Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Child’s Play (2019) NO SPOILERS

Posted: June 25, 2019 in Movies
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When I found out Hollywood was remaking Child’s Play my first thought was why? It’s not like the franchise was dormant for years. Cult of Chucky (Child’s Play 7) is barely two years old!

Also, not sure if you know this or not, there’s a television series on the way. Said series picks up after the events of the Cult of Chucky and is set to debut next year.

My next dreaded thought was whether this remake would cause production on the TV show to come to a halt. The answer is no. So what’s the deal?

Put simply the original studio who put the very first movie out in the late 1980’s still owns the rights to everything related to said movie. It’s a recognisable brand. Brands sell tickets. So here we have 2019’s version of Child’s Play and results are good.

The plot of Child’s Play is the same as the one you remember. Andy, a young kid, is gifted a Buddi doll, from his mum. In the remake the doll is a A.I. device that hooks up all the tech in your house to the cloud and pretty much runs the show. Like an Amazon Alexa thing but with legs. The doll is constantly learning from its environment and the information it processes from the cloud. Making matters worse is how the doll has imprinted on Andy. As far it is concerned Andy is his BEST friend in the whole wide world. Nobody is going to come between him, once again going by the name of Chucky, and Andy. Did I mention Chucky has had all his safety barriers turned off? Well oh shit. Yea. He has. Things start out fun and then turn dark and deadly real fast.

Here’s what I liked about this new take on a classic. First of all the A.I. angle is boss. It’s fitting for the age we live in. Everyone is connected to the internet or cloud or whatever the hell these days. More and more humanity is getting too comfortable giving over control of our everyday life to machines. The film has some dark fun with that notion of A.I. going crazy and helps to give it an identity all its own.

Next up are the characters and the excellent cast. Gabriel Bateman (Andy) is brilliant. He’s not your typical movie kid and his awesome performance sells the whole thing. Usually kid leads in horror don’t really work out that well but that’s not the case here. The same can be said of his buddies who he teams up with as the film goes along. The movie, thanks to the likeable young cast, has a Stranger Things/Loser’s Club vibe and I liked that about it. Legion’s Aubrey Plaza takes on the role of Andy’s mum and she’s so good. Not your typical horror movie ‘mum’. She’s not the perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination but that make her come across as more relateable. Brian Tyree Henry (FX’s Atlanta) is another solid addition to the cast. His cop with a heart is one of the more layered characters in the film and he’s great in the role. Like, so, aren’t we sick of the same old perfect lead characters in these kind of films? With zero character flaws? I am. The fact the people behind the movie put the work into crafting real and (most important) likeable characters goes a long way. I appreciate that sort of shit.

It can’t have been easy for Mark Hamill to take on the now legend making role of Chucky but he does it justice. Easily putting his own mark on the iconic slasher killer doll. In fact, I’m just going to come out and say, the relationship between Andy and Chucky in this version of Child’s Play works way better than in the original film. In this film you get that these two are real friends to start out with.  See ’cause Andy begins the film as a loner and he only has Chucky to hang out with when his mum’s not about. When the shit hits the fan (and wow does it!) and the bodies start piling up it’s a bit sad when Chucky doesn’t even realise what he’s been doing is seen as wrong.

One key scene in the film plays into that idea in a great way and it’s a boss little horror Easter egg for fans of the genre.

On directing duties is one Lars Klevberg. I’ll be honest, I had NO idea who he was. All I knew about this guy was his other feature, Polaroid, had been shot and was sitting on a shelf in some studio. So I was aware of him in that regard but there was nothing to see, movie wise, to see what this guy’s style was all about.

Let me tell you this. He’s good. Klevberg knows his stuff and does a good job directing here. So much that if he’s not back for a sequel I’d be disappointed. The mood, the pace and the look of the film just fit the vibe of this franchise. Least I felt like it did.

I can’t finish up without mentioning the score, composed by The Walking Dead’s Bear McCreary, which uses actual toy instruments. It is boss. Oh and for the hardcore horror nuts wondering yes the film is gory. I was surprised it was full of blood. I assumed this whole film would be some cheap cash grab PG13 crap but I am happy to say it’s anything but. Any negatives? Nope. Not really. There’s this one death I didn’t care for, ’cause I liked that character, but ya know when you got a killer doll running around people are going to end up that way, as in proper dead ya know what I mean?

