David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Podcast - Park VillageFollowing his appearance at October's CraftWorks, legendary director Roger Woodburn was joined in the String & Tins studio by the equally legendary Peter Webb to talk about the foundation of Park Village, one of the most iconic names in film production.
    • Mattessons serve food for thought.Mattessons Fridge Raiders and 'Call of Duty: WWII' release codebreaking app Code Strike.
    • A fresh pair of eyes.Photography guru Joel Meyerowitz narrates this thoughtful spec film from director Emilio Boutros.
    • Nothing Rhymes With...This lovely animated film explores the complexity of the colour orange.
    • Decks and desolation.Boutique deck designers The Skateroom partner with photographer Roger Ballen for a monochrome fever dream.
    • Merry Mad MaxThis excellent Audi commercial focuses on the fight for an elusive free parking space.
    • Not Just For ChristmasThis timely ad for the RSPCA plays on the old adage 'a dog is for life, not just for Christmas'.
    • Turkey?Iceland's Christmas offering this year mines internet culture to show children opening unusual presents.
    • Ahmet Iltas lands at NERD Productions.Designer and illustrator Ahmet Iltas has joined NERD Productions for commercial representation.
    • Use The Force, SergeiDisney and Compare The Market team up for another festive extravaganza in this nostalgic ad.
    • Be my guest.Lidl Finland’s Christmas film stars an unexpected house guest: a sweet-loving elf.
    • Waves of emotion.All Mighty Pictures have good form when it comes to charitable causes.
    • Silent NightThis emotional film for Age UK highlights an important issue - elderly people spending Christmas alone.

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.


Dancing On Ice
"Polar Bears"
60s
3 December 2017

ITV announces the latest season of Dancing On Ice in style with this fantastic animated ad. A polar bear takes its first tentative steps onto the ice and hits the deck almost immediately, but it's not long before a pal turns up to help out...

Andy Williams' 'The Impossible Dream' provides a fitting soundtrack, as we see the furry friends put on a show for other woodland critters. The moments of comedy are well measured - particularly the squirrel judging panel - and the animation work and character design are charming.

This film executes the Christmas ad formula beautifully... even though it's not technically a Christmas ad. Compelling, uplifting work which makes the most of its conservative 60" running time.

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Co-op Supermarkets
"Christmas is Coming Together"
60s
2 December 2017

The Co-op party like it’s 1999 in their Christmas ad. Choirs, school bands, and rugby teams cover snippets of Blur’s ‘Tender’ before joining forces. Despite such disparate styles, the supergroup does Damon Albarn and co. proud.

Diverse and melodic, the film brims with community spirit. There’s plenty of mouths to feed - fortunately, the supermarket have the catering sorted.

It’s a canny song choice, too. The ‘99 original receives a hefty vocal boost, while additional trumpets, sitars, and orchestral flourishes complete an eclectic cover version.

Agency Forever Beta impressed with their naturalistic Mother’s Day film; Outsider’s Max Fisher ensures an upbeat follow-up.

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Mathieu Caplanne makes the grade at ETC.

Electric Theatre Collective have bolstered their ranks by signing French colourist Mathieu Caplanne. Caplanne joins Jason Wallis and Lewis Crossfield on the colour roster. As ETC eye further expansion, the trio will spearhead the studio’s grading department.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

A new frontier for Nexus

A visit to Nexus is like that bit in a James Bond film when 007 pops in to see Q to discover what the finest minds of the secret service have been developing in the basement.

There is always an impressive array of new tricks and even if you can't entirely understand them, you can still appreciate their cleverness.

The news that co-founder Chris O'Reilly is headed to Los Angeles to open Nexus's first US office provided a perfect excuse to learn more about this new endeavour, as well as find out what's happening at their Hoxton headquarters.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

BBC
"The Supporting Act"
2 mins
2 December 2017

While many distract themselves with the need to create an entirely new approach at Christmas, others recognise the value of an old story... when it's retold really well. The BBC's pièce de résistance this year is exactly that - a familiar tale that's been told so beautifully that it will bring tears to many an eye when it's broadcast over the festive period.

It fashions its tale of inadvertent parental neglect around the mixed blessing of the mobile phone... a device that's formed a series of black holes at the centre of family life, sucking our attention away from each other in favour of notifications from afar.

