Director : Edward Hall : Stars : Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann : Blithe Spirit is lighthearted, afternoon movie watching fun with Stevens & Fisher fitting straight into Noël Coward’s majestic narrative : it may not be as good as David Lean’s 1945 classic but I still giggled & then swooned over Leslie Mann’s Elvira & adored those beautiful sets !! ★★★½
Director : Paul Greengrass : Stars : Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel : If not a little restraint Greengrass injects energy, character building, an intriguing story and a heartwarming finale into his latest picture News of the World : I must admit a longer runtime would have been nice but what an exceptional slice of filmmaking that I enjoyed immensely ★★★★
Director : J Blakeson : Stars : Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest, Eiza González, Chris Messina, Macon Blair : I Care a Lot is a deliciously EVIL yet fabulously FUN ride with an ice cold performance by Rosamund, a mesmerizing display by Dianne, a wickedly dark & mysterious turn by Peter and thank goodness for Macon Blair and a little thing called Karma : Enjoyed !! ★★★½
Director : Mike P. Nelson : Stars : Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee : Really impressed with this new take on the Wrong Turn franchise : this is not just your backward town folk canabilistic slasher movie, this one has so much more going on with filmmaker Mike Nelson and his fresh young cast taking you there : also that wet your pants finale brough a big smile to my face ★★★½
Director : Stephen Durham : Stars : Ellen Hollman, Matt Passmore : it’s not the story, the location, it’s cheesy at times dialogue or indeed Matt Passmore that gives Army of One it’s undoubted B-Movie appeal, it’s Spartacus star Ellen Hollman that drives this action movie all the way to movie fundom, she’s dynamite and for 90mins you enjoy watching her character kicking ass and administering her own brand of justice ★★★½
A kid who was once celebrated in his local town, given the key to the region and free Ice Cream for life for solving local crimes is now 31, he has low self-esteem, his popularity has decreased and has become the butt of most jokes, but then a chance arrises from a client who’s boyfriend was murdered and it’s upto The Kid Detective to solve his first real case : ORIGINALITY in film is rare these days so when a movie comes out that truly blows your socks off with it’s dark humor, wild and WTF scenario’s and a new take on the private detective in small town USA then you have to pay attention, you have to rewatch it as the film’s that bloody good and then you have to find some way of telling your family and friends… “listen, this may not conform with some of your believes, it may embarrass, it will make you laugh and it will certainly make you feel uncomfortable, but hell The Kid Detective is certainly worth the watch” : what struck me most about Evan Morgan’s movie is it’s serious story arc about murder, kidnapping and adults abusing their power, it’s told with humor that’s close to the bone as you follow young Abe Applebaum through his days of youth, happiness and town stardom to this washed out, guilt ridden 31yr old who’s self pity and attitude makes you question everything about him, as the story unfolds you find yourself not agreeing with alot of his choices but somehow your still rooting for him, cheering him on nevertheless : I felt Adam Brody is outstanding, for me it’s his best role yet and along with Morgan’s original and edgy script, enjoyably quick pace, perculiar town’s folk and the flashbacks of a young Abe solving petty crimes that’s cute as a button The Kid Detective is one of the brightest films to hit our screens this year : it’s BRILLIANT ★★★★½
Kirk Douglas was born on the 9th December 1916 in New York, he may no longer be with us but his work has brought so much joy to my screen over the years and will continue to do so : to name four of his best movies is near impossible as like most great actors he has numerous films to choose from dependent on the mood you find yourself in…. for example if your looking for a bit of fun the Douglas way then look no further than Tough Guys a 1986 gem that sees two gangsters released from prison into a world that has vastly changed since they were put away, Burt Lancaster and Eli Wallach share the screen in this sweet, emotional and hilarious turn by the maestro, or if your looking for something more sombre, a bit more dramatic then take a peek at the 1951 Billy Wilder movie Ace in the Hole, one of his very best and a good old fashioned nail biter, that sees Chuck Tatum a reporter who slows down a rescue attempt of a man trapped in a cave so his career can flourish, it’s one of my favorites and Kirk is dynamite but if you want a night in and your after excitement, gun fights and the old west then jump onboard The War Wagon that sees Kirk team up with John Wayne in one of my favorite guilty pleasure westerns directed by Burt Kennedy : so if over the next few weeks you find yourself looking for some movie inspiration, you fancy a revisit or maybe you’ve never seen the likes of Lust for Life, The Vikings or The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral well take it from me there’s a Kirk Douglas movie for each & every mood, let that chin dimple, enormous heart and big smile fill your screen, you’ll thank me later…..
One of my favorite Kirk Douglas quotes : I was not a tough guy. I just acted like one.
