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Guest Beibei

http://www.filmfodder.com/movies/reviews/calcium_kid/ (Grade A)

No matter what he goes on to star in from here, to a lot of people Orlando Bloom is likely to forever be Legolas of "Lord of the Rings" fame. It was his breakthrough role and surely the opportunity of a lifetime -- for which Bloom was hired days before he even graduated London's Guildhall drama school -- and it is quite something to measure the rest of his career against. And so far, Bloom has done little to show off his versatility with roles in the equally costume-laden "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the upcoming "Troy."

But all that is about to change, thanks to British indie "The Calcium Kid" (IMDb listing) in which Bloom takes on the title role of Jimmy "The Calcium Kid" Connelly, a milkman from South London.

A quirky, off-the-wall mockumentary comedy (yes, there is such as thing, in Britain at least) that will have you laughing out loud, this feature debut from writer/director Alex Rakoff has a lot to offer to those who enjoy good cinema; a well-rounded story, terrific acting from a fabulous cast, great comedic timing and loads of priceless British humor.

Jimmy Connelly (Bloom) really loves his job. A milkman for Express Milk Dairies, he approaches his daily tour of South London with plenty of enthusiasm. His ambition is to one day become a regional manager for the company. But then a sparring match at the local gym, where he is an amateur boxer, changes everything when Jimmy, quite accidentally and courtesy of his calcium-hardened bones, puts Pete Wright (former boxer Tamer Hassan), Britain's contender for the World Champion title, out of commission. For lack of suitable replacements, Jimmy suddenly finds himself touted as Britain's great boxing hope and thrust onto the world stage to face current champion Jose Mendez (Michael Pena) in a fight for the title and, quite possibly, his life.

Calcium Kid is based on the script of a short written by Scots Raymond Friel and Derek Boyle, and Rakoff, South-London born and bred, took the story out of its Glaswegian setting and based it on his home turf for a more personal experience. It works stupendously well.

A simple story with eccentric characters and a lot of heart, the acting, direction, and inspiring cinematography come together perfectly for 94 minutes of great entertainment. With Pena and Michael Lerner as his agent Artie Cohen admirably covering the American end of things, Bloom, acclaimed stand-up comedian Omid Djalili as self-appointed boxing promoter Herbie Bush, promising talent Rafe Spall as best mate Stan, and the obligatory British starlet Billie Piper as Angel, do British cinema proud.

Filmfodder Grade: A

http://www.nitro-movies.com/The-Calcium-Kid.html (3 stars)

(There isn't any text for the above review, it just has a three star rating out of five or four I don't know)

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Now that is the kind of review I like to read!

...loads of priceless British humour.

Are we talking 'Carry On.' humour? :lol: If so, it's going to be the longest 14 days ever.

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Guest laconejita

Thanks for finding the review! Sounds great, doesn't it? I'm surprised at how different some of these reviews have been.maybe Empire didn't get it? :blink: Ah, maybe it's just opinion-based. :doh: Thanks again!

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Now that is the kind of review I like to read!

...loads of priceless British humour.

Are we talking 'Carry On.' humour? :lol: If so, it's going to be the longest 14 days ever.

Ah a fellow Ka-bloom who enjoys Carry On films! :lol:

Thanks for the review, I haven't read any reviews for this film because I really don't want them to spoil it for me, and plus a lot of reviews tend to be negative when it comes to comedy.sometimes. Anyway, its nice to see this reviewer enjoyed the film, I hope I do too.

Thanks Beibei.

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Sometimes people find very hard to understand British humor. But Portuguese love it and I'm no exception! :w00t:

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Thinking about this, I think Orlando would have played Jim Dales' roles really well.

I know those films are SO dated, but they are priceless pieces of British History! :lol:

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Thinking about this, I think Orlando would have played Jim Dales' roles really well.

I know those films are SO dated, but they are priceless pieces of British History!  :lol:

I want to see the Calcium Kid so bad. Can Jimmy get any more adorable?

My mother is a big fan of British comedy. She loves the Carry On Gang. I think that’s what it’s called. I personally love Fawlty Towers. I can watch every episode over and over and still :lmao:. John Cleese is a riot. I like Mr. Bean and Keeping up Appearances too.

Kelly

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Thinking about this, I think Orlando would have played Jim Dales' roles really well.

If Orlando is Jim Dale, does that make Omid Djalili Sid James and Billie Piper Babs Windsor ? :lol:

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Review from Film Review UK June Issue:

2 Stars out of 5

It reflects well on Orlando Bloom that amid the hubbub and hype around his blossoming screen career he finds time to make a small British film like this. It is a far cry from LOTRs, and Pirates and Troy - in more ways than the most obvious differences in budget. This amiable boxing comedy fails to punch its weight and, in striving to be successful, picks up more cliches that a heavyweight champion collects hangers-on.

The shame is that The Calcium Kid is likeable enough for this to matter. You will it to succeed, rather like you root for a home grown fighter you know cannot quite match the standard of the competition. But you want it to do so well all the same. The story is no less ludicrous that you will find in many other boxing movies. Milkman and gym rookie Jimmy Connelly is invited to spar wiht British Middleweight contender Pete Wright (Hasan).

Pitifully outclassed, he manages to cause and upset when Wright breaks his fist on Jimmy's granite like skull that's toughened , he believes, by his excessive consumption of milk. Terrified that the fight (and its accompanying payday) will be cancelled, the promoter Herbie Bush (Djalili) hastily bills Jimmy 'the Calcium Kid' Connelly as a viable subtitute opponent for champion Jose Mednez (Pena).

There are a host of supporting players who will be familiar to British audiences - including Billy Piper and Ronni Ancona - and Bloom carries the film well enough, even if he is occassionally under directed. His portrayal of Jimmy's naive innocence veers towards witlessness at times, which irritates. Lines that are meant to have you chuckling, especially the pearls of wisdom left to Jimmy from his absent father, fall flat. Subtle touches fail throughout, whereas the broad brushstrokes of characers like Jimmy's rough diamond best pal, Stan (Spal) are far more effective. The choice of a mock documentary as the platform for telling Jimmy's story is rather tired, and overly familiar device that risks unfavourable comparisons with other better films. Bloom fans may not mind, but casual cinema goers will not be knocked out by it, if they register its existence at all.

The magazine has an interview with Rafe Spall Orlando's rough diamond pal in Calcium, also an interview and super pictures of Sean Bean from Troy. :wub:

..Well, hopefully I'll see The Calcium Kid next Friday and I'll give my opinion. :boxing:

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Guest Sue31

I am so hoping to see this on Friday and I never take notice of film reviews.ever.

I've walked out of two movies in my time and the over hyped and critically aclaimed Kill Bill was one of them.a self indulgent wank fest (sorry for language) if ever there was one. I should have known better as I listened to critics then.never again. They're all so bloody cynical and pretentious.actually they'd be good friends for Tarentino :wacko:

Here's one English woman who'll be in her element on Friday night :wink:

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From Screen Daily Reviews:

*************

Dir: Alex De Rakoff. UK-US-Fr. 2004. 89mins.

Orlando Bloom’s post-Lord Of The Rings appeal will be sorely tested by The Calcium Kid, a title fight mockumentary that packs a puny punch. A world removed from the genre-defining classics of Christopher Guest and his troupe, this uninspired effort has more in common with parochial British fare like Mike Bassett England Manager.

Box-office may struggle when the film starts its UK theatrical release on April 30. The adult certificate (15) could deter the Bloom fans most likely to constitute its core audience and word of mouth is unlikely to sustain initial interest once they discover the nature of the film. Globally, its unlikely to make an impression.

A chirrupy, South London milkman, Bloom’s Jimmy Connelly is accidentally responsible for putting Britain’s middleweight hopeful out of action one week before a match with world boxing champion Jose Mendez (Pena). Sleazy, second rate promoter Herbie Bush (Djalili) is so desperate to find a replacement that he chooses Jimmy. Documentary film-maker Sebastian Gore Brown (Mark Heap) senses the opportunity of a lifetime and trains his camera on Jimmy and his cronies in the seven days leading up to the bout.

What follows is a broad brushstrokes mockumentary filled with hand-me-down characters and predictable situations, including the inevitable training run through the neighbourhood streets to the strains of the Rocky theme. The sketchy screenplay lurches between different plot elements without developing a strong sense of purpose or momentum. The audience is asked to take a good deal for granted as Jimmy suddenly develops some backbone or a marginal romantic interest somehow blossoms into marriage.

