Director : Cate Shortland – Cast Includes : Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh
Since Marvel have treated us to many solo-outings that have involved Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor to say a BLACK WIDOW picture was long overdue is putting it mildly… I decided to ignore watching the movie at home as it was released on Disney Plus at the time and ventured a little further afield to my local big-screen, and just as I had hoped the wait was worth it and MCU’s latest did not disappoint : Cate Shortland’s movie is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and sees Natasha Romanoff on the run and forced to confront an old adversary that is linked to her past : my biggest take from the movie along with it’s darkly written storyline is the films delicious humor and Black Widow is full of great one liners that are smartly written and delivered superbly well by David Harbour’s Red Guardian and Florence Pugh’s assassin Yelena Belova… I loved Natasha’s backstory and the chemistry of those involved in this big cuddly dysfunctional Russian Spy family and along with the injection of humor it was the terrific big scale action scenes that caught the eye, from Black Widow’s first encounter with the Taskmaster in Norway, the epic fight scene between Natasha & Yelena, the prison escape involving Red Guardian and of course that final battle in the film’s last quarter that reminded me so much of a 70s Bond film : needless to say there’s nothing quite like watching any movie on the big screen and although the cinema was only half-full the atmosphere was enough to give Scarlett’sBlack Widow the send off she really deserves : CRAZY GOOD FUN ★★★★
Without getting bogged down with the movie vs comic aspect of Civil War & trying to avoid any early reviews or spoilers I decided to visit my local IMAX and see if the Russo Brothers have delivered another entertaining slice of cinema – It took less than 10 minutes before I had my answer, finding myself totally immersed in this world of villains, superhero’s & the carnage that goes with it, I was like a kid in a candy store, the 2hr 30mins runtime flew by and I enjoyed every fun minute of it – there are many reasons why I really enjoyed Captain America: Civil War for a start it’s easily Robert Downey Jr’s best outing as Tony Stark aka: Iron Man, there’s much less comedy from his character and a lot more emotion, he’s hurting and Downey Jr does hurting well, even the die hard fans who dislike Stark will feel for him towards the movie’s finale – Don’t get me started on the movies fight & chase scenes or I could be here drooling all night, let’s just say they’re relentless in pace, high on scale & brimming with destruction simply put the effects are bloody incredible, the battle with Crossbones played by Frank Grillo at the start of the movie whet’s the appetite for what’s to come and boy you won’t be disappointed – The Russo Brothers continuing on from Winter Soldier do such a great job in sucking you in to the personal battles of many of the characters in the movie, you feel invested whilst also feeling slightly intrigued & somewhat excited by the eventual outcome.
Essentially this is like an Avengers movie, so many characters are along for the ride, watching Paul Rudd’s scene stealing Ant-Man and the introduction of a few new characters to the franchise such as Spidey, Black Panther and the villainous Baron Zemo is like movie heaven for us superhero fans, all are perfectly cast & their involvement in the movie’s big action set pieces are considerable and in the case of Spidey adds plenty of humor to proceedings – also wasn’t it great seeing Paul Bettany’sVision getting more screen time? he’s a fabulous character and in my opinion has been underused in previous outings – But for me the main reason why Captain America: Civil War works so well is the exciting and at times explosive dynamic between Iron Man and Captain America these two guys respect the hell out of each other but both have different views, neither will back down, leading to a nail biting finale pitting two of the great comicbook superhero’s against each other – Overall: not often do I come away from the cinema having watched a movie that has lived up to it’s hype but Captain America:Civil War does just that – it’s well written, well executed and movie escapism at it’s finest – roll on Infinity War Part 1 can’t wait !! ★★★★½
Having grown up watching the Disney classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Jungle Book I was intrigued when hearing that Iron Man & Elf director Jon Favreau was working on a new live-action/CGI remake based on Rudyard Kipling’s story – anybody who follows me on Instagram or Twitter will know I’m not huge on this constant Hollywood obsession in remakes, reboots or re-imagining of the classic films of yesteryear, that being said I will always give a film the benefit of the doubt and I watch each one hoping for that gem, a remake that may possibly surprise and may even equal it’s predecessor !!
Well after visiting my local cinema complex I was not surprised I was blown away by what I had just seen – not many movies in recent times, let alone remakes have taken my breath away but Jon Favreau‘s epic take on this classic tale did just that – from its exhilarating opening watching the orphaned Mowgli race through the jungle to its heart racing climax with the villainous Shere Khan – The Jungle Book is gorgeous on every level, it’s seamless CGI is forgotten after the first few moments in the movie as your transported into a setting where animals fill your heart with song, laughter & maybe a lump in the throat, Favreau handles Mowgli’s heart warming encounter with Baloo the bear, the hissing, conniving of Kaa and the hilarious & complete epic-ness of King Louie singing that classic song “I wana be like you” with total respect of the original movie yet creates his own special deliverance of these beloved characters – his casting of the voice actors should be applauded and where on earth did he find the young Neel Sethi, this kid is perfect as Mowgli giving the film it’s heart, he’s certain to be a star of the future – Overall 2016’s The Jungle Bookis a magical cinematic triumph, it’s a film that brings the feel good factor & family entertainment back to our screens and if you’ve seen Wolfgang Reitherman’s 1967 Disney classic then you may find yourself humming along to a couple of favourite tunes too – pure and utter brilliance, stop monkeying around & visit The Jungle Book at cinema’s now!! ★★★★½
Captain America: Civil Warpicks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain
OMG! THIS DRUG MULE is going to kick your ass!! not many movie trailers have had me gushing with excitement and re-watching instantly – LUCY the latest sci-fi flick by filmmaker Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) that stars the Black Widow aka: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Choi Min-sik looks delicious in every way possible – at times Besson’s career behind the camera has flattered to deceive but with cult movies such as Leon, Fifth Element and the underrated La Femme Nikita under his belt we should never loose hope in his French magic returning – Take a peek at Johansson and co in this mind warping, action packed trailer…. Enjoy!
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….
Director: Spike Jonze – Cast:Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt & Scarlett Johansson –Synopsis: The latest directorial feature from the mind of Spike Jonze tells the story of Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) a complex and somewhat lonely individual who makes his living writing personal letters for other people. After Theodore’s marriage comes to and end he becomes intrigued with a new operating system, and a voice within that system called Samantha, a bright, female voice, who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. The two of them strike up an unusual friendship and slowly but surely Theodore falls deeply in love – Verdict:Spike Jonze’sHER has joined Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are amongst the strangest, yet wonderful, original achievements I have witnessed on a cinema screen in over twenty years – and like it’s predecessors HER is a thought provoking, visually stunning and emotionally haunting movie, Phoenix gives yet another acting masterclass playing the sensitive, almost huggable Theodore and he is well supported by the delightful Amy Adams who plays his best friend and Scarlett Johannson who lends her seductive, husky vocals for Samantha – One thing I always like about a Spike Jonze feature is his camera work and the beautiful images he manages to capture and HER is full of them, one of my favorite moments in the movie is when Theodore lets Samantha guide him through a small fair, with his eyes closed Theodore follows Samantha’s instructions, spinning, sneezing and eventually ordering some food, it’s gorgeous to watch – overall HER is a worthy addition to any movie collection – it’s sad, funny and somewhat scary but one that will have you talking about it’s content for many years to come….superb!
Here’s some brand new Character Posters and a TV spot for the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier – the film’s great cast includes Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson – the film is based Two years after the events of The Avengers…. Enjoy!
From filmmaker Jonathan Glazer comes UNDER THE SKIN a haunting tale of an Alien preying on Hitchhikers in Scotland – the film stars Scarlett Johansson and Paul Brannigan and is based around Michel Faber’s novel of the same name – Glazer also brought us the delicious Sexy Beast and the strange yet somewhat wonderful Birth so teaming up with one of my favorite actresses Johansson and with a backdrop that is Glasgow and the Scottish Highlands my anticipation for the movie couldn’t be any higher – here’s the official poster (that is visually stunning), some movie stills and the latest official trailer…. Enjoy!
