Since his directorial debut with 2007’s Gone Baby Gone actor/director Ben Affleck has gone from strength to strength, behind the camera he’s quite the visionary demonstrating flare and confidence in the style of pictures he brings to the screen, usually gritty no nonsense affairs packed with actors who can act and stories that connect….
Affleck’s latest sees him re team with author Dennis Lehane who not only wrote Affleck’s first Gone Baby Gone but also Eastwood’s Mystic River and Scorsese’s Shutter Island….
During the prohibition era in the 1920s a couple of Boston Gangsters travel down to Florida and attempt to take down the competition….
OK so here’s what I think – LIVE BY NIGHT may not be as polished as Argo or as intriguing as The Town but it’s certainly a more exciting, good looking character driven movie than both – it’s story is riveting, sprawling at times, it’s cast is nearly as beautiful as Robert Richardson’s stunning cinematography and it’s action scene’s especially the car chase scenes and the hotel’s shoot out toward the film’s finale is pretty slick and makes for exciting viewing on the big screen – Elle Fanning gives yet another star turn, Chris Cooper is the dogs bollocks and Chris Messina turns in a career best as Dion Bartolo partner and friend to Affleck’s Joe Coughlin….
LIVE BY NIGHT is another example of why one should never listen to those so called movie critics or how a film performs at the box office – get your ass to the cinema and see for yourself – Ben Affleck once again has crafted another fine slice of cinema, truly wonderful stuff….★★★★½
Godzilla (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Gareth Edwards – Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston – Synopsis: the movie starts deep in the Phillippines where archeological work uncovers some sort of gigantic skeleton and two egg-shaped pods – two scientists who work for a company called Monarch are called in to investigate, they realize upon inspection that one of the pods have hatched and whatever was inside have crawled out and made it’s way to the ocean – the action then turns to a Nuclear Plant near Tokyo, Japan where some rather unusual activity is being felt – minutes later an explosion occurs followed by a radiation leak that wipes out a crew of scientists and then suddenly the plant begins it’s collapse into ruin – the powers at be are calling this disaster a deadly earthquake but the plant’s supervisor Brody (Cranston) who lost his wife inside the plant is convinced otherwise – Verdict: Having watched Gareth Edwards showcase his directing skills on the small budget yet effective MONSTERS I was fascinated to see what he could do with a Hollywood blockbuster and a remake of the classic Japanese monster movie GODZILLA – I remember as a young boy watching them monsters (in rubber suits) battling it out in the original films and screaming at the TV in amazement and total wonder Godzilla was scary as hell, a destructive force but also hero and one you could root for – and then all grown up I set eyes on Roland Emmerich’s picture, a typical 90’s Hollywood Blockbuster that stomped and screamed all over my childhood memories, part of my dislike for the flick was Matthew Broderick who was awful and the film’s plot can only be described as hilarious, sure it did pretty well at the box office but as a screen spectacle it was pure garbage – so now in 2014 it’s the turn of British filmmaker Gareth Edwards to hopefully reignite GODZILLA in all it’s glory & on the biggest screen’s in 3D – hopefully this movie will be the start of a new chapter in the world of the King of Monsters – Overall: although at first the hiring of relative newcomer Gareth Edwards to helm this possible huge franchise may have been thought a brave and daring choice by the movie studio’s it could have also turned out to be the movie’s master stroke – Edwards obvious admiration towards the likes of Steven Spielberg is evident, the monster’s are slowly introduced to it’s audience teasing you, gripping you and allowing you to sweat a little whilst the action unfolds, the film’s buildup & tension is very reminiscent of Spielberg’s classic JAWS and is beautifully filmed, carrying some great nod’s to the monster movies of yesteryear and complimented by a heart thumping soundtrack – the film’s main trio of cast members do a great job too, first up you have the reliable star of TV’s Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston who comes across as this family guy, totally committed to his job & who’s eventually turned into this guy who looks to have some serious paranoia issues, secondly there’s the soldier come action hero Taylor-Johnson who many know from his role in action flick Kick-Ass and Oliver Stone’s superb Savages who has not only matured as actor but seems to exude lot’s of screen presence and looks every bit a Hollywood leading man and last but not least there’s the underused & super talented Elizabeth Olsen who plays a wife and mum, who shows great emotion and steals pretty much every scene she’s part of – GODZILLA is in an exciting, bold and refreshing monster movie that can be enjoyed by all – it’s certainly no masterpiece and it won’t win any movie awards but one thing for sure is that when you take your seat at your local cinema Gareth Edwards vision will entertain, surprise and make you smile like a school kid once more….
Snowpiercer (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Director: Joon-ho Bong – Cast: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Ah-sung Ko, Kang-ho Song & Alison Pill – Synopsis: This is the first English-language film from the exciting South Korean director Joon-ho Bong (Mother & The Host) – Based on a French graphic novel and set in the future where the only survivors of a failed global-warming experiment try to exist on-board a speeding train known as the Snowpiercer – Verdict: If your one of these people (and there are many) that watch a movie and shout disbelief at the screen till the end credits then don’t watch Snowpiercer, the movie is based on a graphic novel and like all comic book adaptions there are many moments during this film that scream WTF at you – leave your negativity at the door, relax and enjoy the smart creative vision that this film has in abundance and then praise the undoubted genius that is filmmaker Joon-ho Bong on a picture that from start to finish is a visual feast of apocalyptic delight with enough colorful characters and dark content that could have filled a trilogy of movies let alone this one – the exciting, stylish design of the train caught my eye, from it’s dark, gloomy carriages at the back of the train where the lowest on the social ladder would reside to the school, night club and brilliance of the fish tank aquariums that one would find in carriages further up the train – Joon-ho Bong also filled the picture with superb character actors from Jamie Bell’s rebellious second in command, John Hurt’s old, wise mentor, Chris Evans rugged & somewhat reluctant leader and Tilda Swinton’s hilarious turn as one of the movies villains, the whole cast are tremendous in bringing a somewhat realism to the story – overall just like the Snowpiercer this movie runs at 200mph, it’s visually out of this world, action packed with some incredible fight scenes and a scifi flick that will stand the test of time – for me the films only negative is that it had to end….
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….
Here’s some new Theatrical Banners from four new films coming soon – First up the delicious GODZILLA that stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Cranston and is helmed by Monsters Director Gareth Edwards – from the footage I’ve seen already this one promises to be this years Pacific Rim (love me some monster mayhem) – next up is Marc Webb’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 banner that is simply electrifying, the film stars Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone and see’s our hero take on Electro, The Rhino and The Green Goblin – this one’s followed by MALEFICENT the new Disney movie that stars Angelina Jolie & Elle Fanning – I must confess after watching the trailer this one has moved up a few notches on my 2014 must see list – and finally we have Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reuniting for more comical romance in BLENDED – big fan of these two, loved The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates so more of the same and I will be a happy chappy…. Enjoy!
here’s a new limited edition GODZILLA poster and two newbies from Disney’s MALEFICENT