Jack Reacher : Never Go Back may not have originality on it’s side and it may not contain loads of superhero CGI but what it does have is Tom Cruise a guy who oozes passion over his craft and knows how to deliver an action movie, create an entertaining vibe and make you clap after the end credits – Never Go Back is a movie based on the 18th book in the series of Reacher novels written by Lee Child and see’s Tom Cruise return as Jack Reacher an army vet come drifter looking for an easy life but find trouble at every turn – Cruise reunites with his Last Samurai director Edward Zwick for this sequel a film that follows in the same vein as it’s 2012 predecessor, a reasonably small budget of $60 Million, gritty realistic action scenes, a well oiled script and an exciting young cast that includes two fabulous ladies Cobie Smulders and Danika Yarosh who not only match Cruise in the running stakes but hold their own kicking ass in the action scenes, and along with the ladies Patrick Heusinger who plays The Hunter a mercenary who will stop at nothing to kill Reacher and anyone who stands in his way – the fight scene with him, Turner and Reacher in the kitchen is bone crunching and so epic I just wanted it to go on a bit longer – Overall: it’s not always the case that movie sequels work but Jack Reacher : Never Go Back delivers, it’s not quite as good as the first but it’s damn close, it’s wildly entertaining and whets the appetite for a third in the series….
Nowhere near as magical as its 2013 original but the introduction of the energetic Lula May played by the bubbly & hilarious Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Radcliffe’s turn as Walter Maybry allows film-maker Jon Chu enough intrigue & thrill to pull this sequel out of the bag – and although in my opinion the film contains way too much CGI, not enough practical magic and maybe Daniel Radcliffe’s creepy demeanour was a little underused I still found enough in this sequel to enjoy, have lots of fun with and look forward to a possible third outing for The Four Horseman ★★★½
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
“Apes Together Strong !”
Director: Matt Reeves – Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, and Kodi Smit-McPhee – Synopsis: After a global disaster wipes out a huge chunk of the population a group of genetically evolving apes led by Caesar and a pocket of human survivors in San Francisco battle for supremacy and out & out survival – Verdict: Being a huge fan of the original franchise back in the 60’s and thoroughly enjoying Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes back in 2011, I was excited to see if Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield) could continue where Wyatt left off and produce something memorable and Reeves did not disappoint – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a well balanced action flick that’s not all about the incredible motion capture and mind blowing effects, it’s a film with an emotional spine, a storyline that’s dark and gripping and one that is powerfully played out by it’s great cast including Lord of the Ring’s Andy Serkis as Caesar, Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke as Malcolm and the veteran Gary Oldman who like a good wine gets better with age playing Dreyfus the leader of the human colony – but one of the standout characters in the film is Koba the bitter and terrifying Ape that resents the humans and goes against Caesar to start a war, his character is brutal but you can sympathize with his plight as he’s been tortured for years by the humans and his character has become entangled with rage and hate – Koba is played motion capture by Toby Kebbell – Matt Reeves handles all the action scenes with aplomb whilst giving several nods to the classic Ape movies of yesteryear in the process – two of my favorite scenes in the film has to be the tower raid by the apes on horseback with guns OMG and the fantastic, breathtaking and moving showdown between Caesar’s & Koba towards the movies climax – Overall: please revisit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and then treat yourself to it’s sequel Dawn of the Apes an exhilarating, cinematic triumph that’s every bit as good as the first and a fabulous addition to the Apes growing franchise….
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Marc Webb – Cast: Andrew Garfield, Dane DeHaan, Sally Fields, Emma Stone, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti & Jamie Foxx – Synopsis: Marc Webb’s sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starts by addressing what did happened to Peter Parker’s Mum & Dad after they dropped him off at Aunt May’s and then flashes to modern day where our favorite New York crime fighter Spider-Man is dealing with his own personal demons – whilst cleaning up the city of everyday scumbags he is being haunted by the ghost of Gwen’s dead father whom he promised before his death to stay away from his daughter – Peter also meets up with Harry Osborn a high school buddy and gets entangled with the rather creepy, electrifying Electro – Verdict: It’s been 2 years since Marc Webb remade Spider-Man for the big screen – I remember going into the remake thinking “surely it’s too soon after Sam Raimi’s trilogy?” but after 50mins of this new Spidey adventure I was blown away and by it’s end credits I had soon forgotten all things Maguire and swore allegiance to a new Web Slinger in town and his name is Andrew Garfield – now quickly on to it’s sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – I had lot’s of fun with this film, it’s not quite as good as it’s 2012 original but filmmaker Webb has once again injected his own stamp on the Superhero genre making this sequel an entertaining cinematic experience, easily more comical & lighthearted than it’s predecessor, with some colorful comic book villains, an overload of CGI packed action scenes ending with a dark final quarter that is obviously laying the foundations of what’s to come – although A-List stars Foxx and Giamatti did OK it was the brilliant DeHaan that stole most of his scenes and made Franco look like a little pussy cat – the chemistry between Garfield and Stone, the dizzy breathtaking sight of Spidey flying over New York City and the emergence of the Green Goblin were the films highlights – Overall: if your looking for a dose of big screen, comic book action then take a trip to the cinema – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is breathtaking at times and delivers a fun night of escapism….
