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47 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly emotional
With no prior knowledge of the book and some doubt as to the entertainment value of a "modern" film, I approached this with some trepidation.
The language is strong, the subject matter difficult and the style of photography very different.
What adjective to use to describe the experience overall? Gritty, rough, very funny, sad, annoying, upsetting - they all...
Published on 25 Aug. 2008 by Wilz

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Energetic and imaginative but not easy to warm to
Taking the lead role, co-writing and directing, Peter Howitt obviously has a lot invested in Dangerous Parking but at times it's hard to share his enthusiasm for this stream-of-conciousness trawl through the past-and-present of reformed laddish alcoholic drug addict filmmaker Noah Arkwright as his memories of his out-of-control addictions and rehab are...
Published on 18 Feb. 2009 by Trevor Willsmer


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5.0 out of 5 stars Going slow in the fast lane, 15 Sept. 2008
By 
Mr. Paul S. Bird "dagadadagada" (Aylesbury) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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Noah Arkwright is a nob. An arrogant, self obsessed nob who is too full of self loathing to recognise the damage he's doing to himself and others. He finds it hard to communicate what he really feels, and what's really important, yet is quite capable of peeling back his layers to reveal himself with disarming honesty. He's just like all of us in many ways.

Dangerous Parking is an unexpectedly complex film and one that shouldn't be judged too quickly. From the opening sections you could erroniously believe that this is yet another sub "Lock, Stock" wannabe Brit movie about jolly London boys running around drinking, shagging and snorting streets of coke. You could be forgiven for thinking the lead character is a total bumhole that is impossible to like and relegate the movie to the bargain bin. That'd be a shame.

You see, there's a subtle point where the characters in this film start to reveal themselves and are forced to take responisibility for their actions. You suddenly realise that the person you had designated an unlikable idiot is maybe being more honest about their bad points than you ever are, and furthermore is really not that different to you. There's a certain rawness to this film's confessions that feels genuine and real. As you start to place yourself in the position of Noah, you realise that your actions and choices may not have been too far away from his.

As Noah attempts to recover from alchoholism, he's blasted with the sucker punch of bladder cancer. Noah's methods of keeping his "sense of tumor" make this feel an extremely personal and introspective film.

Dangerous Parking cleverly mixes a cocktail of tricky and dark subjects, then tempers it with a blend of dark comedy that makes this a smoother drink.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous Barking & Carping, 11 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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This film is a mish-mash: stylistically mosaic and chronologically time-warping as we leap about from present to past to present like a manic frog. The main character is a loud, selfish, self-pitying, arrogant, alcoholic, minor league film director who is not particularly likeable. Unrealistically he ends up with a good looking and presumably intelligent celloist as his partner in life. He eventually makes her pregnant, revealing subtly that he is not one of the 80-95% of alcoholics who are impotent. During the course of this film he has repeated digs at AA, an organization not to everyone's taste but who nevertheless have stood the test of time, having been around for nearly 60 years. Knocking a help group like that can be construed as perverse snobbery, but usually means fear and ignorance on the part of the critic. There is also a rehab in the film, which is so unrealistic (including its staff) that I can only assume it exists on a different planet. At the end of the day the rather obnoxious lead stays on the wagon with only the ocassional slip, gets cancer and - . No, I won't spoil it for you. Interesting to note that Peter Howitt who takes the lead also wrote, produced and directed the film (but didn't write the book it is based on). When I see that much involvement in a film I usually think 'ego' with a lame end result, and the films I've seen in the past of that nature have been very lame indeed. However, this one is a cut above them, and if you can put up with the main man and not take it all too seriously, it just about passes as entertainment. I would give it two but three is proof of how kind I can be. Looking on the bright side is a prerequisite when working with alcoholics and other addicts - and when watching a film like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 2 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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I watched this show thinking it's going to be another black humour Brit-flick. I was right and also wrong at the same time. I haven't read the book so I have no idea what this film is about either.

Anyway, it's about a man who fell into alcoholism then manages to pull himself out. Got on track with life and only to find that life can suprise you in other way in least expected way. It focuses on alcohol and what it can do to you. It then focuses on the other illness he has and how it can affect your life in that way although perhaps not as much discussed as the alcohol bit.

It is quite funny and I quite like the style this film is done - flashbacks, recollection, alternate scenes, voiceover. There are some scenes in the film which are pretty graphic.

It is fairly emotional which I did not expect. Although I dislike the character, everything changes when you found out what is wrong with him. You don't tend to see cancer patients in a film and certainly this highlight one. Everything doesn't seemed as funny or as surreal anymore. Maybe that's a sobering thought about living life to the fullest and coming down with a crash. Cancer may sound boring to the person not having one but it is real, it is scary and it is sad especially when there's nothing you can do about it. Bladder cancer doesn't sound as "hip" but cancer is cancer after all.

