Number 3 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : When a 12-year-old girl is possessed by a supernatural entity, her mother seeks the help of a priest to save her : Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel, The Exorcist came out in 1973 from filmmaker William Friedkin who also directed The French Connection & Sorcerer amongst others : I don’t think there’s ever been another horror movie about possession that’s even come close to scaring me half as much as The Exorcist still does, the way Friedkin slowly tells us the story of Chris MacNeil an actress and her 12yr old daughter Regan entwined with Father Karras who’s struggling with the loss of faith & loss of a loved one is not only compelling, but adds so much depth to the film and it’s characters, so by the time the possession truly takes hold of Regan and her bed starts rocking, head starts spinning and the vomit starts flowing the fear factor has already set in, your pulse is racing, your breathing has become shallower & you start burying your head in your hands in an attempt to hide from this devilish force of intimidation : I revisited The Exorcist two days ago and apart from the shocking possession scenes that include Regan violently masturbating with a crucifix, spider crawling down the stairs, forcing her mother between her legs & her head spinning 360 degrees there are also so many terrific sub-moments, I really loved the excavation scenes, the sound, color and imagery is so haunting during this beautifully shot opening to the movie, watching the broken Karras visit his mother in the hospital is emotionally draining, the subliminal hidden image of the demon shown during a scene with Ellen Burstyn really caught me off guard again and the scene with Lee J. Cobb’s brilliant Lieutenant is questioning Chris at her home is captivating, “can I have your autograph” really was a lighter moment : Jack Nitzsche’s score flows through the film better than most in it’s genre, it’s haunting and memorable and adds greatly to the films atmosphere and considering it’s low budget the film really come through with it’s creepy special effects that haven’t aged one bit : I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better performance by Ellen Burstyn the way she portrays being the helpless mother is phenomenal, Jason Miller is the embodiment of a broken priest and considering his limited screen time previous to this film was outstanding, Max von Sydow plays the elderly, tired yet commited Father Merrin wonderfully well but it’s Linda Blair as Regan who you will remember when think about this film, her vulgar, unpleasent display whilst being possessed by the devil is something to behold : The Exorcist is not for the faint hearted, it’s an unforgettable, multi layered horror movie that contains one of the most horrific final acts in cinematic history ★★★★★
In the near future, Cyrus a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of the Big Apple in a bid to rule. When he is killed, The Warriors are blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang in the city are hunting them down : Based on the novel by Sol Yurick The Warriors hit the screens back in 1979 and was directed by Walter Hill : It’s one of my favourite movies of Hill’s with it’s incredible photography by First Blood’s Andrew Laszlo, the shoot takes place in the night in New York City and when you rewatch the movie as many times as I have you realise how incredible Laszlo made the city look for the screen and so perfect for Hill’s vision in creating this movie, from it’s deserted subway stations decorated with grafitti, the wet floors that illuminated the shadows to the cities dark grimy street’s lowly lit to enhance the mood, Laszlo really deserves more credit for the way The Warriors came to life on screen : I also loved it’s cast including James Remar’s Ajax, David Patrick Kelly’s slimy Luther but especially Michael Beck who plays Swan the strong and respected leader of The Warriors & the film debut of Deborah Van Valkenburgh who is astonishing as the sexy, confident & tough Mercy who rolls with the Orphans a weaker gang in the city led by Sully : I can’t praise both actors enought for their deliverance of two strong characters, similar in many ways, leaning on each other in adversity, for me Swan & Mercy are amongst my favourite film characters in movie history : one of my favourite moments in the movie is where we are introduced to some of the rival gangs preparing to chase down The Warriors and over the radio blasts Nowhere To Run by the wonderful Arnold McCuller now this is truly and utterly ICONIC, a film scene I can watch on rerun all day long, I also found The DJ played by Lynne Thigpen and voiced by Pat Floyd to be a fabulous addition to the film, the DJ giving regular updates on The Warriors chase down referring to the city’s gangs as “boppers” : The Warriors was the third movie from Walter Hill and armed with a budget of $6 Million the film hit No.1 at the box office on it’s release and has since gone on to become a cult classic : the film is nothing short of SENSATIONAL “Can You Dig It?” ★★★★★