Under the Skin – US (4th April) – UK (14th March) – Australia (N/A)
Cast – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, Julianne Moore & Tony Danza – DON JON is written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and follows Jon Martello Jr. (Levitt) an Italian American, a sort of modern day Don Juan who has this list of things he really really cares about: “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn” – and although Jon’s a good looking guy and is actually quite sexually active he also has an addiction he just loves looking at porn on the web and prefers it to actual sex (his words) – on a typical night out with the guys Jon meets Barbara Sugarman (Johansson) and she’s about to change his life forever VERDICTJoseph Gordon-Levitt’sDON JON has the lot, it’s smart, incredibly funny, downright dirty and delivers an important message on how media can be fun but also strangle and be a controlling element in one’s life – due to it’s racy subject matter the film is not for children and can be quite cringe worthy at times with some hilarious American Pie style humor thrown in for good measure – along with fabulous performances from Levitt and the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson DON JON also has some great turns by the movies support cast including – Tony Danza wearing his matching white vest is a dead ringer playing Jon’s dad and the hilarious Brie Larson playing Jon’s sister, only uttering one sentence but is so funny glancing up from the dinner table on occasion, her eye’s rarely leaving her mobile phone (a trait I’m sure is only too true for most teenagers) – overall DON JON is a delight to watch and I’m so pleased that Levitt cast himself in the lead and not Channing Tatum as he originally planned, Levitt just carries the movie with a swagger and is totally more believable playing out some of the movies more personal, fun bit’s such as the confessional, the singing to himself in the car, his relationship with his dad (just like looking in the mirror) and his friendship with Julianne Moore’s character towards the films finale – DON JON is a movie I would highly recommend but it is NOT one for the whole family….
HER is Written and Directed by Spike Jonze and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara & Olivia Wilde – the movie centers around Theodore (Phoenix) a lonely writer who finds himself in a relationship with a computer operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson – Spike Jonze’s work may not be everybody’s cup of tea but there’s no denying his genius on work such as Adaptation & Being John Malkovich – here’s the final trailer & some new stills for HER…. enjoy!
HER – US (10th January) – UK (24th January) – Australia (N/A)
“I'm a mog - half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend” - Spaceballs (1987)
“I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts” - Bananas (1971)
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic and so am I” - What About Bob? (1991)
“Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something, I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention” - Dumb and Dumber (1994)
“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son” - Animal House (1978)
“Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes” - Naked Gun 33 ½ : The Final Insult (1994)
"Yes, it's true. This man has no dick" - Ghost Busters (1984)
"I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?" - Meet the Parents (2000)
"They called him 'Fast Eddie'... He was a winner... He was a loser... He was a hustler" - THE HUSTLER (1961)
"For Three Men The Civil War Wasn't Hell. It Was Practice!" - THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY (1966)
"The night HE came home" - HALLOWEEN (1978)
"All the power on earth can't change destiny" - THE GODFATHER PART III
"In space, no one can hear you scream" - ALIEN (1979)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid" - THE FLY (1986)
"Cruise like Thunder" - DAYS OF THUNDER (1990)
"Same Make. Same Model. New Mission." - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
"Houston, we have a problem" - APOLLO 13 (1995)
"The greatest fairy tale never told" - SHREK (2001)
"We've Sensed It. We've Seen The Signs. Now... It's Happening." - THE HAPPENING (2008)
DJANGO UNCHAINED is the first time in 16 years that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get the top billing
In John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN Michael Myers' mask is actually a Captain Kirk mask which was altered for the film
On the set of 1982's THE THING the whole cast and crew was male
BLAZING SADDLES was shot on the same MOVIE set as Yul Bryner's WESTWORLD
The first TWILIGHT movie is the only film in the saga to not receive any Razzie Award nominations
In a deleted scene from James Cameron's ALIENS Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) daughter was played by Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney Weaver's real-life mother
Prints of the movie INCEPTION were shipped to theaters under the name "Hour Glass"
The Dude from the superb THE BIG LEBOWSKI says "man" 147 times in the movie