Welcome to this short post on Saturday movie recs. You may recall in the past previous posts on this topic. Of course I will try to add some flavour or variety. All of these are films I like – all of them I recommend – including films in series.
First we have the Mission Impossible series. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 are available and 7 (Dead Reckoning) is coming next year. Wish it was out now!
Resident Evil series – don’t forget the animated series movies too. Don’t forget the newest addition Welcome to Raccoon City!
Inception – I always recommend this movie if you didn’t see it already.
The Wolf of Wall Street
2001: A Space Odyssey
Prometheus / Alien / Alien v Predator
Indiana Jones / Back to the Future / Jurassic Park
Ready Player One
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Dark Knight Trilogy / Batman movies – either animated or not.
Top Gun: Maverick is from the start a complete and utter amazement of a movie. This is the man movie of the 21st century and a must see for anyone who likes planes, fighter jets, Tom Cruise, friendship and extremely actionable movie sequences involving life and death situations. Today, I had the pleasure of watching this unexpected gem of an action movie, welcome to the review!
It was rated at 97% by Rotten Tomatoes and at 78 by Metacritic.
The movie was directed by: Joseph Kosinski, and released on the 27th May 2022 in the United Kingdom. It has grossed $817.30 million dollars, and counting. Starring Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Val Kilmer and more! It is an action and drama movie. It runs at around 2 hours and 10 minutes.
“After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell (Maverick) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot.”
Ladies and gentlemen I expected a copycat rehash and reboot, what I got was an interesting, action filled and feeling movie that really surprised me. It is not dragged out at all, and is always focused on the mission. Maverick (Cruise) is pulled from his edge of the seat role as aircraft test pilot where he pushes the limit until his superior Cain (Ed Harris) comes to pull him out and send him back to… TOPGUN. Maverick is assigned the task of teaching and training the class graduates of the Top Gun programme for a near impossible mission.
Of course this comes after a rollercoaster of an opening scene, which sees Maverick push an aircraft to mach 10, speeding round the atmosphere until he burns his aircraft up and ends up in the next shot walking into a bar and asking ‘where am I?’ to which a small child at the bar looks to a burned and ash covered face of Maverick and responds ‘earth.’ There are a few funny moments, but I didn’t find all of them funny like a lot of people, but they added humour in a way that diffuses any sad scenes, so the sad scenes don’t drag out too long. This film is positive, and has strong positive themes.
Maverick is now back to the training ground, back with old ‘friends,’ until he realises that one of the Top Gun graduates is Goose’s son, whom Maverick thinks still blames him for his fathers death. Throughout the movie we see that he is still struggling with Goose’s death and a big part of the movie, is forgiveness and acceptance and moving on. Maverick returns to Ice (Val Kilmer) now ailed and unable to speak, which reflects the actors real state, as Kilmer cannot speak anymore. He confesses before the deadly mission he cannot move on from Goose’s death, he doesn’t know how to. Of course, he and Rooster (Goose’s son) do have their differences, and they do get along, but Maverick is still conscious that he won’t ever be truly forgiven, or something like that.
During the training, the action of the movie cranks up, Maverick is shown what the top secret mission is, to target a small couple of feet vent and drop bombs, after navigating a small valley laden with SAMs. Training takes its toll, pushing the aircraft to the limit, pulling many Gs, pushing the Top Gun pilots to the limit. Rooster reminds Maverick of Goose to the point he pulls the young mans application to the navy academy because his mother didn’t want him to do it. I suppose the story has strong father and son tones, so it was fitting to watch it this father day.
It is the constant action in the training and the cool aerial shots and soundtrack that keep this movie at the top of its game. Maverick is not just an excellent fighter pilot, but he knows how to make the others the best too. That was why he was chosen. For this missions, of destroying a small target, it will take the best, and he selects 6 other people to do it, along with 6 on standby. Luckily nobody dies, but the training builds up in such a way to give the impression that someone will not make it out alive. Maverick suspects Rooster is not experienced or ready, yet decides to take him. It was nice to see Tom Cruise showing emotions on screen, shedding tears in his quest to move on, and this was what made me think ‘this is not just good acting, this is great acting,’ and you can really feel the emotions of all the characters.
The team are friends, are more than just pilots, this is a team and we get to feel connected to this group. There is 1 female out of the 12 selected, but I don’t think this detracted because she was in the main mission. But we move on and the mission is ready to begin, after 3 weeks of training, and crashes and near misses and intense dog fights. The main mission begins, and I couldn’t help but feel scared for them, they were extremely brave going into it, and Maverick, Tom Cruise acting is great. I felt like Maverick had the magic and more, years of experience making him the best of the best. It is all Hollywood blockbuster action, dropping bombs, intense dog fights, exploding bases, blowing up planes, losing flares, running low on fuel, being close to dying. This film kept me both entertained and on the edge of my seat.
I honestly believed in Maverick but suspected he would die, and he does get shot down after tackling rockets alone, but, to his aid comes Rooster, not only after he crashed but still as he was trying to retreat. Maverick after being shot down by these nameless enemies (I was unsure why nationality wasn’t disclosed unless it was out of fear of stoking tensions with eastern countries) Maverick is alive but forced to take shelter from a fighter helicopter, and here comes Rooster, who blows the chopper to pieces. It is amazing how good the scenes are, and the use of explosives. But Rooster is shot down, another heart wrenching moment, but of course the positive vibes of the movie meant he was still alive, and Maverick on his trail to show his hate of the youngster risking his life.
