Director : Justin Lin – Cast Includes : Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris
Can you believe there’s been NINE Fast & Furious movies and that Justin Lin has now directed 5 of them with two more in the works… I mean Lin’s the David Yates of this franchise, yeah he’s done other shit that includes the brilliant Better Luck Tomorrow and Star Trek Beyond but it’s working alongside Vin Diesel and his family of insane petrolheads that he’s mainly known for… before F9 I decided to rewatch Fate followed by Hobbs & Shaw, a whole day of crazy entertainment was enjoyed and it was nice refreshing my mind with what had come earlier… F9 pretty much starts where The Fate and the Furious ends with Dom, Letty & Brian now living off the grid, taking some time away from the big city, soaking up the quiet life until Dom’s ugly past returns and forces him to confront the sins of his youth to save those he loves the most… I have to admit the Fast & Furious franchise is one of my guilty pleasures, yeah I know what your thinking (your easily pleased then aren’t you?) well you may be right, I just love the movies and whether that film’s story sucks or it’s acting smells of cheese as long as I’m entertained then I’ll keep on watching… the main focus of Justin Lin’sF9 was the past merging with the present and this was handled superbly with flashbacks of those early days when daddy Torreto raced and had Dom & his kid brother working the pitts, a big tip of the hat goes to New Zealander Vinnie Bennett who’s terrific as a young Dom, I really though he not only looked like Vin Diesel in stature but captured his glare… although the Fast & Furious movies are not comedy centric I found with Fate and that 2019 spin off that characters Hobbs & Shaw played by Dwayne Johnson & Jason Statham sparred with terrific humor, their fabulous chemistry built around their dislike for each other ignited the franchise further so watching Lin’sF9 without the pair did create this graveyard of lack luster humor that felt pushed and awkward at times, that being said the action is utterly banana’s, the infectious adrenaline fuelled chase scenes involving the electromagnet, the truck that goes vertical, the return of Charlize Theron’s Cipher firing missiles from an operated drone and of course that “what the shit… Ludacris space moment” had it’s 2hrs plus runtime zooming by… yeah I know it’s not close to being Lin’s best work in the franchise butnevertheless it’s still a rollicking good time, best seen on the big screen and don’t forget to stay around into those end credits ★★★½
Director : Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli– Cast Includes : Matilda Lutz, Francesco Russo, Will Merrick, Yuliia Sobol, Justin Korovkin
So I’m excited… why you may ask? well I just watched a new horror movie by two Italian filmmakers I’d never heard of and it was freaking AWESOME !! A CLASSIC HORROR STORY is directed by Italians Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli and was made for 3 million euros, the film stars Matilda Lutz last seen in the brilliant Coralie Fargeat movie Revenge and was filmed in Apulia and Roma, Italy : the film starts with a bunch of strangers travelling in a RV through the countryside of southern Italy when an accident leaves them stranded in the woods, with no phone signal and with one of the party injured they must fight desperately to find away out and stay alive… what I found so enjoyable with A Classic Horror Story was that it felt like a mash up of some of my favorite horror movies, it had the creepy vibes of The Village and Midsommar, the brutality of Texas Chainsaw and the weirdness of Cabin in the Woods… I loved that the runtime was kept short & sweet, the way the story twists and turns like the arms of an octopus with it’s finale leaving you open mouthed like the end of a Shyamalan pic and the film’s unsettling violence that made me wince a few times… I really enjoyed the way the fear factor is ramped up when the mention of the three deities Ostro, Mastosso and Carcagnosso, that Purge like noise of the siren going off alerting the group that trouble is coming their way, this after digesting a scene of unimaginable horror moments before and that dinner table scene around an hour in with Matilda Lutz covered in blood, tied to a chair trying to scream for help is painful to watch : along with Lutz who shines as Elisa there’s also a wickid turn by Francesco Russo who plays Fabrizio : overall A Classic Horror Story is CREEPY, BLOODY and a DAMN GOOD TIME ★★★★
Can you believe COREY FELDMAN has joined the 50’s club? (well neither can I)… during the 80s this guy freaking rocked, his films and the character’s he brought to life were a huge part of my youth so it’s only right we here at Absolute Badasses say Happy 50th to this ICON… from those early roles playing Tommy in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Billy’s friend Pete in the 1984 gem Gremlins to being part of The Goonies with his character Mouth adding so much humor to the group, he also stole the show as the loose cannon Teddy Duchamp in the coming of age Stand by Me and of course, not forgetting his role as Edgar Frog in one of my favorite cult classic’s The Lost Boys… in the 90s he went on to star in The ‘Burbs with Tom Hanks and voiced one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, had a small cameo in Maverick and also starred in a 1994 episode of Tales from the Crypt… in 2008 he returned as one of the Frog Brothers in Lost Boys: The Tribe and then in 2010 returned once more for Lost Boys: The Thirst and although his career has slowed down a tad over the years Corey is still working with his latest roles coming in the horror anthology The Sunday Night Slaughter and lending his vocals as the Sorcerer Beast in William Cox’s Age of Stone & Sky: The Sorcerer Beast… Happy Birthday Corey Feldman !!
Director : Chris McKay – Cast Includes :Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Sam Richardson
In the year 2051 the human race is at war with an Alien race known and the Whitespikes, the only way to prevent total extinction is for the Earth in 2022 to send troops and scientists through a wormhole to the future in hope of stopping annihilation by creating a toxin to rid the world of these fierce creatures : Jurassic World star Chris Pratt plays James Forester a family man & biology teacher who gets called up to join the fight in THE TOMORROW WAR : heads up before watching… if your not a fan of science fiction action movies then don’t both pressing play… leave your cynical side at the door, pour yourself a drink and get ready to to be entertained : along with it’s original concept the film also borrows ideas from others in it’s genre with filmmaker Chris McKay managing to create an exciting landscape for his Alien invasion pic to inhabit, the film’s pace is electric and is action packed, with it’s visuals, the design & movement of those Whitespikes really creeping me out as the 2hr plus runtime wizzes by… I really dug the wormhole execution, I was scared just watching the newbies get transported and that was before I saw those words on the computer screen come up in red “System Error”… as I was a big fan of Chuck and Sarah Walker it was nice seeing Yvonne Strahovski in another piece of action, the scene in which her character helps contain one of the Aliens in a cage under the ground is superb : with his recent Marvel outings and fighting Dinosaurs in Jurassic WorldChris Pratt has become quite the action star so it was easy in believing in his character, Edwin Hodge has a terrific role as Dorian who’s had three tours through the wormhole and looked every part of the war torn combat vet and it was fab seeing Sam Richardson again so soon after his hilarious turn in the horror comedy Werewolves Within : so if your looking for a few hours of escapism then Chris McKay’s The Tomorrow War is just the ticket : I HAD A BLAST ★★★½
“Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby….” whether it be Maverick soaring through the skies in Top Gun, on a spy mission with Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible, fighting Aliens in Edge of Tomorrow or playing a contract killer in Collateral there’s nothing quite like watching TOM CRUISE project his passion, commitment and overall love for his craft onto our movie screens… he’s INFECTIOUS : born on this day in 1962, Syracuse New York, Tom Cruise made his film debut playing Billy in 1981’s Endless Love, six more movies followed before Tom took on his iconic role of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell alongside Val Kilmer and Kelly McGillis in Tony Scott’s 1986 action masterpiece Top Gun, he became a box office sensation, his career boomed and he’s never looked back… of course along with his well know action movies Tom can also act with the best of them, he’s won three Golden Globes and been nominated by the Academy in three pictures… Oliver Stone’s 1989 true story Born on the Fourth of July, Cameron Crowe’s 1996 comedy Jerry Maguire and Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliant 1999 movie Magnolia : aged 59 Tom’s currently filming Mission Impossible 7 and yep he’s still doing those crazy stunts and his new movie Top Gun : Maverick hits the big screen later this year… what an ABSOLUTE BADASS !!
