Kirk Douglas was born on the 9th December 1916 in New York, he may no longer be with us but his work has brought so much joy to my screen over the years and will continue to do so : to name four of his best movies is near impossible as like most great actors he has numerous films to choose from dependent on the mood you find yourself in…. for example if your looking for a bit of fun the Douglas way then look no further than Tough Guys a 1986 gem that sees two gangsters released from prison into a world that has vastly changed since they were put away, Burt Lancaster and Eli Wallach share the screen in this sweet, emotional and hilarious turn by the maestro, or if your looking for something more sombre, a bit more dramatic then take a peek at the 1951 Billy Wilder movie Ace in the Hole, one of his very best and a good old fashioned nail biter, that sees Chuck Tatum a reporter who slows down a rescue attempt of a man trapped in a cave so his career can flourish, it’s one of my favorites and Kirk is dynamite but if you want a night in and your after excitement, gun fights and the old west then jump onboard The War Wagon that sees Kirk team up with John Wayne in one of my favorite guilty pleasure westerns directed by Burt Kennedy : so if over the next few weeks you find yourself looking for some movie inspiration, you fancy a revisit or maybe you’ve never seen the likes of Lust for Life, The Vikings or The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral well take it from me there’s a Kirk Douglas movie for each & every mood, let that chin dimple, enormous heart and big smile fill your screen, you’ll thank me later…..
One of my favorite Kirk Douglas quotes : I was not a tough guy. I just acted like one.
A bridge builder begins the hunt for two lions that start attacking the local construction workers : I may be in the minority with this one but I really enjoy revisiting Stephen Hopkins THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS : the film has a familiar tone to Spielberg’s Jaws accept that the monster is the King of the Jungle and there are two of them killing for pleasure, stalking their prey and wreaking havok to a small African region known as Tsavo : Hopkins movie is based around the the Tsavo Man-Eaters the true story of those Lions dating back to 1898 : not only did I find the film’s story compelling, the Jaws like hunt and then to be hunted arc but I also loved the chemistry between Michael Douglas’s grizzled hunter Remington and Val Kilmer‘s Patterson both seemed to click and feed off each other’s energy & undoubted passion for Hopkins movie (ignore the Razzie nomination, for me it’s a top 5 Kilmer performance for sure) : one of my favorite moments in the movie is when Patterson runs to meet his wife who has arrived at the train station in Tsavo with their new born child, it’s a dream sequence, you see the Lion come out of the long grass to the side of the station savaging both mum & child (by the way the mum is played by a very young Emily Mortimer) it’s a really good scene : the film was shot by Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) around the Songimvelo Game Reserve in South Africa and adds so much to the film’s spectacle, the authenticity of the regions beauty & danger is an overwhelming plus point, also worth mentioning that Bruce Stambler won an Academy Award for Sound Editing : If like me you enjoy revisiting the gems of yester-year then give The Ghost and the Darkness another watch, for me it’s still holds up well as a well acted, thrilling scare ride that will have your nerves a jangling from start to finish ★★★★½
ANT-MAN and THE WASP : Peyton Reed
Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena
Like most I’ve been a huge fan of Evangeline Lilly since Lost back in 2004 (shit !! is it really that long) and she absolutley nails it as The Wasp in Peyton Reed’s hilarious action packed sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp her action scenes, chemistry with Rudd’s Ant-Man and Daddy Douglas is perfection and I will be first to shout the loudest for a Wasp stand-alone movie – it was ALSO rad seeing the exciting Hannah John-Kamen play Ava aka: Ghost in what is an awesome twist on the comic books & one that works so well – And what about ANTonioBanderas damn I nearly fell off my seat laughing – Overall this sequel may not be quite as good as the first film but it comes bloody close, it’s pace at times is breathtaking, Paul Rudd combines everyday dad with superhero wonderfully well and once again surprises with his timing during the action pieces, in fairness he’s brilliant – the films overall look & CGI is stunning, the effects are like a mixture of Men in Black and Honey I Shrunk the Kids except TEN TIMES better SO if you love comicbook movies or just fancy 2hrs of pure entertainment then don’t wait for it’s bluray release (you know where the cinema is) ★★★★
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT : Christopher McQuarrie
Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames & Henry Cavill
