David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Short Films
"Born A Believer"
11 mins 30s
24 November 2016
UK Short Films

Gritty shots of urban London set the scene for 'Born A Believer', Darius Norowzian’s powerful short film about a community boxing club which rehabilitates ex-offenders and former gang members and helps them turn their lives around.

We're introduced to young men who want to break the monotonous cycle of 'crime, prison, work' their days had become. Intimate visuals accompany the personal stories, including menacing black and white shots of jail with an ominous, droning soundtrack.

The introduction of the community centre and boxing club feels like a breath of fresh air, the music and imagery brightening as the family aspects of the club become clear. In learning how to fight, these young men have developed the discipline and self-control not to. Norowzian’s subjects are articulate and honest about their situation and feelings, and that authenticity really makes this film shine.

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Short Films
"Born A Believer"
11 mins 30s
24 Nov 2016
Gritty shots of urban London set the scene for 'Born A Believer', Darius Norowzian’s powerful short film about a community boxing club which rehabilitates ex-offenders and former gang members. The young men in this film are articulate and honest about their situation and feelings, and that authenticity really makes the film shine.

Science Museum
"Wonderlab"
60s
24 Nov 2016
Sir David Attenborough lends his wonderful voice to this ad for the Science Museum’s Wonderlab, a new interactive gallery dedicated to inspiring young minds. We're all made of stars, he informs us in his grandfatherly voiceover - as a look of wonder dawns across a young girl's face. Deceptively simple yet effective stuff with a lovely script.

Birds Eye
"Peas"
90s
15 Nov 2016
Grey London goes green with its first piece of work for Birds Eye. This beautifully shot film pays tribute to the humble pea - not the most obvious launchpad for a campaign, but what’s that they say about big things and small packages? We follow pea growers throughout the seasons. Despite the changeable conditions, these workers know what patience brings.

Birds Eye
"Marvellous Midweek"
30s
1 Nov 2016
This Birds Eye Inspirations ad depicts a bloke in the throes of slow-motion ecstasy. Arms aloft as if he's won every competition going, it's an unusually buoyant commute home. It may only be the middle of the week, but that doesn't mean his dinner has to be humdrum. Fun visuals and a burst of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture get the idea across.

Vodafone
"Charades"
40s
1 Nov 2016
Christmas plans rarely run smoothly as this Vodafone ad shows. While his mates enjoy the festivities down the local pub, this chap's stuck on a broken down bus in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to the network's 4G coverage, however, he's able to join in a good old fashioned game of charades... along with his fellow passengers. Not sure about their guessing skills, though. 'Air Dog'? Seriously?

Lucozade Sport
"Wait Training"
45s
19 Oct 2016
Lucozade Sport turns a Manchester bus stop into an interactive exercise station. As part of the brand's 'Made To Move' campaign, a disciple of Mr Motivator encourages commuters to get their pulses racing via an advertising display. A few warm-up stretches wouldn't have gone amiss, but the crowd's enthusiasm earns some complimentary refreshments.

Bose
"Get Closer"
60s
13 Oct 2016
As a woman dances in the empty streets of London, we can't help thinking of Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later' and worrying that she should be keeling an eye out for the rampaging 'infected'. The lone dancer unselfconsciously struts her stuff through the empty streets; past famous landmarks, down deserted main roads, and even in the eerily-silent underground.

Volvo
"Erik"
3 mins 30s
13 Sep 2016
Impossible is nothing for a young photographer called Erik who describes his artistic process in this documentary made jointly by Volvo and Sky Atlantic. There is less worthiness in the subject of this documentary than in the other two films and - as if to compensate for this - directing collective DARYL have injected more visual interest. It doesn't quite distract us from Erik's self-indulgence but it's a good effort.

Volvo
"Maria and Josefin"
4 mins
13 Sep 2016
In this short but wonderfully languid documentary made by Volvo and Sky Atlantic we're introduced to Maria and Josefin who built a business out of a desire to save their local environment from the danger posed by scuttled boats sitting at the bottom of the nearby lakes. Recycling parts from the salvaged vessels is a fantastically green solution to a problem that was a long time in the making.

Volvo
"Oliver"
3 mins 50s
13 Sep 2016
Volvo's fruitful relationship with Sky Atlantic continues to generate excellent work with this short documentary examining the efforts of a young engineer to improve the lives of those who have lost limbs. What's striking about this film is the optimism of both the engineer and the young amputee he's seeking to help.

Lucozade Sport
"Made to Move"
60s
12 Sep 2016
Last year, a superb ad for Lucozade showed people hitting their stride in everyday situations. Here, they return to that theme with a terrific display of synchronised exertion. Kicking off with some one-on-one jumping jacks, a housing estate quickly becomes an open air jamboree of runners, BMX riders, and almost any physical activity you'd care to mention.

Birds Eye
"Only The Best For The Captain's Table"
20s
9 Sep 2016
Now that the great unwashed have voted to withdraw the UK from the EU in the hope we can return to the lost paradise of the early 1970s, we can expect more revivals like this ad for Birds Eye. Perhaps the aim is to create a nostalgia for such foodstuffs so that as we descend into poverty we can start to recognise it as the 'once a week' treat which breaks up the monotony of all the gruel.