The film lacks the memorable set pieces or belly laughs for a crowd-pleasing comedy and the whole set up is so wildly improbable that its impossible to take it seriously. A subplot covering Jimmy’s relationship with his jailbird father fails to deepen our emotional attachment to the character or his fate.

Even with a relatively brisk running time, the film drags and grows tiresome as we are subject to the underhand dealings of fight promoter Bush, the unconventional methods of Jimmy’s drunken Irish trainer or his prostitute mother’s insistence that she is merely a massage therapist. At least we are spared a triumphant showdown in the ring for the film’s climax.

Director Alex De Rakoff indulges all the faux documentary staples of wobbly, handheld camerawork, direct-to-camera asides and fly-on-the-wall embarrassment but what once seemed fresh and funny now appears stale and obvious.

Joke cameos from boxers Frank Bruno and Chris Eubank and the presence of local names like Ronni Ancona and Billie Piper might add some extra appeal for British audiences but internationally Bloom remains the main attraction. His eager but unremarkable performance is likely to be judged a minor, homegrown diversion between major blockbuster roles.

Prod cos: WT2, StudioCanal, Universal

UK dist: UIP

W’wide dist: UIP/Universal(US)

Exec prods: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

Prod: Natascha Wharton

Co-prod: Richard Johns

Scr: Derek Boyle, Alex De Rakoff, Raymond Friel

Cine: David M Dunlap

Eds: Marguerite Arnold, Jon Harris

Prod des: Joel Collins

Music: The Boilerhouse Boys

Main cast: Orlando Bloom, Omid Djalili, Michael Pena, Rafe Spall, David Kelly, Michael Lerner, Ronni Ancona, Billie Piper

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From View London

Two out of Five stars

Running time: 89 mins

Despite several decent gags and a good lead performance from Bloom this is ultimately hamstrung by budgetary constraints and fails to deliver any knockout punches.

Thanks to his roles in four of the biggest movies of the last few years (the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean) Orlando Bloom has built himself a sizeable following, to the point where the mere mention of his name is enough to send certain susceptible people into rapturous reveries. It remains to be seen, however, whether ‘the Bloomers’ (as they may or may not be called) will be sufficient in number to turn The Calcium Kid into a box office hit – after all, where were they for Ned Kelly, eh? Eh?

Milkman Damages British Boxing Hope

Bloom stars as Jimmy Connelly, a fresh-faced kid who loves his job as a milkman and wants nothing more than to become regional manager for Express Milk Dairies. However, during a sparring match at the local gym, he accidentally puts Britain’s contender for the World title out of action for a few weeks. With no time to find a replacement, the fight’s promoter (Omid Djalili) puts Jimmy forward as Britain’s Boxing Hope instead…

The Calcium Kid is filmed as a documentary (or, if you must, mockumentary) and the film-makers squeeze just about every conceivable documentary-style joke they can out of the format, from supposedly off microphones to comedy re-takes. This works well enough in places, but isn’t really sustained throughout the film, which detracts somewhat.

Bloom is excellent – he has an extremely likeable screen presence and he’s always watchable. However, the majority of the other characters are poorly-drawn clichés, from the drunken trainer (David Kelly) to the big-shot American promoter (Michael Lerner), though Omid Djalili does the best he can with his role as Herbie Bush.

The exception to this is Rafe Spall, who puts in a brilliantly oblivious performance as Jimmy’s best friend Stan – his rap scene is particularly funny. As for Billie Piper, she’s barely even in it, which suggests the bulk of her performance ended up on the cutting room floor.

Lack Of Decent Budget Is Main Problem

The main problem with the film is that its lack of a decent budget prevents it from delivering the expected climax – clearly they couldn’t stretch to a boxing arena and a few hundred extras. (The solution is perhaps the worst example of papering over the cracks since the “burning of the Porsche” scene in Shopping, where you only see the car burn from the inside.).

Frankly, it’s a surprise that the Milk Marketing Board didn’t pony up the cash they needed, given the fact that the film could play as an extended milk ad.

In short, The Calcium Kid delivers the odd good laugh and Orlando fans probably won’t be disappointed, but it’s too uneven to really impress.