If you like the original Child’s Play flicks then give this remake a shot. It’s not too bad at all. In fact it’s rather good.

 

We’ve been down the disappointing Terminator sequel route time and time again post the classic T2: Judgement Day. So much so that when I saw the mixed reaction to the recent Terminator: Dark Fate trailer I got it. I could see where fans were coming from but I do not share their fear. The reason I don’t is because I trust the talent behind this film. Tim Miller (Deadpool) directs and he’s boss. Deadpool, forget about it being a great comic book movie, is a lean and brilliantly directed action movie.

Miller’s razor sharp focus on action and character is a great match for a franchise like Terminator. Then there’s Jim Cameron back on story duty, having had a hand in coming up with the film’s main narrative and being the most hands on with the development of the film since his original movies.  Yet it is Linda Hamilton who is the main draw here for many fans and rightly so. The folks behind Dark Fate know this too. Sarah Connor is front and centre on the film’s poster (Arnie is nowhere in sight) and the trailer focuses a lot on the fact that Sarah is back and kicking cyborg ass.

The footage looks good. Yea some of the effects look a bit …not awesome but so what? The film’s still a while away and they have time to work on some CGI and word is the film will will use a lot of practical effects. So let’s see how it all plays out first in regards to all that. The reason why the original Terminator has lasted the test of time is not a big secret. It’s due to the fact the film knows what it is and is made well. It’s a chase movie mixed up with a series of action beats and there’s no fat whatsoever on the flick. Miller knows this and that’s what his film, Cameron going as far to call this the true sequel to his two legacy movies, looks to be.

Sure, Dark Fate probably won’t reinvent the wheel but what it could do is offer a kick arse Terminator movie, which isn’t bogged down by a needlessly complicated plot and reminds fans why they fell in love with this world in the first place. 

I like this trailer and I have a good feeling about this movie. I hope you do too. We don’t have long to wait. Terminator: Dark Fate hits screens this November.

 

 

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Last October Blumhouse Productions Halloween exceeded expectations at the box office with a tremendous opening and went on to make some serious bank. A sequel was a no brainer and so we’re getting one.

According to sources close to the film (major props to Collider for getting the scoop on this too) the new film is set to start shooting this fall and will release Halloween 2020.

The survivors from last years movie are expected to return but according to Collider no deals with the talent have been set yet. That kind of stuff is pretty normal though and I’d wager the core cast will be back. More so when you consider everyone looked to have a great time making the last movie and all involved seem to be on really good terms. I just can’t see anyone throwing a wrench into contract stuff.

Last night Jason Blum, he who is the grand master of Blumhouse, downplayed the news in a playful tweet. Whether that’s down to the fact the news broke earlier then he would have liked or if there’s more to it we’ll have to wait and see but Collider, the whole team over there, are usually pretty on point with their inside info. So big thanks to them for breaking the story.

My take on this news is guarded excitement. SPOILERS from now on until the end of this paragraph. Last years Halloween felt like a tight cap to the series. The whole point of the retcon was to bring back Curtis as Laurie Strode in order to have her front and centre once more. If they plan on bringing her back yet again history would suggest she probably won’ make it until the end of the film. Which leads me to ask what the point was of changing everything around and bringing her back? Then again…I guess it will all come down to her arc and how it is executed. I don’t want to see her go down like in Resurrection know what I mean? Surely nobody wants that?

David Gordon Green and Danny McBride are said to be back in directing and writing duties once again. That’s a great boost in confidence in my eyes because Green nor McBride need this sequel so the fact both are seemingly excited to be back and have come up with the story bodes well.

The untitled Halloween movie should hit cinema screens October next year.

Please read the text below before viewing the trailer ‘ta.

Happy Death Day was a greats surprise. I dismissed it when I saw the trailer last year. Missed it at the cinema, shame too ’cause I’d heard how good it was. Finally saw it early this year and I loved it. Defo a film I plan to pick up and add to my collection. Now here we are a little over a year after the first film hit theatres and we have a trailer for the sequel Happy Death Day 2U! What a title!

Now I was conflicted on if I should post the trailer for the sequel or not because it spoils a lot of the first film. Hence the spoiler warning in the headline. I hate spoilers and would hate to be the reason for any viewer having a film ruined. That said I must say I can not imagine why anyone would be checking out a trailer for a direct sequel to a film they haven’t seen. So I’m going ahead and putting it up.

