David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

TOP 25 DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY
These scores are compiled from a combination of our in-house rating system and user ratings. Only UK work from the last two years is considered.
 1. Daniel Landin 80.1%  
 2. Steve Annis 78.9%  
 3. Simon Chaudoir 78.9%  
 4. Justin Brown 78.4%  
 5. Luke Jacobs 78.3%  
 6. Joost van Gelder 77.6%  
 7. Alex Barber 77.6%  
 8. David Procter 76.9%  
 9. Franz Lustig 76.8%  
 10. Mattias Nyberg 76.5%  
 11. Carl Burke 76.3%  
 12. Jean-Noël Mustonen 75.7%  
 13. Antonio Paladino 75.3%  
 14. Tim Maurice-Jones 74.9%  
 15. Ian Murray 74.8%  
 16. Oliver Schofield 74.8%  
 17. Bob Pendar-Hughes 74.7%  
 18. Ben Magahy 74.6%  
 19. Tom Townend 74.4%  
 20. Richard Mott 73.6%  
 21. Christopher Sabogal 73.6%  
 22. Martin Hill 73.4%  
 23. Jallo Faber 73.3%  
 24. Ben Todd 73.2%  
 25. Jim Jolliffe 72.9%  
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Five Star Work

Sport England
"This Girl Can Returns"
90s
24 Feb 2017
The bedrock of the long-awaited second instalment of Sport England's 'This Girl Can' campaign is provided by Maya Angelou's mischievous reading of her own poem 'Phenomenal Woman'. It's a perfect fit for the everywoman approach which drew so many plaudits for the original film... also directed by Somesuch's Kim Gehrig.

Eurostar
"Travel State of Mind"
60s
20 Feb 2017
There’s plenty of joie de vivre in this 60” ad for Eurostar. These travellers discover what can happen when you just say qui. A lot, as it happens - you’ve just got to have the right mindset. Long lunches, lost and found love, and discovering one’s dancing shoes… sod the itinerary and just roll with it.

Top Gear
"Risk Assessment"
90s
22 Feb 2017
This amusing trail for the latest series of Top Gear sees presenters Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid face a grilling in the BBC insurance department. The humourless pen-pusher (he’s stingy with biscuits, as well) has some concerns about the programme’s impending return. It’s safe to say these three aren’t the ones to ease them.

Leo Vegas
"Double Vegas"
90s
21 Feb 2017
It turns out that Leo Vegas is such a vast online casino it needs not one but two brand ambassadors. We're already familiar with the suave yet faintly menacing lion... and now another familiar visage joins him. It's the perfectly-named Johnny Vegas - and boy, what a bonus he proves to be. Having "bigged it up" in the audition, he finds himself slightly out of his depth - and we can't look away.

EDEKA
"EATKARU / Icarus"
2 mins 35s
17 Feb 2017
German supermarket EDEKA caught the imagination in 2015 with their darkly touching Christmas ad about lonely relatives. Now they’re tackling another, erm, weighty subject: obesity. A boy despairs as his family gorges on an unidentified substance that makes gruel look appetising. When he spots a bird flying away, he's inspired to expand his palate.

McDonald's McCafé
"Madness"
60s
20 Feb 2017
When did a cup of joe become so complicated? The sheer variety of sizes, roasts, and finishes available is enough to leave anyone’s head spinning. So this entertaining McDonald’s McCafé ad offers salvation for all those who - in the face of overwhelming choice - have ever uttered the phrase: “I just want a coffee”.

BNP Paribas
"The Day After"
90s
17 Feb 2017
This French BNP Paribas commercial will bring back painful memories for some - or hazy ones, at best. A man wakes up in a hotel hot tub after a night involving, erm, chainmail. Alas, it’s far from the suite life. Only hotel CCTV can piece together whatever happened here.

Diesel
"Make Love Not Walls"
1 min 38s
15 Feb 2017
This film launching Diesel's 'Make Love Not Walls' campaign is hopeful, surreal, and flamboyant. But then, it's directed by famed photographer and Warhol protégé David LaChapelle, so why would we expect anything different? It stars 'bad boy of ballet' Sergei Polunin, who wanders through a wasteland until he comes across a mysterious wall (no word as to whether Mexico paid for it).

Finish
"Combinations"
40s
14 Feb 2017
Finish’s ‘Who Cleans The Cleaner?’ campaign continues to stand tall in this sector. This latest instalment focuses on, erm, fusion cuisine. Caesar salad and orange jelly, scrambled eggs with cat food, baby milk and tuna bake… no, it’s not a Heston Blumenthal set menu, it’s just some of the unedifying things that nestle beside one another in the dishwasher.

Johnnie Walker
"This Land is Your Land"
1 min 40s
14 Feb 2017
This spirit-lifting ad for Johnnie Walker functions as both declaration of intent and rebuttal to the current political climate across the pond. It features a timely remake of Woody Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land', sung in both English and Spanish by funk band Chicano Batman. The upbeat melody and lyrics sound joyful - a bold statement of identity as the band roam the streets of California in all its multicultural glory.

