La Weekend July 2017 – 3

Oh dear it was a bit of a crappy movie weekend, I had a lot of new stuff to see but I panned most it all for crappy stuff as I spent most of the weekend painting and being a general douchbag. So after watching hours of rubbish on YouTube I eventually got around to some TV movies.. yeah I know I say I don’t watch it and I don’t, unless there is a movie on..

Passenger 57 (1992) – I used adore this movie when I was a teen, mostly due to the hot 90’s hair action going on, but it was one of the more talked about action films (on the playground)..  John Cutter (Westley Snipes) is a former police officer and now has the pleasure of escorting a terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne) on his flight to the FBI, somehow, he takes over the plane and the two men have to physically and mentally psych each other out. It’s a bit laughable now but I think it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s nowhere near as awesome as New Jack City.. It was possibly one of the last films Rane did while he was still semi hot. and Tom Sizemore was on his verge of slipping into a drug coma. All said and done I think I found Con Air more re watchable and that’s saying a lot… 5/10

Next was the easily forgettable..

Hard Rain (1998) – I’ve seen this several times and I still don’t really understand why the events are so amazing that the warrant a film being made. Basically there is a war going on between two gangs but they unfortunately chose the night of a catastrophic flood to duke it out over 3 million dollars. For 90’s action films it’s okay, Morgan Freeman is surprisingly  alright but Quaid and Slater are two actors who could have been replaced. As far as the action goes it’s good, not the the most dynamic fights but there’s a good build up of tension a great sense of danger, the director Mikael Salomon is obsessed with storms and wet weather and his passion really enhances the film. Sadly it just doesn’t thrill me  3/10

Gladiator (2000) – One of the films that made my original Top 30, something I really need to re write… but such a solid movie, I know it’s a fantasy film, based in some truth but highly glamourized but I do adore it. So Maximus  (Russell Crowe) is a Gladiator who uncovers the truth behind the death of the emperor, as he refuses to remain silent he’s sent out to be killed by escapes, desperately he tries to travel back to his home to save his family, fails and is toss into slavery, assumed a deserter. While being used a live bait in the arena he manages to earn celebrity status and uses this to fight the new wrongfully appointed emperor, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). The acting and cast are stunning, it was a real career kicker for Crowe and Djimon Hounsou  Who really made a lasting impression. which has been hard to beat. It’s worth checking out the extended version. 10/10 

Poltergeist (1982) – I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this film, I adore it, but as a kid it really freaked me out, but ONLY one scene!! I think details are in the list I made titled something like Films that Scare Me.. but Poltergeist was an interesting project, still being mimicked today, even Family Guy have deployed their humour into it. It’s even so great to have sparked a 2015 remake.. I wonder if modern films will do the same in 30 years time? Anyway a family who have moved into a new home start to experience paranormal activity, centred around their youngest daughter who is Ghost napped, they fearful family employ professionals to help them investigate and return their daughter from another realm. The film is apparently cursed, as a few cast members died soon after and in tragic ways, but despite the warm Spielberg  approach it’s creepy as fuck, employing haunted clown dolls, faces being ripped apart and a tree that has a taste for children. Oh those sleepless nights.. 9/10 

Blair Witch Project (1999) I think I’m the only person who still likes this film, it’s not a top favourite, but I still appreciate what it did for the found footage moment, fuck the haters I say, they gonna keep on rollin. A group of students head out into the woods in Maryland to investigate the Blair Witch, a local urban legend whose is still frightening the locals. The film was a bit of a failed success, it managed to achieve what it set out to do and that was to scare people into believing it was a real documentary and i respect it for actually doing that, search parties were out searching for the actors in the movies and the legend lives on in various books and films. At times it can get a little boring, and the ending was more shocking the first time I saw it, but still it needs to be revisited now and again. It certainly does feel like one of those films that you had to see in the cinema on it’s release to really experience the magic. I had not seen anything quite like it and I had seen Cannibal Holocaust previous to this.. the hype was brilliant. I really should make some effort to watch the remake.. lol not! It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since we were first introduced to Heather Donahue’s snotty nose but she seems to have vanished after the 2008 movie Morgue 😦 did the witch finally catch up with her? 6/10

Dragon (2011) I don’t do film recommendations but if I was pushed I would suggest that maybe if you’re into awesome martial arts films that this might just be worth selling your mother for. On the first watch I was hooked, usually I avoid Donnie Yen films, I dunno what it is about him but they can get a bit overbearing but this is balanced well by Takeshi Kaneshiro‘s cool persona and there is a blinding cameo from the original One Armed Boxer Yu Wang. A papermaker is caught up in a murder case, the inspector is dispatched (Kaneshiro) and with his marvellous CSI skills he soon works out that Lui Jin-Xi (Yen) isn’t as simple as he first appears, but there is another threat from his estranged father.. it’s perfect, I really can’t find fault with it the acting is superb, the mental and physical battles are out of this world without too much fantasy fighting (as i like to call it), even the soundtrack is brilliant, I usually shy away from kung fu movies when they try to employ a lot of GCI but it’s welcomed here. 10/10

Se7en (1995) – I was on a role with the golden oldies, probably a life changing movie for me, one that’s also in the top 30. A highly intelligent and pious psychopath decides to teach the modern world a lesson by killing prime examples who have succumbed to the seven deadly sins. It’s a landmark for all involved, apart from Gwenth, there’s no saving her. But it is possibly David Finchers best work, although for me his work is continuously amazing. The dark and broody atmosphere hasn’t ever been replicated in such a way. It’s almost surreal in it’s application. Anamorph came close to copying the whole film, it had a few individual quirks but it I feel it wouldn’t have happened without Se7en. 10/10

Constantine (2005) I wasn’t all that pleased about Keanu standing in the shoes of John Constantine and why change the name of an awesome series from Hellblazer, it’s a pretty cool title right. But for once I was intrigued on how this was going to be translated onto the big screen and obviously Tilda Swinton was the biggest selling point. It’s a classic “based on the characters” type of remake, but there is a intimate side to this, and I was sold, it’s not perfect but I got a few thrills from the creativity, it doesn’t spend hours laughing into lavish backstories it does get to business, which is always positive. The bonus is that it includes one of the most provocative devil scenes in cinema history.. at least in my opinion. 6/10 [REVIEW]

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