Reviewed by - Matthew Turner 

PotNoodle (a 'Bloomer', apparently :lol:)

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Kidderminster Chronical review.(the one chance my local paper gets for glory and it blows it :cry: ..Kidderminster is famous for Carpets and having a very silly name. :ph34r: )

The Calcium Kid Cert 15, 89 mins

In the space of just 3 years, Orlando Bloom has become one of the hottest young movie stars on the planet.

Lead roles in Lord of the Rings, Black Hawk Down and Pirates of the Caribbean have propelled this star into the accendance.

And with a pivotal role in the summer blockbuster epic Troy, which is scheduled for release on May 21, his meteoric rise shows no signs of abating.

Until now, Bloom has only played supporting roles. In the Calcium Kid he finally gets the chance to open a film with his name above the credits. Sad to say, this boxing mockumentary is anything but a knockout.

~Exposition edited

Shot in the style fo a fly on the wall documentary, The Calcium Kid is depressingly short on laughs or emotion.

oh well, the reviewer seems sad to have given a poor review :whistle:

Does this stunning piece of writing influence my seeing the film on Friday? No! :boxing::shiny:

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From Daily Variety:

The Calcium Kid (U.K.)

A UIP release of a Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title presentation of a WT² production. Produced by Natascha Wharton. Executive producers, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner. Co-producer, Richard Johns. Directed by Alex de Rakoff. Screenplay, Raymond Friel, Derek Boyle, de Rakoff.

Jimmy Connelly - Orlando Bloom

Herbie Bush - Omid Djalili

Artie Cohen - Michael Lerner

Jose Mendez - Michael Pena

Pete Wright - Tamer Hassan

Stan Parlour - Rafe Spall

Clive Connelly - Frank Harper

Pat Connelly - Ronni Ancona

Paddy O'Flanaghan - David Kelly

Angel - Billie Piper

By DEREK ELLEY

 

Orlando Bloom, the princely Paris in upcoming "Troy," is the marquee draw in Brit boxing mockumentary "The Calcium Kid," but few outside his young femme fan base look likely to support the low-fat pic. Initially amusing laffer about a South London milkman who ends up fighting the world middleweight champ becomes winded way before the final bell, with only supporting turns by local comedians to sustain interest. Clock this one, which went out April 30 in Blighty, as the first misfire from Working Title's usually reliable low-budget shingle WT² ("Shaun of the Dead," "My Little Eye," "Billy Elliot").

Bloom plays Jimmy Connelly, an eager-beaver young milkman in working-class Lambeth who trains part-time at the gym of manager/promoter Herbie Bush (standup comic Omid Djalili). When British middleweight champ Pete Wright (Tamer Hassan) injures himself on the eve of his fight with Yank world champ Jose Mendez (Michael Pena), desperate Herbie drafts Jimmy to take Pete's place. As Jimmy has been drinking two pints of milk a day all his life, his bones are hard as steel, and Herbie nicknames him "The Calcium Kid" for what he bills as a "Melee on the Tele."

The unseen docu crew, that -- in one of the film's running jokes -- is always being verbally or physically abused, joins the story seven days before Jimmy's fight, as the media frenzy mounts. So amateur that he hasn't even fought in a ring yet, Jimmy is trained by one of Herbie's gymrat pals, a whimsical old Irish codger called Paddy (David Kelly).

With Bloom playing Jimmy as an all-round nice guy, the comedy comes totally from the colorful supporting roles. Jimmy's trashy mom, Pat (impressionist Ronni Ancona), bills herself as a "massage therapist" and even offers the film crew a quickie after her interview. Jimmy's childhood buddy, Stan (Rafe Spall), is a total bum, and his father (Frank Harper) is still in stir. Herbie himself is such a tree-swinger he can't even pronounce the word "pugilism."

Pic's comic celebration of British amateurism and muddling along is thrown into sharp relief as the story briefly turns its attention to Mendez, all high-octane Yank professionalism under his baleful manager, Artie Cohen (Michael Lerner). When Jimmy, reading from cue cards provided by Herbie during a press conference, threatens to send Mexican-American Mendez "back on a banana boat," an anti-racist storm breaks out in the Brit tabloid press, and the whole country turns against the humble milkman.

Film nixes its mockumentary credentials early on by so obviously being a scripted movie, with the sheer unbelievability of the basic premise, as well as devices like Jimmy's killer punch. That's all well and good, but in its place there's a lack of sufficient invention in the script by Scottish writers Raymond Friel and Derek Boyle to sustain a 90-minute movie much beyond the halfway point. Pic pales in comparison to Brit soccer mockumentary, "Mike Bassett, England Manager" (2001), which featured sharp writing plus a strong lead perf by Ricky Tomlinson.

