Baby Juice Express Review

Even as an Arsenal fan, the sight of David Seaman in goal - once a formidable sight, I'm sure you'll agree - wearing a ponytail more suited to a middle manager at an I.T. company, whose ambition fails to extend beyond one-day owning a third-hand Porsche Boxster and a holiday flat in Marbella, was one of the more saddening sights of recent years. Looking back, there's a symmetry to Tony Adams retiring a few years back and the 2003/2004 season in which the champions went unbeaten, linked by the years in which David Seaman's ponytail went from looking faintly disturbing to something that'd be worth lopping the rest of his head off just to be rid of the thing.

But yet, as bad as his wearing of a ponytail was, nothing about being an Arsenal fan could prepare you for the opening minutes of Baby Juice Express, in which Seaman, Ray Parlour and an unidentified kid mock it up as gangsters in a spoof video watched by Lisa Faulkner in a house in London as her boyfriend, played by Nick Moran, gets pummeled in a boxing ring. Quite rightly, Faulkner has Moran down as lovable, stupid but too easily led by his manager, played by Phil Davis, who comes up with a plan to make a lot of money quickly by stealing a sperm sample that's been smuggled out of prison to keep a broody gangland boss' wife happy. All it involves is dressing up as a couple of gay delivery men and handling a test-tube of warm semen. I'm thinking Nick Moran's handshake is going to leave a salty smell for a bit...

I only agreed to accept this review copy because Lisa Faulkner is in it and as attractive as she is, she'd have had to deliver this DVD in person wearing nowt but a...well, nothing actually to have made it worthwhile. Remember Joe Bugner? Awful boxer, won almost nothing and here he plays, I dunno, someone. It's hard to remember when my memory has tried to blank this out. Then there's Cleo Rocos, a woman who's whole career is based on having bouncy breasts but who is as coy as a nun about ever showing them. Then there's Samantha Janus, retired gangster Dave Courtney and some chap who used to be on Mind Your Language...so you're already thinking that the cream of British acting talent was lining up for Baby Juice Express.

But actually, there is Phil Davis and it almost all goes alright. Davis first appeared as Chalky in Quadrophenia and has acted and directed in a number of good-to-middling films since, including I.D. He did, however, star as the clerk in Channel 4's excellent legal drama North Square and filled the series with an aggressive performance, creating a wake of good feelings that extends into Baby Juice Express. As such, he's quite the best thing in the film but, given everything else that's been said about the film, such a comment is close to sounding desperate in pursuit of a compliment.



Transfer

Baby Juice Express has been anamorphically transferred in 1.78:1 and, whilst the transfer is good, the actual film is flat, closer to a cheap, television film than one made for the cinema.

The two soundtracks included with Baby Juice Express are a 2.0 Stereo audio track and a 5.1 surround soundtrack but there's little that happens onscreen to suggest that the latter was considered necessary. Otherwise, the soundtrack is clean and the large amount of dialogue in the film is always



Extras

Trailer (2m30s, 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic, 2.0 Stereo): Opening with the footage of the boxing match, this leaves you in no doubt as to the plot of the film, spilling it out as effortlessly as, well, baby juice.

Making Of Baby Juice Express (19m12s, 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic, 2.0 Stereo): Nick Moran, who co-wrote and co-produced Baby Juice Express, understandably plays a large part in this making of, which also features all of the major cast interviewed behind the scenes. Despite the first few minutes trying to convince us that the film originally had a great script, this making of doesn't quite get to grips with what went wrong on the way to the screen.

Audio Commentary: Nick Moran and Mike Hurst, the writers of the film, join in with John Stewart, who compiled the soundtrack for the film, for a full-length commentary. Clearly, the three get on extraordinarily well and the commentary is well worth a listen but there's little that's informative in it



Overall

Actually handling the sperm that's the star of this film would be only slightly less appealing a prospect than having to sit through it again.

But that's not the fault of Joseph Paterson, who stars as Sean and is such a great guy that when my wife was driven off the road by an articulated lorry on the M25, he was the first person to stop and offer assistance. For that, he gets credit as does Phil Davis for taking as control of the movie as much as he does and thereby making it never as terrible as Nick Moran, Dave Courtney and Cleo Rocos threaten to make it.

Film
1 out of 10
Video
7 out of 10
Audio
8 out of 10
Extras
5 out of 10
Overall

2

out of 10
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