In this case, 'dad' is too busy addressing the concerns of colleagues to pay full attention to his daughter and her endless practising for a school talent competition. But when push comes to shove maybe he's noticed a bit more than she thinks and on being offered the opportunity to make amends, he grabs it with gusto and shows her the value of familial togetherness.

Elliot Dear's animation is out of this world. The movement is amazing and the sweeping cinematic treatment gives it real heft. The denouement is incredibly moving and it wouldn't be at all surprising if - among all the televisual delights brought to us by the BBC over Christmas - this little film heralding the coming entertainment proves more popular than the programming it advertises.

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On This Day

VW
"Remarkable"
65s
11 Dec 2009
The madness of the movie world is revealed by this fun ad from France which shows how a misunderstanding can have far reaching ramifications. And even though the car is relatively incidental to the proceedings, it cleverly remains centre stage.

Audi
"Imagination"
60s
11 Dec 2010
While this is a attention-grabbing piece of film, it's hard to understand how it's going to persuade anybody to buy an Audi. The animation is like a CGI journey through female genitalia as imagined by a teenage boy who's spent half his life on a Playstation.

Children In Need
"Do Your Thing"
2 mins 25s
11 Dec 2012
Oh wow. What a wonderful way to celebrate Britain's Olympians and raise the curtain for this year's Children In Need fund raiser. An absolutely joyous compilation that strikes one perfect note after another. The Olympics provided so many highlights this year but who could have guessed there was room for one more?

Google Nexus
"Slight Hitch"
60s
11 Dec 2013
Google continues to make the Nexus an appealing alternative to Apple's dominant iPad in this clever and emotive spot. A young man who we automatically presume must be from a poor African country is trying to get a ride somewhere, without success. It isn't until he speaks that our assumptions are turned on their head, much to our embarrassment.

Thinkbox
"Harvey and Harmony"
60s
11 Dec 2014
Apparently this is the last Thinkbox ad that will feature Harvey the dog as he's getting a bit long in the tooth... and what a shame that is. His placid, patient face has served as the perfect foil to the big personality that lies beneath - as his own ad-based communications have shown. It's been not only an engaging campaign but an extremely clever one and we'll be sad to see it go.

Co-op Supermarkets
"Marzipan"
30s
11 Dec 2014
What a terrific way to communicate the message that the Co-op has more stores than other supermarkets, and is open later. It's the simplest of ideas, but it gets directly to the heart of the experience we've all had of remembering too late that item we forgot to buy. Beautifully executed, too - who hasn't made a random utterance in public which has seen us eyed up warily by strangers nearby?

Tele2
"Because I Can"
60s
11 Dec 2015
As the international data race between mobile networks shows no sign of slowing down, advertisers are seeking ever more eye-catching ways of proving their 4G cred. In this regard, Tele2 aren't messing around with this fun and upbeat ad. Quirky production design and an infectious jingle combine to present the 4G life as the only way to go.

Audi Quattro
"Candide Thovex"
1 min 55s
11 Dec 2015
With advertising having been buried under a foot of fake snow for the last month or so, this exhilarating French ad for the Audi Quattro has skier Candide Thovex hitting the slopes without a snowflake touching him. There are no painted markers, gates or checkpoints to keep track of, either; their places are taken by cows, cramped woodland, and a trio of hard-to-impress 'spectators'. This is getting back to nature at full pelt.

Sony PlayStation
"Roll"
30s
11 Dec 2006
One of the animated dustballs from the previous ads asks the other to imagine what life would be like if all you could do was roll. They both laugh hilariously at the thought before it dawns on them that this is all the can do. Karl Pilkington once more provides a droll voiceover at the end.

Calm
"Rooftop"
60s
11 Dec 2006
Shades of a famous ad for The Guardian here as a man is intimidated by a younger man in a hoodie who strides menacingly toward him. In fact, the young man plans no ill for the older fellow but instead intends great harm for himself. Calm is a charity aiming to reduce male suicides.

MFI
"Transformation"
50s
11 Dec 2007
A new campaign for MFI challenges the brand's unfashionable image by depicting incredulity at the furniture and fittings being sold in their stores. A jaunty Celtic soundtrack accompanies the building of the furniture and the scratching of the heads that follows the realisation that they are being sold by MFI.