Boyish-looking Bloom makes Jimmy likable enough, but it's not a strong enough performance to anchor a one-joke movie. Kudos go more to the supports, especially Djalili, superb as the gross-out Herbie, plus Kelly as the blarney-full trainer and Spall as Jimmy's terminally slacker pal.

Tech credits are OK, given the docu approach, though the penchant for fancy jump cuts by first-time helmer Alex de Rakoff (who made the vidgame "Grand Theft Auto 2") seems misplaced in the context.

Camera (color), David M. Dunlap; editors, Maguerite Arnold, Jon Harris; music, the Boilerhouse Boys; production designer, Joel Collins; art director, Daniel May; costume designer, Sammy Sheldon; sound (Dolby Digital), Nic Le Messurier, Brendon Nicholson; assistant director, Nick Heckstall-Smith; casting, Jina Jay. Reviewed at BAFTA, London, April 14, 2004. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 88 MIN.

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From ic Coventry. Oh dear, I think this is the worst one yet.

The Calcium Kid (15)

Apr 30 2004

 

British milk-powered movie The Calcium Kid is as cute as a burst zit.

And that's despite coming from the successful Working Title stable (Shaun of the Dead) and starring Kent-born Orlando Bloom, fresh from playing Legolas in Lord of the Rings, Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean and soon to be seen as Paris opposite Brad Pitt in Troy.

Well, I guess we can all have a bad day in the shippon.

Made by a video game director rather fittingly called Alex De Rakoff, Bloom plays a stick-thin milkman called Jimmy who floats down streets with his pints, not in the ring.

Yet despite never having thrown a punch in anger before, he's facing a world championship boxing title fight opposite Jose

Mendez (Michael Pena). Boxing might have become a joke sport, but this is ridiculous.

Bloom's co-stars include David Kelly, Ronni Ancona and even Billie Piper, with Frank Bruno and a foolishly-smoking Chris Eubank making ill-advised cameos.

Shot in a mockumentary fashion that's both annoying and over-bearingly loud at times, The Calcium Kid is Milky not Rocky.

It's coarse, tedious, unbelievable and overloaded with caricatured cheese.

There's also a cop-out ending that will leave anyone who lasts the 89-minute distance wanting to knock themselves out by head-butting the nearest churn.

Buy a ticket and you'll feel like you've been hit by a sucker punch.

Website: www.workingtitlefilms.com

Rating: No stars!

Don't care. Still want to see it. :boxing:

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From NOW Magazine 5 May 2004

The Calcium Kid

Cert 15

Released 30 April

Starring Orlando Bloom, Omid Djalili, Billie Piper, Ronni Ancona, Rafe Spall

A film that's meant to be about boxing but turns into a free add for the Milk Marketing Board is certainly an offbeat idea.  But it works so well here because of two things: a refreshingly bright script and an absolutely delightful performance from Orlando Bloom as sarf (south) London milkman Jimmy, who happens to be pretty nifty with his fists.

When the British contender for the boxing world championship breaks his hand on Jimmy's hard as nails skull - a result of all that milk Jimmy drank as a kid - fight promoter Herbie Bush (Djalili) has no choice but to select Jimmy as the replacement boxer.  But Jimmy is strictly amateur league and, with only weeks to go before the fight, there's no way he'll be match-fit in time.

Don't worry is boxing isn't your bag: there's only one proper fight scene in the entire film, while the rest is filled with fun scenes of Jimmy 'training' with a mixed bag of colourful characters.  There's his slobby best mate Stan (Spall) who has 'anger management issues', Jimmy's 'masseuse' mum (Ancona) - but best of all is Djalili as the demented promoter Bush, whose stunning ideas for publicising the fight include getting a boy band to sing a R&B version of the National Anthem.

As the would-be love interest Piper certainly looks lovely, but her character remains firmly on the sidelines and hardly says a word, so the jury's still out on her acting ability.  However, it's Orlando Bloom who's the real star here and he proves there's life after playing an elf by making Jimmy sweetly innocent and adorable.  He's a bit like a cute puppy dog running around, wanting everyone to like him.

