Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My Halloween MOVIES - ORPHAN

This film really bothered me - isn't that what a scary film should do? This film is so spooky and sinister, all the more so because of the great parts the kids play. From the main character Esther and her scheming, to the mute daughter Max, who is so cute but yet so convincing, to the son who is also great. It the kids that make this good instead of so much mediocre in this genre.

The adults are slightly less great - the father in particular is a little wooden, but it doesn't distract from the horror / psychological drama. I really enjoyed the bond that first develops with Esther and her new family and then dramatically unravels into something desperate, sad but terrifying.

Definitely a good one for the spookiness of Halloween, I give this 6 1/2 out of ten.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

My MOVIE REVIEW - HIDE AWAY

Not a film to watch if you are troubled or feeling low as this really is a thought provoking journey from despair into solitude crossing into depression territory. It made me think of Leaving Las Vegas.

Josh Lucas plays the lead character, but far from the usual suave flamboyant roles he usually plays here he is humble, and full of remorse and regret. If you can imagine what it would feel like to have been the cause of the death of a loved one, then this film will tug at you. Pivotal is the way Lucas looks like the man he is playing - every inch the imploded ego. 

This film is a slow burner, and does seem long, but compared to much less worthy comparisons, i still reckon this is great. A bit more background to the lead and a little more of the future he builds would make this amazing. So all in all, i give this a 6 out of 10. 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

My Halloween MOVIE REVIEWS - SLEEPY HOLLOW

This is one of my all time favourite spooky films. Not horror, just spooky. Its a supernatural tale, set against a stunningly eerie backdrop of intertwined trees, mist and gloom. Its based the old legend of Sleepy Hollow and the story weaves its way through a small town where virtually everyone has a connection.

The story begins with a beheading at the hands of the headless horseman, played by the always frightful Christopher Walken! Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane brings the perfect nerdy yet steadfast element to this olde world sinister tale. The developing emotional contact when Crane meets Katrina Van Tassel beings some depth, and makes you care where the axe may fall next.

Michael Gambon and Miranda Richardson bring integrity to the tale, as they play Baltus Van Tassel and deceiptful Lady Van Tassel.  What I love most about this film is the visual dark beauty - now the norm with a Tim Burton flick, but mostly I love the way the tale twists and turns to its quite shocking ending.

This is a great one for Halloween spookiness without preventing you from sleeping! I give this a ghoulish 7 our of 10.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

MOVIE REVIEW - COMPULSION

Intriguing film this and I was not sure what to expect. The trailer was Heather Graham wearing a lovely fitted kind of 1950's style dress - the filming done in a very colourful stylistic manner. So I gave it a go. Graham is superb and portrays her character with flare and charisma, but clearly as someone who is slowly deteriorating as her Obsessive Compulsion to buy love through food takes full hold. Her clothes are stunning and she plays the role well. One part in particular reminds me of a classic scene in the War of the Roses where Kathleen Turner purrs "woof" to Michael Douglas implying the dog is the dinner. Not so subtle here!!

Enter Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity from Matrix) as equally disturbed neighbour of Graham. Dressed as a frumpy has been you would barely expect the relationship that develops between the 2 main characters as they find a bond within their obsessions. Graham fearful of rejection attempts to feed her neighbour to bring her out of herself. Moss somehow allows this, although the connection is not fully explored and does leave you pondering somewhat.

Kevin Dillon and Joe Mategna provide good support, and the ending is Hitchcock-esque and you are left to imagine. Not the greatest script as the story has some holes, but in terms of visual appeal it doesn't disappoint. Heather Graham has a figure that men will lust for and women will want to emulate. I personally want the wardrobe she has in this film!!! All in all, worth a watch but not a classic. I give this 5 out of 10 purely for Graham's and the visual glamour.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

My MOVIEW REVIEWS - Consenting Adults

Well what a hidden gem this turned out to be. It came out in 1992 but for whatever reason I missed this one. The write up seemed interesting so I gave it a go. Kevin Spacey is superb here. Funny at first, then turning sinister - a role he plays to perfection. Kevin Kline as the straight guy - no humour - again  an inspired casting. The tale starts off as one of middle America suburbia, with hints of wife swapping, but nothing out of the ordinary. But events take an unexpected turn and the tale quickly unravels into something dark and disturbing. The age of this film doesnt really affect the watching, except for the odd reminder of life before we all had mobile or cell phones as they say in the states. Well worth a watch if you havent seen it before, and well worth a re-watch if you have. I give this a 7 1/2 out of 10.

Monday, 21 October 2013

My Halloween MOVIE REVIEWS - SALEM's LOT

This is a classic and packed full of scares and jumpy bits. Mr Barlow is the ultimate scare but the Glicks tap tapping on the window is the single most scary scene ever. Not so much while watching but you just wait until the next time a branch taps on your bedroom window in the night! Vampires and gothic horror at its best. This is another one penned by Stephen King and is a great adaptation of the book. James Mason plays the sinister Straker, partner of Mr Barlow. Their spooky home The Marston House sets the perfect tone for this spooky tale. For Halloween spookiness this takes some beating as even with the age of this film - 1979 - it's still one of my favourites. 9 1/2 out of ten.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

My MOVIE REVIEWS - FLIGHT

I watched this not really knowing what to expect. I thought it was going to be another disaster movie. It starts that way but quickly becomes all about one of the pilots played by the always excellent Denzel Washington. As pilot he manages to avoid over 100 passengers being killed by dramatically rolling the plane in free fall. However there are a small number of fatalities and the ensuing investigation is one of the most fascinating I have watched. Don Cheadle and John Goodman are also brilliant and overall this is a great gritty film. It isn't spoiled by a predictable Hollywood ending. I give this 9 out of 10. It's that good.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

