Number 8 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : The evil spirit of a slain killer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his death : A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is the epitome of terror and Wes Craven was the master of serving it up, he knew what scared his audience and delivered a fearsome, bloody nightmare which has since spawned eight movies and a dreadful remake : In 1984 I was barely a teenager when Wes Craven gave us the iconic FREDDY KRUEGER, with his trademark hat, red & green sweater and a glove with razors for fingers, this demented killer not only petrified me and gave me sleepless nights back in the 80s but still does to this day : in 1984, and to make his movie Craven needed an actor to play a deceased child murderer built from the fires of hell, he needed a villain with menance & pure evil in his eye’s so they turned to Robert Englund a charasmatic actor known for bit parts in movies such as Galaxy of Terror, Dead & Buried and Eaten Alive to turn this monster into horror icon : like Carpenter’s Halloween Wes Craven’s movie also needed a heroine, a teenage girl who was innocent, beautiful and smart, a girl who would be Freddy’s equal on the horror battlefield, so after an extensive search Craven discovered Heather Langenkamp she would be the film’s Nancy and the perfect fit for Craven’s horror masterpiece : but why is A Nightmare On Elm Street still scary after all these years? well unlike Craven’s Scream the killer is supernatural, for me there’s something brutal about the way Freddy goes about his business of killing his victims, the death scenes are terrifying and made more squeamish due to the not seeing of who’s performing the act, you see the blood, the mutilation and you know it’s Freddy but you don’t see him and that’s where Craven excels, Tina’s death scene is the best example, as her boyfriend watches on she’s sliced open and then thrown around the cealing of her bedroom like a rag doll, blood draining from her body as she crashes back to her bed and the way Johnny Depp’s character Glen, like a vaccum cleaner is sucked into his bed and then spat back out pureed, the room awash with his remains, I found the scenes when Nancy wakes up from her nightmare in the Katja Institute bringing back Freddy’s hat and her arm sliced to be alarming and I still find the boiler rooms scenes particulary scary, the steam and the darkness only lit by the reflection of the flames engulfing the oven to be so unnerving, you just know Freddy is lurking somehwere in the shadows : from it’s chilling score written by Charles Bernstein, the wonderful John Saxon who plays Nancy’s dad and sheriff of the town to Wes Craven’s script that was turned down by Universal & Paramount Pictures back in the day but thank god for New Line Cinema who showed their trust in the filmmaker and was rewarded with a box office smash A Nightmare On Elm Street is essential Halloween viewing and even after all these years will turn your stomach and make it hard to sleep when the lights go down…… One two, Freddy’s coming for you. Three four, better lock your door. Five six, grab your crucifix. Seven eight, gonna stay up late. Nine ten, never sleep again ★★★★★
A young housewife in what seems to be a perfect marriage develops the irresistible urge to swallow objects and material – WOW just WOW Carlo Mirabella-Davis !! Swallow is a facinating directorial debut that gripped me from the getko, the energy that flows through Haley Bennett and into Hunter her onscreen persona is quite simply astonishing : When Hunter starts to Swallow my first impression was “Please don’t do that” I was angry, confused at why this young lady would do such a thing, why she would risk her life? But it got me thinking Hunter is trapped, innocent, has no friends or family and has nobody there to hug her close and tell her everything will be ok : If her lowlife controlling husband, bad inlaws and the swallowing wasn’t bad enough Hunter then decides to track down William a rapist from her past who’s played brilliantly by Denis O’Hare, their confrontation in William’s kitchen is so bloody TENSE I felt my heart pounding ready to burst out of my chest like something from Ridley’s Alien movie, such a simple, emotionally charged scene with these two brilliant actors nailing it : Overall Swallow is one of the darkest and most liberating movies of 2020, it’s a real thought provoking picture that will no doubt upset many, terrify others and quite simply blow the majority away with it’s raw, quirky style and captivating subject matter ★★★★½
Devistating news the wonderful actress Kelly Preston has died aged 57 : Kelly was know for her work in the movies such as Twins, For the Love of the Game, Nothing to Loose, Spacecamp, Jerry Maguire, Jack Frost & so many more : she is the shining light in those movies and I will always remember her for that beautiful radiant smile x
The GREAT actor IAN HOLM has died aged 88 – what a wonderful, versatile performer Ian was – his roles such as Ash in ALIEN, Sam in CHARIOTS OF FIRE and Bilbo Baggins in THE LORD OF THE RINGS are all memorable, some are disturbing but all are pure cinema – he is an incredible actor to watch and truly one of the great actors of our time RIP
Four African-American vets return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their friend and fallen Squad Leader and the gold he helped them hide – Back in 2013 after watching the Oldboy remake I honestly thought the great Spike Lee maybe past it, possibly spent as a filmmaker and only to be reveared for past glories…. In 2018 he delivered one of the best movies of that year in BlacKkKlansman and today in his first outing with Netflix Spike Lee has once again rolled back the years…. DA 5 BLOODS is not only an exceptional picture but it’s a timely history lesson that’s high on emotion, tense as a butt cheek in a landmine, a riverting adventure romp and one of Lee’s more violent and ambitious movie Joints to date – Rather than the deaging of actors (like Scorsese did in The Irishman) Spike Lee decided on a different and in my opinion more refreshing approach seeing the old guard play their younger selves in the film’s flashbacks which helped the film’s narrative and was exciting to watch, the music from the grand master Marvin Gaye, the message throughout of Love over Hate and shooting on location in Vietnam gave Da 5 Bloods it’s heartbeat…. and did I mention Delroy “Mother Fucking” Lindo in his fourth collaboration with Lee and in my opinion his best, Lindo’s character Paul is an all kinds of messed up, racist war vet that harbor’s a secret, his performance reminds me of Bogey in Sierra Madre as you watch his character slowly unravel in quite a devistating way – Overall there can be no doubt Spike Lee is back making film’s that connect with it’s audience in an entertaining, shocking yet relevant way ★★★★½
the gravelly voice, handsome looks and steely gut driven performances is what I think of when someone mentions SAM SHEPARD yet this guy had so much more in his locker, a talented playwright, a veteran of the stage and writing credits that include the sublime film Paris, Texas – in recent times we had the pleasure of Sam’s acting talent as papa Rayburn in the brilliant Bloodline and although his screen time was limited his quality in each scene shone through – for me my favourite Sam Shepard roles include Thunderheart, The Assassination of Jesse James and of course the brilliant The Right Stuff – he will be missed down here but I’m pretty darn sure that he’ entertaining the masses up there….
