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on 26 August 2008
Format: DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I couldn't help but laugh all the way through this film thanks to Noah's narration. But I still couldn't help but feel sad at the way things go all the way through. There isn't much I can say without spoiling this great movie except that it's very well made with a wonderful production values and a really good story that hits hard.

This is a great British movie and well worth a rent if nothing else.
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VINE VOICEon 19 December 2008
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I suspect this film is a lot more enjoyable for viewers who can identify with the lead character, or for anyone who finds addictions terribly interesting.
In its favour it has a strong cast who almost without exception give good performances, often in spite of the poor dialogue on offer.
Unfortunately, the themes that drive the narrative are seldom treated in a sufficiently 'real' way to make for either truthful and affecting drama or genuine black comedy. Instead, the whole fim is reduced to the level of an ITV Drama Of The Week with added multiplex music and schoolboy swearing.
It certainly improves as it goes along, but that's rarely an encouraging trait in a film. The welter of zany directorial tricks and stunts in the first half hour or so eroded far too much of this reviewer's goodwill.
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VINE VOICEon 2 September 2008
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The synopsis for the film (alcoholic, drug taking film maker is saved from self destruction...) makes it clear this won't be light entertainment. In fact it rather self consciously sets out to be quite the reverse. The lead character is deliberately presented to be as vile as possible, and the challenge of the filmmaker is to be able to persuade you to sympathise with his plight by the end of the film. I'm afraid it failed. Very few aspects of the film worked for me, including a very irritating trick of relating parts of the story out of sequence. You can make an excellent film about unpleasant subjects and people, but this isn't one of them. I just simply couldn't care about any of the characters and their outcomes. The film does have a few good lines, but it also has far too many bad ones
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2008
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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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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2008
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Fast and furious semi-autobiography black comedy of a hedonistic alcoholic suffering from cancer... there really is a shorter way of pitching the movie, and while its all of the above, perhaps the end result does not add up to a sum of the parts.
Although this is a difficult enough watch despite the at times hilarious black comedy, if a role of cinema is supposed to be giving insight into the human psyche, or frailty thereof, then this does hit the mark.
Noah Arkwright (a thinly veiled representation of the author of the book, Stuart Browne) is a hedonistic film director in complete alcoholic and drug addled meltdown. His friends persuade him to seek help, and we see the journey from deadbeat alcoholic in denial through recovering alcoholic and then on to cancer sufferer, with journeys into love, jealousy and any other human frailty along the way, told in a brutally honest way.
The film is full of energy, both humourous and inventive in its parade of movie styles and breaking the barrier with the audience in surprising ways. The whole movie is told in non linear fashion, and narrated by the main character, leading to amusing frequent dichotomies between his spoken thoughts, and his actions. Furthermore, his style is explicit in content and language, albeit completely in keeping with the character. Ultimately the shifts in tone from jocular witticisms and displays of crass insensitivity to painfully in your face pictures of both alcoholism and then chemotherapy can feel a little jarring, making it difficult to truly invest in the main character
Truthfully, this is a difficult watch which feels not quite as rewarding an experience as it wants to be - but it is so darned imaginative and...yes, funny, and then ultimately quite affecting, that it is worth a watch.
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on 31 August 2008
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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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on 2 September 2008
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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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on 11 September 2008
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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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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2008
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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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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2008
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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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