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Two former baseball players find themselves alone, fighting for survival against zombies in an apocayptic world : As you can probably guess from my website and social media nothing pleases me more than watching a movie made with a low budget that are usually refreshingly original and from filmmakers I’ve never heard of before, so when a friend first recommended I check out 2012’s THE BATTERY by Jeremy Gardner I had to take a peek : apparently the movie only cost $6,000 to make with Gardner and a bunch of friends helping to finance and bring it to the screen : The Battery follows a rather simple yet engrossing storyline centered around two ordinary guys Ben & Mickey who find themselves thrown together in a world ravaged by the undead, watching this strained relationship take a road trip of sorts across Connecticut is all kind of messed up fun with Ben seeming quite content moving from place to place killing any zombies that cross their path (and seeming to enjoy it too) and Mickey a virgin in the kill department (frankly a bit of a moaning pussy) just shutting himself off from reality by listening to music through his headphones, which slowly but surely annoys Ben to the point of some rather delightful WTF senario’s including the moment he locks Mickey in his bedroom with a zombie to hilarious consequences and the time Ben steals Mickey’s headphones is so out there, other scenes that tickled me sideways for different reasons include Mickey’s masturbation scene that had me in hysterics (don’t judge until you’ve seen it) and Ben singing Anthem For The Already Defeated whilst under the influence which I didn’t see coming but was rather superb : overall The Battery really is one for the ages, a creatively fun take on the genre that I can highly recommend with Gardner’s humor, acting chops & musical score really adding so much to it’s memorability ★★★★
Cop Land, 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine, Logan and now FORD v FERRARI James Mangold’s thrill ride, a 7,000 RPM adrenaline fueled, pulsating ENERGY packed racing movie that sees Matt Damon deliver a career best, Christian Bale in infectious form, Caitriona Balfe delivering one of the film’s best moments and the race scenes WOW their pure dynamite – for me 2019 is the best year of the decade for cinematic treasures and this film continues the trend in leaving me speechless and rather emotional as I left my seat at the big screen – obviously the Le Mans track has changed through the years since the 60s so how on earth did James Mangold and his team recreate the movies focal point? it’s just mind boggling, the camera work by the Greek cinematographer Phedon Papamichael is sublime, his work in creating that claustrophobic yet thrilling car racing scenes is pure brilliance but for me the main reason this movie succeeds is it’s cast who are simply magnetic – what a movie and a ride you don’t wana miss on the big screen ★★★★★
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…… ★★★★
It’s been 4 long years since Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World graced our screen’s so boy it’s great to see him back – yes I know our favourite Norse God has appeared in the Avengers: Age of Ultron and had a small cameo in Doctor Strange but for me personally there’s nothing quite like seeing your comicbook superhero’s in their own picture, on the big screen with an audience full of exciting anticipation
“Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.”
So down to the movie, firstly it’s the third film in the Thor franchise and it’s directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi – who the hell’s he I can hear you say? well he’s the guy responsible for that delightful, gorgeous little movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople one of my favourite movies of last year and if you’ve not seen it then please do so – whether it was Taika Waititi’s māori sense of humor or the writers fresh approach the whole movie gave off a rather unique vibe, it almost felt entirely a comedy and certainly the most humor I’ve seen in a Marvel picture for me personally this was a bonus – Thor: Ragnarok is full of the most ridiculous, colourful characters – Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is no doubt the pick of the bunch, his big eye’s tinged with blue eye liner, dressed in a gold, blue & red gown lent marvellously to this wacky Willy Wonka appearance, Goldblum really looked in his elements – we also get to meet some other comicbook favourite’s such as Kork a huge creature made of crumbling rock & Surtur a firey demon voiced by none other than Clancy Brown – the scenes between The Hulk and Thor are witty and at times downright hilarious and their battle in the arena is a riot – Cate Blanchett breathes life into Hela with an elegant menace, her voice and costume is devoured by the actress who is simply perfect as the movies villain – Westworld’s Tessa Thompson who plays the warrior Valkyrie is sublime, so bewitching, totally badass with that confident swagger and cocky attitude but as Loki found out to his cost Valkyrie can also fight with the best of them
Overall: Thor: Ragnarok is the easily best Thor movie to date, it entertains with it’s sharp witted narrative, allowing it’s cast to have fun, it’s almost as if the cast ripped up the script and improvised their way through proceedings – this movie will undoubtedly divide opinion with some diehard MCU fans not liking this all comedy approach, but remember those with short memories Iron Man 3 was exactly the same, full of humor except it was poorly written or handled abysmally by Downey Jr – this can’t be said for Thor: Ragnarok a modern blockbuster that has a refreshing feel to it, sending me into joyous rapture for it’s 2hr plus runtime and like the majority of the packed cinema I laughed, smiled and clapped my way through it all – oh yeah and don’t forget it’s rocking soundtrack, another fun Stan Lee cameo and 2 small but intriguing after credit scenes ★★★★
Geoffrey Orthwein & Andrew Sullivan have crafted something quite majestic in BOKEH an end of the world movie that flows like an Icelandic waterfall and captures the backdrop of Reykjavik like a painting, subtle with mouthwatering color, mystery and full of energy all of which adds to their movies narrative and overall feel….
