Back in 1992, prior to Pulp Fiction, we were introduced to an exceptional film maker, who literally changed our perception on what film was, how it needed to look and how it needed to be made. There have been numerous copycats, there have been numerous failures. Even those that mimic his style will have to admit that they broke them mould when they made Quentin Tarantino. Fans and critics alike have noted his recent lack of form. Reservoir Dogs was a revelation, Pulp Fiction was a masterpiece and then things got ‘average’. Please note that whilst I use the word ‘average’, Tarantino has a whole separate scale to normal film-makers. ‘Average’ on anyone else’s scale would be ‘Golden Globe’ material. But, from what we had come to expect from him, it seemed that Pulp Fiction was the best it was ever going to get. But then… Once Upon A Time In Nazi Occupied France…
In 1978, Enzo G. Castellari, directed “ Quel maledetto treno blindato” or as it was (continue reading…)
I’m going to admit that I was looking so forward to this film, weeks before it was released. Being South African, having been at the World Cup in ’95 and having seen my country win… I guess you could say I was running on nostalgia. I saw it twice, and I’m going to say that I really enjoyed it – both times. It was filmed in and around Cape Town and I actually saw one of the scenes being filmed. Furthermore, about 6 guys I went to school with and know rather well, had supporting player roles in the movie. But, on leaving the cinema with a large group of mixed movie enthusiasts – their opinions all differed… and that got me wondering – why?
Years ago, I recall having heard that Morgan Freeman was going to play Nelson Mandela in “A Long Walk To Freedom”. I remember (continue reading…)
Wow, 4 months since my last post! Inexcusable… My sincere apologies to the 5 people who read my blog! I’m going to blame it on the fact that I’ve been very busy at work (and then went on leave), the job that actually pays for me having free time to take part in something that I love. Anyway, time to move on.
I’m going to write a review today, on a movie that I grew up on. When I say that I probably watched this film once a week, every week, for 3 years whilst growing up… I’m not kidding, maybe more.
In 1985, “Savage” Steven Holland (one of the quirkiest and creative writer/directors around), wrote and directed one of the most enjoyable teen comedies of the 80′s - Better Off Dead.
It’s the story of Lane Myers (John Cusack – one of my favourite and totally underated actors), a teen who loses his grip on life (and reality) after his world collapses when his girlfriend of 6 months (continue reading…)
In 1974, Walter Matthau (Grumpy Old Men) and Robert Shaw (JAWS) were the leads in the film adaptation of John Godey’s novel, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. It was a fantastic film. The leads were nothing short of brilliant and today it still stands alone as a classic 70′s action film. Film buffs will immediately notice the influence the film had on Quentin Tarantino’s, Reservoir Dogs in 1992. Yes, almost 20 years before, the criminals in Pelham One Two Three were using colours as names… Blue, Green, Grey and Brown… as did ’The Dogs’ – Mr. White, Mr. Brown, Mr. Pink, etc.
The basic story of the film was about a group of criminals hijacking a busy subway train (continue reading…)
I recall a few months ago, reading an article in Empire (in my opinion the finest film magazine on the planet) about the ‘Citizen Kane’ of superhero movies, which was well under-way through production with Warner Brothers, under the guidance of Zack Snyder (he of ’300′ directorial fame). I remember thinking that it was quite a statement - comparing it to the grand-daddy of cinema - Citizen Kane - which for those of you who don’t know, is considered by many as ‘the best movie ever made’. It’s on every Top 10 Movie list ever conceived, and is usually in the Top 3. Orson Welles’ 1941 film truly has stood the test of time and whilst horribly dated 68 years later… it is still a very special piece of history. Hearing Charles Foster Kane (Welles) gasp the word ‘Rosebud’ as he dies in the film, still has an impact on me. Upon reading the article and seeing images of ’cheesy’ crime fighting out-fits, coupled with never having read ‘The Watchmen’ comics, I brushed it off and made no effort to see it. That was a mistake.
