A team of scientists led by John Goodman’s Bill Randa team up with a bunch of soldiers, a tracker and an anti-war photographer to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. What starts off as a mission of discovery quickly becomes a mission of survival….
Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, Shea Whigham and John C. Reilly
Jordan Vogt-Roberts ballsy entry into the world of Kong is unlike any previous picture featuring our giant monster ape – for starters Skull Island is set back in the 70’s not modern day mostly taking place on the island, there’s no climbing the Empire State Building, no naval war planes to swat or be shot at and certainly no love story to be emotionally attached to, this is one gutsy move and one that works so well for the film giving Skull Island it’s own originality and place in the genre. Unlike Peter Jackson’s 2005 entry that was over long and dragged at times Kong: Skull Island runs at a much quicker pace getting straight into the nitty grittty within the films opening 20 minutes, in previous movies the big reveal of Kong was left until the film’s latter half but in this version we dive straight in getting introduced to this big, scary and downright impressive beast from the get go….
With obvious nods to movies such as Jurassic Park & Apocalypse Now and similarities to films such as Predator the latest in the so called MonsterVerse Kong: Skull Island was everything I hoped for and more – yeah of course like any film it will have it’s minor criticism and maybe more could have been done with it’s character development & back story but when all is said & done this is a movie that’s about monsters, big nasty rip your arms from your socket type of monsters and at this level Kong: Skull Island succeeds – along with the almighty Kong you get to witness some real nasty mother huggers that include Skull Crushers, Giant Spiders, Stick Insects and Buffalo style dinos all wildly entertaining, visually stunning & barrels of fun….
Overall: Kong: Skull Island ENTERTAINS – it’s jam packed full of thrills spills and lots of kills, dramatic & vibrant photography, thunderous soundtrack and a movie that dazzles with it’s beautiful backdrops and CGI (Jordan Vogt-Roberts & Larry Fong shot loads of this movie in Vietnam and WOW what incredible, beautiful scenery) – Skull Island is now my 2nd favorite King Kong movie behind the 1933 original and one that I can highly recommend & look forward to revisiting very soon ★★★★
ps…. don’t forget to wait till after the credits for a post credit scene
Hugh Jackman reunites with The Wolverine’s James Mangold in the final chapter of LOGAN – the movie also sees Patrick Stewart reprising his X-Men role as Charles Xavier, Narco’s Boyd Holbrook cast as a villain of sorts and an unusual (but it works) piece of casting with Stephen Merchant playing mutant tracker Caliben….
In the near future 2029 to be precise a battle worn Logan is a Limo Driver, trying to save some money whilst caring for an ailing Professor X who’s he hid somewhere on the Mexican border….
The single most devastating thing about watching LOGAN was that I knew (everybody new) that this would be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as The Wolverine and this was in my opinion a game changer – James Mangold uses this knowledge as his filmmaking tool, his simple yet striking tone, deliberately slow pace and painful to watch narrative all builds to an agonising crecendo, it’s certainly not upbeat and unlike any other Marvel movie before it LOGAN is stripped bare of the usual comicbook humor, kaleidoscope of colour and deluded fantasy instead it’s a picture that’s dripping with a dark, gritty no-nonsense underbelly, utterly gut wrenching and humanized like no other movie of it’s ilk – even the performances in the picture seem better, Jackman captures the ageing tired Logan with a comfortable ease, his maturity as an actor gives him the tools to pull this off, you can see the pain he’s going through as he limps and claws his way through the storyline and Stewart is equally as impressive as Charles Xavier who requires medical assistance to not only help with an illness but to keep his powers at bay, there’s also an impressive film debut by Dafne Keen who kills it (literally) playing Laura, her fight scene’s, mannerism’s and interaction with Charles and Logan are a joy to watch….
One of my favourite moments in the movie (and there are many) takes place at the Munson Home – Logan, Laura and Charles help the Munson’s with some runaway horses after which they get invited back to their home and enjoy a brief trip into yesteryear, spending time with a loving family over a hot meal with smiles, real laughter and a bed to sleep in (Eriq La Salle playing the father of the family is as good in these 20mins as he’s ever been) – sadly the groups happiness does not last long and their ugly, brutal past catches up with them….
James Mangold’s LOGAN is the perfect send off for one comics most iconic stars – the film’s raw and uncompromising style allows it to become a far superior comicbook adapation than what’s come before, it’s not only a thing of beauty to look at but it’s also one hell of an emotionally charged rollercoaster ride that doesn’t let up until the final credits rise & Johnny Cash’s vocals hit home…. ★★★★½
Two Mercenaries played by Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal get caught in the middle of an ancient war between Chinese Warrior’s guarding The Great Wall and an angry mob of Alien Monsters that appear to cause mayhem every 60yrs….
The Great Wall is the most expensive Chinese movie ever made, it stars Jing Tian, Andy Lau, Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal and is directed by the visual master Zhang Yimou known for his work on House of the Flying Daggers and Hero….
