A mob hitman tells the story of his possible involvement with the hit on Jimmy Hoffa – THE IRISHMAN is Martin Scorsese’s 25th feature film and is now on Netflix (and showing at limited cinema’s throughout the country) – the movie starts in beautiful, typical Scorsese fashion, with the camera creeping effortlessly along some corridors and into a small room where Robert De Niro’s character Frank aka: The Irishman who looks old and life beaten starts to tell his story….. due to the quality of storytelling the film’s 209min run-time flies by, you get so engrossed by it all, I mean this is one of cinema’s greatest directors with a bunch of actors who are LEGENDS of the screen in a gangster movie no less what’s not to piss your movie loving pants over – THE IRISHMAN is a towering movie experience that shows more restraint, is more personal & certainly more tragic than Scorsese’s recent films – the de-aging of it’s cast is sublime and actually mind blowing if you’ve followed these actors since their early days, De Niro, Pacino and Pesci roll back the years giving outstanding performances with the likes of Stephen Graham & Ray Romano joining the big boys league in fine fashion, Graham’s character Tony Pro has some riveting and funny exchanges with Pacino’s Hoffa that are certainly amongst the film’s highlights – Overall The Irishman may not be Scorsese’s best work but a love letter to the genre & a tribute to Four Giants of the screen it most certainly is ★★★★½
Cop Land, 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine, Logan and now FORD v FERRARI James Mangold’s thrill ride, a 7,000 RPM adrenaline fueled, pulsating ENERGY packed racing movie that sees Matt Damon deliver a career best, Christian Bale in infectious form, Caitriona Balfe delivering one of the film’s best moments and the race scenes WOW their pure dynamite – for me 2019 is the best year of the decade for cinematic treasures and this film continues the trend in leaving me speechless and rather emotional as I left my seat at the big screen – obviously the Le Mans track has changed through the years since the 60s so how on earth did James Mangold and his team recreate the movies focal point? it’s just mind boggling, the camera work by the Greek cinematographer Phedon Papamichael is sublime, his work in creating that claustrophobic yet thrilling car racing scenes is pure brilliance but for me the main reason this movie succeeds is it’s cast who are simply magnetic – what a movie and a ride you don’t wana miss on the big screen ★★★★★
Three astronomers intercept what they believe to be a signal from a distant alien civilization, but the truth is even more incredible than any of them could have imagined – COSMOS is one of those rare breed of movies that I knew very little about, I had not even seen a trailer, poster or movie still for this movie so to say I was blown away was putting it mildly – the film is fascinating as the main bulk of Cosmos is set mainly inside a car and some creepy woods that surround the area, with this in mind the three actors (Tom England, Arjun Singh Panam & Joshua Ford) do an immense job in keeping you invested in the movies story line as the atmosphere slowly builds to a frenetic crescendo – the friendship between Roy & Harry and their backstory was well written and integral to their overall story arc and a few of my favorite bits in the movie included the Jaws like sing-along moment, Mike falling asleep and then waking up to find the car empty and those moments when the guys are out in the woods attempting to triangulate the signal (genuine edge of the bloody seat moment) – Elliot & Zander Weaver have crafted a tense and incredibly entertaining movie that captivates you from minute one – the film’s score is dramatic and quite sublime, the writing is top notch and it’s cast are pure quality – I can’t think of a better Indie Movie this year so if you get the chance watch COSMOS it’s brilliant ★★★★½
So last week I was luck enough to revisit one of my favorite horror movies of all time Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining on the big screen and today I visited my local cinema to watch Doctor Sleep and let me tell you something IT is nothing short of EXCEPTIONAL !! This is director Mike Flanagan’s love letter to the Torrance family & all things that shine, how he managed to recreate such iconic sets such as the spine chilling blood from the elevator scene, Danny exploring the hotel on his tricycle, the room to room interior of the Overlook, those scary twins and of course the overheard camera following Danny’s car up towards the Overlook accompanied by that haunting score God Only Knows – Ewan McGregor is terrific as Danny Torrence, Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat & her power draining cult known as the True Knot are so bloody scary, reminding me slightly of the roaming blood suckers in Bigelow’s Near Dark – some of their scenes especially the one that involved No.19 the young baseball player scared the hell out of me whilst the incredible Alex Essoe literally sent shivers down my spine with her remarkable performance as Wendy Torrence – Overall Doctor Sleep is a cinematic triumph that pays homage to it’s predecessor whilst creating a creepy atmosphere & super scary horror of it’s own !! ★★★★★
FORGET about TERMINATOR Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys these metal imposters are incredibly average when you compare them to Tim Miller’s latest chapter in the Terminator Franchise – DARK FATE starts with the pace of a freight train, the action pieces are quite brilliant and the eye popping special effects should be x-rated THEY ARE AWESOME !! I loved the way both Grace and Rev-9 are introduced, in typical Terminator fashion there are great flashes of light but also in the case of Rev-9 we get to see a frozen snap of items surrounding the robots entrance this is quite beautiful momentarily until it they all shatter, the camera work on these scenes especially the Rev-9s introduction is superb.
What’s apparent from the films start to it’s explosive finale is Tim Miller’s admiration for James Cameron and his 1984 Terminator and it’s sequel Judgement Day – if your a fan of both movies then DARK FATE will take you on a subtle walk down memory lane with old and new character interaction and moments that are obvious homages to these two great pieces of science fiction – It’s also a masterstroke bringing back Linda Hamilton, her iconic role of Sarah Connor IS BACK and boy she looks in incredible shape, her physical appearance is truly impressive and it’s great to see her and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing some screen time again.
If your a fan of both James Cameron movies then TERMINATOR: DARK FATE will be a hugely enjoyable ride – I loved watching Hamilton, Davis and Reyes kicking some metal ass and as for Gabriel Luna’s super scary Rev-9 HOLY SHIT he may have just surpassed the T-1000 as the franchises second best villain after of course Arnie’s Terminator – Tim Miller deserves all the plaudits for re-igniting this much loved franchise, his ability to direct action with a certain amount of humor and cannon fueled intensity is once again present on the big screen, I for one can’t wait to buy another ticket ★★★★
Some actors make other actors and the films they appear in look better than they actually are Robert Forster was one of those, an honest hard working pro that no matter how big a part he had in that particular movie he always stood out and made that scene memorable – many knew him for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown but this New Yorker has been around since the late 60’s appearing in hidden gems throughout his career such as: 1978’s Avalanche, 1980’s monster movie Alligator, William Lustig’s brilliant Vigilante, one of my favourites Walking the Edge, Renny Harlin’s Cleaner and so many more – his latest film had just aired on Netflix where he played Ed in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie he only had limited screen time in the film but what he did with it mattered and that basically sums up the screen career of Robert Forster…… may you rest in peace !!
I have never seen Misery, Relief & Hatred captured so magnificently than in Todd Phillips JOKER – Over the years I have been lucky enough to watch every movie JOKER on the big screen and they have all been good for different reasons YET in my opinion they are all pale imitation’s of the DC character when you compare them to Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the madman of Gotham – the intensity that Phoenix brings to the role is immense, it’s a whirlwind of crazy, one that is quite terrifying to watch – The film has so many evocative scenes and it’s also possibly the best movies I can remember with night time scenes, all beautifully shot by cinematographer Lawrence Sher who also did great work on Phillips 2016 movie War Dogs – My Opinion: This is no ordinary comic book movie it’s essentially a character study, a thought provoking piece on how one of the great comic book villains came to be, it touches on mental health issues, bullying and is very dark and incredibly moving – it’s well worth putting on your happy face and visiting your local cinema NOW ★★★★★