VW
"Balloon"
45s
11 Dec 2009
This cute Norwegian ad features a young girl fooling around with balloons. To amuse herself, she blows them up and then releases them... laughing at the noises they make but she's mesmerised when one balloon (representing an environmentally friendly car) gently floats.

Canon
"Photo Tag"
30s
11 Dec 2009
This attractively put together piece for Canon shows adults fooling around in the woods using the advertised camera to surprise one another. A pleasant soundtrack plays as they stalk each other and use the camera's clever technology to grab spontaneous snaps.

Yeo Valley
"Number One Fan"
30s
11 Dec 2011
This glimpse at the Yeo Valley farmers includes a look at a photograph of Alison Burston who is identified as a Superfan. The lucky Swindon mum-of-three won a competition that guaranteed her participation in the campaign's finalé during the last edition of The X Factor.

Morrisons
"Special Bread"
20s
11 Dec 2012
When members of the Morrisons Christmas family reach into the cereal box, they find strangely shaped patisserie instead of the usual crispy corn. This is to highlight an offer at yellow supermarket that promises to make each part of Christmas Day that little bit more special.

Sky Broadband
"Saxy Vet"
15s
11 Dec 2013
One in an amusing series of bumpers for the broadband provider. The jokes are real groaners, but sometimes the old chestnuts are the best and these suit the time of year perfectly, like the jokes in that box of discount crackers you thought seemed a good buy at the time. Nicely done, too - well cast, well directed.

Sky Broadband
"Roll Over"
10s
11 Dec 2013
This bumper for Sky Broadband sees our vet talking to one of the farm animals - presumably a sheepdog - who is just out of sight. As he issues the order to lie down and roll over, the farmer overhears... with predictably amusing results. We can't help but think of Mark Gatiss's hapless vet in The League of Gentlemen - surely a tragic error is only a syringe away.

Co-op Supermarkets
"Turkey Breasts"
10s
11 Dec 2014
A lovely ten second spot in the campaign for the Co-op which has people suddenly remember an item on their supermarket shopping list. In this instance, a shop assistant in a clothes store is prompted to think out loud of something she needs while assisting a customer... much to the punter's evident chagrin.

Hotpoint
"Legacy"
55s
11 Dec 2015
Hotpoint return to the source in pleasing fashion with this ad charting the origins of your favourite woolly clothes. Directing duo Atanasio + Martinez craft a thoughtful and fittingly warm depiction of a sheep farmer caring for his flock come rain or shine. When the brand commit to showing customers' garments the same reverence, it feels like a sincere claim.

KFC
"Arguments"
30s
11 Dec 2015
Even the best of pals can push each other's buttons as this KFC's latest friendly trivia test shows. Here, a bonus piece of chicken hinges on these mates knowing what sparks an argument between them. Nothing too incendiary here unsurprisingly, but sniffing like that would sour the mood in no time.

Trivial Pursuit
"Specialist Categories"
20s
11 Dec 2005
unseen by her boyfriend, a woman is biting her toenail but she kisses him nonetheless prompting the onscreen graphic to attribute "gross" as her specialist category. A lad with lipstick on his chest specialises in girls and a lad who slides down banisters has extreme sports as his.

Honda
"Motorbike"
10s
11 Dec 2005
One of several reminders of the longer Honda that broke last week shows the protagonist making his way through a pleasant-looking town with mountains in the background on a motobike made by the Japanese car manufacturer.

Ugly Betty
"Fashion Has A New Face"
70s
11 Dec 2006
Sheena Easton and the Artist briefly not known as Prince duet on You've Got The Look as amalgam of bits and pieces from the trails for ugly Betty are combined with footage of the lead actress from the show in the latest bid to ready the audience for its New Year advent.

Nokia
"Boyfriend"
20s
11 Dec 2006
The new Nokia holds more than 1,500 music tracks (provided you have installed a 2Gb memory card) according to this ad where the female voiceover then murmers something about already having a boyfriend... not quite sure why. Answers on a postcard please.

Waitrose
"In The End"
40s
11 Dec 2007
Beautifully photographed in the style which has become familiar, this ad looks at the Christmas offerings from the posh peoples supermarket. As you'd expect, there's a bit of a contrast with the giant platters of heart-stopping snacks being touted by Kerry Katona in the Iceland ads at present.

On This Day

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