This Christmas comes The Matrix Resurrections the fourth movie in the groundbreaking franchise directed by Lana Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II & Jessica Henwick : as expected not much info on it’s synopsis is available but judging by this incredible trailer expect a trippy action packed addition to the original The Matrix and it’s sequels Reloaded and Revolutions : forget streaming this Christmas and find the biggest screen (hopefully IMAX) and let Wachowski take us back down the rabbit hole…
What can I say that I haven’t already said about the legendary Canadian Filmmaker James Francis Cameron : each and every one of his movies are BADASS… filthy, beautiful, iconic slices of Badass CINEMA that I have crazed over since I was thirteen years of age, sneaking into my local big screen and falling in love with 1984’s Sci-Fi Classic The Terminator, the film, the cast, the story just blew my tiny mind to smitherines… and then if that wasn’t enough of a cinematic awakening how about 1986’s ALIENS the BEST godamn movie sequel that’s ever been, the film has the greatest ensemble, the greatest number of quotes that I’ve used in daily life than any other movie and a movie that sits comfortably in My Top 10 Greatest Movies of ALL TIME… James Cameron is an innovator, a visionary, an artist and although he doesn’t knock out movies every few years like say Ridley Scott or Clint Eastwood the quality and substance of his material is high end, near perfect and usually they turn out to be ground breaking in every way possible, just look at the visual effects, the ideas put together and what was achieved on the likes of The Abyss, Titanic and still the Best 3D IMAX experience that’s ever been in Avatar… and how about the comedy he injects into his films such as T2 Judgment Day and True Lies, both rock the pants off most in the action genre and both are incredibly funny too… so if like me your a fan of James Cameron then raise a glass and salute one of Cinema’s Greatest Filmmakers…
Todd & Viola find themselves on a perilous journey through the badlands of an unexplored planet as they try to escape a dangerous and disorienting reality : Not read any of the books written by Patrick Ness but as I’m a huge fan of Doug Liman’s visual filmmaking style and love these dystopian type of movies I delved straight in and was immediately blown away by the originality of CHAOS WALKING : once you get over the somewhat confusing “noise” element to the film you presented with a hugely enjoyable, quick paced, emotion led scifi thriller with terrific turns by Tom Holland as Todd, Mads Mikkelsen as the towns Mayor, Daisy Ridely as Viola and a shiver enducing performance by the wonderful David Oyelowo as the town’s preacher : I loved the film’s photography by World War Z’s Ben Seresin, wanted to give Manchee a good cuddle and anything Cynthia Erivo has delivered since her Widows debut in 2018 has been nothing short of incredible, her character Hildy is another eye popping turn : the surreal imagination of Patrick Ness matched with Liman’s science fiction thrill gave me quite a film watching experience, I’m now off to buy the books !! ★★★★½
In 1943 during World War II, a mysterious lady Maude Garrett climbs aboard a B-17 Bomber called The Fool’s Errand, during the flight the Errand is attacked by a Japanese War Plane and then suddenly Maude spots something lurking in the clouds…. as she’s travelling with with top-secret documents and a mostly male chauvinistic crew, Maude finds herself alone and it’s upto her to save the day : SHADOW IN THE CLOUD has a familiar tone reminding me a little of that episode of the Twilight Zone titled “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “The Mission” episode in Amazing Stories, I never give too much away with my reviews but there’s no doubt that these episodes were an inspiration to Liang’s strangely bizzare, spooky and tension ridden picture : I loved it’s animated private snafu intro, it’s atmospheric synth score, the snappy runtime and even it’s bizzare plot that’s fractured, ridiculous and a tad crazy in a decent sort of way : maybe Roseanne Liang’s re-writes of Max Landis original script had a lot to do with the way the movie feels slightly disjointed, as the film ends up becoming this insanely cross-genre of World War II mystery and scifi creature flick that works on some level but also feels rather confusing if not wildly entertaining : is the movie worth watching? the answer is most certainly yes !! the early parts are gripping as we follow Maude and that mysterious box she carries onto the bomber (what’s in the box?), I love the locker posters at the beginning (keep your eyes peeled) and when the film switches tact and it’s direction goes one way and another it’s action is sublime and effects tremendous with Chloë Grace Moretz and a rather wildly out of place yet scintillating score giving Shadow in the Cloud this watchable vibe and allowing us to see the promise in Roseanne Liang as an action helmer for bigger and better things to come ★★★½
Today the world of film has lost Tanya Roberts aged 65 : I will always remember Tanya for the beauty she gave us in two films that came out whilst I was in my early teens, 1982’s fantasy movie The Beastmaster where she played Kiri opposite Marc Singer and in 1985 she starred alongside Roger Moore in A View to a Kill playing Bond Woman Stacey Sutton : on the small screen Tanya starred in over a dozen episodes of the TV show Charlie’s Angels as Julie Rogers and in recent years playing Midge Pinciotti on That ’70s Show : she will be missed !!
