When Lt. Artemis and her team of soldiers are taken from home into the belly of a new world, they find themselves in a battle for survival against an enemy with incredible size and power…. based on the video game by Capcom : take a pinch of Predator, Aliens and Starship Troopers and allow Resident Evil’s Paul WS Anderson to orchestrate proceedings and you’ve got this action fueled adventure movie MONSTER HUNTER : I’m of the camp that Anderson should direct all game to screen movies, alongside his real life wife and superstar action hero Milla Jovovich who always injects passion and so much energy into her roles they truly are the dreamteam of this style of action mayhem : like most of Anderson’s endeavours the entertainment is breakneck, the effects are staggering and the scenery including sand dunes and rock formations help create an amazing backdrop to which the film is set : I love the cast including Ron Perlman and the terrific Tony Jaa, boy that bone crunching fight scene with Milla is incredible, the most unlikely yet inspiring screen pairing both trying to boss the other and eventually earn each others respect is SUPERB : the creature designs are mind blowing and due to my fear of them I found the scenes with Artemis and her team in the underground lair of the spiders to be absolutley chilling, the humor of the Meowscular Chef and that Rathalos battle is mouth drooling : overall Monster Hunter is another BADASS futuristic scifi movie from Paul W. S. Anderson and I for one hope there’s a sequel in the works ★★★★
After falling in love, an infamous bank robber known as the In-and-Out Bandit agrees to return all the money he has stolen in exchange for a reduced sentence. But when two unsavoury FBI agents set him up for murder, he has no option but to go on the run and clear his name : although the film’s storyline is predictable, similar to those that have come before it’s Liam Neeson’s presence & acting chops that carries the movie forward, still looking convincing in a genre he’s owned for the last ten years or more and that saying something considering the veteran turned sixty eight in June, he’s also well supported by his knockout co-star Kate Walsh who’s not only a delight to watch but the chemistry between the two is extremely evident from the moment their characters first meet in the storage facility, the scenes between the two are superb : there’s also Jeffrey Donovan’s FBI Agent and his pet dog who make for a great double act, Jai Courtney’s turn as a dirty agent is fun if not a little samey and the fight in the hotel room and subsequent chase scenes with the rogue FBI agents trying to catch their man are pacey and well filmed : I would have liked to have seen more of Robert Patrick but overall Honest Thief is an entertaining, well oiled and effective action thriller that I had fun with and enjoyed ★★★½
It was tough but here it goes : Christopher Nolan’s Top 8 Movies in order : (1) MEMENTO : 2000 : Nolan’s least pretentious movie, was shot for $9 million in less than a month, it’s story is exciting, fresh & edge of the seat and to this day it’s the filmmaker’s finest achievment with great turns by Guy Pearce & Joe Pantoliano : (2) THE PRESTIGE : 2006 : a hidden gem that I like to annually revisit & then think about for days after : Christian Bale & Hugh Jackman are immense as is Rebecca Hall who gives a stella turn playing Borden’s wife, from the sets, sound & story the film’s pure magic : (3) INCEPTION : 2010 : It’s been 10yrs and I still find myself marvelling at the effects, the rotating sets & Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s gravity fight scene which is so awesome to watch : breathtaking cinema built around a beautiful love story : (4) INTERSTELLAR : 2014 : Nolan’s ambitious scifi thriller blew me away whilst tugging at my heart strings from start to finish, the scene of Coops as he watches the clips from back home are tough, that enthralling docking sequence & the enormity of the tidal wave scenes are stunning : Hoytema’s work on this is quite simply wow : (5) THE DARK KNIGHT RISES : 2012 : Darkness rains down on Gotham & I for one loved the chaos & the ride Nolan brings to this trilogy ending masterpiece : in Tom Hardy’s Bane Batman has met his most demented nemesis & that delicious Talia twist in it’s finale gave the franchise the explosive ending it deserved : (6) INSOMNIA : 2002 : showcases the masterclass that is Al Pacino, his performance captures every essence of Will Dormer and it’s up there amongst the actors best work : Of course Wally Pfister’s DP and his canvas of British Columbia doesn’t help either – a tense, character driven remake that still holds up well today : (7) BATMAN BEGINS : 2005 : has sheer depth, towering action scenes, Liam Neeson & Cillian Murphy’s villainous pair, Michael BLOODY Caine, a cameo by Lucy Russell & of course Nolan’s ace in the pack Christian Bale who’s easily the “best actor” that’s played our Caped Crusader : (8) THE DARK KNIGHT : 2008 : Heath Ledger’s Joker waddling out of the hospital dressed in nurse atire as it explodes is one of many highlights from Nolan’s stupendous action packed sequel : lots of love here for Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent & Batman’s custom made bike is craaazy good too !! (also worth mentioning that I really enjoyed Dunkirk, Following and of course Nolan’s latest Tenet)