The film starts with a young couple Jenai (Maika Monroe) and Riley (Matt O’Leary) both enjoying their vaction, taking photos and making the most of their gorgeous surroundings – the early snippets of the movie is like an advert for the perfect Iceland vacation, clips of the pair visiting such sites as the famous Geysirs, the many Waterfalls, the Islands moon like landscape & the enchanting Blue Lagoon – the film then switches to a scene where Jenai is standing looking out through her hotel window, it’s the middle of the night and a northern light storm engulfs the dark skylinefill appearing to approach Jenai’s position before disappearing into the night – suddenly as if a dream its now morning and Riley is waking Jenai up, they then leave their room hunting for some breakfast when they start noticing that there is nobody in the hotel and once outside they discover to their disbelief that the population of the city has vanished leaving the two of them isolated together in a city that is now empty of its character, its many voices, its smells and vibrancy – and then it hits home, they’re alone and now what do they do?….
This film took me by surprise, I had seen Maika and O’Leary in other projects but this movie and it’s filmmakers were not on my radar and having recently visited Iceland this gave the movie a sense of realism that totally captivated me, the films gorgeous photography, it’s haunting storyline and how the film looks at the plight of Jenai and Riley and the strain it takes on their relationship gave me chills, so as I sat their enthralled by Bokeh I wondered to myself what would I do if ever faced with this scenario? Towards the end of the movie I was aching for more, I wanted to see how the characters handled the harsh winter, the snow covering their now forced upon city and watch them take in the magical northern lights dancing across the sky, but sadly I guess Orthwein & Sullivan had to finish the movie at some point and its finale is both beautiful, tragic yet so befitting….
The film’s title Bokeh means the out-of-focus parts of an image taken from a camera lens and somehow depending on which side of the fence you sit can also describle how both the characters in the movie view the circumstances they find themselves in, one of them is slightly more happy to go with the flow and accepts their lot, the other cannot and will not accept that this has happened – Bokeh is an absolute delight from start to finish and one that I just can’t stop thinking about – from its stunning Icelandic location, refreshing exciting yet tragic storyline and two engaging performances by Maika and O’Leary Bokeh gives a twist and turn to the normal zombie infested “end of the world” style movie – a true hidden GEM and one that will divide opinion…. ★★★★
No.10 : Transformers: The Last Knight
Directed: by Michael Bay and Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Isabela Moner
Why the Excitement?: If you can’t get jumped up for a big screen action movie directed by one of cinema’s finest visual directors then all is lost – Michael Bay is the master of entertaining and regardless of it’s acting and narrative his movies have always given me that slice of escapism and shit loads of fun and this fifth in the franchise looks the most explosive of the bunch !!
No.9 : Baby Driver
Directed: by Edgar Wright and Stars: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jamie Foxx
Why the Excitement?: Well if you’ve seen Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim then you can understand why this bad boy makes my Top 10 Baby Driver looks all sorts of fun, expect the Edgar Wright Stamp that will include a delirious soundtrack with a side dose of side splitting action scenes and a fair amount of talented actors making appearances throughout
No.8 : The Dark Tower
Directed: by Nikolaj Arcel and Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba
Why the Excitement?: Having read the books by Stephen King I’m intrigued to see how this adapts to the big screen – the movie will be more of a new take on the series that follows frontiersman Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) on a quest to reach The Dark Tower – licking my lips with excitement !!
No.7 : Alien: Covenant
Directed: by Ridley Scott and Stars: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride
Why the Excitement?: I was not a fan of Prometheus but believe, I have too right? that the Ridley Scott of Alien and Blade Runner fame will turn this franchise on it’s head and return to former glories – the trailer looks incredibly creepy and with the cast including Fassbender and Waterston I have high hopes
No.6 : Star Wars: Episode VIII
Directed: by Rian Johnson and Stars: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega
Why the Excitement?: Are you kidding right now? Star Wars? I love these movies and this latest directed by Rian Looper Johnson will be much different to Abrams in tone and style and maybe just maybe we will get to see more of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker involved too?
