Director: Richard Laxton Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West .UK. 1h 30m
This glamorized TV movie is the love child of director Richard Laxton, who cleverly used a poignant part of life and relationship between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton to highlight their turbulent relationship and striking personalities.
Set in 1983, the film revolves around Burton and Taylor as they attempt to join forces to star in Noel Coward’s stage play “Private Lives”. After years of marriage, their own addictive personalities and the pressures from the press, they begin to lose their stubborn protective barriers and find some kind of path to recovery together.
I’m not going to attempt to write an introduction on Anthony Hopkins here, the Welsh valley boy is one of the finest actors in Britain, adaptable and versatile, there isn’t a role that he can’t ace, however I find his creepier work to be he best, maybe it’s something to do with his history of alcoholism, even though he beat it in the 1970’s he seems to be able to channel the darker days into something powerful in his art. Here are 8 films that I adore from the legendary actor, no doubt there will be a volume 2 as he has such a sparkling list of great titles under his belt
01. Elephant Man (1980)
David Lynch’s black and white expose of the life of the Elephant man is probably one of Lynch’s relatively straight and non surreal psycho sexual escapades, rightfully all acting credits need to be bestowed on John Hurt for playing the part of the infamous Joseph Merrick and taking on his physical deformities of his suspected Proteus syndrome. Despite his blistering performance there’s one person who also shines through and that’s Anthony Hopkins who plays the Doctor who changed Merricks life. Hopkins really enforces the role of the visionary physician who’s able to look outside the box and take on a role of care for someone who, at the time, was seen as nothing more than a sideshow freak. It’s a robust performance as Hopkins goes from a gentle caring doctor, almost heartbroken about the former treatment of Merrick to a strong and dominant champion in the legal and medical battles to get care and board for the anomaly that Merrick was often seen as.
Here are a handful of Eli Roth movies that I think are more notable, which movies would you choose?
Director/ American Stoner
Roth managed to breath some life into the torture subgenre of horror with his breakthrough Hostel, the initial part of a trilogy which is best watched at a duo, the third installment is just terrible and so detached. The film follows three friends travelling around Europe who encounter a man (who likes to eat meat) on a train, he persuades them to check into a hostel in a secluded Slovakian village with the promise of encountering lots of hot lusty women. The guys scarper to the Hostel, only to find themselves drawn into a deadly game.
The films selling point is the buckets of guts and blood, with the attempt to make a nouveau video nasty Roth was content to add in as much material which was both questionable and a potential to get the film banned in a few countries, cut and uncut versions flew off the shelves as the wildly thrilling movie filed with real belly laughs and splattered kill scenes gained a lot of fan thumbs up.
Best known for his role in the cult classic Candyman that is still inspiring new directors to this day, the inspiring story from Clive Barker was really brought to life by the the 6’ 5” gentle giant, Toddy Todd who, while not leading as many films as any fan would like, when he does appear in a movie , not matter how short to long his role, really makes an impact in any film and continues to support a thriving horror community.
06. Murder Set Pieces (2004)
– Video Store Guy
Notable one of the more modern Video Nasty’s, Murder Set Pieces was a wildly banned horror. Directed by Nick Palumbo it features a deranged photographer (Sven Garrett) travels and documents his serial killer lifestyle. While he’s out slashing prostitutes and trying to bed underage girls he pops into an adult video store looking for a particular snuff movie named Nutbag (a reference to Palumno’s earlier movie) , Tony Todd happens to be the Clerk and the confrontation blows up in epic proportions! Tony is one of a few notable names however it’s generally slated for being disgusting, vile and disturbing, and this is why I love it so much!
So I set myself challenge. List 5 awesome Huge Jackman movies and don’t mention any Marvel films..
01.Van Helsing (2004)
The framed monster hunter returns for some kind of gothic steampunk revival, looking and feeling much like another Underworld movie, the movie co stars Kate Beckinsale and features Richard Roxburgh as an unusual choice for Count Dracula but one that surprisingly works so well. Strangely the movie works on some levels. With comedy buffering each scare the movie was always aimed at being a family favourite and the cast get full marks for managing to keep a straight face through half of the ridiculous antics. Otherwise it is a fun and enjoyable adventure.
I’ve always found the British-Canadian actor to be one of those shy types, he doesn’t seem to have enough in him to play a strong lead but as a supporting actor he can really boost a movies vibe. Hopefully we’ll see more of him in the future but here are what I think are some of his stand out roles.
