Happy 89th Birthday to the Iconic Music Composer JOHN WILLIAMS who was born on this day in New York in 1932 : he really started to make waves back in the seventies including the disaster movie trio of The Towering Inferno, Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure and one of my favorite western themes back in 1972 The Cowboys : then in 1974 John started his collaboration with one of the finest filmmakers of our time in Steven Spielberg : for me John & Steve are the greatest director/composer duo in film, any there’s no doubt without John’s iconic scores to Speilberg’s masterful direction the films would not have the same impact : whether his music is rousing or at a much slower tempo John Williams has the ability of fitting a piece of music to the scene more than any other composer with some of his best work falling within the movie rather than it’s title’s main theme, take the barrel chase from Jaws, the Over the Moon segment from E.T. and Marion’s Theme from Raiders they all have epic qualities and encapsulate the great man’s input to that particular moment : one’s that didn’t make my top four but deserve a mention include Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, E.T., Home Alone, JFK, Close Encounters and Empire of the Sun
Born on the 18th December 1946 : STEVEN SPIELBERG has crafted one of the finest, unparalled bodies of work of any movie director, his films have touched, entertained and astonished millions across the world : his work includes some of my personal favorites such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park and E.T. and so many more that I have grown up watching, loving and revisiting as often as I can : his latest movie to hopefully land on the big screen will be the remake of West Side Story and keeping busy Spielberg is in pre-production on The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara a film based on the book by David I. Kertzer and will reunite it’s director with Mark Rylance : to celebrate Steven Spielberg‘s 74th birthday I think it’s only right that I quote one of my favorite lines from his finest movie “It’s not the years, honey. It’s the milage” (Indiana Jones)
One of my favorite Steven Spielberg quotes : “When you listen, you learn, You absorb like a sponge : and your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time”
What can I say about the lovely DEE WALLACE who was born on the 14th December 1948 : what an actress, what a scream queen and what an impact this gal from Kansas City had on me, who lit up my favorite genre with superb turns in movies such as The Howling, Alligator II, The Hills Have Eyes, The Frighteners, Critters and the best of the bunch Cujo a Stephen King adaption that still scares me even now : the first time I remember watching Dee was back in 1982, when she played Drew Barrymore’s mum in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. and what a fabulous performance in such a great movie : luckily for us Dee Wallace is still knocking out the films and was seen recently in 2017’s Death House, 2019’s 3 from Hell and 2016’s Aussie Horror Red Christmas : me personally I hope Dee’s around making movies for another 30ys : such an ICONIC movie presence
One of my favorite Dee Wallace quotes : “Cujo was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the film I’m proudest of. You know, how far can you break down? When do you break down? How do you break down? It was just relentless”
Number 10 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community during it’s summer season, it’s up to the sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down : through the years people have argued whether JAWS is an actual Horror Movie but not me…. I not only think it’s one of the Greatest Movies of All Time but I also think it’s a bona-fied, shit your pants scream fest, a horror classic that will have you dodging the water like it’s a jalapeno pepper : Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was filmed at Martha’s Vineyard to a budget of $9 million making over $400 million at the Box Office winning 3 Academy Awards and spawning a bunch of sequels that truly weren’t that great but still made money with bums on seats : it’s one of the most Iconic and quotable Spielberg movies with memorable scene stealing lines such as “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”, “Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women” and my personal favorite “Here lies the body of Mary Lee; died at the age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity; not a bad record for this vicinity” : the film starts with two teenagers breaking away from a beach party their attending, just an innocent skinny dip in the ocean turns into a nightmare as a great white tears one of them apart : one of the many things that makes Jaws so scary is the way Steven Spielberg along with camera operator Michael Chapman & Bill Butler sets up each scene with unsual, mostly hand held camera angles to achieve the shot, obviously like most great movies the photography & the acting isn’t enough but when you add John Williams exciting, unforgettable score these cinematic moments that Spielberg delivers would terrorise audiences for years to come : a lot of the great scenes in Jaws are simple but scary nevertheless, such as Quint telling the story of how he survived the USS Indianapolis whilst Brody & Hooper look on with absolute terror in their eyes, that moment when Hooper goes down in the Shark Cage armed with a spear gun, and with the Orca sinking & Quint sliding towards the open mouthed Shark and the beach scene with all the families on the beach enjoying the summer’s sun, dogs catching frisbees and kids frolicking in the water when suddenly spine tingling screams, the water a canvas of blood and a mother standing on the beach looking for her child, the one child that didn’t escape the shark : JAWS is relentless filmmaking, a movie full of iconic characters, a chilling monster at it’s core & horror that puts the fear of god in me and makes my eye’s widen at the thought of what lurks beneath our waters ★★★★★
