Brother (2000)

Director: Takeshi Kitano.
Starring. Takeshi Kitano,Omar Epps,Claude Maki,Tetsuya Watari USA/Japan/France/UK. 1h 44m.

I’ll start my review by saying that I adore everything about this quirky film, even the bad bits, so buckle up for a fangirl review of what is commonly thought of as a bad movie.

It’s never easy when a foreign director attempts to break into different cinematic style, for me John Woo totally struggled with his western movies, Jean-Pierre Jeunet didn’t get much applause for Alien Resurrection but was made a god for any of his French movies, (it goes both ways) and Kitano seemed to have been lost in translation while still maintaining his signature cool style, and I think he made a wise choice in starring in the movie to try and hold on to whatever he could from his previous great titles. One of Kitano’s strong facets is that you can kinda link his character throughout his movies, growing and becoming tougher and cooler each time, if you thought he reached his peak, you’ll be mistaken he’ll level up forever. Continue reading Brother (2000)

Short Movie Roundup 30 August 2020

Grief

It’s no secret what the movie is about but the elements within it remain powerful and esoteric as a couple begin to hit a wall when dealing with the grief of their missing son. Kevin and Esther’s so has been abducted, the couple are coping the best they can, Kevin is attending group classes while his wife is searching endlessly for their boy, however on one fateful night a stranger turns up at their exposed home in the night and turns their grief upside down as it’s revealed what caused the events.

For me I feel that the “man” who turns up is truth personified, how do you see it?

The violent and trippy exploration of grief is quite spot on in some aspects, as Esther goes through guilt and blame, normality and crashing back to the reality that her boy is still missing, feeling alone and on trial again and again. A really imaginative and thriller short with lots to take on board. Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 30 August 2020

Sugar Hill (1974)

Director: Paul Maslansky
Starring:Marki Bey, Robert Quarry, Don Pedro Colley, Betty Anne Rees, Richard Lawson, Zara Cully, Charles Robinson .USA. 1h 31m

For me this Blaxploitation thriller is a testament to Fulci’s zombie culture, with a strong vibe from a more authentic hoodoo background mixed with a strong black female lead this could be a damned near perfect blend of real gore horror but it just falls short but doesn’t fail to entertain.

Paul Maslansky managed to recreate the pure essence of a woman scorned, by killing Sugar’s lover in the opening scenes, this spurting her on the road to bitter revenge. Spicing the story up with a Fulci’s zombie hoard, the amalgamation almost works but if he had only added a bit more of a dangerous woman about town a la Pam Grier, gun fights and blades this would have been absolutely perfect. However despite its reputation of being a bit of a joke it’s still a wonderful film, just lacking some bite. Let me explain… Continue reading Sugar Hill (1974)

Spotlight – Daniel Day Lewis

As I get a lot of negativity for my choice in favourite movies, I thought I’d go with an actor who has retired (hopefully just for now) and has a pretty good short track record, I can’t go wrong with this.. can I?

In the Name of the Father (1993)

A star studded cast take a brave step in re creating the incredibly dark story of Gerry and Patrick Conlon, who were falsely imprisoned for the 1974 Guildford Pub Bombings. Conlons ability not to be beaten down by years of imprisonment and watching his father wither away and die incarcerated isn’t the easiest for a method actor such as Lewis to get into but the results are outstanding. Watching the change from Gerry’s frivolous life on the outside to years of fighting his case and adjusting to life on the inside is mind blowing. Starring alongside another veteran Pete Postlewaithe as Patrick, the two respectively bounce off each other like a classic duo, they seem so comfortable as the raw emotions flow from both equally. Lewis spends nights sleeping in a cell, asking for the crew to throw water and verbal abuse at him to prepare for the role. Despite the liberties taken with the truth, it’s still such a chilling and powerful movie with damned near perfect performances. Continue reading Spotlight – Daniel Day Lewis

ABC’s of Death 2 (2014)

Director: Various
Starring: Too Many To Mention .Worldwide. 2h 5m

I was one of the few who really adored the ABC’s of Death (2012) and was gleefully happy to stroll right into part two. It’s pretty much in the same vein as the original movie,however it comes together a tad better with a quainter intro and title cards, there still the unwritten guessing game of trying to work out what the letter stands for and often it’s a surprise at the end of the short.

Everything is covered in one or more movies, sadness, gore, violence, romance, and some intellectual questions which all float around in the genre of horror. However there’s been a slight shift with movies such as this series, Southbound and the VHS trilogy which really hit on a very black humor, clever ideas and shocks to get their audiences to squirm, not relying on the old tried and tested forms of horror for something a little more hipster and experimental with longer cuts, ad more involved set ups. ABC’s of death has this overriding theme however each film is very very different in it’s composure and execution, I’m going to give you an example of my cream of the crop.

