David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Podcast - Brown BrothersFergus and Ewen Brown describe their journey from rural Scotland to seedy Soho.
    • The importance of kindness.This film was created by The Samaritans and Network Rail to persuade us to look out for one another and offer reassurance about the value of intervening if we think someone looks troubled.
    • Wire straits.Following 2015’s chaotic cord fail, this latest JBL commercial is a 30” comedy of errors.
    • Dasher, Dancer, PrancerMcDonald's draw on festive traditions in their charming Christmas offering for 2017.
    • A Place of One's OwnGirlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad.
    • Take control.This Xbox commercial offers a luminous alternative to in-game tutorials.
    • Step by StepFamily reconciliation is at the heart of this unusual Christmas ad from German supermarket Penny.
    • Setting the stage.Given Paddington Bear’s starring role in the M&S Christmas ad, we’re surprised their food commercial doesn’t feature a lick of marmalade.
    • Nice Shirt Films sign Lucy Bridger.Up-and-coming director Lucy Bridger has joined Nice Shirt’s tailored roster.
    • Richard Peter Hunter joins Blink.Comedy director Richard Peter Hunter has joined Blink for commercial representation.
    • Back to humanity.The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness urge viewers to look beyond their own four walls and help a neighbour in need.
    • Frequently asked questions.Ask and you shall receive, says this entertaining Google Pixel ad from Droga5 and director Ian Pons Jewell.
    • Feel The ForceA kid is dismayed when his new neighbour appears to have succumbed to the dark side of the Force in this ad for Star Wars Battlefront II.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 15th November.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How We Made... Oxfam.

● Homespun Yarns.

● Christmas Crackers.

● Tango Reunion.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Podcast - Brown Brothers

This week's podcast brings together Fergus Brown of Smuggler and freelance producer Ewen Brown who most frequently plies his trade at Blink.

Separated by five years, the brothers made their way to the wilds of Soho from rural Scotland after being persuaded that film production was a lucrative business when the crew working on a Channel 4 production began buying the paintings from their parents' country hotel.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Samaritans
"Small Talk Saves Lives"
1 min 34s
18 November 2017

This film was created by The Samaritans and Network Rail to persuade us to look out for one another and offer reassurance about the value of intervening if we think someone looks troubled. It's a superbly-judged piece of work. Director Matt Hopkins has shown great restraint giving the subject matter the gravity it deserves and - in doing so - has made a film which stands a chance of making a real difference.

This idea addresses the central dilemma we face when we recognise someone is distressed: whether we should say something to them. While it can never be unequivocally stated that the answer to this question is 'yes', this film offers a convincing argument that we should. And the source for this couldn't be more authoritative: Sarah Wilson uses the station's PA system to describe how an approach from a stranger when she was feeling suicidal proved to be exactly the intervention she needed.

Among the many misconceptions about suicide is the idea that it always comes from a deep-seated feeling which has an unstoppable momentum. In fact, it's been demonstrated repeatedly that the sense of despair felt by those going through these crises can often be interrupted by a kindly intervention. This is why it's so important to look out for one another and - as this film so poignantly demonstrates - step in and ask someone if they're all right whenever it looks as though they might not be.

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JBL
"Convenience Store"
30s
17 November 2017

Following 2015 chaotic cord fail, this latest JBL commercial is a 30" comedy of errors. Betrayed by his own headphone wires, this bloke endures a painful trip to the shops. The bumbling music lover is mistaken for an armed robber… and these have-a-go heroes take no prisoners.

Director Guy Shelmerdine makes the most of his confined settings. A tight script combines punchy slapstick and a darkly humorous pay-off. Meanwhile, the brand encourage audiophiles to embrace the wireless revolution. After all, your freedom could depend on it.

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McDonald's
"Reindeer Ready"
90s
17 November 2017

McDonald's draw on festive traditions in their charming Christmas offering for 2017. We see a little girl save a carrot stick from her happy meal to leave out for Santa's reindeer, keeping hold of it to ensure it reaches its intended recipient. When she gets home, however, her older brother throws a spanner in the works.

The casting here is spot on, and the performances - particularly the patiently indulgent dad and eager kid - are excellent. There's a lovely authenticity to the action (anyone who's pleaded with their toddler to put down the piece of food they've been carrying around all day will relate), and the understated approach works perfectly. Great work.

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Girlguiding
"I Know My Place"
57s
16 November 2017

Girlguiding turn a demeaning admonishment into an empowering message in this excellent ad. We see girls and young women taking part in activities across the country - from outdoor fun to science experiments - as they find their place among the guiding community.

The action here is never overstated, giving the film an authentic vibe and leaving us with an understanding of how much the girls get out of their involvement - and how much women can take from being a volunteer. The chugging, electronic soundtrack gives things a nice pace without rushing. Polished work with a great message - girl power.

