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: David Hugh Jones
Starring:Robert De Niro, Kathy Baker, Ed Harris, Charles S Duton .USA/Canada. 1h 42m,
Based On:Strange Snow (1982) Stephen Metcalfe
Only a mere 11 years after starting in the iconic Deer Hunter (1978) Robert De Niro is back playing another Vietnam War Vet adjusting to be an upstanding member of society while dealing with a turbulent past but there’s a deeper romantic edge poetic drama which highlights how people can change and that real friendship lasts forever but remains a complex and beautiful thing.
David Hugh Jones creates some memorable characters in his fairly light hearted approach at tackling the fallout from the Vietnam war. De Niro co starts with Ed Harris, two vets who’ve both sunk into their own personal depressions after returning without a dear friend after their tragic tour, Joseph “Megs” Megessey (De Niro) has found a new crutch to get him back into the flow of things, the once mad cannon is still lively but with a regular job, people to talk to hes slowly coming to terms in his own unique energetic fashion, but a good soldier never leaves a man behind, so filled with a new sense of pride and duty he attempts to connect with long lost bud Dave (Harris) who lives with his school teaching sister while wallowing in guilt and working on his alcohol dependence. Continue reading Jacknife (1989)
Director: Brian T Jaynes
Starring: Larry Jack Dotson, Audrey Ellis Fox, Holt Boggs, Billy Blair .USA. 1h 15m
In the seemingly inexhaustible Bigfoot Indie Movie sub-genre, Bigfoot Wars has a many thriving backstories (originating from Eric S Brown’s book series) but doesn’t appear to do anything outstanding with the subject matters. It tries to offer a crazy alternative idea to most bigfoot mythologies that points; not only to the existence of Bigfoot but that there is a community living on the outskirts of a small town, that once threatened, will turn on the local human population until the one or the other is extinct.
Holt Boggs stars as Sheriff Jim Taylor, a dutiful officer loving father who struggles to find his feet when the carpet is swept out from underneath him when a spate of violent animalistic murders shakes his sleepy little town, Boggy Creek. The movie opens with the violent (offscreen) murder of the mayor, then some teens are slaughtered by a unknown beast while “partying” and camping in the woods, but the locals aren’t all that shocked, as a local news reports reveals that a majority of town folk believe that Bigfoot and aliens are all real and out there waiting to be discovered. Continue reading Bigfoot Wars (2014)
Director: Yayo Herrero
Starring: Alma Terzic, August Wittgenstein, Spain. 1h 30m
The Maus seems to want to be something dark and creepy with a character that is experiencing alternative timelines something like The Jacket (2005) blended with Silent Hill (2006), but with a deeper supernatural twist, but while it becomes evident as the movie progresses, it often falls short of its own thesis which is a tremendous shame as the story has a lot of prospects. Continue reading The Maus (2017)
Director: Stuart Brennan
Starring: Stuart Brennan, Marcus Macleod, Mark Paul Wake….UK. 1h 28m
This darkly twisted fairy tale follows a group of soldiers fleeing a war zone who find themselves lost deep in the woods where only magical things can happen.This British horror with a small budget definitely dreams big and while it has a solid story the execution comes across a little trying.
There is evil inside all of us.
Continue reading The Necromancer (2018)
Director: Jeff Renfroe
Starring:Jason Gedrick, Tamara Hope, Elias Toufexi, Sebastian Knapp, Chris Jarman. Canada. 1h 30m
Like a strange warped version of Monsters: Dark Continent (2014), blended with Jarhead (2005)and Tremors (1990), Sand Serpents doesn’t really feature a nest of deadly vipers as I expected instead the foes are more like miniature versions of the adorable Dune (1984) like sand worms but with a blood thirsty taste for human flesh.
A small group of US Army Soldiers become stranded in the remote Afghan desert, but against all odds and while teaming up with a father and daughter team from the local region they battle the Taliban and the epic worm like creatures from an unknown source, not something covered in basic training. Continue reading Sand Serpents (2009)
Director: Robert Schwentke
Starring: Max Hubacher, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi. Germany. 1h 50m
Here is another chilling nightmare from the German home front, as the end of the war begins to loom into reality and defeat is imminent, a lone German runs deep into the woods while being chased by some overprivileged soldiers blowing horns and taking pot luck shots at him. The man manages to evade death and recapture and eventually stumbles on an abandoned car and uniform of a high ranking officer.
This crystalline black and white brutal masterpiece, possible shot in this style inspired by Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) shows that the talented director Schwentke has gone back to basic and delivered something beautifully stark and somewhat monstrous. Continue reading Der Hauptmann / The Captain (2017)
Director: Lance Daly.
Starring. Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keogham, Sarah Greene. USA. 1h 40m.
This brilliantly dark poetic revenge flick from the bleakest part of Irish history is rough but so intense. Based on the Irish Language short called An Ranger by PJ Dillon and Pierce Ryan, this lengthy retelling is focused on an Irish Ranger returning home from war and finding his homeland is very different to how he left it.
Starting on another tangent, the film opens with Hanna (Weaving) losing his temper with a prisoner, a member of the Young Irelander movement, while losing his temper he strangles the man he sips from his canteen while another guard realises Hannah has killed the prisoner.
Meanwhile Martin Feeney (Frechville) a former Connaught Ranger arrives in Connemara, west Ireland in 1847, the worst part of the Great Famine, he finds family home hollowed out and filled with pigs, he learns that his mother died from starvation and his brother was hanged after stabbing a bailiff during the family’s evection. Feeney stays with his brothers widow (Greene) who are squatting in one of the few remaining houses. Soon the landlord arrives to evict the family, killing Feeney’s nephew and destroying the home. Feeney is arrested but managed to kill his captors and destroy the barracks and re returns to find his sister in law and her daughter dead from exposure. This sparks something dark inside of Feeney and he begins to seek a tortuous bloody revenge on the men who have wronged him. Continue reading Black 47 (2018)
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana . USA . 2h 1m
Based on : Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.
Generally I love war movies, when I was growing up it was mostly about WWII or Vietnam but then as the world got older, we had new wars to dramatize, mostly set in the Middle East or Africa and for wars which no one really wanted to discuss. The films became less about the action and more about the people involved. The almost poetic Jarhead (2005) saw the build up and break down of several officers as they battled themselves and each
other pent up with fear and anger fighting a war that didn’t need men to participate, the war itself mostly forgotten and the freedom to really interrogate the men involved, which pretty much summed up the situation, the point of the war was weak the people being sent out there weren’t needed or prepared. Continue reading Lone Survivor (2013)
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Jon Bon Jovi. UK. 1h 46m
Now that Dunkirk is breaking records, it’s time to look back at all the occasions where they got things terribly wrong with war movies. There have been a few films that tried to eradicate the British efforts and triumphs during the second world war. Continue reading U-571 (2000)