Bill O’Neal infiltrates the Black Panther Party as an informant for FBI Agent Mitchell and J. Edgar Hoover : I didn’t know much about the Hampton story going in so Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah was as much of a history lesson as it was a fine slice of character driven, tense & moving story telling that is brilliant from it’s start to it’s unsavoury finale : along with it’s score, Chicago location and a rather brief yet compelling performance by Martin Sheen as Hoover, I’m still gushing over the intensity level that Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield brought to their respective roles, both actors are captivating on screen and how about the wonderful Dominique Fishback as Hampton’s girlfriend WOW what a strong & sensitive part she plays in giving heart to this true story set in the late 60s where there’s no real winner and the outcome was inevitable : I don’t know how much of King’s story is how it went down but the gunfight at the chapter office with O’Neal sneaking away, the scene in the car with O’Neal being interrogated by two BPP members suspicious of his antics and that sureal, heart stopping moment when Hampton and his Panthers meet with the Crowns are amongst the many highlights of this tremendous biopic : a MUST watch ★★★★
Sometime in the future, prisoners housed in a Vertical Self-Management Center watch as inmates in the upper cells are fed while those below starve : Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s directorial debut The Platform is a trip into the depth’s of madness, a disturbing dystopian gem that’s not for the faint hearted : the movie follows Goreng a normal guy who has agreed to spend 6 months of his life in this prison centre for the promise of a diploma on the outside world, of course this is dependant on whether he makes it through his term as each 30 days spent in the center the residents are transfered to another cell on a new level, the higher the cell number the more chance of survival : the story written by David Desola is fresh & downright scary and the work by Iván Massagué in & Zorion Eguileor in bringing Goreng & Trimagasi to life respectively is paramount to how the movie plays out, I could not keep my eyes off the pair of them, it was like watching some sort of depraved stage show, the desperation and brutality in surviving their term is absolute bonkers : the woman travelling up and down the food lift looking for her kid is messed up, that dog scene and Baharat’s attempt to climb a level had me feeling utterly nauseous : overall if your looking for something new & nasty in the horror genre then look no further than The Platform it’s a white knuckle ride that had me rocking in my chair praying for some kind of merciful resolution ★★★★½
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 acclaimed It’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?
After losing his wife in a car accident, a father relocates to a new home with his daughter, but things go horribly wrong when strange things start to happen and his daughter vanishes after being cared for by a local nanny : with shades of the Ring and James Wan’s Insideous Kim Kwang-bin’s THE CLOSET is a chilling ghost story that tells of personal grief and trauma of others : apart from a short back in 2011 this is Kim Kwang-bin’s directorial debut that he also wrote, and what a spooky way to start your career behind the camera, the film is dark, it deals with disturbing images and has a haunting message that you’ll discover deep inside the belly of Kwang-bin’s storytelling : there’s moments during every good horror movie when the penny drops and during The Closet the real pay off comes with a small flashback scene involving Myung-jin and what happened to her, it’s disturbing and is certainly a choke you up moment that I didn’t see coming, the combination of supernatural elements, creepy characters and eye peeling effects mixed with a bunch of relatable characters creates the perfect balance in the movie and one I found extremely fun to watch : I loved the father and daughter played by Ha Jung-woo and Heo Yool both are excellent in their respective roles, Heo Yool’s Yi-na especially is quite innocent to begin with and then changes when the evil gets hold, super scary and those rolling eyes GULP, I also found the local exorcist played by the superb Kim Nam-gil who involves himself with the father in helping him find his daughter was a brilliant touch adding that bit of Poltergeist/Insideous element to proceedings : overall The Closet is worth every minute of your time, it’s a thought provoking, gut twisting ghost tale that packs a punch ★★★★
Number 17 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A small-town farmer’s son falls for a beautiful drifter who’s part of a traveling group of Vampires : “I’m gonna separate your head from your shoulders, hope you don’t mind none…” : Since watching this movie in ’87 Kathryn Bigelow’s NEAR DARK has been one of my favorite movies of all time, let alone one of the darkest, scary movies I’ve ever seen : yes it may have tanked at the box office but over the years Near Dark has gained cult status, and I for one love watching the movie : I mean come on… has there been a better Bill Paxton performance (and there’s been some crackers) than Severen the psychotic, blood thirsty vampire that has all the best lines, the best moments, and the insanity he injects into the role gives Bigelow’s Near Dark it’s captivating performer : and is there a better bunch of vampire names than Severen, Diamondback, Jesse and Homer? there incredible, all kinda dark & twisted yet so yummy : amongst my favorite moments in the movie is the motel shootout, the beautifully shot scene when Caleb feeds on Mae near the derricks is as crazy and in love as you get and the films tense and burning finale is both dramatic and sad as you watch the vampire’s demise : Overall Near Dark is a moody neo-western horror with a scintillating, atmospheric score by Tangerine Dream, the RV with it’s tin foil covered windows that keep the light out & the darkness in, the energy & humor of the Aliens trio Paxton, Henriksen, Goldstein and quite simply the BEST bar scene in horror movie history : it’s FINGER LICKING GOOD ★★★★★
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée – Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner – Synopsis: From director Jean-Marc Vallée comes an autobiographical movie based on the real-life AIDS patient Ron Woodroof, who went against the FDA and smuggled unsanctioned drugs into Texas to help fellow sufferers – the drugs were effective in improving his symptoms so he began distributing them by establishing the “Dallas Buyers Club” – Verdict: I must confess before watching the movie I had never heard of Ron Woodroof and his fight against the AIDS disease and the FDA – I don’t know how much liberty was taken with the story but the Dallas Buyers Club is a very moving, inspiring and at times mildly amusing one – Matthew McConaughey has been ramping up his career of late with killer performances in brilliant films such as Killer Joe, Mud and TVs True Detective and in the Dallas Buyers Club he delivers a mesmerizing performance not only with his appearance but his ability to suck the audience into his character and allow them to feel and root for this Electrician come Grifter Ron Woodroof who’s happens to be not the nicest of guys but you slowly believe in his cause and his overwhelming courage – alongside McConaughey is Jared Leto (Requiem for a Dream) who plays Rayon a transgender woman who also has the AIDS virus and befriends Woodroof, Leto is a talented character actor and is delicious in this role feeding off McConaughey’s energy and looking pretty amazing dolled up with a wig and makeup – the scenes with the Marc Bolan photos had me in stitches – overall the Dallas Buyers Club is a wonderful piece of film-making that is essential viewing and will go down as one of this years finest….