AMERICAN MADE (2017) : Doug Liman
Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Jesse Plemons
on the Movie Screen TOM CRUISE has few equals, the man is a bonefied action star, a charasmastic movie magnet, a film icon and in my eyes one of the Greatest Movie Stars that’s ever lived – ok so now I have that off my chest what did I make of his second movie with filmaker Doug Liman AMERICAN MADE is a film based around a true story of pilot come drug runner Barry Seal – films that fly under the radar & deliver the goods are few and far between yet American Made succeeds big time – from the time I sat in my seat in the jam packed screening to it’s final credits time flew – there’s a darkness, a terrifying story being told yet you can’t help but smile, laugh and at time clap your way through proceedings, the pace is electric, the locations pleasing on the eye and attention to detail superb – it seems Liman and Cruise are a match made in movie heaven and with this being there second picture together only whets the lips for a third ★★★★
BLADE RUNNER 2049 : Denis Villeneuve
Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis
In 1982 Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was one of my first Science Fiction crushes, it’s still in My Top 20 movies of all time so when I heard a sequel was coming, I was sceptical but then something changed….. it was announced that Canadian filmmaker Denis VILLENEUVE was set to direct, the talent behind some of my favorite movies in recent years Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario and Arrival and I instantly knew that this film when it arrived would be worthy of the name Blade Runner – and as I’m sat here typing my thoughts, still giddy with the excitment felt viewing the movie for the second time with a little Hans Zimmer playing in the background I’m actually struggling to find the words on how bloody great Blade Runner 2049 actually is – it’s a picture that’s more than a homage laid sci-fi sequel, this is filmmaking on a grand scale, Deakins use of color and light is quite overwhelming, a small but fine example of this is them early scenes between K and Morton, the way the scene is lit, it’s mood that’s transformed to the screen adds greatly to this tense, titanic and very relevant encounter – along with the movies obvious masterclass in sound & imagery Blade Runner 2049 is a film that carries a wicked cast, with 4 amazing ladies hugging the limelight and making this sequel extra special – Ana de Armas is eye catching as hologram Joi, so much so you start to believe she’s actually real – Mackenzie Davis is simply WOW as street girl Mariette with her homage strewn outfit and amazing hairstyle – and then there’s Lt. Joshi a tough ass cop played by the remakable Robin Wright who’s perfectly cast and last but not least Dutch actress Sylvia Hoeks who is MESMERISING as Niander Wallace’s creation Luv, she’s quite the badass and those scenes with K near the end of the movie are so unbelievable I left half my finger nails in the arm of the chair – Overall Blade Runner 2049 is not only the best movie sequel since Cameron’s Aliens it’s also a thought provoking slice of original storytelling that sucks you in, captivates and excites like no other movie has this year ★★★★½
as a middle aged man and a huge fan of the movies I have to say I am absolutley disgusted, livid and so damn angry by the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has rocked the entertainment arena these last few weeks – reading the accusations by actresses throughout the globe has left a sour taste in my mouth and made me sick to my stomach thinking what other perverts, sexual predators lurk behind their masks of power – and just to be clear I feel Weinstein is the tip of the iceberg, there are others who have abused or humiliated and this has to be stopped – and in my opinion the only way to do this is for the victims of abuse (and there are many) to start naming names, bring these creeps out into the public domain and stop making oscar like speeches whether that be on social media or at luncheons expressing on how you don’t feel alone anymore and start helping the less fortunate who look up to a lot of these big stars by publicly naming the directors/producers etc who assaulted you when you were younger? Reese Witherspoon recently came out and said she was assaulted multiple times when she was 16 – has she named those who abused her NO why not? surely if the likes of an A lister came out and named her abuser this would give others less prominent the strength to make the same stand. Another is Jennifer Lawrence who usually never shy’s away in shouting from the rooftops over equality in pay for actresses etc but did she name the producers who she recently claimed degraded her when she was much younger? no she did not and why? I also don’t understand actresses who not only have come out and talked about their abuse but in recent years have been seen in the company of their abuser smiling, arm in arm? if it was me I would be miles away from the creep – YES my heart breaks for these ladies but the truth also needs to be heard, why have the majority stayed silent for so long? why take in some cases hush money and the promise to further ones career whilst altogther helping your abuser to victimise others? Shame on you all for allowing this to happen and Shame on those the likes of Quentin Tarantino who recently announced that he had knowledge of some of the Weinstein accusations and did nothing, I am sure he is not the only one either who knew what was happening, why would you stay friends with or keep your mouth shut knowing that this monster was at large choosing instead to turn a blind eye. Wouldn’t it be so refreshing for stars to come out and say “YES you know what I was abused when I was younger and then name & shame their abuser” NOW that’s what I call being corageous…..