It took me ages to bother watching Underworld because I knew exactly how it was going to play out before it had even been released and I was spot on. But basically vampires vs werewolves and to make things exciting we’re treated to a hybrid between the species and this precious mutant love interest is Michael (Scott Speedman). It’s an okay film, adored by lots of proto goths and pseudo kinksters. Speedmans performance isn’t blinding but he certainly does put a lot of energy into this role.
Sean Harris has long been of those whose his presence in a film with encourage me to watch it, an unusual method actor, for me first burst onto the screen in the the aptly titled Creep (2004) when he played some kind of genetically modified subterranean creature and to be honest I thought they had possibly found some kind of missing link as he played the part so accurately, from then, all of his roles have been utterly perfect and once I see his name is in the cast list I’m sure to watch.
Possibly one of Sean’s most involved and highly praised roles happened so late his career, as Britain’s hidden secret weapons of acting seemed to have grabbed the headlines in this dismal world where he plays a very convincing; shamed children’s entertainer and puppet maker who returns home to his family home to be confronted by a sadistic and violent father. The movie is a giant slice of British melancholia everything is so drab and dreary, the house he lives in is run down peeling brown wallpaper is the theme, the world outside just an isolated mess and the constant haunting of his spider crab puppet with dolls face which changes and stalks him is nightmare inducing it’s a brilliant slice of dark natured cinema with some hints of art house pop place throughout especially a surreal connection with latex balloons. [REVIEW]Continue reading Sean Harris→
Director: Kathryn Bigelow Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown, Tom Sizemore . USA. 1h 42m
We always assume that the police force are highly attentive and can sniff out a bad guy a mile away but just like everyone they have moments where they are as vulnerable as you and I, and it’s during one of these moment of vulnerability which catches a rookie cop off guard and leads to a crime wave in New York City.
Jamie Lee stars as Megan, a rookie cop full of pride at her achievements and eager to be a great cop she finds herself suspended on her first day when she blows a low life criminal ( Sizemore) away in a convenient store when he holds the place up, with her high level of enthusiasm she doesn’t remember what happened to the gun she knew he was holding and is suspended for killing an unarmed man. Unbeknownst to New York’s finest the gun is now in the hands of Eugene Hunt (Silver) highly stressed commodities trader who’s slowly become unhinged and is now totally in love with Megan as sees her as a death goddess. Megan, after being taken to the cleaners by the powers that be, headed by Nick Mann (Brown), is soon reinstated when a body turns up with a bullet, with her name carved into it. Continue reading Blue Steel (1991)→
I couldn’t resist writing this piece after rewatching Todd Haynes’s unusual drama, Safe (1995), I realised how often I had seen Xander Berkley play a bit of a dick husband. So in a similar vein to my short article on The Life and Times of Stathis Borans, here’s another insight.
I do plan to do a proper spotlight on Xander’s acting career, however today I am going to focus on a role that he seems to play so well but luckily isn’t type casted to just yet. So when did it all start?
Back in 1992 Xander was cast as a brilliant university lecturer and doting husband in Bernard Roses supernatural horror, Candyman. Based heavily on Clive Barker’s novel, The Forbidden. The main protagonist is the gorgeous Helen (Madsen) who is on the trail of an urban legend known as Candyman who has taken on a Folk Hero statue in a nearby predominantly black neighbourhood. Her husband Trevor (Berkeley) being so teaches a similar urban legend course which forces Helen to have to speed up her investigations of an entity that appears once you say his name in the mirror 5 times, however I believe it’s only 3 times in the book… As Helen becomes entangled with Candyman and his mythology come to life her doting husband’s true colours come to light. Continue reading Xander Berkley is the best scumbag husband..→
Cult classic gothic fantasy that inspired a generation. Tim plays Darkness, often mistaken for the Devil, but it’s easily done as he’s a giant red goat lord with a wicked sense of humor and a taste for the macabre. Ridley Scott’s all encompassing diverse fantasy world is stunning and set to a backdrop of slow motion falling snow and a Tangerine Dream OST. Tim brings his sly stylish character to his devil like character, through camera trickery his larger than life presence is topped up with a really sinister persona and those lovely lips! Ridley picked Tim for the role after seeing him in Rocky Horror Picture and encouraged him to bring out a bit of Dr Frank -N-Furter in this role, Richard O’Brien was even considered for the role of Meg Mucklebones.
Those 5+ hours a day to get ready we’re really worth it even though Tim felt claustrophobic he managed to shake that all off to preform, however there was a particular scene when it got too much and Tim managed to pull off some of his own skin while desperately trying to escape from the layers of makeup 😦 Continue reading 5 Selected – Tim Curry→