It’s a bit hard to pin a label on this film. Completed in 2008, it took another three years to release it, marketed ultimately as a horror movie. But it’s more a supernatural movie; horror film buffs will inevitably be disappointed by it, and those who aren’t (such as myself) might be pleasantly surprised. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 30th, 2015 at 9:20 pm. Updated on November 30th, 2015 at 9:20 pm.
I think it was when Warden Harold Bauman (Ron Lacey), in dismissing any idea of his prisoners putting on an artistic performance, said, “They’re not here to have fun. They’re here to be miserable,” that my wife asked, “Don’t you get sick of the same, same things all the time?”. Or it could have been earlier, such as at the arrival of the prisoner who doesn’t deserve to be in prison, or the tough prisoner running the show, or the ineffectual warden and his corrupt second-in-charge, or the earnest counsellor pushing for reform… It could have been at any point in the film, really. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 22nd, 2015 at 5:10 pm. Updated on November 22nd, 2015 at 5:12 pm.
I think nearly everyone has seen the YouTube clips of the dancers from the Philippines’ Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center. Because of those clips I expected this film - which I knew had been based around the prison’s stunning dance-based reforms - to be essentially a dance film… with a few dramatic threads attempting to hold it together. I couldn’t have been more wrong; to its credit (and no doubt its commercial disadvantage), it’s a prison drama with just a few dance routines woven into it. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 15th, 2015 at 5:11 pm. Updated on November 15th, 2015 at 5:11 pm.
Roundwood Prison’s Warden, Samantha Brandtt (Diane Neal) has a lot going for her. She is smart, attractive, compassionate, forthright, tough, an exceptional prison administrator and a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant. But her 16-year-old daughter Kit (Jodelle Ferland) resents her success and blames her job for the break-up of her parents’ marriage. Oh, and her staff are almost uniformly corruptible and cognitively deficient. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 8th, 2015 at 3:34 pm. Updated on November 8th, 2015 at 3:36 pm.
I haven’t previously had much luck with Nollywood or Ghallywood offerings; their prison-themed films seem to me to be shot almost entirely in people’s living rooms. But this is a bona fide prison movie, set in Sierra Leone, accessible on YouTube, and is one that ensures you get your money’s worth: it is a traditional new fish in prison movie which morphs into a Fight Club movie and ends up as an escape movie. And even pauses at one point for a sweet song which includes the lyric, “When I kill is bad but I found pleasure doing it” before urging the listener to stay out of trouble. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on October 31st, 2015 at 8:11 pm. Updated on November 1st, 2015 at 9:36 am.
It’s refreshing, I guess, to have a prison movie about relationships that doesn’t involve a prisoner coupled with a guard or a doctor or psychologist. Instead, this features two solid, admirable relationships built on trust. Or maybe one that is solid, and one that appeared solid. And two that are not. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on October 24th, 2015 at 4:59 pm. Updated on October 24th, 2015 at 4:59 pm.
Not the TV series, exactly, but what was (until they announced a new season to run in 2016) the final feature-length Prison Break episode, which is supposed to stand on its own and be like a condensed fifth season. It’s a little tricky for me; I watched the first series, enjoyed it, but immediately lost interest once it went into a second, third and fourth season. There are consequently a few gaps in my understanding of what happened in-between, which Mr Google has since been kind enough to attempt to fill. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on October 18th, 2015 at 3:41 pm. Updated on October 18th, 2015 at 3:48 pm.
I know that featuring this film breaks my own rock-solid rule about excluding prisoner-of-war movies. I’ve included it, I think, because people quite sensibly keep prompting me, “What about Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped?” and I just wanted to let people know that yes, I’ve seen it. And rate it. But that still doesn’t mean that it meets my slightly perverse, idiosyncratic rules about what constitutes a prison movie. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on October 10th, 2015 at 4:15 pm. Updated on October 10th, 2015 at 4:15 pm.
I tried to recall how many films I’d seen where prisoners escape while chained to each other. I think this one made seven. So it’s not a novel concept. Frankly, I’d be more curious to see a film featuring one of those chain gangs where the prisoners are chained together to their bunks at night, and see how they manage after a dodgy stew for dinner, or deal with several enlarged prostates. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on October 3rd, 2015 at 1:31 pm. Updated on October 3rd, 2015 at 1:31 pm.
I feel for Dean Cain. I’m sure he wants to play serious prison roles, but in Dogboys (1998) he got to play an ex-Marine fighting killer prison dogs, and in New Alcatraz (2001) he had to play a palaeontologist fighting a giant prehistoric prison snake. Here he gets to play an ex-cop fighting a killer prison giant. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on September 28th, 2015 at 9:47 pm. Updated on September 28th, 2015 at 9:49 pm.