READY OR NOT 01/12/19
THE IRISHMAN 30/11/29
Not many people can get involved in a 3 and a half hour movie and get away with it but Scorcese is definitely the man who can. This traditional style gangster film really does sit well within the genre alongside other classics such as the godfather/goodfellas. The story of the infamous Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and his involvement with Jimmy Hoffa, and HIS involvement with the Mafia, is told in a classy style and it looks as good as it talks. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, to name but a few of the people you will recognise from many a gangster classic, star in this and each bring their reputations with them. It really has some impeccable performances and the story itself being an entertaining take on the real story is one that had me searching pages of wikipedia to find out how much was true. All in all it's not going to suddenly over take the godfather as being the number one in this category but it is a brilliant epic well worth the running time, 8 hits out of 10.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD 23/11/19
Sometimes you see a trailer, you see who’s involved and you can’t imagine watching said film feeling disappointed but sadly I report that this particular Tarantino effort left me feeling slightly exhausted at the end!
It’s not a complete disaster, the last half hour or so peaked my interest more than any of the film as it tells a different outcome story to the Manson family murders, yet for a 2 and a half hour film, half an hour of decent film simply isnt good enough for a director of this stature! And the performances deserved much, much more. Leonardo Di caprio is actually very good in this film but is lost around a mad cap mix of nonsense in the first act! Tarantino has, it appears, seemed to celebrate different styles and ages of film to tell the story, a commendable approach but too often that makes his film and his story completely disjointed! The music is also typically Tarantino and though good choices can be found I don’t feel there is that iconic Tarantino moment which really carries one to the heights of say Chuck Berry in 'Pulp Fiction' or Steelers Wheel in '...dogs'!
I’m a big fan of Tarantino’s early efforts but sadly I feel more and more that he is struggling to emulate the same sort of cinema magic once served up! There are good sprinkles of humour in this film, and Brad and Leo do a decent enough job to elevate what was otherwise a lot of faffing about in the first half! Sadly a lot of scenes just seem thrown in with no real purpose and it’s only the scenes involving the main plot, scenes with connotations to the Manson family, that have any interesting features and, as previously stated, the final sequence of the film. As we get to the murders, but not quite how we know it, is brilliant Tarantino action and gore but it just comes too late! I felt every minute of the 2 and a half hours and I definitely do not feel the reward for it! I know there will be those out there arguing against my points here, honestly, I knows it's harsh to mark it up against former glories, but this is so far and away from Tarantino's brilliant best and I was simply left thinking; once upon a time this director had so much more to offer! A disappointing 5 Quentins out 10
FIVE FEET APART - 19/11/19
Five feet apart : Just reading the synopsis of this one was enough to trigger emotion, the story of two teens in hospital with cystic fybrosis, suffering not only their illness but the inability to come within 6 feet of each other for fear that they could make their illnesses lethally worse! But when two of the patients, Stella and Will start falling in love that 6 feet gap becomes something far harder than they could imagine. They steal a foot back hence the title of the film and embark on a dangerous romance which could kill them both, much to the dismay of the nurses around them! The two leads are wonderfully played by two great young performers, Haley lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse bring their romance alive and make you really feel the ups and downs of their relationship and illness! You would have to be made of stone not to be moved by this story and is definitely one to be filed in the “need a good cry” category! But through the tears you will also be humbled and warmed by this one! 8 mansize tissues out of 10
KLAUS - 18/11/19
Klaus himself is the superb JK Simmons whose rich voice carries the perfect tone for the role but perhaps my favourite voice of all is one of my favourite comics, Norm Macdonald, playing a ferryman! The humour is fantastic, the story sublime and I genuinely think it will be the big kids like you and I who will enjoy this new Christmas classic just as much as the kids whom we use as an excuse to watch this year in year out! This is one guaranteed to get you into Christmas spirit and it’s got me really excited to watch my favourite Xmas film, bring on those cartoon dinosaurs! An amazing 9 Jingle bells out of 10
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN - 12/11/19
I usually hate films where animals talk, mainly when the lips don’t move right and are terribly out of sync! So this film teetered on the edge for me before viewing as I debated whether I could stomach a talking dog voiced by Kevin Costner! But the ratings looked decent so I persevered through my usual cynicism and I have to say I found a lovely little story at the end of it! It’s the life story of a dog called Enzo and, brilliantly, his mouth did not move like he was talking, instead the voice was merely his inner doggy monologue! Jackpot for me! His owner is a racing car driver struggling to make a break through in his career and the story basically details how Enzo copes with his owner falling in love and having a child! It sounds shit doesn’t it?! But the film does takes a turn for the emotional and, though I won’t spoil any plot points, all I can say is there will not be a dry eye in the house by the end! The acting was decent enough to carry the story along and the dog was boss, so all is left for you to do is heed my words, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the emotional ride! 7 woofs out of 10
THE NIGHTINGALE - 08/11/19
This one ain’t for the faint hearted at all, it starts off brutal and stays pretty brutal, not in gore but just in uncomfortable scenes and content! Usually a rape scene is enough to make you feel uncomfortable, but add to that a baby death at the same time, and you kind of realise it’s going to be a film you might not want when lazing round on a Sunday!
