The World’s End – Film Review

The World's End

It has felt like a long wait for The World’s End, the third film directed by Edgar Wright, produced by Nira Park and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, in a series loosely characterised as “genres the British don’t often do, done in a very British way”. The World’s End is also the weakest film of the three, but that’s not to say it isn’t good fun for your money.

Gary King (Pegg) is a man who, numerically at least, is in his forties. However, in his head he’s still 18. The World’s End is absolutely steeped in late 80s/early 90s nostalgia, with a soundtrack loaded with Blur, Happy Mondays, James, The Stone Roses and, incredibly, Soup Dragons. Gary King still plays the mix tape his friend, Steven (the always wonderful Paddy Considine), made for him when they were teenagers because in his last days of school Gary was popular, invincible and had the world at his feet. Now an alcoholic clinging to his glory days, nothing is going to make him grow up.

Drink Up It's The Word's End

Except maybe, just maybe, he will if he manages to complete the Golden Mile: a pub crawl of the 12 pubs in his hometown. Gary dates his adult failures back to when he and his four friends bailed from the crawl at pub nine and is now determined to fix his mistakes. He goes back to those four friends, Andy (Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver “O-man” (Martin Freeman) and Steven, now with adult lives they seem perfectly happy with, and convinces them to go back to Newton Haven with him to complete what they started. Joining them is Rosamund Pike as Sam, Oliver’s sister and Gary’s one-time shag. Getting in the way of this quest is the small matter of an attempted alien invasion.

For those not familiar with the so-called Cornetto Trilogy, each film takes the form of a buddy comedy accompanied by over-the-top action. The preceding film, a cop action flick called Hot Fuzz, was released over six years ago. Shaun of the Dead, a zombie film, appeared on screen three years before that. And the television series that kickstarted it all off, Spaced, started airing on Channel 4 in 1999. I recorded each episode (on VHS!) to watch after I got home from drinking in the pub on Friday nights with my teenage friends. My entire adult life has been peppered with Wright-Pegg-Frost offerings and if any review is going to date me, it’s this one.

The Cornetto Trilogy

I mention this because just like Hot Fuzz did back in 2007, The World’s End carried a lot of expectation. The difference is that while HF surpassed my expectations; TWE failed to meet them. However, if TWE had followed Shaun of the Dead, I probably would have been pleased. Not thrilled and certainly not desperate to go right back into the cinema and watch it again, but I would have been satisfied. This is because TWE is essentially Shaun but with a much bigger budget. It’s funny, shows off some good action sequences and strong lead performances but has absolutely no plot and lacks a lot of the charm of Shaun. What TWE has gained in special effects, it has lost in emotional resonance. Although the flashbacks to the teenage gang are quite endearing.

What The World’s End also lacks are any truly stand-out moments. I am struggling to think of anything that had the same sense of fun as Shaun and Ed throwing vinyl at zombies, or the same whole-cinema-gasps-out-loud factor as Nicholas Angel knocking out an old lady with a flying kick. What it does have are some unexpected turns, a lot of laughs and too many lengthy monologues. Nick Frost puts in a sympathetic performance as the long-suffering Andy, Gary’s best friend back in the day and it’s fun to identify the recurring actors from the previous films: there’s probably a drinking game in spotting them. You’ll also get Wright’s manic, eye-popping direction and the running gags are a delight. Yet Simon Pegg should probably stick to playing nice guys. Not once did I believe Gary’s motivations.

The World’s End will keep you entertained and it steams by pretty quickly for its running time but as Gary King keeps pushing his friends to continue his quest to complete the Golden Mile, the reasons for complying, and the plot, get thinner. It’s been a brilliant ride but no more Cornettos please*; it’s time to grow up.

*I don’t mean this literally. If anyone wants to send me some mint Cornettos this summer, I will happily take them up on it.

The Comedian – DVD Review

The Comedian DVD

The Comedian is an improvised drama with a Dogme 95-esque filming technique – the film is shot entirely in real locations without a script. The titular character is Ed, a call centre worker who dreams of being a successful stand-up comedian but is struggling to get the audiences laughing. Ed lives with Elisa with whom he shares a precarious platonic love. Their relationship becomes strained when Ed starts to date fellow comedian Nathan for whom love is distinctly not platonic.

I have already gushed about how much I loved The Comedian in my full review back in May but suffice it to say that this film had a real effect on me. Few other films have so authentically captured the sense of disorientation and disarray that living in a large city when your love life and career are uncertain can bring. Ed is not always a sympathetic character but he is by far the most relatable person I have seen onscreen this year.

This film may not be for everyone but if you are willing to sacrifice the typical three act structure then you may well find the little gem I felt I had unearthed.

Apart from a trailer and the film’s manifesto the only extra is a 30 minute short film by The Comedian director Tom Shkolnik entitled One Happy Moment. The short is similar in style to the main feature and follows two young Londoners as they meet, date, and spend their first night together. The plot is even more sparse and it didn’t connect to me in nearly the same way as The Comedian but One Happy Moment was short and sweet enough nonetheless.

The Comedian is out on DVD today and is worth a look, particularly if you are a Mild Concern fan and want to see our first citation.

If you fancy saving your pennies we still have three copies of the DVD to give away in our competition.

Out Now – 26th June 2013

Wolverine Ha

The Wolverine
Wolverine’s previous solo film outing was an unmitigated disaster riddled with plot holes and general ridiculousness. I was very briefly excited about this follow-up when Darren Aronofsky signed up to direct. In the end the film was directed by someone else and is apparently pretty terrible. At least I’ll always have that brief excitement to look back on fondly.

Frances Ha
Anyone who once thought that Zooey Deschanel was the queen of indie cinema has had to reconsider just how indie an actress can be since Greta Gerwig mumbled her way quirkily onto the scene. Her latest is a black and white comedy about a woman who interns at a dance school despite having no dancing ability. Director Noah Baumbach has written some solid gold mumblecore cinema including Greenberg and Margot at the Wedding, and bizarrely Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. I’m in.

Bajatey Raho (limited release)
Bollywood comedy thriller about the friends of a victim of fraud who team up to con the conman. Should. Be. Fun. ?

Dial M for Murder (limited re-release)
Embarrassingly enough I have not seen this classic Hitchcock thriller from 1954. Sure I own the DVD, I can see it sitting on the shelf above my desk (on the right between Psycho and North by Northwest), but who has the time to actually watch films? Owning them is so much less inconvenient if you don’t spent time bothering to watch them. But now it’s on the big screen again… perhaps I can be persuaded to really snub my DVD and watch the film in the cinema.

Blackfish (limited release)
Documentary about a killer killer whale who has taken the lives of three human beans. Expect interviews of people mourning loved ones or sympathising with the trapped animal. FUNTIMES!

Days of Grace (limited release)
The synopsis for this thriller is so bizarre: “Mexico City. 2002, 2006, 2010. A cop. A hostage. A wife. Corruption, violence, vengeance. Three destinies, during 30 days, during three Soccer World Cups. Three ways to fight in order to survive.” Is that the first draft? Shouldn’t some PR person write that up into full sentences? Are they even trying any more?

Viramundo (limited release)
Documentary following Brazilian music’s elder statesman Gilberto Gil as he meets indigenous peoples.

Best of Luck (limited release)
Another Bollywood comedy. I say Bollywood but this is a Punjabi film shot in Canada. I am culturally ignorant here. Stars Jazzy B (a Bhangra singer) and Simran Kaur Mundi who won the title of Miss India Universe in 2008. In the final competition she placed 1st runner-up in the Beach Beauty Competition, 2nd runner-up in the Evening Gown Contest and 4th in the National Costume Round. Must be weird to know that you are better skilled at wearing swimwear than your national dress.

