American Made sees Tom Cruise reunite with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) in what looks like an under the radar gem – the film also stars Domhnall Gleeson & Sarah Wright and is based on the true story of Barry Seal, a U.S. pilot who is recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history – after watching this trailer I’m sure you guys will agree American Made not only looks like a damn fine action movie with a fabulous story attached but for me as a fan it will also be refreshing to see Cruise get his teeth into something that will showcase his undoubted acting ability…. Roll on September !!
The film follows an aspiring actress Mia played by the charming Emma Stone who falls in love with Sebastian an out of work Jazz Musician played by the accomplished Ryan Gosling – the film is set in LA and pays homage to the movies & music of a bygone age….
Damien Chazelle’s romantic musical LA LA LAND is everything I hoped for and so much more….
as I sat in the cinema mouth agape watching the words “Presented in CinemaScope” and the camera expertly panning over the cars of a packed LA freeway I quickly realized that I was in for a magical ride down the cinematic highway – a voice through a car’s open window started singing, her voice raw with emotion and suddenly without thinking I found myself tapping my feet to it’s catchy beat, chills started dancing across my spine, my face lit up at the explosion of color and what happened next was pretty special….
throughout it’s 2hrs I felt like I was transported back to Old Hollywood reminiscing of them musical stars of yesteryear, images flooding my mind of Fred, Ginger, Rooney & Garland all singing, dancing before me as I sat transfixed, seduced by LA LA LAND’s heart melting musical numbers, the films colorful sets and dreamy, infectious pairing of two of Hollywood’s brightest young stars in Gosling & Stone….
I have so many favorite scenes in the movie – the song & dance number at the Griffith Observatory, the lovely moment with Gosling’s Sebastian singing the beautiful “City of Stars” on the pier and that amusing moment at the party where Stone’s Mia asks a band to play the 80s track “I Ran” by one hit wonder band A Flock of Seagulls and then dances manically whilst lip syncing the lyrics – the performances by it’s cast and music by Justin Hurwitz is complete PERFECTION….
if 2014’s Whiplash that starred Miles Teller & J.K Simmons stunned you with it’s brilliance then Damien Chazelle’s LA LA LAND will overwhelm you, make you smile from ear to ear and allow you to dream that little bit longer – From it’s magical, entertaining & insanely eye popping opening number to it’s bitter sweet, emotionally draining finale LA LA LAND is cinema at it’s most potent, electrifying best…. ★★★★½
as a teenager growing up in the 80s I was in awe of this bad-ass Princess that lived through the medium of the movies, she was my first movie crush, a total and utter rebel who gave me hope that the evil scum of the empire would be toppled and the rebellion would win out the day – she was of course Princess Leia aka: Carrie Frances Fisher – born to the wonderful screen star Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher Carrie was like Hollywood royalty and with the help of George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill she would soon become a movie idol cherished and loved by legions of movie fans that were not only struck by her immense beauty but also with her humor & intelligence – Carrie not only appeared in the original Star Wars trilogy and 2015’s The Force Awakens but she also wrote novels that included her 1987 autobiographical Postcards from the Edge that would later become a movie starring Meryl Streep and just before her death Carrie was promoting her latest autobiography The Princess Diarist – but to me Carrie will always be that fearless Princess that ignited the Star Wars trilogy and thankfully due to film we all can at any time take a trip to a galaxy far, far away and keep her memory alive, onscreen of course that is…….
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
OK first up I never wanted to see this movie made and not because of this nonsense “all female” thing either, I just love the original films, like many they’re part of my upbringing since the original was released back in the mid 80s I must have seen the film 100 times or more Aykroyd, Ramis and Murray are three of my film heroes so discovering that they were doing another film remake and this time it was my beloved Ghostbusters I was at first mad as hell, I wanted to scream the social media house down, I guess I never wanted a movie more than this one to fail miserably but luckily for me like most things I calmed down and accepted that even without my blessing this reboot was going to happen one way or the other – Paul Feig happens to be one of my favourite modern comedy directors, films such as Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy have all made me cry with laughter so taking the mantle for this remake was a big thing for him and I just prayed, kept my fingers crossed that he was up to the task…..
