A criminal mastermind unleashes a form of justice that will terrifyin a new chapter from the book of Saw : Let’s dive straight in and get to the nitty gritty… DON’T listen to anybody who says that SPIRAL is like Fincher’s Se7en or that the movie is shifting in a new direction NO it is not : Darren Lynn Bousman’s movie is NOT a new beginning it’s just a pure and evil continuation of the dark & gory horror franchise that I love with every insane horror bone in my body : Bousman himself is a veteran of the SAW movies directing Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, so let’s be honest Lionsgate wasn’t about to change the formula were they? and can you blame them…. yes Spiral is a tad predictable, but the writing is sharp with it’s focus on police corruption, it’s pace is quick and it’s creativity in setting up those grizzly murders is top draw and kept my butt clenched throughout… the cast ain’t too shabby either with stand out roles from Chris Rock who actually suits playing a lead detective, Samuel L Jackson, Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols who all fuel to this well oiled horror franchise : so if you’ve been a fan since 2004 and love your horror to contain plenty of blood and twisted carnage then SPIRAL will fill that 90min void with it’s own cruel blend of sick entertainment ★★★½
“I love every aspect of the creation of motion pictures and I guess I am committed to it for life”
Born in San Francisco, California in 1930 and with over 50 acting roles, 40 directorial credits, a whole bunch of original music and 4 Academy Awards CLINT EASTWOOD is the epitome of the word LEGEND : he’s 91 today, he’s still working & his latest film Cry Macho lands in October……… (Happy Birthday Clint)
Born in Canada on this day in 1916 this wonderfully gifted actor is the first in what will become a regular feature here at Absolute Badasses : the 40s, 50s & 60s was dominated by the western or gritty noir picture that fell nicely for Glenn Ford the son of a railroad executive who moved to Santa Monica when he was eight years old : before his acting career took hold Glenn worked as a barkeep in Santa Monica earning $5 a week, became an expert plumber and installer of plate glass windows : in 1939 Glenn’s life changed when he made his movie debut in Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence for director Ricardo Cortez and so his journey was underway : in a long career Glenn Ford starred in over 100 movies, unbelievably he never appeared in a film nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award and was often credited as the fastest gun in the movie industry (even faster than John Wayne & James Arness) : my own personal favorites are seen in the pictures above, 3:10 to Yuma where he starred as gunslinger Ben Wade alongside Van Heflin, in 1946 came Ford’s huge break appearing alongside the gorgeous Rita Hayworth in Gilda, he would become great friends with Hayworth even becoming one of the pallbearers at her funeral in the late 80s, in 1953 he starred in one of Fritz Lang’s finest, the gritty film noir The Big Heat opposite Gloria Grahame, Marlon Brando’s sister Jocelyn Brando and Lee Marvin, then of course in 1978 he played Pa Kent in Richard Donner’sSuperman : sadly due to ill health Ford retired from acting aged 75 and died in 2006 aged 90, he was born to entertain and some of his other note worth performances include: Pocketful of Miracles, The Fastest Gun Alive, Blackboard Jungle, Lust for Gold and so many more…
Happy 51st Birthday to the MAGNIFICENT, MYSTERIOUS and incredibly TALENTED Bostonian UMA THURMAN : Born on this day in 1970, Uma has played a big part in my facination and love for cinema, and since her big film break in 1988 with Dangerous Liaisons she’s gone from strength to strength, on a personal level she married & divorced acting royalty in Gary Oldman & Ethan Hawke, starred alongside a true legend of the screen in Robert De Niro in Mad Dog and Glory, became Quentin Tarantino’s muse for Pulp Fiction and his two Kill Bill movies, and even had a role in a comic book movie, the forgettable yet fun Batman & Robin alongside Drew Barrymore and action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger : although her career has been a mixed bag, her beauty and screen presence that she delivered in her top tier movies will always be on repeat in my cinema : here’s my absolute top four : 2003’s Kill Bill, 1994’s Pulp Fiction, 2004’s Kill Bill2 and finally 1992’s underrated serial killer gem Jennifer Eight :
Yet another screen favorite has passed away : the charismatic, cool as fuck YAPHET KOTTO has died aged 81, Yaphet was such a good actor, he made ordinary looking roles ICONIC giving life to such memorable characters such as Parker in Ridley Scott’sAlien, playing Laughlin alongside Arnie in the 80s scifi gem The Running Man, his brilliant turn as Alonzo Mosely in Midnight Run, Lieutenant Al Giardello in TVs Homicide and of course his villainous turn in 007s Live and Let Die as Mr Big : although it’s time to say goodbye to this wonderful talent his movies will always be there to bring pleasure to this cinephiles movie loving heart…..
On her Birthday I’m remembering the beauty and talent of 30s Icon JEAN HARLOW who starred in films such as The Public Enemy alongside Jimmy Cagney, Frank Capra’s 1931 comedy Platinum Blonde, alongside Clark Gable in Red Dust, Howard Hughes war drama Hell Angels, Victor Fleming’s romantic comedy Blond Bombshell and her delightfully funny turn in Dinner at Eight : although Jean was taken way to early she made her mark in Hollywood as one of the funniest, sexiest and sweetest actresses of her era…. she was born on this day in 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri and was the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine : Jean Harlow made 36 movies and appeared alongside Clark Gable in six of them, she died aged 26 whilst making the 1937 movie Saratoga in which her last line spoken was “Good-bye” : her Hollywood star can be found at 6910 Hollywood Blvd….
One day on vacation with his wife Scott Carey gets exposed to a mysterious cloud of radiation and insecticide, six months later he starts to shrink, the doctors are helpless and Scott finds himself spiriling downwards into a world of unthinkable madness : Every year I submerge myself in the classic scifi of yester-year, and in my opinion they don’t come much bigger or better than the 1957 Universal Picture The Incredible Shrinking Man : the movie is a tremendous adaption of Richard Matheson’s 1956 novel The Shrinking Man and is brought to the screen by the master of 50s science fiction Jack Arnold who previously directed three gems of the era 1953’s It Came from Outer Space, 1954’s atmospheric Creature from the Black Lagoon & the scary 1955 gem that is Tarantula : although each of these are classics in their own right I just felt The Incredible Shrinking Man has this captivating aura surrounding it, a quite stunning movie with mind boggling & creative effects that are unbelievable, I can only imagine what it was like to sit in a movie theatre in 1957 watching Scott start to shrink into his new world of danger and uncertainty, it must have been watched with wide eyed terror : the acting in the movie is top notch too with Randy Stuart & April Kent catching the eye but it’s a terrific, athletic turn by Grant Williams that makes you believe, reminding me of a young Burt Lancaster with those scenes in the basement which were shot on Stage 12 of Universal Studios being quite unforgettable as Scott fights off floods, starvation and a deadly black widow spider : the end to the movie left me cold, it’s one of those scenes you want more from, your left saddened by what transpires but are ultimately in agreeance that it could not of ended any other way : rewatching some of the CLASSIC universal stock from the 50’s makes me wish I was from that time, an era full of ICONIC science fiction horror that opens up your imagination & consumes you with excitement and wonder : so if you’ve never delved into the past for your movie fix then what are you waiting for? start with Arnold’sThe Incredible Shrinking Man and you can thank me later….. ★★★★★
A young woman seeks vengeance against those who committed an unforgiveable act to a friend from her past : Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut Promising Young Woman is one of the most relevant, impactful and though provoking movies that I’ve ever seen : WOW the colors, the quaint coffee shop and the Britney Spears vibe HOOKED ME and it’s darkness and originality and that devistating final act that really caught me offguard, that left me fighting for breath, cold and SPEECHLESS : with iconic roles in her rear view mirror such as Irene in Drive, Daisy in The Great Gatsby and Cathy in Never Let Me GoCarey Mulligan never ceases to amaze me with her ability to make a character her own and in Cassandra she teases, she smiles and ultimately destroys you with her actions and although the film has some flashes of humor and lighter romantic moments such as Mulligan & Burnham singing along to Paris Hilton’s Stars are Blind in the convience store it’s the way the film delivers it’s key moments such as when Cassandra visits Dean Walker at the school, a squeaky bum scene delivered with the impact of a freight train, I was like WTF hands to the mouth whispering to myself she’s not has she? and that cafe scene with Madison and what follows, Alison Brie is growing into quite the actress and what follows is truly terrifying yet rewarding in a bizzare fuck you sort of way : LOVE Jennifer Coolidge & Clancy Brown who are PERFECT as the parents and Laverne Cox is fabulous as Cassandra’s friend and boss at the coffee shop but essentially Promising Young Woman is all about Carey Mulligan and it’s WICKIDLY good story about ACCOUNTABILITY ★★★★½
Today the world of film has lost Tanya Roberts aged 65 : I will always remember Tanya for the beauty she gave us in two films that came out whilst I was in my early teens, 1982’s fantasy movie The Beastmaster where she played Kiri opposite Marc Singer and in 1985 she starred alongside Roger Moore in A View to a Kill playing Bond Woman Stacey Sutton : on the small screen Tanya starred in over a dozen episodes of the TV show Charlie’s Angels as Julie Rogers and in recent years playing Midge Pinciotti on That ’70s Show : she will be missed !!