Hipster Guide to Summer Cinema – August Edition

Hipster Guide to Summer Cinema - August Edition

We’re well into summer now and have experienced two months of quality hipster cinema so far this year. It’s not over yet! There is a whole month left in which to hide from the hellish sun, shelter in the shade of your nearest independent cinema, and fill your face with organic snacks while you watch anything other than One Direction – This Is Us.

2nd August 2013
From Up On Poppy Hill

If there is one studio a self-respecting hipster can actually allow themselves to get excited about it is Studio Ghibli with their array of distinctly non-Disney animated Japanese cinema. The latest from this master studio, directed by Goro Miyazaki, follows a group of Yokohama teenagers whose clubhouse is under threat of destruction as Japan prepares for the 1964 Olympic games. With the rest of the UK still basking in the glow of London 2012 what better than to watch a film where the Olympics are the bad guys?

Only God Forgives
Remember Drive? Remember how classy it was, how amazing Ryan Gosling was, and how sweet Carey Mulligan seemed? Now remember the bit with the head in the lift, and the wrist in the garage? All that tension and artistry punctuated by extreme bloody violence was courtesy of director Nicolas Winding Refn. Well Ryan and Nicolas are back with more tension, more violence, and more neon colours. I’m readying to flinch already.

7th August 2013
Alan Partridge Alpha Papa

The character of Alan Partridge was born in 1992 in the form of the host of BBC Radio 4’s Knowing Me, Knowing You… with Alan Partridge and 21 years later (mathematical!) he finally gets his own feature film. A Radio 4 character in a film? I think we all know that this fulfils any hipster’s requirements. You may need to overlook Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge as that was sponsored by Foster’s and may fall within the definition for the Hipster repellent sin of… SELLING OUT. The trailer makes me laugh every time I see it. Hipsters can laugh right?

14th August 2013
Kick-Ass 2

Should I include Kick Ass 2 in this list? Surely Super is the true hipster superhero film or even the Michael Rapaport-starring indie flick Special if you want to get even more obscure. Regardless of these smaller titles Kick Ass is certainly a different beast to the more established caped crusaders. With Kick Ass we’re not necessarily getting realism but actions most definitely have consequences and there is proper violence, proper swearing, and a comic book you are slightly more likely to have actually read as the source material.

23rd August 2013
Jurassic Park 3D

You can tell I was struggling for films to fill this list when I had to include a 3D film. Jurassic Park is a classic made of pure undiluted entertainment. Where the film truly succeeds is in making dinosaurs look real way before such a feat was commonplace and in making being a mathematician seem sexy. Has any mathematician anywhere ever been as cool as Jeff Goldblum? Plus the lawyer gets eaten as he hides on the toilet, which is satisfying for everyone to watch. If we’re really lucky they might do 2D screenings so we can smugly tell everyone that we are actively not watching it in 3D and pat ourselves on the back. Ever wondered what a hipster dinosaur looks like?

Amanda Seyfried is about to give one of those stark naked “brave” performances as she shakes free of her Mamma Mia! fame and plays a porn star famous for her role in a blue movie all about… erm… ahem… a lady who likes to please. I imagine this as being in the vein of Boogie Nights with a smorgasbord of bell bottom jeans and bare bottomed genes followed by everything going horribly wrong. Nudity and tragedy – the perfect evening out!

30th August 2013
Upstream Color

Words cannot describe how baffled this film left me when I saw it recently. Sadly at some point I will have to find some words that can and write what we call a “film review”. Writer/director/star Shane Carruth has only made one previous film, the indie time travel masterpiece Primer, so expectations are high for his follow-up. All I will say for the moment is that this film does not make it easy for the audience. The plot is (possibly) non-linear and the stark dialogue and mostly silent scenes leave no room for exposition. If you asked me to explain the plot now you would neither understand nor believe me. Truly baffling and just waiting to be embraced by a hipster weary of the straightforward and the mainstream.

Fika Bar and Kitchen – Restaurant Review


Yes, you read that right, we review restaurants now. Why? Because I found it impossible to turn down a free meal? You are only partly right. The reason I couldn’t resist trialling Fika on Brick Lane in East London was the fact that they have recently redecorated and revamped their menu in tribute to the films of Wes Anderson. An East End restaurant themed after Mr Anderson may have you reaching for the hipster branding iron but bear with me. This is not a case of style over substance; the food is incredible.

