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Doesn't tower above its rivals but holds position on the block!
Tower Block (DVD)
Member Name: Jojoborne
Tower Block (DVD)
Advantages: Light entertainment. Good British drama.
Disadvantages: Thin plot. Easily poked at by the bitter brigade
February is the month I hate the most. It is cold, dreary, and cold; did I mention dreary? It is birthday to my ex-wife and it celebrates Valentine's Day; so yeah, basically February is a non-month for me.
So, as I succumbed to yet another February cold I armed myself with lots of nice movies and TV series to watch and having dabbled in soap reviews lately, I thought it best to get back to my movies and books as I am very clean but have missed reviewing lots of films; not least seasons two to eight of Hustle, which I no doubt will review at some stage.
So out with the sofa duvet, lots of snacks and drinks, girlfriend tucked up in bed, watching her favourite blogs and shows and off I go.
I have had this movie for a few months and finally decided to give it a watch. All I knew about it before hand was that it starred Sheridan Smith and it was a bit of a murder mystery. I like Sheridan, so I was looking forward to an easy to watch movie to ease me into things. I got just that. It is not a complicated movie and there are some plot holes but I will forgive it those for keeping the tension going and a couple of good on screen performances, including the lovely Miss Smith.
Becky (Sheridan Smith) lives on the top floor of a high-rise block of flats. Developers are trying to evict her and the rest of the top floor occupants. The rest of the block is empty. The developers only need to move the top floor out or rehouse them to get their project underway.
A youth is chased across the estate by two other youths. He heads into the tower block and makes his way to the top. He cries for help but no one wants to know.
Becky witnesses him being beaten through the spy-hole in her front door. She tries to intervene but gets beaten herself.
When the police come calling Sheridan says she saw nothing as do all the other tenants. The boy was beaten to death but everyone is too afraid to give information out for fear of being labelled a grass.
Time moves on and Becky meets a new fella. She hasn't been serious about anyone since the break- up of a long term relationship.
Here is where the movie takes a turn and we are thrown into a tense hour of action, revolving around fear and survival.
Someone as gone a hell of a long way to make sure everyone is trapped in the building. No one is safe and people are being picked off one by one by a sniper. The whole block is rigged with booby traps and there is no way out other than being shot; or is there?
The Main Cast
Becky - Sheridan Smith
Kurtis - Jack O'Connell
Paul - Russel Tovey
Neville - Ralph Brown
Violet - Jill Baker
Ami - Loui Batley
Gary - Nabil Elouahabi
DC Devlin - Steven Cree
Eddie - Tony Jayawardena
What I will say to right from the start is if you're looking for a formidable plot with amazing twists that is steeped in the very finest method acting, then you may as well not watch this. Now that may sound bad and may put you off but please don't let it. What I mean by that statement is that if you take this movie too seriously then you may be disappointed but if you watch it with no expectations and embrace it then what you will have is a rather entertaining little film that will fill up ninety minutes.
I quite enjoyed it and while the plot isn't the strongest and I could rip holes in it quite easily I won't because the director manages to build the tension quite well and it kept me interested. This was mainly due to the cast. While, admittedly, some of them are bit part players and obviously there to be picked off, the main cast hold the story up well. Sheridan Smith is her usual charming and rather cute, in her own way, self and brings some grittiness to the role of Becky. Jack O'Connell plays bad boy Kurtis to a tee and love him or hate him (you will probably hate him) he gets most of the movies funny lines and central plot turns.
The first half an hour ambles along and makes you wonder what is going to happen. I felt I was in for another life in a suburban town type story of love and loss and love again. Then boom the whole screen shook and the film took an unexpected turn which turns the whole thing on its head. I found that quite refreshing and the next hour whizzed by as I revelled in wondering what was going to happen next even though I could have probably worked it out in ten seconds if I chose to do so; but where is the fun in that. I'll leave that kind of thing to the gullible lot whom those types of movies are made for. You worked it out....good boy....here have a biscuit!
I was well pleased (and this may sound strange) that Sheridan had two vests on and wasn't showing a lot of cleavage. It would have been too obvious and too exploitative. Then in the last fifteen minutes one of the vests comes off to use as a bandage and the much lower cut vest is revealed. Although I am not opposed to Miss Sheridan's rather ample bosom I must admit it felt a little tacky and almost like a sort of 'here you go boys, you didn't think we would allow the whole movie to go by without at least a little cleavage pressing, hand to hand fighting did you?' Still I didn't let it affect the rest of the movie and taped my thumb to my fingers to stop me pressing the pause button. I jest of course but I sort of wish they had left her how she was even though her dignity was still attached at the end.
Overall the film was cast well and although it is never going to break any box office records or win any awards it is also put together well and well directed by joint directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson.
James Moran's script was no doubt quite tricky to put together and get right and is a lot more complicated on paper than it reads off the screen. But then I sort of expected that after viewing 'Severance'. What it has done is wet my appetite for 'Cockneys vs. Zombies'; not that it wasn't whetted already by the thought of Michelle Ryan in latex holding a shot gun.
There are enough shocks and surprise moments to keep you hooked and some of the characters are so loathsome and lame that it is quite a relief when they get killed off, but I think that that was intentionally on the director's part; build up the hate for a character and then let them have it!
The DVD contains the standard movie with varying aspects and sound choices but the extras are rather scant with just a trailer and a behind the scenes documentary.
All in all I would give the movie three out of five stars and recommend it to those of you who just want an hour and a half's light entertainment and not those who want to try and be clever by ripping it to pieces and failing miserably (I didn't mention the Guardian or the Times...I didn't).
Summary: A tense British drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat