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 ★★★★
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 ★★★★★
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD : Quentin Tarantino
Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino
JULY can’t come quick enough – one of cinema’s greatest filmmakers QUENTIN TARANTINO will take us back to 1969 Los Angeles where a television actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the movie industry.
HOTEL ARTEMIS : Drew Pearce
Jodie Foster, Sterling K Brown, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista
Had an absolute blast watching Drew Pearce’s directorial debut Hotel Artemis – if I’m honest it’s a movie that went right under my radar but I’m so glad I caught up with it on the big screen – would you believe it’s been 5yrs since the legend Jodie Foster graced our screens with Elysium so watching this legend of our screens trade acting blows with Sterling K. Brown & Dave Bautista in this futuristic setting is worth more than double the ticket price – Pearce’s first attempt behind the camera follows writing work on Iron Man 3 and MI : Rogue Nation so he’s no beginner when it comes to classy, stylish story arcs with intriguing characters and some insane action thrown in – Hotel Artemis combines the lot, it has a great story at it’s core, a devilishly good ensemble, sublime cinematography and is executed better than most – don’t miss this one ★★★★
For those of you who follow me on social media or read this movie blog you will know by now that I adore Ridley Scott, his movies and all things Alien but in recent years I have been quite vocal on this legendary directors fall from the dizzy heights of yesteryear to churning out such ordinary movies, average affairs such as Robin Hood, The Counselor, Exodus: Gods and Kings and the pretty dismal Prometheus – I am so conflicted, the one side of me is so grateful to this legendary filmmaker for giving us so many iconic movies but the other side keeps asking the question “why does Ridley Scott continue to direct such sub par movies? take a leaf out of Tarantino and Cameron’s book, maybe direct a film every few years instead of every year?” it’s my opinion that these films will only tarnish his brilliant reputation – I really had hoped that Ridley had turned the corner back in 2015, I absolutley loved The Martian with Matt Damon this was a real return to form from a director in need of some resurection so when it was announced that a new Alien movie was in production a sequel to the dreadful Prometheus nevertheless I was pumped, excited and looking forward to maybe a new chapter in this great series of scifi indulgence…..
Sadly for me though Alien Covenant was not what I hope it would be, yes it was better than Prometheus (well that wasn’t hard now was it) and yes maybe over the last 10yrs The Martian aside it’s one of his better efforts but overall it was a big screen blockbuster that left me feeling flat, it was way too predictable, contained some shitty CGI that made the overall production feel shoddy and unpolished and although Covenant had it’s moments it’s narrative tried to over complicate things so the reasons why we loved the original movies were lost in this world, a franchise that was slowly becoming more about the androids than anything else – Ridley also thought it was a good idea to go all mystical on our asses so inserted some really strange Obi Wan moments featuring David from Prometheus, living like an old wise hermit in a cave, listening to wind chimes and blowing his flute delivering lines such as “you blow and I will do the fingering” I just found all this mumble jumble embarrassing, out of place and lacking any sort of vision, suspense and was almost laughable at times….
I am not saying that Alien Covenant as a movie is a complete disaster, for me it’s not got that Ridley Scott stamp on it – McBride and Fassbender are both terrific in their respective roles and some of the nice homages to previous movies were great to see but overall Covenant felt like a bad dream a two a penny slasher that felt like a rehash of the original movie that is desperately trying to emulate all the things that worked such as (face huggers, chest bursters, acid for blood and so on) yet delivering it all with no panach and most importantly zero tension, yeah it’s a shit load more violent than it’s predecessors but that’s nothing to be proud about, what made 1979’s Alien so damn good was it’s slow burning tension that’s gnaws away at you but with Covenant you feel nothing – most of the films undoing in my opinion is it’s lack of humanity I felt so disconnected to the crew of the ship, the characters in the movie were not developed enough so when they slowly start getting picked off I actually felt very little for them, I was numb and that overall summed up my experience with this movie at it’s finale – I just hope Ridley doesn’t out stay his welcome and he lets go of the Alien reigns and allows a new filmmaker to bring some fresh ideas to this much loved franchise ……★★★½
Hugh Jackman reunites with The Wolverine’s James Mangold in the final chapter of LOGAN – the movie also sees Patrick Stewart reprising his X-Men role as Charles Xavier, Narco’s Boyd Holbrook cast as a villain of sorts and an unusual (but it works) piece of casting with Stephen Merchant playing mutant tracker Caliben….
In the near future 2029 to be precise a battle worn Logan is a Limo Driver, trying to save some money whilst caring for an ailing Professor X who’s he hid somewhere on the Mexican border….