OK so now I have seen Ghostbusters the 2016 version and I want to share my views with you film fans out there – firstly it has to be said Feig goes above and beyond in respecting the original 1984 classic, he uses the old theme tune, gives cameo’s to the old cast and even dedicates the movie to Harold Ramis at the end credits (a nice touch I thought) – his young cast comprising of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth are all fabulous, McKinnon and Jones for me steal the show but in general Feig has managed to cast well all actors adding something to this reboot, Hemsworth is at times hilarious playing the dopey good looking secretary for the team, he actually wears glasses without the glass and keeps tripping over himself & that dancing at the end credits is worth staying around for – I love also the fact that the legend that is Andy Garcia plays the New York Mayor such a great actor and fabulous to see him back on the big screen – the films opening at the haunted mansion was a riot, Kristen Wigg’s character getting slimed is worth the ticket value in itself and them scenes involving Jone’s character in the subway and also the possessed dummy are so much fun, McCarthy being possessed and getting slapped by Jones was hilarious and then of course you have McKinnon just oozing style playing the oddball engineer who creates the teams Ghost busting weapons & looks equally at ease firing them bad boys – Overall: put aside (if you have any) your disagreement for this movie and go and have some fun – Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is an amusing, entertaining picture, the cast rock & I promise you this movie will bring a smile to your face, my only small criticism is that the last 15minutes could have been handled better, a little OTT but that’s me being picky – Ghostbusters is a real blast !! ★★★½
Edgar Rice Burroughs creation has seen makeovers, there has been a lot of movies based around his character since the very first one back in 1918 – of course I grew up like many watching Johnny Weissmuller most people’s definitive Tarzan swinging through the jungle, his distinctive vocals and great build perfect in portraying our jungle born hero – in more recent times we have seen Tarzan, the Ape Man back in 1981 and Greystoke starring Christopher Lambert back in 1984 – so when I first heard the Harry Potter film-maker David Yates was involved in a new fresh take on this character and had lined up the talented True Blood actor Alexander Skarsgard for the lead I was pretty stoked on the possible direction of this new franchise…….
The Legend of Tarzan is one of the most visually beautiful movies to look at for many a year, from it’s sizzling, easy on the eye cast, it’s sweeping cinematography to it’s epic special effects this is an action adventure jam packed with all the niceties of modern Hollywood, everything about this movie reminded me of the classics of yesteryear, not only big in scale but family friendly, a real rip roaring big screen event that is a delight from start to finish – as actors go Alexander Skarsgard is the near perfect embodiment of Burroughs Tarzan, he’s not only got that athletic physique but he has plenty of screen presence, his muscular frame and chiselled features lend to that image that he was brought up by Gorillas in the African jungle – Margot Robbie meanwhile adds beauty, charm and wit to Tarzan’s Jane and more importantly I guess is their on-screen chemistry it’s hot (very hot) – the film’s villain is Leon Rom played wonderfully by the menacing Christoph Waltz he’s terrific as usual, his piercing eyes and that chain he carries used as a weapon is pretty badass – David Yates also delivered a casting master stoke when bringing onboard veteran Samuel L Jackson his portrayal of George Washington Williams an American who travels with Tarzan to Africa in search of proof that the Belgians are enslaving the Congolese people is a big part of the film’s appeal, he seems to be having so much fun with his role, his one liners and action scenes alongside Skarsgard are brilliant, and was it me or does Jackson look so much younger……
The Legend of Tarzan is a thrilling spectacle, full of excitement, adventure and romance, don’t wait for home media, take a trip to your nearest big screen and allow Henry Braham’s breathtaking cinematography to transport you to another place and time, the African landscape and those who inhabit it has never looked so good – Overall: I really enjoyed David Yates take on the Tarzan tale, he’s delivered an entertaining picture, one that I hope will spawn a sequel or two ★★★★
Olivia De Havilland moved to Paris in the mid 50s and still lives there today – she is in my opinion “The Greatest Actress” to have shone on our screens, a giant of cinema who mesmerised with her beauty and injected energy, passion & commitment to her many roles spanning the 30s through to the 60s – De Havilland had an impressive range of performances in her career appearing in classics such as Gone With The Wind, The Snake Pit, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte and My Cousin Rachel, she was a Double Best Actress winner at the Oscars for roles in To Each His Own and The Heiress but for me it was her many collaborations with actor and friend Errol Flynn that caught my imagination, she may not have been the main star in these early films but it was her infectious presence, them dreamy eye’s and that swashbuckling attitude in movies such as Dodge City, Captain Blood, They Died With Their Boots On, Santa Fe Trail & The Adventures of Robin Hood that started my love affair with cinema and this British-American actress who took my breath away – so from us here we wish Olivia De Havilland a Happy 100th Birthday !!