The format is a one-page review of a few dozen films, and a few essays based on themes such as the river, or the London as featured in Richard Curtis's work. First of all, a good proportion of these films are shot in studios. Great Expectations, My Fair Lady, Quatermass and the Pit and Oliver all get a page, and most film fans would cite these as films that have no sense of place, that are clearly shot in a studio. In fact even the authors seem to know this, pointing out that My Fair Lady was actually shot in Warner Bros' Burbank Studios. In a studio. In America. Not on location. Not London.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp features, which is largely studio-shot but with some amazing location work. The author writes about a scene which mixes location and studio work with glass shots, but we aren't told this and the effect of this technique is not discussed.
Each review starts with a large picture of the location, photographed for the book, not as used in the film. Why? I don't know. Smaller pictures on the facing page aren't very well printed, mostly little more than thumbnail-sized, they don't really tell us very much.
There are typos in most of the articles, and just the right number of apostrophes, though they are missing in some places and provided by greengrocers in others. Favourite typo: Cameras in Michael's Radford's 1984 were used for "surveillance of the populous".
Apart from the poor editing, there are other big problems. The description of the plot of Closer will be baffling to anyone who has actually seen the film. Also, the author doesn't point out that the Alice Ayres plaque in Postman Park in Closer is a real one. That the film has woven a plot around the name of a real person on a real plaque in a London park which is still there, which is surely the most interesting thing to say in a book of locations. This is the location creating the film rather than the location as backdrop.
The ice rink in Love, Actually is described as being "outside the British Museum". Without recourse to the internet surely every Londoner knows the famous ice rink every winter is outside Somerset House. They have helpfully included a clear photo of Somerset House with the ice rink in Love, Actually to clear the matter up. Have they even been to London?
The choice of films is mostly pretty good, it features films which have used London to great effect, The Long Good Friday, Blow-Up. These are good articles too, and there is some good writing among the ten authors who take turns. One other failing is the overuse of very obscure films. I've never heard of Nighthawks, Bronco Bullfrog, Pool of London, The Small World of Sammy Lee, Sparrows Can't Sing (credited to director Joan Littlewood on page 36, and apparently the operation went well as John Littlewood is listed as director on page 37).