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
Director : Edward Hall : Stars : Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Leslie Mann : Blithe Spirit is lighthearted, afternoon movie watching fun with Stevens & Fisher fitting straight into Noël Coward’s majestic narrative : it may not be as good as David Lean’s 1945 classic but I still giggled & then swooned over Leslie Mann’s Elvira & adored those beautiful sets !! ★★★½
Director : Paul Greengrass : Stars : Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel : If not a little restraint Greengrass injects energy, character building, an intriguing story and a heartwarming finale into his latest picture News of the World : I must admit a longer runtime would have been nice but what an exceptional slice of filmmaking that I enjoyed immensely ★★★★
Director : J Blakeson : Stars : Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest, Eiza González, Chris Messina, Macon Blair : I Care a Lot is a deliciously EVIL yet fabulously FUN ride with an ice cold performance by Rosamund, a mesmerizing display by Dianne, a wickedly dark & mysterious turn by Peter and thank goodness for Macon Blair and a little thing called Karma : Enjoyed !! ★★★½
Director : Mike P. Nelson : Stars : Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Emma Dumont, Dylan McTee : Really impressed with this new take on the Wrong Turn franchise : this is not just your backward town folk canabilistic slasher movie, this one has so much more going on with filmmaker Mike Nelson and his fresh young cast taking you there : also that wet your pants finale brough a big smile to my face ★★★½
Director : Stephen Durham : Stars : Ellen Hollman, Matt Passmore : it’s not the story, the location, it’s cheesy at times dialogue or indeed Matt Passmore that gives Army of One it’s undoubted B-Movie appeal, it’s Spartacus star Ellen Hollman that drives this action movie all the way to movie fundom, she’s dynamite and for 90mins you enjoy watching her character kicking ass and administering her own brand of justice ★★★½
Two Cops track down a serial killer in California in the early 90s : Possibly my favorite movie sub-genre is the cat-and-mouse cop thriller, I just love them and when you throw together a crazy good 30yr old script by John Lee Hancock, an edgy, moody atmosphere that’s nail biting and character driven and three stonking good performances from Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto you have what I believe is one of the best adult themed cop thrillers in years : if your a fan of the action genre and like your finale spoon fed with a definitive resolution then I’d give it a miss, as the title refers it’s THE LITTLE THINGS in the movie that drive this thriller, quieter moments such as the moment Deke’s played by Denzel talks faith and breakfast with Rami’s Jimmy on the bridge over looking the latest crime scene, the emotion of Deke visiting his ex wife, Leto’s brilliance as his character Sparma teases Jimmy played by Malek in the desert and my favorite scene when Deke’s breaks into Sparma’s home looking for a clue is pertinent, gripping and well played by Denzel and Rami : I’ve watched the movie twice now and I’m still undecided whether they got the right guy, so much depth and baggage with each character, it’s just one of those movies that in ten years time will be hailed a classic ★★★★½
A family of fur trappers who live in a remote wilderness find their tranquility threatened by what they think is a wolf, but something else has been stalking the woods and Joseph, Anne and Renee are about to find out what : WOW !! I wasn’t really prepared for this movie and I’m not just talking about it’s macabre, unforgettable finale but also the harshness of it’s story about a family that live off the grid in the Canadian wilderness, living off the land, killing animals for their fur whilst teaching their young daughter to set traps, to shoot a gun, skin animals and generally learning how to fend for herself without little knowledge of the outside world : during the opening twenty minutes of Hunter Hunter I realised that I didn’t care much for the parents, their treatment of Renee and the animals butchered for monetary gain didn’t particular sit well with me so I was rather hoping that the rogue wolf that had been terrorising the area for years would finally get even, it would have been a slice of karma but things don’t always go to plan and the course of the movie was about to shift and things were about to get real : without giving too much away my only criticism with the film is that I felt that the plot could have expanded to include more backstory to some of the more relevant aspects throughout, that being said filmmaker Shawn Linden captures the danger of inhabiting the wilderness with a provocative, tense driven ride that explodes during it’s final act which what can only be described as incredible : ONE TO WATCH ★★★½
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 7 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A wealthy socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small town on the coast that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds begin to attack the town folk : the film premiered in 1963 and for me THE BIRDS is the jewel in Alfred Hitchcock’s crown of suspense, imagery and pure dread, from it’s story which is loosely based on a short by Daphne du Maurier, the confidence, beauty & fear of it’s star Tippi Hedren, it’s breathtaking backdrop of Bodega Bay and the way Hitchcock builds up the story, slowly allowing you to know a little about each of the characters before the chaos rains down and The Birds attack which is utterly frightening to watch : there’s also very little music during the movie which also adds greatly to it’s atmosphere, just the screeching, scratching and calling of The Birds : although they lacked the chemistry the leads in the majority of Hitchcock movies had I did feel Rod Taylor was a fabulous leading man and gives a strong protect what I love at all cost performance alongside Hedren and the scenes at the bird shop between the two are fun to watch, there’s also a great Jessica Tandy performance who catches the eye in a supporting