As we approach the end of the movie, Maverick and Rooster, on foot manage to penetrate the enemy base, and I had to hold my tongue because they slipped in, stole a jet and managed to take off on like 30 feet of concrete A little unbelievable but then again, the base was in chaos, destroyed and the enemy more concerned about other things. I thought that the action had been good so far with excellent shots of jets swerving the mountains and performing incredible aerial stunts but it didn’t last too long and when they escaped I kind of wanted them to be challenged. They were, as two new generation fighters get on their tail, an awesome dog fight ensues and luckily they are rescued by the standby crew, something that I found emotional. True bravery was demonstrated in this movie, and although fiction is likely not far off what real fighter pilots do.
So the movie comes to an end, we see Maverick back in his hangar fixing his aircraft, back to his place, and we get that happy ending. A film which didn’t drag on the sad things and kept us on our seats, fully immersed. Tom Cruise did well and I mean that, along with everyone else, it had a completely different feel than the first and is the first movie I have seen in a long time where I actually enjoyed every moment. I had my assumptions about a sequel, thinking it would be rubbish, but this movie really does stand alone, and does make references to the first movie, but it is done in such a way that they are merely flashbacks which have been used in movies before which didn’t even have a first movie.
Anyone who goes to the cinema should try this movie. RATING 5/5
“The film had its world premiere at the 48th Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021, and was released in limited theatres on November 19, 2021, by A24. It has received acclaim from critics, with praise for its performances, direction, and cinematography.”
“Johnny is a radio journalist traveling the country with his producing partners, interviewing children about their lives and their thoughts on the future. While in Detroit he calls his sister Viv; they had not spoken for the past year since their mother’s death from dementia. Viv asks Johnny if he can come to Los Angeles and watch her nine-year-old son Jesse, as she has to travel to Oakland to care for her estranged husband Paul struggling with mental illness.”
A dramatic and family based movie, one with a music score, direction and more that you don’t find in many movies now. Classical music to my taste and I suppose that works well. I watched it on Amazon Prime as it is recently added. A low key movie for Joaquin Phoenix because I personally, hadn’t heard of it until yesterday.
What we have is disconnected family. Johnny is already trying to connect with children about their own experiences and expectations in life, delving into big questions, not usually the sort people ask children. Like, ‘what do you think happens after you die,’ and ‘do you think this is real.’ I suppose the thought revolution has to begin somewhere. For the most part, adults don’t bother with these ideas as they would rather live in ignorance. So, getting into the care of his nephew, which I found to be quite heartbreaking. Why? Because the kid has been having issues at home, his mother is worried about his absent father, who is taken unwell, to a treatment facility. We don’t actually get all the answers as to what is going on with his father, but we can assume it is not good.
Naturally Johnny and Jesse have their differences, as Johnny tries to connect. But it does take some time. Yet with the movie shot in black and white, and the musical score, it sort of feels like it is going for a whole take on ‘what is life’, so that we as an audience can see what it is. Dramatic yes, the child Jesse is not to keen on opening up, but despite that Johnny has only good intentions in his heart and wants to try and be a good role model. Jesse is quite the unbearable kid at times, having his tantrums, running off etc. Johnny comes to a sad realisation that he cannot take care of Jesse any longer, because he thinks he is spoiled. I found it quite difficult to watch this part. There is a lot to read between the lines. Jesse doesn’t even want to go back to his mother, understandable I guess. It leaves Johnny in the position of either keep looking after him or send him back, but he sticks with it.
They are in Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans for most of the movie, but most time is spent focused on the interaction and chat of the two. Johnny is trying to learn about children, finding Jesse to be more withholding of emotions. The way the movie is produced and delivered is slightly different too. It makes use of books, with the the title and author shown on our screen as it is being read in the movie. I found this great, because we can go find those books if we want. They are for children, but the messages in ‘starchild’ or something like that, a book read to Jesse, delivers the message that we come from nothing, and will return to nothing. I think it’s more of an existential scene because I felt Johnny was the one struggling with the idea of dying alone. That is why the ending is difficult for him. Jesse will go and because of the distance, life and other variables is unlikely to see him for some time, although the movie seems to suggest that Jesse will forget, and they might never remember the time together.
It is a dramatic movie, about emotions, family, connection, existence, and the more deep questions like why are we here, and what do we need from life? I’m sure you will appreciate that this is considerably different to Joaquin Phoenix previous movies. I enjoyed the movie, it actually had substance and morality and these deep ideas about empathy and compassion, existence which we don’t see in life that much. Movies have taken on shallow meanings, however, I thought the acting, directing, delivery, scriptwriting and music and scene selection made for an effective art piece.
Luckily there is hope for cinema, we can expect some real blockbusters to finally grace our screens. It feels like a bit of a scam having to wait for movies which were delayed, when they could have released direct to home video. That could of been Prime video, Netflix and the multitude of channels and apps available. Take No Time To Die (2021) which was delayed over 2 years. A bit of a joke.
But then again the movie industry has also gotten into the ridiculous groove of advertising movies up to 2 years before planned release, sometimes 3. Yes you read that correctly. I remember when movies were advertised about a month or to before they were due to hit cinema screens. Honestly this is so pathetic of the movie makers and companies, desperate to build interest because they know they are pumping out either remakes or reboots. I have yet to see something original from them.
Jurassic World Dominion was something I’d looked forward to for some time, yet it’s been delayed for 2 years. Come on! I finally saw a trailer which stated it is coming to cinemas in June. About time!