However, there are certain medicinal elements which are not quite right but nevertheless it's a movie. Certainly, a very good tool for medical students/doctors on how NOT to communicate with your patient.

Overall, I think it's an excellent film. I can't fault the acting and the topic revolves around it was least expected and something perhaps should be discussed more openly about.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Care Less, 31 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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This a film about a self-obsessed, self-destructive A-hole of a man who is nonetheless lauded as an artist by his peers, fortunate enough to have great friends and a supportive, unbelievably beautiful wife.

Lucky git, you might say, except he's also got bowel cancer.

You don't find that out until about half way through and, significantly, were someone to tell you in the first 15 minutes you'd probably be glad to hear it. Indeed, right at the point where the lead character is - all too visibly - being sick and talking to a small child with puke dripping from his lower lip, I nearly switched it off. Life is too short, I thought, to watch this sort of rubbish.

In the end that turns out to be exactly the theme of the movie: life's short so enjoy and appreciate what you've got and don't waste it on shallow things.

The trouble with the movie is that to get us to this uplifting, life affirming end point we need a central character we care about. Given the content of the script that is a difficult challenge for the actor playing the role and, for me, Peter Howitt (who also directed and wrote the screenplay) fails to pull it off. Don't get me wrong, it's a good performance, just not good enough to overcome my dislike of the character.

Despite my revulsion for the character I was engaged enough to watch to the end to learn what happens, but does that make it a good film?

No, that makes it a good story. The semi-autobiographical book on which it is based is no doubt a blinder (if only because dripping puke is easier to read than watch) and much loved, but this film version lacks the class, panache or star quality to pull it off.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Drama/Comedy, 29 Aug. 2008
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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I knew nothing about this film before I saw it and must admit wasnt sure whether I actually fancied it. But seeing Saffron Burrows and the underrated Rachael Stirling (Dame Diana Rigg's daughter) were in it I thought I should give it a try.

Peter Howitt plays Noah Arkwright, a hard drinking, hard living womaniser who just stumbles his way through life hardly giving other people a thought as long as he got his way, not caring who he hurts.

He then meets Kirstin(Rachael Stirling) an alcoholic herself who drags him to Alcoholics Anonymous in an effort to sort out his life, that he realises that perhaps there may be something more life has to offer. He then develops a relationship with a cellist, Clare,(Saffron Burrows) but find it difficult to maintain a relationship with her due to his drinking problems.

The film is very funny at times, crude in others, with strong language which may offend some viewers. It can be difficult to sit through certain scenes since really this is a visual image of a nightmare world of alcoholism which does great damage to the person's ability to live in the real world and establish real friendships with those around him.

I do recommend this film though despite it being rather graphic at times. But it does contain a strong message however, especially since the hero of the story, Noah, finally meets his match when his world crumbles around him in a tear jerker of an ending. Precisely what happens is for the viewer to find out.

There are many fine actors in this film which is well directed and acted; look out for the lovely Dervla Kirwin in a small role as Noah's mother.

Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films this year!, 23 Aug. 2008
By 
Del 58 "Del 58" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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I read the largely lukewarm critical reviews of this film and I have to say (not for the first time), that I absolutely disagree with the so called "experts".

Based on the late Stuart Browne's critically acclaimed and semi autobiographical novel, this is a fantastic screen adaptation by writer, director, producer and lead actor Peter Howitt - thats right, the original Joey from the BBC comedy series Bread, although I'm sure he would rather forget that! What a shame he has spent so long behind the camera, when he is obviously such a talented actor.

Peter has spent the last decade or so directing movies such as Sliding Doors, Johnny English, Antitrust and Laws of Attraction, so, we approached this movie with mixed feelings. How wrong we were. Peter is absolutely brilliant in the lead role of Noah Arkwright, a film director whose life is in a downward spiral of drink, drugs & sex. I don't want to give too much away, but this movie had definite echoes of Alfie & Trainspotting, making us both laugh out loud one moment, and then gripped with suspense, horror & sadness the next. An incredibly difficult story to do justice to, but an obvious labour of love by cast, crew, and especially Peter himself.

The supporting cast, especially Sean Pertwee & Saffron Burrows are also excellent, very well cast indeed. Sean plays Noah's best friend and cameraman, who has saved himself from alcholic oblivion following a nasty experience with a squid! Saffron Burrows plays the woman in Noah's life, who may just be able to save him from himself. I have read that the film might have worked better if Howitt and Pertwee's roles had been swapped, but I disagree entirely.

I guess I should warn at this point that the film contains exceptionally strong language throughout, along with sex scenes, drug abuse, & full frontal male and female nudity. However, this must be seen in context and is an integral part of the story adding to both the suspense and comedic moments.