NFU Mutual
"98% of Claims"
30s
4 Sep 2016
In this striking piece of work, an NFU spokesperson punctuates dance steps with claims about the company's fondness for paying out when their customers make a claim... and certainly gets his message across. Indeed, he manages to make the insurer sound almost carefree about its inspection of validity, which is not necessarily a wise idea to project in the long-term.

McVitie's Nibbles
"Kittens"
30s
5 Sep 2016
As a group of flatmates watch the TV, one opens a packet of the newly launched McVitie's Nibbles and is delighted when a kitten wriggles out. Pretty soon, all four are cooing over a bunch of them to the incongruous strains of 'Grease Is The Word'. More than anything else about this campaign, we'd love to know who chooses the music, which has included Grange Hill's theme tune and that 80s classic, 'Axel F'.

Vodafone
"Unlimited Broadband"
40s
12 Aug 2016
Vodafone customers let rip in this eye-catching ad promoting the mobile network's decision to consign line rental charges to the scrapheap. The celebratory mood extends to various living rooms as customers create their own confetti from redundant bills before the action spreads to the streets. It's a bold move from a provider keen to improve its foothold in the home broadband market, and one backed by a lively commercial.

UNHCR
"Olympic Refugee Team"
1 min 34s
4 Aug 2016
As the international community descends on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have assembled a ten-strong team of refugees to give those in a state of flux a symbol of hope. This gripping film serves as a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the initiative, but it also stands on its own as an accomplished piece of work.

Greene King IPA
"The Knockabout"
30s
24 Jul 2016
Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes pressgang a few locals into a game of village cricket in this short ad underlining Greene King IPA's sponsorship role with the England team. Neither they nor former captain Michael Vaughan are really given a chance to demonstrate any charisma but based on their previous appearances in ads, this may not be because of the narrowness of the canvas.

Cathedral City
"Nachos"
28s
25 Jul 2016
This well-observed ad from Cathedral City highlights another common truth familiar to cheese addicts. This time, a dish of nachos slathered in cheese requires careful analysis by the lad given first dibs at the serving dish. Of course, one does not simply grab the first nacho to hand, and this rule of thumb is conveyed with a lovely bit of business from the cheese-to-nacho ratio expert.

Cathedral City
"Cheese Sauce"
27s
25 Jul 2016
Cathedral City returns to the rule book in order that cheese lovers everywhere know exactly where they stand when it comes to cheddar. This witty execution focuses on a woman facing a cheese sauce quandary: how much is too much? According to David Jason's sage VO, this is a common situation - and as we soon learn, more is definitely always more.

Orangina
"E4 Sponsorship Stings"
40s
20 Jul 2016
E4's animated 'E stings' have long been a crucial component of the entertainment channel's identity, and a new partnership with Orangina successfully manages to infuse these idents with the juice brand's strain of Gallic quirkiness. This selection of imaginative bottle shakes demonstrates Pencil Bandit's distinctive character designs and bold colours while the broadcaster's purple presence is never far from the citrus fun.

KidZania
"Talking Heads"
60s
20 Jul 2016
Child-wrangler extraordinaire Karen Cunningham has done it again. This charming compilation of children precociously imagining themselves to be operating in the world of adults has been beautifully calibrated to ensure we are laughing 'with' and not 'at' its young stars. This is a director who has a real knack for drawing these kind of performances from children with their barely-detectable smiles suggesting they're having the loveliest game of make-believe.

Old Golden Hen
"British Weather"
20s
17 Jul 2016
It's a welcome return for Old Speckled Hen's permanently barside fox as he promotes the brand's flaxen variant. Never short on opinions or access to fine tailoring, our vulpine protagonist believes while drinks with tiny umbrellas are rarely afforded the appropriate weather, Old Golden Hen provides refreshment to the discerning drinker come rain or shine.

Cathedral City
"The Rules of Cheese"
30s
3 Jun 2016
David Jason details the rules of cheese in this wry piece for Cathedral City which marries humour and deliciousness in an unlikely fashion. It's a highly relatable set of vignettes and it has DAVID hankering after a indecently-sized hunk of the advertised product in a fashion suggesting it's achieved its core goal.

Vodafone
"Local Preparations"
30s
24 May 2016
You can roam about as you please now when you're abroad, thanks to the latest red bundles from Vodafone which include data roaming. That's why the locals at myriad tourist hot spots are getting ready for the onslaught well in advance - as traffic cops practice in their bedrooms, guides give talks to empty coaches and chefs get forensic in the kitchen.

Go Ahead!
"GIF Girl"
30s
4 May 2016
How do you harness the online energy of a GIF in a TVC? That must have been the question asked along the way to making this ad for Go Ahead! And the answer they came up with is pretty good... have a woman create the repetitive movements of a GIF in an otherwise GIF-free environment. 'Sarah' dances manically because it's "snack o'clock" - and her colleagues are dumbfounded.

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David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.