Thursday, 29 September 2011

Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry,1971,USA
Director: Don Siegel
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Andy Robinson

Don Siegel's "Dirty Harry" is one of the great cop thrillers. Although mostly remembered for it's immortal lines "Do you feel lucky? Well do ya punk?" spoken by it's star Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry is a terrific,engaging and entertaining thriller. The plot of the film revolves around a San Francisco Cop, Who always gets results but has little regard for the rules, he is taken to his limit when a new killer who snipes at random victims from rooftops begins to strike fear throughout the city. Detective Harry Callahan must take it upon himself to capture the killer known as "Scorpio". The film is directed by Don Siegel who does a terrific job really capturing the essence of the 70's on film, in order to make an incredibly suspenseful Thriller. One of my favorites elements of the film is it's Villain "Scorpio" Played by Andy Robinson. Robinson's character really reminded of the cunningness and brutality of Malcolm McDowell's Alex DeLarge character in "A Clockwork Orange"(released the same year). Scorpio makes a great and threatening villain all through out the film, although not threatening in appearance he's cunningness, edginess and the way he is able to kill innocent people without any remorse in very threatening. The villain is well matched with the toughness and all round coolness of the hero played by Clint Eastwood, who gives in my opionion one of his best performances in possily his best non- Sergio leone film. "Dirty Harry" was loosely based on the Zodiac murders which were occurring at the time. It also was followed by five sequels and continues to influence the thriller genre after being released over 40 years ago. Overall Dirty Harry is a great film, a very entertaining and suspenseful thriller from a master filmmaker and features Eastwood in his prime.

Tom: 3.5/4

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Contagion (2011)

Director:Steven Soderberg
Cast:Matt Damon,Kate WInslet,Jude Law

"Contagion" begins with a harrowing cough heard over a black screen,the first shot of the film is of Gwyneth Paltrow's character Beth Emhoff, looking somewhat under the weather with red subtitles at the bottom of the screen that read "Day 2" there are numerous things that could go through a viewers mind when seeing this like have we missed something so shortly into the film,the answer is no as Contagion weaves several interacting plotlines and everything is resolved throughout the film, 10 minutes later Paltrow's character is dead which in my opinion is one of the best descions Contagion makes and instantly makes us feel how dangerous this virus is. The film feature's a brilliant all star cast including Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard,Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet,Bryan Cranston and is Directed By Steven Soderberg. The film follows the progress of lethal indirect contact transmission virus that kills within days As the fast-moving pandemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. As the virus spreads around the world, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. Contagion depicts the fear of society so well and is such an effective film,One of the only problems i had with Contagion was the way in which some characters were underused such as Winslet and the brilliant Jude Law but that is something to be expected with a cast as big and as good as this,And apart from Damon and Fishburne none of the others really get a pay-off.Overall i really liked Contagion it will probably go down as one of my favorites of 2011,If you not intrested in a story about a mass plague wiping out humanity you should still see this just for the cast alone.

Tom: 3.5/4

Monday, 26 September 2011

Mallrats (1995)

Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty and Jeremy London

Kevin Smith's follow up to the brilliant "Clerks" is the equally brilliant "Mallrats" which tells the story of two best friends both dumped by the girlfriends on the same day who head to the local mall for the day.This film was trashed by critics all around the world and was a box office bomb but i absolultey love it, The film is a brilliantly underrated comedy, the film stars Jason Lee who is absloultey Brilliant as Brodie, unlike Jeremy London who plays the lead T.S Quint who is terrible in this film, the film has some really great moments including an appearance by Stan Lee, and of course Jay And Silent Bob. In my opinion this is only behind "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy" as Smith's best film. An absolutley brilliant comedy that every Kevin Smith should see.