It’s no Citizen Kane. Let me get that out of the way right now. It would (continue reading…)
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Day to day, life goes on – regardless. For many of us, it’s a similar (if not the same) monotonous routine that involves the alarm clock going off at the same time. You drag yourself out of bed and head for the shower. Then, brush your teeth, douse yourself in aftershave and deodorant and comb your hair. Then you grab lunch, kiss the wife and head off to the daily grind. It’s a relentless 9 hour work day, until the afternoon, when we get to sit in the traffic for 45 minutes on route to the gym, or straight home. Sit down to do admin, pay the bills, eat dinner, watch TV, scratch the dog and head to bed. Only to do the same damn thing the next day… for 5 days a week… every week… every month… every year for about 40 to 50 years of you life. Holy shit! So what’s it all about. Believe me, the person who can honestly give you that answer – is the one who doesn’t need to ask another question. The meaning of life? No clue. But where am I going with this? I’ll tell you.
Twice in the last few months, I have sat glued (continue reading…)
I don’t care what anybody else says, but Mickey Rourke is a Hollywood legend. It’s as simple as that. The man has been churning out awesome performance, after awesome performance (regardless of whether he has had a leading role or a cameo) for 30 years. His first role in a movie happened to be in Steven Spielberg’s, 1941, back in 1979… but you’re forgiven if you didn’t know that, because it’s a ’blink-and-you’ll-miss-me” part. The first film I actually remember him in was ‘Diner’ from Barry Levinson, about a group of younger guys finding their way into adult life. It also starred Steve ‘Mahoney’ Guttenberg (Police Academy), Kevin Bacon (the most under-rated actor of all-time) and Paul Reiser (Mad About You). It was a great film.
I then followed him through Rumble Fish with (continue reading…)
I must confess to having a huge love/hate relationship with Mrs. Voorhees, her son Jason and this specific day. From the time I was introduced to this film (and it’s seemingly countless sequels), by a childhood friend named Ashleigh Greene, I have always marvelled at the way Hollywood can conjure up these frightening and unstoppable movie maniacs. I love horror movies, I absolutely love them. There is something special about having the shit scared out of you for 90 minutes and then being able to switch off the TV and meander back into reality. It was something special that I wish I could have learned at a younger age. The hate part of this relationship, is the fact that I couldn’t switch my mind off and had vision of these crazy bastards diving through my bedroom window, or come crashing through my ceiling at 2am. Countless mornings through my child-hood, I found myself waking suddenly with a thump… as I raised my head at rapid speed and had it meet with the bottom of my parents bed! I only wish I had CCTV camera footage of my leopard crawling tactics (pillow in teeth and blanket wrapped over shoulder) as I made my way undetected out of my bedroom and under my folks bed. Of course, the logic behind this had been naive, as the first place Jason would have looked… was under a bed!
For me there have only ever (continue reading…)
Every so often a film comes along which I find very hard to classify. Comedies are funny. Thrillers keep you on the edge of your seat. Explosions, car chases and gun fights mean action. And, when I’m forced to watch a film during day light hours and still look over the couch every 5 minutes – I’m watching a horror film. Then there is this unclassifiable lot. A film that is so special that it doesn’t fit into a genre. And 9 times out of 10, I find the film a borderline masterpiece. It’s a film that I can 100% relate to. A film that builds characters to a point that you feel like you are standing next to them in the film. Characters you care about and want to know more about. A human piece. A film you don’t want to end.
Beautiful Girls was made (continue reading…)
I’m not quite sure how we are ever supposed to really look out for a film. Do we subconsciously work out that it’s got a good cast so it should be good? Does the title draw us to it? Do we search the net looking for new films to add to the must see list? Or, is it up to the studios to bombard us with all types of media punting the film – trailers, TV spots, radio spots, viral advertising, website links and cool posters. I don’t know. But it’s an interesting discussion to have, because it is a very important part of getting people into queues to buy tickets. Recently Michael Bay complained that the marketing campaign for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen wasn’t up to his expectations. It didn’t matter to me. I had seen the first film and was going to be the first in line to buy 20 tickets for me and my mates to the local premiere. Posters and trailers, or no posters and trailers – the 20 of us were going. It didn’t seem to matter to the rest of the world whether the campaign was good or not either – it’s closing in on the $1 Billion dollar mark world wide and is already the 9th highest domestic grossing film of all time in the US with almost $400 Million. (It only cost $300 Million to make!). We call that a successful movie. The critics tore it to shreds and over the opening weekend it didn’t get one positive review that I read. Didn’t matter, the uber-genius that is Michael Bay (one of my Top 3 greatest directors of all time) gave the fans what they wanted – and that’s all that counts. But enough about TF2 – that review will follow over the next few weeks.
The above brings me to today’s review, THE INTERNATIONAL, with (continue reading…)