Joe a trucker who’s pretty down on his luck meets a mother who can contact spirits whilst suffocating – NICOLAS CAGE is the most charasmatic, entertaining actor out there, he loves dipping his toes in the odd blockbuster but equally the guy loves to star in low budget thrillers that pay the bills, keeps him busy and helps young interesting filmmakers get their films seen by a bigger audience – the latest of these is Maria Pulera’s BETWEEN WORLDS a rather Lynch-esque thriller that’s weird yet engaging and has elements of the supernatural and is strangely erotic whilst showcasing the infamous Cage meltdown that’s still bloody great to watch – I loved the film’s story and little homages to Twin Peaks & David Lynch in general and it’s cast including the exciting German actress Franka Potente & the sexy Aussie Penelope Mitchell give exciting performances alongside the outrageous and at times out of control Nicolas Cage – Overall Between Worlds is certainly worth a watch, especially if like me you love the genre, the trashy at times low budget feel and of course CAGE who in my eye’s is always worth 90mins of ones time ★★★½
Just revisited the Director’s Cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and it’s one of those movies that has grown on me over the years, it’s a remarkable, entertaining and thought provoking epic and THANK the gods that Ridley gave us this 3hr plus definitive cut of his 2005 movie – It’s story is richer, characters more defined and the film’s battle scenes have a much bigger impact on the picture as a whole – If you own the theatrical version then throw it in the trash, go out and buy the extended cut of Kingdom of Heaven and treat yourself to a rewarding rewatch, it’s an overlooked gem that’s certainly amongst the top tier of Ridley Scott’s magnificent cinematic library ★★★★½
Revisited one of Walter Hill’s lesser known movies 1992’s TRESPASS – made for $14 Million and written by the Back to the Future pair of Gale & Zemeckis – I absolutley loved the film’s pace, it’s raw & gritty premise but most of all I LOVED watching Bill Paxton & William Sadler going to work against the ICE duo of Cube & T – the film is set in a deserted warehouse and is somewhat a treasure hunt mixed with a bit of gang warfare, it’s pretty relentless and a bit of Die Hard reunion with the already mentioned William Sadler (Colonel Stuart in Die Hard 2), De’voreaux White (the Limo driver from the first movie) and the wonderful Art Evans (the air traffic controller in Die Hard’s sequel) all of course contribute highly to the movie’s overall story – So if like me you love Walter Hill and his style of no-nonsense filmmaking or you just want to reminisce in the presence of the great and much missed Bill Paxton then Trespass is for you ★★★★
Four African-American vets return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their friend and fallen Squad Leader and the gold he helped them hide – Back in 2013 after watching the Oldboy remake I honestly thought the great Spike Lee maybe past it, possibly spent as a filmmaker and only to be reveared for past glories…. In 2018 he delivered one of the best movies of that year in BlacKkKlansman and today in his first outing with Netflix Spike Lee has once again rolled back the years…. DA 5 BLOODS is not only an exceptional picture but it’s a timely history lesson that’s high on emotion, tense as a butt cheek in a landmine, a riverting adventure romp and one of Lee’s more violent and ambitious movie Joints to date – Rather than the deaging of actors (like Scorsese did in The Irishman) Spike Lee decided on a different and in my opinion more refreshing approach seeing the old guard play their younger selves in the film’s flashbacks which helped the film’s narrative and was exciting to watch, the music from the grand master Marvin Gaye, the message throughout of Love over Hate and shooting on location in Vietnam gave Da 5 Bloods it’s heartbeat…. and did I mention Delroy “Mother Fucking” Lindo in his fourth collaboration with Lee and in my opinion his best, Lindo’s character Paul is an all kinds of messed up, racist war vet that harbor’s a secret, his performance reminds me of Bogey in Sierra Madre as you watch his character slowly unravel in quite a devistating way – Overall there can be no doubt Spike Lee is back making film’s that connect with it’s audience in an entertaining, shocking yet relevant way ★★★★½
If you take D’J Caruso’s latest movie with a pinch of salt (remember when 80s action was cool?) then I guarantee two things you will have shit loads of fun & you will leave the cinema with a nice big smile…
This is the third movie in the spy franchise xXx: Return of Xander Cage “After returning from a self-imposed exile, Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must recover an evil known only as Pandora’s Box before the bad guys uses this weapon for mass destruction “ – Alongside action star Vin Diesel the films mind blowingly awesome cast also includes Donnie Yen, Nina Dobrev, Toni Collette, Ruby Rose, Deppika Padukone and Samuel L Jackson….