The single most devastating thing about watching LOGAN was that I knew (everybody new) that this would be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as The Wolverine and this was in my opinion a game changer – James Mangold uses this knowledge as his filmmaking tool, his simple yet striking tone, deliberately slow pace and painful to watch narrative all builds to an agonising crecendo, it’s certainly not upbeat and unlike any other Marvel movie before it LOGAN is stripped bare of the usual comicbook humor, kaleidoscope of colour and deluded fantasy instead it’s a picture that’s dripping with a dark, gritty no-nonsense underbelly, utterly gut wrenching and humanized like no other movie of it’s ilk – even the performances in the picture seem better, Jackman captures the ageing tired Logan with a comfortable ease, his maturity as an actor gives him the tools to pull this off, you can see the pain he’s going through as he limps and claws his way through the storyline and Stewart is equally as impressive as Charles Xavier who requires medical assistance to not only help with an illness but to keep his powers at bay, there’s also an impressive film debut by Dafne Keen who kills it (literally) playing Laura, her fight scene’s, mannerism’s and interaction with Charles and Logan are a joy to watch….
One of my favourite moments in the movie (and there are many) takes place at the Munson Home – Logan, Laura and Charles help the Munson’s with some runaway horses after which they get invited back to their home and enjoy a brief trip into yesteryear, spending time with a loving family over a hot meal with smiles, real laughter and a bed to sleep in (Eriq La Salle playing the father of the family is as good in these 20mins as he’s ever been) – sadly the groups happiness does not last long and their ugly, brutal past catches up with them….
James Mangold’s LOGAN is the perfect send off for one comics most iconic stars – the film’s raw and uncompromising style allows it to become a far superior comicbook adapation than what’s come before, it’s not only a thing of beauty to look at but it’s also one hell of an emotionally charged rollercoaster ride that doesn’t let up until the final credits rise & Johnny Cash’s vocals hit home…. ★★★★½
John Wick is forced into returning to the criminal underworld after a former associate requires him to to repay a marker debt – whilst back in familiar territory he discovers that a large bounty has been put on his life and all shit is about to rain down on him and those in his path
Keanu Reeves reunites with director and former stunt man Chad Stahelski for their sequel to 2014’s explosive action thriller JOHN WICK – the exciting cast also includes Common, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo and Laurence Fishburne….
The only way I can describe how I felt whilst watching John Wick: Chapter Two was like I was playing a shoot-em-up on my game console – the action is high intensity, brutal & relentless and contains countless scenes of close quarter kills, hand to hand combat, explosions and falling and fighting down stairs that make Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables look like a bunch of pussies – Common’s bodyguard Cassian adds spice to this sequel, his fight scenes with Wick are EPIC both characters not giving a quarter and that tube train moment is one to savour, Scamarcio’s crime lord D’Antonio is a well connected Italian mobster who will eliminate anyone who gets in his way and Laurence Fishburne plays the Bowery King reuniting him with his Matrix co-star Reeves for some intriguing albeit brief screen time – unlike many films before it this action packed sequel may be even better than it’s original, Stahelski gives the movie a more realistic feel than many others in it’s genre, yes it’s violent and yes it contains a hefty body count but it’s also a film that’s dripping with black humor, colorful interesting characters, blazing original soundtrack all set to a backdrop that not only looks fantastic but is well used in the context of each scene – from the Catacombs to the Enter the Dragon influenced Mirror Scene John Wick: Chapter Two is full of memorable blood soaked moments, it’s an enthralling, pulse racing action flick so if you enjoyed 2014’s original or you just love getting your ass nailed to a seat not wanting to leave in-case you miss something then you will eat this shit up and be hungry for desert afterwards – Keanu Reeves looks so f@ckin cool in action Full Stop!, his tall stature, angry facial hair and Kung-fu moves are totally bad-ass so if your looking to get high on that drug we call Badass Movie Watching then this sequel will blow your freaking mind….★★★★½
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 the new trailer for monster movie KONG: SKULL ISLAND that’s directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and stars Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, John Goodman and John C Reilly – this new adaption is set in the 70s and if this new trailer’s anything to go by it looks all kinds of awesome – I mean how can you not get excited for this baby – first up we have a group of explorers, soldiers, island natives and King Kong himself who is BLOODY ENORMOUS by the way all locking horns on a remote island somewhere in the Pacific, secondly we have Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson getting in some action before the Marvel team take over her entire existence & finally Skull Island has a load more monster treats apart from that big infamous Gorilla for us to get totally worked up over – so take a peek at this trailer and enjoy….