On to the footage and wow. Happy Death Day2U looks bonkers. This looks like it takes the time travel elements from the first film and goes even further with them. I have no idea how the sequel will play out and I love that. I hope the film retains its heart and humour. Despite the killing and screaming in the first film you finish it with a smile on your face and feeling good. I can’t see any reason why they’d change the tone up with this sequel and go super dark.

Pretty much the whole cast and creative team behind the scenes return for Happy Death Day 2U. Look for it in cinemas on Valentine’s Day 2019. Not long to go.

 

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Big news broke yesterday. After months of rumours it has now been confirmed that a new Candyman movie is on the way.

Get Out writer/director Jordan Peele is co-producing the latest instalment in the series. Nia DaCosta is set to direct. I have no idea who she is but hopefully she delivers the goods. According to the IMDB her debut feature is titled Little Woods. So far that movie doesn’t appear to have a U.K. release date.

First of all YES to a new Candyman film. Hold your horses there too folks because according to Peele and the studio this is NOT a remake.

I repeat NOT a remake.

No this new entry is being called a spiritual sequel to the original. So in other words it’s a sequel I guess? Who cares. What’s most vital is the film is good. Peele is big fan of Candyman and states it had a big impact on him. That makes me feel like this project will be handled with care.

You’ve all seen the original Candyman surely? It’s a horror classic. Like a for real classic. Should you say his name into a mirror five times the Candyman, with his hook for a hand, will appear behind you and GUT you! It’s horrible! Such a scary film.

Just how close will the new movie stick to the ending of the original film? Can we expect to see returning cast/characters? Or will a new generation step up and tell their own tale? What is confirmed is the new movie will see a return to the setting of the original.

I love Candyman. Talk about a film you can re-watch again and again. It only gets better. I’ve never seen the sequels. There are two. Saw a bit of the second one but they just don’t compare to the first film.

Filming starts early next year and the film should be out sometime in 2020.

 

Pet Sematary II

Posted: November 26, 2018 in Movies
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Don’t count Pet Sematary II out. Sure, you might not have been aware of its existence but hear me out. This 1992 sequel to the late eighties movie has enough going on to warrant a place in the marvelous realm of horror.

The first film is famously based on the novel of the same name from horror lit king Stephen King. You burry your own. That is the motto of the world King created. The novel shines a light on how individuals handle death when it strikes closest to home. The Native American burial site of the book and the films offers those who seek it out the chance to burry their loved ones and then have them return. Problem is that in the case of the first film, very much the case in this sequel, dead is better and less fatal.

Mary Lambert, director of the first film, is back to helm this sequel. There’s a connective tissue tone wise between the two films due to that. The sequel goes one step further in the case of the gore and the crazy and has a good dose of dark humour that I can see fans of the first film being annoyed about. I didn’t mind that. When it comes to the main hook though the plot of the sequel is just like what came before. People (and pets) die – more than in the first film – and they come back evil and full of murder.

Young me loved this film. I rented it a lot. Probably due to the shock of just seeing it there on the shelf in the video store and seeing that Eddie Furlong was in it! I was obsessed with T2: Judgement Day and obviously Furlong is awesome in that film. I thought he was so cool. He’s great in Judgement Day and he’s good here too. His character, Jeff Matthews, losses his mother during the opening of the sequel. The fear of loosing a parent is legit terrifying and the film explores such a massive loss from Jeff’s point of view. That is a smart move because when the shit hits the fan and the dead start to rise you can understand a pair of teenage boys making stupid choices WAY more than a guy in his mid to late thirties. Running alongside the main plot is one which follows Jeff’s buddy Drew (Jason McGuire) and his pretty bad situation at home with his nasty stepdad Gus (a great Clancy Brown). Gus is a horror.  You get some shades of Stand By Me in the form of Jeff and Drew’s friendship and their interaction with the town bullies too.

Simply put – I am just going to say it  – I think there’s a lot more going on in Pet Sematary II than in the first film. Not to say I think it’s a better movie but it most certainly warrants a place beside the original. Cool touches throughout help this case.

For example the first flick had one hell of a cliffhanger ending. You get some clarity on what went down afterwards in this film. There’s a hammer horror feel here too. The characters are well written and brought to life by a good cast while the horror factor is brought up higher. Add to all of that some harsh gore and you got yourself a strong sequel.

