After watching Bone Tomahawk back in 2015 my anticipation for the next S. Craig Zahler movie grew feverpitch, his simple style blended with a cult laid cast pumped with an explosive violent finale had me wondering how can this realatively new filmmaker top what I have classed as an instant cult classic? Well it only took 2 years and I had my answer BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 is intoxicating in it’s execution, it’s sublime storytelling, it’s trade mark gut wrenching finale but most of all it’s one hell of a performance from Vince Vaughan as Bradley Thomas an ex-con boxer trying to make a living in any way which he can to provide for his wife and their unborn baby when all shit rains down and things get really ugly – Zahler’s writing and filmmaking style is kept simple but engaging, his use of character invention is spectacular almost Tarantino-esque, he knows how to deliver these weird, wonderful & downright nasty son of bitches to the screen, casting old pro’s such as Don Johnson to bring home key roles in his movies, and what about the great Udo Kier as the mysterious Placid Man, Kier’s role maybe small but it’s so pivotel and I can’t think of anyone I would rather play that role, Dexter’s Jennifer Carpenter gives a good turn as Bradley’s wife and Buffy’s Marc Blucas is eye catching as Bradley’s boss – but essentially Brawl in Cell Block 99 is Vince Vaughan’s movie, it’s a role that’s truly up there with some of the memorable film roles of all time, such as Travolta’s Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, Nicholson’s Jack Torrance in The Shining and more, Vaughan at times prowls the screen like The Duke did back in the old western’s of yesteryear, his wrestling background and stature is used by Zahler to great effect giving his character this imposing look who carries this quiet yet unsettling demeanor, for me a bit like Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, those fight scenes in the last 40mins are quite something….
So to be very clear Brawl in Cell Block 99 is not for everyone, if you hate violence & don’t like to hear bone crunching sounds or watch torture and all sorts of blood curdling tear ups then please stay well clear of this movie – but if like me you like your films hard hitting with slices of no nonsense movie escapism then you will revel in this brutal uncompromising cult classic – now I only have to wait till next year for S. Craig Zahler next movie the epic titled Dragged Across Concrete that stars Mel Gibson & Vince Vaughan, my mouth is drooling already…. ★★★★½
here’s two new screen prints from Mike Mitchell’s Star Wars Series – I hope you agree “Princess Leia” and “Wicket” are simply stunning – both so damn beautiful….
Trying to pick 15 Movies that have stood out, excited & impressed the hell out of me in 2015 has been a difficult task and one that I started compiling over two weeks back – when making a Best of List it’s important to view the movie multiple times and for me personally I never choose any movie on pure sentiment, take the Star Wars movie for example, I’m a huge geek when it comes to them movies but it would be unfair of me to name it as one of my favorite movies purely on past glories, the movie has to be better than that and deserve a place by merit – everybody has their own personal favorites, whether it be at home or at the cinema movies are there to be enjoyed – don’t take my Top 15 as gospel and certainly don’t let friends or film critics decide what you watch, the beauty is we are all movie critics and we all have our own opinions – so if you’ve not seen some of these movies, give them a try and then compile your own list of Your Favorite Movies of 2015….
Although I’m a huge fan of both Hellboy movies, Blade 2 and Pacific Rim for me Guillermo Del Toro is at his best when tackling the genre of the Gothic Horror or Dark Fantasy – in 2001 came his deliciously gripping The Devil’s Backbone and in 2006 the weird and wonderful Pan’s Labyrinth both shot on a relatively low budget and both demonstrating this filmmaker’s eye for detail & his brilliant knack of telling a good story that entwines interesting, peculiar and watchable characters into his narrative – so when the first stills and trailer hit the web for his latest my excitement was at fever pitch – would Del Toro’s Crimson Peak live up to the expectations I had placed upon it? and how would the cast changes effect his way of thinking and the movie in general?
Del Toro’s movie takes us back to the late 1800’s, where personal tragedy sends a young aspiring author into the arms of a mysterious stranger, his loving sister and a new home in England
Crimson Peak is a beautifully crafted horror movie, reminiscent of the classic movies back in the 30’s and 40’s – it’s imaginative sets especially the Gothic mansion really does send shivers down the spine, Del Toro manages to create this living, breathing structure that’s partly open to the elements, devilishly spooky & so atmospheric – the attention to details is impressive and the film submerges you into it’s story almost to the point you actually feel like your living in Allerdale Hall – part of the movies story is Edith’s ability to see ghosts and theses scenes are handled sublimely well, in particular the moment at the beginning of the movie when Edith is visited by her mum and the scene in the corridor of Allerdale both gave me goosebumps, the effect is spine tingling – the movie also contains a pretty graphic and violent death scene that may shock some viewers, and although you can see it coming its delivered with devastating effect – the films backbone though is it’s cast, especially the trio of Wasikowska, Hiddleston & Chastain who’s chemistry unite, making you believe in the scenario’s their characters find themselves in – I wish somebody could have taken a picture of me in the cinema watching the films taut but electrifying finale – the range of emotion from Wasikowska & Chastain’s characters are terrifyingly good – Overall Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak is one hell of movie, it may not be Del Toro’s masterpiece but it’s a fabulous, haunting trip nevertheless and deserves to be hailed as one of the best in it’s genre ★★★★
Happy Back to the Future Day Everyone !! A Big Thanks to Robert Zemeckis, Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and all the cast and crew who made the Back to the Future series one of my all time favorite movie trilogies – the films may all take place in the past after today but in the future I’m pretty confident we may eventually get to see them Flying Cars, Hover Boards and maybe just maybe Jaws 19 – if you happen to be re-watching any of these movies today have fun and remember “the future is what you make of it” !!
Only one place to watch George Miller’s latest insane action movie and that’s on the big screen – Miller’s fourth film in the franchise has a new leading man in Tom Hardy who replaces Mel Gibson who apparently dropped out after production issues a few years back – Hardy is a fine actor and a good choice as Max, he’s rugged & battle worn, a man troubled by his past, a survivor & one who will stop at nothing to get justice – Hardy’s Max maybe the title character but Millers picture delights on so many other levels from Nicolas Hoult giving a career best performance playing Nux the head shaved crazy rebel, the return of Hugh Keays-Byrne who played “Toecutter” in the original Mad Max back in 79′ and now plays a new villain known as Immortan Joe and last but not least Charlize Theron’s cool, complex and utterly badass Furiosa who just like Max is a broken, imperfect hero for a new dawn
Another eye catching attribute to Fury Road is John Seale’s gorgeous cinematography, beautifully shot capturing the picture’s scale and blinding color all set to Miller’s familiar backdrop – it’s a truly mouthwatering experience
Overall: if your looking for pure cinematic escapism, with an adrenaline fueled pace & a film that’s bonkers from start to finish then check out MAD MAX FURY ROAD ★★★★½