Two former baseball players find themselves alone, fighting for survival against zombies in an apocayptic world : As you can probably guess from my website and social media nothing pleases me more than watching a movie made with a low budget that are usually refreshingly original and from filmmakers I’ve never heard of before, so when a friend first recommended I check out 2012’s THE BATTERY by Jeremy Gardner I had to take a peek : apparently the movie only cost $6,000 to make with Gardner and a bunch of friends helping to finance and bring it to the screen : The Battery follows a rather simple yet engrossing storyline centered around two ordinary guys Ben & Mickey who find themselves thrown together in a world ravaged by the undead, watching this strained relationship take a road trip of sorts across Connecticut is all kind of messed up fun with Ben seeming quite content moving from place to place killing any zombies that cross their path (and seeming to enjoy it too) and Mickey a virgin in the kill department (frankly a bit of a moaning pussy) just shutting himself off from reality by listening to music through his headphones, which slowly but surely annoys Ben to the point of some rather delightful WTF senario’s including the moment he locks Mickey in his bedroom with a zombie to hilarious consequences and the time Ben steals Mickey’s headphones is so out there, other scenes that tickled me sideways for different reasons include Mickey’s masturbation scene that had me in hysterics (don’t judge until you’ve seen it) and Ben singing Anthem For The Already Defeated whilst under the influence which I didn’t see coming but was rather superb : overall The Battery really is one for the ages, a creatively fun take on the genre that I can highly recommend with Gardner’s humor, acting chops & musical score really adding so much to it’s memorability ★★★★
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)
Since his directorial debut with 2007’s Gone Baby Gone actor/director Ben Affleck has gone from strength to strength, behind the camera he’s quite the visionary demonstrating flare and confidence in the style of pictures he brings to the screen, usually gritty no nonsense affairs packed with actors who can act and stories that connect….
Affleck’s latest sees him re team with author Dennis Lehane who not only wrote Affleck’s first Gone Baby Gone but also Eastwood’s Mystic River and Scorsese’s Shutter Island….
During the prohibition era in the 1920s a couple of Boston Gangsters travel down to Florida and attempt to take down the competition….
OK so here’s what I think – LIVE BY NIGHT may not be as polished as Argo or as intriguing as The Town but it’s certainly a more exciting, good looking character driven movie than both – it’s story is riveting, sprawling at times, it’s cast is nearly as beautiful as Robert Richardson’s stunning cinematography and it’s action scene’s especially the car chase scenes and the hotel’s shoot out toward the film’s finale is pretty slick and makes for exciting viewing on the big screen – Elle Fanning gives yet another star turn, Chris Cooper is the dogs bollocks and Chris Messina turns in a career best as Dion Bartolo partner and friend to Affleck’s Joe Coughlin….
LIVE BY NIGHT is another example of why one should never listen to those so called movie critics or how a film performs at the box office – get your ass to the cinema and see for yourself – Ben Affleck once again has crafted another fine slice of cinema, truly wonderful stuff….★★★★½
I first came across the name Mario Van Peebles when he starred alongside Clint Eastwood in 1986’s Heartbreak Ridge and then watched his rather enjoyable directorial debut New Jack City about Drugs and Crime Lords in Harlem at the end of the 80’s that starred Wesley Snipes – since 1991 Van Peebles has built up an impressive CV behind the camera, directing many episodes of popular TV shows including 21 Jump Street, Damages & Lost, he has also directed numerous films and starred in many too – his latest film behind the camera is USS Indianapolis that stars Nicolas Cage and is the true, heartbreaking story about the US battle ship that was on a secret mission when sunk by the Japanese in World War II, the sinking of the ship was the least of the crews worries as they tried to overcome the cold, shark infested waters in an attempt to survive….
I’m no historian, I just enjoy movies and Mario Van Peebles latest about the USS Indianapolis hooked me from it’s onset – with cinematography by Pulp Fiction’s Andrzej Sekuła who does a grand job keeping things real especially those interior shots on-board the ship as it’s sinking and the battle the crew encounter on the rafts in the Philippine Sea is dramatic and well shot – the films cast including Cage, Sizemore, Tate and Lanter do a superb job, managing to capture those Men of Courage with their performances, Sizemore especially some small but terrific scenes in the movie
USS INDIANAPOLIS is not a polished Hollywood epic, it’s special effect could have been slightly better BUT overall it’s an excellent, heart driven picture that not only honors the memories of those fallen but makes you think about the perils of War and it’s consequences ★★★★