I’ll try and keep it spoiler free.. Continue reading ABC’s of Death 2 (2014)

Ghost Rider (2007)

Director: Mark Seven Johnson
Starring: Sam Elliott, Eva Mendes,Wes Bentley, Peter Fonda, Nicholas Cage .USA. 1h 50m

The talking point of this lackluster movie for me is, Who would you have cast as the Ghost Rider? Personally I’d love to see a young Jack Nicholson or Ron Perlman, or even a jacked up Henry Rollins just spittin some wild lyrics! Alas as Nicholas Cage is such a giant Ghost Rider fan he lobbied for the role and eventually got it, sadly he had to have this Ghost Rider tattoo covered up for the role…of Ghost Rider.. Continue reading Ghost Rider (2007)

Short Movie Roundup 23 August 2020

Continuing with the meld of short movies and other short videos including creepy pastas etc.. Hopefully widening these little slots will help widen your horizons too.

Together

At first I wasn’t really sold by this idea and had to watch this short twice to really appreciate it’s message. Opening with the idea of a zombie/infected outbreak in the woods the movie quickly cuts to an unassuming unattached story of a crime scene cleanup, a dedicated and sensitive woman runs a clean up team but as her partner runs from the house she has to get a new guy in quickly, but the man who turns up has a weird taste for the job. As the story breaks down our perceptions of people’s differences are under the spotlight as the characters adjust to each other’s quirks but the kicker comes at the end when it goes a step further and forces us to rethink how we treat people who are down and out.

There’s more going on under the cover of blood sucking and flesh eating than the average horror, it becomes a mechanism to really question a materialistic society, where does charity really start with us realising we’re all in this together? I think it could spark something more dynamic if extended into a feature length movie. Continue reading Short Movie Roundup 23 August 2020

Safe (1995)

Director: Todd Haynes
Starring: Juilanne Moore, John Apicella, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris .USA/UK. 1h 59m

After watching Todd Haynes’s masterful macabre paperwork drama, Dark Waters I can’t help but think back to one of his more impressive and less talked about movies, Safe; featuring all of the key elements that Haynes loves to explore, showing how we are negatively affected by “forever” chemicals. He takes a more sensitive approach in this mid nineties movie before breaking the doors down years later with the harder hitting Mark Ruffalo biopic.

Continue reading Safe (1995)

18 Films From 1988 Still Worth Talking About Vol 1

They live (1988)

Everything about this movie is just absolutely awesome, John Carpenter has made his reputation as one of the best loved and prolifically imaginative horror directors of all time but with so much energy he branched further into the world of sci fi with the addition of tried and tested actor Keith David and the bombastic Roddy Piper in the lead of a very psychotropic cult classic. Loosely based on the short story “Eight O’clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson, this film follows a drifter who stumbles on some glasses which reveal that the planet slowly being populated by technicolour aliens who hide behind a level of science based glamour, but through these amazing glasses Piper can see the truth and the world they have crafted is a George Orwell Nightmare, but never fear the Rowdy Canadian Wrestler is here to save us with some of the best one liners in any film and much ass kicking. It’s really one of those films that comes by only once in a blue moon, a perfect combination of imagination, cool effects, wonderful actors and a director who isn’t driven by his ego but by what he’s learnt that fans want to see and that’s a movie without bubble-gum. Continue reading 18 Films From 1988 Still Worth Talking About Vol 1

Ravenous (1999)

Director: Antonia Bird
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Guy Pearce, David Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Jeremy Davies, Stephen Spinella, Nail McDonough, John Spencer .USA/UK/Czech Republic. 1h 41m

Through all the beautiful landscape shots and bloody battles, Ravenous is a poetic journey of one man dealing with the mental conflicts of honour and cowardice set in a allurgin remote mountain location and having to deal with one of the most ferocious Algonquian legends. The film raises tough questions on how heroes are perceived and the effects on the individual, what if a moment of bravery is pure accidental luck, how can a man continue to live the lie before he’s found out?

After their first two initial weeks of filming the original director Mick McCluskey was sacked and leading cast member Robert Carlyle called on an old friend Antonia Bird to complete this prestigious project. Antonia had previously directed him in a brilliant English council estate mobster film called Face (1997) where Carlyle stars alongside Ray Winstone as an average Joe socialist who forms a gang to rob a bank, the movie still has a strong cult following and is highly rated along other Brit classics such as the highly acclaimed Nil By Mouth (1997) and really cemented burden Carlyle in the memories of dedicated fans. Continue reading Ravenous (1999)