Tom: 3.5/4

Cocoon:The Return (1988)

Coocon: The Return,1988,USA
Director: Daniel Petrie
Cast: Don Ameche,Wilford Brimley and Courtney Cox

The sequel to Ron Howard's smash hit original picks up 5 years later with the group of senior citizens from the original returning back to earth to visit there relatives. The reasons for there arrival back to earth is because the cocoons left at the bottom of the ocean at the first film are danger because of incoming earthquake. Almost all of the cast from the original along with newcomer Courtney Cox, although Ron Howard doesnt return for directing duties and is replaced by Daniel Petrie.After seeing a lot of negative reviews i was surprised to find that its an enjoyable sequel, although i dont think it came close to the original though as there were to many ridiculous moments and scenes in this one, there were some in the original but in this sequel they were just turned up to the max for example the Basketball scene was just ridiculous and cheesy. Overall its not a bad sequel, if you liked the original you will probably get some enjoyment out of "The Return" but it doesn't live up to the original which in its own right wasn't a perfect film.

Tom: 2.5/4

Sicko (2007)

Director: Michael Moore
Cast:Michael Moore,Tucker Albrizzi and Tony Benn

After taking on Americas obsession with gun violence in "Bowling For Columbine" and the Bush Government in "Fahrenheit 9/11" Michael Moore has set his sights on The American Health Care Industry with "Sicko".This like all of Moore's documentaries is thought provoking, humorous and also emotional and touching.With this film Moore investigates health care in the united states and compares it with other countries like France,Cuba,Canada and the United Kingdom, while also focusing on its health insurance and the pharmaceutical industry.Michael Moore as always goes to great lengths to expose the health care industry and going as far as to travel with rescue workers from the 9/11 attacks to Guantanamo Bay where the prisoners have better health care than average Americans.Once again Michael Moore has knocked it out of the park with Sicko, providing a film that will make Americans question there health care system.Another great and powerful film from a very talented and patriotic film maker.

Tom: 3.5/4

Cocoon (1985)

Director: Ron Howard
Cast : Don Ameche,Wilford Brimley and Steve Guttenberg

Cocoon is a classic 80's sci-fi film and is one of the earlier films from Director Ron Howard, The film is about a group of senior citizens living in a retirement Community in Florida who secretly use a swimming pool just of premises, little do they know the owners of the pool are a group of aliens who have came to retrieve cocoons they left behind from an earlier trip, they store the cocoons inside the swimming pool and while the elderly people swim they discover they have acquired unusual powers from the Cocoons.While The film is by no means is perfect it is lot of fun and should keep you entertained for two hours. i didn't know much about Cocoon before watching,i thought it would be a typical alien invasion film with a lot of special effects and paper thin charecters, but it was very different from that,Cocoon is a very touching and heart-warming film in the same spirit as "E.T", the film also has a great cast including Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley,Hume Cronyn,Brian Dennehy,Jessica Tandy and Steven Guttenberg, and everyone on screen plays a likeable charecter. Ron Howard's direction is good here and does well to keep it from becoming an all out comedy,sci fi or Drama. The film was a big box office hit and won two Academy Awards in 1986 including Best Supporting Actor for Don Ameche and Best Visual Effects. Overall this is a good film and well worth watching, Recommend

Tom: 3/4

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Super Size Me (2004)

Super Size Me,2004,USA
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Cast: Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock's "Super Size Me" documents his journey of eating nothing but McDonald's 3 times a day for 30 Days, by doing this Spurlock is trying the effects that the fast food industry is having on us. The premise for this documentary is very interesting, i had heard about this film for a long time and when i finally got around to watching i couldn't help but feel that Spurlock was 100% honest with this experiment, if a vegan was to drastically change his diet i would of thought that his body would have had worse effects than what actually ends up happening. overall the film is an ok documentary, i wouldn't recommend although its interesting to hear trained professionals and the general public's views on the fast food chain and the effect it is having on them.

Tom: 2.5/4

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)

Capitalism: A Love Story,2009,USA
Director: Michael Moore
Cast: Michael Moore,Thora Birch and William Black

Michaels Moore's most recent documentary takes on Capitalism and the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans. "Capitalism" is another powerful film for Moore who like always feels very passionate about his subject manner and gives it everything he's got. I don't think this film is as mainstream as his previous documentaries such as "Bowling For Columbine" or "Fahrenheit 9/11" but its still as effective as those films, Michael Moore goes to all lengths to expose the American Banks and industries for the way the scam the American people. Topics also covered in the film also include Wall Street's "casino mentality", for-profit prisons, Goldman Sachs' influence in Washington, D.C., the poverty-level wages of many workers, the large wave of home foreclosures, corporate-owned life insurance, and the consequences of "runaway greed".Overall This a good addition to Moore's Filmography and once again proves that he is a very talented film maker, recommended