Finally watch out for two cameos from Frank Bruno and Chris Eubank, whose speech on the flight of the bumblebee has to be heard to be believed.

NOW rating Four Stars

The best review I've read so far.

emmy

x

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From Indie London

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

ORLANDO Bloom may be well on the way to Hollywood super-stardom, thanks to impressive turns in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean, but he suffers a heavy blow in his latest - a particularly wretched boxing comedy, that is likely to leave viewers feeling punch-drunk and sick.

The Calcium Kid was actually filmed before Pirates of the Caribbean, and is designed as a mock-umentary about a milkman, come boxer, who unexpectedly lands a world title shot, despite never having boxed a competitive match.

Yet the film runs out of energy in round one, and becomes a testing experience for all but the most die-hard of Bloom’s fans.

To be fair to the actor, he is the most appealing thing about the film, as his unlikely hero, Jimmy Connelly, is quite an endearing character, but had it been released prior to Bloom’s success in bigger projects, it is doubtful whether he would be considered leading man material.

But then first-time feature director, Alex De Rakoff, provides little assistance, over-populating his film with genuinely disaffecting characters, and failing to strike a balance between what he wants from the overall experience.

The mock-umentary aspects of the film pale by comparison to the more polished likes of Best in Show or A Mighty Wind, while the uneven tone, which flits between comedy and violence, constantly undermines the flow of the film, to the extent that you’re not really sure what you’re watching.

There are elements of Rocky (emphasised by the use of that film’s theme music), as well as British gangster flicks, such as Lock, Stock, during the film’s ridiculous finale, but all of it fails to gel, and while there is a certain curiosity value in seeing how the ill-prepared Connelly will compete against World Champion boxer, Jose Mendez, the story is told in such a way that it makes it near-impossible to go the distance.

De Rakoff, who also serves as screenwriter, must shoulder a lot of the blame, for taking an original screenplay, by Raymond Friel and Derek Boyle, and turning it into such an unappealing mess.

The story, itself, could have been interesting, but is so badly handled, that it quickly becomes uninteresting, while the characters which populate it are terrible.

Omid Djalili’s self-obsessed boxing promoter, Herbie Bush, is indicative of the half-baked performances on show, coming across as a hopelessly stereotyped version of any sleazy promoter/Arthur Daly-type, while the likes of Rafe Spall, as Jimmy’s slobbish best friend, and David Kelly, as an eccentric old Irish trainer, simply serve to heighten the nausea value.

The film also marks the big screen debut of former pop star, Billy Piper, but viewers are asked to believe that Connelly could fall in love with her purely on the basis of a winning smile and an overly exposed cleavage; while boxer turned actor, Tamer Hassan, seems to spend the entire movie thinking he is in a Guy Ritchie production.

There is not a single redemptive feature about the project, which ends up as another spectacular misfire for the British film industry.

Bloom’s reputation probably won’t be too battered by this featherweight nonsense, but he would do well to avoid such career blows in the future.

Sunday Herald Online

Review by Demetrios Matheou

The Calcium Kid

Orlando Bloom seems to be conducting his career in reverse. Having become an overnight sensation overseas, first in New Zealand (Lord Of The Rings) and then Hollywood (Pirates), Bloom finally makes a low-budget, homegrown film – and may wish he’d stayed away.

He plays Jimmy Connelly, a south London milkman whose years spent drinking his own product have created bones so tough that, via a freakish accident, he is plucked from obscurity to contend for a boxing world title. While embracing the challenge, Jimmy’s naive spell under the celebrity spotlight alienates him from the community he loves.

There’s nothing wrong with attempting a comic version of Rocky; and Bloom plays innocence and startling stupidity very well indeed (he would make an excellent Candide). The problem is wholly with the execution: this is yet another British film in thrall to the Lock Stock school of cheeky chappies, C-list cameos (Chris Eubank and Frank Bruno), grating, laddish “humour” and whiplash, look-at-me editing. Thoroughly anaemic, The Calcium Kid is in need of milk, vitamin C and all manner of other nourishments.

Channel 4 Film

Orlando Bloom stars as Jimmy Connelly, a diffident milkman with an unlikely killer punch, in this south London knockabout comedy

Don't go to see this film expecting another Raging Bull. The Calcium Kid may have its pleasures, but this is a boxing movie with hardly any boxing. Where were the brutal uppercuts and floored, flawed characters? Where were the squished noses, the pyrrhic victories?

