DJANGO UNCHAINED

2012; written and directed by Quentin Tarantino; 165 mins

There is a moment, two thirds of the way through The Hateful Eight, when Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Major Marquis Warren, says; “Let’s slow this down. Let’s slow this waaaay down!” and in my head, I was thinking; “Please Christ – let’s not!” I’m on and off with Tarantino. When you see, read or hear any interviews with the man himself, you realise his films are him. I imagine being around him would be both great and exasperating. He seems to be a genuinely smart, giving person whose greatest love affair is with himself. Continue reading

Advertisements

RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11

1954; directed by Don Siegel; written by Richard Collins; 80 mins

Issue-tainment don’t come much pulpier than this! The passion project of producer Walter Wanger, who’d served time for armed assault and saw, first-hand, the hideous conditions that prison inmates had to endure, the film was made in a disused Folsom Prison block with real inmates and directed by industry fixture, Don Siegel. This is one of those movies, I was hooked in by the title (I think about the same time I first watched Assault on Precinct 13) and have spent the last however long trying to get my hands on a copy! Continue reading

LETHAL WEAPON 2

1989; directed by Richard Donner; Written by Jeffrey Boam, Shane Black and Warren Murphy; 114 mins

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and so this must’ve seemed par for the course back when it came out but looking at these older Hollywood crime flicks, it amazes me just how damn good they really are. This isn’t going to be a review about how everything is shit now, though. We’re going through a really great period of action films with things like The Raid, John Wick, The Bourne movies and Atomic Blonde but films like Lethal Weapon 2 do have a something that the new ones don’t. Continue reading

COP CAR

2015; directed by Jon Watts; written by Christopher Ford and Jon Watts; 84 mins

If there is a promising trend in Hollywood at all right now, it’s their newfound habit of picking up indie directors to do blockbuster fare. Much as I am not the greatest fan of superhero movies, it has to be said, they started it and other studios have followed suit. Firstly, Jon Favreau and Kenneth Branagh got picked up by Marvel to do Iron Man and Thor respectively and then, this year, Jordan Vogt-Roberts graduated from teen escapism The Kings of Summer to franchise behemoth Kong: Skull Island. Continue reading

BLACKHAT

2015; directed by Michael Mann; written by Morgan Davis Foehl; 133 mins

He’s been off the boil for a while and I need this to be good! Is it Terry Gilliam? Is it Oliver Stone? No, it’s Michael Mann: director of some great movies back in the day and rubbish ones recently. This bombed, critically and financially but for the most part… I liked it! Continue reading

SLEEPING DOGS

1977; directed by Roger Donaldson; adapted by Arthur Baysting and Ian Mune; 107 mins

Sam Neill on an island! We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Here is the movie that kicked started the entire New Zealand industry and the first to open in the US. It’s a hugely important movie and if you’re a film critic living in the country and you haven’t seen this one: that’s a crime! I have now atoned and watched and am happy to report that it’s really good! Continue reading

CARLOS

2010; directed by Olivier Assayas; adapted by Olivier Assayas, Dan Franck and Daniel Leconte; 339 mins

“The man who hijacked the world”

In a recent interview, the filmmaker and critic Alex Cox complained that critics have become “hucksters”, touting and selling films to audiences rather than being honest about a film. I agree with him up to a point but I do think that there is a slight element of whore-ishness that enters into it when you really love a film but you know it’s a tough sell. This is definitely the case with Carlos, which is one of my absolute favourite films but bear in mind that whilst – Yes! – I am selling this movie to you, I honestly love it to bits and I want to share it because it’s such an exciting movie! Continue reading