Number 1 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A research team in Antarctica is hunted by an alien that assumes the appearance of its victims : Why don’t we just… wait here for a little while… see what happens? everytime I revisit THE THING my excitement levels soar and my blood runs cold, it’s a MASTERPIECE, the single most terrifying horror movie of all time, from it’s gripping suspense, gruesome practical effects to it’s terrific character driven cast and it’s slow beating Ennio Morricone score, it truly is a gift from the filmmaking gods : the beauty with The Thing and the reason why I believe it’s such a great horror movie is the overall intensity level does not drop, it’s relentless and there’s so many scary, atmospheric moments that really catch you off guard such as the dog pen scene, from the time MacReady pulls down the Alarm cord, the howling of the dogs to the cruelty of what happens next is horrific, Blair’s meltdown with the axe in the control room is scary because paranoia mixed with fear has truly set in and actor Wilford Brimley executes his part perfectly well, the scene when the head of Norris turns into this freaking head-spider is shit your pants time (my god the effects are awesome), that moment when Copper’s arms are bitten off during the chest defibrillation scene is frankly insane and of course the main course of suspense during the films last quarter when MacReady is testing the blood whilst the rest of the team are tied to their chairs is an exciting, adrenaline fueled nail biter, like a violent version of Miss Marple when she gathers up the suspects in the cocktail lounge to tell them her findings, I can still hear the noise the wire makes when it sizzles against the plastic tray and your just waiting to see which one of the team the alien has infected next : along with it’s creepy score all of John Carpenter’s movies have a distinct lightening and visual look and The Thing is no different, I really found Bottin & Cundey‘s work on the eerie, cold exterior to be quite exquisite capturing the desolate icy tomb of Outpost 31 to chilling perfection, the film’s sparsely lit, rather mundane interior was pretty darn good too, I loved the way the guys created light at times by using the fiery orange haze of Childs flame thrower, the odd stick of dynamite and of course the color of the alien turning into it’s next nasty, gruesome form : so if you like your horror with a huge dose of intense who goes there suspense, side portions of tummy churning squelch, the odd dash of humor and one of the finest horror endings put to film then check out John Carpenter’s great scifi horror THE THING ★★★★★
Number 6 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : The crew of the spacecraft, Nostromo, intercepts a distress signal from a planet and set’s out to investigate : although Ridley Scott’s ALIEN is not the best film in the franchise (that in my opinion goes to it’s sequel Aliens) it’s certainly the scariest : filmed on a budget of approximately $12 million and released in 1979 the film was a big hit at the box office, launching Sigourney Weaver’s career whilst setting up a successful franchise : in crafting one of the scariest sci-fi horror movies of all time Ridley Scott turned to Swiss Artist H.R. Giger to assist with the film’s creature design, the Swiss ultimately helped create the face-hugger, chestburster, space jockey & more and was part of the special effects team that won the Oscar for visual design : Alien is full of atmosphere and the jumps come thick & fast, take the chestburster scene (one of the most iconic talked about scenes in movie history), WOW that scene, my god, I nearly jumped through the roof…. and those scenes with Dallas tracking down the Alien inside the belly of the ship, crawling through a labyrinth of air ducts armed with only with a flamethrower, you feel claustrophobic & you find yourself biting your nails as Dallas the hunter becomes the hunted (talk about tension)….. and how about when science officer Ash decides to go batshit crazy and attempts to suffocate one of the crew with a newspaper….. let’s be honest I could fill a telephone directory with so many memorable moments throughout the film that will not only scare you half to death with Scott’s injection of suspense & sheer cruelty but will also make your jaw drop in amazement with how visually beautiful the film looks, those magnificent sets in Alien are something to behold : and let’s not forget Jerry Goldsmith’s sensational score, it’s both creepy yet beautiful & Dan O’Bannon’s imaginative story without which we’d have no movie, his concept is sublime : overall Alien is an astonishing 2hrs of scifi horror that will make you want to scream….. but remember, In space no can hear you scream ★★★★★
