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