim Rice: A Life in Song and Burt Bacharach: A Life in Song.

Clare Binns

Clare has worked in the film industry for 40 years. Starting out as an usher and projectionist, she then worked her way up to running the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton and operating a network of cinemas across the UK under the banner Zoo Cinemas. She is now the Joint Managing Director of Picturehouse and is involved in all aspects of growing and running the most innovative and successful neighbourhood cinema group in the UK.

Andrew Pulver

Now Film Editor at The Guardian, which he joined in 1994, Andrew has also written for a number of other publications including Time Out, the New Statesman and City Limits. He is an award-winning short filmmaker, and has published a number of books, including the BFI Classic study of Night and the City.

Henry Goodman

Henry has appeared on television and radio, in film and in the theatre. His achievements include the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a musical playing Charles Guiteau in Assassins at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Sam Mendes in 1993, and the Olivier Award for Best Actor for Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at the National Theatre directed by Trevor Nunn in 2000.

Michael Rose

Michael is an award-winning producer and co-founder of Magic Light Pictures. Recent work includes the Oscar-nominated animated films Chico & Rita, The Gruffalo and Revolting Rhymes. He headed the feature division of UK studio Aardman and executive produced Chicken Run and the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. He also produced Nick Park’s Oscar winning Wallace & Gromit short A Close Shave.

Best Debut Feature Award

Nominees

Driver – Winner

Yehonatan Indursky| Israel| 2017 | 92’

Closeness

Kantemir Balagov| Russia| 2017 | 118’

Doubtful

Eliran Elya| Israel | 2017 | 88’

Outdoors

Asaf Saban| Israel | 2017 | 80’

Red Cow

Tsivia Barkai| 2018 | 90’

Winter Hunt

Astrid Schult| Germany| 2017 | 75’

Jury

Claudia Rosencrantz (Head of Jury)

Claudia is an award-winning producer, who has held many senior positions in TV, including Controller of Entertainment at ITV, Director of Television for Virgin Media and CEO of Jamie Oliver Media Group. She was responsible for commissioning and originating some of the world’s most successful entertainment formats, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?X-Factor and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!.

Paul Morrison

Paul is a filmmaker. His first feature, Solomon & Gaenor, was nominated for an Academy Award in the Foreign Language Film Category. His second feature Wondrous Oblivion, about the tensions between a Jewish refugee family and their Afro-Caribbean neighbours, also won many awards. He is about to start shooting 23 Walks, an older person’s love story, and is raising finance on the third installment in his British and Jewish film trilogy, The Leningrad Gig.

Chris Autyhas

Chris worked as a producer with directors such as Michael Winterbottom, Pawel Pawlikowski, David Croenberg and Bernardo Bertolucci. He is currently Head of Producing at the National Film and Television School, where he has established new courses in Marketing & Distribution, and a unique cross-media entrepreneurship programme backed by Ingenious Media and Sir Richard Branson. He is a former board member of the UK Film Council and the European Film Academy.

Dianne Nelmesserves

As Executive Producer of Liberty Bell Productions at Avalon Entertainment Limited Dianne has launched several ground-breaking factual entertainment series as well as hit ITV entertainment formats. She was the first, and only, female executive producer of World in Action and was Controller of Factual Programmes at Granada Television. At ITV’s Network Centre, she created the hit lunchtime show Loose Women and won ITV every single British documentary award for the programme on child poverty, Kelly And Her Sisters.

Ben Caplan

Ben is a professional actor and director. He trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has appeared in numerous stage productions, TV shows and films, including Two Thousand Years at the National Theatre, Call the Midwife on BBC, and the film Driver (2009). He also co-produced the stage adaptation of Everything Is Illuminated at the Hampstead Theatre.

Carol Russell

Carol originally trained as an actor, turned to writing novels and screenplays. Her first novel Reunion was shortlisted for the Saga Prize. Her screenplay House of Usher was one of six short films made by Crucial Productions as part of the BBC’s Windrush series. She is now a lecturer at the London Film School.

Best Screenplay Award

Nominees

Death of a Poetess – Winner

Dana Goldberg & Efrat Mishori| Israel| 2017 | 77’

Budapest Noir

Éva Gárdos| Hungary| 2017 | 95’

Foxtrot

Samuel Maoz| Canada, France, Germany, Israel | 2017 | 112’

 

Promise at Dawn

Eric Barbier| Belgium, France| 2017 | 131’

To Dust

Shawn Snyder| USA| 2017 | 90’

Winter Hunt

Astrid Schult| Germany| 2017 | 75’

Jury

Nik Powell (Head of Jury)

Nik is former producer and director of the National Film and Television School and has also been prominent in the music and film industry since the 1970s. His production companies won many Academy Awards and Golden Globes for films including Mona Lisa and The Crying Game. Nik is also the Chairman of the Board of the European Film Academy and a member of the BAFTA Board of Trustees.

