The Best Of…Jack O’Connell

I’m finding it really hard to start this review. Not because I don’t have a kind word to say about Jack O’Connell. Quite the opposite really, I have tonnes. In fact, they are whirring around my mind in a chaotic buzz trying to etch themselves into this article.

The truth is Jack O’Connell is one of the few legitimate actors around at the moment than can punch my gut with emotional intensity and rawness. The BAFTA winning actor – who scooped up the Rising Star award in 2015 – as tremendously rallied up the ranks of interesting actor, to fantastic actor, to “must have him in every film.”

His talent for taking the anger and rage, making it bloom with undone visceral beauty is unparalleled in this industry.

We Brits have known the actor for quite some time and it looks like he is making waves with our US counterparts. The performer has transferred his skill trans-Atlantic. This weekend he stars in Money Monster. Directed by Jodie Foster (by the way, that’s the second female director he’s worked with in the past two years. Just sayin’,) and starting George Clooney and Julia Roberts, O’Connell has proven his worth against the heavyweights of Hollywood.

So to celebrate everything O’Connell, we take a look at his best bits.



I mean his films….

Skins (2009 – 2010)

The third series of the popular drug and teen addled drama, and the second batch of pill-popping students, was definitely the best. Of course, Nicolas Hoult and crew mustn’t be ignored in favour of the new younger generation of misfits that came afterwards, and Dakota Blue Richards collection of rambunctious college students did… meh, alright. But for some reason, a lot of people latched onto the sophomore season of the television show. Maybe it was because after we’d assimilated to the idea that this kind of shit happens on a regular basis in a simple Bristol college, we’d actually started to empathise with our characters. There was also Naomi and Emily, which was a relationship that we all adored because of its accurate youthful depiction of homosexuality.

And I think audiences everywhere fell in love with Jack O’Connell as bad boy Cook who was still layered with emotion, drive, and ambition. We were obsessed…

Cook, Line and Sinker (I’m here all week folks).

Eden Lake (2008)

Working-class horror has been a staple diet of movies since films took on a life of their own. See, the idea is that poor folk are vicious and brutal creatures and will terrorise the rich folk as much as possible. Eden Lake is the same idea. Starring Michael Fassbender and Kelly Reilly, it revolves around a couple taking a break to the idyllic titular place only to come across some nasty kids who then chose to relentlessly pursue them. Whilst the ethics and implications of the horror are a little uncouth, Eden Lake showcases O’Connell’s terrific acting in such a violent and angry way as the main antagonist. Yet still, here he has a stirring emotionality and backstory that makes him less one note, and more of a melody of acting talents.


Starred Up (2013)

Starred Up, is, was equally engaging as ’71. While you may go into it thinking that a prison film with waylaid delinquents and adults who have been banged up for years is not up your alley, O’Connell genuinely stirs with the violent and unpredictable Eric Love, a young offender pushed into an adult prison early because of his temperament. He gives so much passion and intensity to his character here that you’re admiration for the actor soars. Starred Up is a kinetic, different, and original film that helped O’Connell become the must see actor of our generation.

Unbroken (2014)

Whilst the end product of the film is completely average, Jack O’Connell is, in one word, outstanding. His recent performances have pushed him right into the foray of awards season (if you haven’t seen ’71 yet, please do). Though his American Italian accent is a little worrisome at first, he is actually incredible. Especially, f you can get past the slight twinge of Bristol lad coming through in his American accent. He does his best work in the second act at the POW camp. Maybe this is because he doesn’t talk a lot. As with his character in ’71, it’s all about the physical and emotional responses he gives without even uttering a word. His transformations physically are also mind-blowing; he had to have the body of an Olympic runner for a quarter of the film, then a starved runner and then a beaten and starved runner for the rest.

From Angelina Jolie, it may seem like a slightly underdeveloped film but Jack O’Connell does well in this lead role!

‘71 (2014)

There is no denying that O’Connell is a tour de force here. Able to balance a childlike lost quality about him as his character Gary Hook is thrown into the violent landscape of the Belfast Riots. Harnessing a talent to convey the brutality of the situation, as well as the terror of being chased, bloodied and wounded, through the streets is so real that you can smell the sweat and tears coming from O’Connell’s character. He has few lines, but says so much, twisting through the fright in the pit of your stomach with his emotive facial expressions and intensity. Absorbing, O’Connell will leave you in awe.

