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 ★★★★
It’s been 4 long years since Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World graced our screen’s so boy it’s great to see him back – yes I know our favourite Norse God has appeared in the Avengers: Age of Ultron and had a small cameo in Doctor Strange but for me personally there’s nothing quite like seeing your comicbook superhero’s in their own picture, on the big screen with an audience full of exciting anticipation
“Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.”
So down to the movie, firstly it’s the third film in the Thor franchise and it’s directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi – who the hell’s he I can hear you say? well he’s the guy responsible for that delightful, gorgeous little movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople one of my favourite movies of last year and if you’ve not seen it then please do so – whether it was Taika Waititi’s māori sense of humor or the writers fresh approach the whole movie gave off a rather unique vibe, it almost felt entirely a comedy and certainly the most humor I’ve seen in a Marvel picture for me personally this was a bonus – Thor: Ragnarok is full of the most ridiculous, colourful characters – Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster is no doubt the pick of the bunch, his big eye’s tinged with blue eye liner, dressed in a gold, blue & red gown lent marvellously to this wacky Willy Wonka appearance, Goldblum really looked in his elements – we also get to meet some other comicbook favourite’s such as Kork a huge creature made of crumbling rock & Surtur a firey demon voiced by none other than Clancy Brown – the scenes between The Hulk and Thor are witty and at times downright hilarious and their battle in the arena is a riot – Cate Blanchett breathes life into Hela with an elegant menace, her voice and costume is devoured by the actress who is simply perfect as the movies villain – Westworld’s Tessa Thompson who plays the warrior Valkyrie is sublime, so bewitching, totally badass with that confident swagger and cocky attitude but as Loki found out to his cost Valkyrie can also fight with the best of them
Overall: Thor: Ragnarok is the easily best Thor movie to date, it entertains with it’s sharp witted narrative, allowing it’s cast to have fun, it’s almost as if the cast ripped up the script and improvised their way through proceedings – this movie will undoubtedly divide opinion with some diehard MCU fans not liking this all comedy approach, but remember those with short memories Iron Man 3 was exactly the same, full of humor except it was poorly written or handled abysmally by Downey Jr – this can’t be said for Thor: Ragnarok a modern blockbuster that has a refreshing feel to it, sending me into joyous rapture for it’s 2hr plus runtime and like the majority of the packed cinema I laughed, smiled and clapped my way through it all – oh yeah and don’t forget it’s rocking soundtrack, another fun Stan Lee cameo and 2 small but intriguing after credit scenes ★★★★
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
Finally we get to see a teaser trailer of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI by stunning visonary Rian Johnson and hell it’s been worth the wait – it’s MYSTERIOUS, it’s DARK, downright SPINE TINGLING and 2mins of AWESOMENESS that will leave you aching for more – hopefully (and I think it’s a given) we will get to see more of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker training Rey played by the brilliant Daisy Ridley, that island setting looks ridiculously cool, and will make a great base for the pupil to start learning from the master….
A team of scientists led by John Goodman’s Bill Randa team up with a bunch of soldiers, a tracker and an anti-war photographer to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. What starts off as a mission of discovery quickly becomes a mission of survival….
Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and stars Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Jing Tian, Toby Kebbell, Shea Whigham and John C. Reilly
Jordan Vogt-Roberts ballsy entry into the world of Kong is unlike any previous picture featuring our giant monster ape – for starters Skull Island is set back in the 70’s not modern day mostly taking place on the island, there’s no climbing the Empire State Building, no naval war planes to swat or be shot at and certainly no love story to be emotionally attached to, this is one gutsy move and one that works so well for the film giving Skull Island it’s own originality and place in the genre. Unlike Peter Jackson’s 2005 entry that was over long and dragged at times Kong: Skull Island runs at a much quicker pace getting straight into the nitty grittty within the films opening 20 minutes, in previous movies the big reveal of Kong was left until the film’s latter half but in this version we dive straight in getting introduced to this big, scary and downright impressive beast from the get go….
With obvious nods to movies such as Jurassic Park & Apocalypse Now and similarities to films such as Predator the latest in the so called MonsterVerse Kong: Skull Island was everything I hoped for and more – yeah of course like any film it will have it’s minor criticism and maybe more could have been done with it’s character development & back story but when all is said & done this is a movie that’s about monsters, big nasty rip your arms from your socket type of monsters and at this level Kong: Skull Island succeeds – along with the almighty Kong you get to witness some real nasty mother huggers that include Skull Crushers, Giant Spiders, Stick Insects and Buffalo style dinos all wildly entertaining, visually stunning & barrels of fun….
Overall: Kong: Skull Island ENTERTAINS – it’s jam packed full of thrills spills and lots of kills, dramatic & vibrant photography, thunderous soundtrack and a movie that dazzles with it’s beautiful backdrops and CGI (Jordan Vogt-Roberts & Larry Fong shot loads of this movie in Vietnam and WOW what incredible, beautiful scenery) – Skull Island is now my 2nd favorite King Kong movie behind the 1933 original and one that I can highly recommend & look forward to revisiting very soon ★★★★
ps…. don’t forget to wait till after the credits for a post credit scene
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
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with Alien Covenant a new chapter in the Alien franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant sits down on what they think is an uncharted paradise, but slowly it becomes apparant that this world is actually a dangerous, unforgiving place of terror where it’s only inhabitant are creatures that bleed acid and want to tear you limb from limb….