PENINSULA is Sang-ho Yeon’s sequel to his 2016 Zombie hit Train to Busan : Like most I really enjoyed Train to Busan and it’s animated prequel Seoul Station so diving straight back in to watch Yeon’s latest in Zombie mayhem was quite easy and deliciously excitable : Peninsula has a runtime of just under 2hrs and starts with a car heading for the harbour to catch a ship out of the chaos of the city, the car is carrying a Marine Captain Jung-seok, his sister and her child. When they reach and board the ship we discover that somebody on the lower deck has the infection and very quickly all hell breaks loose….. Sang-ho then jumps the story by four years and we find ourselves watching a tired, guilty looking Jung-seok living in Hong Kong drinking his way into trouble or an early grave : he then stumbles upon someone who offers him a way out of all this mess, a way of starting a new life by taking a team of soldiers back into the infected city to retrieve a truck full of money : Now although Peninsula is not quite as good as Train to Busan it’s still a blood good sequel with some real heart in the mouth action scenes, let’s face it the South Korean’s have mastered the action in movies better than most and the chase scenes once the team reach the city full of zombie’s and dispicable humans alike are quite spectacular : we also have a whole bunch of interesting new characters, the best of which are Joon and her younger sister Yu-jin who come to the rescue of Jung-seok whilst in the city, I also couldn’t stop screaming at the insanity of the prison scene Jung-seok’s friend finds himself in, it’s execution and the thought behind it terrifies me : Sang-ho Yeon’s sequel has plenty of violence and a jaw dropping finale and if like me you enjoyed the destruction laid out in Train to Busan then his latest Peninsula will make you weep with joy, the film has a pace to match a zombie’s stride and will have you baying for more by the time those end credits rise ★★★★
ANT-MAN and THE WASP : Peyton Reed
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena
Like most I’ve been a huge fan of Evangeline Lilly since Lost back in 2004 (shit !! is it really that long) and she absolutley nails it as The Wasp in Peyton Reed’s hilarious action packed sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp her action scenes, chemistry with Rudd’s Ant-Man and Daddy Douglas is perfection and I will be first to shout the loudest for a Wasp stand-alone movie – it was ALSO rad seeing the exciting Hannah John-Kamen play Ava aka: Ghost in what is an awesome twist on the comic books & one that works so well – And what about ANTonioBanderas damn I nearly fell off my seat laughing – Overall this sequel may not be quite as good as the first film but it comes bloody close, it’s pace at times is breathtaking, Paul Rudd combines everyday dad with superhero wonderfully well and once again surprises with his timing during the action pieces, in fairness he’s brilliant – the films overall look & CGI is stunning, the effects are like a mixture of Men in Black and Honey I Shrunk the Kids except TEN TIMES better SO if you love comicbook movies or just fancy 2hrs of pure entertainment then don’t wait for it’s bluray release (you know where the cinema is) ★★★★
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT : Christopher McQuarrie
Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames & Henry Cavill
HOLY HELL now that’s what I call an action movie – this is not only the third movie directed by McQuarrie that stars Cruise but it’s also their best work together – I loved every single second of this exciting thrill ride, full of the most insane stunts, car chases that make Bullit and The French Connection look amateur and a storyline that’s easily the best of the Mission Impossible franchise – along with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt we get more screentime for Benji and Luther and Fallout also sees the return of Ilsa Faust played by the exciting, beautiful and totally badass Rebecca Ferguson, but one of the highlights of this sixth installment has to be the injection of Henry Cavill who plays CIA operative August Walker an insane assassin and a bloody good one at that, amongst his best scenes in the movie is that most talked about bathroom brawl and I SHIT YOU NOT this has to be one of the best in the history of cinematic bathroom brawls IT’S BONE CRUNCHING AWESOME – along with Cruise’s energy and them incredible stunts he pulls off the guy is so infectious, his teenage-like smile and passion for what he does comes across on the screen and he’s an absolute joy to watch, and in Ethan Hunt he’s built in my opinion the greatest spy franchise there is, consisently great in every department – Overall Mission Impossible: Fallout IS A MUST WATCH on the Biggest and Baddest screen you can find, load your guns with popcorn & a beverage and get ready to be WOWED ★★★★½
Here’s some fantastic footage of Gareth Edwards latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – this 3 minute clip is an absolute treat for us fans of this universe and whets the appetite for the movies upcoming release in December – the films cast include Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikklesen, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk & Forest Whitaker the impression I get from these clips is that Rogue One appears to be more practical film-making, less CGI than say The Force Awakens and more in style of the original Lucas trilogy, the action and storyline looks fabulous and the return of old favourite Darth Vader will get us fanboys buzzing like a turned on light sabre – take a peek at the trailer below and enjoy (I have already watched it 3 times it’s so damn good)
