I love watching, collecting and talking about movies it’s my passion – 2017 has been an exciting year in film, unlike many I’m not one of these people who make an end of year list based around whether a female directed a movie, a person of color appeared in a movie or a certain film carries a message that I should find important enough to place it on my list NO that’s not how this guy rolls My Top 15 Movies of 2017 are movies that have excited me but they are mostly movies that I have enjoyed the shit out of regardless of what political correct nonsense some people come out with – My Number One movie of 2017 is Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 Villeneuve’s scope his imagination and his ability to transfer all of this to the screen is nothing short of magical, not many movies in recent times have given me the chills from start to finish but Blade Runner 2049 did – and what can I say about Jennifer Lawrence in Aronofsky’s exceptional, weird as bat shit Mother it’s one of the truly great performances in the last 20yrs and a film that’s helmed by a visionary who’s never afraid to take us on a journey into the darkness of his soul, Mother nailed that Number Two slot – and making up My Top Three is the fantastic Wonder Woman with the beautiful, sexy Gal Gadot kicking some ass in one of the best origin stories to hit our screens – to those of you who have come across me on social media or may have visited us at absolutebadasses from time to time may we wish you all a Happy New Year and may 2018 be a healthy one to you and yours….. #LoveMovies
What’s it all about: “The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger”
Having read READY PLAYER ONE well over 2yrs ago I like most fans have been waiting for this moment for what has seemed like an eternity – a film trailer for the movie based on the book by cinema’s greatest filmmaker STEVEN SPIELBERG and finally it’s here – if like me you love your scifi, your a fan of the gaming world of yesteryear such as Dungeons & Dragons and you enjoy a good old trip down 80s memory lane then hold onto your hats – in March 2018 Spielberg’s returning to the family blockbuster arena with a story that’s so much fun, so out of this word and one that’s jam packed with 80s pop culture your mind will completely frazzle – along with Steven Spielberg directing the movie I am so excited to see what the legendary cinematographer Janusz Kamiński does with it’s landscape, his work on Saving Private Ryan and Munich stand out but for me Catch Me If You Can is as good a movie Kamiński ever done – let’s hope Ready Player One goes one better – the film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance and lands on March 30th – enjoy the trailer….
“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of Diana Prince aka: Wonder Woman to help find a group of meta humans in the hope that they will help fight an even greater enemy”
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Connie Nielsen, JK Simmons, Ciaran Hinds, Jeremy Irons
Having recently watched the 4 most recent films in the DC Comic Book Universe I was pretty excited to visit my local cinema and watch the latest Zack Snyder movie on IMAX 3D and yep it was everything I expected and more…..
OK where to start: JUSTICE LEAGUE may not be as polished as Wonder Woman, deep and meaningful as Man of Steel or Epic in scale as Batman VS Superman but instead what you get is a comic movie driven by it’s colorful characters, humorous dialogue and chaotic action scenes – there’s a haunting, beautifully sung version of “Everybody Knows” by the Norwegian songstress Sigrid it’s actually quite emotional, the storyline and lyrics merge in your mind, there’s 2 fun after credit scenes that’s worth sticking around for especially that 2nd one WOW did not see that coming and don’t get me started on some of those kick ass fight scenes – For me Justice League is similar in vein to Ayer’s Suicide Squad it’s one of them films that doesn’t try to be something it’s not, it doesn’t require much in the way of brain power instead requires you to sit back, geek out and have some good old fashioned movie fun, after all this 2 hour slice of comic book absurdity is exactly why I love these movies just let yourself be transported into a world you’ve only witnessed on a page, there’s too much darkness in life so lighten up and enjoy – surely watching Jason Momoa’s Aquaman flying through the air, flirting with Batman and giving the bad guys what for is reason enough to put a smile on your face, I’ve been a huge fan of the big man’s since Game of Thrones and in Aquaman he may have found his calling – another character emerging from Justice League with flying colors is Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Miller gives the speedster this quirky somewhat innocent twist and some of the movie’s highlights revolve around him – of course along with the newbies the old guard do a great job Affleck’s Batman is as good as I’ve seen the character in my lifetime, Gadot looks like she’s been playing Wonder Woman all her life – effortless and full of confidence, Adams shows plenty of emotion and looks simply stunning and Henry Cavill even with those dodgy CGI scenes is getting better with each movie as Clark Kent aka: Superman – Overall: not much in the way of criticism here except that I would have liked to have seen more of J.K. Simmons Commisioner Gordon and maybe on a selfish note another half hour runtime (there’s always an Ultimate Edition to look forward too – wishful thinking) – Justice League is not a masterpiece in any shape or form BUT what it does it does perfectly well and that’s ENTERTAIN and at the end of the day if this guy walks out of the cinema with a big smile on his lips then that’s all that matters #TeamJusticeLeague ★★★★
Since 2000’s Charlies Angels filmmaker McG has made a career of directing a pretty mixed bag of average and films bordering on quality but has never taken his movie to a place bordering greatness – take the Kevin Costner actioner 3 Days to Kill and 2006’s football movie We are Marshall both solid likeable movies that I enjoyed immensely – but with McG the Jekyll & Hyde of filmmakers there’s always the bad and in my opinion one of his worst movies This Means War and the dreadfully average Terminator Salvation are two examples of McG’s Hyde coming out to play – so going into 2017’s The Babysitter I was really unsure which McG was gona turn up?