here’s some new movie stills from the upcoming Rodriguez & Miller’s sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For that stars Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert, Juno Temple, Ray Liotta and Stacy Keach – loved the first movie and this sequel promises much of the same, fabulous visuals, beautiful & sexy ladies and a gritty, dark storyline – I for one can’t wait…. Enjoy!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Anthony & Joe Russo – Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Robert Redford, Frank Grillo & Jenny Agutter – Synopsis: This story takes place 2 years after the events in New York with The Avengers – Steve Rogers aka: Captain America (Chris Evans) is now living in Washington D.C. attempting to adjust to the modern world and his new surroundings. But that new and quiet life is about to turn upside down when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) gets attacked by a group of Hydra operatives and a deadly assassin known as The Winter Soldier starts targeting S.H.I.E.L.D. members – entangled in a web of corruption S.H.I.E.L.D. has now become compromised and it’s left to Captain America, his new friend The Falcon and fellow Avenger The Black Widow to uncover the truth, track down this new enemy and eliminate the threat – Verdict: Recently watched The Winter Soldier as part of a 3D Captain America marathon that included Joe Johnson’s 2011 original and Whedon’s Avengers Assemble and although the film fell short of it’s original, the Russo brothers have delivered an exciting, action & effects driven big screen event that fits snugly within the layers of the Marvel Universe and the continuing story of Steve Rogers and S.H.I.E.L.D. – the fight scenes are well orchestrated, especially the ones that feature Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow and Chris Evan’s Cap who uses his shield to great effect – my favorite scene in the movie (there’s quite a few) was possibly the Nick Fury assassination attempt with rogue cops surrounding his car and raining holy hell down with all manner of weaponry – it made for delicious big screen viewing and like most Superhero movies The Winter Soldier is a visual feast of quickly paced action, lots of explosions and car chases all that need to be seen on the biggest screen possible – we also get a small taster of new characters that I am sure we will be seeing more of in the future, the likes of Emily VanCamp‘s Agent 13 and Frank Grillo’s Crossbones who were both excellent if not slightly underused – Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury had more screen time which in my opinion only enhances the movie and Anthony Mackie a newbie to the Marvel Universe did a fine job spreading his wings playing The Falcon – Robert Redford’s character was my only negative, it was not meaty or fleshed out enough and was a missed opportunity – overall: the movie gets the big thumbs up here – it’s an exciting action packed superhero outing that lays the foundations for what’s to follow – roll on the next chapter – Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron that lands next summer….
Gareth Evans’ martial arts sequel THE RAID 2 is finally here – the movie premiered at Sundance yesterday to rave reviews – the film also known as BERANDAL stars Iko Uwais, Alex Abbad, Julie Estelle, Tio Pakusadewo, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara and Cecep A. Rahman – here’s the new trailer, some pretty badass trading cards and a couple of new stills…. enjoy!
With the new trailer imminent Fox has released 4 new posters for Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that lands next summer – the movie stars Andy Serkis (Caesar), Judy Greer (Cornelia), Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Jason Clarke – loved Matt Reeves 2008 Cloverfield and enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes so this sequel is high on my watch list for 2014 – here’s them posters to whet the appetite…. Enjoy!
It was the year that Pixar Studios opened, Amber Heard was born and Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa won a Best Picture at the 58th Academy Awards – it was also the year screen legend James Cagney died and Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight World Champion in the history of Boxing – it was also the year two of my movie heroes starred opposite each other for the last time – Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster first appeared together in 1957’s Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and in 1986 they would star in their seventh & final movie together Tough Guys….
My Definitive Action Movies of 1986 : at Number 1 is James Cameron’s epic scifi movie ALIENS that sees Ripley alongside a group of kick-ass Colonial Marines trying to stay alive down on LV-426 – at Number 2 Maverick & Goose fly into Top Gun coming up against the best Fighter Pilots the navy has to offer – and at Number 3 Sylvester Stallone plays Marion Cobretti a cop and part of the “Zombie Squad” who loves nothing better than Telling it to the Judge and putting the bad guys down in Cobra – at Number 4 is John Carpenter’s superb Big Trouble in Little China that sees Burton played by Kurt Russell battling a sorcerer named Lo Pan down in Chinatown – and finally there can be only one at Number 5 and that’s Russell Mulcahy’s Highlander don’t you just love that Queen soundtrack, that amazing Scottish backdrop and Clancy Brown’s villainous Kruger? – as you can see 1986 was an incredible feast of action movies, I was only 15 years of age at the time and my love affair with the movies was only just beginning….
Cast – Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Byung Hun Lee, Anthony Hopkins & Catherine Zeta Jones – Inspired by the comic book series of the same name by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner and is the movie sequel to 2010’s Red – Ex C.I.A. agent Frank Moses (Willis) and his band of misfits reunite in an attempt to find a missing nuclear device and stop those who plan to use it – VERDICT the first 15mins of RED 2 is better than the entire last outing of John McClane, Willis is at his action best and it sets the scene for the film’s sequel directed by Galaxy Quest helmer Dean Parisot – the introduction of new characters to the sequel including Zeta Jones, Hun Lee and Anthony Hopkins all add to the movie, especially Hopkins hamming it up playing the villainous and slightly deranged Bailey – one of my favorite scenes in the movie is when the team led by Helen Mirren infiltrate a maximum security insane asylum and Mirren’s character Victoria goes in disguised as a mad, eccentric Queen of England, she truly is brilliant in these action movies – overall RED 2 is an excellent movie sequel, it’s full of over the top action scenes, delicious humor and gives Bruce Willis a reprieve from that awful A Good Day to Die Hard – Dean Parisot’s RED 2 is better than it’s original and one of the better action comedies released this year….