Tagged: Andrew Howard

Summary:  In 2024 a pandemic ravages the world and its cities. Centering on a handful of people as they navigate the obstacles currently hindering society: disease, martial law, quarantine, and vigilantes.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 11th December 2020 (UK)

VOD Release Dates: 16th March 2021 (Australia), 11th December 2020 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Adam Mason

Screenwriter: Adam Mason, Simon Boyes

Cast: Carol Abney (Marie), K.J. Apa (Nico), Elipidia Carrillo (Grammy/Lita), Sofia Carson (Sara), Alexadria Daddario (May), Ian Duncan (Anthony), Paul Walter Hauser (Dozer), Andrew Howard (Reg), Darri Ingolfsson (Steve), Liz McHugh (Emma Griffin), Demi Moore (Piper Griffin), Craig Robinson (Lester), Paul Sloan (Boomer), Peter Stormore (Emmett Harland), Nichole Briana White (Alice), Bradley Whitford (William Griffin)

Running Time: 84 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), PG-13 (USA)

KJ Apa stars in SONGBIRD


David and Lee Griffiths’ Songbird Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Songbird (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Songbird Reviews:



Taken 3

Summary: Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is back, not because someone has been taken but instead because he has been framed for the murder of his wife, Lenny (Famke Janssen). Not only does he want revenge but he also needs to find a way to clear his name.

Bryan soon finds that the only people who believe that he is innocent are his former CIA crew and his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). Worse still it seems like a dogged and determined cop, Franck Dotzler (Forest Whitaker) is determined to see Bryan go down for the crime.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th January, 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Olivier Megaton

Screenwriter: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen

Cast: Reuven Avi (Officer Parker), Judi Beecher (Claire), Andrew Borba (Clarence), Dylan Bruno (Smith), Alex Disdier (Steward Austin), Maggie Grace (Kim), Jon Gries (Casey), Don Harvey (Garcia), Andrew Howard (Maxim), Famke Janssen (Lenore), Stefanie Kleine, Dale Liner (Officer Bernard), John Mansion (Bart), Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills), Leland Orser (Sam), Jimmy Palumbo (Brooks), Al Sapienza (Detective Johnson), Dougray Scott (Stuart St. John), Philip J. Silvera (Officer Ramsey), Sam Spruell (Oleg Malankov), Jonny Weston, Forest Whitaker (Franck Dotzler), Derrick Worsley (Officer Edwards)

Runtime: 109 mins

Classification: M




David Griffiths:

The original Taken film, that surfaced in 2008, was rightfully labelled as one of the best action films to ever be made. It was tightly directed by Pierre Morel who did a great job creating a stylised yet believable action classic while announcing that award-winning actor Liam Neeson was a more-than-worthy action hero, ironic when you consider that Neeson had previously turned down the role of James Bond by saying he never wanted to be in an action film. The one of things that quickly gained Taken a legion of fans though was the fact that it had something that action film buffs had been craving for quite a long time… brutality.

Then came Taken 2 directed by French director Olivier Megaton, a film that was so eagerly received by fans of the original film due to the fact that it was heavily edited in a bid to try and soften the violence and asked the audience to suspend their belief just a little too far. Now comes Taken 3 which again sees Megaton at the helm and the result is an entertaining but completely over the top action film that could potentially have fans of the first film really cringing.

The biggest fault with Taken 3 is that the film’s believability goes out the window very early on. If the fact that Bryan could never have been blamed for Lenny’s death due to the fact that he would have had an alibi to place him away from the scene of the murder isn’t enough to make the audience groan then Taken fans will be completely surprised when they discover that this time around Bryan is no longer just simply a man with a special skill set, somehow in this film they are expected to believe that he has suddenly become super-human. Yes suddenly Bryan has the ability to survive explosions and incidents as if he is some kind of immortal… it just doesn’t work within the realm of this franchise. Plus the audience is also expected to believe that a large amount of collateral damage deaths of innocent bystanders (for those that have seen the film think back to the freeway) is justifiable became one man wants revenge for his wife’s death and to clear his name… it’s just not something that is going to sit right with most people.

