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directed by Joseph Bull, Luke Seomore
UK/Italy 2014


After their farm goes under during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001 and their father commits suicide, elder son Adam (Barry Ward, JIMMY'S HALL) flees to the city working transient jobs with relationships that last just as long, scrounging bars before closing time to get drunk off of what's left in glasses at empty tables in order to sleep. Ten years after leaving, he receives a phone call from his younger brother Aiden with the ultimatum to come home for the birth of his first child or not come back at all. With no money and few possessions, Adam begins the journey home from London, revisiting old haunts and finding friends (former and some still grudgingly current) and family have moved on without him. As he gets nearer to home, the weight of past secrets and unresolved emotions makes the lure of his empty existence - as well as the faint possibility of something more with current girlfriend Haley (Hayley Squires, COMPLICIT) - a temptation stronger than reconnecting with his love ones. His cousin's (Keith McErlean) misguided attempt to seek help for him from reformed "sinner" Debo (Jimmy Akingbola, TV's HOLBY CITY) has him believing more than ever that God has abandoned him (even if only in the symbolic sense).

Produced in collaboration with Gucci of all companies, BLOOD CELLS is a striking low-key British drama about a man whose self-imposed exile has him living on the margins of the marginalized of British society. The degree of joylessness in Adam's existence seems overwrought until the viewer comes to realize that this self-exile is not just an escape from difficult emotions but a form of self-punishment which leads him to agreeing to easy money schemes with his girlfriend that are humiliating and leave him feeling empty (it also makes sense of the seemingly roundabout trajectory of his journey). Ward is excellent in what is mostly a one man show, with good support from performers who are naturalistic rather than showy in smaller roles. If the ending turn seems a bit abrupt, it is because Adam's depth of despair is such that it would seem just as natural for the film to end on an even darker note.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 17 August 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Garden Thieves Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Garden Thieves Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:25:42

2.40:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 3.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Garden Thieves Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.40:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: August 17th, 2015

Chapters 1





As with other Garden Thieves releases, this is a very basic DVD-R with no menu or chapter stops (this is indeed the final retail product, not a screener). The anamorphic, progressive image of this Panavision feature is given a lower bitrate encode. The results look good on a smaller monitor but only okay on larger screens (and the visually striking film deserves better). I'm not sure about the original mix configuration, but the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track gets the job done (there is a second track for some reason, and it seems to be identical).

  - Eric Cotenas


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Garden Thieves Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC


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