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Recent Promos

Leningrad
"Voyage"
5 mins 15s
16 Nov 2017
Leningrad’s latest promo delivers criminal excess. The Russians swap ultraviolent circus acts for a one-man crimewave. Surrounded by women and dirty money, this rock ‘n’ roller ingests enough marching powder to make Tony Montana blush. The authorities make sure he goes out with a bang. Slick and gratuitous, the promo is a delinquent fever dream - heightened by Leningrad’s raucous sound.

Alt-J
"Pleader"
6 mins 33s
16 Nov 2017
Alt-J's promos are ambitious and clever, and this promo for album closer 'Pleader' continues the trend. Made by celebrated director Isiah Seret, it interweaves the song's central theme - a revisiting of Richard Llewellyn's novel 'How Green Was My Valley' - with elements of the supernatural and the dread of impending war.

Enter Shikari
"The Sights"
4 mins 10s
12 Nov 2017
Enter Shikari’s manager has big plans for the band’s latest single. To mark the release of ‘The Sights’, he insists he can take the St Albans rockers to the Moon. The reality is a little more, er, down to earth. Despite the track’s jaunty vibe, the band’s patience is sorely tested with collapsing sets, tight jumpsuits, and zero-gravity choreography.

Ghostpoet
"Woe Is Meee"
4 mins 48s
8 Nov 2017
Savannah Setten's accompanying promo taps into Ghostpoet's mood, and the intimate snapshot of one man's world stays with us long after the song has ended. The planes of his face - gaunt and haunted, a demi-monde Beckett - speak of the motel life and fifths of whisky for breakfast. The women for whose company he pays, fuel the chronic yearning in his breast... not for pleasure he can no longer experience, but for their bodies themselves.

Chromeo
"Juice"
3 mins 32s
8 Nov 2017
This Chromeo video feels like a left-field Tropicana commercial. The Montreal two-piece moonlight as orange growers with a provocative fashion sense. Well, it does get hot out there. David Wilson’s promo keeps tongue firmly in cheek as beatmakers Dave 1 and P-Thugg flaunt their ‘pins’. Sun-kissed funktronica from the beatmakers.

Gorillaz
"Garage Palace (ft. Little Simz)"
2 mins 30s
7 Nov 2017
Gorillaz still have unfinished business with their fourth studio album, ‘Humanz’. Fans of 16-bit brawlers will appreciate this side-scrolling ‘Garage Palace’ promo. Channelling ‘Streets of Rage’ and ‘Double Dragon’, the virtual band and MC Little Simz lay waste to mutantkind. Fight or flight? Why not both?

KCPK
"The End"
6 mins 10s
6 Nov 2017
French electronic trio KCPK are making some very cool music, and director Loic Andrieu proves an excellent choice for their new track's promo. He gives The End - a propulsive, synthy affair laden with 80s-style foreboding - an angst-ridden narrative which sees a teenage girl imagining her world swept into oblivion... and herself with it.

Nightmares on Wax
"Citizen Kane"
4 mins 44s
3 Nov 2017
Mystical tags and a shamanic entourage populate this Nightmares on Wax promo. The bed-ridden protagonist (played by Langston Fishburne) regains his strength on a spiritual level. Suited, booted, and tarot cards dealt, he ventures deeper and deeper into the Louisiana bayou. Even if your spirit is in good nick, let this one wash over you.

Powell
"Wormhole"
5 mins 05s
1 Nov 2017
EDM upstart Powell has has been busy with a project called New Beta, a series of vinyl-only LPs with an experimental edge. Track titles such as ‘Dogs on Acid’ should give you an inkling what to expect from this ‘Wormhole’ promo, then. There’s no shortage of E numbers in The Sacred Egg’s five-minute sesh - viewers may feel like they’ve downed one snakebite too many.

Royal Blood
"How Did We Get So Dark?"
3 mins 38s
27 Oct 2017
This bizarre promo for Royal Blood's 'How Did We Get So Dark?' is both gritty as hell and utterly bonkers. The Sacred Egg have embraced their love of the surreal and gone all out here, creating something as wonderful as it is weird. We meet a guy who likes collecting white rabbits... with a vengeance.

Kodaline
"Ready to Change"
4 mins 24s
27 Oct 2017
Stevie Russell knocks it out of the park once again for Kodaline with this intriguing promo for 'Ready to Change'. Set in a zoo, it features an unusual cast of characters including a panda handler who enjoys dressing up, a yoga-loving lion keeper, and a guy who doesn't just talk to animals, but only talks to animals...

Marshmello
"Silence (feat. Khalid)"
3 mins 22s
26 Oct 2017
Permanently bucket-headed DJ Marshmello is hard to miss. The beatmaker’s identity remains a mystery in this ‘Silence’ promo. Still, London Alley’s Courtney Phillips taps the nation’s neon supply to luminous effect. While Marshmello and guest vocalist Khalid get acquainted, their crew offer light relief in a troubled world.

Marmozets
"Habits"
3 mins 39s
24 Oct 2017
This Marmozets promo stars a couple of right poseurs. An eerily demure couple remain static throughout - no mean feat when lead singer Becca McIntyre is screaming down your ears. Still, these mannequin-esque lovers soon embrace their human desires. Familia’s Aella Jordan-Edge has fun with her human doll set.