Amy Rosenthal

Amy is an acclaimed playwright, whose awards include the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Sunday Times Drama Award. Work for radio includes an adaptation of Jack Rosenthal’s Bar Mitzvah Boy (2011) for BBC Radio 4. Amy’s short film That Woman premiered at the UK Jewish Film Festival in 2012. Amy is currently developing a musical The Queen and I for the Arcola Theatre and a commission from the Everyman Theatre.

Josh Appignanesi

Josh is the writer/director behind the award-winning religious psychodrama Song of Songs (International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival) and David Baddiel-scripted ethnic comedy The Infidel (Tribeca Film Festival). He followed with his widely acclaimed creative documentary feature The New Man. This year brings the surrealist #MeToo thriller, Female Human Animal (Sheffield Doc/Fest).

Georgia Slowe

Georgia is an Olivier Award-nominated actress and former member of the RSC. She has numerous international film and television credits and is most recognisable from Emmerdale, where she played Perdita Hyde Sinclair for two and a half years.

Philippa Goslett

Phillipa is a screenwriter. Her feature films include: Little Ashes, directed by Paul Morrison, How to Talk to Girls at Parties (a collaboration with director John Cameron Mitchell, adapting Neil Gaiman’s short story) and Mary Magdalene, directed by Garth Davis. Philippa is currently working on a variety of film projects including Cowboy Bob for Michael Showalter and Fox Searchlight and Girl in the Dark for Seesaw/F4. In TV Philippa is developing original series with the BBC and FX.

Derek Wax

Derek heads up Wild Mercury Productions, which he launched in 2016 after 12 years as Executive Producer at Kudos. His many credits include the BAFTA-winning mini-series Sex Traffic (C4) and Occupation (BBC1), the Emmy award-winning The Hour (BBC2) and International Emmy winningCapital (BBC1), three series of hit show Humans (C4), and Troy, Fall of A City (BBC1/Netflix).

About UK Jewish Film

 

At the core of UK Jewish Film’s values is the notion that film is universal. It crosses cultures and divides and has the ability to unite, engage and educate diverse audiences through the telling of cinematic stories that provide varied perspectives on Jewish and Israeli life and culture.

UK Jewish Film aims to develop a culture where Jewish film is recognised and enjoyed by the widest possible audience, and to bring Jewish related film to the heart of British cinema culture.

UK Jewish Film welcomed 30,000 visitors last year through its flagship, annual UK Jewish Film Festival, its international festivals, as well as its 450 additional year-round screenings and previews at venues across London and the UK. Its wide range of films includes feature films, documentaries, shorts and archive films, which reflect the diversity of Jewish and Israeli life and culture. Since its inception, UK Jewish Film has welcomed over 300,000 visitors. Its popular video on demand platform brings its unique provision of film to many more. The organisation also runs acclaimed education programmes that reach hundreds of young people each year including through its schools’ programme harnessing the power of film to combat antisemitism.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – W – War Dogs (2016)

Director: Todd Phillips

Writer: Stephen Chin, Todd Phillips, Jason Smilovic (Screenplay) Guy Lawson (Article)

Starring: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Ana de Armas

 

Plot: Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.


Tagline – Money, corruption and the American dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Crime Comedy

 

Story: War Dogs starts as we follow David Packouz’s (Teller) story, he was a massage therapist and lost his money in a bad investment, with his girlfriend Iz (Armas) pregnant, he is left with little ideas for money until his old friend Efraim (Hill) returns to town. Efraim is an arms dealer that has been finding a way to sell weapons in the war.

We follow the two young men as they find a way to get one of the biggest deals done, but is this going to take a toll on their personal lives.

 

Thoughts on War Dogs

 

Characters – David is a young man, he works hard with his massage therapist job while trying to make a business of his own. When this goes wrong he is saved by his old childhood friend that introduces him to the world of arms dealing, he is telling the story to us too. Efraim is the old school friend of David’s that brings him in as a partner, showing him the ropes and just how much money could be getting made in this industry. He has a reputation that doesn’t make him one to trust at the times, which could ruin deals and friendships.

PerformancesMiles Teller and Jonah Hill are both great in these roles, they have great chemistry between them and it shows in their moments together and gives them both the time in solo scenes to be their own characters.

StoryThe story shows the rise of two unlikely young men that became one of the biggest international arms dealers in recent American history and how the greed can take over even the strongest friendships. We are told this story through one of the two men involved, so we do only get to see their own point of view of everything, when you feel there might be more to certain moments in the film. This is an easy to watch film and plays out just like Lord of War which does feel slightly more entertaining though.

Comedy/Crime/WarThe comedy comes mostly from the idea of this feeling completely out of place watching these young men enter this world of crime during the war time of selling weapons.

SettingsThe settings show how the characters go from comfortable America to countries with less money that offer these men a chance of something massive, this is good for the clash of cultures idea.


Scene of the Movie –
The first deal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Only seeing it from one point of view.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good Todd Phillips style comedy that we all know how his style comes through, it does have good moments throughout and strong performances too.

 

Overall: Good crime comedy well worth watching.

Rating