They may be lacking, but instead we get an engaging, cartoonish, hero in Bloom's Jimmy Connelly, and some quirky comedy. Connelly is a milkman with bones like concrete because of all the milk he drinks. This makes him impossible to knock out, and provides him with a truly lethal fist.

Connelly is training at his gym when Pete Wright (Hassan), the local challenger for the world middleweight crown, accidentally breaks his fist on Joe's face. Wright is due to face the world champ, Mexican José Mendez (Pena), in a fight promoted by his manager, local wide boy Herbie Bush (Djalili). Bush is desperate for a replacement to face Mendez, and puts Connelly up for the fight - even though he's an amateur with not a single bout under his belt.

But strange to say, there's really no drama here at all. Jimmy is a hapless boob at the centre of some silly events. He gets some perfunctory characterisation and some tacked-on character growth. But compared to any real boxer, he shows no aggression, no pluck, none of the will to win we associate with fighters, nor any of the hubris. He's just not very interesting.

It's not all bad, however. Bloom engages our sympathy and makes the best of his weak character. And many of the supporting characters are funny and well played, especially Djalili's diamond-geezer promoter, Herbie Bush. Tamer Hassan assays a convincing comedy psychopath in Pete Wright and Rafe Spall nearly steals the show as Jimmy's best mate, Stan, a chubby south London roughneck, who gets good, cheap laughs by assailing the local birds with filthy chat-up lines, getting into pub punch-ups and having a hit comedy rap record.

Verdict

Udderly predictable? Not quite.

Knockout entertainment? Not really

All emphasis mine. As with most of the reviews of Ned Kelly, they may not like the film, but they liked Orlando, which says something for his talent.

Dairwendan

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A positively glowing review from The Mirror! :wub:

THE CALCIUM KID

Kevin O'Sullivan At The Movies

Apr 30 2004

Cert 15, 89 mins 4/5 SEE IT

 

Do we still have a Milk Marketing Board? Who cares. But if the official pushers of Britain’s delicious dairy products continue to exist, they’re going to love The Calcium Kid.

When I was young, it seemed as though about 50 per cent of all TV adverts were aimed at persuading my parents to stuff my face with as much milk and as many eggs as possible. Pick up a pinta, go to work on an egg – oh, for those halcyon (or was it calcium?) days before we realised full-fat cream clogged the arteries to a heart attack inducing extent.

Jimmy Connelly is a throwback to the ’60s. He drinks three pints of milk every day and somehow this makes him healthy. Don’t try this at home kids. Mind you, Jimmy’s doing the job he was born for. He’s a milkman delivering his beloved cows’ juice to his happy customers on a South London estate.

In his spare time he works out at a local gym where he is offered the chance to spar with Britain’s highly promising contender for a world boxing title, tough guy of the ring Pete Wright.

Unfortunately, Jimmy’s enormous intake of milk has built up his calcium levels to such a degree that his rock hard bones are like tungsten. And when Pete attempts his first serious punch, his fist shatters on Jimmy’s cast iron forehead. To Pete’s unquenchable fury, his grudge match against visiting American champion Jose Mendez is off.

To make his money, hapless Jewish promoter Herbie Bush – hilariously played by Omid Djalili – needs a new opponent. Enter the bemused Mr Connelly who, because of his milk habit, Herbie immediately renames The Calcium Kid.

The Kid’s rigorous fitness regime includes his strict diet of fish and chips washed down by oceans of milk. His training is handled by his best mate Stan, triumphantly portrayed by laugh-a-minute Rafe Spall who also delivered the funniest performance in Shaun Of The Dead.

In the title role, the excellent Orlando Bloom contributes to the enormous charm of director Alex De Rakoff’s knock-out comedy.

American Oscar winner Michael Lerner adds his heavyweight credentials as Mendez’s fed-up manager, Frank Bruno makes a cameo and Mrs Chris Evans, aka Billie Piper, plays a glamour girl who wins Jimmy’s heart.

With the exception of another walk-on appearance from the ridiculous Chris Eubank, what more could you ask for?

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The Mail on Sunday 2.05.04

2 Stars (Secret Window got 2 also and Imagining Argentina got 1)

Most of what's wrong with The Calcium Kid can be found just below and to the right of the title: its 15 certificate.