For me the rules of a great Festive Movie are quite simple : try and make the person who’s watching feel good, put a big Cheshire Cat smile on their face and spread that heartfelt message of love, hope and well wishes far & wide : each year around early December our home is full of Christmas Cheer and we love nothing more than to revisit some of our favorite movies : alternate festive treats such as Die Hard and Gremlins, classics of yesteryear such as The Goonies and Raiders but without question each and every year the Absolute Top Four always get a looking : Richard Donner’s magnificent Scrooged, Frank Capra’s emotionally acclaimedIt’s a Wonderful Life, The Griswalds send me into hysterics in Christmas Vacation and Ron Howard magical family movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas : for me these movies embody everything that makes this time of year so special……. what’s you favorite festive movies?
A family of fur trappers who live in a remote wilderness find their tranquility threatened by what they think is a wolf, but something else has been stalking the woods and Joseph, Anne and Renee are about to find out what : WOW !! I wasn’t really prepared for this movie and I’m not just talking about it’s macabre, unforgettable finale but also the harshness of it’s story about a family that live off the grid in the Canadian wilderness, living off the land, killing animals for their fur whilst teaching their young daughter to set traps, to shoot a gun, skin animals and generally learning how to fend for herself without little knowledge of the outside world : during the opening twenty minutes of Hunter Hunter I realised that I didn’t care much for the parents, their treatment of Renee and the animals butchered for monetary gain didn’t particular sit well with me so I was rather hoping that the rogue wolf that had been terrorising the area for years would finally get even, it would have been a slice of karma but things don’t always go to plan and the course of the movie was about to shift and things were about to get real : without giving too much away my only criticism with the film is that I felt that the plot could have expanded to include more backstory to some of the more relevant aspects throughout, that being said filmmakerShawn Linden captures the danger of inhabiting the wilderness with a provocative, tense driven ride that explodes during it’s final act which what can only be described as incredible : ONE TO WATCH ★★★½
A filmmaker seeks solace from her down spiraling career in a remote New York lake house, hoping to find some good old fashioned inspiration : It’s only fitting in the strangest of years that we should have one of the strangest of movies : BLACK BEAR is certainly that, mixed with it’s weird and mind bending plot Lawrence Michael Levine’s film is incredibly frustrating, thought provoking and full of the most unlikeable characters in a movie this year, but somehow Levine pulls it off Albeit with the help of it’s stunning location and engaging cast including Christopher Abbott’s Gabe, Sarah Gadon’s Blair both of whom are annoyingly bodacious in that first segment, to say their relationship is stormy is putting it mildly and last but not least Aubrey Plaza who plays the lead role of Allison, along with Ingrid Goes West and Safety Not Guaranteed this is Aubrey Plaza at her captivating, irresistible best, especially in the movies second half where she finds herself as the lead actress, a bit of a diva in a feature film being directed by Gabe : Black Bear is one of those rare movies that I don’t quite understand what went on, although I’m guessing it went something along the lines of a washed up artist who is struggling to find work decides to take a break in remote Long Lake New York to reinvent herself and hopefully find some inspiration so in the movie Levine shows us what’s actually manifesting in Allison’s mind and how certain things may have played out…. it’s only my interpretation of the goings on in Black Bear but nevertheless the movie certainly scores extra points for the performance level and it’s intriguing narrative, as days later I still find myself thinking of what went on in that lake house and what happened to Allison and that big Black Bear ★★★★
Fancy swapping bodies with an infamous serial killer? me neither… well that’s what happens to Millie and she now has 24 hours before that change becomes permanent : having really enjoyed both Happy Death Day movies and the superb Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse I was excited to see what director Christopher Landon had in store for us with his latest horror comedy FREAKY that stars Vince Vaughn & Kathryn Newton : the mixture of comedy, smartly written dialogue and GORY horror is a fine line which Landon tip toes outrageously along : watching terrified as Vince Vaughn’s Butcher slices and dices his way through those opening ten minutes with the brutality of a Wes Craven movie whilst mouthing HOLY SHIT and then turning the terror into a smile and full on belly laugh as the Butcher is transformed into a teenage girl’s body thanks to the ancient mystical dagger is GENIUS : I can’t honestly decide which one I prefered more, Vince Vaughan’s Butcher running around the town of Blissfield screaming & acting like a girl or Kathryn Newton’s Millie transformed into the Butcher and taking out some sweet vengeance on the bully’s at her school, those scenes involving the smarmy teacher and the table saw and Ryler’s cryo-tank moment is utterly brilliant : Freaky is close to Landon’s best work, yes it’s full of your typical cliches, but overall the film’s inventive, outrageous and devilishly good FUN : a body swap slasher for the ages, a cult classic that I can’t wait to rewatch and recommend to friends ★★★★
“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