Number 18 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A real estate developer and his young family are haunted by a demonic presence that has taken residence in their family home : “They’re Here…” : Being scared of Tobe Hooper’s 1982 movie POLTERGEIST is so easy, the film is an absolute screaming riot, a classic that still makes me drool with unquenchable excitement : the film has the trappings of Spielberg’s typical family ideals along with Hooper’s energy fused horror : I love the scenes of chairs moving across the floor, ghostly portals opening from the cealing, an ancient tree coming to life, a creepy clown sat at the foot of a childs bed and the haunting sound of Carol Anne’s voice whilst inside the other world, you can tell this is a story from the maestro Spielberg, it just drips with his imagination : Poltergeist starts it’s first half in grand supernatural style and then Hooper turn’s up the pace, ending with a pulse racing, squeamish finale : along with the iconic performance of Zelda Rubinstein’s Tangina Barrons a spiritual medium who comes to the aid of the Freeling’s some of my favorite moments in the movie has to be Marty’s face turning into a melting skeleton in front of the bathroom mirror as he picks away at the decaying flesh, the boy being dragged under the bed by the possessed clown and of course those last 20mins of the movie which belong to Jobeth Williams, firstly being thrown around her bedroom whilst her kids are being terrorised by some demonic evil creature, then battling corpses that are emerging from the unfinished muddy pool and finally saving the day & her family from the hell monster and getting outa of dodge : Poltergeist is a glorious, nightmarish & intense 80s horror that’s packed with nostalgia and so much fun to revisit ★★★★★
As you can tell from this movie blog or my social media feed I was born a Cinephile, I have this passion for all things film : I watch, collect and talk about the movies, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly things that I’m passionate about : My love stretches to every genre, from the western to scifi, from the 30s to modern day, Cagney to DiCaprio, Foster to Hepburn, Movies are my crush, my excitement and I’m at my happiest surrounded by them : Last year someone posted a question “What is your Mount Rushmore of Film Directors?” I know we all have different views on this and that’s more than fine, but for me the four filmmakers and their respective filmographies that have consistently made me tick, given me the goosebumps & excelled in their work are Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino & Martin Scorsese what’s yours?
the wait is now over !! After much anticipation I have now seen Steven Spielberg’s big screen adaption of Ernest Cline’s scifi novel Ready Player One at the cinema and as the end credits came up my very first thoughts were….
WOW as a movie experience I LOVED IT – it’s a classic Spielberg picture, totally immersive, ridiculously fun and jam packed full of endless movie references that will make your face beam like a kid at Christmas – the movies eye popping visuals, heart thumping audio and buckle your seat style of action is energising with a whole bunch of animation/real world cross over scenes that are utterly bonkers – along with the chest bursting scene that had me in tears and every bit of DeLorean screen time I have to say the best part of the movie is The Shining segment it’s quite something, the attention to detail is sublime and without giving too much away it’s so much fun….
The one thing that really does rankle me about the movie is WHY did Ernest Cline participate in changing so much of his beloved slice of escapism when adapting Ready Player One to film? For me it’s a crazy thing to do and I can totally understand die-hard fans of his novel being unhappy at the film’s outcome – the characters back story, how they all met, the quests in the Oasis are all played out differently, so there’s no easy way to say this except that Ernest Cline sold his soul to those in Hollywood when he should have stood firm at least with the core of his creation…. Nevertheless when all is said and done we all go the cinema to be entertained and Steven Spielberg has once again demonstrated his greatness in delivering a magical, enthralling movie going experience – Ready Player One requires urgent big screen attention…. put on your 3D goggles the Oasis awaits ★★★★
What’s it all about: “The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger”
Having read READY PLAYER ONE well over 2yrs ago I like most fans have been waiting for this moment for what has seemed like an eternity – a film trailer for the movie based on the book by cinema’s greatest filmmaker STEVEN SPIELBERG and finally it’s here – if like me you love your scifi, your a fan of the gaming world of yesteryear such as Dungeons & Dragons and you enjoy a good old trip down 80s memory lane then hold onto your hats – in March 2018 Spielberg’s returning to the family blockbuster arena with a story that’s so much fun, so out of this word and one that’s jam packed with 80s pop culture your mind will completely frazzle – along with Steven Spielberg directing the movie I am so excited to see what the legendary cinematographer Janusz Kamiński does with it’s landscape, his work on Saving Private Ryan and Munich stand out but for me Catch Me If You Can is as good a movie Kamiński ever done – let’s hope Ready Player One goes one better – the film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance and lands on March 30th – enjoy the trailer….
