Director: Rob Bowman
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Alexander Siddig, Ned Dennehy, Izabella Scorupco .UK. 1h 41m
I fell out of love with fantasy movies for the surreal back in my teens, I still enjoy the genre but I live for the way out psychotropic pop surreal that goes that one step beyond. The fantasy genre is riddled with stories of dragons, maidens, cruel giant monsters, laws and riddles but going back to the standard western fantasy realm only gets a film canned as a tiresome Lord of the Rings rip off, so many attempts to bring Fantasy into the modern realm have challenged many a cast and crew, this silly bu entertaining project from X Files director Rob Bowman is interesting but slightly cringe.
After years of working the TV circuit Bowman branched out into a lengthy feature which resurrects a modern tale of dragons and legendary heroes, blending castles and helicopters, a tale of ultimate bravery and sacrifice unfolds. Continue reading Reign of Fire (2002)
Director: M J Bassett
Starring: Jamie Bell, Ruaidhri Conroy, Mike Downey, Laurence Fox, Kris Marshall, Hans Matheson, Matthew Rhys, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 34m
The general trends with World War II movies is to punch your audience right in the gut with the violence and depression of the war. With all the progressions of cinema they all translate in more effect ways of demonstrating the darkest side of human nature and the brutal fight for freedom, but this isn’t the only way to portray the horrors of this dark chapter, since the was there have been numerous ghost stories written about lost soldiers, everlasting love and the occult nature of the “the enemies” of righteous civilisation. But is Deathwatch the new ghostly war story we need?
Bassett’s track record includes an array of action movies all tinged with the macabre, but Bassett is versatile in his approach with the lavish fantasy Solomon Kane filled with magic myth and monsters, and Wilderness, a group of wayward chavs verses a mystery slasher while stranded on a secluded island, he’s not a man who liked to be pinned down with a specialty apart from directing engaging movies. Continue reading Deathwatch (2002)
Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes . USA. 2h 4m
There comes a time when every movie is going to be remade, no matter how cult or classic the original is. But did we really need this remake of the near perfect Michael Mann gusty thriller Manhunter (1986), Originally Brian Cox played the flesh eating doctor, but while his take on the now iconic doctor; is different from Hopkins laid back soft talker, Cox’s interpretation is very apt for the direction of Mann’s psychological dog fighting style. Is the Hopkins trademark on the character so powerful that he gets to shoulder his way through to complete his trilogy. Well, Dino De Laurentiis, producer of both Manhunter and Red Dragon and effectively the Lecter copyright holder, has decreed it. So Anthony Hopkins returns, for the final time, because after this he vowed never to play the role again and it’s not surprising as the task was given to Brett Ratner to facilitate, a director who can handle a fast paced popcorn action flick but really struggled with this type of deep psychological and powerfully cerebral thriller. If only this was an equally horrific sentimental comedy, like The Family Man, where Ratner would feel more at home. Continue reading Red Dragon (2002)
Director: Marcus Adams
Starring: Joe Absolom, Tom Bell, Lara Belmont, Lukas Haas, James Hill, Alex Newman, Mel Raido, Marsha Thompson . UK . 1h 35m
When a was a youngster the local Odeon was my all time favourite place to hang out, sticky popcorn floors, ushers who didn’t age check you and tickets I could afford with my SU card, tons of free film postcards and on the odd occasion a seat that wasn’t stained. Sadly it closed around the early 2000’s but I had a handful of postcard adverts for films I planned to see before the doors shut, but I didn’t make it 😦
Long Time Dead was on the top of the pile but I totally forgot about it.. A few years ago I found a copy in a charity shop by the seaside and it’s alright.. I guess… It feels as if a British director was trying to make a Hollywood movie, and really Brits make amazing horrors without needed to fall into the American Cliché soup. Continue reading Long Time Dead (2002)
For me 2002 was the year of shitty american remakes of wonderful Japanese/Chinese/Korean Horrors, like The Eye (2002) and the Ring (2002) but Japan was still releasing wonderful films like Ju On (2002) and Dark Water (2002).
28 Days Later (2002)
A film that really raised the bar for Zombie movies by introducing the Infected! A bicycle courier is blindsided and awakes weeks later in an abandoned london, he soon discovers that a rage virus was released causing people to go batshit crazy and infect/kill each other. He hooks up with a few other people who travel to Manchester in hopes of gaining the protection of an army base who have been broadcasting but salvation might not that simple. A sterling performance from everyone involved in this cult classic Danny Boyle film, shot on unconventional cameras and on a tight budget the film has an atmosphere unlike any of its counterparts. Bold acting and a thrilling dangerous story really boosted most of the cast into unreal terms of stardom and made the film a drooling gore filled cult classic with a perfectly haunting soundtrack. 10/10 Continue reading 10 Horrors from 2002 worth talking about
Day 18 of 31
Director : Danny Boyle
Starring : Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson . England/UK. 1h 43m.