Daniel Ragussi’s directorial movie debut IMPERIUM is a solid, well written thriller with two good performances from Radcliffe and Collette and one exceptionally creepy one from True Blood’s Sam Trammell – the film’s subject matter is no doubt disturbing and is handled well by Ragussi but it’s darkness is too often conveyed by flashing images, often thrown together in a serious of video montages instead of being built into the film narrative, these montages work to a degree but for me personally I never felt Radcliffe’s character was in any serious danger and his cover looked more routine than it should have been – Overall Daniel Ragussi’s Imperium is a good watch and even though I felt slightly unsatisfied with it’s conclusion I would recommend it and look forward to seeing more from it’s director in the future !! ★★★½
After being thrilled by Jonathan Blakeson’s excellent “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” I was intrigued to see how he dealt with an alien invasion movie with a slightly bigger budget and a cast of young upcoming Hollywood – sadly The 5th Wave was not what I hoped for, it lacked the grittiness, the devil of similar movies in its genre, the movie lacked energy and I felt considering it’s storyline was nowhere near dark enough – at times it felt like I was watching a really tame TV movie – the undoubted talents of Chloë Grace Moretz and Maika Monroe were wasted, with the latter being very underused having little screen time of which is a real shame as she steals every scene she’s part of – Overall as movies go The 5th Wave is a pretty average affair, it’s predictable, add’s nothing new to the apocalyptic world style of movie and most of all the reveal of the actual threat to earth is such a big let down – the film is watchable but only just ★★★
Finally our first look at BIG GAME the latest feature from that wonderful Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander (Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale) – Big Game has a great cast that includes: Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Stevenson, Jim Broadbent, Felicity Huffman, Ted Levine, Jorma Tommila and of course the wonderful Onni Tommila – after watching this teaser (four times) I am so excited… Enjoy
“The fate of the most powerful man in the world lies in the hands of a 13-year-old boy. Plunged into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Oskari and the president must team up to survive the most extraordinary night of their lives”
The Interview (2014/5) – Movie Review ★★★★
“They Hate us caus they Ain’t-us”
Director: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg – Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang and Charles Rahi Chun – Synopsis: The Interview follows Dave Skylark and Aaron Rapaport as two friends running a TV show in the US called “Skylark Tonight” interviewing celebrities who usually spout trashy & outrageous nonsense – the show somehow manages to catch the eye of a certain North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who as it turns out is big fan of the show and grant the pair a one on one interview, upon hearing of this the CIA recruit Skylark and Rapaport to help assassinate the Korean Leader and that’s when the fun really begins Verdict: as you may know The Interview has become a movie shrouded in controversy, and just like a script from a Hollywood movie it all started with Sony axing the film from its planned Christmas schedule due to hacking threats (possibly the North Koreans?) which immediately saw a whole host of celebrities including George Clooney and the President of the United States taking to social media & many news outlets to decry the decision calling Sony weak and asking them to reconsider – it only took a few days for Sony to capitulate, with the FBI now involved in tracking these hackers a statement was put out that The Interview would return to the festive schedule and be shown in selected cinemas after all ! Overall: As a fan of Rogen and Franco’s style of brainless, moronic, insanely daft humor I had high hopes for this film their latest big screen pairing and by it’s end credits boy was I not disappointed – if you dislike gross-out comedy satires that produce the side splitting laughs but also in turn make you reach for the vomit bag, and your only thinking of watching the film due to the nonsensical over the top attention it’s received then you may want to reconsider – The Interview is made of the blackest of humor, some may even call the film distasteful and maybe it is – but overall it’s a well executed, tongue in cheek comedy that centers around a subject matter that shouldn’t be funny but really is, and that all due to it’s great material, it’s high tempo and a superb cast that includes a delicious turn by Randall Park playing Kim Jong Un who’s not only uncanny in resemblance to the North Korean leader but his camp & creepy portrayal makes his performance one of the true comic highlights of the year – if you have loved Rogen & Franco’s past movie pairings in Neighbors, This Is the End and Pineapple Express then I am pretty confident you will love The Interview it’s a comedy that will tickle you senseless, make your eye’s stream like a river and make your belly bounce till it hurts – the scenes that include that Eminem interview, Rapaport’s insertion, Kim Jong Un’s seduction of Skylark including the basketball come orgy and the tank ride, every moment on screen that included Sook played by the fabulous Diana Bang and each and every Franco smile, grimace and utterly stupid sentence spoken make The Interview one of 2014’s finest comedy achievements and one I can not wait to re-watch !!
Here’s the latest trailer for Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea that stars Chris Hemsworth, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Jordi Molla, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland & Ben Whishaw – the film will make a splash at cinema’s in the UK, USA and Australia between 13th and 19th March 2015…. ENJOY !!
“In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. “In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down”