Welcome to The Worthy Watch

The Worthy Watch is a blog by the creator of Watch Read Review, the home of the latest film, TV, book & comic reviews. The Worthy Watch is devoted to film news and general chatter.

Popular Posts

Friday, 4 May 2012

Moon (2009)

Moon, directed by Duncan Jones, is a film about astronaut Sam Bell played by Sam Rockwell. Sam is coming to the end of his three year contract working on the surface of the moon harvesting resources, which help power up to 70% of the earth. With two weeks left he is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But things begin to take a turn for the worse. When Sam goes out onto the moon’s surface to collect a cache of recourses he gets into an accident and is rendered unconscious. When he awakens he is in the medical bay of his station, but being that he is the sole worker with only the aid of a highly advanced robot GERTY, voiced by Kevin Spacey, the question is, how did he get there?

This is director Duncan Jones’ debut feature film, and what a debut it is. For a man with very little prior experience it is a wonder how this man managed to create such a masterpiece on his first real attempt. There was nothing lacking in this film from the simple yet wonderful soundtrack which emphasised the emotion on screen perfectly, right through to the costume and make up which was outstanding. If this is Duncan’s debut feature film then I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us in the future.

Sam Rockwell gave an outstandingly intense performance. Sam goes through a whole host of changes during this film and each and every one has been portrayed and performed to the highest standard. This is an actor who, up until this film, has mainly been playing the supporting roles. But in Moon Sam is thrust into the spotlight and truly shines. Sam plays the vast majority of this film alone, with nothing but Kevin Spacey’s voice to accompany him. Now that is a hard job, with no other actor to read off, to take some of the pressure off but Sam comes out the other end triumphant.

I mentioned before about the costume and make up but seriously, there is not enough credit that can go to that department. The way they show Sam’s gradual decline in health is unbelievable. Towards the end he almost looks like a zombie due to him getting more and more ill. The way I measured whether or not this was effective was the fact I was cringing towards the end as Sam got progressively worse, which I believe was the desired effect. So hats off to some amazing work.

Moon is a film which deals with a variety of issues ranging from loneliness, isolation, the need for human contact right through to what it means to be human. This is by no means your average lost in space sci-fi film, it is something completely different. If you have not seen Moon yet then I cannot recommend this film highly enough and when you watch it you will know exactly what I have been talking about. 

Written by Oliver Willis  


Thursday, 3 May 2012

Harry Brown (2009)

Harry Brown, directed by Daniel Barber, is a gritty British film about an elderly ex marine and widower Harry Brown (Michael Caine) who lives on one of London’s many rough housing estates where gang life is a constant and ever present danger. When his wife died Harry turned to his best friend Leonard Attwell (David Bradley) who expresses his fear of the gangs on the estate after he has been a target of vandalism and threats. When Harry is then informed of his best friend’s brutal murder he begins to lose hope, no friends no family, nothing left. When it becomes apparent that the police are unable to arrest the boy that initiated the attack Harry decides to take the law into his own hands. With his marine experience and nothing to lose Harry sets out to avenge his friend’s death and rid the estate of the youths who feel they can’t be touched. Who would have thought it would take an elderly man to make them fear their actions and realise everyone must be held accountable.    

Now I know people have mixed feeling about Michael Caine, that he can really only play one roll, himself. But whether or not you think that’s true it’s irrelevant for this film, for the role called for a Michael Caine performance. He was exactly who was needed for this role and to be honest, who else would have played Harry Brown, let alone to such perfection. We see two sides to Harry, one loving and caring side for his dying wife and his best friend. But when they are taken away from him we see a sudden change, the sweet old man we saw before takes a dark turn and becomes a vigilante of street justice. Michael plays this wonderfully and proves he is a 3-dimentional actor capable of playing more than one role.

The next biggest performance would be the recording artist turned actor Ben Drew aka Plan B. He plays Noel Winters, a tough youth from a London housing estate. As you can imagine, for anyone who is aware of who Plan B is, this was not too much a stretch for him to play. But in all fairness the role called for a character such as Ben Drew and so he delivered the performance that was needed.

I actually enjoyed this film, never have I routed for a murderer but Michael had me eating out of the palm of his hand. He delivers a form of justice of which could never be handed out by the law and for that he was our hero. The film was dark, gritty, grimy and everything life on a London housing estate is perceived to be. But if you think you know how this film will end then think again. The finale is something of which I did not expect and sets into motion a whole host of events which I could not have predicted. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys and action packed thriller but with a serious and meaningful storyline. Harry Brown breaks the law, but in the right way.   