My Halloween MOVIE REVIEWS - DRAG ME TO HELL

Quite a new film - 2009, which for horror genre can often mean that effects and gore overtake the story. Not here. This is genuinely scary and will have you jump in your seat! The main character, Christine is a brilliant choice and is convincing as someone being driven to despair to avoid the curse laid upon her. Not your usual horror film as it has a really good story and doesn't deviate with over the top effects. Its just scary and actually that's what horror is supposed to be in my opinion! Packed with spooky stuff - old gypsy, demons and curses you cant go far wrong if you want a good scare. I give this an 8 out of 10. Well worth a watch and the ending is totally unexpected!!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Pinot Grigio - the perfect wine! CHEERS!

Well its been a week and a half this week!! Ups, downs, mainly downs - frustrations, stress and anxiety. Pinot Grigio is a lovely wine to sip at and just goes down like bliss with it being such  a light new wine. My favourite at present is Ogio, but surprisingly the cheapest bottle at Aldi is actually a lot better than some of the £15-£20 per bottle types i have tried in the past!!! I would recommend it and it is only £3.79!!! Cant grumble at that and given what a week it has been, I will be having more than a glass! CHEERS!!!

MOVIE REVIEW - Jack Reacher

So I watched this with a little caution given the fuss that has been made over Tom Cruise playing the part when the books depicted someone with an entirely different physique. That said, as I am not an aficionado of said books it was perhaps more easy for me to just enjoy the superior storyline without the cloud over the main lead. Cruise is convincingly without guilt here and whilst we all know is somewhat shorter than many Hollywood hard men is very good at playing the part of the trained killer/tough guy. The lead female is quite wooden however, Rosamund Pike is not known for her thespian attributes and is badly cast here.

That said, it doesnt distract from the pace and flow of this gritty thriller and in my humble opinion is one of the better book to film adaptations. Well worth a watch - the sinister creepy bad guy is great, the story is great, all bar Pike the casting is great and Cruise is to be honest at his best in this. 8 1/2 out of 10 i give this.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

My Halloween MOVIEW REVIEWs - JEEPERS CREEPERS

This is one of my favourite scary films. It's makes you jump, is tense, creepy and a great watch for Halloween! Just enough ghoulish factor to appeal to horror fans but with a bit of tongue in cheek dialogue that keeps it pacy and entertaining. Justin Long is convincing as a teenage dufus, with his sister being the smart one. Throw in long American roads and creepy locations - the abandoned church with its gruesome decoration and you have the making of a classic. Released in 2001 this hasnt dated at all and is still great. Even after you know the twists and turns when that old song cranks up "Jeepers, Creepers, where'd you get those peepers" you cant help but want to run - or at least hide behind a cushion!! I give this a 7 1/2 out of 10.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

My Halloween MOVIEW REVIEWs - CARRIE

So its approaching Halloween. I've decided to start reviewing my most scary movies beginning with this classic Stephen King adaptation. I remember watching this for the first time, and though it's clearly an old film - 1976 can you believe, the scares still shock. The portrayal by Sissy Spacek of a young girl - Carrie - growing up with no-one to tell her about life as a woman is so convincing. You feel the emotions with her, and its painful at times and despite knowing all is not going to end well you cant help rooting for a different outcome for her. A young John Travolta here is not the hero of the piece. They say revenge is sweet. There is nothing sweet about the revenge played out here. Well worth a watch this October - rarely do books adapt to screen as well as here. Be prepared to jump!! 9 out of 10 for this one.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Classic Movie - Sleeping With the Enemy

A rare day off work today and I chanced upon this classic film - Sleeping With the Enemy. Dating back to 1991 you might expect this to have dated. The clothes have for sure, but the story line is as gripping and scary as ever. Julia Roberts strays from her rom com mainstay roles for something meatier here. A very well acted, very believable tale of the downtrodden wife reaching breaking point. I wont ruin the ending in the chance that this one has passed you by, but for those that saw this film before, take a watch - you will be pleasantly surprised by just how good this film still is. I would give this an 8 1/2 out of 10.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Stephen King - The Dome - my review so far

So I am a Stephen King fan and have read the huge tome that is Under the Dome. I began watching this serialised version with great excitement. This has waned somewhat as its become evident that the series does not stay true to the book. that said, its well worth a watch and is still an intriguing tale. Time will tell if it strays too far to be true to the story.

Movie Review - Alex Cross

I watched Alex Cross this evening. No big names in it - at least none that i was aware of. Sometimes thats a negative, but in this instance it was refreshing. The film was more palatable as a result of not trying to work out what the actors had been in, or shaded with after tones of other roles. The bad guy was a truly bad guy - convincingly devoid of guilt. the good guy was a little too stereo-typical, but the tragedy that befell him soon put an end to the clean cut go by the rules persona. The side kick was excellent. All in all, a slick rollercoaster of a thriller, with a good plot. Well worth a watch. I would give it a good 7 out of 10.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

This day I love.......: Review : Personal Planner

This day I love.......: Review : Personal Planner: October is a busy month for me, but a good one.   I have started a new job.  Its full time and I really love it, but I do need to be or...

ARGO

ARGO - I just watched this although its been out for a few months. It takes a bit of getting into, but my god it's an amazing story. So far fetched and yet its based on a true story. Ben Affleck is not my favourite - to me he has always been a little too clean cut all american, but in this, he is humble, he is believable. Well worth a watch - inspiring.