I feel quite bad for not reviewing this film earlier but after adding it to this year’s Halloween list I will take a axe to this amazing film that helped re define a genre, change perceptions on low budget films (yet again) and catapulted the careers of Danny Boyle, but all of the main cast. I think it’s a bold statement to say that 28 Days Later was the first film to introduce a new breed of zombie to the big screen but it’s certainly the most iconic film that introduced “the infected” a faster, messier and more irrational and destructive zombie to a stunned audience. Continue reading 28 Days Later (2002)
Director: David Twohy.
Writer: Lucas Sussman, Darren Aronofsky
Starring: Holt McCallany, Bruce Greenwood, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Chinlund, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Tim Plester, Zach Galifianakis, Christopher Fairbank. USA/UK. 1h 45m.
This was a curious film, an underwater mystery that take a while to get going but it does turn up the atmospherics in the later half.
A handful of survivors are plucked from a damaged ship and brought aboard the USS Tiger Shark submarine that’s on patrol in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII. A conscientious doctor a wounded soldier and a few others become welcomed guests on a sub with more mysterious than the Mary Celeste. Continue reading Below (2002)
A lavish biopic, half artistic masterpiece half Spanish soap opera, this historical account of the life of Frida Khalo is a stunning as her work. I’m a little bias here as I’ve always studied artist and art literally for my whole life. And i wish there were more artist movies like this when I was school as it would have saved me a lot of reading.
It’s never easy to try and sum up an entire life in one film, it’s hard enough to summarise in it in a book, and there is always more in the book than a movie.. but this film does a great job at detailing a lot of the great features in this unusual diva’s life. Continue reading Frida (2002)
Director: Neil Marshall .
Starring:Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee, Liam Cunningham . UK. 1h 45m.
Initially I thought this was the beginning of the hammer horror comeback. But sadly a bunch of nonchalant thrillers were released years later, that aside this is what the hammer horror revival should gave been goddammit!!
A group of clueless army grunts get shafted by their superiors into a bullshit situation with a most vicious and unlikely foe. The film begins three times, initially with a couple out camping who get attacked by an unknown beast in a hail of blood, then again Cooper (Kevin McKidd) whois introduced a hopeful to be gain access into a special ops group but is failed by the callus Ryan (Liam Cunningham) for not shooting an innocent dog on command, he’s assumed a wimp and then the third and thankfully final beginning, we get the group, headed by Sergeant Harry G. Wells(Sean Pertwee), Copper is now under his command and is was more comfortable with his underdog team. They are dumped into the middle of nowhere in Scotland, their aim is to track down and capture a group of special ops, but after some banter and a mysterious (and hilarious) cow death, they find themselves being hunted by “big ‘owling things” stumbling on the special ops camp that’s been obliterated, there are blood tracks and “remains” but no bodies, apart from ?? who has been nearly fatally wounded, but reluctantly they rescue him and manage to find a safe haven in a lone cottage in the woods, after being rescued by Megan (Emma Cleasby) who knows a little more than she’s willing to admit. So with two wounded soldiers, some bad feelings and limited ammo they make a stand against “the ‘owling things”. Continue reading Dog Soldiers (2002)
Director: Kuo-fu Chen Writer: Kuo-fu-Chen, Richard Epcar
Starring: David Morse, Tony Leung Kai Fai. Taiwan 1h 43m.
There is a special talent for crossing movie genres and making them work, but director Kuo-fu Chen, has managed just that with his dark ancient cult vs a couple of determined police officers who aren’t fearful to think outside the box, but it turns out that you can’t just wave a wand and tell ancient religions that they can’t practice ritualistic killings at will anymore, even if you are with the FBI.
A troubled cop is on the edge of a nervous breakdown, as his life and career begin to fall apart, after blowing the corruption whistle on his force, he’s a pariah among his team and then forced to work with Foreign Affairs Officer as his wife files for a divorce. When three bizarre deaths are connected by a strange fungus that an attentive coroner finds in their nasal passage and brain after what seems to be a strange hallucinatory state. Continue reading Double Vision – Shuang Tong (2002)