Short Film Sunday – New Boy

Title: New Boy

Director: Steph Green

Released: 2009

Length: 11 min

Whilst New Boy has the slight air of a stereotypical Oscar bait film (and it was of course nominated) this cautionary tale of race and not judging a book by it’s cover is still charming and heart warming. Despite a dark undercurrent the setting of a classroom filled with cheeky Irish children ensures that the tone remains cheerful throughout.

Whilst the message and themes portrayed here are nothing new, the execution makes New Boy worth watching and a cast mostly made up of children cope well with occasionally difficult subject matter.

I didn’t really enjoy New Boy enough to seek out more of Steph Green’s work and I found the message a little heavy handed but at 11 minutes it is a nice easy watch.


28 Weeks Later – 6/10

28 Days Later but for a dumbed down American audience…


Director Danny Boyle took zombie films to the next level with his seminal classic 28 Days Later, unfortunately 28 Weeks Later feels like two steps back. This is especially disappointing as it all starts off so well. The opening scene is a frenzied and harrowing introduction and a reminder of how terrifying the world has become in the wake of the rage virus. It is mostly downhill from there as England is now a military state in the hands of the American army which means Rose Byrne putting on an American accent and Jeremy Renner playing an unimaginative stock soldier character.

The scenes with British trio Robert Carlyle, Imogen Poots and Mackintosh Muggleton work best as this most brings to mind what made the original so good. Hails of bullets and massive explosions are a mile away from the isolation and claustrophobia of the first film. The behaviour of the infected has changed as well with them becoming a lot more ‘bitey’ to suit the common perception of zombies and there is even suggestion of retained memories and a survival extinct which is both unexplained and at odds with 28 Days Later.


Another disappointment is that key moments from the first film such as eye gouging and the unforgettable soundtrack are recycled here although the opening and the helicopter scene are powerful and wholly original which makes 28 Weeks Later a frustrating watch as it is evident the potential for a great piece of work was present.

There have been much worse horror sequels but 28 Days Later was so good it didn’t really need the story to be continued.

Mr. Brooks – 3/10

Men speak. Drive in cars.


When you make the decision to cast Dane Cook and Demi Moore as your supporting cast you are essentially killing the film before it gets started. Dane Cook constantly looks like he is trying to waft a wasp away from his face and Moore is as terrible as ever. There must be some kind of plot going on here but it is difficult to know exactly what it is. One definite thing is that Kevin Costner is a serial killer because his imaginary friend makes him do it. Original. The only vaguely new thing about Mr. Brooks is that Costner’s daughter also becomes a serial killer. The fact that this plot point is almost immediately abandoned renders this pretty redundant however. Just a nothing film.

The Darjeeling Limited – 8/10.



Three brothers annoy each other and carry fantastic luggage on a train journey through India.

Darjeeling Limited contains one of my favourite ever opening scenes. Bill Murray runs for a train, all of a sudden Adrien Brody appears along side him and they exchange a look. It is glorious. Joining Brody are Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman as the brothers and the three of them have a wonderful chemistry throughout. As with all of director Wes Anderson’s films the magic is in the little quirks that keep appearing throughout the Darjeeling Limited such as the way Wilson keeps ordering for his siblings and the repeated lines in the dialogue. All of Anderson’s films look amazing but he doesn’t have much to do here because India is such a gorgeous place anyway. Anderson doesn’t rush things here he just lets the story play itself out as we get to know the three main characters and their relationship to each other. This makes for a more enriching emotional experience and makes the film seem like a proper journey in a similar vein to Stand By Me. If you like Anderson’s other work you will already have seen this if you haven’t then you can’t go far wrong with Darjeeling Limited as an introduction.