Once the dead start to rise the effects are more in your face and aggressive. An un-dead dog is more of a threat than a cat right? The creature effects on both the animals and the humans are great. Don’t think the film pulls its punches either just ’cause it is more outlandish. The sequel is just as unforgiving in regards to who lives and who dies as the first flick. Once the film moves into the third act you can’t tell who is still on the side of good and who has lost their mind.

If you look this film up online you’ll see it has a less favourable reputation than its predecessor. That’s a shame ’cause I think folks may skip this based on that. If you like the first film or the book I think you’d have a decent time with Pet Sematary II. On a surface horror movie level there is enough in here to suggest at least an October night watch. I may like it more than some but I think opinions on Pet Sematary II are coming around to seeing it may be better than some initial reactions to the film had folk believe. I’d recommend the sequel to any horror fan.

 

 

 

The Lion King gets a teaser trailer!

Posted: November 23, 2018 in Movies
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What a nice surprise to wake up and find out Disney has released the first look at their – sort of live action – remake of The Lion King.

The film is directed by Jon Favreau who directed The Jungle Book remake a few years ago. I keep going to write “live action” but these aren’t live action films. Or they’re a combination of really impressive CGI and live action. I don’t know. I don’t care either really because just like The Jungle Book this film looks excellent.

Did you see The Jungle Book? I hope you did because it’s brilliant and I think it’s even better than the original animated classic. I don’t think Favreau’s The Lion King will be able to top the original for me but that’s down to the fact it’s one of my all time fave films.

Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner and James Earl Jones all lend their vocal talents to the film, which opens in the UK next July.

 

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Recently I had the pleasure of watching Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Sit down. I had never seen this classic until a few weeks ago. To add insult to that travesty I had no idea it was directed by one of my fave writer/directors John Hughes. Can you believe it? The film hit U.K. screens in 1988 and obviously I was aware of it being a much loved comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy but it just did not appeal to me. Part of me now thinks, now that I have seen it, I didn’t deserve to because of my “meh” ‘tude towards it over the years. I am sorry. This film is great.

Martin stars as Neal Page. He’s a wound up business man who is trying to get from New York to Chicago so he can spend Thanksgiving with him family. All he has to do is make sure he catches his flight in order to be back home by nine that evening. Giving him and his family plenty of time to get ready for the big holiday and relax. Everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Mostly down to a mix of Page’s crappy attitude and the arrival into his life of traveling salesman Del Griffith, played by the great John Candy. Griffith is in the same boat as Page. So together they set out to get back to their families whichever way they can.

So yeah for those of you who have seen this film you’ll know what I mean when I say I was not expecting that gut punch during the third act of the film. It takes the film from a fun and well made holiday comedy into a whole new level. That’s the magic of John Hughes and his writing. He is able to nail the emotional depths of characters while at the same time delivering really well done comedy flicks. There are a ton of laugh out loud moments in this movie. Not because what is happening is so over the top but because the situations the characters are in are relatable. As one issue with transport after another smacks our leads across the head we can see ourselves mirriored in Page’s frustration at these obstacles or on the flip in Griffith’s optimism. Steve Martin and John Candy both putting in excellent performences.

A lot of the comedy and the conflict in the film comes from how Page and Griffith are very different. Both have different outlooks on life and this contrast is the cause of some great scenes. We all know someone who is probably too laid back and also someone else who gets wound up to quickly over crap they have no control over. Putting two folks like that together and keeping them together makes for a great movie. Will they get home to their families? Will they become friends or will they end up driving one another crazy?

Planes, Trains & Automobiles is a brilliant holiday movie and is right up there with Home Alone and Gremlins are required autumn holiday viewing. The movie is one of John Hughes best too. I am just sad it took me so long to check it out.

 

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After the third film in the series took a creative detour the producers behind Halloween decided to bring back The Shape aka Michael Myers and return the franchise back to its slasher roots. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, bowing in 1988 to audiences, was a hit. A big reason for that was the producers of the film were able to get Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael’s nemesis and former doctor, to return to hunt down the serial killer once more. Choosing not to return were John Carpenter, Debra Hill and original final girl of the first two movies Jamie Lee Curtis.