Hallmark Cards
"Hannah & Henry"
2 mins 02s
10 Feb 2017
This commercial for Hallmark has a sly twist which - if heeded - could massively boost the sales of the card company's Valentine's offerings. It charts the burgeoning love affair between two people who work in the same building. Painfully unaware of a mutual attraction, they appear likely to opt for love of the unrequited variety.

Instrumentarium
"Eternal Love"
66s
13 Feb 2017
Just in time for the most romantic day of the year, Finnish eyewear retailer Instrumentarium bring us a touching story of enduring love. An elderly couple have been married for decades when the husband brings home some new specs for himself and his missus. What follows isn't exactly love at first sight...

Kia
"Hero's Journey"
60s
2 Feb 2017
It's impossible to write about this funny commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl without noting that its star - Melissa McCarthy - catapulted herself into the front line of the battle against tyranny the same weekend. Her unforgiving impersonation of Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer during 'Saturday Night Live' was a perfect demonstration of the power of ridicule.

BBC
"Every Element of Wonder"
50s
9 Feb 2017
Olivia Colman covers Tom Lehrer’s ‘The Elements’ with a BBC twist in this colourful promo. Replacing the elements of the periodic table are programmes designed to stimulate the ol’ grey matter. Who said learning had to be dull? Directors weareflink match Colman’s pacy delivery with a cubic spectacle.

Michelin
"I Need You"
1 min 34s
9 Feb 2017
The Michelin Man takes a back seat in this engaging commercial. The mascot has typically appeared as a jolly CGI creation, but not here. Instead, his likeness becomes a reassuring sign on the road - just what these particular motorists need.

GambleAware
"Online"
60s
9 Feb 2017
Online gambling can have hidden dangers beyond losing a few quid on the outcome of a football match, and this unsettling ad for GambleAware brings that home hard. The key to this film is a masterful vocal performance, as a man sitting on a young woman's desk speaks her inner thoughts aloud while she tries not to give in to the urge to gamble.

VoteVets
"Exercise"
30s
7 Feb 2017
How do the dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporters - who've managed to rationalise their way past their man's hot-headed stupidity, in-your-face corruptness, blatant racism and appalling sexism - turn a blind eye to this raw appeal from VoteVets? It doesn't condemn Trump. It gives him a chance. It reminds him of his promises and his responsibilities and asks for a response.

UNICEF
"Harry and Ahmed"
2 mins 05s
8 Feb 2017
This thoughtful UNICEF film reminds us that time doesn’t necessarily heal everything. Harry and Ahmed are separated by decades, yet united by hardship. Side by side, the two describe their respective ordeals. Faces, countries, and technologies may change, but the language of suffering remains the same. When Harry and Ahmed’s stories overlap, the humbling effect is compounded.

Mooncup
"A Period Drama"
74s
7 Feb 2017
Fans of barechested scything drama Poldark will enjoy this affectionate spoof. Squint your eyes and these two could be stars Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson on horseback. They exchange tender glances, but time is of the essence. Riding across the moors at full speed, they finally reach their destination… though we’re not in the eighteenth century anymore.

Paddy Power
"Coach Driver"
60s
6 Feb 2017
Paddy Power pay tribute to another unsung hero: a long-suffering coach driver who ferries football fans to and from matches. There are some lovely omedy beats in this ad, from the lacklustre delivery of the driver's own version of 4 Non Blondes' 'What’s Up?' to the introduction of 'Big Fat Phil' - who gets left behind when the coach stops for its passengers to, uh, water the grass behind some bushes.

Mexican Avocados
"Secret Society"
1 min 40s
2 Feb 2017
In this age of leaks, spoilers, and whistleblowers, clandestine organisations have it tougher than ever. Avocados from Mexico’s amusing Super Bowl commercial highlights the difficulty in keeping things under wraps. One can’t help feel sorry for this concerned leader as his acolytes vex him with supposed leaks.

Squarespace
"John Malkovich"
50s
2 Feb 2017
John Malkovich has built his reputation on being other, gently menacing versions of himself. And even as he turns from acting to fashion design, some things don't change. This Super Bowl campaign for website building service SquareSpace shows him trying to maintain his cool on discovering someone has already taken the domain name JohnMalkovich.com.

Barbie
"Dads"
75s
1 Feb 2017
We’ve known for a while that the Barbie world is changing. Having laid the groundwork in 2015’s charming ‘Imagine the Possibilities’ film, the brand now get the dads involved. “I’m a typical man’s man”, states dad number one. Not that his daughter is fussed. All that matters is having a dad to play with. What follows is a charming montage of fathers and daughters letting their imaginations guide them.

Jaguar
"Perfect Corner"
75s
1 Feb 2017
Jaguar have a case of the bends in this attractive commercial. Bends in the road, of course. The premium brand suggests any car can drive around a corner - doing it in an F-Type Jag is another matter. Flitting between slow motion to full-on thrust and power, we’re given an artful demonstration of the car’s form.

Gillette
"Honest Player"
60s
1 Feb 2017
Jim Telfer’s speech during the 1997 Lions tour in South Africa propels this stirring Gillette ad. It’s the kind of voice you daren’t talk back to, only absorb what’s being said. He outlines what it means to be a rugby player in no uncertain terms - standards for George North’s generation to live up to. An ideal appetiser for this year’s Six Nations and Lions action.

Five Star Work

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