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
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