Challenging, it is, but rewarding because it’s actually a great story with some stunning acting. The villain of the piece certainly seems a rising star, fresh from playing Oswald Mosely in the BBC hit peaky blinders, Sam Claflin plays a british army captain controlling a territory in Australia in 1825. His performance is gripping, he plays being a complete shit to perfection. The hero of the film is without doubt Aisling Franciosi who plays a young Irish girl; her husband murdered, her baby murdered and herself raped by the vile british army members, she seeks out on a revenge mission and seeks help from aboriginal tracker Billy, excellently performed Baykali Ganambarr. The two share a tense but engaging relationship upon their travels as they seek the redemptions of their awful pasts!
As previously stated this film can be hard watching in certain scenes but it is without doubt one of their more gripping tales I have seen this year! 7 bad British tits out of 10.
THE KING - 05/11/19
For fans of Shakespeare or medieval England monarchs, this film is definitely for you! It's a dramatised account of the history of Henry V and based around the plays of old willy! I have never been a massive Shakespeare buff but I have to confess, anything slightly biographical which features old shit is right up my auld street!
This not only boasts a pretty decent storyline, which I assume is at least fairly factual. It also actually looks amazing, the costumes and locations take you right into medieval England and France and a particular highlight is when we are whisked away into a superb battle scene, the famous battle of Agincourt! Perhaps what carries this film best though is the performance of a young Henry V played sublimely by the rising star Timothy Chalamet who was excellent throughout! His performance is helped by a good support and that makes this film just a little bit better than your bang average historic films! I know these will never be everyone’s cup of Yorkshire tea! But allow it to peak your interest and you will be well rewarded with a king of a movie , 7 crowns out of 10
THE WATCHMEN - 28/10/19
This was the most interesting rewatch in recent history for me. I saw this in the cinema when it came out back in 2008, I hadn't read the comic, but knew there was a hype around this movie. I thought the trailers looked great and the crowd I went with were very excited. However, I remember leaving the cinema feeling disappointed, there was a lot going on, too much happening, and it just felt like something was 'missing'. I even remember arguing that it should have been made into a trilogy, to be met with people saying "A comic book film trilogy? Are you mad?" And thus never, ever watched it again.
Even though I have since read the comic, I thought before beginning to watch the new TV series, I'd go back and watch this film, maybe something may click with me since my last viewing 11 years ago, and wow. The three hour uncut Snyder special filled in a LOT of gaps that the cinema showing left me with. It's gorgeous, ambitious, unrelenting and brutally as true and honest to the comic as it could have been (the ending is obviously exempt from that comment), and gives me a whole lot more respect for Snyder.
Yet it doesn't change my stance on his DCEU work. I know people say the uncut MoS is better and people demand 'the Snyder cut', but those films didn't do anything for me 'in here' *taps chest*. Watchmen did. It tickled my bollocks ten years ago but never got me to blow my nerd load because I felt something for the pieces on show but didn't know what "The Watchmen" was. Now I have finally seen the full painting, I'm a very happy man, with a big ol' smile on my face, not too unlike the Comedian's badge.
8 out of 10 - JB
JOHN WICK + JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 - 09/06/19 + 30/06/19
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