utterly stunned at this news !! actor Nelsan Ellis has died aged 39 – what a tragic crime for one so talented to be taken so young – Ellis was the life and soul of the hit vampire show True Blood where he played the cook Lafayette, such was his impact on the show and the audience that watched his role was extended as in the books he was killed off pretty early on – Ellis also played Martin Luther King, Jr. in Lee Daniels The Butler, Henry the Waiter in The Help and was last seen in Elementary alongside Jonny Lee Miller where he played Shinwell Johnson a gang member turned informant – it’s so sad that the world of entertainment has lost such a bright star oh so young….
Very Sad News – the Iconic TV and Movie star James Garner has died aged 86 – James starred in two of TV’s finest shows in The Rockford Files and Maverick and gave memorable performances in movies such as The Great Escape, Grand Prix, Victor Victoria, The Hour of the Gun, The Children’s Hour, Duel at Diablo and many more – he was nominated for an Oscar for 1985’s Murphy’s Romance and was awarded the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award in 2005 – his passing is sad news but thanks to his countless performances on screen James Garner will always be remembered & enjoyed for years to come….
SAD NEWS the towering comic writer/director HAROLD RAMIS has passed away aged 69 – along with starring roles in the likes of Stripes & the two Ghostbusters movies (that he also co-wrote) Harold Ramis was also an accomplished filmmaker directing movies such as Caddyshack and Groundhog Day that both starred his good friend Bill Murray, Analyze This & Analyze That starring Bob De Niro & Ice Harvest that starred John Cusack – the movie world has lost another giant but the memory of Harold Ramis will continue to entertain with the many film’s he either wrote, directed or starred in – thanks for the laughs Big Man and don’t forget “Don’t cross the streams”
LAST VEGAS (2013/4) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Last Vegas stars Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, Mary Steenburgen & Romany Malco – In their childhood four friends Paddy, Billy, Archie & Sam known as the Flat Bush Four did everything together, they were inseparable – picking up the story 58 years later the friends are now living separate lives & coming to terms with old age when out of the blue Billy played by Michael Douglas announces he is to marry – Sam convinces the other two that this is a great opportunity to get them altogether again for one last hoorah – VERDICT I pretty much love everything Jon Turteltaub has been involved with from his early days behind the camera directing movies such as Cool Runnings, Whilst You Were Sleeping and The Kid to his two National Treasure movies and even 2010’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Turteltaub always seems to deliver a fun night at the flicks and 2013’s Last Vegas is no different – along with the four main leads there’s also another chance for us to see the lovely Mary Steenburgen at work, her delicious charm blended with undoubted talent playing a Vegas singer who catches the eye of Billy & Paddy adds greatly to the solid storyline written by the super talented Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) – with all the movies out there with endless violence, hard hitting subject matters & gross out comedy it’s so refreshing to see four movie veterans entertain the old fashion way and doing it with a swagger – from the dancing of Freeman, the grace of Steenburgen, the hilarity of Kline, the seriousness of De Niro and the charm of Douglas LAST VEGAS is a touching delightful tale of friendship & one that reminds us that we’re never too old to live our life and be kids once more….
LONE SURVIVOR (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Lone Survivor stars Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana & Emile Hirsch – Based around the true story of “Operation Red Wings” a failed mission in 2005 – Four Seal members enter enemy territory to capture or kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd but find themselves fighting for their lives when their mission goes wrong – VERDICT Since watching 1998’s Very Bad Things I have been a big fan of actor/director Peter Berg, even the critically panned Hancock and Battleship both got favorable reviews from myself, he’s a talented filmmaker that presents the viewer with a visual, exciting experience and his latest LONE SURVIVOR is no different – Berg spent over five years trying to make this film a reality, armed with a $40 million dollar budget and a bunch of actors working at a discounted rate the outcome of the picture is immense – Peter Berg nails the brutality of war-fare, his authenticity and touching account of these four guys fighting for their lives after making a questionable decision by allowing a couple of farm hands to live is explosive and at times an extremely hard watch – I love also the fact that during the first twenty minutes or so of the picture you get introduced to the SEALS, not just as fighting warriors but as real people, guys with families who fight to keep our country safe – overall LONE SURVIVOR is a movie packed with realistic and relentless action scenes, top notch acting by all on-board and to the Armed Forces a show of the utmost respect by Peter Berg and his crew – superb!….
Peter O’Toole the BAFTA winning actor of 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia has died aged 81 – in his long career O’Toole received 8 Academy Award nominations and starred in countless movies such as The Night of the Generals, Murphy’s War, Under Milk Wood, Man of La Mancha, Becket, Goodbye Mr Chips and The Lion in Winter – he also starred in 1984’s Supergirl and voiced the character Anton Ego in Pixar’s Ratatouille – I’m sure alongside his friends Richard Harris & Richard Burton the pearly gates of Heaven will be entertained this evening and the first drink will be raised in honor of a stage & movie legend….