“Samurai Manji has taken a lot of lives, both innocent and guilty, and now lives life in feudal Japan as a criminal. After being cursed with immortality until he kills enough evil men, Manji meets a young girl who enlists him to be her body-guard. Swearing loyalty, protection and vengeance against the group of sword fighters who slaughtered her family, the unlikely duo set on a remarkable quest of to make right against those who did them wrong.” – HOLY SHIT this looks all kinds of BADASS AWESOME – can you believe that this is Takashi Miike’s 100th movie – of recent times I have been left breathless by this Japanese filmmaker, his own brand of chaos raining down with movies such as Thirteen Assassins and Yakuza Apocalpyse both ballsy & breathtaking in their execution so if his latest Blade of the Immortal comes anywhere close to these two gems then this film guy will be elated – Blade of the Immortal is based on a Japanese manga series by Hiroaki Samura and looks visually stunning – hope you enjoy the trailer….
TOBE HOOPER (1943-2017) – directed one of the truly great films of our time, and in my eyes the scariest, most brutal raw ride into terror that i’ve witnessed – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE stills gives me chills as it did when I first came across it as kid watching it on video over a friends whilst his parents were at work – I was HORRIFIED it gave me NIGHTMARES but it also started my love affair with all things horror – you will be missed but your legacy of horror such as TEXAS, THE FUN HOUSE, SALEM’S LOT, LIFEFORCE and POLTERGEIST will continue to entertain and inspire a new legion of fans forever…..
the gravelly voice, handsome looks and steely gut driven performances is what I think of when someone mentions SAM SHEPARD yet this guy had so much more in his locker, a talented playwright, a veteran of the stage and writing credits that include the sublime film Paris, Texas – in recent times we had the pleasure of Sam’s acting talent as papa Rayburn in the brilliant Bloodline and although his screen time was limited his quality in each scene shone through – for me my favourite Sam Shepard roles include Thunderheart, The Assassination of Jesse James and of course the brilliant The Right Stuff – he will be missed down here but I’m pretty darn sure that he’ entertaining the masses up there….
it comes at night is a devilishly unerving, pychological horror movie that grips, rattles and plays with your mind – along with the movie’s interesting concept it’s the camera work in the movie that allows this slow burning horror to come alive, capturing the house’s shadowy interior and the forest with haunting precision, with this style of movie the work of the camera was paramount and they nailed it – along with being a tense ride it comes at night is also very thought provoking and will have you talking about it for many days after, personally I may have acted the same as Joel Edgerton’s character Paul but let’s hope I never find out – oh yeah the genre of the movie is not “post-horror” it’s quite simply HORROR and a blooming good one at that ★★★★
“Before he became the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, a young cocky sailor with the help of his crew defeats an evil pirate slayer Captain Salazar, leaving him and his sailors marooned as ghosts trapped in the Devil’s Triangle. But as the triangle crumbles and Salazar escapes Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to do so he must form an alliance with Carina Smyth a beautiful, fiesty astronomer and Henry Turner a young fugitive who in turn have their own reasons to obtain the Trident….”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is totally and utterley outrageous – from it’s incredbile mind boogling visuals, wonderous & colourful costumes to it’s impecable casting Pirates 5 is everything and more a film fan could want from a modern day blockbuster – I watched the movie on IMAX in 3D and had an absolute blast from start to finish, the robbing of the safe where Sparrow’s crew drag the building through the village was insanely bonkers, so much fun and very much a Pirates moment, there’s a delightful cameo from Paul McCartney as a prisoned pirate, the return of old friends (good & bad), an evil turn by the delightfully creepy Javier Bardem (how did they do that makeup?) and a top notch performance from Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, who once again delivers a mesmerising, funny performance of our much loved Pirate, his movement & manerism’s on screen are majestic, watching Depp in this form is why I class him as not only a very good actor but also one of the greatest showman’s of our time – Pirates 5 does what all good blockbusters should do – it whisks you away from everyday life to a fantasy world that’s truly magical – a huge thank you should go to the Norwegian filmmakers Rønning and Sandberg for re-igniting this franchise and delivering an exciting, hugely fun trip to the big screen – I had a ball…. ★★★★½