Oh wait, can you hear that? It’s the sound of Tom Cruises bones breaking as he shifts his wrinkled ass into the cockpit of a fighter jet for Top Gun, Maverick. Yes, he’s not only continued in Mission Impossible, but decided to engage in the Top Gun series once again. Talk about reboot and sequels from hell. What is going on? Tom, you will probably see this, please for the sake of your dignity stick with Mission Impossible. Heck I loved The Mummy (2017) after having the initial reaction in the first 5 mins that it would be rubbish, it turned out to be a great film.
Prepare for the ego trip that will be Avatar 2. And wait, we’ll have a 3rd and 4th film too in a few years. Don’t you love originality? If you didn’t know, Avatar was the highest grossing movie of all time. Followed by Avengers Endgame (not seen this) and then Titanic (who doesn’t want to see that one scene?). I was hoping to see Ghostbusters Afterlife, but didn’t have a chance to.
There is a little hope, with Lightyear. Based on Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. I am glad this is going to be a film. Expected to release in June. I watched Buzz in smaller shorter movies as a kid, but I think this will be worth it. I never watched all of Toy Story 4 as I just never went back to watch it after starting. I was happy saying goodbye after the 3rd movie.
And if you hadn’t got your fix of awful acting from Keanu Reeves, well brace for him to return in John Wick, chapter 4. As usual overhyped and coming out March 2023. What a joke. If the movie is complete, then release it. I wish people would stop paying to see this tripe.
One more which I think looked original. Ready? Bullet Train, expected to release in August! Starring sexy Brad Pitt (fight club, once upon a time in hollywood, world war z). “Five assassins aboard a fast moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common.” The most interesting looking movie! Based on the book.
What do you want to see this year? I’ve already watched The Batman in March. I honestly forgot I watched it, although I did appreciate the darker, more gothic tones than previous movies. Thinking about it, I’ve missed watching a few new movies.
After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door into a full-scale zombie apocalypse.
A horror | zombie | apocalypse | comedy | romance. Que Shaun of the Deadfemale counterpart.
Released | 2015
Run time | 1 hour 25 mins (movie is 1hr,20)
Starring | Maria Thayer & Michael Cassidy
IMDB |5.5/10 & Rotten Tomatoes | 88%
I took a chance as I saw this movie available on Prime Video. I wanted to watch it before but never had the chance. Overall, a good funny movie with some classic zombie tropes and unexpected yet hilarious twists. This is a short review!
So not your typical movie, it has the girl going after the boy, the better looking and rich boy who has a model looking ex-fiancé. After a one night stand it is the man who disregards the woman, which is somewhat expected, but she is looking for more. They are forced together after discovering what they believe are zombies.
The pair survive and the movie has good acting and dialogue. I thought it was a cheap made movie until it started. Then I realised it was actually worth it. Whoever wrote it well done, perfect chemistry between main characters. Gets somehow funnier when they arrive at his fathers house. Typical zombie fighting. She is a reporter and wants to be a news anchor.
What sets this movie apart is the realistic relationship between the couple, which develops as the movie progresses. I found it quite heartwarming, despite the humour which I found consistent. I was going to give 4 stars but am giving more because of a twist. It turns out his father was responsible for unleashing a parasite on the water supply, which cannot be transmitted through bites. The fact the movie addressed this was excellent, finally a film which acknowledges how poor a bite is at passing parasites! Anyway it is only those who drink the water who are infected.
Highlight is the easy viewing and comedy, not being over the top, dialogue being top notch and acting great. One scene involving a woman in lingerie bouncing on the bed which was mistaken for sex noises did have me red in the face. Maybe I’ve grown out of that sort of humour, although I found the reaction of the bloke downstairs hilarious (tearing a sandwich apart as he wanted to ‘bang her’ again). It’s smart and witty and not too complicated. We get the happy ever after. Touched my heart on more than one occasion because I am a big softie. Do I recommend this? Yes, I do, if you like zombie, comedy, romance or horror, then consider it. I think of this like a more feminine version of zombie movies simply because of the focus on the woman.
Never Say Never Again blasted onto screens in 1983 and we sat back and let it rot as the black sheep of the franchise. It saw a lawsuit taken to the High Court in England to prevent its production. It is the least known and most under rated Bond movie ever, and I am going to look in more depth at the movie! What a final showdown for Sean Connery.
Released – 1983
Film duration – 2hr
Genre – spy, action, adventure, thriller
IMDB – 6.1/10 & Rotten Tomatoes 70
Starring: Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max Von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Bernie Casey, Alec McCowen, Edward Fox, Rowan Atkinson.
Song – Never Say Never Again – music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman and performed by Lani Hall.
S.P.E.C.T.R.E has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find the targets before they are detonated.
A remake of the 1965 movie Thunderball (easily a top 3 Bond movie), Never Say Never Again (I won’t I promise), was one of the more mature and laid back Bond movies, but still packed a punch and left its heated mark on the world. 007 is re-activated in this movie and has to find two nuclear warheads in time. It is not made by Eon.
The movie does not have the classic shot down the barrel James Bond introduction, rather, we are introduced to the movie with a background song Never Say Never Again, music by Michel Legrand and performed by Lani Hall. It is a good song and quite memorable, and doesn’t lack a Bond feel, it is simply played out differently, without all the naked women, and instead we get to see Bond break into a complex with armed guards and fight them one by one, eventually revealing it is a training mission.
