HALLOWEEN: David Gordon Green
Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak & Virginia Gardner
If you love horror and especially the slasher genre then David Gordon Green’s HALLOWEEN movie is a must watch on the big screen – the film is set 40 years after the John Carpenter’s original 1978 movie and is classed as a sequel to that movie, I know what your thinking “wasn’t there a Halloween II?” and you’d be right but Green and his writing team and it must be said with the blessing of Carpenter himself have decided to take their new movie in this direction – David Gordon Green’s movie sticks to the same formula as it’s predecessor, keeping things simple, uncomplicated and downright SCARY – the filmmaker makes use of Carpenter’s iconic score that always manages to creep me out and if that’s not enough to scare one silly then the sight of Michael Myers prowling the screen will make you quiver in your seat, the violence is brutal at times and not for the squeamish and along with the many homages to the original film it’s the return of Jamie Lee Curtis who once again gives the horror it’s heart-beat, her character Laurie Strode is now older, battle worn waiting for the boogeyman to return to Haddonfield, that Sarah Connor vibe she’s giving off was really something, the writers did well putting some life in Laurie and I felt she looked ready to chew bubblegum and kick some ass (whoops wrong movie) but HELL YEA she was – Horror newbie Andi Matichak is a revelation and maybe a new scream queen in the making, Virginia Gardner gives a terrific turn as Vicky, veteran Will Patton is always great and I just love Judy Greer – Overall if your looking to see the second best film in the Halloween franchise then get your scared ass to the cinema this weekend and watch a treat of horror that will have you shaking in your boots and looking in your closet afterwards…… ★★★★
APOSTLE : Gareth Evans
Dan Stevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton
Gareth Evans mostly known for his breakneck action movies The Raid and it’s sequel has just released his latest APOSTLE and it’s a horror movie…. here’s the synopsis “In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island” – Only a handful of movies have blown my mind this year and Gareth Evans APOSTLE has just become one of them – the film is an exciting cocktail of twisted storytelling alongside a revenge thriller that’s relentless in it’s brutality – Matt Flannery’s cinematography is a joy to behold, his ability to balance the varied location, dark underground shots along with the action scenes is heart-stopping – So if your a fan of the revenge style genre and love your movies with slices of brutality, great narrative and stunning photography then APOSTLE is most definitely the film for you ★★★★½
BLACKkKLANSMAN : Spike Lee
John David Washington, Laura Harrier, Adam Driver, Jasper Pääkkönen
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the best of Spike Lee and to be honest I really thought after that poor Oldboy remake he was on the decline, maybe putting one foot in retirement and joining some of the great filmmakers that now churn out average films for the masses failing to live up to their past glory’s, but after watching his latest in a pretty full cinema I can honestly say with a glint in my eye that Spike Lee is far from over – BlacKkKlansman is not only one of the most powerful movies of the year it’s also in my opinion Spike Lee’s greatest achievment in film with stand out performances from Laura Harrier, John David Washington & Adam Driver, an incredible score that sucks you into 1979 Colorado, some frightening obsenities shouted by Alec Baldwin’s character that sets the overal tone of the movie, some exhilarating camera work by Chayse Irvin and one helluva creepy performance from Jasper Pääkkönen – oh yeah and not forgetting that Corey Hawkins speech his delivery will stand your hair on end WOW – BlacKkKlansman is an unbelievable story, it has more humor than I expected and it’s last 20mins is a punch to the gut – SEE it on the BIG screen you won’t be disappointed ★★★★½
HOTEL ARTEMIS : Drew Pearce
Jodie Foster, Sterling K Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista
Had an absolute blast watching Drew Pearce’s directorial debut Hotel Artemis – if I’m honest it’s a movie that went right under my radar but I’m so glad I caught up with it on the big screen – would you believe it’s been 5yrs since the legend Jodie Foster graced our screens with Elysium so watching this legend of our screens trade acting blows with Sterling K. Brown & Dave Bautista in this futuristic setting is worth more than double the ticket price – Pearce’s first attempt behind the camera follows writing work on Iron Man 3 and MI : Rogue Nation so he’s no beginner when it comes to classy, stylish story arcs with intriguing characters and some insane action thrown in – Hotel Artemis combines the lot, it has a great story at it’s core, a devilishly good ensemble, sublime cinematography and is executed better than most – don’t miss this one ★★★★