role, playing the distressed and over protective mother and a young Veronica Cartwright and the terrific Suzanne Pleshette both fleshing out the cast and doing fine jobs in their respective roles : The Birds has so many great scenes but I really love that moment around 85mins in when Hedren’s character finds herself stranded in a phone box and watches in panic, spinning around almost hypnotized in terror as The Birds cause mayhem around her, the gas station and cars lit on fire and people running for their lives, it’s perfect and not only one of the most chilling moments in the movie but possible the best shot also : there are certain horror movies that I revisit that could be placed higher on my list and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds is certainly one of them, I can only imagine how shocked the audiences must have been back in the 60s when it was released : it’s a well structured, ALARMING ride into FEAR and a Hitchcock MASTERPIECE that deserves it’s place amongst the Greatest Movies of all time ★★★★★
I’m a sucker for these type of movies and this looks BRILLIANT – the premise looks fresh, dark & truly twisted and has a small hint of Fincher’s Seven blended with the bloody terrifying franchise we love so much !! Spiral (aka: Spiral: From The Book of Saw) is the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman who brought us Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV, and starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols
I really ENJOYED Kriv Stenders edge of the seat Crash-style thriller Australia Day – along with Bryan Brown & Shari Sebbens who is bloody brilliant by the way, it’s young cast really does excell & allows the films story to roll at a break neck pace and feel downright authentic – there’s so much running in the movie that at times I felt out of breath watching it all go down – the film brings to light a whole lot of issues such as race and underage prostitution and although there’s nothing new about it’s narrative filmmaker Kriv Stenders handles it well and delivers a movie that balances between a high octain thriller and one that also makes one think of the choices & consequences in one’s life – overall Australia Day is well worth the watch and yet another Aussie Gem ★★★★
from it’s gritty storyline, Takayanagi’s haunting at times beautiful camera work, Bale & Pike’s ability to suck you into Cooper’s narrative and Max Richter’s soul searching score Hostiles is one of the Best Western since Eastwood’s Unforgiven, it’s dark & brutal just like the times, it’s uncomplicated and I can’t remember Christian Bale ever giving a better performance – this is one to watch on the big screen, it’s a visual treat and by the way it’s by no means the Bale & Pike show there’s a whole bunch of stone cold, gritty performances from the tigerish Rory Cochrane as Metz, Jesse Plemons (yep him again) as Kidder & Jonathan Majors as Woodsen – Scott Cooper’s Hostiles is such an awesome ride LOVED IT !! ★★★★½
If you enjoyed Jeremy Saulnier’s epic “Blue Ruin” then you will love the grittiness, the uncompromising & at times the shockingly uncomfortable GREEN ROOM – from the time the punk band “The Ain’t Rights” hit the neo-Nazi club and takes to the stage you just know things are going to get downright ugly – Saulnier’s strength as a filmmaker is the weaving of realism into his characters, most are broken individuals (or soon will be) and Saulnier is the master of taking you into their world, a world that’s not pretty or glossed over, a dark unforgiving ferocious world and if you dare Saulnier will take you there – along with a very intriguing, delicious band lineup the movie is jam packed with interesting characters from the white supremacist club owner a creepy individual played by Patrick Stewart, a crowd of badass skinheads that look ready to peel your head from your neck like an orange, a mysterious girl at the scene of a crime, some vicious hungry looking dogs & a bunch of club management ready to spill blood for their leader – Saulnier weaves these characters almost Tarantino-esque in & out of his picture with great style, you just never know whats coming next – Overall: GREEN ROOM may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it – it’s an unpleasent suspenseful and at times dark humoured little gem that nails you to seat and makes you beg for more runtime at its conclusion ★★★★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….
The Sacrament (2013/4) – Movie Review ★★★¾
Director: Ti West – Cast: Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Kate Lyn Sheil, AJ Bowen, Kentucker Audley & Gene Jones – Synopsis: Caroline (Amy Seimetz) is a former drug addict who has found solace living in Eden Parish a commune, miles from nowhere, self sufficient and led by the sinister and rather creepy “Father” – out of the blue Caroline reaches out to her brother Patrick by letter inviting him to visit her new home – Patrick (Kentucker Audley) travels to the commune with his colleagues, Sam (AJ Bowen) and Jake (Joe Swanberg) who work for VICE Media and specialize in “immersion journalise”, they hope to film these events and interview the man behind this mysterious commune – Verdict: shot in almost documentary style The Sacrament is easily Ti West’s best directed movie to date – the film draws inspiration from true life events and unlike West’s collaborator Eli Roth The Sacrament is not a picture full of B-Movie gore and violence, it’s a slow burning, thought-provoking feature that explodes into a melody of madness in it’s second half – it demonstrates one man’s sway over a group of vulnerable and somewhat weak individuals who are manipulated to his will – Overall although not a masterpiece Ti West displays his talent in combining the found footage format with a realistic, suspenseful story that’s well acted and has a superb soundtrack adding to the film’s overall feel – The Sacrament is nothing like West’s previous movies his supernatural The InnKeepers or horror homage The House of the Devil yet stands alone, taking his audience on an intriguing, frightening journey into the world of the cult – it’s a movie well worth the watch – just don’t get drinking the kool-aid !!