Honourable Mention: This Is England.


Finding Dory – Brand New Clips!

Brand new Pixar movies are a moment. We usually gather all of our excitement to see these opulent computer animated characters catapult us into an emotional story. Not one Pixar movie is terrible. And that looks to continue with Finding Dory.

Finding Dory revolves around the opulent blue yet forgetful fish who befriended the titular character and his Dad Marlon in the last outing. However, prone to bouts of amnesia, Dory is determined to find out more about her past.. Can she find her family?

The amnesia riddled Dory is certainly a family favourite and in these latest clips, you can see her charm and hilarity continues in her very own sequel. The movie is a sea of fun and frivolity that’ll fill us with humour and warmth.

Oh. But you’ll have to hunt for the second clip – using Google Search technology and brand new technology, Disney are making you actively hunt for this Dory clip so good luck!


Carnage Park – Brand New Trailer1

Horror movies will never end. I suppose it’s the one genre where people can do anything. ANYTHING. And it is still met with a reception as warm as the red stuff spilled from cuts and bruises! So Carnage Park looks to tackle this spirit.

Carnage Park revolves around a bank robbery gone wrong and two criminals go on the run. They, unfortunately, wind up in the desert outpost of a deranged ex-military sniper who ensnares them in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Supposedly meant to be a return to grindhouse horror from director Mickey Keating, the latest trailer for Carnage Park denotes it’s brutal and unrelenting nature. This could be fun in a grim The Hills Have Eyes kind of way because there is nothing scary than the outpost in rural America.

What do you think?


The Best Hanna- Barbera Characters

Dominating television animation for three decades, Hanna-Barbera’s infamous characters hold the fondest of childhood memories for the kids since 50’s. From careless, clumsy dogs to daringly devious mice, over the years we have seen plenty of loveable and amusing characters. One of the most iconic of them all is everyone’s favourite feline friend, Top Cat, who is returning in brand new adventure Top Cat Begins in cinemas May 27th.

To celebrate the return of him and all his furry friends, we are taking a look at some of the other wonderful characters that stand alongside Top Cat in the Hanna-Barbera hall of fame.

Yogi Bear


First making his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi Bear’s enormous popularity led him to become the first break-out character to be given his own show. Like most early Hanna-Barbera characters, Yogi Bear was inspired by a TV character. Based on Art Carney’s Ed Norton character on American sitcom The Honeymooners, he is best known for his quirky catchphrases and, as he so modestly puts himself, being “smarter than the av-er-age bear”.


Scooby Doo


Everyone’s favourite mischievous dog, Scooby Doo is a Great Dane, known for hilariously sharing many personality traits with his lifelong companion amateur detective Shaggy Rogers. He’s clumsy, unable to pronounce his words without placing an ‘R’ in front of them and perpetually hungry. But despite all that, he’s surprisingly human-like with intelligence that often solves the mystery the detectives are trying to desperately uncover.


Johnny Bravo


Muscular and boorish with strikingly blonde hair and an Elvis-like voice, Johnny Bravo sees himself as the ultimate ladies’ man (although the ladies seem to think otherwise). Confident in his efforts to try and get women to go on a date with him, his advances are quick to be rejected in the most comedic ways.


Fred Flintstone


Loud-mouthed, aggressive and always scheming, deep down Fred Flintstone isn’t the boorish man he comes across as. With his heart in the right place, he is constantly looking for ways to improve his working class family’s life and give only the best to his beloved wife Wilma. It just so happens, that he hilariously loses his temper in all of his extravagant attempts to do so.


George Jetson


A slim man with bright red hair and a cartoonish large nose, George often finds himself muddled with juggling the stress of his work and family life. Constantly attempting to overcome the hassle in his life, he quickly became known for his infamous catchphrase, “Hooba-Dooba”, which he uses to express astonishment whenever a crazy series of antics unfold.