HOLY HELL now that’s what I call an action movie – this is not only the third movie directed by McQuarrie that stars Cruise but it’s also their best work together – I loved every single second of this exciting thrill ride, full of the most insane stunts, car chases that make Bullit and The French Connection look amateur and a storyline that’s easily the best of the Mission Impossible franchise – along with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt we get more screentime for Benji and Luther and Fallout also sees the return of Ilsa Faust played by the exciting, beautiful and totally badass Rebecca Ferguson, but one of the highlights of this sixth installment has to be the injection of Henry Cavill who plays CIA operative August Walker an insane assassin and a bloody good one at that, amongst his best scenes in the movie is that most talked about bathroom brawl and I SHIT YOU NOT this has to be one of the best in the history of cinematic bathroom brawls IT’S BONE CRUNCHING AWESOME – along with Cruise’s energy and them incredible stunts he pulls off the guy is so infectious, his teenage-like smile and passion for what he does comes across on the screen and he’s an absolute joy to watch, and in Ethan Hunt he’s built in my opinion the greatest spy franchise there is, consisently great in every department – Overall Mission Impossible: Fallout IS A MUST WATCH on the Biggest and Baddest screen you can find, load your guns with popcorn & a beverage and get ready to be WOWED ★★★★½
In my lifetime The Movies have consumed my life they have become hobby, my passion and at times my infatuation and along that journey of countless films collected, hundreds of books read and the endless number of movies watched there has been one constant that stands above all others an actor by the name of Issur Danielovitch aka: Kirk Douglas a giant of a man not in height but in the way he has conducted himself, his film career is nothing short of remarkable, I’m not talking awards, box office success or personal gain I am talking of the many varied roles he has portrayed in his career from being the hero to villain, colonel to slave for me Kirk’s dedication to his craft, his granite stature & movie presence is unequaled, an actor not afraid to take chances on a role & make that role his own whether it be a boxing hero in Champion, the troubled artist Van Gogh in Lust for Life, a slave who goes up against the might of Rome in Spartacus, a cunning self centered reporter in Ace in the Hole and a cowboy just doing his job in Lonely are the Brave Kirk Douglas is without question a living breathing bona fide Movie Legend and although first & foremost I will always think of Kirk Douglas as an actor he has also inspired millions with his writing penning numerous novels and blogging into the 21st Century some of this work has been equally as stirring as some of his most famous pictures and in 1964 showing the measure of the man along with his wife Anne, Kirk established The Douglas Foundation that not only donates countless millions but work tirelessly in helping the less fortunate in building a better future for those in most need – Happy 100th Birthday Kirk Douglas your quite simply a LEGEND…..
Happy 98th Birthday to the greatest movie star of his generation KIRK DOUGLAS – back in 1949 Kirk was slowly starting to make a name for himself on screen when cast as the lead actor in Mark Robson’s great boxing film CHAMPION – below are some rare photo’s of Kirk taken around that time – I hope you agree Kirk Douglas is a cinematic treasure & these are wonderful!!
LAST VEGAS (2013/4) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Last Vegas stars Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, Mary Steenburgen & Romany Malco – In their childhood four friends Paddy, Billy, Archie & Sam known as the Flat Bush Four did everything together, they were inseparable – picking up the story 58 years later the friends are now living separate lives & coming to terms with old age when out of the blue Billy played by Michael Douglas announces he is to marry – Sam convinces the other two that this is a great opportunity to get them altogether again for one last hoorah – VERDICT I pretty much love everything Jon Turteltaub has been involved with from his early days behind the camera directing movies such as Cool Runnings, Whilst You Were Sleeping and The Kid to his two National Treasure movies and even 2010’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Turteltaub always seems to deliver a fun night at the flicks and 2013’s Last Vegas is no different – along with the four main leads there’s also another chance for us to see the lovely Mary Steenburgen at work, her delicious charm blended with undoubted talent playing a Vegas singer who catches the eye of Billy & Paddy adds greatly to the solid storyline written by the super talented Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) – with all the movies out there with endless violence, hard hitting subject matters & gross out comedy it’s so refreshing to see four movie veterans entertain the old fashion way and doing it with a swagger – from the dancing of Freeman, the grace of Steenburgen, the hilarity of Kline, the seriousness of De Niro and the charm of Douglas LAST VEGAS is a touching delightful tale of friendship & one that reminds us that we’re never too old to live our life and be kids once more….
Since making his movie debut opposite Barbara Stanwyck in 1946’s The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Kirk Douglas was destined to become a Hollywood Great – in his wonderful career Kirk appeared in over 70 movies, was nominated for 3 Academy Awards and in 1968 was the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award – he appeared alongside his friend Burt Lancaster on 7 different occasions and 3 times alongside John Wayne – some of my favorite movies include: Spartacus, War Wagon, The Vikings, Lust for Life, Ace in the Hole and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – In my opinion he is the greatest actor of his generation – Happy Birthday 97 year old Kirk Douglas