THE BAG MAN is a taut crime thriller that follows JACK (John Cusack), a tough guy with chronic bad luck but human touches, and legendary crime boss DRAGNA (Robert De Niro). DRAGNA has summoned JACK and a host of shady characters to a remote bayou motel for unknown reasons, and over the course of a long and violently eventful night, Jack’s path crosses with the stunningly beautiful RIVKA (Rebecca Da Costa). All of their fates intertwine, and when Dragna arrives on the scene there are sudden and extreme consequences for everyone involved – David Grovic makes his directorial debut working with a cast that includes Robert De Niro, John Cusack, Crispin Glover, Dominic Purcell, Sticky Fingaz and Rebecca Da Costa – here’s some new character posters and the trailer…. Enjoy!
Each year it gets more difficult to name the Top Movies of the year and this year has been the toughest I can remember – having seen hundreds of films in 2013 to finally narrow it down to just 13 was a mammoth task – below I have posted absolutebadasses Top 13 Movies of 2013…. Enjoy!
No. 13 and strangely enough it was also released on Friday 13th is INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 one of the best Horror Sequels in recent years from Horror Maestro James Wan
No. 12 is the Science Fiction Blockbuster ELYSIUM a popcorn munching, thrill ride from one hell of a director and a cast that includes Damon, Foster, Copley and Fichtner
No. 11 is the visually beautiful THE GREAT GATSBY that is given the Baz Luhrmann treatment, with a sparkling cast that is complimented with one of the best Movie Soundtracks of the year
No. 10 is Jeff Nichols’ underrated beauty MUD a film full of majestic cinematography, a wonderful story and an incredible gutsy performance from Texan Matthew McConaughey
No. 9 is Chan-wook Park’s creepy English movie debut STOKER that was written for the screen by Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller and stars Mia Wasikowska & Nicole Kidman
No. 8 is Ben Stiller’s movie remake of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY the movie is simply the most touching & inspiring film of the year that will make you cry with laughter and leave you bouncing inside
No. 7 is the breathtaking GRAVITY that has to be seen in 3D and on the big screen, the film is directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón and stars Sandra Bullock & George Clooney
No. 6 is Marc Forster’s Zombie flick WORLD WAR Z it’s a hard hitting, fast paced action horror that delivers big time with it’s scares and overall execution – these Zombies makes those from The Walking Dead look like pussies
No. 5 is ONLY GOD FORGIVES an unbelievably atmospheric thriller, with sumptuous use of color, a haunting soundtrack & it’s directed by that Danish mind twister Nicolas Winding Refn
No. 4 is the tense, edge of the seat thriller PRISONERS that left me exhausted and needing a manicure – the film stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal
No. 3 is one of Ron Howard’s finest movies to date RUSH you can almost smell the burning rubber of Hunt’s Mclaren in this incredible cinematic experience based on the formula one rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda
No. 2 returns us to Middle Earth in the second part of Peter Jackson’s majestic Hobbit trilogy in THE HOBBIT : THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG the movie is visually stunning and with it’s 3D element you’re drawn into the world of Tolkien like never before
No. 1 and the Best Movie of 2013 is Guillermo del Toro‘s PACIFIC RIM – it’s one of the most exhilarating, jaw dropping and immensely fun movies for many a year – hats off to Guillermo, I was expecting another Transformers rip-off movie instead I was just blown away – you get so immersed in the action of this scifi flick that it feels like your operating one of those monstrous Jaegers yourself – huge thumbs up and can’t wait for Guillermo to helm a sequel….
Getaway – (2013) – Movie Review ★★★½
Cast – Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez and Jon Voight – Brent Magna (Hawke) is a former racing driver who arrives home one night to discover his wife has been kidnapped and in order to get her back he’s instructed to commandeer a custom made mustang and take it on a path of destruction around the streets of Sofia VERDICT don’t go into this movie with any pre-conceived ideas, think of it as a popcorn movie, that’s not going to require much brain power and you will be pleasantly surprised – Courtney Solomon who helmed Dungeons & Dragons back in 2000 really does know how to orchestrate a car chase, the scenes with the mustang driving through the Christmas market and the bike chase scene are electric & superbly filmed – overall Getaway doesn’t set out to win any awards or stretch the acting talent in anyway but instead delivers 90mins of mindless, heart pumping, unadulterated fun!!