“after a team of soldiers enter and don’t return five women scientists enter what is known as The Shimmer essentially a wall between our world and the infected area in hope of discovering what happened to those men and the truth behind this anomaly”
24hrs on and I can’t stop thinking of Alex Garland’s latest Annihilation – firstly it’s nowhere near as as complicated a story as people make out, yes it’s slow, brooding and set to a surreal back drop but when all is said and done it’s quite simply an alien invasion movie and a blooming good one too – music is used sparingly throughout the movie but when used it’s to eerie effect, the strumming of a guitar, a haunting melody really does up the tension and you just can’t help but think something bad is gona happen and soon – along with it’s exciting young cast there’s a certain likeness in Garland’s Annihilation to classic scifi of yesteryear such as The Thing and Alien, there is so much greatness and so many talking points throughout it’s rather short 115 min runtime, those scenes when Anya played by Gina Rodriguez decides to take matters into her own hands by tying the team to their chairs, attempts to interrogate and what happens next is edge of the seat brilliance and lets not forget the aligator attack, that bear like creature and Lena’s own discovery towards the pictures epic finale – if your over thinking about watching this movie then please stop what your doing take a breather and let your movie indulgence be enhanced by Garland’s Annihilation a modern scifi gem that will have you chomping at the bit for a rewatch seconds after it’s conclusion ★★★★½
I LOVED THE SHIT out of Duncan Jones latest MUTE – what a terrific story that’s totally immersive with some stunning visuals & a whole gaggle of TOP performances – from Paul Rudd playing looney tune Cactus with panache, Justin Theroux’s creepy as f@ck pervert surgeon, Robert Sheehan’s epic turn as Luba and what can I say about True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård as the films lead apart from holy shit-balls – what I love most about the movie is how it’s story weaves a good old fashioned mystery in this case a girls disappearance to that of a futuristic setting, a striking visual feast of neon lit buildings and the darkness that inhabit them – this is the fourth movie for Duncan Jones behind the camera and I for one can’t wait for his next, he’s a writer/director that’s not afraid of taking a risk, creating something different and I like that – MUTE is an excellent way of spending 2 hours in front of the box allowing your imagination to run wild it’s a movie that takes you to some very dark places and is certainly not for the squeamish – I for one can’t wait for a rewatch !! ★★★★
“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of Diana Prince aka: Wonder Woman to help find a group of meta humans in the hope that they will help fight an even greater enemy”
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Connie Nielsen, JK Simmons, Ciaran Hinds, Jeremy Irons
Having recently watched the 4 most recent films in the DC Comic Book Universe I was pretty excited to visit my local cinema and watch the latest Zack Snyder movie on IMAX 3D and yep it was everything I expected and more…..
OK where to start: JUSTICE LEAGUE may not be as polished as Wonder Woman, deep and meaningful as Man of Steel or Epic in scale as Batman VS Superman but instead what you get is a comic movie driven by it’s colorful characters, humorous dialogue and chaotic action scenes – there’s a haunting, beautifully sung version of “Everybody Knows” by the Norwegian songstress Sigrid it’s actually quite emotional, the storyline and lyrics merge in your mind, there’s 2 fun after credit scenes that’s worth sticking around for especially that 2nd one WOW did not see that coming and don’t get me started on some of those kick ass fight scenes – For me Justice League is similar in vein to Ayer’s Suicide Squad it’s one of them films that doesn’t try to be something it’s not, it doesn’t require much in the way of brain power instead requires you to sit back, geek out and have some good old fashioned movie fun, after all this 2 hour slice of comic book absurdity is exactly why I love these movies just let yourself be transported into a world you’ve only witnessed on a page, there’s too much darkness in life so lighten up and enjoy – surely watching Jason Momoa’s Aquaman flying through the air, flirting with Batman and giving the bad guys what for is reason enough to put a smile on your face, I’ve been a huge fan of the big man’s since Game of Thrones and in Aquaman he may have found his calling – another character emerging from Justice League with flying colors is Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Miller gives the speedster this quirky somewhat innocent twist and some of the movie’s highlights revolve around him – of course along with the newbies the old guard do a great job Affleck’s Batman is as good as I’ve seen the character in my lifetime, Gadot looks like she’s been playing Wonder Woman all her life – effortless and full of confidence, Adams shows plenty of emotion and looks simply stunning and Henry Cavill even with those dodgy CGI scenes is getting better with each movie as Clark Kent aka: Superman – Overall: not much in the way of criticism here except that I would have liked to have seen more of J.K. Simmons Commisioner Gordon and maybe on a selfish note another half hour runtime (there’s always an Ultimate Edition to look forward too – wishful thinking) – Justice League is not a masterpiece in any shape or form BUT what it does it does perfectly well and that’s ENTERTAIN and at the end of the day if this guy walks out of the cinema with a big smile on his lips then that’s all that matters #TeamJusticeLeague ★★★★
AMERICAN MADE (2017) : Doug Liman
Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons
on the Movie Screen TOM CRUISE has few equals, the man is a bonefied action star, a charasmastic movie magnet, a film icon and in my eyes one of the Greatest Movie Stars that’s ever lived – ok so now I have that off my chest what did I make of his second movie with filmaker Doug Liman AMERICAN MADE is a film based around a true story of pilot come drug runner Barry Seal – films that fly under the radar & deliver the goods are few and far between yet American Made succeeds big time – from the time I sat in my seat in the jam packed screening to it’s final credits time flew – there’s a darkness, a terrifying story being told yet you can’t help but smile, laugh and at time clap your way through proceedings, the pace is electric, the locations pleasing on the eye and attention to detail superb – it seems Liman and Cruise are a match made in movie heaven and with this being there second picture together only whets the lips for a third ★★★★
BLADE RUNNER 2049 : Denis Villeneuve
Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis
In 1982 Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was one of my first Science Fiction crushes, it’s still in My Top 20 movies of all time so when I heard a sequel was coming, I was sceptical but then something changed….. it was announced that Canadian filmmaker Denis VILLENEUVE was set to direct, the talent behind some of my favorite movies in recent years Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario and Arrival and I instantly knew that this film when it arrived would be worthy of the name Blade Runner – and as I’m sat here typing my thoughts, still giddy with the excitment felt viewing the movie for the second time with a little Hans Zimmer playing in the background I’m actually struggling to find the words on how bloody great Blade Runner 2049 actually is – it’s a picture that’s more than a homage laid sci-fi sequel, this is filmmaking on a grand scale, Deakins use of color and light is quite overwhelming, a small but fine example of this is them early scenes between K and Morton, the way the scene is lit, it’s mood that’s transformed to the screen adds greatly to this tense, titanic and very relevant encounter – along with the movies obvious masterclass in sound & imagery Blade Runner 2049 is a film that carries a wicked cast, with 4 amazing ladies hugging the limelight and making this sequel extra special – Ana de Armas is eye catching as hologram Joi, so much so you start to believe she’s actually real – Mackenzie Davis is simply WOW as street girl Mariette with her homage strewn outfit and amazing hairstyle – and then there’s Lt. Joshi a tough ass cop played by the remakable Robin Wright who’s perfectly cast and last but not least Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks who is MESMERISING as Niander Wallace’s creation Luv, she’s quite the badass and those scenes with K near the end of the movie are so unbelievable I left half my finger nails in the arm of the chair – Overall Blade Runner 2049 is not only the best movie sequel since Cameron’s Aliens it’s also a thought provoking slice of original storytelling that sucks you in, captivates and excites like no other movie has this year ★★★★½
TOBE HOOPER (1943-2017) – directed one of the truly great films of our time, and in my eyes the scariest, most brutal raw ride into terror that i’ve witnessed – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE stills gives me chills as it did when I first came across it as kid watching it on video over a friends whilst his parents were at work – I was HORRIFIED it gave me NIGHTMARES but it also started my love affair with all things horror – you will be missed but your legacy of horror such as TEXAS, THE FUN HOUSE, SALEM’S LOT, LIFEFORCE and POLTERGEIST will continue to entertain and inspire a new legion of fans forever…..
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….
For those of you who follow me on social media or read this movie blog you will know by now that I adore Ridley Scott, his movies and all things Alien but in recent years I have been quite vocal on this legendary directors fall from the dizzy heights of yesteryear to churning out such ordinary movies, average affairs such as Robin Hood, The Counselor, Exodus: Gods and Kings and the pretty dismal Prometheus – I am so conflicted, the one side of me is so grateful to this legendary filmmaker for giving us so many iconic movies but the other side keeps asking the question “why does Ridley Scott continue to direct such sub par movies? take a leaf out of Tarantino and Cameron’s book, maybe direct a film every few years instead of every year?” it’s my opinion that these films will only tarnish his brilliant reputation – I really had hoped that Ridley had turned the corner back in 2015, I absolutley loved The Martian with Matt Damon this was a real return to form from a director in need of some resurection so when it was announced that a new Alien movie was in production a sequel to the dreadful Prometheus nevertheless I was pumped, excited and looking forward to maybe a new chapter in this great series of scifi indulgence…..
Sadly for me though Alien Covenant was not what I hope it would be, yes it was better than Prometheus (well that wasn’t hard now was it) and yes maybe over the last 10yrs The Martian aside it’s one of his better efforts but overall it was a big screen blockbuster that left me feeling flat, it was way too predictable, contained some shitty CGI that made the overall production feel shoddy and unpolished and although Covenant had it’s moments it’s narrative tried to over complicate things so the reasons why we loved the original movies were lost in this world, a franchise that was slowly becoming more about the androids than anything else – Ridley also thought it was a good idea to go all mystical on our asses so inserted some really strange Obi Wan moments featuring David from Prometheus, living like an old wise hermit in a cave, listening to wind chimes and blowing his flute delivering lines such as “you blow and I will do the fingering” I just found all this mumble jumble embarrassing, out of place and lacking any sort of vision, suspense and was almost laughable at times….
I am not saying that Alien Covenant as a movie is a complete disaster, for me it’s not got that Ridley Scott stamp on it – McBride and Fassbender are both terrific in their respective roles and some of the nice homages to previous movies were great to see but overall Covenant felt like a bad dream a two a penny slasher that felt like a rehash of the original movie that is desperately trying to emulate all the things that worked such as (face huggers, chest bursters, acid for blood and so on) yet delivering it all with no panach and most importantly zero tension, yeah it’s a shit load more violent than it’s predecessors but that’s nothing to be proud about, what made 1979’s Alien so damn good was it’s slow burning tension that’s gnaws away at you but with Covenant you feel nothing – most of the films undoing in my opinion is it’s lack of humanity I felt so disconnected to the crew of the ship, the characters in the movie were not developed enough so when they slowly start getting picked off I actually felt very little for them, I was numb and that overall summed up my experience with this movie at it’s finale – I just hope Ridley doesn’t out stay his welcome and he lets go of the Alien reigns and allows a new filmmaker to bring some fresh ideas to this much loved franchise ……★★★½