» Turkey Shoot (2014, Australia)

“Disgraced Navy SEAL Rick Tyler is sentenced to rot in a maximum security military prison until he is offered the opportunity to put his life on the line and win his freedom in a kill or be killed Reality TV show” is how this is marketed, often under its alternative title, Elimination Game. Once the action starts we see an image of the Neo-Alcatraz Military Prison to which Tyler had three years earlier been sentenced to rot (for life plus 1,000 years), but that’s it. No other prison bits. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on October 15th, 2019 at 8:29 pm. Updated on October 15th, 2019 at 8:41 pm.

» Man of Will (2017, South Korea)

Man of Will retells the real-life story of nationalist hero Kim Chang-Soo, who much later, as Kim Koo, became the sixth and last Premier of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. But the film doesn’t bother with any of the irrelevant stuff, concentrating instead on what was really important: the two years he spent in jail. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on October 7th, 2019 at 8:40 pm. Updated on October 7th, 2019 at 8:40 pm.

» Autsajder (2018, Poland)

Set against the backdrop of the growing Solidarity movement in the early 1980s, this film tells a simple story: an autsajder (outsider) inside. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on October 1st, 2019 at 9:59 pm. Updated on October 1st, 2019 at 9:59 pm.

» Revenger (2018, South Korea)

Revenger is an action movie. A fight movie, to be more precise, co-written by the main fighter to showcase his martial-arts skills, not his acting ability. Don’t expect much else. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on September 21st, 2019 at 10:06 pm. Updated on September 21st, 2019 at 10:06 pm.

» The Mustang (2019, USA / France / Belgium)

I’m not really interested in the nags, despite my great-grandfather having been a highly respected horse-breaker, and like Dr Paul Gendreau I’m a little sceptical of the direct impact that animal programs have on recidivism, no matter what amazing things they can do for the prison environment. But this evocative, beautifully shot film brings two old-fashioned occupations – horse-breaker and criminal – together in splendid fashion, and no-one really gives a toss whether there are fewer criminals in the world because some have learned to break horses. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on September 3rd, 2019 at 9:31 pm. Updated on September 3rd, 2019 at 9:31 pm.

» P Storm (2019, Hong Kong / China)

The fourth movie in the Storm franchise [following on from Z Storm (2014), S Storm (2016), L Storm (2018), from which I have been successfully sheltered in each case, and not counting the yet-to-be-released G Storm], this again features William Luk Chi Lim (Louis Koo) as a super-committed investigator from Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 27th, 2019 at 9:57 pm. Updated on August 27th, 2019 at 10:10 pm.

» Marco W. – 247 Tage im türkischen Gefängnis / 247 Days in a Turkish Prison (2011, Germany)

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Marco W. etc is based on the true story of 17-year-old Marco Weiss, who was arrested in 2007 on charges of sexual abuse of a 13-year-old English girl during a holiday in Turkey, and who then spent 247 days in Turkish prisons. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 10th, 2019 at 8:21 pm. Updated on August 10th, 2019 at 8:21 pm.

» The Meanest Man in Texas (2017, USA)

It’s an extraordinary story, this one: based on the real-life story of Clyde Thompson who collected three life sentences, found God in jail, and became a prison chaplain after his release. Maybe because it’s sympathetic to him from the outset, maybe because it is so mindful of its likely audience that the portrayal of his pre-redemption ugliness is never too graphic, or maybe because Clyde never looks anything but boyish – but the message of his transformation is not as powerful as you might imagine; preaching to the converted has its downside. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 5th, 2019 at 9:05 pm. Updated on August 5th, 2019 at 9:05 pm.

» Tonight’s the Night (1932, UK)

Also known as ‘Tonight’s the Night: Pass It On’ and ‘Bill Takes a Holiday’, it seems unlikely that this British comedy will surface in the near future. A 35mm copy is part of the British Film Institute archive collection, but as yet there are no plans to digitise it and viewing access is not made available to film buffs, researchers, stickybeaks or fans of Rod Stewart who think they have chanced upon an early bootleg video of his 1970s hit. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 26th, 2019 at 9:20 pm. Updated on July 26th, 2019 at 9:27 pm.

» Escape Plan: The Extractors (2019, USA)

The third in the Ray Breslin Escape Plan series, this represents a major departure from the others; while the first two relied on his famed security expertise to be able to find the flaws in even the highest-tech, most secure prisons, this one takes him to an old-school, low-tech prison (played by the dilapidated Ohio State Reformatory, built in 1886) to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Chinese technology tycoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 24th, 2019 at 9:27 pm. Updated on July 24th, 2019 at 9:38 pm.