Peter, like most teenagers LOVES his bedroom so when his Grandpa (Robert De Niro) comes to stay he’s kicked to the curb, booted out of his room and moved into the family attic, not happy with this arrangement Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to win his room back : I really like filmmaker Tim Hill he’s has this knack of making me smile and his latest War with Grandpa is arguably his best work (that’s hell of a statement as I’m still a huge fan of Muppets from Space what a classic) : I know some people (boring farts maybe) would say that this type of movie is two a penny & predictable BUT when made well there’s nothing like a good old tug at your heart-strings and laugh till your sides ache family fun movie and War with Grandpa is certainly that : the humor is spot on especially when pitting young versus old, it’s not the story it’s the characters in the movie that win your hearts : the three oldies Robert De Niro’s Grandpa and his two mates Danny & Jerry played gamefully well by Cheech Marin & Christopher Walken are terrific and look in their elements having a good time being friends, kicking about in dodgeball with the kids and looking at young women’s backsides during their walk-about in the park, Walken especially is soooooo funny the faces he pulls is priceless : I also found Uma Thurman & Laura Marano totally awesome and so so watchable, the shenanigans between Mum, Daughter and Russell who plays the boyfriend had me laughing so much throughout : I also found the chemistry between De Niro’s Grandpa and Peter played by the gifted Oakes Fegley who also starred in the wonderful Pete’s Dragon remake back in 2016 to be the backbone of the movie, their screentime was full of hilarity and the lengths they would go to creating havok in their path and get revenge on the other was downright brilliant : also watching Peter’s life in school with his friends was a blast from the past and had me thinking back to my childhood that contained similar senario’s : Overall if your a fan of family comedy with a slice of nostalgia and the chance to watch De Niro & Walken reunite some old magic then WAR WITH GRANDPA is definately for you ★★★★
Devistating news the wonderful actress Kelly Preston has died aged 57 : Kelly was know for her work in the movies such as Twins, For the Love of the Game, Nothing to Loose, Spacecamp, Jerry Maguire, Jack Frost & so many more : she is the shining light in those movies and I will always remember her for that beautiful radiant smile x
A teenager’s weekend at home with her dad takes a turn for the worse when a group of escaped convicts decide to interupt their plans – From the fab duo of Milott & Murnion who in 2014 gave us the insanely good Cooties comes their new horror picture BECKY a home invasion movie that will no doubt upset someone, somewhere at somepoint – There is no question that this film is the darkest of the the duo’s three movies to date, you get a nasty performance by Kevin James who plays a neo-nazi convict, some blood thirsty Home Alone style action scenes that’s not for the faint hearted, a real eye-catching moment during the film’s second half and the star of the show Lulu Wilson who is quite simply wonderful playing Becky this teenage girl who’s loss of her mother has hardened her mentally and given her this moody chip on her shoulder that serves her well in trying to survive – My only criticism is that the film runtime could have been slightly longer to allow a bit more characterization which would have helped explain Becky’s relationship or lack of with her father Jeff played by Joel Mchale BUT nevertheless the film is a credit to Milott & Murnion a real heart-stopper, a violent exciting horror thriller that I will no doubt revisit again and again ★★★★
So last week I was luck enough to revisit one of my favorite horror movies of all time Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining on the big screen and today I visited my local cinema to watch Doctor Sleep and let me tell you something IT is nothing short of EXCEPTIONAL !! This is director Mike Flanagan’s love letter to the Torrance family & all things that shine, how he managed to recreate such iconic sets such as the spine chilling blood from the elevator scene, Danny exploring the hotel on his tricycle, the room to room interior of the Overlook, those scary twins and of course the overheard camera following Danny’s car up towards the Overlook accompanied by that haunting score God Only Knows – Ewan McGregor is terrific as Danny Torrence, Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat & her power draining cult known as the True Knot are so bloody scary, reminding me slightly of the roaming blood suckers in Bigelow’s Near Dark – some of their scenes especially the one that involved No.19 the young baseball player scared the hell out of me whilst the incredible Alex Essoe literally sent shivers down my spine with her remarkable performance as Wendy Torrence – Overall Doctor Sleep is a cinematic triumph that pays homage to it’s predecessor whilst creating a creepy atmosphere & super scary horror of it’s own !! ★★★★★