It is clear that Bond is not much liked despite saving the world multiple times, as he is sent to a health center, after being told, “too many free radicals, that’s your problem, caused by eating too much red meat, white bread, too many martinis!” Bond (Connery) seems to have taken onboard the wit that Roger Moore was employing and using the same sort of accent by responding, “then I shall cut out the white bread, sir.” In this health center or spa, we see a fight unfold, and it happens to be the best part of the movie in terms of both action and humour. I find it hilarious yet really satisfying to watch. Bond and his larger, stronger attacker make their fight way through the kitchens, hallways, bedrooms and laboratory, and we get to see the magnificence of the building itself, being luxurious. Connery has no issues with the humour and seems to revel in it, throwing a sample of his own urine at the attacker stops him, so we think. It is just a good fight sequence, and the setting is perfect. Bond has aged, we see that, but is still very self aware and doesn’t shy from a challenge. It is laid back and so is Bond.
I would argue that Connery as Bond in this movie is actually better than the previous movies. Diamonds are Forever was good, so were the others. But this new one is just laid back and relaxing, we know Bond will win, which makes it satisfying to watch, because it is a struggle for him. Of course, it is because of a man called Maximillian Largo that Bond is attacked. Largo is under the control of Blofeld from Spectre. Brandauer plays the villain extremely well, giving him charisma and ego, and that hidden maniac within that we all fear. He does not have an eye patch like in Thunderball however, and does in fact have a bit more mystery to him. There is also no shark pool in this movie, but there is a lot of sharks further into the movie. The villain doesn’t mind getting close to Bond or letting him on his ship, with his woman Domino, or for that matter even in his casino.
We are introduced in the health center to Fatima Blush (Carrera), who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as the villainess. The woman has personality, hates men, abuses them, and is crazy and works for Spectre, specifically under the orders of Largo. She stands out as strong and not to be messed with, she sort of overshadows the first part until Bond eventually blows her up after an intense bike chase scene, he does that with a screw pen which doesn’t work at first and Bond remarks that it’s “not perfected yet.” The other Bond girl is Domino, who’s air force pilot brother Largo killed. She is always dressed to expose her toned buttocks or breasts and I noticed after rewatching the movie last night, that a lot of camera work is on them. Particularly during a scene when she is being auctioned off and we get to see her bum bouncing up and down on a horse. I am not complaining though, because she acted the part well.
So Bond has been introduced to Largo. It is the scene in the casino which is a real Bond moment. But before I talk about that, Bond has explored an underwater wreck, been surrounded by sharks, and has escaped. Brief overview, but the scene is only a little important. The film includes Felix Lighter and he works quite closely with Bond in this film.
So the casino, Bond turns up, not wielding his spy glasses this time that allow him to see through clothes though, dumps a pistol in an ice bucket (don’t ask why they did this, it makes no sense) and then he proceeds to a unique game with Largo, it is memorable and defines the film. The pair has to use two joysticks to fight for control or to defend the different countries of the world, the loser is given an electric shock. As you can imagine Bond never gives up, after a series of debilitating shocks decides to challenge Largo to the world. Largo loses and it shows Bond that he is “certifiably” , which means Bond is saying that Largo is certifiably insane. I agree, the whole scene is crazy, because what sane minded person get electric shocks for money? Seems like a game designed to control peoples minds more than anything. Anyway, Bond settles for one dance with Domino, which Largo agrees to. We know Bond doesn’t usually take money, probably because he has enough or no use for it.
During the dance, he exposes Largo to Domino, saying Largo killed her brother. It is a large and luxurious ballroom, a bit like the building. This to me is a statement of Bond. He is luxurious, among the elite in this fantasy, but is a killer, a spy. For the most part he has been among the elite and has blended in well. But I couldn’t help find the dance scene slightly amusing, because Bond and Domino are the only ones dancing, and when he is talking to her, it would be impossible for the guests not to hear him due to his proximity to them.
Next memorable scene, and so far the film has demonstrated that Connery is making a final statement, he is the ultimate James Bond, 007. Nobody will ever beat him, and he knows it, or so he appears to show he is the best. It could be that it is not an official Bond movie that makes it so good. Because of the new directors and writing, it has quirks and differences which highlight it as actually being a really good spy action movie. Forget the one liner nonsense, it is passionate and true to the original concepts. The scene where he goes home (safehouse) after the casino still suited, finds his female associate dead, killed by crazy Fatima on orders of Largo. He then cracks then bike open out of site and comes shooting out of the garage. It is a great scene and you can see that later movies that used bikes, made the scenes and action look awfully similar. No Time To Die did nothing but promote the opening sequence on the motorbike, but it was Connery who was jumping over ledges, riding down stairs, and doing insane jumps decades before. The entire scene is fast paced and fantastic to watch. It made me think of a completely different movie with Sean Connery called The Rock and you can find he review here! Overall it is classic Bond, say no more.
We approach the end of the movie and all is not lost. Another sequence involving a horse, similar to The Living Daylights scenes. Bond escapes his capture using a laser watch. This movie does well in regard to using his gadgets, and using many of them. We don’t see that in other movies. He whisks Domino away from the African warlords bidders, across the ruins of the castle and into the ocean. Some versions, and I believe the television people will cut the 8 second clip of the horse falling into the water on its back, because of animal cruelty or something. I suspect the animal was not harmed. They are picked up by Felix and Bond tells that one bomb is under Washington and the other they have to find. The tears of Allah a rather bizarre name for a terrorist operation, way back in the 80s of movies too. No mention of that in the original Thunderball. But nonetheless emphasises that Largo is crazy.
Final showdown in an ancient tomb and a good old fashioned shoot out. It is Domino who shoots Largo underwater. Oh well, fate eh? I think the movie offers a lot in terms of entertainment. I find the rewatch value to be high, meaning that it never becomes boring, and it will not leave you wondering when it will end. I suggest you watch the movie. I have many times. Last night just made me realise how under rated the movie was. Most people don’t even acknowledge the efforts, classing it as a rip off. He is called James Bond 007, it has Q & M, Felix, and spy gadgets, based on Thunderball. It has a theme song. It has spectre and Blofeld. What more do you want? It is a real James Bond movie and Sean Connery’s 7th and final outing. Imagine the fan base finding out that he was returning to the role after 12 years? The title is a clear take from Connery, who remarked after Diamonds are Forever that he would never play the role again. He was in his 50s! Filmed in France, Spain, the Bahamas and Elstree Studios!
On conclusion, the film is one of the better Bond movies. Connery is appealing, talented and imaginative as 007 reprising his role for the final time. The film is full of well timed wit, excellent dialogue and character development, brilliant storylines and script, effective and exciting fight scenes and action and a good production which was a commercial success.
Sean Connery leapt onto the movie screens as James Bond in 1962 movie DR NO. From there Connery went on to become the most recognisable British agent in the world, setting a legend and undefeatable position as the ultimate spy from British MI6. Nobody would ever beat him as 007.
However, Connery made a surprise return in super awesome Diamonds are Forever (1971), appearing slightly aged as he was now in his 40s. However this was the last film Connery would appear in as James Bond. The era that started the Bond franchise, the best movies ever made, the most underrated time for the franchise which later went on to be the biggest in the world. It was huge in the 60s, and thanks to the glorious novels that Ian Fleming gave us, the books provided a solid real grounding and likeable backstory for this icon. Fleming died in 1964 and did not see the success of the series as it was turned to film. He witnessed the beginning though, and probably knew what it would become. The James Bond novels which he wrote are great and I encourage you to read them even if you have seen the movies! He wrote them at his Goldeneye Estate in Jamaica!
Wait, there was a retelling of the story Thunderball in 1983’s movie Never Say Never Again! Sean Connery, despite saying he would never return to the role, came back 12 years after Diamonds are Forever at age 52 to reprise the role he essentially helped to create. Although the movie gets a bad reputation as being a rip off of actual Bond movies, it is in fact a James Bond movie, and a good one. It is enjoyable and thrilling, and Connery does not show any signs of slowing down in it. I do prefer the original Thunderball though, simply because it is the best James Bond ever made (Top 3 at least), but I will come on to that later.
Sean was young, following a brief stint as a bodybuilder he became the ultimate spy, a womanising secret agent who smoked, drank and gambled with no remorse, and he killed people. Who was this cool, laid back, 6 ft dark haired gent with thick accent? It was every mans fantasy, or how they might see themselves. Bond was how many men wanted to be, and at a time of great changes, it is understandable that he was very popular. The 60s movies don’t come across as offensive toward women either, they do objectify women slightly, being Bond’s sex and nothing more. But, many of them are villains, play strong characters and don’t just sit in the background. I think the films are still good, and still acceptable to watch.
The first 3 movies solidified his position and it paved the way for a high standard. Actors had to be in top physical condition and all Bond actors including Daniel Craig have complained at least once about the requirements for the role. I believe actors like Pierce Brosnan jogged on moving trains for the movies, jumping carriage to carriage. Sean Connery had the edge from the beginning, being a bodybuilder. He had that physical strength and in the movies you can see the muscles on his shoulders, particularly in Dr No, when he is captured and put into the cell, wearing a white t-shirt. What came after the first 4 movies was more about the character already being well-established. It gave fans nostalgia of the previous movies, and relied not so much on the original scripting and direction as it did stunts and ‘being cool fighting’.
One scene in You Only Live Twice, when Bond flies Little Nellie, a cool little copter, is a stand out scene. Alongside the jetpack in the opening to Thunderball. Or the scene where Bond swings from a skyscraper in Diamonds are Forever using 2 thin sets of strings. What about in Goldfinger, when Bond is driving his car down the alleyway directly at an oncoming vehicle, only to crash into the wall, and we discover it was a mirror? All memorable and tense moments from a series of movies which will always be the best. I say again, Sean Connery’s movies were the best. Yes, there were other great films to come, some of which are my favourite, but the originals really are special. They are nostalgic, magical, professional and extremely well made. I cannot imagine how excited they must have felt in the 60’s going to see one of these classics at the movie theatres.
My reasoning could go on, but the main winning point being the fantastic scripting, acting, direction, music scores, drama, storytelling, humour and wit and winning production crew making the most fantastic worthwhile movies in history. No expense spared in terms of quality, which is what makes them the best. You see, a fantastic line, delivered in the perfect setting can win a scene more than shooting and action ever could. The 60s was a decade of good movies, period. James Bond being born in that decade is no coincidence. An era of genius film makers and dedicated studios, including Pinewood studios where Eon Productions filmed the movies.
Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Thunderball – to demonstrate my point it gets the full 5 stars. This is the high point for Sean Connery and the early Bond movies. You need to watch this to appreciate the scale of both the acting, script writing, direction, and overall production, being one of the best movies ever made, in film in general.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
You Only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever – not that I don’t think they are great, just to prove that the peak resulted a inevitable decrease which would continue.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
NeverSay Never Again – the rogue Bond movie of 1983, and aged Connery but nonetheless a gripping retelling of Thunderball. What a hidden gem, and having the original Bond return for the role must have been a brilliant surprise.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
We said goodbye to a 90 year old Connery in 2020, but his legacy lived on for many years. He went on to star in so many famous movies after James Bond that to think he played the original is a little surreal. I really am grateful that I have had the joy of his movies since I was a child. Without him as Bond it would not be the same. I don’t want to discredit other actors playing the role, as they all brought unique qualities to the position. For me, Timothy Dalton was brilliant and so was Pierce Brosnan, both for the same reasons, their movies were high tech, multiple gadget action movies which had such thrilling action. I rate The Living Daylights and Goldeneye in my top 10.
It is time to end this post here. Thank you for reading. Which Bond actor is your favourite? Which Sean Connery movie was your favourite? Which Bond movie is your favourite? What do you get nostalgic about?
I watched The Batman last night. Got into the cinema and sat down by 7pm. Film started 20 minutes later after a couple adverts, not many. The film ran from that time to about 10:10pm! So, from the beginning of this review, you should know the new Warner Bros. DC movie The Batman is long and it is dark and there is actually more to this than first meets thee eye.
I will highlight firstly that this seems and appears to be a direct continuation of the franchise in that Batman is established and he is not going through any type of renewal. This is a key word in the movie, renewal. He refers to himself at the start of the movie as vengeance. He is also called vengeance throughout by others.
The movie uses a gothic castle as his home! Finally. This is brilliant. The overall aesthetic of the movie is dark and gothic it is brilliant. The architecture being used it old as opposed to new or modern. Even the subway system looks outdated.
It starts with Batman revealing how he operates, how criminals are afraid when they know he may be out in the night, how he fights but cannot tackle every problem. Understandable. Robert Pattinson is also a good look for Batman. He wears black eye makeup a lot of the time, even with the suit on. He is tall and slim. Muscle isn’t really there in one of the scenes where he exposes his torso. I don’t know if anyone else has an issue with this but the suit in the film does give the impression his quite strong and muscularly, although with the suit you can still see that slimness. But he knows how to fight, he uses those skills effectively, being able to take on 5 or 6 fearlessly.
We go to a murder, specifically in this big mansion. It leads us onto the topic of the movie. Why was he killed, who did it and why? We soon learn at the crime scene that there is more to this. It appears there is a card addressed to the batman in which is a riddle. That’s right. The Riddler is back at his sick games. Batman, coupled with commissioner Gordon, is trying to track him down all the while dealing with an elusive and mysterious woman who dresses in black at night, and has lots of cats – catwoman? We never get that information but clearly, she is. Who recalls Halle Berry in that awful 2004 movie? What about Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992 Batman Returns? Zoe Kravitz is now catwoman. And, we get to see the workings of some dark club in which a lot of police, corrupt DA’s have been hanging out.
The club forefront man, is none less than the Penguin. (This movie should have done more with him). But the Penguin, although known, is on the backburner. Played by an unrecognisable Colin Farrell. The club is a mafia run joint. It’s basically a long journey from this point of trying to figure out who the Riddler is couple with trying to expose the corrupt cops. All the while Alfred is hospitalised after an attack and more.
But in terms of character we can see that stories of the past and particularly Bruce Waynes parents death has crept back into the fold, supposedly being some sort of trigger for renewal. I should also mention that at the beginning of the movie, a group of thugs has the face paint of joker. Although it doesn’t have any attention drawn to it, when looking at the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, it is significant. Even more so when comparing with the death of Bruce Waynes parents. You see movie makers, Warner Brothers and writers should all be familiar with previous films stories. In Joker it is suggested that Thomas Wayne is the Jokers father, and the Jokers uprising is responsible for the death of Bruce Waynes parents. In this film, the Batman, it is suggested that the mafia boss or the Riddler is responsible. At the end of the movie, we see the Joker in Arkham Asylum, so we know throughout the movie that his far reaching affects are still taking place because of the Joker impersonators. This supposed disregard to what the Joker did in the previous movies makes me wonder why they ignored it.
It is all about detective and chase work. The Batmobile makes and appearance as a loud and obnoxious vehicle with huge engine and flaming turbine on the back. It’s small but not quite fast enough. It comes in good use when Batman suspects the Penguin of being an elusive rat with wings that the Riddler is hunting. It is downplayed but the movie operates at a level of genuine sophistication and Batman genuineness. It is true to the character. He is not perfect, he is still not supported 100% by Gotham police department aside from commissioner Gordon. He is still the Dark Knight, just in a more reclusive way. Bruce Wayne is in the negative spotlight throughout as the city want blood for the billionaires corrupt dealings.
This battle is lost and Batman cannot figure out the Riddler’s last clue until it is too late. The city is in jeopardy. It is a laboured love but the movie shows and demonstrates that key element which makes us all love Batman to begin with. He gives the city hope and is a light of positivity. Although the Riddler wasn’t quite as eccentric as Jim Carrey in 1995s Batman Forever, he is still a bad guy and its fun to watch the pursuit.
The run time does seem excessive. It could have been cut down considerably, which I suspect is what already happened. Maybe they could have given us 2 hours 30 minutes? Seems reasonable to say at least 20 minutes of combined footage is not needed, a city shot here or there, or the sound of engines revving.
Congratulations to Robert Pattinson for doing a decent job of making Batman dark, strong and genuinely a force to be reckoned with. Acting is superb. The dark theme, overall gothic tones and a huge amount of visual close up fighting, with little special effects. It is so difficult to rate though.
I thought I had reviewed this classic action movie from the 90s! I am now reviewing it!
Where the heck do I begin with another all time favourite of mine. I absolutely love The Rock, along with Face/Off and Con Air! All 90s action movies starring Nicolas Cage. I recently re-watched them all as they have all just been added to Amazon Prime! $%@& me!
“Hugely improbable and hugely entertaining action thriller about a mild-mannered scientist (Nicolas Cage) and a hardened ex-con (Sean Connery) who join Navy SEALs in an attempt to retake Alcatraz from terrorists.”
Run time: 2 hours 16 minutes (finished about 2 hours 5 minutes)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris
A blockbuster movie set in the heart of San Francisco on the infamous ex prison island Alcatraz.The Rock is one of the most well known movies to be set on this island, and the movie and the plot, the acting, action scenes and generally overall theme including music, lighting, tension and drama are enough to make this one of the greatest movies of all time. The other movie set on Alcatraz which I really find amazing is the Clint Eastwood movieEscape from Alcatraz. (https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/alcatraz-escape).
Let us begin. We are introduce immediately to a rogue unit of military men who are seemingly breaking into a secure facility and stealing some potent vx poison gas rockets. They are doing this so that they can get some type of compensation for the fallen men of the military who have gone without a proper military burial and whose families have been left with nothing. This is quite true and unfortunately is still happening, the sad reality is that many courageous men, women and young people are giving their lives for their countries and are being disgraced by a government who won’t acknowledge them. This film takes that to the extreme, although cases of rogue soldiers and hostage situations are real and are happening as we speak.
Enter Stanley Goodspeed (an FBI chemical weapons specialist with a love of the Beatles and other classic music, note a reference to Elton John’s Rocket Man later on toward the end of the movie). He has been prepping for this moment throughout his career, and is thrust from the lab to the frontline by the FBI and the USA government to assist a cutting edge marine core unit who are assigned with entering Alcatraz, and disabling the vx poison gas rockets. Little does he know that the FBI is also seeking the help of John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), an ex Alcatraz inmate who previously escaped and knows the ins and outs of the island and is therefore the best person to assist the team. Mason has a history of being trained by British intelligence and knows a shed load of state secrets, and was held without trial for most of his life until he gave up intelligence that he had.
Goodspeed (God Speed) is soon getting acquainted with Mason in San Francisco as he is being lied to in order to assist the FBI. All the while Frank Hummel is leading the rogue soldiers on Alcatraz with Tom Baxter and giving the government 17 hours to pay up. Mason is cleaned up in a nice hotel and I must say this is the start of one hell of a big action sequence involving a car chase. Mason escapes said hotel after distracting the FBI agents by ordering room service (LOL) and is soon hijacking a Hummer and flooring it across that all so famous San Francisco landscape. Stanley Goodspeed, out of some kind of responsibility to do the right thing, and being aware of the serious threat from Alcatraz and the poison, is soon pursuing Mason in a yellow Ferrari. It’s literally all down hill and carnage and mayhem ensue as the FBI and police are in hot pursuit. They can’t exactly arrest Mason since they requested his help in the first place!
Mason ends up evading the law for a brief while to visit his daughter. Goodspeed however is still following and informs them of the location. I guess we can imagine how hard Mason had it being locked up away from his daughter for years, and Goodspeed does the honorable thing when the law turns up and tells Mason’s daugther that he is assisting with an important FBI matter. It’s got the humour in this movie that I love, as soon as Mason’s daughter has gone, Goodspeed is soon grilling Mason on his pain from the car chase.
It’s time for the team to start moving into Alcatraz. Informed of the mission. Mason soon learns Goodspeed is in fact a chemical weapons expert and remarks that he was lying about being a field agent, and that he shouldn’t get them fucking killed. Good writing. It’s an underwater start to enter the island. With an ex con to guide the team and Goodspeed to assist, things go wrong fairly quick. The rogue militants on the island have booby trapped every entrance and after triggering a sphere alarm system, whist trying to enter the bathroom/shower room of the island, the elite navy seal team are now at the mercy of the mercenaries. It’s a brutal massacre of every member of the team except Mason and Goodspeed, and from that point on, there is a cat and mouse pursuit and Hummel knows of their presence, yet cannot find them.
It is only when Mason tries to leave that Goodspeed is forced to explain the situation to Mason. Disappointed with the news and fearful for his daughter, Mason, maybe out of a some sort of moral righteousness, decides to stay and help. Given that it is over 2km back to shore, realistically how could he get back without being caught? Things are tense, things are dark and wet and the duo, although chalk and cheese, do make a good team. Acting is great and the pair have a chemistry that I found echoed that in Cages other movies like Con Air and Face/Off. It is not often that such pairings are found in modern movies, save for The Fast and the Furious. Although The Rock in an action movie, it is I believe about working together and forming friends for the greater good. So although they may not like each other, and this is evident to an extent, the two have to work together to defeat a threat greater than themselves. Without this cooperation, neither could survive.
Although the marines are determined to kill the innocent citizens of the city and are holding 81 hostages, they have a plan, and they expect that plan to be executed. So, when Mason and Goodspeed interrupt this plan, it starts to reveal cracks in General Hummels moral mindset. Mason understands that such a man would not kill the innocent, but Goodspeed is unsure. The marines themselves have doubts. Soon the pair are killing off the marines, derailing the plan and having an awesome shoot out in some old mine in the belly of Alcatraz. The vx gas rockets guidance chips are being destroyed and Hummel, short on time, is pressure to fire. He decides to launch, and at the last moment stops the rocket confirming that Mason was right about him. This leaves one rocket left, and plenty of crazy marines. It is also the time when Mason and Goodspeed witness the general being killed by his men as they attempt to overthrow him.
Left with no choice, the remaining marines are determined to launch the final rocket and our duo heroes are still battling to stop the rocket. Unfortunately due to the previous vx poison gas rocket launch, the president has now authorised a bombing strike on the island. Cage is fighting to disarm the rocket and counting down to the moment the jets are dropping bomb on him, it is pure anxiety. We want the hero to succeed and we want the world to be safer.
Cage disarms the rocket, and is blown into the water, Mason saves him. This is our ending, an unlikely pair who happen to save 81 hostages, after what seems to be a massive glorious action movie. All of this takes place within an hour in movie time, yet it feels like more, this is clever movie making. The crammed action does not give you chance for breath. There is not a dull moment. A bittersweet ending sees Mason leave and Goodspeed off with his wife and future child.
We all love that sort of feeling. A story worth telling, a movie worth watching, a feeling worth having.
This film made my childhood along with other Cage action classics. You have to watch this if you haven’t.
“Obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice, FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tracks down Troy, who has boarded a plane in Los Angeles. After the plane crashes and Troy is severely injured, possibly dead, Archer undergoes surgery to remove his face and replace it with Troy’s. As Archer tries to use his disguise to elicit information about a bomb from Troy’s brother, Troy awakes from a coma and forces the doctor who performed the surgery to give him Archer’s face.”
Ranking 7.2 on IMDB and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes!
Face/Off, one of Nicolas Cage biggest 90s movies. They magical days of Cages career in a 90s decade which saw him in blockbusters movies like Con Air, The Rock, Face/Off, Snake Eyes, 8mm, Kiss of Death, Leaving Las Vegas and City of Angels among others.
Run time : 2 hours 18 mins
Director: John Woo
Genre : Action
Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Travolta
This is one of the greatest movies ever made, one of my all time favourites and one of Nicolas Cage and John Travolta best movies. It has all the material for a blockbuster action film, including guns fights, fist fights, terrorism, gangsters, crazy protagonists and more than enough likeable characters.
The highlight of this movie is the acting, really superb, surpassing many movies that either actor did after the year 2000. The movie starts with deluded terrorist Castor Troy being apprehended by FBI agent Sean Archer after many years of pursuing him following the murder of Archers son. It has all seemingly been settled, until they discover a bomb will go off and the FBI induct Archer into a top secret program to remove his face and replace it with Castor Troy who is currently in a coma, or so they think. After receiving Troys face, Archer is brought to a secret prison, where inmates are forced to wear metallic magnetic boots which they cannot take off. It is a sadistic prison and Archer, wearing Castors face, has to not only blend in but convince others he is who he says he is, including the terrorists brother, who has doubts.
Not long after extracting the information on the bombs location, Archer is ready to be removed from the prison, however, Troy has escaped, and killed the only people who know about the operation. This is also one of the points I did not understand, surely more than 2 people would know about this, but it addsto the tension and the fear. When Archer is visited in prison by Troy, wearing Archers face, both him and the audience will feel their hearts drop. I know I did, because it really is quite a scary moment in movie history, and the worst part is that these sorts of things are possible.
But this is where the magic happens, as Archer is breaking down, and Castor is reveling in his new found FBI career and new found wife and daughter, we see an incredible transformation in acting and I really believe they studied each other well. As Troy is living with Archers family, the first time I watched this movie, and still to this day, I was surprised that he did not hurt the wife or daugther, physically or sexually. I think it shows a different part of the bad guy, and also shows up how crazy he really is. He even tells the FBI where the bomb is to become an American hero, and free his brother at the same time.
I suppose it can be a little confusing when talking about it, but when you watch it I cannot imagine anyone struggling to understand, although when I first watched it I found it slightly difficult to grasp that they were the opposite person because again, the scenes, acting and storyline were convincing.
Of course, what would a 90s action movie be without action. It has plenty of guns fights, plenty of antagonist and protagonist chases and plenty of tensions. Soon, Archer has escaped the prison and brings the fight to the city where he encounters some of Troys well known friends. He also discovers that Troy has a girlfriend of sorts and a son. See, Archer is a FBI agent who caught this major criminal, and he still retains that goodness throughout as he doesn’t actually kill anyone, tries not to, by shooting to the side and maybe disarming. This is important as it shows a clear difference between the real Troy and Archer, yet, nobody knows, and this is blending. He has successfully blended with the criminal world and convinced them that he is still that bad guy. Back to Troys son, Archer does in a sense lie to the mother by saying that he will keep the son safe. This is sort of true, but if he really was Castor Troy it would be lies. At the end of the movie, Archer takes in the son, seemingly to replace his own deceased son Mike.
Before the finale, we have this tens church scene with Troy and Archer. It leads to a gun fight, and a boat chase. One of the most memorable and brilliant endings in any movie, up there with The Rock. It also kept me on edge, as Archer has now convinced his wife, but not his daughter, that he is wearing the bad guys face. This naturally leads to the FBI coming in, with this information and helping, at the end once Archer shoots Troy with a spear. A gruesome death.
I feel like the ending is bittersweet and I never want the movie to end. But of course it does, and it just always feels like a massive action adventure with enough heart and goodness that one can enjoy for many years.
I watched this on Amazon Prime the other day as it was recently added. I had not seen it for years so when it popped up I thought, that is a paid movie or a mistake. They never have movies like this on streaming, probably because it is actually good.
I recommend this movie to anyone who likes action, Nicolas cage or just good 90s movies.