it’s Harry’s 75th birthday so I thought it appropriate to post my Top 10 Movies of one of the screen’s great movie stars – whether he’s flying his Millenium Falcon or cracking his whip Harrison Ford epitomises movie greatness – born in Chicago in 1942 Ford started his movie career in 1973’s American Graffiti and has since become one of the screen’s most loved film stars with leading roles in both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchise…..
so without further ado here’s my Top 10 Movies of Harrison Ford starting with in my opinion the greatest action movie of all time: 1. Raiders of the Lost Ark – 2. Empire Strikes Back – 3. Blade Runner – 4. A New Hope – 5. The Temple of Doom – 6. The Fugitive – 7. The Last Crusade – 8. Witness – 9. Working Girl – 10. Return of the Jedi – it’s incredible to think Harry’s still making action movies and this year the big screen will see the return of Rick Deckard in the sequel to Ridley Scott’s masterful scifi Blade Runner and then in 2020 we will see Ford reunite with Spielberg for yet another Indiana Jones movie (licking my lips) and I’m pretty sure he’s not finished there…..
as a teenager growing up in the 80s I was in awe of this bad-ass Princess that lived through the medium of the movies, she was my first movie crush, a total and utter rebel who gave me hope that the evil scum of the empire would be toppled and the rebellion would win out the day – she was of course Princess Leia aka: Carrie Frances Fisher – born to the wonderful screen star Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher Carrie was like Hollywood royalty and with the help of George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill she would soon become a movie idol cherished and loved by legions of movie fans that were not only struck by her immense beauty but also with her humor & intelligence – Carrie not only appeared in the original Star Wars trilogy and 2015’s The Force Awakens but she also wrote novels that included her 1987 autobiographical Postcards from the Edge that would later become a movie starring Meryl Streep and just before her death Carrie was promoting her latest autobiography The Princess Diarist – but to me Carrie will always be that fearless Princess that ignited the Star Wars trilogy and thankfully due to film we all can at any time take a trip to a galaxy far, far away and keep her memory alive, onscreen of course that is…….
Top Right: 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery – Top Left: 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with Steven Spielberg & Henry Thomas – Bottom Right: 1976’s Taxi Driver with Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro – Bottom Left: filming 1939’s Gone with the Wind
In 1975 on June 20th the world of film was introduced to JAWS – based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, this film was the first summer blockbuster – JAWS broke numerous box office records, won 3 Oscars and made it NOT safe to go into the water – Steven Spielberg’s movie is still regarded by many including myself as his best achievement behind the camera – even today 40 years after it’s release JAWS holds up well as a cinematic triumph, it still scares the daylights out of me, it’s acting by the main trio of actors is top notch and it’s simple yet terrifying John Williams score sends my body into a quivering goose bump sort of mess – so congrats Steven Spielberg and all involved in making JAWS one of the Best Movies I have seen in the last 40yrs !
Leonardo DiCaprio was born on this day in California in 1974 – can you believe DiCaprio is only 39yrs of age? since his film debut in the scifi comedy Critters 3 in 1991 DiCaprio has established himself as one of Hollywood’s acting Elite, amassing 3 Oscar and 9 Golden Globe nominations – DiCaprio has already worked with the likes of Spielberg, Cameron, Mendes, Scott, Nolan, Eastwood, Tarantino and Scorsese (5 times) not bad eh! – The 3 movies pictured above in my view are Essential Leonard DiCaprio – they’re not only great films but they demonstrate Leo’s acting talent and his willing to portray diverse and interesting characters on the screen – recent performances have seen DiCaprio star as Calvin Candie a ruthless plantation owner in Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s epic remake of The Great Gatsby – later this year reunites DiCaprio for a fifth time with director Martin Scorsese in The Wolf of Wall Street a true story based on the rise and fall of wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort, if the trailer is anything to go by then this will be another great Leonardo DiCaprio movie….