As I take you through the culinary delights we were treated to, see if you can tell which Anderson films we were digesting.

Starters – Foxy Doughnut and Darjeeling Gravad Lax
Starter - Foxy DoughnutStarter - Darjeeling Gravad Lax

Nice though the cured salmon with Darjeeling jelly was I most definitely won the first course (because we all know that the art of ordering food is a competitive one) with my Foxy Doughnut starter. What is a Foxy Doughnut you ask? Try a home-made doughnut topped with chicken liver pâté and then crowned with shredded apple. It was a mixture of sweet, savoury, and then sweet again that had me making slightly inappropriate noises at the table. If only Wes Anderson had directed When Harry Met Sally.

Mains – Tenenbaum’s Dinner and Pitch Perfect Meatballs
Main - Tenenbaum's DinnerMain - Pitch Perfect Meatballs

The Tenenbaum’s Dinner consists of three sliders (tiny burgers to you and me) each with a different indulgent cheese and a side of skin-on chips. The sliders were delicious and, if you’re happy to sacrifice some of your dignity and your companion’s respect for you, can just about be eaten without the aid of knife and fork. Once again I think I made the right decision with the meatballs as they were accompanied by mashed potato (heavenly with the potato skins included), apple cider sauce, and lingonberry jam. The Wes Anderson theme may have seemed a little gimmicky at first but they certainly take their food seriously at Fika.

Desserts – Kladdkaka and Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Dessert - KladdkakaDessert - Peanut & Jelly Sandwich

I may not be able to pronounce Kladdkaka, much to my embarrassment when ordering, but I certainly enjoyed its chocolatey cake-ness. The more unusual dessert came in the form of small toasted peanut butter & jelly toasted sandwiches, something I had never experience outside of a film before. They were tantalisingly tasty but the majesty of the meal took its toll and we sadly had to leave half a sandwich and a spoonful of Kladdkaka uneaten. It was painful to leave some food on the plates but I was truly defeated.

Cocktails – The Inventory and Life Aquatic
Cocktail - The InventoryCocktail - Life Aquatic

What is dinner out without a cocktail or two? Both concoctions were exquisite and pleasingly sweet with The Inventory having quite a sting in its tail. What made these drinks really special was their presentation. The Life Aquatic came with half the cocktail in the glass and the other half in a small plastic bag resembling a goldfish bowl and a fish-based prize at a fairground. The Inventory came in the form of two tiny cups, a jar, and a jug, all of which had to be poured over some candy floss before stirring and drinking.

As this article will no doubt show I am not a professional food critic. That said I know what I like when it comes to food and I loved my trip to Fika. The restaurant was littered with Wes Anderson related artefacts and the food tasted and looked sublime. The DIY nature of the cocktails added to the charm and made the meal more of an experience than your average evening out on Brick Lane.

Our bill came to £66.15 which included two three-course meals with cocktails and service charge. Not too shabby I think you will have to agree.

Fika has recently extended its Wes Anderson theme until the end of September. For more information, to book a table, or peruse the menu visit

Out Now – 19th July 2013

Breathe In

The World’s End
When Shaun of the Dead was released nine years ago I went with some friends to the cinema on Easter weekend. I distinctly remember buying everyone a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, what a guy! I was so blown away by it that when Hot Fuzz came out three years later I travelled via Megabus from Cardiff to see it at a preview screening at the ICA hosted by Wright, Pegg, and Frost. Now with The World’s End in cinemas the younger version of myself is probably distraught that I haven’t already seen the film at a midnight screening. Ah well, we get older, and I’ll still be seeing it this weekend. EXCITED!

Breathe In
The two head honchos here at Mild Concern have harboured entirely professional crushes on Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce for years and so the combination of their acting talents in Drake Doremus’ second feature about forbidden desire is too tempting for us to pass up. I couldn’t bring myself to harm a pixel in the image above. I am so weak.