First things first. It’s a shame neither Carpenter nor Hill, the original creatives behind Halloween, didn’t come back. They could have too. At one point during the pre-production stages of Halloween 4 Carpenter delivered a treatment, or at least worked on one, to the producers of the film. Creatively neither Carpenter nor the producers could come to an agreement on the direction of Halloween 4 and the later opted to go with a new writer and the film followed a more standard 80’s slasher route. I would love to see Carpenter’s original treatment. It’s not out there. I’ve looked. Rumours state it took a more supernatural approach to The Shape. Wouldn’t that have been somthing?

The Return of Michael Myers picks up ten years after the events of Halloween II. During that time we learn Laurie Strode has passed away but before she did she had a daughter! Jamie, her kid, is now living with a foster family and so the movie can exist she is now the target of Michael Myers. There’s really not much going on in the overall plot. Since the second film in the franchise it’s had this whole “He keeps going after his relatives angle” as the driving force behind the sequels. Like Myers main goal was to wipe out his bloodline and whoever happens to get in the way of him doing that. Thankfully this sequel works, for the most part, due to some decent characters, the return of Loomis and a strong final act.

Danielle Harris who plays Jamie Lloyd and Ellie Cornell who plays her foster sister Rachel make for two strong leads. Remember there was no Laurie Strode this time so it fell on these two new characters to connect with the fans and drive the franchise fowards. The two actors are really good and you know personally speaking I would have followed those two through several sequels. Early in the film it’s set up that Rachel is a bit resentful towards Jamie and the baggage she brings into her family but as the film goes along Rachel really steps up when she finally understands it is pretty much just herself standing in the way of Jamie and Michael Myers. It goes without saying that Donald Pleasence is brilliant and lets be honest he probably didn’t need to do this sequel but he came back and not only that he came back to work and it shows in his performence. Beau Starr as the town sheriff makes a good impact along with decent support from Sasha Jenson and Kathleen Kinmont.

Halloween 4 doesn’t have the same cinematic clout as Carpenter’s classic. There are times the film, the actual look of the film, shows its lower budget. In the way some of the scenes are shot it feels, well, it just doesn’t look as cool as the original. Not to say director Dwight H. Little doesn’t deliver a decent sequel. The opening titles are boss and really do a good job of setting the tone of the film. What’s weird about ’em is how they open the movie against these spooky looking farm land back drops and then none of those actual locations are used in the rest of the film. Missed opportunity if you ask me. The last act of Halloween 4, from the rooftop chase to the shocking final scene, is one of the best in the series. So by no means am I saying Halloween 4 is bad because I don’t think it is and I feel like Little brought in a decent sequel that could have been way worse. It defo falls on the stronger side of the sequel fence when it comes to this franchise.

I’ve seen some fans moaning about the new film and how it takes away the relavence of additions to the franchise like this one but that’s not the case. Halloween 4 isn’t going anywhere and hasn’t been erased or made pointless. To be quite blunt it’s own direct sequel did, arguably, more damgae than the 2018 movie. The same thing happend with Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection, the later undoing a lot of the good stuff H20 had accomplished. Sometimes this saga can be its own worse enemy. Halloween 4 is one of the good ones.

 

Toy Story 4 teaser trailer

Posted: November 14, 2018 in Movies
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Toy Story 4 is real and is happening in case you forgot. I kind of did.

It feels like this sequel has been coming for a long time, with a few stops and starts during it’s pre-production. I believe the original plot for this was actually thrown out and the whole film was re-worked. Hopefully for the better.

This teaser trailer, which was a nice surprise, gives away very little. We do get introduced to a new toy who will be joining the already much adored cast of characters. There’s another teaser trailer out there which introduces another two toys who are new to the series too. If you wanna go and check that out.

Do I not sound very enthusiastic about this film? I am. I love this series.

Here it is, I think Toy Story 3 was a perfect cap to the first three films and those characters, is a fourth film pushing it? You can bet there will be a Toy Story 5 if this makes big bucks. Which it will. I get it though. This is a mega franchise with a really passionate fan base. Millions and millions of fans all over the world will be delighted with this and I am too, sort of.

If the film is excellent then great. Keep ’em coming, just part of me feels like quit while you’re ahead know what I mean? I don’t think the plot sounds that good either. Something about a road trip I believe. Whatever. I hope it’s awesome.

We’ll find out next summer when Toy Story 4 hits cinemas and hopefully get a better idea about the sequel with a more telling trailer down the line.