Tom: 3.5/4

The Crying Game (1992)

The Crying Game,1992,USA
Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson and Forrest Whitaker

Neil Jordan's "The Crying Game" revolves around the abduction of british soldier named Jody(Played By Forrest Whitaker) by the Irish Republican Army,Jody is lured by IRA agent Jude(Miranda Richardson) and is told he has three days before the IRA execute him,One of the members of the IRA man named Fergus(Stephen Rea)strikes a bond and become close friends with Jody over a short period of time, when the hostage situation hits disaster point, Fergus abandons the IRA to travel to London for a promise he made to Jody,Find his lover named Dil and tell her he loved her. The "Crying Game" is definitely one of the most gutsiest film of 90's i've seen.i absolutely loved all aspects of The Crying Game,from the brilliant performances to Jordan's phenomenal direction. As you would probably know there is a huge secret involved in The Crying Game, but even if you unfortunently know its secret like i accidently found out before watching the film is still such a great and worth while watch. i haven't seen Stephen Rea in much else before but he was really great here and really carried the film well, Not to mention Jaye Davidson's unforgettable performance. overall "The Crying Game" is a brilliant film, and all elements such as acting,directing,writing, cinematography and a well structured plot come together to give an unforgettable film experience.

Tom: 3.5/4

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Best In Show (2000)

Tom: 9/25/2011- Best In Show (2000) Directed By Christopher Guest (first time watch) 3.5/4

"This Is Spinal Tap"'s Christopher Guest directs an all star cast including Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Jennifer Coolidge,Parker Posey,Jane Lynch and Fred Willard in the hilarious documentary type comedy about dog enthusiasts who come together to compete in a prestigious Dog show. Strong recommend

Cube 2: Hypercube (2002)

Tom: 9/25/2011- Cube 2 : Hypercube (2002) Directed By Andrzej Sekula (first time watch) 2/4

Sequel to Cube (1997) in which a group must find the mysterious maze they have woken up In, average sequel to a far better original, not recommended

(2nd movie of tye holidays)

Solaris (2002)

Director: Steven Soderberg
Cast: George Clooney,Natasha Mcelhone and Viola Davis

Director Steven Soderbergh said about this film that " if the audience dosent enjoy the first 10 minutes of this movie, they might as well leave", I think I would have been one of these people if I saw Solaris in theaters. The film stars George Clooney as a troubled Psychologist who is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet. I didn't enjoy Solaris from the very start, the film was trying to hard to be "2001: A Space Odyssey" and to be deep and meaningful instead of the entertaining joy ride it could have been, I didn't think the two lead actors (Clooney and Natascha McElhone) were right for the film at all and although Clooney is a great actor but I didn't enjoy his performance here and I think the original choice of Daniel Day Lewis would have been better for the role, I also think Viola Davis, a great actress was under used here. Overall I really didn't enjoy Solaris with a good cast and a great director I really wish it could have been a great and enjoyable film.

Tom: 1.5/4

(1st movie of the holidays )

Friday, 23 September 2011

Red State (2011)

Red State,2011,USA
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: John Goodman,Melissa Leo and Michael Parks

With "Red State" Director Kevin Smith has completely reinvented himself. Known for his fantastic comedies such as "Clerks", "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy" has taken his first stab at the Horror genre, and although the film is very hit and miss I really enjoyed it. Set in Middle America The film revolves around 3 teenagers who receive an online invitation for sex, but encounter religious fundamentalists with a very sinister agenda.The film stars John Goodman, Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo and Michael Parks who gives the best performance of the film, as the Pastor of the religious family which is probably the most memorable part of the film. I wasn't sure how Smith would tackle the horror element of the film but i thought he did a good job providing gory death scenes and disturbing moments.the film gas it's fair share of ridiculous moments but if your enjoying it they won't bother you but if your not you'll probably leave the theater half way through. Overall being a huge fan of Kevin Smith and the horror genre I really enjoyed Red State, it a fun and entertaining independent Horror film, I recommend for fans of Smith, but probably a slight not recommend for people who aren't.

Tom: 3/4

Touching The Void (2003)

Tom :
Touching The Void,2003,USA
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Cast: Simon Yates and Joe Simpson

Kevin Macdonald's powerful BAFTA award winning documentary tells the story of two climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates who encountered a tragedy while trying to become the first men to climb the 6,344 meter Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. The Film is beautifully shot and photographed, the film is very insightful and gripping with interviews with the men involved along with re enactment from actors which gives the audience a more enthralling experience, although I didn't think the film really captured Simon Yates grueling experience and survival. I would have to liked know more about why Joe Simpson cut the rope his partner was hanging on while not fulling knowing if he was alive or not. Overall the film is a good Documentary, and a good watch, very powerful and inspirational. I would recommend this to fans of Survival stories and films like Danny Boyle's "127 Hours"

Tom's Rating : 3/4

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

John: Directed by Terry Gillman, released 1998 Fear and Loathing is taken from the book by Hunter S. Thompson, it is a very good adaptation from the book and stay's very faithful towards it.

An ill journalist and a crazy lawyer travel out through the las vegas city to find the "American dream" through their journeys they find themselves tripping out, scarying kids and parking on city sidewalks.
I haven't seen many other than this film by Terry Gillman but he thinks like a genius, Johnny Depp is a very dominant character that play's his role expetionaly well. My favorite scene would be when the two are driving through the desert, the large Samoan lawyer show's him the acid and they take it, Johnny is then told he has about 10 minutes for he starts tripping. I love the conversation that Johnny has with the receptionist.

Great movie, love the adventure and the chaos.
10/10 *****

Bowling For Columbine (2002)

Tom :
Bowling For Columbine,2002,USA
Director: Michael Moore
Cast: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston and Marilyn Manson

Michael Moores Academy Award winning documentary is in my opinion a thought provoking masterpiece, The film deals with Americas obsession with gun violence.The film has it's moments of humor along with it's touching and emotional moments, with this documentary Moore asks the question "Is America a nation of gun nuts? Or just nuts?" Moore gives his full dedication to the subject and explores it really well, the film deals with the tragedy that was "Columbine Massacre" and also the tragic grade school shooting in Moores home town of Flint Michigan. During the film Moore Has discussions with various people from all over Canada and the USA and also interviews celebrities such as Matt Stone(Creator of South Park), Marilyn Manson and Academy Award winning legendary actor and president of the NRA Charlton Heston . I found the Heston interview at the end of the film extremely confronting and I may not see Heston in the same light as I did before this film. Overall this is a terrific film that should be checked out if you have any intrests in the subject manner or a fan Michael Moores or anyone film fan or member of the public for the fact. High Recommend.

Tom : 4/4 stars

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Stanley Kubrick: The Shining

Tom: Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is usually at the top of great Horror films list alongside William Friedkin's "The Exorcist", Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", while they are some of the greatest and my favorite films of all time i dont think they have the deeper meaning or hidden secrets that are prominent in The Shining. The film has a simple plot a family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter to become caretakers while ghostly presences loom in the hotel the father goes insane and is forced to commit violent acts agianst his family. The film is brillantly directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time Stanley Kubrick, and like his early masterpieces such as 2001:A Space Oyssey the film is very detailed and mysterious. the film is full of memroable and horryfying moments and images, such as the two Grady Girls,The Blood in The Elevator and the hedge maze, which will stay with you long after the credits roll, The Film stars Jack Nicholson in one of his best and most powerful performances. The film in my opinion is the greatest film achievemnt in Psychological Horror Film History, and my favorite film of all time.

John: I loved this movie, almost every scene! The thing I love the most is the mystery that surrounds it. Every action that Jack does changes something in the movie. Danny and the little boy that lives inside his mouth honestly scares me, but at the same time brings the movie hope. Danny helplessly falls into his own mind and see's things that have happened in the past inside the Overlook hotel. I don't know what else to say. The movie stars Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrence, Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrence, Danny Llyod as Danny Torrence, Scatman Crothers as Dick Hallorann and Phillip Stone as Delbert Grady. Amazing movie, in my opinion the best horror ever!

John give's 10/10 stars *****
Tom give's 4/4 stars *****