I fully expected to give this film a thumbs down, but have to admit that we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is an intriguing, funny & disturbing film in equal measure, making it very difficult to categorise. It's certainly not a "feel good" movie, nor does it contain classy big budget action scenes and CGI, but it is definitely one of the best we have seen this year.

If there was any justice in this world Peter Howitt would surely be nominated for a major award for either his outstanding performance, or his direction. Sadly thats unlikely, but having seen Dangerous Parking we look forward to seeing him in front of the cameras again very soon, because he is clearly far more talented than some of his previous work might suggest. 5 Stars!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous parking: Life's little message to us all, 4 Sept. 2008
By 
Great White "GW" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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What I thought was a drama turned out to be a no holds barred slice of life laugh fest followed by some touching dramatic climax. I was and like everyone else introduced to Peter Howitt when he was Billy Boswell in Bread and then he did his directorial debut with the great Sliding Doors. Now he's back with this hilarious drama which is basically a stab at life and the crap that comes with it. His character Noah is a selfish, serious micky taking total addict to anything he can shove down his neck and up his nose. He's a major cult (although that might be a misprint lol) British movie director and he's having a mid-life crisis and having some major hallucinations due to the drugs he's been taking. All the abuse is taking its toll and soon he goes from hallucination to full blown spiral into madness and back again. The acting is great and memorable by Howitt and his co- stars the great Sean Pertwee, Diana Rigg's daughter Rachel Sterling, Deep Blue Sea's Saffron Burrows, and even a great cameo from the cream of British past Tom Conti. There's even a cameo by one of the actors who played Howitt's brother in Bread in this movie (watch out for the orderly in the rehab centre, you'll see who I mean.) This film is a credit to the British film making medium. Howitt's film is greatly acted, hilarious and wonderfully poignant and if you ain't seen it then I urge you to watch it. Just remember to heed the warning: do whatever you want just don't overdue it or it could be your last.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious with just the right amount of pathos. A five star film from start to finish., 29 Aug. 2008
By 
mr_ska (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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I wasn't sure what to expect when I sat down to watch Dangerous Parking. I'd read the blurb on the case saying it was wonderful (but when was the last time you read any DVD sleeve which rubbished the movie inside?) and was slightly suspicious that it would just be another one of those 'worthy' British films that ultimately turn out to be a bit feeble.

I needn't have worried though, Dangerous Parking is marvellous! The best comedy film I have seen all year.

It starts with a bang, and we are introduced to Noah Arkwright, an arrogant and obnoxious man with an exceedingly foul mouth that runs nineteen to the dozen. He's a film director, a drunkard and a drug abuser, and the booze and drugs are catching up with him. Despite his glaring faults as a human being Noah's antics in coming to terms with and facing his problems are firstly hilarious, but ultimately tinged with sadness and bittersweet pathos.

At first the film cuts about in flashbacks to various points in Noah's life, and that's handled so well it flows sweetly rather than being jarring. Later the narrative settles down, much as Noah himself does, and the better qualities of the man come through, although not at the expense of the laughs. When the end of the film comes not only will you have come to like Noah you'll be moved by the events that close the tale.

It really is a splendid film from start to finish, and one you'll be very happy to have in your collection. Buy it now and enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Analysis of an Addict, 29 Aug. 2008
By 
b4-its-2-l8 (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
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What a powerful performance from Howitt playing the part of Noah Arkwright - (i.e. Noah's Ark) a strange name for the character which has difficulty enough trying to save himself from his own addictions, let alone trying to help his family or friends.

It's very well written and you get the real sense of being inside the mind of a full blown addict as Noah narrates his way from one excessive, self-destructive episode to another, all the while combating the inner voices that keep reminding him how badly he's messed up his life!

The humour in film is very black and not as prevalent as other reviewers would have you believe but it does provide wry relief from time to time.

But a let down in the movie is that the supporting parts played by Saffron Burrows (looking very pretty) and Sean Pertwee (being very matey) don't really add as much to the plot as they should, they don't have much in the way of depth to them. This may well be a deliberate ploy to ramp up the credence of Noah's self-obsession but instead it robs the film of the extra dimensions it needs.

Not to diminish this film in any way, it does have shades of brilliance which appear throughout, and it's worth watching for Howitt's performance alone. So if you're looking for a movie where a tortured soul tortures itself even further, in public, painful and sometimes moving ways, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure, then this well worth taking a chance on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Um., 26 Aug. 2010
By 
Stuart Burns (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] (DVD)
How much you'll enjoy Dangerous Parking depends on the extent to which you're willing to accept the moral vacuum that is the main character, especially since otherwise it's a well crafted little romp with some great performances. There is a moment when you're essentially given the choice and everything flows from there. To give you an opinion on that would give too much away, but I suppose you could say I took the blue pill.
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Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD]
Dangerous Parking [2007] [DVD] by Peter Howitt (DVD - 2008)
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