It was tough but here it goes : Christopher Nolan’s Top 8 Movies in order : (1) MEMENTO : 2000 : Nolan’s least pretentious movie, was shot for $9 million in less than a month, it’s story is exciting, fresh & edge of the seat and to this day it’s the filmmaker’s finest achievment with great turns by Guy Pearce & Joe Pantoliano : (2) THE PRESTIGE : 2006 : a hidden gem that I like to annually revisit & then think about for days after : Christian Bale & Hugh Jackman are immense as is Rebecca Hall who gives a stella turn playing Borden’s wife, from the sets, sound & story the film’s pure magic : (3) INCEPTION : 2010 : It’s been 10yrs and I still find myself marvelling at the effects, the rotating sets & Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s gravity fight scene which is so awesome to watch : breathtaking cinema built around a beautiful love story : (4) INTERSTELLAR : 2014 : Nolan’s ambitious scifi thriller blew me away whilst tugging at my heart strings from start to finish, the scene of Coops as he watches the clips from back home are tough, that enthralling docking sequence & the enormity of the tidal wave scenes are stunning : Hoytema’s work on this is quite simply wow : (5) THE DARK KNIGHT RISES : 2012 : Darkness rains down on Gotham & I for one loved the chaos & the ride Nolan brings to this trilogy ending masterpiece : in Tom Hardy’s Bane Batman has met his most demented nemesis & that delicious Talia twist in it’s finale gave the franchise the explosive ending it deserved : (6) INSOMNIA : 2002 : showcases the masterclass that is Al Pacino, his performance captures every essence of Will Dormer and it’s up there amongst the actors best work : Of course Wally Pfister’s DP and his canvas of British Columbia doesn’t help either – a tense, character driven remake that still holds up well today : (7) BATMAN BEGINS : 2005 : has sheer depth, towering action scenes, Liam Neeson & Cillian Murphy’s villainous pair, Michael BLOODY Caine, a cameo by Lucy Russell & of course Nolan’s ace in the pack Christian Bale who’s easily the “best actor” that’s played our Caped Crusader : (8) THE DARK KNIGHT : 2008 : Heath Ledger’s Joker waddling out of the hospital dressed in nurse atire as it explodes is one of many highlights from Nolan’s stupendous action packed sequel : lots of love here for Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent & Batman’s custom made bike is craaazy good too !! (also worth mentioning that I really enjoyed Dunkirk, Following and of course Nolan’s latest Tenet)
Armed with only one word, Tenet, a secret agent known as The Protagonist is sent on a mission to stop the end of the world : Having just revisited the Christopher Nolan back catalogue I was intrigued to catch TENET in the cinema and on IMAX as the film itself was shot by Hoyte van Hoytema, the DP on this movie using both 70 mm film and IMAX : As an overall film experience Tenet is thrilling from start to finish, from it’s breathtaking european locations (you’d never guess that Nolan is a big fan of 007) and heart pounding score from the Black Panther maestro Ludwig Goransson to it’s cast including the likes of John David Washington, Robert Patterson & Elizabeth Debicki who are all mightly impressive, especially Patterson who in my opinion is the star of the movie : my favourite moments include the astonishing car chase, the opera scene which is chaotic but brilliantly shot and all the screen time Elizabeth Debicki & Kenneth Brannagh share, with Brannagh playing a Russian villain with a complex insanity that terrifies Debicki and in turn motors the heart of Nolan’s story : there were reports on my social media timeline that the sound/dialogue was poor, but in my experience it was the opposite, totally clear and incredible allround : IMAX showcases Nolan’s latest in a dazzling way, an intriguing mind melt with spectacular action blended with an exciting, facinating narrative, however I do feel that the film could have been 20mins longer, it seems some of the early exchanges could have benefited with it’s story being fleshed out a bit more : that being said If your a fan of Christopher Nolan’s movies then TENET is a must on the big screen, take your mask and enjoy the experience it’s truly worth it ★★★★
Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years during which time LV-426 has been colonized, but contact has been lost. A bunch of colonial marines along with Ripley are sent to investigate : Written and Directed by James Cameron ALIENS is the BEST MOVIE SEQUEL OF ALL TIME, it was filmed back in 1986 for $18 million (yep your reading this right) and in my opinion it even betters Ridley’s first movie for pure action, suspense and incredible effects : For my latest rewatch I decided to revisit the Aliens Special Edition which contains a VITAL 17 minutes of extra footage : those extra scene’s really do add to the great characters that we have grown to love and hate over the years, adding much more depth and filling some of the theatrical release plot holes such as Newt’s backstory, more stunning panning shots on LV-426, extra scenes involving the marines and more of Hudson’s badass humor : One thing that doesn’t get mentioned too much is the film’s terrific action score by the late composer James Horner, considering the time restriction and conditions Horner found himself in during filming his atmospheric, bruising and deliciously heart thumping score certainly left it’s mark, receiving an Oscar Nomination and contributes greatly to Cameron’s movie : One of my favourite scenes in the movie is when Ripley takes it upon herself to go and rescue the marines after Gorman decides to have a meltdown, it’s a hand in the mouth moment that’s exhilarating to watch as she’s straps Newt in and takes control of their vehicle, but in fairness each and every scene in ALIENS are so damn good : There’s no doubt if your a fan of the franchise and have not seen this special edition then and get out and buy a copy & of course it’s just another excuse to submerge yourself in some mind blowing scifi by one of the masters of the genre James Cameron ★★★★★
February 14th : 2019
DARK PHOENIX : Simon Kinberg
Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence
So with giddy excitment I’m pleased to say that the X-Men will return to the big screen early next year in what promises to be a mind blowing start to a new trilogy of films starting with Dark Phoenix the compelling story of Jean Grey played by the Games of Thrones actress Sophie Turner and judging by this trailer I have now watched several times Kinberg’s movie could eclipse all the X-Men movies that have come before it……
This is Simon Kinberg’s directorial debut with his storyline centered around “The Dark Phoenix Saga” written by Cockrum, Byrne & Claremont and not only does Dark Phoenix look dark, gritty and packed full of emotion but the casting of Jean Grey look spot on with Turner looking made for this role – There’s a storm approaching where friendships will fall, trust will be broken and team X-Men will be tested like never before – Dark Phoenix is already high on my list of most anticipated movies of 2019 and this trailer excites me to the point of wanting to watch all previous movies featuring these cool as hell mutants – Hope you enjoy the trailer and three new stills below !!
“after a team of soldiers enter and don’t return five women scientists enter what is known as The Shimmer essentially a wall between our world and the infected area in hope of discovering what happened to those men and the truth behind this anomaly”
24hrs on and I can’t stop thinking of Alex Garland’s latest Annihilation – firstly it’s nowhere near as as complicated a story as people make out, yes it’s slow, brooding and set to a surreal back drop but when all is said and done it’s quite simply an alien invasion movie and a blooming good one too – music is used sparingly throughout the movie but when used it’s to eerie effect, the strumming of a guitar, a haunting melody really does up the tension and you just can’t help but think something bad is gona happen and soon – along with it’s exciting young cast there’s a certain likeness in Garland’s Annihilation to classic scifi of yesteryear such as The Thing and Alien, there is so much greatness and so many talking points throughout it’s rather short 115 min runtime, those scenes when Anya played by Gina Rodriguez decides to take matters into her own hands by tying the team to their chairs, attempts to interrogate and what happens next is edge of the seat brilliance and lets not forget the aligator attack, that bear like creature and Lena’s own discovery towards the pictures epic finale – if your over thinking about watching this movie then please stop what your doing take a breather and let your movie indulgence be enhanced by Garland’s Annihilation a modern scifi gem that will have you chomping at the bit for a rewatch seconds after it’s conclusion ★★★★½