Stars Samara Weaving, Judah Lewis, Robbie Amell, Hana Mae Lee and Bella Thorne – Storyline When Cole (Judah Lewis) stays up past his bedtime, he discovers that his hot babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving) is involved in something that will change his life forever.
FINALLY IT’S HERE a movie that McG has knocked out of the park, a picture for all (well maybe not all) to really SAVOUR – The Babysitter is an absolute stonking blast from start to finish and I can now see why Brian Duffield’s script was on the Black List for the Best unproduced Hollywood script it truly is a cracking cocktail of black humor, blood soaked horror and a slasher-esque Home Alone style invasion movie that just doesn’t stop entertaining – it’s got a wickid young cast, some wild frantic chase scenes, a steamy kiss to beat all steamy kisses and some sharp witty dialogue, it’s superbly shot and has an awesome soundtrack DO YOURSELF a favour and check THE BABYSITTER out on Netflix – it’s a real killer !! ★★★★
It’s been 4 long years since Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World graced our screen’s so boy it’s great to see him back – yes I know our favourite Norse God has appeared in the Avengers: Age of Ultron and had a small cameo in Doctor Strange but for me personally there’s nothing quite like seeing your comicbook superhero’s in their own picture, on the big screen with an audience full of exciting anticipation
“Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.”
So down to the movie, firstly it’s the third film in the Thor franchise and it’s directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi – who the hell’s he I can hear you say? well he’s the guy responsible for that delightful, gorgeous little movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople one of my favourite movies of last year and if you’ve not seen it then please do so – whether it was Taika Waititi’s māori sense of humor or the writers fresh approach the whole movie gave off a rather unique vibe, it almost felt entirely a comedy and certainly the most humor I’ve seen in a Marvel picture for me personally this was a bonus – Thor: Ragnarok is full of the most ridiculous, colourful characters – Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is no doubt the pick of the bunch, his big eye’s tinged with blue eye liner, dressed in a gold, blue & red gown lent marvellously to this wacky Willy Wonka appearance, Goldblum really looked in his elements – we also get to meet some other comicbook favourite’s such as Kork a huge creature made of crumbling rock & Surtur a firey demon voiced by none other than Clancy Brown – the scenes between The Hulk and Thor are witty and at times downright hilarious and their battle in the arena is a riot – Cate Blanchett breathes life into Hela with an elegant menace, her voice and costume is devoured by the actress who is simply perfect as the movies villain – Westworld’s Tessa Thompson who plays the warrior Valkyrie is sublime, so bewitching, totally badass with that confident swagger and cocky attitude but as Loki found out to his cost Valkyrie can also fight with the best of them
Overall: Thor: Ragnarok is the easily best Thor movie to date, it entertains with it’s sharp witted narrative, allowing it’s cast to have fun, it’s almost as if the cast ripped up the script and improvised their way through proceedings – this movie will undoubtedly divide opinion with some diehard MCU fans not liking this all comedy approach, but remember those with short memories Iron Man 3 was exactly the same, full of humor except it was poorly written or handled abysmally by Downey Jr – this can’t be said for Thor: Ragnarok a modern blockbuster that has a refreshing feel to it, sending me into joyous rapture for it’s 2hr plus runtime and like the majority of the packed cinema I laughed, smiled and clapped my way through it all – oh yeah and don’t forget it’s rocking soundtrack, another fun Stan Lee cameo and 2 small but intriguing after credit scenes ★★★★
After watching Bone Tomahawk back in 2015 my anticipation for the next S. Craig Zahler movie grew feverpitch, his simple style blended with a cult laid cast pumped with an explosive violent finale had me wondering how can this realatively new filmmaker top what I have classed as an instant cult classic? Well it only took 2 years and I had my answer BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 is intoxicating in it’s execution, it’s sublime storytelling, it’s trade mark gut wrenching finale but most of all it’s one hell of a performance from Vince Vaughan as Bradley Thomas an ex-con boxer trying to make a living in any way which he can to provide for his wife and their unborn baby when all shit rains down and things get really ugly – Zahler’s writing and filmmaking style is kept simple but engaging, his use of character invention is spectacular almost Tarantino-esque, he knows how to deliver these weird, wonderful & downright nasty son of bitches to the screen, casting old pro’s such as Don Johnson to bring home key roles in his movies, and what about the great Udo Kier as the mysterious Placid Man, Kier’s role maybe small but it’s so pivotel and I can’t think of anyone I would rather play that role, Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter gives a good turn as Bradley’s wife and Buffy’s Marc Blucas is eye catching as Bradley’s boss – but essentially Brawl in Cell Block 99 is Vince Vaughan’s movie, it’s a role that’s truly up there with some of the memorable film roles of all time, such as Travolta’s Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in The Shining and more, Vaughan at times prowls the screen like The Duke did back in the old western’s of yesteryear, his wrestling background and stature is used by Zahler to great effect giving his character this imposing look who carries this quiet yet unsettling demeanor, for me a bit like Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, those fight scenes in the last 40mins are quite something….