I have never seen Misery, Relief & Hatred captured so magnificently than in Todd Phillips JOKER – Over the years I have been lucky enough to watch every movie JOKER on the big screen and they have all been good for different reasons YET in my opinion they are all pale imitation’s of the DC character when you compare them to Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the madman of Gotham – the intensity that Phoenix brings to the role is immense, it’s a whirlwind of crazy, one that is quite terrifying to watch – The film has so many evocative scenes and it’s also possibly the best movies I can remember with night time scenes, all beautifully shot by cinematographer Lawrence Sher who also did great work on Phillips 2016 movie War Dogs – My Opinion: This is no ordinary comic book movie it’s essentially a character study, a thought provoking piece on how one of the great comic book villains came to be, it touches on mental health issues, bullying and is very dark and incredibly moving – it’s well worth putting on your happy face and visiting your local cinema NOW ★★★★★
Elizabeth Taylor – seen here in 1963’s epic CLEOPATRA
the loss of any movie star is a sad time but losing Bill Paxton an actor I have adored since the 80s, iconic, beautiful, crazy and delightfully funny is something I’m really struggling with – as I write this tears are welling, my heart is sinking and the memories of all my favorite Paxton movies are swimming round my head in what can only be described as delirious grief – I have lost count of the times since 1986 I have uttered that line from Aliens “Game Over Man!” and watched over and over his psychotic performance as vampire Severen in the fantastic horror movie Near Dark – to say he is one of my favorite movie idol’s is an understatement, his films have ignited my passion of the screen and for me he will be remembered as this infectious, ballsy movie star that owned the screen with his cowboy swagger, his mischievous grin and one of the most recognizable vocals in film – he was loved and will be missed by all – RIP #FilmLegend
“I’m gonna separate your head from your shoulders. Hope you don’t mind none”
Bill Paxton – Near Dark
The film follows an aspiring actress Mia played by the charming Emma Stone who falls in love with Sebastian an out of work Jazz Musician played by the accomplished Ryan Gosling – the film is set in LA and pays homage to the movies & music of a bygone age….
Damien Chazelle’s romantic musical LA LA LAND is everything I hoped for and so much more….
as I sat in the cinema mouth agape watching the words “Presented in CinemaScope” and the camera expertly panning over the cars of a packed LA freeway I quickly realized that I was in for a magical ride down the cinematic highway – a voice through a car’s open window started singing, her voice raw with emotion and suddenly without thinking I found myself tapping my feet to it’s catchy beat, chills started dancing across my spine, my face lit up at the explosion of color and what happened next was pretty special….
throughout it’s 2hrs I felt like I was transported back to Old Hollywood reminiscing of them musical stars of yesteryear, images flooding my mind of Fred, Ginger, Rooney & Garland all singing, dancing before me as I sat transfixed, seduced by LA LA LAND’s heart melting musical numbers, the films colorful sets and dreamy, infectious pairing of two of Hollywood’s brightest young stars in Gosling & Stone….
I have so many favorite scenes in the movie – the song & dance number at the Griffith Observatory, the lovely moment with Gosling’s Sebastian singing the beautiful “City of Stars” on the pier and that amusing moment at the party where Stone’s Mia asks a band to play the 80s track “I Ran” by one hit wonder band A Flock of Seagulls and then dances manically whilst lip syncing the lyrics – the performances by it’s cast and music by Justin Hurwitz is complete PERFECTION….
if 2014’s Whiplash that starred Miles Teller & J.K Simmons stunned you with it’s brilliance then Damien Chazelle’s LA LA LAND will overwhelm you, make you smile from ear to ear and allow you to dream that little bit longer – From it’s magical, entertaining & insanely eye popping opening number to it’s bitter sweet, emotionally draining finale LA LA LAND is cinema at it’s most potent, electrifying best…. ★★★★½
Here’s some rather colorful character posters from James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY the latest Marvel big screen bonanza that will hit our screens later this summer – Gunn the guy who brought us the fabulous Slither and comedy superhero movie Super has assembled an exciting cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel – here’s them posters…. Enjoy!