Before I get on with my thoughts on this movie I must address the fact that there is NO whitewashing in this movie AT ALL so any controversy regarding Matt Damon’s character that happens to be set in China is sadly an attempt for those with plenty of time on there hands to be negative towards a movie that they’ve probably not seen in the first place….
OK now on to the good stuff – If like me you enjoy the fix of a well paced, epic scale action movie that’s jam packed with dazzling effects & inventive, colorful battle scenes then Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is just what your looking for – what the picture may lack in overall substance it certainly delivers in beauty & creativity – the film’s 3D adds a stunning depth and also gave me a sense of vertigo whist watching certain scenes, especially those where the Chinese Warriors would dive off the Great Wall attached to a rope (like a bungee) attempting to spear the attacking monsters, now that’s some crazy shit right there and was pulled off by Zhang in impressive style – when the hoards of these mean & nasty looking monsters start storming the Wall, snapping like crocodiles it reminded me so much of when the Orc Army attacked Minas Tirith in Peter Jackson’s epic Return of the King, the CGI in the movie is sensational & I felt submerged, part of the action whilst watching in IMAX – the screen is magnificent and it enhances everything in it’s path from the stunning effects, the beauty & tenacity of Jing Tian, Matt Damon’s archery & wild facial hair, the incredible battle scenes and it’s rousing atmospheric score….
From it’s lavish synchronized drummers, hair-raising action sequences and pulse-raising final quarter The Great Wall is a triumph in film entertainment – be honest with yourself if you pay to go and see this film then you must love your action right? and you know your not going to the cinema to watch Opera or Shakespeare right? HELL YEAH come on !! this is a Magnificent Monster Movie, one that’s loud, explosive and pretty awesome fun – so go on take a leap, immerse yourself & ENJOY…. ★★★★
The movie world will mourn this December when The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies the last in the series of six films based around Tolkien’s Middle Earth comes to a climax – to give Peter Jackson’s franchise the magical send of it deserves here’s Pippin from Lord of the Rings aka actor Billy Boyd singing The Last Goodbye – it’s truly beautiful….
Pompeii (2014) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: Paul W S Anderson – Cast: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris & Kiefer Sutherland – Synopsis: After his family and village are wiped out by the Roman’s, Milo (Kit Harington) is taken as a slave and turned into a gladiator and sent to Pompeii, where he fights, falls in love and comes face to face with Corvus (Sutherland) the evil Roman Senator who butchered his family – As Mount Vesuvius erupts, Milo joins forces with fellow gladiator Atticus (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) to fight his way out of the Gladiatorial Arena in order to save Cassia (Browning) his new found love whilst all around them Pompeii is under attack by smoking hot ash and blazing streams of red hot lava – Verdict: Having climbed Mount Vesuvius and being a fan of the Resident Evil movies from filmmaker Paul WS Anderson I was interested to see how he fared swapping zombies & kick ass ladies for the more brutal times of the Romans, Pompeii, Gladiators and a mountain that erupted causing death and destruction – Overall: if you know your history then you know what’s coming towards the final chapter of this movie and sure enough all hell rains down, but in between it’s actually a pretty solid action film that includes some descent CGI, a Titanic-esque love story, some rather fun cheesy characters and a somewhat mesmerizing soundtrack – of course any film directed by Anderson will have it’s fair share of critics and it’s certainly true to say Pompeii is no Gladiator but overall I was pleasantly surprised & found the film a pretty engaging affair that reminded me of a 70’s disaster flick that is entertaining and full of fluent, exciting action scenes – Don’t let people ever tell you it’s not OK to enjoy these style of movies, you know going into the film that historical accuracy goes out of the window, this is first and foremost an action film, a popcorn munching, adrenalin flowing thrill ride and does not pretend to be something it’s not – It’s certainly not a classic but Paul W S Anderson’s Pompeii is nevertheless a fun movie experience and one I would recommend for some Saturday night entertainment….
here’s two new photo’s of the superb actress Julianne Moore who plays President Alma Coin in “The Hunger Games : Mockingjay : Part 1” – In one of the two photo’s Moore shares a scene with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays Plutarch Heavensby – what do you guys think of Moore’s transformation? her white streaky hair looks fantastic…. Enjoy!
Here’s a new movie poster, the latest trailer and some stills for THE MAZE RUNNER a post-apocalyptic adventure that is based around the 2009 novel by James Dashner – It’s the latest in the craze of possible young adults film franchises similar to those that have come before: The Mortal Instruments, The Hunger Games and this years Divergent and it’s full of familiar faces too: Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), Will Poulter (We’re the Millers), Thomas Brodie Sangster (Game of Thrones) and Ki Hong Lee (The Nine Lives of Chole King) – judging by this early teaser the film’s got lot’s of promise, it has an interesting almost Cube like premise played out within a dark and futuristic setting – take a peek and then mark your calendar…. Enjoy!
The Maze Runner – US 19th September) – UK (24th October) – Australia (18th September)