Sometimes you just need to stop dissecting a movie and have fun, let the action and mood of the picture take you on a ride into the impossible and the unimaginable and Roar Uthaug’s TOMB RAIDER is one of them such movies – I like many grew up playing the games and being slightly fixated on Lara Croft this sexy gun tooting computer icon who kicked ass and went on wild adventures solving puzzles on these epic treasure hunts, I even enjoyed the 2001 & 2003 movies that starred a young Angeline Jolie but this latest adaption an origin story starring Alicia Vikander in the title role surpassed my expectations I really did leave my critical side at the door and allowed myself to thoroughly enjoy the film – Vikander totally embodies the character from the games, she’s athletic, clever and she doesn’t give up easily – from the Hong Kong chase scene to the booby traps in the underground tomb, the foxy bike race to the Islands River Rapids Tomb Raider runs at a breakneck pace it really is electric and if you’ve played the games then you will smile and enjoy the scenarios that Lara finds herself in – other high five aspects of the movie include a terrific antagonist played by the fiery, downright cool Walton Goggins, Into the Badlands Daniel Wu who looks to be having fun playing a drunken sailor and kick ass side-kick to Lara and another well rounded performance from the underrated Dominic West who plays Lara’s dad Richard – Overall Tomb Raider is one wickid action movie, leave all your troubles at home and let Alicia’s Lara Croft take you an adventure of a lifetime – this is popcorn munching cinema at it’s finest ★★★★
Finally we get to see a teaser trailer of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI by stunning visonary Rian Johnson and hell it’s been worth the wait – it’s MYSTERIOUS, it’s DARK, downright SPINE TINGLING and 2mins of AWESOMENESS that will leave you aching for more – hopefully (and I think it’s a given) we will get to see more of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker training Rey played by the brilliant Daisy Ridley, that island setting looks ridiculously cool, and will make a great base for the pupil to start learning from the master….
Hugh Jackman reunites with The Wolverine’s James Mangold in the final chapter of LOGAN – the movie also sees Patrick Stewart reprising his X-Men role as Charles Xavier, Narco’s Boyd Holbrook cast as a villain of sorts and an unusual (but it works) piece of casting with Stephen Merchant playing mutant tracker Caliben….
In the near future 2029 to be precise a battle worn Logan is a Limo Driver, trying to save some money whilst caring for an ailing Professor X who’s he hid somewhere on the Mexican border….
The single most devastating thing about watching LOGAN was that I knew (everybody new) that this would be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as The Wolverine and this was in my opinion a game changer – James Mangold uses this knowledge as his filmmaking tool, his simple yet striking tone, deliberately slow pace and painful to watch narrative all builds to an agonising crecendo, it’s certainly not upbeat and unlike any other Marvel movie before it LOGAN is stripped bare of the usual comicbook humor, kaleidoscope of colour and deluded fantasy instead it’s a picture that’s dripping with a dark, gritty no-nonsense underbelly, utterly gut wrenching and humanized like no other movie of it’s ilk – even the performances in the picture seem better, Jackman captures the ageing tired Logan with a comfortable ease, his maturity as an actor gives him the tools to pull this off, you can see the pain he’s going through as he limps and claws his way through the storyline and Stewart is equally as impressive as Charles Xavier who requires medical assistance to not only help with an illness but to keep his powers at bay, there’s also an impressive film debut by Dafne Keen who kills it (literally) playing Laura, her fight scene’s, mannerism’s and interaction with Charles and Logan are a joy to watch….
One of my favourite moments in the movie (and there are many) takes place at the Munson Home – Logan, Laura and Charles help the Munson’s with some runaway horses after which they get invited back to their home and enjoy a brief trip into yesteryear, spending time with a loving family over a hot meal with smiles, real laughter and a bed to sleep in (Eriq La Salle playing the father of the family is as good in these 20mins as he’s ever been) – sadly the groups happiness does not last long and their ugly, brutal past catches up with them….
James Mangold’s LOGAN is the perfect send off for one comics most iconic stars – the film’s raw and uncompromising style allows it to become a far superior comicbook adapation than what’s come before, it’s not only a thing of beauty to look at but it’s also one hell of an emotionally charged rollercoaster ride that doesn’t let up until the final credits rise & Johnny Cash’s vocals hit home…. ★★★★½