Then there are also the faults with the filmmaking and screenwriting themselves. Megaton delivers fast paced action that seems to have been learnt from the Michael Bay School of Filmmaking, lots of quick camera shots and movement that seem to hamper the film more than making it easy to watch, add that to the fact that the screenwriting is just lazy and you have a recipe for disaster. The screenwriter seems to have thrown all matter of Police procedure out the window while making any character that isn’t Bryan or his family into a one-dimensional walking cliché. Yes this is one of those crime thrillers with buffoon cops with the same personality trait and incompetence everywhere you turn.

The weak screenplay certainly affects the performance of Forest Whitaker who is held back by the fact that he seems to be playing the same OCD suffering, obsessive cop that he played while chasing Vic Mackie in The Shield. To a cinema fan it is actually sad to see such a talented actor, like Whitaker, wasting his talents playing such a cliché. The rest of the cast seems to suffer as well. As usual Liam Neeson steps up to the plate as the action hero, but he like his on-screen daughter, Maggie Grace, seems to just breeze through most of the film’s so-called dramatic scenes with complete ease.

The other piece of strange casting in Taken 3 that will potentially annoy true Taken fans is the casting of Dougray Scott as Stuart St. John… Lenny’s husband. Not only does he play another cliché… this time the token bad guy, but looks a hell of a lot younger than the original Stuart (played by Xander Berkeley) that we saw in the original film.

Strangely though despite all its weaknesses Taken 3 isn’t a dull watch. If you like car chases and explosions this film will be entertaining enough for you from start to finish. But if you’re looking for an action film with substance, like the first film was, then give this film a wide berth because substance and believability are just things that aren’t in Megaton’s film-making repetiteur.



Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)


IMDB Rating: Taken 3 (2014) on IMDb


Other Subculture Entertainment Taken 3 reviews: You can also read our review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.


The Hangover Part II

Summary:Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.

Year: 2011

Australian Cinema Release Date: 20th September, 2001

Australian DVD Release Date: 26th May, 2011

Country: USA

Director: Todd Phillips

Screenwriter: Craig Mazin, Scott Armstrong, Todd Phillips, Jon Lucas (characters), Scott Moore (characters)

Cast: Sasha Barrese (Tracy), Justin Bartha (Doug), Michael Berry Jnr. (Vladi), Dylan Boyack (Doug – 12 Years Old), Bryan Callen (Samir), Nick Cassavetes (Tattoo Joe), Jamie Chung (Lauren), Bradley Cooper (Phil), Sondra Currie (Linda Garner), Zach Galifianakis (Alan), Paul Giamatti (Kingsley), Ed Helms (Stu), Andrew Howard (Nikolai), William Jiang (Chow – 12 Years Old), Ken Jeong (Mr. Chow), William A. Johnson (Stu – 12 Years Old), Mason Lee (Teddy), Yasmin Lee (Kimmy), Tanner Maguire (Phil – 12 Years Old), Aedin Mincks (Alan – 12 Years Old), Todd Phillips (Mr. Creepy), Channon Roe (Stefan Lefrontier), Nirut Sirichanya (Fohn), Penpak Sirikul (Joi), Jeffrey Tambor (Sid Garner), Mike Tyson (himself), Gillian Vigman (Stephanie)

Runtime: 102 mins



David Griffiths: The original Hangover movie will go down in history as one of the funniest films of all time, but like so many comedies in the past it is unfortunate that while The Hangover Part II is funny it doesn’t go anywhere near being as funny as the original, thanks largely to the fact that the writers seemed to stick too close to the original and not what to do something…well…creative!

This time around it is Stu (Ed Helms – Cedar Rapids, High Road) who is getting married and the wolf-pack find themselves in Thailand. Soon Stu, Phil (Bradley Cooper – Limitless, Brother’s Justice) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis – Due Date, Dinner For Schmucks) find themselves stuck in the middle of another nightmare. With his future father-in-law already hating him Stu is horrified to learn that the wolf-pack have lost his future brother-in-law, Teddy (Mason Lee – Chosen, The Wedding Banquet) somewhere in Bangkok, but have somehow met up with Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong – TV’S Community & American Dad). The race is on to find Teddy and get Stu to the wedding on time.