You know what I really dug about this movie?…. the insane amount of action, high octane totally bonkers fight scenes and the films ability not to take itself too serious – it’s all about entertainment and from that stance it most certainly succeeds – I mean come on how on earth can you not enjoy watching Xander Cage ski down a hillside weaving through trees and shit followed by some incredible skate boarding whilst shooting bad guys? that incredible moment when Xander faces off against Donnie Yen’s Xiang in a “holy shit that just happened” wave tunnel? the many hand to hand combat scenes mostly too epic to discuss? the return of an old friend in a great warehouse shootout and so many more delicious, breathless, relentless moments that fulfill the movies ultimate quest in giving it’s audience such an unbelievable cinematic buzz….
OK so listen up – xXx: Return of Xander Cage is not going to sweep the Oscars anytime soon, it’s not even gonna reinvent the genre, and it’s script won’t be compared to Schindler’s List or the like so if that’s what your expecting when buying a ticket at the box office then please be warned this slice of action pie is not for you – going to see this movie is like attending a party you will be expected to have fun right, enjoy oneself and remember regardless of what Bond style shit goes down this is only a movie – along with it’s crazy action madness watching Vampire Diaries’s Nina Dobrev playing a ditzy “Q” type character with a sense of humor and that damn fine Aussie Ruby Rose hanging from a tree shooting bad guys didn’t half raise the pulse, two ladies having so much fun & both so bloody good in their respective roles….
xXx: Return of Xander Cage is movie escapism at it’s finest, a COOL as f@ck action movie that made me smile from the opening 5 minutes to it’s end credits – D’J Caruso should sign up for a fourth movie so let’s make it happen and the sooner the better…. ★★★★
When the movie starts up and we are first introduced to Richard Brake‘s sadistic abomination watching as he slowly utters the words “Hello, they call me Doom-Head” you know instantly that Zombie is back and his latest feature 31 is gonna be a whole lot of dark and twisted movie fun – it’s the way Doom-Head continues outlining his plans to his most recent, helpless victim that is not only brutal but is executed in a calm, truly horrifying manner that sucks you in and allows you to think “damn this is gonna be tense” – 31 is possibly the most bloodthirsty of Rob Zombie’s movies to date and after the let down that was The Lords of Salem it’s great to see this warped filmmaker returning to his roots and just like his earlier work The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses I’m expecting this new depraved slice of insanity to gather a cult following – the film is not only directed but written by Zombie, it was made on a crowdfunded budget and brings together a casting of familiar faces, some of which you may recognize from not only previous Rob Zombie movies but cultist horror movies of yesteryear – if your a fan of this director and his style of gory terror then 31 will appeal, it captures the haunting mood of Rejects, the carnage & horror of Corpses and immerses you into a blood soaked vision of torture, murder and a deadly race of survival as the clock slowly ticks down….
I must admit I was not a fan of Jean-François Richet‘s miserable remake of Carpenter’s moody, epic Assault on Precinct 13 but that I can now forgive after watching his latest thriller Blood Father that stars Mel Gibson playing an ex-con who reconnects with his estranged daughter and kicks some ass in the process – Gibson looks great, he has obviously bulked up, his skin looks weather beaten looking every bit the menacing no-nonsense ex-con the role required, nobody plays mean, angry, gun tooting, revenge shooting better than this snarly Aussie, like most great film stars you can’t help but admire his work and in Blood Father this is Gibson firing at his absolute best – but this is not a one man show, on screen Gibson’s backed up nicely by Erin Moriarty an exciting young actress who plays his daughter in the film & the talented William H Macy who delivers a sound performance playing his sponsor & friend – so whether your a fan of Mel Gibson or not (and I most certainly am) Blood Father is one helluva movie, it’s fast paced action, sumptuous cinematography and it’s 80s style one liners has already catapulted this thrill ride into one of my favorite movies of the year….
from the South Korean master of terror Kim Jee-woon comes The Age of Shadows a gangster movie set in the 1920’s, the movie follows the activities of the Heroic Corps, an anti-Japanese independence organization that existed under the Japanese colonial period in South Korea. The group used violent means to achieve Korean independence – if you’ve not seen any of Kim Jee-woon’s movies then start with 2010’s epic, nail biting I Saw the Devil it will give you a taste of what this cult movie director is all about, his brand of Asian Cinema is top draw, all are well acted, visually stunning pictures that usually nail your ass to your seat and don’t give you time to breathe until the films final conclusion – he often collaborates with superstars Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho and both star in his latest The Age of Shadows here’s the trailer, enjoy but don’t forget to check out Kim’s other movies such as The Good, the Bad, the Weird, A Tale of Two Sisters and A Bittersweet Life all terrific pictures that deserve your time….