Godzilla (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Gareth Edwards – Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston – Synopsis: the movie starts deep in the Phillippines where archeological work uncovers some sort of gigantic skeleton and two egg-shaped pods – two scientists who work for a company called Monarch are called in to investigate, they realize upon inspection that one of the pods have hatched and whatever was inside have crawled out and made it’s way to the ocean – the action then turns to a Nuclear Plant near Tokyo, Japan where some rather unusual activity is being felt – minutes later an explosion occurs followed by a radiation leak that wipes out a crew of scientists and then suddenly the plant begins it’s collapse into ruin – the powers at be are calling this disaster a deadly earthquake but the plant’s supervisor Brody (Cranston) who lost his wife inside the plant is convinced otherwise – Verdict: Having watched Gareth Edwards showcase his directing skills on the small budget yet effective MONSTERS I was fascinated to see what he could do with a Hollywood blockbuster and a remake of the classic Japanese monster movie GODZILLA – I remember as a young boy watching them monsters (in rubber suits) battling it out in the original films and screaming at the TV in amazement and total wonder Godzilla was scary as hell, a destructive force but also hero and one you could root for – and then all grown up I set eyes on Roland Emmerich’s picture, a typical 90’s Hollywood Blockbuster that stomped and screamed all over my childhood memories, part of my dislike for the flick was Matthew Broderick who was awful and the film’s plot can only be described as hilarious, sure it did pretty well at the box office but as a screen spectacle it was pure garbage – so now in 2014 it’s the turn of British filmmaker Gareth Edwards to hopefully reignite GODZILLA in all it’s glory & on the biggest screen’s in 3D – hopefully this movie will be the start of a new chapter in the world of the King of Monsters – Overall: although at first the hiring of relative newcomer Gareth Edwards to helm this possible huge franchise may have been thought a brave and daring choice by the movie studio’s it could have also turned out to be the movie’s master stroke – Edwards obvious admiration towards the likes of Steven Spielberg is evident, the monster’s are slowly introduced to it’s audience teasing you, gripping you and allowing you to sweat a little whilst the action unfolds, the film’s buildup & tension is very reminiscent of Spielberg’s classic JAWS and is beautifully filmed, carrying some great nod’s to the monster movies of yesteryear and complimented by a heart thumping soundtrack – the film’s main trio of cast members do a great job too, first up you have the reliable star of TV’s Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston who comes across as this family guy, totally committed to his job & who’s eventually turned into this guy who looks to have some serious paranoia issues, secondly there’s the soldier come action hero Taylor-Johnson who many know from his role in action flick Kick-Ass and Oliver Stone’s superb Savages who has not only matured as actor but seems to exude lot’s of screen presence and looks every bit a Hollywood leading man and last but not least there’s the underused & super talented Elizabeth Olsen who plays a wife and mum, who shows great emotion and steals pretty much every scene she’s part of – GODZILLA is in an exciting, bold and refreshing monster movie that can be enjoyed by all – it’s certainly no masterpiece and it won’t win any movie awards but one thing for sure is that when you take your seat at your local cinema Gareth Edwards vision will entertain, surprise and make you smile like a school kid once more….
It was the year that Pixar Studios opened, Amber Heard was born and Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa won a Best Picture at the 58th Academy Awards – it was also the year screen legend James Cagney died and Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight World Champion in the history of Boxing – it was also the year two of my movie heroes starred opposite each other for the last time – Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster first appeared together in 1957’s Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and in 1986 they would star in their seventh & final movie together Tough Guys….
My Definitive Action Movies of 1986 : at Number 1 is James Cameron’s epic scifi movie ALIENS that sees Ripley alongside a group of kick-ass Colonial Marines trying to stay alive down on LV-426 – at Number 2 Maverick & Goose fly into Top Gun coming up against the best Fighter Pilots the navy has to offer – and at Number 3 Sylvester Stallone plays Marion Cobretti a cop and part of the “Zombie Squad” who loves nothing better than Telling it to the Judge and putting the bad guys down in Cobra – at Number 4 is John Carpenter’s superb Big Trouble in Little China that sees Burton played by Kurt Russell battling a sorcerer named Lo Pan down in Chinatown – and finally there can be only one at Number 5 and that’s Russell Mulcahy’s Highlander don’t you just love that Queen soundtrack, that amazing Scottish backdrop and Clancy Brown’s villainous Kruger? – as you can see 1986 was an incredible feast of action movies, I was only 15 years of age at the time and my love affair with the movies was only just beginning….