FORGET about TERMINATOR Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys these metal imposters are incredibly average when you compare them to Tim Miller’s latest chapter in the Terminator Franchise – DARK FATE starts with the pace of a freight train, the action pieces are quite brilliant and the eye popping special effects should be x-rated THEY ARE AWESOME !! I loved the way both Grace and Rev-9 are introduced, in typical Terminator fashion there are great flashes of light but also in the case of Rev-9 we get to see a frozen snap of items surrounding the robots entrance this is quite beautiful momentarily until it they all shatter, the camera work on these scenes especially the Rev-9s introduction is superb.
What’s apparent from the films start to it’s explosive finale is Tim Miller’s admiration for James Cameron and his 1984 Terminator and it’s sequel Judgement Day – if your a fan of both movies then DARK FATE will take you on a subtle walk down memory lane with old and new character interaction and moments that are obvious homages to these two great pieces of science fiction – It’s also a masterstroke bringing back Linda Hamilton, her iconic role of Sarah Connor IS BACK and boy she looks in incredible shape, her physical appearance is truly impressive and it’s great to see her and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing some screen time again.
If your a fan of both James Cameron movies then TERMINATOR: DARK FATE will be a hugely enjoyable ride – I loved watching Hamilton, Davis and Reyes kicking some metal ass and as for Gabriel Luna’s super scary Rev-9 HOLY SHIT he may have just surpassed the T-1000 as the franchises second best villain after of course Arnie’s Terminator – Tim Miller deserves all the plaudits for re-igniting this much loved franchise, his ability to direct action with a certain amount of humor and cannon fueled intensity is once again present on the big screen, I for one can’t wait to buy another ticket ★★★★
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 ★★★★
The Raid 2 (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Director: Gareth Evans – Cast: Iko Uwais, Donny Alamsyah, Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle, Alex Abbad, Yayan Ruhian & Oka Antara – Synopsis: Picking right up from the end of the first raid, Rama is forced to go undercover with the thugs of Jakarta to protect his family and bring down the corruption within his police force – Verdict: Filmmaker Gareth Evans and his muse Iko Uwais reunite to bring us another slice of exciting, heart thumping Indonesian action that not only contains some of the most delicious, badass fight scenes ever brought to the screen but is also a rarity in being an action sequel that’s better than it’s original – Evans unique blend of bone crunching, blood splattering action, colorful visuals, fast flowing seamless cinematography along with a well written script that’s more involved, more character driven than the first and all beautifully played out is a just a delight to watch – The Raid 2 is full of grandeur action scenes all of which are pure loco and will blow your mind, from the mud-filled prison fight scenes that’s brutal, breathtaking and epic to watch, to some jaw-dropping set-pieces that include some of the explosive characters in the movie such as the carriage train scene with the delightful hammer girl taking on an army of henchman, Prakoso’s amazing fight in the restaurant and Rama’s duel with The Assassin in the kitchen are exciting, blood soaked and definitely not for the squeamish – Overall: if Gareth Evans The Raid got your attention then this sequel will blow you away – The Raid 2 is a masterpiece of an action film that’s astonishing to watch and unflinching in it’s execution – Evan’s has no equal when it comes to the action arena, his film making style is raw, relentless and incredibly entertaining – I for one can’t wait for the third outing but until then I will dose myself up with my Evans fueled addiction and re-watch both The Raid’s until the day comes when Rama hits our screens once more….
Tokarev (2014) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: Paco Cabezas – Cast: Nicolas Cage, Rachel Nichols, Danny Glover, Max Ryan, Judd Lormand, Pasha D. Lychnikoff & Peter Stormare – Synopsis: Paul Maguire (Cage) is a reformed criminal running a legitimate business when his past of crime and the Russian Mob catches up with him – one night whilst attending a business meeting with his wife Maguire’s daughter is kidnapped and not one to rely on the local police for help he rounds up his old crew and seeks his own brand of justice – Verdict: If you’ve seen the trailer for Tokarev don’t be fooled into thinking that this move is some sort of low budget Taken clone – it’s not! – Paco Cabazas who brought us 2007’s horror The Appeared has essentially worked to the revenge formula but thrown in a few curve balls that change the ball game and makes you think “wow I didn’t see that coming” – Tokarev still has it’s cliche moments and yep we get to see our customary Nic Cage meltdown moment (not a bad thing in my eyes) but Overall: this is devilishly fun movie, with a whole bunch of grandeur action sequences, a smartly written script that is well delivered by a quality cast led by the infectious Cage who appears to have fun with any role he takes on – don’t be blinded by the haters out there Tokarev is 92mins of top class entertainment…. Enjoy !
Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Director: Doug Liman – Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor & Kick Gurry – Synopsis: Major William Cage (Cruise) a PR for the army finds himself sent to the front line, with zero combat training, fighting a war against an alien force known as the Mimics that’s slowly taking over the world – Cage manages to get himself caught in a time loop that once deceased makes him revisit his horrific day of battle all over again – during this loop he becomes more efficient at battle and meets up with Vrataski (Blunt) who’s a battle hardened war hero and together they must find a way to defeat the Mimics saving the world in the process – Verdict: If your wondering what film you should see at your local cinema this week then wonder no more ! – Based on the Japanese Novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and delivered to the big screen by The Bourne Identity’s Doug Liman EDGE OF TOMORROW is one heck of a ride that reminds me of Aliens, Matrix and Starship Troopers wrapped around a devilishly fun Groundhog Day narrative that is not only exhilarating to watch but is a delicious cocktail of clever sci-fi, black humor and full throttle edge of the seat action that Cruise, Blunt and Paxton deliver tenfold – a lot of praise should go to McQuarry & Butterworth for a superb character driven script that’s both fresh, witty and void of romantic entanglement like too many of it’s predecessors – one of the surprises in the movie is Emily Blunt’s “Angel of Verdun” – we all know she can act but her action prowess tethered to her overall look and the deliverance of her character is convincing & superbly executed – the action arena certainly suits Ms Blunt and with the lack of strong female action heroes on our screen of late this role certainly opens some doors for future action screen time – some of my favorite moments in the movie is the breathtaking beach scene reminiscent of a science fiction Saving Private Ryan, the exchanges between Cruise & Paxton (two of my favorite actors) and Cage’s training in the army base against the mimics whilst Vrataski looks on applying the necessary bullet to the head if he fails – Overall: as a summer blockbuster Edge Of Tomorrow is one of the best in recent years, it’s fun, explosive and well worth you hitting that repeat button for another watch….
Pompeii (2014) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: Paul W S Anderson – Cast: Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jared Harris & Kiefer Sutherland – Synopsis: After his family and village are wiped out by the Roman’s, Milo (Kit Harington) is taken as a slave and turned into a gladiator and sent to Pompeii, where he fights, falls in love and comes face to face with Corvus (Sutherland) the evil Roman Senator who butchered his family – As Mount Vesuvius erupts, Milo joins forces with fellow gladiator Atticus (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) to fight his way out of the Gladiatorial Arena in order to save Cassia (Browning) his new found love whilst all around them Pompeii is under attack by smoking hot ash and blazing streams of red hot lava – Verdict: Having climbed Mount Vesuvius and being a fan of the Resident Evil movies from filmmaker Paul WS Anderson I was interested to see how he fared swapping zombies & kick ass ladies for the more brutal times of the Romans, Pompeii, Gladiators and a mountain that erupted causing death and destruction – Overall: if you know your history then you know what’s coming towards the final chapter of this movie and sure enough all hell rains down, but in between it’s actually a pretty solid action film that includes some descent CGI, a Titanic-esque love story, some rather fun cheesy characters and a somewhat mesmerizing soundtrack – of course any film directed by Anderson will have it’s fair share of critics and it’s certainly true to say Pompeii is no Gladiator but overall I was pleasantly surprised & found the film a pretty engaging affair that reminded me of a 70’s disaster flick that is entertaining and full of fluent, exciting action scenes – Don’t let people ever tell you it’s not OK to enjoy these style of movies, you know going into the film that historical accuracy goes out of the window, this is first and foremost an action film, a popcorn munching, adrenalin flowing thrill ride and does not pretend to be something it’s not – It’s certainly not a classic but Paul W S Anderson’s Pompeii is nevertheless a fun movie experience and one I would recommend for some Saturday night entertainment….
RAZE (2013/4) – Movie Review ★★★★
Raze stars Zoë Bell, Rachel Nichols, Sherilyn Fenn, Tracie Thoms, Bailey Anne Borders & Rosario Dawson – this movie is one hell of a kick-ass ride – it follows two abducted women & 50 other women who are forced to entertain some rich & privileged guests by fighting each other to the death using their bare hands – VERDICT damn this movie was brutal & intense! from them opening scenes of Jamie played by Continuum star Rachel Niccols obviously drugged, waking in a cell then stumbling her way through some darkly lit tunnels until she comes face to face with Zoe Bell’s Sabrina who she has to fight to survive is spectacular and relentless stuff – RAZE is a low-budget thrill ride from Josh C Waller who’s making his directorial debut – the film’s score is atmospheric giving it an overall feel like a scary-ass first person shoot-em, the fight scenes that are quite horrific and realistic mostly take place inside a circular dirt-floored pit that’s contained within a dungeonlike labyrinth of tunnels and prison rooms that are home to the women captives – although the movie has a weak and somewhat familiar storyline it’s mystery of who’s running the show keeps you on the edge of your seat – overall RAZE is an explosive, entertaining action packed movie that will have you feeling like a punchbag after it’s exhausting 85mins….