Director : Randal Plunkett – Cast Includes :Katharine Isabelle, Hazel Doupe, Dermot Ward
THE GREEN SEA is the directorial debut of filmmaker Randal Plunkett and stars Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) as a once famous rock singer turned isolated writer : whenever I come across an independent/low budget movie that I no very little about I always look for that small something that will keep me interested enough to keep watching it, whether it be a good performance, interesting premise or some scenery that’s too beautiful to disgard, the movie I’m watching needs to show me something… well Plunkett’s debut had me hooked from it’s moody angry beginnings, I loved it’s deliberately slow pace, haunting score, photogenic Irish landscape, an intriguing narrative that had me searching for answers, asking myself questions like “is the Kid real?” or “why is Katharine’s character so hell bent on destruction?” and that leads me to mention a compelling performance by Katharine Isabelle who in my opinion has rarely been better, Simone may be her most interesting, unlikeable and layered character since playing the surgery loving Mary in the Soska Sisters crazy horror American Mary, it really is terrific stuff from Isabelle, giving life to Simone a character with this mysterious past, soaked in self loathing, drinking to oblivion and tired of the world until that is she runs over a young girl whilst driving home drunk one night, the girl we only get to know as the Kid is played by Hazel Doupe who I last seen in the fantastic Float Like a Butterfly, it’s the Kid’s reveal and dynamic between the two actresses that gives Plunkett’s film it’s core… I really loved the way The Green Sea uses it’s many flashback scenario’s played out in a sort of dreamscape that give you a passenger seat into Simone’s past and whether or not you understand some of the innuendo’s shown you can’t help but feel some sort of redemption for the film’s characters during it’s painful climax : A SLOW BURNING GEM ★★★★
Following the Abbott family who are forced to venture into pastures new as they quickly realise that the alien creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path : A QUIET PLACE Part II opens up with a flashback… Day 1 starts with happier times where we get to see the the small American town where the Abbott’s lived right before the Alien invasion took place, there’s smiles aplenty as the kids are playing baseball, we get to see Brody’s Pizzeria an obvious nod to Spielberg’sJaws and we get our first look at a new character Emmett played by Cillian Murphy, a family man watching the baseball when his and everyone’s life changes forever : if your a horror fan then the darkness of the Cinema is the best place to watch A Quiet Place Part II as Polly Morgan’s imaginative camera work, the muted sound with flashes of screeching, screaming Alien attacks and the tension with each scene as the family attempt to navigate their now crushed world without making a sound is unbearable : I know I touched on this after 2018’s first movie but I have to say how impressed I am with Millie Simmonds who’s easily the star of this sequel, her character Regan is fearless & clever and the train and boat yard scenes with Cillian are terrific to watch, Emily Blunt of course is superb, the pain Evelyn feels in defending her children & insurmountable loss is the backbone of the movie, from heartfelt moments such as leaving her wedding ring on the cross and her fight with the creature whilst carrying two oxygen tanks is formidable, Peaky BlinderCillian Murphy is a welcome additon to the cast, his character Emmett plays a pivotel role in the Abbott families survival and The Undoing’s young star Noah Jupe is once again fabulous, that scene where Marcus is running out of air in the safe had my pulse racing and my knuckles turning white as I gripped the arms of the chair, nearly knocking my popcorn all over the place : it’s no mean feat to direct a sequel that stands up well alongside it’s original yet somehow John Krasinksi has managed just that… yes if I was being slightly picky the film finishes rather abruptly and could have benefitted with an extra thirty minutes… but since a third film in the franchise has been green lit with no other than Jeff “Midnight Special” Nichols directing then I’ll let this one pass and look forward to another chapter where being quiet is the new norm : TERRIFYING ★★★★
Here’s the trailer for HALLOWEEN KILLS… I’m a huge fan of Michael Myers and the film franchise that was started back in ’78 by Carpenter spawning numerous sequels and remakes, so the thought of visiting the cinema this October for another dose of Haddonfield has me all excited… I know what your thinking… you just can’t beat the originals and yep you would be right, but there was something fresh I took away from David Gordon Green’sHalloween back in 2018,I didn’t think it was as atmospheric as Carpenter’s masterpiece or as nasty as the Rob Zombie remake but I did love it’s story by Green &Mcbride, the film was well shot with it’sscares coming thick and fast and Myers was in devilishly good form, I really enjoyed the Judy Greer casting and of course seeing Jamie Lee return as Laurie Strode was the icing… so after you’ve watched the trailer for the sequel below why not (like I’m about to do) revisit the Halloween franchise, and see which ones are you favorite… Halloween Kills scares this October…
After a remote mine collapses in north Canada, a team is sent on a rescue mission to save them : with writing credits that include Armageddon, The Saint, Jumanji, Die Hard with a Vengeance and directing credits on 2004’s The Punisher and mob thriller Kill the Irishman in 2011 Jonathan Hensleigh is behind the wheel again & it sure is fun to have him back… THE ICE ROAD stars Liam Neeson as Mike, a hard working no nonsence truck driver who along with his brother Gurty a war veteran who suffers from aphasia takes on a well paid job (some would say a suicide mission) to drive a rig across icy terrain in a bid to save a whole bunch of trapped miners who are slowly running out of air… I really loved the concept behind The Ice Road and like the majority of Neeson’s action romps it’s kept simple, the action and pace is exciting, the effects and photography are effective without being too much in your face and it’s support cast including Legion’s Amber Midthunder, Marcus Thomas who plays Gurty, the always reliable Holt McCallany, The Matrix star Laurence Fishburne and Benjamin Walker all do well in their respective roles : my only slight negative is I felt Hensleigh missed a trick in not capatalising on Gurty’s mechanical talent, maybe he should have fleshed out the story a tad to give his character and others a little more depth, since he also wrote the story I wonder if there was more available but was left on the cutting room floor? this being said the Icy road scenes involving the three resuce trucks, the drama of the miners trapped fighting for their lives, that insane bridge finale and Neeson’s reliable match stick chewing presence certainly makes up for any shortcomings and I finished the movie with a smile on my face, enjoying what I had seen and would certainly recommend The Ice Road to others ★★★½
Today marks the 67th Birthday of Kathleen Turner, she’s not only one of my favorite all time actresses and a lady of immense talent but during my hey day back in the good old 80s she really did own the words SCREEN BEAUTY with sizzling turns in the likes of Body Heat, Crimes of Passion, The Man with Two Brains and of course Romancing the Stone and it’s sequel The Jewel of the Nile : but Kathleen is no one trick pony, she’s a superb theatre actress with two TONY nominations for her performances in Broadway roles as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and PLEASE people we need to talk more about Kathleen’s imense comedy work she’s incredibly FUNNY, check out The War of the Roses, Serial Mom, Prizzi’s Honor and Switching Channels and wasn’t it BLISS watching her reunite with Michael Douglas recently in the third and final series of the The Kominsky Method : Kathleen is someone who’s brought so much happiness to my movie loving bubble and yes I know she’s a tad older now but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for the movie gods to sanction a third Jack & Joan outing and of course bringing Ralph back would be the icing… but until then… Happy Birthday Kathleen 🙂
Two years after being left for dead, a retired hitman sets in motion a carefully crafted revenge plan against the killer : I remember watching Daniel Benmayor‘s Tracers back in 2015 and being a little underwhelmed, it was an average movie with very little to write home about apart from some promising action sequences, roll on 6 years and we have the latest from the Spanish filmmaker XTREMO and HOLY BALLS this movie totally gave me a white knuckle ride, it’s pure guilt free entertainment and although the story is similar to those that’s come before there’s just something about the films star Teo García who plays Máximo that gives Xtremo that extra bite, the intensity and cruel nature of those bone crunchin, sword fighting, nail gun tooting action scenes are reminiscent of John Wick and The Raid but stamped with Benmayor‘s own filmmaking flare and so much fun to watch : along with Garcia’s Maximo Xtremo has a whole bunch of badass characters including Sergio Peris-Mencheta’s Finito a real nasty son of a bitch who gives us the audience someone to hate during those early parts of the movie, Óscar Jaenada’s Lucero who grew up with Maximo but turns all power hungry by attempting to kill everyone in his path, and then we have the kickass Maria played by the beautiful spaniard Andrea Duro who works for Lucero, that scene with Maria and Maximo on the training matt is a delight, we get to witness their undoubted connection, their passion & energy burns through the screen : so if your a fan of these high tempo, high body count action movies that are well choreographed & filmed in the most beautiful of places (in this case Barcelona), even containing bits of humor in the midst of all the violence (such as Lucero handing a delicious looking cake to one of his henchman and returning 5mins later to find it’s been eaten) then Xtremo will fit the bill and may give you a new hero to root for…. let’s hope the movie’s a success and Benmayor gets to film a sequel : EXPLOSIVE FUN ★★★★
Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae. A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae’s disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love?
From the co-creator of Westworld and directorial debut of the Lisa Joy comes Reminiscence a movie that looks insanely familiar yet mind blowingly cool in a Christopher Nolan kinda way : I love the imagery, futuristic film noir setting and love story vibes and the cast is not too shabby either with Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson and Thandiwe Newton taking central roles : check out the trailer below, the movie lands on August 20th 2021
A chilling true story of the supernatural, a violent murder and an unknown evil that shocked even the experienced paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren : If like me your a fan of The Conjuring franchise and invested in it’s characters and the horror universe it plays out in then Michael Chaves movie will get under your skin and deliver plenty of knee jerks, shivers and chewing of finger nails, yes of course I was disappointed to hear James Wan wasn’t returning to the franchise he started but after watching Michael Chaves brilliant directorial debut The Curse of La Llorona I was more than happy to enjoy another chapter of Conjuring : the third film of course sees the return of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren a real life husband and wife team of paranormal investigators who are now looking into the possession of David a young boy from Connecticut and the alarming events that followed : I watched this movie on the big screen, allowing the darkness of the movie theatre to consume me I was ready…. or so I thought…. in typical Conjuring fashion those sudden ear bursting moments of screaching SOUND really caught me off guard, especially at the beginning of the movie when David is being tormented by some evil entity and Ed & Lorraine with the help of some family members & a local priest are trying to perform an exorcism really startled me…. and AGAIN when David goes all Regan on the dining room table the SOUND matching the horrific intensity of the scene, really standing my hair on end : loved the nod to The Exorcist early on as Father Gordon arrives standing outside the Glatzel house looking up at the window, so poetic, Ed & Lorraine’s love story arch with it’s emotion and early flashback are beautifully handled (that gazebo scene had me like niagara falls), the supporting cast that includes Fringe’sJohn Noble (when is he not great eh?) & Ruairi O’Connor who I last seen in Teen Spirit are excellent and along with the well worked screenplay written by Aquaman’s David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick it’s the chemistry of it’s two stars Wilson and Farmiga that once again deliver believable and emotional characterisation of the Warren’s, this third film has more backstory allowing both stars to grow their respective roles even further : overall THE CONJURING 3 is a superb entry into the franchise and one that has everything you’d want from a horror movie : it’s super SCARY, has a COMPELLING and facinating story and the ATMOSPHERE you could cut with a knife★★★★
Happy Birthday to the GREAT New Yorker HARVEY KEITEL : in my eyes he’s up there in the top 20 actors of all time, displaying passion & energy in some of my favorite films of all time : I remember watching Harvey give a powerhouse of a display for a young Scorsese in Mean Streets alongside De Niro and after watching realising this guy is gona be the new Brando, of course his collaborations with Marty are incredible and some of his best work but for me My top two Keitel performances both came in 1992 and both exploded from the screen like a stick of dynamite, Mr White in Quentin Tarantino’s debut Reservoir Dogs and of course his raw and disturbing LT in Abel Ferrara’s no nonsence Bad Lieutenant : for me Keitel stands tall with the greats of film, his performances have been varied and most of all consistently GREAT : Happy 82nd Legend !!
sad news the badass Frank McRae has died aged 80 : although he wasn’t a huge star and quite often found himself in smaller roles Frank managed to put his own stamp on the movie world, giving us character’s we fondly remember, with eye catching performances such as Harry in *batteries Not Included, Ogden Jones alongside Dan Aykroyd in 1941, Mr Teasdale in the 1984’s cult classic Red Dawn, Dekker in The Last Action Hero, and Haden in 48hrs, he also starred in other films such as 007’s Licence to Kill, 1973’s gangster film Dillinger and not to mention his collaboration’s with Sylvester Stallone on film’s such as F.I.S.T., Paradise Alley, Lock Up and Rocky II : as I look around my film library and spot some of the film’s mentioned I’m sad at his loss but I also smile reminiscing at the many delightful performances this wonderful character actor has given us….
“I'm a mog - half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend” - Spaceballs (1987)
“I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts” - Bananas (1971)
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic and so am I” - What About Bob? (1991)
“Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something, I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention” - Dumb and Dumber (1994)
“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son” - Animal House (1978)
“Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes” - Naked Gun 33 ½ : The Final Insult (1994)
"Yes, it's true. This man has no dick" - Ghost Busters (1984)
"I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?" - Meet the Parents (2000)
"They called him 'Fast Eddie'... He was a winner... He was a loser... He was a hustler" - THE HUSTLER (1961)
"For Three Men The Civil War Wasn't Hell. It Was Practice!" - THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY (1966)
"The night HE came home" - HALLOWEEN (1978)
"All the power on earth can't change destiny" - THE GODFATHER PART III
"In space, no one can hear you scream" - ALIEN (1979)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid" - THE FLY (1986)
"Cruise like Thunder" - DAYS OF THUNDER (1990)
"Same Make. Same Model. New Mission." - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
"Houston, we have a problem" - APOLLO 13 (1995)
"The greatest fairy tale never told" - SHREK (2001)
"We've Sensed It. We've Seen The Signs. Now... It's Happening." - THE HAPPENING (2008)
DJANGO UNCHAINED is the first time in 16 years that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get the top billing
In John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN Michael Myers' mask is actually a Captain Kirk mask which was altered for the film
On the set of 1982's THE THING the whole cast and crew was male
BLAZING SADDLES was shot on the same MOVIE set as Yul Bryner's WESTWORLD
The first TWILIGHT movie is the only film in the saga to not receive any Razzie Award nominations
In a deleted scene from James Cameron's ALIENS Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) daughter was played by Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney Weaver's real-life mother
Prints of the movie INCEPTION were shipped to theaters under the name "Hour Glass"
The Dude from the superb THE BIG LEBOWSKI says "man" 147 times in the movie