Surely director Todd Phillips (Due Date, The Hangover) must have realised that this script was a little too close to the original, I mean without giving anything away it is the same old story with some new jokes and new characters thrown in for good measure. Yet the strange thing about The Hangover Part II is that you will still find yourself giggling like a schoolgirl (if not laughing out loud until you cry), although it would have been nice to have had a film that was at least a little different story-wise. I should also possibly warn people that the jokes this time around are crasser than the original so if you are likely to be offended you are probably best advised to give The Hangover Part II a wide birth.

While some praise the three actors who make up the wolf-pack it is pretty clear that is the scenes that star Zach Galifianakis that are the most memorable… which just goes to prove that he is the best comedic actor that is doing the rounds in Hollywood at the moment, he is a classic! Bradley Cooper once again shows that he is equally as good as drama and comedy while Ken Jeong also impresses… thank goodness we can now forget about his performance in Vampires Suck.

If you want than you shouldn’t miss The Hangover Part II, just don’t expect anything remarkably different this time around… in fact to be safe just check your brain in at the Candy Bar on your way in.


David Griffiths’ The Hangover Part II review originally from Helium:


Congratulations Todd Phillips you’ve managed to run one of the most promising movie franchises into the ground and let it die out with barely a whimper. Phillips set the comedy world ablaze with his 2009 film ‘The Hangover’ – it was fresh, it was out there and above all it did what very few modern day comedies do… it made people. Then came the sequel, and it was obvious that Phillips couldn’t replicate the same success he had with the first. He used the same basic plot but went for over the top gutter humour to get laughs and that in return put fans offside.

Now Phillips returns to finish off the franchise with the third instalment. It seems that he did listen to his fans and not use the same plotline, as the film’s promotions hint at there is no bachelor party kicking things off, he also listened about having no gutter humour… the sad thing is though what he is ended up with is a below par ‘crime’ film that barely has any humour at all.

It’s no secret that this film was always going to centre around Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and the film opens with Stu (Ed Helms), Doug (Justin Bartha) and Phil (Bradley Cooper) being left responsible for taking Alan to a retreat after a run of his medication has seen him go completely off the rails.

Sadly though the trip to the retreat is cut short when the Wolf Pack find themselves run off the road by henchmen working for stereotypical gangster, Marshall (John Goodman) who takes Doug hostage and orders the others to bring him Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) who owes him $21 million.

It is hard to fathom exactly what Todd Phillips was aiming to do with this film. The humour really feels like it has been sapped completely out of the film, and it ends up becoming a virtual crime drama that doesn’t really ever excel in that genre either. Gone are Mike Tyson’s tiger and Thai shemales and along with are gone the laughs… you know something is very, very wrong when a scene consisting Zach Galifianakis and Melissa McCarthy become cringe worthy rather than garnish any comedy gold.

Fans of ‘The Hangover’ franchise really do have the right to feel a little ripped off by this film. Because the biggest insult to anyone that has sat through the boring parts of the film is the fact that the scenes during the credits are the funniest of the film… now only if Mr. Phillips had decided to start the film there instead.

Sadly, the cast are the big losers (aside from the fans) with ‘The Hangover Part III’ are the cast. Zach Galifianakis does what he can to try and lift the film but poor Bradley Cooper is left floundering with a script that doesn’t really call for Phil to do much at all. As previously mentioned Melissa McCarthy is massively underused as is Ken Jeong who has shown with his work on ‘Community’ that he is actually capable of reaching some pretty good comedy heights.

Sadly, it seems that Todd Phillips really ran out of ideas for ‘The Hangover’ franchise and as a result this final instalment is a ho-hum affair that is largely a disappointment to all who have loved the previous films.


You can also read another ‘The Hangover Part II’ review by David Griffiths on The Helium Entertainment Channel.

IMDB Rating:The Hangover Part II (2011) on IMDb