Crystal Fighters
"Yellow Sun"
3 mins 31s
13 Oct 2017
Forget tour buses and private jets - London troubadours Crystal Fighters travel by pickup truck. The band promote their latest single ‘Yellow Sun’ with a, er, laidback performance. It's a diverting road trip: each cargo bed is filled with charming odds and ends, while the group evoke Vampire Weekend’s whimsical fare.

U2
"You're The Best Thing About Me"
4 mins 48s
13 Oct 2017
It's such a shame that Tatia Pilieva's short film is a promo for U2, because it's so searingly poignant that it deserves better than this dialled-in track by Bono and co. To complement the song's theme about love, Pilieva created a mini-documentary about four couples - who are together in real life - facing a long-distance separation of uncertain length.

Grizzly Bear
"Mourning Sound"
4 mins 28s
13 Oct 2017
Grizzly Bear's first album since 2012's much-loved Shields has a more electronic slant than we're used to hearing from them, and nowhere is this more apparent than on 'Mourning Sound'. An oblique reflection on homelessness, hauling logs, and walking along busy freeways, it inspired promo director Beatrice Pegard in a completely different way.

Jessie Ware
"Alone"
3 mins 38s
13 Oct 2017
Jessie Ware enjoys some alone time in this lucent promo, courtesy of Forever’s Charlie Robins. Amidst stylish rooms and equally chic wardrobe changes, Ware blends sweet nothings and enduring bonds: ‘I could watch you watch me forever’. Beautifully lit with ornate set design complementing Ware’s urbane presence.

TD_Nasty
"Where U Wanna Be (feat. Clara La San)"
3 mins 42s
13 Oct 2017
A dancer rests her eyes and nothing else in this nimble TD_Nasty promo. Sleepwalking has rarely looked so graceful - no blindfolds required, either. Director Fiona Jane Burgess captures unrestrained expression in one continuous take. Meanwhile, Nasty belies his name with some inviting beats and Clara La San’s guest vocals.

Kele Okereke
"Streets Been Talkin'"
4 mins 18s
10 Oct 2017
Bulldogs are, well, top dog at the moment. Following Bulldog Skincare’s psychic mutt, this Kele Okereke promo stars another lovable hound. After a brief stint in the doghouse, Buddy enjoys life on the outside with his owner. Alas, trouble follows this pooch like a bad smell. Meanwhile, Okereke's shift into folk music is a pleasant surprise.

Charlotte Gainsbourg
"Deadly Valentine"
6 mins 03s
3 Oct 2017
The second track released from Charlotte Gainsbourg's album Rest, 'Deadly Valentine' is an offbeat, dreamy dance number. It's about finding The One: about being childhood sweethearts who grow up and grow old together without ever falling out of love. Sounds hellish cheesy, but both the song and the accompanying promo elegantly sidestep the ripe Camembert landmines to deliver something rather haunting and gorgeous.

Soulwax
"Is It Always Binary"
4 mins 16s
6 Oct 2017
Soulwax are live and kicking in this well-staged promo. The Belgian beatmakers perform ‘Is It Always Binary’ on a specially-constructed stage. Strobe lights respond to every beat and chunky synth line, while brothers David and Stephen Dewaele lead a tight live performance. The duo’s newfound preference for live drums pays off.

The Horrors
"Something To Remember Me By"
5 mins 36s
29 Sep 2017
Everyone wants a piece of The Horrors as they release their fifth album - and that includes pharmaceutical giants. This Max Weiland-shot promo sees the Southend rockers endure the Panopticon International Corporation’s dubious ethics. Blood, sweat, tears, and other bodily fluids are extracted in suspect laboratory conditions.

Fergie
"Like It Ain't Nuttin'"
3 mins 55s
29 Sep 2017
Fergie makes a confident comeback with this club banger and its appropriately slick promo. The beat-heavy track invokes early 00's hip hop, as Fergie raps about spending money 'like it ain't nuttin''. Vignettes show her take on an edgy array of personas, performing to the camera as she takes in the night time sights of her adopted home town. Cool, nicely constructed work.

Jimmy Whoo
"Motel Music Part II"
8 mins 41s
28 Sep 2017
Since 2013, electronic artist Jimmy Whoo has been busy with a project called Motel Music, inspired by the influences he's absorbed on his travels. To mark its end, RSA's Johnny Hardstaff has created an intriguing short film around three of Whoo's songs and it's not until the final moments of the clip that we realise just how weird the premise actually is.

Michael Cera
"Best I Can"
4 mins 39s
26 Sep 2017
Moxie duo Dan & Antonio’s romantic documentary ‘Dina’ charmed this year’s Sundance Film Festival with its quirky insight into modern love. This equally twee promo - scored by actor-stroke-musician Michael Cera - marks the film’s impending US release.

Recent Promos

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