No.5 : Okja
Directed: by Joon-Ho Bong and Stars: Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lilly Collins
Why the Excitement?: I’m a huge fan of this South Korean Filmmaker and his unique, exciting style of bold movie making – 2006’s The Host, 2009’s Mother and 2013’s Snow Piercer all blew me away – the cast is exceptional and it’s story by Bong and Jon Ronson (Frank) looks delightfully quirky and wildly entertaining !!
No.4 : The Beguiled
Directed: by Sofia Coppola and Stars: Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst
Why the Excitement?: Loved the 1971 Clint Eastwood version and boy what an impressive cast !! Pretty big fan of Coppola The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette are three impressive, well written & beautifully shot movies so I think The Beguiled will continue this trend – might even read the novel A Painted Devil by Thomas P. Cullinan in preperation
No.3 : Hostiles
Directed: by Scott Cooper and Stars: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike, Ben Foster
Why the Excitement?: Reuniting Cooper and Bale after their epic Out of the Furnace this promises to be all sorts of dark, violent shit – love it’s premise reminds me slightly of Peckinpah’s Major Dundee and I do enjoy a good western
No.2 : Wonder Woman
Directed: by Patty Jenkins and Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen
Why the Excitement?: Big comic film geek, love Wonder Woman as a character and Gal Gadot is sensational in pretty much everything she appears in – and Wonder Woman’s film trailer was easily the Best of 2016 – excited HELL YEAH !!
No.1 : Blade Runner 2049
Directed: by Denis Villeneuve and Stars: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto
Why the Excitement?: two reasons: the first it’s original movie the 1982 Ridley Scott master piece sits comfortably in My Top 10 of all time so being able to revisit these characters and world excites the holy hell out of me and second it’s director Denis Villeneuve is easily the most exciting filmmaker since Tarantino, with films such as Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario and Arrival who could argue?
JUSTICE LEAGUE and WONDER WOMAN have landed some trailers and if your a fan of their universe and love the comics then you best sit your ass down and watch these two on repeat for the rest of your day – the Justice League looks lots of crazy badass fun, the introduction of Aquaman, Cyborg and last but not least The Flash (although I still prefer Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen) but that scene in the trailer where Bruce Wayne throws his Batarang is pretty awesome – all of this only whets the appettite for the planned Ben Affleck stand alone Batman movie whilst the trailer for Wonder Woman an origin story set back in World War I will blow your fanboy mind, Gal Gadot looks incredible and so comfortable leading the first modern female-led superhero movie, judging by it’s look, feel and high speed action we could be in for one hell of a ride next summer….
Justice League: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, Amber Heard and Henry Cavill – “Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions”
Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis and Danny Huston – “Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny”
“Resistance fighters embark on a daring mission to steal the Empire’s plans for the Death Star”
Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla and Monsters)
Stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen
I have watched this trailer 4 times already and I am so pumped for December already
Rogue One looks mysterious, exciting and appears to have a darker pallet.
Huge fan of Edwards style of film making and this stellar cast only adds to the fist pump!
Here’s some exciting casting just released by Warner Bros for the latest comic to screen adaption SUICIDE SQUAD villains-forced-to-be-heroes from the DC universe – the brilliant David Ayer (Fury & End of Watch) is on directing duties with Rick Flag played by Tom Hardy, Deadshot played by Will Smith, The Joker will be Jared Leto and the gorgeous Margot Robbie is tackling the role of Harley Quinn – also on-board is Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress – so what do you guys think?
It will also be interesting to see who Warner Bros get to play Amanda Waller and will Lex Luthor appear in this film as expected? SUICIDE SQUAD no doubt will burn the screens down on August 5th, 2016 – get excited this looks all sorts of delicious fun !!
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….
Here’s two pretty Badass movie posters from upcoming action flicks that I’m excited to watch on the big screen – after it’s horrible 1998 version it’s down to British filmmaker Gareth Edwards (Monsters) to send GODZILLA back to it’s rightful place amongst the “King of all Monsters” – then we have the first of many movie posters (I’m sure) from Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY directed by James Gunn – the film pitts Peter Quill and his band of merry outlaws against the evil and villainous Ronan – take a peek…. Enjoy!
“In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill AKA: Star Lord finds himself on the run after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan” Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is directed by James Gunn (Slither & Super) and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and includes the vocal talents of Bradley Cooper & Vin Diesel – here’s some new movie stills and the official trailer…. Enjoy!
Guardians of the Galaxy – US (1st August) – UK (1st August) – Australia (N/A)