Bashfully playing on the cat-and-mouse chase, Jerry is a prevalent protagonist to his enemy that happens to also be his best friend. Teasing, torturing and tormenting Tom, Jerry causes the pair to find themselves in all sorts of mischief, stuck between being rampant rivals and having a bond as the unlikeliest of friends.


Penelope Pitstop

Penelope Pitstop drives the pink Compact Pussycat car wearing a bright pink racing uniform and knee high boots. Bringing allure to the Wacky Races she is described by the race announcer as “Glamour Gal of the Gas Pedal”. The only woman to take part in the contests, she’s the classic damsel in distress with her ultimate catchphrase being “Help, help!”


Top Cat


Top Cat is the yellow-furred, charismatic protagonist who is the proud creator and leader of an infamous alley cat gang. Wearing a mauve hat and vest, his smart appearance cleverly hides that he was once a poor, lonely cat stuck living on the streets. Loyal to his formidable bunch, there’s an adventure waiting around every corner for the gang as they mischievously roam the streets of Manhattan.


Deepwater Horizon – Brand New Trailer!

Mark Wahlberg is an interesting actor/former rapper. The man is best known as being Ted’s sidekick in the movie about the epitomes bear. But when he puts his talent into action, it’s surprising that Wahlberg can actually act and do it well enough to earn an Academy Award nomination (The Departed.)

Now he appears again in disaster movie Deepwater Horizon.

The film is based on the true story of a man-made disaster that occurred in the titular oil rig, stranded the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. Deepwater Horizon looks at the brave men and women whose act of heroism saved many on board and changed everyone’s lives.

Directed by Peter Berg, who also gave us Lone Survivor, we are pretty sure that he can help craft an evocative performance from Wahlberg. Plus, natural disaster true story romps are always great investments.

What do you think?


Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants – Review

Everyone must have had a time, most likely during their primary education, when you learned how amazing ants are. Able to lift fifty times their own body weight, working as a collective team and all obeying a ruling Queen Ant, they are pretty cool.

The insects are no stranger to the big screen with films such as Disney’s  A Bug’s Life and DreamWorks’ Antz capturing audience’s imagination about our miniature friends. Now a French/Belgian collaboration takes the story of worker ants to the big screen in Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants.

Minuscule follows a young ladybug as she comes into the world. While being chased by bullying flies, she sadly loses one of her wings. Taking refuge in an abandoned human picnic , she befriends kindly working ants who attempt to carry a tin of sugar back to their colony. On the journey they are pursued by larger red ants who want the sugar all for themselves. Can our ladybug reach the colony safety? Can she also overcome her disability and help her new friends fight off the invading ants?

The film is set in the same universe as the French Minuscule TV series. Each episode gives a bird’s eye view look at different insects and the feature film expands on the adventures of some of these characters. Like the TV series the film is part CGI part live-action mixing the two forms together. The film is also told without speech or dialogue of any kind.

The narrative of the film goes deep into the insect’s world and sees them try to survive in the wilderness. The ladybug must survive in a world of strangers and the Ants must find food for their colony. This is a cute and appealing story yet is more for younger audiences that adults. The story, despite its fun nature, is small  and feels somewhat lost on the big screen. In taking the series from the small screen Minuscule has not grown enough as a cinematic effort except  in running time. The film still feels as if it belongs on TV instead of the cinema outing it so wishes to be.

The largest obstacle the film has had to overcome is its lack of dialogue. Instead of words, music and sound have been used for communications between characters and to tell the story. It is a hard task but one that is not unachievable (Shaun the Sheep Movie and Timmy Time anyone?)

Minuscule has overcome this obstacle and made an easily understandable and sweet film. Noises work in place of dialogue to convey the emotions and thoughts of the insects. Each character or groups of character (the Black and Red Ants the Flies), have their own theme music. The musical score, which continuously follows the film, conveys the tone and mood of the film.

The films animation is only half the story. All characters are CGI creations with a live action backdrop of woodland areas and forests. The animation, compared to the works of Pixar other CGI studios, is very basic and more similar to the works of Illumination and a TV style than works of the big screen. This is not to say it is unappealing or not cute. The film is sweet and its animation is fun for its target audience.

A cute but small family adventure. More suited to younger children and feeling better placed with a TV series than on the big screen, the film essentially fun but this ain’t no A Bug’s Life.