Sad news – the Oscar Winning director of one of my favorite movies The Silence of the Lambs Jonathan Demme has died aged 73 – Demme also directed several other superb movies including the epic Something Wild that stars Melanie Griffith & Ray Liotta, Rachel Getting Married, Married to the Mob and Philadelphia but it will always be the brilliant and chilling 1991 classic that the movie world will remember him for – those who worked with him called him one of the most enthusiastic and kind filmmakers in the business, he always had a story to tell and was devilishly smart in bringing that story to the screen, his films changed the course of an actors life, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks and Mary Steenburgen all won Oscars and much acclaim for their roles in his movies and all became better actors because of it – through the medium of film Jonathan Demme has left behind a cinematic legacy, a treasure trove of funny, gripping, haunting movies that will continue to entertain and live on forever – he was a passionate filmmaker who loved his craft, so when your next watching one of his movies take a moment to smile and fondly remember this talented New Yorker and the joy he breathed into the cinematic world we all love so much…
OK first up I never wanted to see this movie made and not because of this nonsense “all female” thing either, I just love the original films, like many they’re part of my upbringing since the original was released back in the mid 80s I must have seen the film 100 times or more Aykroyd, Ramis and Murray are three of my film heroes so discovering that they were doing another film remake and this time it was my beloved Ghostbusters I was at first mad as hell, I wanted to scream the social media house down, I guess I never wanted a movie more than this one to fail miserably but luckily for me like most things I calmed down and accepted that even without my blessing this reboot was going to happen one way or the other – Paul Feig happens to be one of my favourite modern comedy directors, films such as Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy have all made me cry with laughter so taking the mantle for this remake was a big thing for him and I just prayed, kept my fingers crossed that he was up to the task…..
OK so now I have seen Ghostbusters the 2016 version and I want to share my views with you film fans out there – firstly it has to be said Feig goes above and beyond in respecting the original 1984 classic, he uses the old theme tune, gives cameo’s to the old cast and even dedicates the movie to Harold Ramis at the end credits (a nice touch I thought) – his young cast comprising of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth are all fabulous, McKinnon and Jones for me steal the show but in general Feig has managed to cast well all actors adding something to this reboot, Hemsworth is at times hilarious playing the dopey good looking secretary for the team, he actually wears glasses without the glass and keeps tripping over himself & that dancing at the end credits is worth staying around for – I love also the fact that the legend that is Andy Garcia plays the New York Mayor such a great actor and fabulous to see him back on the big screen – the films opening at the haunted mansion was a riot, Kristen Wigg’s character getting slimed is worth the ticket value in itself and them scenes involving Jone’s character in the subway and also the possessed dummy are so much fun, McCarthy being possessed and getting slapped by Jones was hilarious and then of course you have McKinnon just oozing style playing the oddball engineer who creates the teams Ghost busting weapons & looks equally at ease firing them bad boys – Overall: put aside (if you have any) your disagreement for this movie and go and have some fun – Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is an amusing, entertaining picture, the cast rock & I promise you this movie will bring a smile to your face, my only small criticism is that the last 15minutes could have been handled better, a little OTT but that’s me being picky – Ghostbusters is a real blast !! ★★★½
From artist Jonathan Burton comes 2 delicious posters commemorating the 1933 monster movie KING KONG – my favourite is the the one of the left “Jungle” depicting Kong in his own habitat, it glorifies Kong’s stature and the fear he must of held over those who witnessed him – the “City” is also fantastic, Burton’s use of black & white captures the New York skyline and the overall feel of the 1933 classic, it’s detail is sublime, both are hugely enjoyable prints from a truly wonderful artist!
My latest venture to the cinema was to watch John Crowley’s immigrant drama BROOKLYN based on the novel by Colm Tóibín and starring a young lady that in my opinion is the Best Young Actress of her generation Saoirse Ronan
“Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant who leaves her home town, to live in 1950s Brooklyn. After the initial shackles of homesickness Eilis begins to find her feet, she starts a new job, an exciting education and falls into a romance with a boy from the city. But soon, her new life is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between the two countries and the lives that exist within”
It’s fair to say my draw to watching Brooklyn on the big screen was Saoirse Ronan, I’d not read Tóibín‘s book and the director Crowley’s previous movies have not caught my imagination and to be truly honest I thought them average at best. But it was an actress I have been following since 2007’s Atonement, the American born but raised in Ireland Saoirse Ronan that drew to me to watching Brooklyn at the cinema, and boy she’d didn’t disappoint either – Ronan doesn’t have to say much to convey the pain or joy she is feeling during the movie, her emotions can be found in her eyes & face, the power she wields with her expressions tells you more than a thousand words – but in fairness Brooklyn has some other really good performances, Emory Cohen who plays the young dreamy Italian Tony is fabulous, he’s a delightful young actor who’s mannerism’s & appearance suck you in allowing you to believe in the romance between himself and Ronan’s Eilis, their chemistry is gorgeous to watch – also deserving of a mention is the magnificent Julie Walters who plays Mrs. Kehoe the landlady in Brooklyn who’s house Eilis stays in, although Walter’s screen time is limited her character gives necessary warmth & humor to the overall film.
Overall: At its finale Brooklyn leaves you feeling elated, its a film you want to re-watch and one you wish to tell all & sundry about, it’s a simple story of life, family & finding ones home and although it’s early in his career I feel this could be John Crowley’s masterpiece – due it’s fabulous screenplay by Nick Hornby the movie is full of every emotion, a lump in my throat during one scene, laughing at Julia Walters in the next, the film really does give you this emotional roller coaster ride as you join Eilis Lacey on her journey of self discovery – I know some people are put off by watching this style of movie at the cinema but trust me Yves Bélanger’s gorgeous photography and an acting masterclass by Saoirse Ronan are reason enough to visit Brooklyn on the big screen – it’s memorable, well acted & well directed by Crowley give it a go, you won’t be disappointed ★★★★½
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….