Written by Oliver Willis

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Adventureland (2009)

Adventureland is a film, written and directed by Greg Mottola (Paul, Superbad) set in the summer of 1987 about a college graduate, James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) who has no idea where he is going in life, and so decides to take a job at the local amusement park, Adventureland. Here he meets a whole host of weird and wonderful friends, including a girl called Em Lewin (Kristen Stewart). The film sees James on a path where he will discover who he is and what he wants out of life with some heartache and laughs along the way.

Jesse Eisenberg plays his usual character, a slight geeky, shy and socially inept teenager. I have said this in my reviews in the past that this is not a bad thing, he plays these roles well, why change. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in another role in the future though, will be interesting to see how that would turn out. Jesse and Kristen’s characters are in love/not in love in this film which means a lot of ups and downs for them. I think both actors performed these roles well, even the intense and emotional scenes; they really look like they should be together and make you feel for these characters when everything begins to go wrong and the heartache begins.

One of my favourite comedy actors plays a supporting role in this film, Ryan Reynolds who plays Brad, the good looking older Adventureland handyman with a claim to fame. It was a different role for Ryan in this film as he wasn’t playing his usual cocky, arrogant comical role but instead took on a more serious one of a married man who likes to mess around with the female Adventureland staff. He plays this part surprisingly convincing and proves he is not just a cocky comedy actor but, when called for, is able to perform the more serious, intense roles.

Overall I loved this film; there is something about it that makes you feel good after watching it. Because this film is set in the late 80’s the soundtrack, I found, was brilliant with such songs as Modern Love – David Bowie and my favourite, Rock Me Amadeus – Falco. Every time I listen to this soundtrack it brings a smile to my face, absolutely love it. Even now, as I write this review I have the soundtrack on in the background, so I recommend both this film and soundtrack to anybody who likes a dry comedy, feel good film with a hint of romance, and let’s face it, who doesn’t.    

Written by Oliver Willis 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

True Grit (2010)

True Grit, directed by none other than the all inspiring Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, is a gritty, dark humoured and immensely gripping remake of the 1969 classic western starring John Wayne. When an honest man gets gunned down for no good reason, the culprit thought he had escaped with his life. Little did he know that the blood thirsty and revenge driven intensions of a little girl may come to prove him wrong.  Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires herself the meanest, toughest and positively oddest U.S Marshall she could find, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), and sets out on the road to find her father’s murderer. With the company of the Marshall and the intermittent company of a certain Texan Ranger who goes by the name LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), this odd band must track down a cowardly murderer and bring him to justice, whatever their own interpretations of that word may be. But will things turn out to be quite so straight forward?

I going to say straight away, I loved this film. Before finally getting around to seeing this remake I had heard some mixed reviews and was honestly considering whether or not it was, in fact, worth going to see. Then I took a moment and remembered who the directors were, the Coen brothers! That settled it, I had to see it, and I can honestly say it was the right choice. The wonderful Coen brothers have never failed me and I should not have doubted them this time. Everything about this film pulled me in from the superb characters, the remarkable landscape and even the simple yet enrapturing plot line had me hooked.

As I mentioned before, the characters were exceptional, due in large part to the extremely talented and expertly selected cast. I have been a fan of Jeff Bridges ever since I saw The Big Lebowski and his character The Dude had me wanting to just walk around in my shades all day and generally do nothing too taxing. He was absolutely brilliant as Rooster Cogburn, the tough U.S Marshall with a slight drinking problem. Even Matt Damon, who can sometimes be a little off for me in some of his emotionless performances, impressed me. His character played right into Matt Damon’s strengths, a polite, and slightly emotionless and pride-full Texan Ranger who does not care much for personal matters; he would rather see a job done right and by the book.

The star of the show, however, must go to Hailee Steinfeld who plays Mattie Ross, the young girl who is on a revenge mission to avenge her father’s murder and bring the culprit to justice. I had never seen this actress until this film and loved her style. She was such a huge on-screen presence that she would often take some of the attention away from Jeff, which is hard to do. She was truly magnificent in my opinion, the way she made her role her own, the way she seemed to effortlessly adapt and fit in to that era in time and adopt that type of language was truly brilliant. I am relatively certain she will be on the big screen for many years to come and look forward to seeing what she can produce.    

The fact that Joel and Ethan Coen wrote and directed this film was a huge seller for me, as I hope it was for a lot of people. I mean these two guys have brought us some truly brilliant films such as The Big Lebowski, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?,  The Ladykillers, No Country for Old Men and a personal favourite of mine, Burn After Reading. There is no end to these guys’ talent, and I hope it stays that way. With their unique take on life and dark humour with the ability to unnerve and shock even the sturdiest of viewers with their unpredictable and outrageous plot twists, I can only pray that these guys continue to produce the top quality films I have come to expect from them. 

So True Grit is an exception to the rule of ‘remakes are bad’. This film was far from that, it was excellent, a true western with a modern day twist made possible by the wonderfully talented writers/directors and of course the fantastic cast and crew. So if you haven’t seen this yet, what’s wrong with you? Get on it!

Written by Oliver Willis 

Monday, 30 April 2012

500 Days of Summer (2009)

500 Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb, is an offbeat romantic comedy about a young man’s search for true love. Our main character Tom (Joseph Gorden-Levitt) believes in such a thing as true love and when he meets Summer (Zooey Deschanel) he believes he has found the perfect girl. Summer on the other hand has a very different take on love. This film shows Tom’s storey as he spends his 500 days with Summer, and the ups and downs that comes when two people have two very different views when it comes to love.

Joseph Gorden-Levitt (3rd Rock From The Sun, Inception) plays our main character Tom. Joseph is a young but excellent actor, he plays Tom as a slightly nervous yet charming person who believes in such a thing as true love. I like Joseph and in my opinion he was perfect for this role. What this film needed for this character to work was a good looking, young, funny and generally likable actor, which Joseph delivered perfectly. Joseph is able to play a whole host of roles and this film demanded he do that, from deliriously happy to depressingly sad to intensely frustrated and everything in-between. I could not think of another young actor who could have pulled off such a heart warming performance as Joseph did.

Now is it any wonder Tom falls in love with Summer, I mean who would fall for Zooey Deschanel (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Happening). Zooey plays the part of Summer, a alternative, qwerky, free spirit who has a very different view of love. I think Zooey is absolutely brilliant, she plays these kinds of roles, the innocent free spirit, in a few films and it just fits so wonderfully. Her and Joseph make a very convincing young couple and really get you believing in the love that is so obviously shared between them. I think Zooey is an excellent actress and particularly good at playing this type of role.

Now I’m not usually one for romantic comedies but I have to say this one stuck with me. The film is so wonderfully put together, so alternative from any other in its genre and the soundtrack is exactly what you need to listen to on a sunny summer’s day. For any readers thinking they don’t like rom-coms I have to agree with you, but this film is no typical rom-com. I found it to be a brilliant watch and have since seen it three or four times and still love it. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes a laugh and an oddly alternative feel good film. The important thing to remember is this is not a love story; it’s a story about love.

Written by Oliver Willis 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Top Cat is back!

Benny the Ball, Fancy Fancy, Choo Choo, Spook and Brains, and the indisputable leader of the gang T.C. are back at war with the long arm of the law when the menacing Police Chief Strickland moves to town, ousting the bumbling Officer Dibble. 

Determined to put a stop to the feline antics in Hoagy's Alley with the help of a bullying robot police force, the tech-savvy Stickland threatens to be the most dastardly enemy the gang has ever faced. 

With their wise-guy lifestyle hanging in the balance T.C. and friends are forced to cash in on another of their 9 lives to curtail Strickland's reign of terror and claw their way back to the top!

That's right, Vertigo Films are proud to announce the UK release of Top Cat: The Movie for Friday June 1, 2012 in 3D. Top Cat, or T.C. as he's known to his close friends has been a hit with children and adults alike since his first appearance way back in the 1960's. I do have to admit I was rather sad when they stopped showing T.C. and the gang. But now he's back, and bigger than ever!

Vertigo Film's Rupert Preston and Allan Niblo said: "Top Cat is an iconic and much-loved character known by nearly every parent in the UK. We are thrilled to be bringing Top Cat, his mischievous gang and Officer Dibble to a whole new generation."   

The movie is set to bring the vibrancy, colour and retro-charm which we loved from the original and bring it to a new generation. After more than a 50-year hiatus, T.C. and the gang return with 'the most tip-top' adventure of them all.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Horror Anthology

 Calling all horror fans! If you like your horror and just cant get enough of it, then take a look at this. Its called Supernatural Tales, a double DVD containing 16 brand new short horror films. This is an original and authentic horror blitz where you will be hit by everything and anything scary. 

This horror anthology comes from Denmark, showing us that they create films other than light comedies and social realistic dramas. The 280 minutes of pure horror comes mostly in the English language and the rest come with English subtitles. 

This collection of short films comes from the Movie Battle which is held during the Copenhagen Film Festival, CPH PIX, and the films will be available on this fantastic 2DVD from May 6. 

To Pre-order at one of these two links: 

So if horror is your thing and you're sick of the Hollywood garbage they spew out on a regular basis, why not look elsewhere. This anthology promises to contain some truly original ideas and startling horror films. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Act of Valour (2012) Preview

Act of Valour, directed by Scott Waugh and Mike “Mouse” McCoy, is a modern day war film like no other. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot, a team on SEALs are dispatched on a global manhunt. As the men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of innocent civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

Act of Valour is a truly original take on the modern day war film. It stars active-duty Navy SEALs alongside actors.  Everything you see in this film is based on real events drawn from past experiences of the world’s most elite, highly trained and deadly soldiers.

The film boasts stunning and realistic combat sequences, tactics in use in today’s SEAL teams and up-to-the minute battlefield technology. We are seeing this operation through the eyes of the Navy SEALs, experiencing what they experienced both on and off the battlefield.

Along with the originality of using active-duty soldiers alongside actors, we also get a glimpse into the life of a Navy SEAL. We see the relationships on the field between these select few elite soldiers and the lengths they will go to serve their country and protect their fellow soldiers. We also see the strain their jobs have on their relationships at home with their families and loved ones. People have this perception of the SEALs being emotionless killers trained to do only one thing. This film challenges that by showing both the physical and emotional turmoil these brave few live with every day.

Momentum Pictures are proud to announce the UK release of Act of Valour for March 23.   

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pusher (2012) Preview

Vertigo has recently confirmed the release for their latest film Pusher will be in May of this year. Pusher is a re-imagining of Nicolas Winding Refn's cult classic of the same name. For those of you not familiar with the original here is a brief breakdown.  

Frank, played by Richard Coyle (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) is a run of the mill drugs pusher. When he devises a scheme to get rich quick he decides to borrow a large quantity of money from a known drug lord. But when the deal goes wrong Frank finds himself in a whole heap of trouble. With a vast debt to repay to one of the city's most ruthless drug lords and no way to raise the cash, Frank must think quick and act quicker if he is to pay of this tyrant and regain his life. 

Pusher features some of Britain's best acting talent, with such names as Richard Coyle, Bronson Webb (The Tudors, Robin Hood, Dead Man Running) and Paul Kaye (It's All Gone Pete Tong, Match Point). So there is no lack of talent for this fast-paced, visually striking, modern day remake. 

Pusher will be out in cinemas in May, the exact date it still to be confirmed. So check out the official trailer below and keep an eye out for the official release date for this sure to be smash hit film. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A Celebration of Young British Filmmakers

On March 5 British filmmakers from all over the country will be congregating at the BFI Southbank for the 11th annual First Light Awards.

The 2012 First Light Awards is the most prestigious event for young British filmmakers of the year. First Light helps young people from all backgrounds develop skills, talent, creativity and confidence by giving them opportunities to create their own short films, with the help of industry professionals.

This year’s judges include: Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright, Danny Leigh, Laura Haddock, Jason Isaacs, David Hayman, Sam Mendes, Talulah Riley, Sam Taylor-Wood, Myanna Buring, Sam Clafin, Rebecca O’Brien, Tom Hooper, Frank Passingham, Emma Hindley, Roger Goldby, David Yates and Garry Lewis.  

The films created cover many topics and genres, and make use of today’s accessible digital technologies to tell their stories with them in control. The roles of cast and crew would have been undertaken by various members of the young people in the group. Each would have had the opportunity to write, act, shoot, direct, light, edit, produce and screen their own film.  

Barbara Broccoli, First Light Chair: “Filmmaking amongst young people across the UK has never been more popular. It is vitally important that young people from all backgrounds have a creative voice.”

The young filmmakers come from across the UK and a wide variety of social backgrounds and experiences, including those with refugee status, young offenders and those from deprived areas. Each filmmaker has imparted a unique aspect of themselves into their films.

The films themselves explore a wide variety of issues such as, female genital mutilation, homelessness and the lost youth of young care-givers, all of this is done through the art of creative story telling.

Barbara went on to sayThe future of the British Film industry will benefit from the creative talents that have been nurtured by First Light and celebrated at the First Light Awards.”

The Watch Read Review team will be there bringing you coverage and interviews with this year's judges and nominees. 

To learn more about this year’s exciting entries, please visit the First Light website where you can see this year’s nominated films and cast your vote for The Audience Award 2012.