I LOVED THE SHIT out of Duncan Jones latest MUTE – what a terrific story that’s totally immersive with some stunning visuals & a whole gaggle of TOP performances – from Paul Rudd playing looney tune Cactus with panache, Justin Theroux’s creepy as f@ck pervert surgeon, Robert Sheehan’s epic turn as Luba and what can I say about True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård as the films lead apart from holy shit-balls – what I love most about the movie is how it’s story weaves a good old fashioned mystery in this case a girls disappearance to that of a futuristic setting, a striking visual feast of neon lit buildings and the darkness that inhabit them – this is the fourth movie for Duncan Jones behind the camera and I for one can’t wait for his next, he’s a writer/director that’s not afraid of taking a risk, creating something different and I like that – MUTE is an excellent way of spending 2 hours in front of the box allowing your imagination to run wild it’s a movie that takes you to some very dark places and is certainly not for the squeamish – I for one can’t wait for a rewatch !! ★★★★
It may not have the first movies ambition or the second’s intensity but The Cloverfield Paradox is actually a shit load of crazy ass fun – firstly if your a fan of 2008’s Cloverfield and it’s sequel of sorts 2016’s wonderful 10 Cloverfield Lane then I’m pretty confident you will find something in Paradox that will appeal to your movie loving heart and although the films coupled to the others in the franchise it most certainly has it’s own identity, very dark at times with a side order of light hearted Evil Dead humor – like most low budget scifi Paradox unashamedly takes from other classics in the genre and why the hell not, one minute you will be reminded of Alien the next Aliens and Event Horizon and with a genius cast that includes David Oyelowo & Gugu Mbatha-Raw, some pretty neat effects and an atmospheric score by Battlestar’s Bear McCreary it’s a movie that really does warrent enjoyment (in a popcorn style movie kind of way) and secondly it’s on Netflix so it’s free (well sort of) ★★★½
“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of Diana Prince aka: Wonder Woman to help find a group of meta humans in the hope that they will help fight an even greater enemy”
Stars: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Connie Nielsen, JK Simmons, Ciaran Hinds, Jeremy Irons
Having recently watched the 4 most recent films in the DC Comic Book Universe I was pretty excited to visit my local cinema and watch the latest Zack Snyder movie on IMAX 3D and yep it was everything I expected and more…..
OK where to start: JUSTICE LEAGUE may not be as polished as Wonder Woman, deep and meaningful as Man of Steel or Epic in scale as Batman VS Superman but instead what you get is a comic movie driven by it’s colorful characters, humorous dialogue and chaotic action scenes – there’s a haunting, beautifully sung version of “Everybody Knows” by the Norwegian songstress Sigrid it’s actually quite emotional, the storyline and lyrics merge in your mind, there’s 2 fun after credit scenes that’s worth sticking around for especially that 2nd one WOW did not see that coming and don’t get me started on some of those kick ass fight scenes – For me Justice League is similar in vein to Ayer’s Suicide Squad it’s one of them films that doesn’t try to be something it’s not, it doesn’t require much in the way of brain power instead requires you to sit back, geek out and have some good old fashioned movie fun, after all this 2 hour slice of comic book absurdity is exactly why I love these movies just let yourself be transported into a world you’ve only witnessed on a page, there’s too much darkness in life so lighten up and enjoy – surely watching Jason Momoa’s Aquaman flying through the air, flirting with Batman and giving the bad guys what for is reason enough to put a smile on your face, I’ve been a huge fan of the big man’s since Game of Thrones and in Aquaman he may have found his calling – another character emerging from Justice League with flying colors is Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Miller gives the speedster this quirky somewhat innocent twist and some of the movie’s highlights revolve around him – of course along with the newbies the old guard do a great job Affleck’s Batman is as good as I’ve seen the character in my lifetime, Gadot looks like she’s been playing Wonder Woman all her life – effortless and full of confidence, Adams shows plenty of emotion and looks simply stunning and Henry Cavill even with those dodgy CGI scenes is getting better with each movie as Clark Kent aka: Superman – Overall: not much in the way of criticism here except that I would have liked to have seen more of J.K. Simmons Commisioner Gordon and maybe on a selfish note another half hour runtime (there’s always an Ultimate Edition to look forward too – wishful thinking) – Justice League is not a masterpiece in any shape or form BUT what it does it does perfectly well and that’s ENTERTAIN and at the end of the day if this guy walks out of the cinema with a big smile on his lips then that’s all that matters #TeamJusticeLeague ★★★★