Who else loves a good old fashioned alien invasion romp? Well this guy does and Roland Emmerich’s INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE does not disappoint, it’s a flash of 90’s nostalgia, a total blast from start to finish and a devilishly fun movie ride that I wasn’t expecting – from Jeff Goldblum’s one liners, Liam Hemsworth’s dashing leading rogue & the Emmerich blueprint of breathtaking action, earthly destruction & patriotic ass kicking, this is a fine example of why I love the movies, not all films need to have a complex narrative, actors in search of that golden statue or film-makers attempting to baffle you with science, sometimes we the viewer just need to unwind take in some popcorn and be entertained and it’s my view that Roland Emmerich is one of the best out there in feeding me that cinematic treat – Overall: Resurgence is a real visual gem, jam packed with fist pumping action scenes and a young emerging cast that keeps the film’s pace moving faster than my heart beat – Resurgence is right up there alongside it’s ’96 original, Will Smith was not missed one bit and overall a hugely fun night at the movies was had by all ★★★★
Since 2004 film maker James Wan has impressed & scared the holy moly out of me, in the horror genre he’s been a revelation, a breath of fresh air and dare I say the best horror director in the last ten years, a modern genius, dark and twisted yet alarmingly smart – he has this uncanny knack of getting it right, he knows his audience & how to tap into their fears, his haunting camerawork, clever use of casting and his usual heart stopping soundtracks add to the overall tension & creepiness of his narrative, I have not seen this consistently in the horror arena since Carpenter ruled the screens in the late 70’s early 80’s – his films including that devilishly fun & violent Saw, the twisted underrated Dead Silence, both scary ass Insidious movies and 2013’s spine tingling The Conjuring gave me nightmares for weeks after – so upon visiting the big screen for his latest offering expectations were already high, not only was this a new James Wan horror movie but this was a sequel and as any movie fans know creating that same vibe, that same intensity of any original movie is a hard task to get right but James Wan is better than your average film maker, his horror’s are uncomplicated, low budget but most importantly they will scare you in spades and guess what? THE CONJURING 2 is certainly no different, it’s Wan at his delicious, frightening best, a nail biting pillow hiding feast of supernatural horror at times reminiscent of the classics of yesteryear such as The Exorcist and maybe just maybe this will go down as one of the Best Horror Movie Sequels of all time – Once more at the heart of a James Wan feature, almost like a muse is the brilliant Patrick Wilson his chemistry with Vera Farmiga is a pleasure to watch, at times it’s like watching Tracy & Hepburn bounce off each other, their energy infectious, their acting sublime and their roles of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were just made for them two actors to play – there are too many good bits in this movie that scare and are downright creepy, from “The Crooked Man” to the “Nun”, to that “ghostly flooded basement” and that scary ass “Rocking Chair” all of which will make you look for that light switch but for me the opening scenes where Farmiga’s character Lorraine witnesses the Amityville Murders via a seance is as good as any of them, it’s heart thumping, spine tingling cinema, your glued to your seat, in the dark as you watch the camera pan from room to room, the echo of the gun going off as each of the murders are committed, the cinematography is spectacular yet completely terrifying – Overall: The Conjuring 2 is some scary ride, if your a fan of the supernatural and things that go bump in the night then James Wan’s latest will help raise your heart beat to a new level – also take note of this name Madison Wolfe one day soon she will be a huge star – Brilliant !!
Having grown up watching the Disney classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Jungle Book I was intrigued when hearing that Iron Man & Elf director Jon Favreau was working on a new live-action/CGI remake based on Rudyard Kipling’s story – anybody who follows me on Instagram or Twitter will know I’m not huge on this constant Hollywood obsession in remakes, reboots or re-imagining of the classic films of yesteryear, that being said I will always give a film the benefit of the doubt and I watch each one hoping for that gem, a remake that may possibly surprise and may even equal it’s predecessor !!