So to be very clear Brawl in Cell Block 99 is not for everyone, if you hate violence & don’t like to hear bone crunching sounds or watch torture and all sorts of blood curdling tear ups then please stay well clear of this movie – but if like me you like your films hard hitting with slices of no nonsense movie escapism then you will revel in this brutal uncompromising cult classic – now I only have to wait till next year for S. Craig Zahler next movie the epic titled Dragged Across Concrete that stars Mel Gibson & Vince Vaughan, my mouth is drooling already…. ★★★★½
AMERICAN MADE (2017) : Doug Liman
Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons
on the Movie Screen TOM CRUISE has few equals, the man is a bonefied action star, a charasmastic movie magnet, a film icon and in my eyes one of the Greatest Movie Stars that’s ever lived – ok so now I have that off my chest what did I make of his second movie with filmaker Doug Liman AMERICAN MADE is a film based around a true story of pilot come drug runner Barry Seal – films that fly under the radar & deliver the goods are few and far between yet American Made succeeds big time – from the time I sat in my seat in the jam packed screening to it’s final credits time flew – there’s a darkness, a terrifying story being told yet you can’t help but smile, laugh and at time clap your way through proceedings, the pace is electric, the locations pleasing on the eye and attention to detail superb – it seems Liman and Cruise are a match made in movie heaven and with this being there second picture together only whets the lips for a third ★★★★
BLADE RUNNER 2049 : Denis Villeneuve
Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis
In 1982 Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was one of my first Science Fiction crushes, it’s still in My Top 20 movies of all time so when I heard a sequel was coming, I was sceptical but then something changed….. it was announced that Canadian filmmaker Denis VILLENEUVE was set to direct, the talent behind some of my favorite movies in recent years Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario and Arrival and I instantly knew that this film when it arrived would be worthy of the name Blade Runner – and as I’m sat here typing my thoughts, still giddy with the excitment felt viewing the movie for the second time with a little Hans Zimmer playing in the background I’m actually struggling to find the words on how bloody great Blade Runner 2049 actually is – it’s a picture that’s more than a homage laid sci-fi sequel, this is filmmaking on a grand scale, Deakins use of color and light is quite overwhelming, a small but fine example of this is them early scenes between K and Morton, the way the scene is lit, it’s mood that’s transformed to the screen adds greatly to this tense, titanic and very relevant encounter – along with the movies obvious masterclass in sound & imagery Blade Runner 2049 is a film that carries a wicked cast, with 4 amazing ladies hugging the limelight and making this sequel extra special – Ana de Armas is eye catching as hologram Joi, so much so you start to believe she’s actually real – Mackenzie Davis is simply WOW as street girl Mariette with her homage strewn outfit and amazing hairstyle – and then there’s Lt. Joshi a tough ass cop played by the remakable Robin Wright who’s perfectly cast and last but not least Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks who is MESMERISING as Niander Wallace’s creation Luv, she’s quite the badass and those scenes with K near the end of the movie are so unbelievable I left half my finger nails in the arm of the chair – Overall Blade Runner 2049 is not only the best movie sequel since Cameron’s Aliens it’s also a thought provoking slice of original storytelling that sucks you in, captivates and excites like no other movie has this year ★★★★½