Debut director Alex De Rakoff doesn't seem to have appreciated taht a story about a good looking young milkman who has drunk 3 pints of milk a day all his life so has rock-hard bones and unexpectedly gets a shot at he World Middleweight boxing title has pretty much all the ingredients for a feelgood family comedy. Particularly with everyones favourite elf, Orlando Bloom in the title role.

Instead, De Rakoff litters the mock-documentary with four letter words, a crude visual gag that would make a Hobbit blush, and fails to see the potential in the talented Billy Piper. 'Can I have my knockers back?' is her most memorable contribution. But Bloom is pretty good and there is a decent support from OMid Djalili, who plays shady promoter Herbie Bush, and former boxer Tamer Hassan as the boxer whose broken hand gives the Calcium Kid his big chance.

There is the cute picture of Orlando with the caption Bottle Stopper!

:boxing:

Hope to see it again next weekend B)

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That reviewer for the Mail is very astute. The Calcium Kid probably would have been more successful as a family comedy, with certain words and That Scene removed.

I hope Alex De Rakoff doesn't get so disgusted with the reviews that he stops reading them before seeing this one.

Of course, the 15 rating is not Orlando's fault.

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Mmf. When it comes down to it, those who are fans of Orlando will go and see it no matter what, which is I guess what matters. It's a shame in a way - I can see where the critics are coming from, though I personally enjoyed it. I've read bad reviews of films I love, including LotR, I hope people will go along to make up their own minds.

I reckon it's worth it just for seeing Orlando in a different kind of role.

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A favorable review!!! From the Star Online eCentral Video Review from Malaysia Entertainment. I bolded the best part. :shiny:

The Calcium Kid

Cast: Orlando Bloom, Omid Djalili, David Kelly, Michael Pena, Rafe Spall, Tamer Hassan and Billie Piper

Running Time: 115 minutes

Distributor: Berjaya HVN

Reviewer: Philip Augustine

IF you like British sport comedies (Bend it Like Beckham, Mean Machine) you’re going to love The Calcium Kid.

Filmed as a mockumentary, it follows the exploits of two hapless filmmakers as they try to record the build-up to a match between British contender Pete Wright (Hassan) and the arrogant, overbearing American middleweight champion Jose Mendez (Pena).

The match is arranged by a small-time boxing manager, Herbie Bush (Djalili), to whom it’s a life-or-death matter. However, during a sparring session a week before the match, Wright breaks his hand while training against Jimmy Connelly (Bloom), a milkman who is helping out at the gym.

Bush, who is desperate to find a replacement, signs on Connelly to replace Wright. The filmmakers turn their attention on Connelly, now dubbed “The Calcium Kid”, following him around his milk rounds and his daily life.

It turns out that the innocent Connelly is a firm believer in the goodness of milk, having been taught to drink three pints of it a day since his childhood days, thus making his bones hard as steel.

We are also introduced to people in Connelly's life, his violent rapper-wannabe best mate Stan (Spall) and his mum, a massage therapist. He also has a trainer, the elderly, constantly drunk Paddy O’Flannagan (Kelly).

Connelly also has to deal with his newfound fame, a lust-crazed stalker and a blooming romance with beauty queen Angel (a cameo by pop star Piper).

The acting here is passable but fans of Bloom will lap up this post The Lord of the Rings cinematic outing. He does a nice turn as the slightly ditzy, but kind-hearted Connelly. The rest of the cast also do well in their respective roles, especially Djalili as the manipulative Bush.

Whether you’re an Orlando Bloom fan or not, this is one comedy definitely worth watching, if only to reaffirm your belief in the tenacity of the underdog and that – to quote Connelly – “you should always believe in your dreams, because they might come true”.

~Cathy~

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Not really a proper review, but I did see a short review of CK in "The Daily Mail" on Saturday, as it's being shown on Sky Movies in the UK at the moment.

The review said that the film was "Slight but often funny" most of the laughs coming from the sayings of Jimmie's absent father and Omid Djalili. May not seem like much but I just thought how I'm almost certain that the Mail didn't like it at all when it came out. Perhaps reviews have softened to it now they see it as light entertainment. Sometimes I think that reviewers have to justify their own existance/importance by writing about new films as if they are of grave importance

tatoola

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