Well after visiting my local cinema complex I was not surprised I was blown away by what I had just seen – not many movies in recent times, let alone remakes have taken my breath away but Jon Favreau‘s epic take on this classic tale did just that – from its exhilarating opening watching the orphaned Mowgli race through the jungle to its heart racing climax with the villainous Shere Khan – The Jungle Book is gorgeous on every level, it’s seamless CGI is forgotten after the first few moments in the movie as your transported into a setting where animals fill your heart with song, laughter & maybe a lump in the throat, Favreau handles Mowgli’s heart warming encounter with Baloo the bear, the hissing, conniving of Kaa and the hilarious & complete epic-ness of King Louie singing that classic song “I wana be like you” with total respect of the original movie yet creates his own special deliverance of these beloved characters – his casting of the voice actors should be applauded and where on earth did he find the young Neel Sethi, this kid is perfect as Mowgli giving the film it’s heart, he’s certain to be a star of the future – Overall 2016’s The Jungle Book is a magical cinematic triumph, it’s a film that brings the feel good factor & family entertainment back to our screens and if you’ve seen Wolfgang Reitherman’s 1967 Disney classic then you may find yourself humming along to a couple of favourite tunes too – pure and utter brilliance, stop monkeying around & visit The Jungle Book at cinema’s now!! ★★★★½
Sometimes you sit down & watch a movie with zero expectations & have an absolute ball – M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit is one of them movies – Shyamalan who wrote, directed & financed the movie himself has come up trumps, it’s a film that’s refreshingly original, deliciously quirky and creepy as hell – the movie runs on a budget of $5 Million, and centers around siblings who go to visit their grandparents for a week, Aussie Olivia DeJonge plays the role of the older sibling Rebecca, a keen young filmmaker who has decided to document the visit by filming everything – The Visit manages to create an eerie suspense whilst making you laugh at the various strange goings on at the grandparents isolated farmhouse – the film is a true return to form for it’s director Shyamalan & certainly his best film since 2002’s Signs – if you feel a little suffocated (like me) by all these constant remakes & Superhero movies out there and want your faith restored by original, well acted, low budget film making then please check out The Visit its a little gem ★★★★
Originally released in 1989 Robert Zemeckis classic Back to the Future 2 is due for a one day only re-release and Great Scott this guy right here is very excited – Back to the Future 2 happens to my favorite of the trilogy, it’s so well written, insanely fun and contains some of the most memorably shot scenes in movie history – here’s a new poster for the upcoming event !!
In 1975 on June 20th the world of film was introduced to JAWS – based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, this film was the first summer blockbuster – JAWS broke numerous box office records, won 3 Oscars and made it NOT safe to go into the water – Steven Spielberg’s movie is still regarded by many including myself as his best achievement behind the camera – even today 40 years after it’s release JAWS holds up well as a cinematic triumph, it still scares the daylights out of me, it’s acting by the main trio of actors is top notch and it’s simple yet terrifying John Williams score sends my body into a quivering goose bump sort of mess – so congrats Steven Spielberg and all involved in making JAWS one of the Best Movies I have seen in the last 40yrs !
The last entry in the Jurassic franchise was 14yrs ago way back in 2001 and was a pretty ordinary monster movie so when the word came out that Spielberg who directed the first two movies in the trilogy had approached Safety Not Guaranteed’s Colin Trevorrow I was surprised and slightly apprehensive about it’s final outcome – Trevorro’s movie takes place 22yrs after the events of 1993’s Jurassic Park, Hammond’s original concept is now a reality and us humans can mingle and watch the dinosaurs whilst traveling on futuristic rides set around the landscape known as Jurassic World – but like all businesses the Park has to make money so the powers within create a new attraction, a Dinosaur that’s bigger, faster & more terrifying than anything that’s come before – well I won’t reveal what happens next in the movie but here’s my thoughts on Trevorro’s Jurassic World
For all you directors involved in remakes, sequels or prequels of classic movies of yesteryear watch Jurassic World – Colin Trevorrow demonstrates how to appeal to a whole new fan base whilst respecting the audience that fell in love with the movies predecessors – As a movie spectacle Jurassic World is a popcorn munching wet dream, the film’s pace is electric, it’s cast full of energy & the film’s visuals are simply jaw dropping – the raptors have never looked so good, the futuristic theme park makes you want to visit there and once your eyes stare down on that Dino-Hybrid the Indominus Rex I guarantee the hairs on the back of your neck will stand to attention, wait for a minute then hide for cover
Overall: Jurassic World is what every summer blockbuster should be – exhilarating, fist pumping fun that gives its audience a helluva ride – and with the welcome addition of John Williams spine tingling score, the many elegant nods to Spielberg’s original and its storyline paving the way for more sequels to follow makes this monster movie a nostalgic, heart thumping cinematic experience ★★★★½