About Robbie Owen

I am a particularly hairy adult man of below-average height. I enjoy blazers, cheese on Yorkshire Puddings and crying. My ideal woman is Claudia Winkleman.

TV: Doctor Who – Series One

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Written by Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss, Robert Sherman, Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat, starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper

Something about a box that’s bigger on the inside. Weird kind-of pepper-pot monsters that can’t go up stairs. A man who can change his face. Doctor Who was, to all intents and purposes, dead, and it lived on only through select ideas that had permeated themselves into British pop culture. Quite what possessed the BBC to bring it back, we’ll never know, but I think all parties are glad they did, especially considering that doddery old ’60s show now makes up 10% of the BBC’s worldwide profits. Continue reading

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Film: Sunshine on Leith

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Directed by Dexter Fletcher, written by Stephen Greenhorn, starring George MacKay, Jason Flemyng, Peter Mullan and Jane Horricks

There’s a certain inevitability about a lot of Sunshine on Leith. A musical set to the songs of two-piece Scottish emotion baskets The Proclaimers is gloriously limited. The film’s plot points aren’t predictable per say, but anyone with an inkling of the band’s back catalogue knows that we’re bound to see one character propose to another, whilst another moves to America (And vows to send correspondence home) and one is called Jean. In fact, the only way you can tell the film is beginning to wind towards a close is by the fact that suddenly all the characters are finding themselves in situations that require them to walk an awfully long way. Continue reading

Film: The Call

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2013, Directed by Brad Anderson, written by Richard D’Ovidio, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin

Third Act Syndrome. I’m starting to wonder wonder whether there’s been some kind of contagious outbreak in old Tinseltown that’s in desperate need of medical attention, such is the number of current Hollywood screenwriters managing to undo all the good work of the first hour with a dodgy final thirty. The Call suffers from one of the most viscous cases of Third Act Syndrome documented thus far, introducing a twist that trivialises the film and beggars belief. Continue reading

Film: Source Code

2011, Directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, starring Jake Gyllenhaal

If you know nothing about Source Code, you shall enjoy it all the more. As such, this may be the blandest, least explanative review anybody shall ever read of any film. While it’s perfectly possible to have a great time watching it having read the blurb on the back of the DVD box, for the best experience, know nothing, and keep it that way until the film begins to twist and starts to turn. Know nothing until you know it all. Continue reading

Film: The Breakfast Club

1985, Written/directed by John Hughes, starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall & Judd Nealson

The Breakfast Club is one of the best-loved films of all-time. For one reason or another, the 1985 ‘brat pack’ feature has seeped into the public memory. While other ’80s school dramas have died and gone to bargin bin heaven, The Breakfast Club continues to be pushed in luxury Blu-Ray packages. It makes favourite list after favourite list, constantly peddled as a ‘classic’, or a ‘film to see before you die’. While it would probably be worth sliding it in somewhere if you’ve got another 60-odd years to go, if you’re planning on jumping into a river this evening, I wouldn’t go wasting your final few hours on what, in the modern light of day, is little more than a fairly solid teen drama. Continue reading

EverBirdd’s Top 10 Films of the Year

EverBirdd

It’s time. It’s reached the end of EverBirdd’s first calendar year on the internet. In the tradition of the sites that have come before us, it’s time for us to unveil our Top 10 Films of the Year, obviously counting down backwards. This is, for disclaimer purposes, all done from UK release dates, so there is at least one film on the list that was out in other territories prior to the 1st of January 2012, but we’re not going to let that get to us.

You’re also more than welcome to disagree. Please argue with us, either in the comments below or tweet abuse to us, @EverBirdd, and we’lll try our best to explain why we’re right and you’re wrong. Continue reading

Film: Pitch Perfect

Pitch PerfectThe cast/crew bit: written by Kay Cannon, directed by Jason Moore, starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow & Rebel Wilson

The ten-word synopsis: Girl ends up on all-female singing troupe. Love ensures.

It’d be easy to dismiss formulaic pictures as being easy to make and lazy. However, that’d be to undermine the craftsmanship needed to successfully slot what is, essentially, a pre-prepared film together. Some of the upbeat, school-set bubblegum musicals that have plauged cinema and TV alike over the past five years have been able to do this. High School Musical is such a good example of assembly it’s now used as an instructional manuel for all others. Pitch Perfect chooses to ignore the manuel and put the flat-pack musical together by simply looking at the front of the box. Pitch Perfect also happens to be the best example of the genre I’ve seen to date. Continue reading

Film: So Undercover

So UndercoverThe cast/crew bit: directed by Tom Vaughan, written by Stephen Pearl & Allan Loeb, starring Miley Cyrus

The ten-word synopsis: PI is sent undercover in a high school. Not sure why.

Well, Anne Hathaway did it. There’s still hope lingering somewhere that Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus might, somehow, pull off a fitting Cinderella-like transformation into a good actress. If we’re going on the basis of Hannah Montana’s latest film, though, that hope is slipping away with every passing second. Continue reading

Film: End of Watch

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by David Ayer, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña & Anna Kendrick

The ten-word synopsis: Two cops live their lives whilst uncovering a human trafficing ring.

My critical mentality when it comes the most important aspect of a film is clear enough. Nail your central characters and you’re just one step away from nailing the film. End of Watch also adopts this mentality. In fact, the best bits in End of Watch aren’t the shoot-outs and punch-ups shot with such intensity you’ll lose the function to blink, but the scenes in which our two leads simply drive around in their car, chatting. Continue reading

Film: Beasts of the Southern Wild

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by Benh Zeitlin, starring Quvenzhané Wallis & Dwight Henry

The ten-word synopsis: Half naturalistic drama, half daylight hallucinations of a young girl.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. My arm, for so long hovering in and around my chin, stroking the unkempt mess I call a beard, dropped unequivocally to my lap. My lungs took a deep breath in. My eyes widened and, oh, hello, looks like my tear ducts have opened for production. There’s a moment in Beasts of the Southern Wild that conjures this reaction. The most innate, heartfelt reaction that I’ve felt towards any film this year. And for this scene alone, it must be applauded. Continue reading