A young woman wants to propose to her girlfriend whilst visiting her family’s home this festive holiday discover that her partner hasn’t yet come out to her parents : There’s something warm and snuggly about this time of year when the annual Christmas tree burns brightly, the decorations go up and the collection of Festive Movies are dusted off, ones that make you believe in all things good and Santa Claus once more : will HAPPIEST SEASON join those festive few, those films that make your heart swell, your eye’s water and bring a big smile to your face? : there’s so many touching and funny moments in Clea DuVall’s first movie behind the camera that I left at the end credits with a beaming smile and the hope of a sequel a year down the line : the chemistry between the onscreen couple of Abby and Harper played respectively by Kristen Stewart & Mackenzie Davis is believable and utterly adorable, they made me smile from the get go, gripping me from that opening rooftop scene : I loved it’s refreshingly original soundtrack, the in-house jokes one featuring a Josh Hartnett photo that made me chuckle and it’s familiar yet relevant story that may not be packed with your typical Christmas jingle but is heartfelt and funny nevertheless : it’s cast is perfection from Garber & Steenburgen’s terrific parents, Alison Brie’s competitive sister that ice skating scene is hilarious, Mary Holland’s fun loving Jane, Daniel Levy’s scene stealing best friend…. and I know you were all thinking the same as me awww I hope Abby falls for Riley played by the delightful Aubrey Plaza there scenes together in the bar were electric : Clea DuVall’s Happiest Season is a charming festive romp, with a delightful message of coming out, love and friendship at it’s fore : a most enjoyable festive cracker that should not be missed and watched several times this Christmas ★★★★
A city is infected by a mysterious virus, which causes it’s people to spiral out of control. Two survivers struggle to survive in an isolated apartment complex from those infected with the virus : Jo Il-Hyeong’s Korean thriller ALIVE is everything you’d like from a new movie in the Zombie genre, utilising the digital age in a smart, inventive way and has a whole shit load of savy special effects that make your eye’s twitch with nervous excitement : Yoo Ah-in is bloody brilliant as the gamer kid Joon-Woo who lives for his technology but fails to converse much with the outside world, that is until one day he has too, his dopey appearance & care free attitude endears himself to the viewer and his tag team partner Park Shin-hye’s Yoo-bin is my type of girl, fighting off the undead with everything from an axe, gun and home made killing trolley and oh yeah did I say that these zombie’s are not slow either but more like the hyperactive speed demons from World War Z, Won-ho Son’s work in capturing these delightful creatures rampaging through the apartment blocks is glorious & a sight to behold : ALIVE is SMART, INSANE and FLESH EATING FUN ★★★★
Looking for a smile this weekend? then we got it covered…. Ben Stiller and the late GREAT Philip Seymour Hoffman sweating it out in 2004’s Along Came Polly from director John Hamburg – this particular scene has it all, it’s dialogue is crazy, the humor is gross-out at it’s most… well gross-out and it also showcases the brilliance of Hoffman in full flow, I still can’t believe he’s gone…. but take a load off and watch this 3 minute clip for a smile, a tear and at it’s finale a roaring belly laugh that may force you to dust off the dvd and watch the full thing 🙂
When Nyles and a reluctant maid of honor Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated as they are unable to escape the venue, themselves or each other – PALM SPRINGS is one of the brightest, sweetest, funniest romantic timeloop comedies in the last 100 years PLUS i’m now crushing on Cristin Milioti and her incredible eye’s that hypnotize like Kaa from Jungle Book, her super chemistry opposite the legendary Andy Samberg is pure feelgood magic – the movie also stars Peter Gallagher, Camila Mendes and J. K. Simmons and if you really really really want cheering up then please get and watch Max Barbakow’s BRILLIANT movie it will make you laugh till your eye’s water ★★★★½
Saturday Night Live’s Taran Killam directs Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cobie Smulders and Bobby Moynihan in action comedy KILLING GUNTHER and judging by the below trailer this could be one hell of a night eating popcorn and chuckling your way through some rather stupid but fun slapstick comedy – Arnie plays Gunther (the world’s greatest hit-man) but is in deep deep trouble, a bunch of disgruntled assassins decide they want him dead and that’s where the fun really starts…..
“First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal – 20 Years later Mark Renton returns to Edinburgh to find a lot of change but also somethings that never change….”
From his gritty, raw beginnings with the uncompromising Shallow Grave to the exciting drug fueled Trainspotting, the quirky colorful A Life Less Ordinary, the post-apocalyptic horror 28 Days Later to his much acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire and Steve Jobs film maker Danny Boyle has been excelling & exciting movie goers for over 20yrs….
But for me, and some may disagree his early films are still his best work, small low budget, well acted, well written black humored slices of magic….
What an incredible, nostalgic, hilarious and momentous sequel TRAINSPOTTING 2 is – from it’s punchy soundtrack, quick snappy dialogue to the brilliance of Carlyle and it’s crack-a-jack visuals this is Danny Boyle direction at his best – yes it’s taken 20yrs to see this bunch of talent back on the big screen but can you just imagine just for one moment if this movie never happened? and the much publicized spat between McGregor & Boyle was never reconciled HOLY SHIT we would have missed out on so so much – like laughing in hysterics whilst watching Renton & Franco in the toilet cubical next to each other their faces a peach as the penny drops, or being stuffed up with emotion when Spud played by the amazing Ewan Bremner tried to kill himself and then being stunned with a mix of hilarity when he threw up in the bag that was suffocating him or watching once best friends Renton & Sickboy kick the crap out of each other in the pub and then you find yourself smiling like you were interacting with a puppy whilst watching them reconnect watching Georgie Best these moments make you feel alive as a film fan, pure cinematic indulgence….
TRAINSPOTTING 2 is everything I wished for and more, truly one helluva movie sequel that’s not only nostalgic but is equally as fun as it’s predecessor – from Danny Boyle’s vision, McGregor & Lee Miller’s chemistry to Ewen Bremner‘s sublimity and Carlyle‘s crazy this was a great night a the cinema and guys please don’t leave it another 20yrs to complete the trilogy ★★★★½
“If science teaches us anything, it teaches us to accept our failures, as well as our successes, with quiet dignity and grace” – in his career Gene Wilder has made me laugh like no other actor has, his movies such as Stir Crazy, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, See No Evil, Hear No Evil and of course Willy Wonka continue to this day to make me smile, cry with laughter and think of the world a much better place after watching them – thank you for entertaining us with your own brand of humor and stardom and you can be sure that someone somewhere is watching one of your movies tonight and raising a glass or two and more than likely spilling it as they begin laughing like a banshee… may you now rest in peace… well that’s if Feldman, Pryor and co will let you 🙂
It’s always painful as a film fan to loose anybody you’ve admired in the business, even if that person was from afar and sadly the passing of Garry Marshall is one that hurts like hell – yes I know what your thinking “you never knew the guy so why the sad face?” well let me tell you why the sad face – Garry Marshall was a huge part of my television life, back in the 80s I would watch his classic creations Mork & Mindy, The Odd Couple and Happy Days the Marshall stamp was clear on all these shows, simple, effective and loveable characters that would bring tears of joy to my face, then in the late 80s and early 90s when I became truly addicted to film he delivered two classic film gems 1987s Overboard with Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell and then in 1990 the romantic Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts & Richard Gere, both fantastic slices of cinema that continue to get replayed in my home on a yearly basis – other much loved films in my collection include his 2004 film Raising Helen with Kate Hudson and the underrated Frankie & Johnny from 1991 that starred Al Pacino & Michelle Pfeiffer – so as you can see Garry Marshall meant a lot (and still does), his film style, his love of the audience, his performers and most of all he above all else his creations made me smile when I needed to smile most and for that I thank him RIP
Sometimes you sit down & watch a movie with zero expectations & have an absolute ball – M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit is one of them movies – Shyamalan who wrote, directed & financed the movie himself has come up trumps, it’s a film that’s refreshingly original, deliciously quirky and creepy as hell – the movie runs on a budget of $5 Million, and centers around siblings who go to visit their grandparents for a week, Aussie Olivia DeJonge plays the role of the older sibling Rebecca, a keen young filmmaker who has decided to document the visit by filming everything – The Visit manages to create an eerie suspense whilst making you laugh at the various strange goings on at the grandparents isolated farmhouse – the film is a true return to form for it’s director Shyamalan & certainly his best film since 2002’s Signs – if you feel a little suffocated (like me) by all these constant remakes & Superhero movies out there and want your faith restored by original, well acted, low budget film making then please check out The Visit its a little gem ★★★★
Let me start by saying how much I loved Kyle Newman’s love letter to Star Wars the brilliant 2009 picture Fanboys, so obviously upon hearing Newman was involved in directing a new picture with a whole bunch of his acting mates on-board I was giddy with excitement.
Barely Lethal is one of them movies that could have & should have been so much better – I’m not saying Newman is out of his film making depth but presenting us with an action movie with little bite, characters that have no chemistry, music from Matteo Messina that’s just horrible & a picture that fails to get the best out of it’s talented cast does not help the arguement – maybe the film is a victim of previous and much better executed versions of teenagers trained to be assassins, kicking ass whilst balancing everyday life style of movies but whatever the excuses Kyle Newman has delivered a real stinker of a picture, lets hope his next effort (Chewie or the planned Fanboys sequel) is better and he does not wait for another six years to do either.
Overall – In my opinion Barely Lethal should have committed to it’s darker, grittier premise, for me there should have been far less Mean Girl and much more Hit Girl – don’t get sucked in by it’s stellar star cast, Newman’s Barely Lethal is one big letdown, save your dollars and check it out when some TV channel shows it for free ★★½