Today’s New Release: RISEN


“… I’ve got more experience, and best of all, I’ve got BOTH hands. I’m only kidding, Howard’s a great bloke, it’s gonna be a great fight, but if this is the man I have to fight to retain my belt, so be it!” ~TERRY SPINKS (Billy Rumbol), addressing the abilities (and disabilities) of his upcoming Featherweight opponent Howard Winstone (Stuart Brennan), for the legendary 1961 Championship of Great Britain title bout at London’s famed Empire Pool.


Today’s New Release: RISEN

Click to jab!!

Click to jab!!

         A *Best Actress* win for Grainne Joughin at the 2009 Newport International Film Festival (Rhode Island); a *Best Feature Film* win at the 2010 New Jersey International Film Festival; a *Best Actor* win for Stuart Brennan at the 2011 BAFTA Awards (Wales); a *Best Director* win for Neil Jones at the 2014 Newport International Film Festival (Wales)… the accolades know no bounds with this fine sports drama! Starring British thesps John Noble (LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING; FOX’s FRINGE), Shane Richie (FLUSHED AWAY), and Boyd Clack (BBC’s BEING HUMAN), this true tale of Howard Winstone is a compelling one. Howard became Featherweight Champion of the World at the age of 29 in 1968. What makes his story quite remarkable is that as a young man he lost the tips of three fingers in an industrial accident of his home town of Merthyr Tydfil… as his best friend and factory co-worker Don James (Ed Eales White) stood stupidly by holding a box with a gobsmacked look on his dumb face and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING as his buddy screamed in agony (watch the 7:01 time-mark at what I like to call a major “friend FAILURE”)! The accident was so severe that he was unable to make a fist with his right hand, a devastating blow for anyone, but a blow made all the worse for one who’s entire career demands the use of both hands. Howard was known for his right handed power back in his early day’s so the day of the fateful accident was essentially the day Howard’s boxing career came to an end. However, due to the persistence of his father and his new trainer Eddie Thomas, Howard went on remarkably to become Champion of Britain, Champion of Europe and Champion of the World.

The film is a good honest effort at a motivational sports flick. It covers a lot in a limited time, and in cases, unfortunately rushes through key moments. It covers his major fights through the ranks, like Winstone’s 1958 Sofia Gardens fight with Ollie Taylor, his 1959 battle with Billy Graydon at Wembley Stadium, his 1961 Championship bout at the Empire Pool with Terry Spinks, his first title defense with opponent Harry Carroll in 1962 at Maindy Stadium… important milestones of this biographical tale, but rushed in too many ways. Another rushed scene is at the 24:22 time-mark with the boxing commission, when Howard appeals for a professional license. The scene contains some extremely stiff dialogue, and too tight of a closed-in shot of the commissioners to really have the more dramatic impact that the exchange needs. Though this is nitpicky of me, this is still a TRULY fascinating boxing film along the lines of CINDERELLA MAN and RAGING BULL. “So my only question for you Lions, is who’s your money on? Dragons or the LIONS!?!?” Oh, Mickey Duff… I ask myself that same thing every Sunday watching GAME OF THRONES. Keep watching, you’ll get and appreciate said reference, my lovelies.

Directed by Neil Jones

Starring: Stuart Brennan, Grainne Joughin, John Noble, Erik Morales, Shane Richie, Ed Eales White, Boyd Clack, Helen Griffin, Simon Phillips, Don James

Tagline: The Rise Of A True British Champion

Today’s New Release: FIFTY SHADES UNCOVERED (A Documentary)


“I saw people reading the paperback editions of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY on the New York subway, which I don’t think you would’ve seen a generation ago.” ~SARA NELSON (Editorial Director for *Amazon Books), regarding her observation of women (and men) publicly and openly reading the bestselling novel literally everywhere they went.


Today’s New Release: FIFTY SHADES UNCOVERED (A Documentary)

Click to stream... WHEN I tell you, and ONLY when I tell you!!!

Click to stream… WHEN I tell you, and ONLY when I tell you!!!

         The highest and fastest selling adult novel of ALL TIME (over 100 million copies) has now jettisoned sadomasochism and dominatrix-styled hijinks into the mainstreamer’s bedroom with sales surpassing both ”The Da Vinci Code” and the whole “Harry Potter” book series. The book trilogy (“Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Fifty Shades Darker,” “Fifty Shades Freed”) is classified as erotic fiction, but their author insists on calling them adult romance, as her goal was to make a “Twilight-esque” equivalent to erotic fan fiction. These books, and now the new film, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, have caused sex-toy sales to jump 626% since the very first publication!!! Damn, are we sexually repressed! In this documentary, which was just released last week in the U.K. (See, we here at BIGSTAR nabbed some brand new s***!), the worldwide phenomenon by writer E.L. James is debated and dissected from pretty much all walks of English life. One of the book’s harshest (and hilarious) critics is feminist British comedian and writer Jenny “I don’t get it” Eclair. Her funniest observation is about the old-school (what she considers) male chauvinism of Christian Grey-like men, going into a restaurant, and trying to be assertive and sexy by ordering the woman’s meal for her; “Can you imagine, going to a restaurant and your partner says, “The lady will have the Dover Sole, and a side salad.”? No, she won’t. I think you’ll find the LADY will have the steak & chips, you t**t!”. (NOTE: Jenny, I don’t get the whole phenomenon surge either, but I respect its momentous power; you kind of HAVE to, I think, even if just a smidge.)

This is a fun documentary where you get a lot of skeptical debate about the unrealistic merits of Grey’s sex contract with the clueless Anastasia Steele. Comediennes, comics, writers, feminists, psychologists, models… they all weigh-in on the international appeal of these books and upcoming films, and how they may or may not project unhealthy expectations between men and women sexually, in a modern westernized world that’s so desperately trying to eliminate both sexism and violence against women, and increase equality awareness. Whether you care to see the film or not, or even start on any of the three books, this is a documentary that plays fast and loose, and is enjoyable to watch. If you hate absolutely EVERYTHING about FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, you’ll truly love Jenny Eclair! She doesn’t give a rat’s (expletive).

Written, Directed & Produced by Sonia Anderson

Appearances by: Chris White, Jenny Eclair, Emily Agnes, Philip Hodson, Aura Borellis, Lauren Bowgen, Philip Goulding, Mistress Josephine      

Tagline: 50 SHADES OF GREY Fiction, Films & Fans              

Today’s New Release: LAST SHOP STANDING: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of the Indie Record Shop

last shop1


Click To Stream!

Click To Stream!

What an absolutely wonderful story lays in the film “Last Shop Standing: the Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop.” There is a sub-culture that’s existence was once so prevalent and today it is but a whisper, that culture that I speak of is the record store community. This fascinating documentary focuses on the UK shop owners all over who are fiercely passionate about one thing; music. “Last Shop Standing” explores the vinyl, LP history in three parts; the rise, the fall, and finally the rebirth of the records industry. I love how it explores the very beginning referencing a time where massive sales were attributed to such stellar artists as Elvis Presley and the Beatles and how because of such sound there was this collective love of music. “Last Shop Standing” examines the fatal flaw of the music industry in the late 90’s with the transfer of music from record to CD and how the change in format was something people could not actually love, there was no uniqueness about its clarity and crisp sound. Deemed unbreakable and perfect, the CD not only changed the face of the sound of music but with its introduction it also became the gateway for the “music superstore.” Consider this staggering statistic: “In the 1980’s there were more than 2200 independent UK record shops, by 2009 there were only 269.” My favorite aspects of this film are..everything!! This is TRULY a film rich in both the history of music and vinyl. The record shop owners are all hilarious, charming and insightful! Viewers, after watching “Last Shop Standing,” you (like me) will TRULY want to run out and buy a record player and listen to a great Steely Dan LP today!

Last Shop Standing


Date Night Pick of the Week: “Tears in the Rain”

Tears in the Rain“: When Casey Cantrell’s mother died, her last wish was that her daughter would give a letter to Lord Richard Bredon, living in the UK.

When Casey arrives in London, Lord Bredon denies ever having known her mother. Casey meets Lord Bredon’s son Michael and both fall in love.

When Lord Bredon realizes this new relationship he gets really angry, assuming Casey wants to blackmail his family somehow, and begins to investigate her background. The plot heightens dramatically when it appears that an event from the past might part the lovers.

WATCH: Trailer For The Hard-Hitting UK Action Flick ‘Welcome To The Punch’


From executive producer and legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott comes ‘Welcome to the Punch’.

James McAvoy (‘X-Men: First Class’, ‘Wanted’) and Mark Strong (‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘John Carter’) star in this UK action flick written and directed by Eran Creevy.

Also in the film are Andrea Riseborough, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Elyes Gabel, Jason Flemyng, Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Mays and Johnny Harris.

The dark thriller will hit theaters in the UK on March 15th, 2013, then be released in the States soon after.


“Former criminal Jacob Sternwood is forced to return to London from his Icelandic hideaway when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong. This gives detective Max Lewinsky one last chance to catch the man he has always been after. As they face off, they start to uncover a deeper conspiracy they both need to solve in order to survive.”

What do you think?


WATCH: Trailer for the Dark Documentary “THE END: Confessions of a Cockney Gangster”

Ever been to the East End of London?  It really is a rough neighborhood that makes South Boston look like band camp.  The only good thing is that the criminals in ‘The End: Confessions of a Cockney Gangster’ probably won’t mess with you for no reason at all.  But don’t take our word for it.  After watching this visceral documentary, we make no guarantees on the matter, only that you’ll be captivated.

Starring Victor Dark, Les Falco, Bobby Reading, Jimmy Tibbs, Mickey Goldtooth, and more.  With names like that you have GOT to be a gangster!

Click any image in this post to stream this film instantly!


Against the background of the East End of London England, Nicola Collins explores the fascinating complexity of the lives of her father and his friends: infamous criminals that shaped their war torn environment into a violent underworld.  The End is a story never before been told of a group of men with a common bond.  All born in the East End of London into poverty striving for a better life and all found that life in crime.  Unashamed and unapologetic these men live their lives defined by a code of honor.  The End reveals the bloody history and the confessions of the cockney gangster. …The End

Watch the trailer here:

WATCH: Olympic TV Spot for New Bond Film SKYFALL

James Bond might have made a cameo at the Olympic opening ceremony, but he is returning to theaters soon too.  And in case you missed it, we’ve got the Olympic TV spot for ‘Skyfall’, starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, and Dame Judi Dench.

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her.  As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.  There’s a fall from an elevator chute, a jump between a fast moving train, a motorcycling moment, and a ride in the countryside… Cheers!

Let us know what you think!

First-Ever Sundance London Kicks Off

Actor Robert Redford and 12-time Grammy Award winner T Bone Burnett will open the very first Sundance London Film and Music Festival April 26-29. @SundanceFestUK will present hand-picked films fresh from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, a dynamic and diverse music line up, panel discussions, and of course, parties!

If you like independent films like we do, then check out these favorites from past Sundance Festivals available to stream now on BIGSTAR!…

Sex: The Annabel Chong Story

Chronic Town

Beneath Clouds


Durakovo: Village of Fools

This Revolution