Jack O’Connell Weekend – This is England (2006) Movie Review

Director: Shane Meadows

Writer: Shane Meadows (Screenplay)

Starring: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure, Joseph Gilgun, Rosamund Hanson

Plot: A young boy becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit.


Tagline – Run with the crowd, stand alone, you decide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Gritty, Hard Hitting Reality Check

Story: This is England starts as young boy Shaun (Turgoose) is struggling with the death of his father in conflict in 1983, he gets picked on at school, he doesn’t fit in, until a group of skinheads led by Woody (Gilgun) welcoming him into their circle of friends for an afternoon of trouble, while his mother Cynth (Hartley) isn’t completely happy with this group, she does see him being happy for the first time in years.

When the other leader of the group Combo (Graham) gets out of prisons, he brings a more aggressive nature to what the gang wants to be, despite Woody, just wanting it to be friends hanging out.

Thoughts on This is England

Characters – Shaun is a 12-year-old boy that has suffered with the loss of his own father’s death in the Falklands, he gets bullied by the other school kids and has always just been left feeling alone in the world. The only people that let him in are Woody and the gang of skin heads who just want to hang out and soon gets drawn into a darker side by the more aggressive leaders of the gang. Combo is the older leader of the gang that doesn’t hold back with his hatred to other races in his country, he will fight anybody who goes again his gang too, being a horrendous role model for Shaun. Cynth is the mother of Shaun, she wants to see her son enjoying his life more but is getting worried about his own life choices. Woody is the member of the skin head gang that invites Shaun into the gang, he wants to help him fight back against the bullies, by offering somebody to hang out with.

PerformancesThomas Turgoose in the leading role is fantastic as we see just how he is dealing with his own grief in all the wrong places. Stephen Graham steals the show with his hyper aggressive character, while the rest of the cast do make us feel like we are watching mates hanging out.

StoryThe story here follows a 12-year-old boy that ends up joining a skinhead gang after he struggles to find a way to deal with the grief in his life from his father’s death. The story does tackle just how difficult grief could be for the children of the victims of war, with Shaun having his school friends pick on him because of his father’s death, which in todays, not the 80s wouldn’t be acceptable in anyway, with everybody being more supportive. The idea of joining the gang and just how the gang soon starts to consume his life, effecting his behaviour shows how being given the wrong lines to follow will not make life any easier. We do see how the world has changed since the 80s and how the skinhead culture should never be forced onto anybody.

CrimeThe crime world we get placed into here it, involves the violent behaviour of the skinhead gangs to anybody that doesn’t fit into their profile.

SettingsThe film is set in the midlands of the UK which does show the neighbours that would have been struggling in the 1980s.


Scene of the Movie – The first day out with the gang.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – 12-year-old dating an 18-year-old seems weird.

Final Thoughts This film does show the violence being pushed onto people if they can’t deal with grief when they have nobody else in their lives.

Overall: Violent Drama.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – B – Beowulf (2007)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary (Screenplay)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright

 

Plot: The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing Denmark, and later, Grendel’s mother, who begins killing out of revenge.


Tagline – I will kill your monster!

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing and Dull

 

Story: Beowulf starts when a Danish kingdom ruled by Hrothgar comes under attack from a creature known as Grendel, he takes plenty of lives and the King puts up half his kingdoms gold for anyone who can kill Grendel.

This brings Beowulf to the land, where his reputation has seen him kill monsters the world over, while he might clash with Unferth, he is ready for the biggest battle of his life even if Grendel isn’t the biggest threat that he will face.

 

Thoughts on Beowulf

 

Characters – Beowulf is the great warrior from fable, known to be able to defeat any enemy in battle, he comes in search of treasure with hi latest battle, one that will see him become king and need to make up for his own past mistakes. Hrothgar is the king that calls for a warrior to come and fix the problem terrorising the kingdom, he also wants to make up for his past errors. Grendel’s mother is behind the creatures that attack, using he seductive ways to get the men to fall for her ways. We fill out of the characters with the creatures, the loyal soldiers that fight next to Beowulf and the queen always left to be the victims of love.

StoryThe tale of Beowulf is one of the most interesting tales of folklore, it shows how a warrior came from the seas to rid a kingdom of a creature only to become the next target of the figure behind the creature. The problem with how the story takes place because we seem to focus on the idea of 3D over well shot story, the myth never feels real as things unfold either, we drag along to see the twists in the story and nothing feel like a threat it could be. This is a let down in story telling for a fable that could be an epic on he big screen.

Action/FantasyThe action in the film is the large-scale battles which should be breath-taking only for the 3D focus taking over too often, the fantasy side of the film shows us just what could amaze with the creatures coming from the folklore.

SettingsThe settings show us just where the kingdom is set for defence from any attack, while becoming weak to the Grendel attack.

AnimationThe animation involved does feel bad now, it was a style which was being tried and just never made it to the mainstream.


Scene of the Movie –
The heart of the monster.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The wink he is naked let’s put something to cover his modest front and centre.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing animated movie that just plods along way to slowly for the audience and fails to give us the true feeling of the story.

 

Overall: Dull and disappointing animation.

Rating