A young woman wants to propose to her girlfriend whilst visiting her family’s home this festive holiday discover that her partner hasn’t yet come out to her parents : There’s something warm and snuggly about this time of year when the annual Christmas tree burns brightly, the decorations go up and the collection of Festive Movies are dusted off, ones that make you believe in all things good and Santa Claus once more : will HAPPIEST SEASON join those festive few, those films that make your heart swell, your eye’s water and bring a big smile to your face? : there’s so many touching and funny moments in Clea DuVall’s first movie behind the camera that I left at the end credits with a beaming smile and the hope of a sequel a year down the line : the chemistry between the onscreen couple of Abby and Harper played respectively by Kristen Stewart & Mackenzie Davis is believable and utterly adorable, they made me smile from the get go, gripping me from that opening rooftop scene : I loved it’s refreshingly original soundtrack, the in-house jokes one featuring a Josh Hartnett photo that made me chuckle and it’s familiar yet relevant story that may not be packed with your typical Christmas jingle but is heartfelt and funny nevertheless : it’s cast is perfection from Garber & Steenburgen’s terrific parents, Alison Brie’s competitive sister that ice skating scene is hilarious, Mary Holland’s fun loving Jane, Daniel Levy’s scene stealing best friend…. and I know you were all thinking the same as me awww I hope Abby falls for Riley played by the delightful Aubrey Plaza there scenes together in the bar were electric : Clea DuVall’s Happiest Season is a charming festive romp, with a delightful message of coming out, love and friendship at it’s fore : a most enjoyable festive cracker that should not be missed and watched several times this Christmas ★★★★
FORGET about TERMINATOR Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys these metal imposters are incredibly average when you compare them to Tim Miller’s latest chapter in the Terminator Franchise – DARK FATE starts with the pace of a freight train, the action pieces are quite brilliant and the eye popping special effects should be x-rated THEY ARE AWESOME !! I loved the way both Grace and Rev-9 are introduced, in typical Terminator fashion there are great flashes of light but also in the case of Rev-9 we get to see a frozen snap of items surrounding the robots entrance this is quite beautiful momentarily until it they all shatter, the camera work on these scenes especially the Rev-9s introduction is superb.
What’s apparent from the films start to it’s explosive finale is Tim Miller’s admiration for James Cameron and his 1984 Terminator and it’s sequel Judgement Day – if your a fan of both movies then DARK FATE will take you on a subtle walk down memory lane with old and new character interaction and moments that are obvious homages to these two great pieces of science fiction – It’s also a masterstroke bringing back Linda Hamilton, her iconic role of Sarah Connor IS BACK and boy she looks in incredible shape, her physical appearance is truly impressive and it’s great to see her and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing some screen time again.
If your a fan of both James Cameron movies then TERMINATOR: DARK FATE will be a hugely enjoyable ride – I loved watching Hamilton, Davis and Reyes kicking some metal ass and as for Gabriel Luna’s super scary Rev-9 HOLY SHIT he may have just surpassed the T-1000 as the franchises second best villain after of course Arnie’s Terminator – Tim Miller deserves all the plaudits for re-igniting this much loved franchise, his ability to direct action with a certain amount of humor and cannon fueled intensity is once again present on the big screen, I for one can’t wait to buy another ticket ★★★★
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