The films impressive cast includes : Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, James Franco, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett and Callie Hernandez – Alien Covenant opens on May 19th
Two Mercenaries played by Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal get caught in the middle of an ancient war between Chinese Warrior’s guarding The Great Wall and an angry mob of Alien Monsters that appear to cause mayhem every 60yrs….
The Great Wall is the most expensive Chinese movie ever made, it stars Jing Tian, Andy Lau, Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal and is directed by the visual master Zhang Yimou known for his work on House of the Flying Daggers and Hero….
Before I get on with my thoughts on this movie I must address the fact that there is NO whitewashing in this movie AT ALL so any controversy regarding Matt Damon’s character that happens to be set in China is sadly an attempt for those with plenty of time on there hands to be negative towards a movie that they’ve probably not seen in the first place….
OK now on to the good stuff – If like me you enjoy the fix of a well paced, epic scale action movie that’s jam packed with dazzling effects & inventive, colorful battle scenes then Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall is just what your looking for – what the picture may lack in overall substance it certainly delivers in beauty & creativity – the film’s 3D adds a stunning depth and also gave me a sense of vertigo whist watching certain scenes, especially those where the Chinese Warriors would dive off the Great Wall attached to a rope (like a bungee) attempting to spear the attacking monsters, now that’s some crazy shit right there and was pulled off by Zhang in impressive style – when the hoards of these mean & nasty looking monsters start storming the Wall, snapping like crocodiles it reminded me so much of when the Orc Army attacked Minas Tirith in Peter Jackson’s epic Return of the King, the CGI in the movie is sensational & I felt submerged, part of the action whilst watching in IMAX – the screen is magnificent and it enhances everything in it’s path from the stunning effects, the beauty & tenacity of Jing Tian, Matt Damon’s archery & wild facial hair, the incredible battle scenes and it’s rousing atmospheric score….
From it’s lavish synchronized drummers, hair-raising action sequences and pulse-raising final quarter The Great Wall is a triumph in film entertainment – be honest with yourself if you pay to go and see this film then you must love your action right? and you know your not going to the cinema to watch Opera or Shakespeare right? HELL YEAH come on !! this is a Magnificent Monster Movie, one that’s loud, explosive and pretty awesome fun – so go on take a leap, immerse yourself & ENJOY…. ★★★★
I am in complete and utter denial and refuse to listen to those who say that RESIDENT EVIL: The Final Chapter is Milla Jovovich’s final outing as Alice – I mean come on! the greatest female action star hanging up her guns? I simply can’t and won’t believe a word of it – In preparation for this the latest in the Resident Evil franchise I decided to watch the previous five installments over two days and I’m so pleased I did – not only was my weekend full of zombie mayhem, complete world meltdown & some of the most kick ass action in any film franchise it was also a timely reminder of how much I adore these movies, they’re all completely bonkers, non-stop escapism and re-watching the series was a great lead-in to finally seeing Number Six….
Film Maker Paul W S Anderson is one of them small budget visionaries that I admire greatly, yes he’s a made a few duds such as Pompeii and The Three Musketeers but with cult classics Mortal Kombat, the Kurt Russell driven Soldier, the scary as shit Even Horizon, the absolute crazy Alien Vs Predator and that’s before we even mention the Resident Evil movies you can see why he’s such a fan favorite – so minutes after finishing Retribution I was booking my seats for The Final Chapter and was pumped, I know we don’t all have the luxury but re-watching the other 5 made the experience 10 times better, you were in sync with the characters throughout this ravaged world you were about to revisit, the world of Umbrella, Red Queen, Dr Isaacs and that deadly T-virus were already embedded in your mind….
I watched the movie in 2D on the big screen as to be honest I’m never too happy with a movie being converted and 3D didn’t add greatly to the experience of watching Retribution so I thought what the hell – the cinema was only a quarter full when the intro blasted onto the screen, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and a huge grin engulfed my face, Alice was back and shit was about to get real – without saying too much about this latest dose of craziness from Paul W S Anderson some of the action scenes are mind blowing, some of my favorites include the horde of zombies racing after the armored vehicles with prisoners attached to chains running behind them, the chase scene involving the mutated guard dogs and that dragon-esque monster tangling with Alice in the early part of the movie are all pretty awesome – my thoughts overall are simple : if your a fan of the series then you will know what’s coming, you will be entertained and make no bones about it you will have an absolute f@cking blast BUT if on the other hand your a boring old fart, loathe video-game spinoff’s, can’t get up for movie make–believe or your just one of these movie goers who are uncomfortable with huge amounts of violence and destruction then please don’t bother watching (spoiler: this movie is not for you)…. ★★★★
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….
here’s a great shot of Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) on Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner set