Director : Justin Lin – Cast Includes : Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris
Can you believe there’s been NINE Fast & Furious movies and that Justin Lin has now directed 5 of them with two more in the works… I mean Lin’s the David Yates of this franchise, yeah he’s done other shit that includes the brilliant Better Luck Tomorrow and Star Trek Beyond but it’s working alongside Vin Diesel and his family of insane petrolheads that he’s mainly known for… before F9 I decided to rewatch Fate followed by Hobbs & Shaw, a whole day of crazy entertainment was enjoyed and it was nice refreshing my mind with what had come earlier… F9 pretty much starts where The Fate and the Furious ends with Dom, Letty & Brian now living off the grid, taking some time away from the big city, soaking up the quiet life until Dom’s ugly past returns and forces him to confront the sins of his youth to save those he loves the most… I have to admit the Fast & Furious franchise is one of my guilty pleasures, yeah I know what your thinking (your easily pleased then aren’t you?) well you may be right, I just love the movies and whether that film’s story sucks or it’s acting smells of cheese as long as I’m entertained then I’ll keep on watching… the main focus of Justin Lin’sF9 was the past merging with the present and this was handled superbly with flashbacks of those early days when daddy Torreto raced and had Dom & his kid brother working the pitts, a big tip of the hat goes to New Zealander Vinnie Bennett who’s terrific as a young Dom, I really though he not only looked like Vin Diesel in stature but captured his glare… although the Fast & Furious movies are not comedy centric I found with Fate and that 2019 spin off that characters Hobbs & Shaw played by Dwayne Johnson & Jason Statham sparred with terrific humor, their fabulous chemistry built around their dislike for each other ignited the franchise further so watching Lin’sF9 without the pair did create this graveyard of lack luster humor that felt pushed and awkward at times, that being said the action is utterly banana’s, the infectious adrenaline fuelled chase scenes involving the electromagnet, the truck that goes vertical, the return of Charlize Theron’s Cipher firing missiles from an operated drone and of course that “what the shit… Ludacris space moment” had it’s 2hrs plus runtime zooming by… yeah I know it’s not close to being Lin’s best work in the franchise butnevertheless it’s still a rollicking good time, best seen on the big screen and don’t forget to stay around into those end credits ★★★½
Director : Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli– Cast Includes : Matilda Lutz, Francesco Russo, Will Merrick, Yuliia Sobol, Justin Korovkin
So I’m excited… why you may ask? well I just watched a new horror movie by two Italian filmmakers I’d never heard of and it was freaking AWESOME !! A CLASSIC HORROR STORY is directed by Italians Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli and was made for 3 million euros, the film stars Matilda Lutz last seen in the brilliant Coralie Fargeat movie Revenge and was filmed in Apulia and Roma, Italy : the film starts with a bunch of strangers travelling in a RV through the countryside of southern Italy when an accident leaves them stranded in the woods, with no phone signal and with one of the party injured they must fight desperately to find away out and stay alive… what I found so enjoyable with A Classic Horror Story was that it felt like a mash up of some of my favorite horror movies, it had the creepy vibes of The Village and Midsommar, the brutality of Texas Chainsaw and the weirdness of Cabin in the Woods… I loved that the runtime was kept short & sweet, the way the story twists and turns like the arms of an octopus with it’s finale leaving you open mouthed like the end of a Shyamalan pic and the film’s unsettling violence that made me wince a few times… I really enjoyed the way the fear factor is ramped up when the mention of the three deities Ostro, Mastosso and Carcagnosso, that Purge like noise of the siren going off alerting the group that trouble is coming their way, this after digesting a scene of unimaginable horror moments before and that dinner table scene around an hour in with Matilda Lutz covered in blood, tied to a chair trying to scream for help is painful to watch : along with Lutz who shines as Elisa there’s also a wickid turn by Francesco Russo who plays Fabrizio : overall A Classic Horror Story is CREEPY, BLOODY and a DAMN GOOD TIME ★★★★
Following the Abbott family who are forced to venture into pastures new as they quickly realise that the alien creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path : A QUIET PLACE Part II opens up with a flashback… Day 1 starts with happier times where we get to see the the small American town where the Abbott’s lived right before the Alien invasion took place, there’s smiles aplenty as the kids are playing baseball, we get to see Brody’s Pizzeria an obvious nod to Spielberg’sJaws and we get our first look at a new character Emmett played by Cillian Murphy, a family man watching the baseball when his and everyone’s life changes forever : if your a horror fan then the darkness of the Cinema is the best place to watch A Quiet Place Part II as Polly Morgan’s imaginative camera work, the muted sound with flashes of screeching, screaming Alien attacks and the tension with each scene as the family attempt to navigate their now crushed world without making a sound is unbearable : I know I touched on this after 2018’s first movie but I have to say how impressed I am with Millie Simmonds who’s easily the star of this sequel, her character Regan is fearless & clever and the train and boat yard scenes with Cillian are terrific to watch, Emily Blunt of course is superb, the pain Evelyn feels in defending her children & insurmountable loss is the backbone of the movie, from heartfelt moments such as leaving her wedding ring on the cross and her fight with the creature whilst carrying two oxygen tanks is formidable, Peaky BlinderCillian Murphy is a welcome additon to the cast, his character Emmett plays a pivotel role in the Abbott families survival and The Undoing’s young star Noah Jupe is once again fabulous, that scene where Marcus is running out of air in the safe had my pulse racing and my knuckles turning white as I gripped the arms of the chair, nearly knocking my popcorn all over the place : it’s no mean feat to direct a sequel that stands up well alongside it’s original yet somehow John Krasinksi has managed just that… yes if I was being slightly picky the film finishes rather abruptly and could have benefitted with an extra thirty minutes… but since a third film in the franchise has been green lit with no other than Jeff “Midnight Special” Nichols directing then I’ll let this one pass and look forward to another chapter where being quiet is the new norm : TERRIFYING ★★★★
Back in the late 90’s Ritchie was one of the most exciting new filmmaker’s to hit our screens, from his witty, violent debut Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels followed by the equally brilliant Snatch these film’s were packed with his trademark visual stamp of quick, witty storytelling with a side helping of brutality and colorful if not likeable characters, he was a filmmaker on top of his game but then things got complicated, Ritchie met and married Madonna and in my opinion his focus went, 2002’s Swept Away was a shocker and in 2005 and 2008 respectively came two average and somewhat lackluster efforts in Revolver and Rock’n’Rolla both movies written & directed by Ritchie with both failing to ignite the passion of old – then in 2009 after his marriage to Madonna was over the unthinkable happened, Hollywood came calling and Ritchie sold his soul to the devil, churning out two big screen, big budget Sherlock Holmes movies that sadly added nothing new to the genre and did very little to bring Ritchie out of his career spiraling doldrums – yes OK the movies did good business at the box office but in fairness these two films that starred Robert Downey Jr could have been directed by any action movie director, it seemed that Ritchie’s originality had vanished and was replaced by an imposter….
Four Years later…. and Guy Ritchie brings us yet another big budget, Hollywood action movie but before you * sigh and say really? * this one unlike the Holmes movies has a special ingredient, from start to finish Guy was totally involved in the writing process – so here’s what I thought….
MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E is super stylish, quick witted and contains some of the slickest action scenes I’ve seen in the cinema this year – keeping the setting of the movie in the 60s was a master stroke, the magic of the music, the gorgeous locations & dare I say it the striking beauty of its cast enhanced my overall enjoyment of the film – the relationship between Cavill’s Napoleon Solo and Hammer’s Illya Kuryakin is the real gut of the movie, as actors they oozed chemistry both delivering their finest screen work to date, Cavill looking more at ease playing a super spy rather than Superman and showing me that he is easily the front runner to replace Craig as the next Bond, it’s easily his best screen role to date – Ritchie’s witty screenplay allows each of their characters to come to the fore, Solo’s wisecracking and Kuryakin’s anger issues make for a delicious cocktail of respect & bad ass rivalry allowing us the viewer to have so much fun watching it all play out !! ★★★★½
Director: Richard Ayoade – Cast:Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Sally Hawkins, Chris O’Dowd & Paddy Considine – Synopsis: Simon James (Eisenberg) is a very shy, un-confident and somewhat lonely type of guy who works as a clerk in some government agency – one day whilst at work he finds his life turned upside down with the arrival of James Simon (Eisenberg) a new employee that is not only Simon’s exact physical double (WTF) but also his complete opposite, James is confident, charismatic and outgoing all the attributes that Simon only wishes he had – Verdict:Ayoade’sThe Double is a film of the weirdest, highest order! it’s full of dimly lit scenes, dark almost excruciating humor, oddball characters and an intriguing somewhat haunting soundtrack – the film’s style is very reminiscent of Gilliam’sBrazil and although I applaud Ayoade’s originality The Double failed to keep me hooked long enough to garner any interest for it’s many unlikeable characters and it’s cold and pretty bleak setting – I felt the film was void of explanation and in my opinion tried too hard to be weird and confusing – Overall:Ayoade will no doubt get praise from some quarters for his style and originality but for me The Double was a missed opportunity let down by a weak script and criminally not giving it’s two talented leads enough to work with….
American Hustle stars Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner & Robert De Niro – Originally titled American Bullshit comes a story about a con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Bale), and his sexy, seductive partner Sydney Prosser (Adams) who are forced into working for the FBI by a wild agent named Richie DiMaso (Copper) who wants to bring down corrupt politicians – this threesome becomes more messed up when Rosenfeld’s unpredictable, fun loving wife Rosalyn played by Jennifer Lawrence gets involved – VERDICT yet another wonderful picture from David O Russell the director of I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter & Silver Linings Playbook – his latest American Hustle is a delicious cocktail of dark humor & captivating performances from the likes of Bradley Cooper who deserves Oscar Recognition for his take on Richie DiMaso the wacky, tacky ambitious FBI agent who’s obsessed in taking down the corrupt, the beautiful Amy Adams who’s raw aggressive acting & revealing dress wear is mesmerizing and Christian Bale brings his A game to the party with a performance so good that it pulls you into you the character he’s playing and never lets you go he’s outstanding – it must also be said the marvelous sets & costume designs are pretty impressive giving the 70s era New Jersey a fantastic look adding to the vibe of the picture – Jennifer Lawrence gives yet another superb performance playing Bale’s wife, Michael Peña is delightful playing Sheik Abdullah and Robert De Niro pops up in a small role playing a mafia boss – overall David O Russell’sAmerican Hustle is an exciting, smart and original picture that’s not quite to the standards of Silver Lining but a fabulous cinematic romp nevertheless – I would be very surprised if American Hustle didn’t feature heavily at this years Academy Awards – wonderful, electric & utterly brilliant!….
“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