The Frozen Ground
Alaska State Trooper Nicholas Cage is on the hunt for serial killer John Cusack with the help of Vanessa Hudgens who managed to escape his clutches. Also starring 50 Cent as Pimp Clate Johnson. I don’t know if he is a pimp or just has a very unfortunate first name.

Roman Holiday (limited re-release)
Classic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn gets re-released 60 years after its original arrival. Winner of three Oscars and a U certificate; beware the “very mild fight scene”.

Wadjda (limited release)
“An enterprising Saudi girl signs off for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.” Apparently in a recitation competition you have to memorise a poem or passage. “Twas brillig…”

Easy Money (limited release)
Serbian crime thriller with a plot synopsis that confused me greatly. Suffice it to say that drugs and guns are involved. And Martin Scorsese too somehow.

Eden (limited release)
“A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive.” Sounds like an aggressive adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

Suspension of Disbelief (limited release)
IMDb annoyingly lacks any plot details about this film from Paul Higgis but the Guardian tantalisingly describes it as “a self-deconstructing movie-within-a-movie about illusions, reality and falsehood”. This sounded incredibly tempting until I saw that they had also given it just two stars. Ah well.

He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not – Audrey Tautou Retrospective #3


“We all dream of a great love affair. I just dream a little harder.”

As I cover Audrey Tautou’s body of work I am consciously learning as little as I possibly can about each film new to me so as to best surprise myself every time and gosh darn did that choice pay off with He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not. After watching only the trailer I had no idea of the things I would ultimately see and feel during the feature despite the fact that, ultimately, even by European film standards the overall plot is simple enough (woman fancies man who is married, he remains with his wife, she gets a bit clingy and mad). It is when the film’s meaty character and situational comedy/drama kick in that Laetitia Colombani’s feature debut wallops you right in the heart bone.

Audrey Tautou plays Angélique, a young, bouncy woman who has everything coming her way. Tautou’s smile reaches critical levels of cuteness as she skips and dances through winning a prestigious art scholarship, being given the opportunity to house-sit an insanely expensive home and the blossoming of love for the rugged Dr Loïc Le Garrec (Samuel Le Bihan). This is the happiest film ever… until it’s not. After Garrec makes it obvious that he wants to remain with his pregnant wife Angélique turns sour and becomes the definitive Overly Attached Girlfriend.

He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not - Audrey Tautou

Simply put, Angélique does some truly terrible things; things that will have you feeling a mix of excitement and horrified shock. Despite the carnage that Angélique proves she can produce the film’s exploration of her erotomania – calm down folks, there’s no lusty sex scenes – puts us firmly on her side, not that we’re not also on Dr Garrec’s side too, though. Thanks to the opening act’s aesthetic, which aims to be the most colourful and uplifting thing you will ever see, and Tautou’s deft ability to play such an empathetic victim, when the narrative inevitably turns against her we root for her unequivocally.

Whilst Tautou at first appears be playing another standard love interest this is arguably one of the best performances in her portfolio. For the most part she plays her character’s illness very straight which is often the cause of the mixed excitement and shock we feel throughout the film, but as the story develops further and things get a little more unhinged Tautou’s base Girl In Love act becomes something else completely. In fact, Tautou and Le Bihan are so individually captivating in their roles that you barely even notice that their shared screen-time is somewhat very petite.

Not to instate a bit of hyperbole, but He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not is perfect film-making. When excellent direction and cinematography come together with keen acting and a meticulously compassionate script you get this, a 96-minute comedy drama that makes you kick yourself for having not watched it earlier.

Win a Copy of The Comedian on DVD

The Comedian

You may remember me gushing last month about The Comedian, the story of a stand-up comic struggling with life and love in modern-day London. For me the film really captured something truthful about what it is like to live in a large vibrant city and the excitement and the loneliness it can bring. Real my full review for lots of gushing and attempts at sounding intelligent.

All too often I sing the praises of a film whilst knowing full well that most people won’t get the opportunity to see it. Thankfully in the case of The Comedian I have three copies to give away on DVD. I have taken the bold decision to give these away as three prizes rather than leave one lucky winner in the slightly awkward position of having the same film on DVD three times.

To enter simply enter you details below. The competition is open to UK residents over 18 years old. The competition closes on 29th July 2013 at 5pm at which time three winners will be chosen at random and the prizes sent to the addresses as provided below.

This competition has now closed

The Comedian is released on DVD on 30th July and is a treat of a film.
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Trailers, Advertising or Content?

Trailer on Trailer

Here’s a question for you, is a film trailer a piece of advertising or is it content that we film fans actively want to see? Content is the media we want to consume, every article we read online, every TV show we watch, and every podcast we download, this is all entertainment and information that we seek out and pro-actively watch/read/listen to. Advertising is the other bit. Advertising is almost our way of paying to get the content we want. If you want to read an article enjoy this animated ad at the side. If you want to watch a show then prepare for a third of it to be adverts. If you want to download a podcast for free please listen while they read a message from their sponsors.

In a world where the internet is everywhere and we are constantly keeping our eyes transfixed to a minimum of three screens at a time we want constant streams of media and we want it for free. Advertising means that we can continue to get it for free no matter how irritating it can be at times.

But where do trailers fit in?

This question occurs to me from time to time, normally when I am trying to watch a trailer on YouTube. When a trailer is shown on TV or played on the radio then it is clearly just another form of advertising. They are paying lots of money to shove a product in front on your face in the hope that you will buy it. Whether it is Will Smith peddling After Earth or Barry Scott pushing Cillit Bang it is a simple advert to raise awareness and sales. YouTube is an entirely different matter. On YouTube trailers get to be both advertising and content.

If you look at the image at the top of the page you can see that I was trying to watch the trailer for The Road on a YouTube channel dedicated to trailers. Before I could watch the content I wanted to see I was show an advert which just so happened to be a trailer for Tower Heist. Somewhere an advertising agency was paying so that I would watch a trailer before I was allowed to watch a different trailer. Content is our end and advertising is simply a means to an end.

Even over here at Mild Concern we are guilty of blurring the lines a little. Many, many times in the past we have featured a trailer as content. 99% of the time this was either because the trailer really excited us or because we wanted to give it a proper dissection. On only two occasions, the other 1%, we have featured a trailer because somebody paid us to do so. It’s not necessarily something we like to do but we’re open about it and it pays for the hosting but if we’re honest the trailer for Johnny English Reborn probably wasn’t going to make it here on its own merits.

For the most part I would say that the different between a trailer as advertising and a trailer as content is that a trailer can only really serve as content when it is for a film that people either already want to see, a Twilight trailer used to be an event in itself, or for a film that was not previously on your radar but presents a film so intriguing you want to share the two and a half minute preview with the world, Upside Down for example. I quite often seek out trailers and watch them in a way I wouldn’t watch other advertising. I want to see them and don’t need the reward of an episode of Coronation Street to make me watch.


I don’t see how agencies tasked with promoting a film can really justify trying to monetise the trailers themselves. I recently sought out the trailer for Upstream Color after having been baffled by it at a press screening. I found the trailer on the film’s official YouTube channel which is normally the best way to watch a trailer; it will be the best quality and won’t feature any advertising. And yet it did feature advertising! Amazingly it isn’t enough that you want to find out about a small independent release. You still have to earn the right to watch their advert by watching another beforehand. Trying to profit from your advertising itself is baffling. The film should be the product and not the trailer, you can’t really expect to make money from both.

Trailers in the pre-internet age were forms of advertising pure and simple but these days they are just as likely to be found posing as the main attraction in an article as they are simply preceding the main feature at the cinema. At their heart though trailers will always simply be an advert, a commercial. As much as you might want to see a trailer the advertising agency wants you to watch it even more and so we should never be made to watch another advert first.

Advertising is a necessary evil, but let’s not get carried away. OK?