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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 4 April 2016
My wife is from Southend and was disappointed that the wonderful David Nicholls book "Starter for Ten" was inexplicably moved to Brighton for the movie. However, I came across this and the whole film is set around this great seaside town.
The film? Typical low budget Brit flick. Homages to obvious roots - Lock, Stock / Get Carter/ Resevoir Dogs. Some stereotypical gangster caricatures and dialogue but did have a gritty edge to it. An enjoyable romp that passes a Saturday afternoon.
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Hard Boiled Sweets proves that you don’t need Ray Winstone or Guy Ritchie to make a cracking modern British gangster movie. It both fulfils and subverts all the typical tropes of the genre; the corrupt cop, the recently-released con; the creepy pimp and his flinch-eyed tribe of brood mares; the dangle of a cash stash ripe for the taking; old school Cockney boys on their last legs (but with life left in the old dog yet) and spunky young guns jockeying to replace them.
Add a dash of estuary Essex and a cracking script, full of knowing wit and smart-ass sardonic snipes and you have a very clever little film, one which veers just the right side of caricature. It pays homage to all the right moments, and then creates a few original splashes of its own. Like the slight logistical issue when the moment comes to chuck a scumbag off the end of Southend Pier… except that someone didn’t check the tides. Priceless.

A true ensemble piece, Hard Boiled Sweets is full of sharply-drawn characters who get precious little screen time apiece but still emerge as interesting individuals beyond the usual stereotypes. The trophy blonde looks like a victim, wearing her hair to disguise her bruises, but every man she meets is a potential opportunity, a tool to be used. The enforcer tasked with collecting the cash and then delivering the old boy for his final encounter drops the street speak to admit he’s fretting about who may be playing with his girl while he’s away. The bent copper, desperate to raise cash… to pay for another round of IVF to satisfy his baby-crazed missus. They’re all set on a collision course, with trajectories which inevitably intersect in a suitably surprising and satisfyingly blood-splattered finale.
We didn’t know any of the actors or the writer/director before watching this, but will look out for more from him in the future. Hard Boiled Sweets proves that you can do something fresh, new and savvy in the same-old scenario: it’s a traditional East End bad boy boogie but done proper for the 21st century.

The special features are interesting too; not so much the ‘making of’, but the short film which shows an earlier version of several of the scenes – demonstrating just how far a film evolves during its pre-production.
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on 7 November 2012
The story is simple yet affective. Introduce all the characters who are aiming for the same goal and see who wins.

Simple, yet very effective. Twists and turns throughout, supported by some brilliant acting. Had me hooked from the beginning to the end.

I disagree with some previous reviewers. Although I was gutted when the film ended, it big not fall into the trap of certain films that go on to long and do not add to the story.

Picture and sounds all good. Didn't check the extras out.

Highly recommended for the film alone.
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on 6 May 2012
I rented this out over the weekend. I must say, it's one of those cool British films that was very interesting. One of these type of British gangster that sees each character representing a sweet. (Well, if you watch this film, you'll know what I mean..)

Unlike Pulp Fiction, this one really was really good. Each character all fending off, connecting themselves, facing each other with the briefcase full of money is central to the plot. All this is set in Southend, which is something new..

There's a lot more to this film. Special Features nicludes the making of, a documentary and a short film which the idea of the film came from.
Definately, worth a watch. This will part of my collection.

A brave effort from director David L G Hughes. At least someone has made something good. Rather than all the other British crap movies I've seen in the past.
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on 21 May 2014
Not sure why the five star reviews - people with low expectations and poor taste? Not a very good film, you are waiting for it to get going but it never really does. The acting isn't bad but it's not particularly good. The characters aren't that interesting or well fleshed out. The main guy (just out of prison) mumbles incoherently throughout - he's no Brando or Mickey Rourke, learn to speak man, get some elocution lessons. I am giving an extra star for the soundtrack and the cinematography wasn't bad. The ending is stupid and the pro feminist overtones are pathetically PC. Overall a waste of your time and money. Ignore the high star reviews, this is no Get Carter. Ps, the bonus material is not great but the short film is better than the main feature. Poor quality British film.
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This is a real cracker of a film, it has made as many enemies as friends and The Guardian gave it what is called in media circles as a `roasting'. Well I went ahead and was more than pleasantly surprised. It starts out with ex con Johnny getting chucked out of prison. His cell mate is Joyce played by the most under rated actor ever Ian Hart. He gives him some sage advice and off to the free world and the arms of a bent and infertile copper who coerces him into doing one more heist.

This is in Southend on Sea `the Vegas of the Third World' and a town run by Shrewd Eddie (Paul Freeman), he gets ten per ecnt of everything that moves or hustles from whores to slot machines but he works to Jimmy the Gent, who himself has been coerced by new bad boy Leroy.

Right it is starting to get complicated now, but it all hinges on who can steal the bag money and who can trust who and more importantly who will die if they get caught. Everyone is playing everyone else, and new allegiances can be made with the rapidity of a gunshot report. There is humour a plenty and everyone has a hard boiled sweet nick name which often indicates a vital part of their character. Like Eddie who is the `Gobstopper', when you find out what his tool of preference for such stopping of `gobs', you will see why he has to pay for ladies company.

This has been written directed and produced by David Hughes who has adapted this from his short film `A Girl and A Gun' which actually starred Ian Hart mentioned earlier and is included as an extra. I thought this was a brilliant effort very nearly five stars, so close in fact I am giving it top marks, I laughed I was hooked and I was constantly surprised by the speed of plot development and it does not rely on the twist to keep you guessing; so much so that I intend to watch again which I don't do with a film that relies on the `twist' as once you have seen the surprise there aint much point any more except occasionally like in `The Usual Suspects'; as a rare example.

It is short at 1 hour and 6 minutes but that is because there is no filler, everything has been boiled down so that it maintains its' momentum up until the last frame and will leave you wanting more. Special mention to Scott Williams playing Johnny he has real screen presence. I actually set out half expecting an average Brit crime drama full of stereotypes and South London slang, but this was actually in your face excellent, I hope Mr Hughes has something else planned soon, perhaps something cake themed as I prefer them to sweets - just an idea mind.
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on 8 August 2014
Hugely enjoyable indie movie. Go to the website via a Google search and watch the actors talk about the making of this move and then count how few technicians were involved in making it compared to the hundreds employed in a mainstream movie. Sadly the distribution for this flick was its downfall so you can only buy it as the dvd but buy it cuz its cheap.
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on 7 June 2015
Funny in places, purchased for the Southend backdrop. Worth a watch
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on 11 October 2015
I think they spent the same amount on the budget of this film as I did hiring it. Southend is a busy place place and its pier is its centerpiece, If you marched a prisoner along it chained up carrying a heavy weight to anchor himself to the sea floor, people would notice, and the big blue thing that surrounds it, the sea, again you would notice if that was out, you really would. Did they try and negotiate a single ticket when they brought a ticket to go on the pier as one of there members was not returning ? Story was OK, a bunch of gangsters fighting to out wit each other to steal some money, no memorable characters,story line or dialogue
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on 2 August 2015
Good product fast delivery many thanks A1*
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