Saturday Movie Recs

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

James Bond

2001: A Space Odyssey

Prometheus / Alien / Alien v Predator

Indiana Jones / Back to the Future / Jurassic Park

Avatar

Ready Player One

Doctor Sleep

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Dark Knight Trilogy / Batman movies – either animated or not.

The House of Sand and Fog – Movie Review!

A 2003 American psychological drama starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly.

“Abandoned by her husband, recovering drug addict Kathy Nicolo, living alone in a small house near the San Francisco Bay Area, ignores eviction notices erroneously sent to her for nonpayment of business taxes. Assuming the misunderstanding was cleared up, she is surprised when Sheriff’s Deputy Lester Burdon arrives to forcibly evict her. Telling Kathy that her home is to be auctioned off, Lester feels sympathy for her, helps her move out, and advises her to seek legal assistance to regain her house.”

That is when Kingsley moves his family into the home after a lawful purchase and Kathy is intent on going back to regain her home. What appears a simple feud soon take a dark turn as the family is treated with hostility. Although they are a good family and have done nothing wrong. It highlights the perception people have of immigrants and how they are treated differently than those born in a country. From work, to home ownership they are looked down upon.

Since the feud seems to be growing, in a relatively small and tight plot, it does open big doors to much potential. But the narrative take a narrow turn and focuses entirely on the negative, the miserable and in the end everyone suffers and leaves you wondering just who suffered the most or if Kathy was indeed in the wrong… personally at the end of the movie I saw her as the one who had done wrong.

I think the acting is superb. And this little gem popped up on Amazon Prime and I’ve left it for a while because it looked cheap, but was good. Granted that in some places the plot was a little bizarre and the direction skewed and awkward but it added to the reality of the movie scenes. Lighting and quality was good, and so was the set pieces of the house.

It is also rated a 15 but in my honest opinion the themes are so strong and at times sickening that I really don’t recommend anyone under 18 to watch this. There are scenes of a violent nature, sexual scenes, self harm and more which are not for under 18 – so please consider raising the age movie critics.

Well this is short because to talk about the movie in depth would ruin it. It’s an adult psychological drama and I would argue borderline horror. It was interesting to watch this movie adaption which I took a chance on. Unfortunately it was a one time viewing and a such I deduct a star;

3 1/2 stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Batman: Movie Review!

IMDB – 8.5

Rotten Tomatoes – 85%

Total run time – 2 hours 56 minutes!

Release date – UK 4th March

Director: Matt Reeves


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.

RATING: 4.5/5

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Anna and the Apocalypse! Movie Review

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6433880/

A cracking zombie comedy apocalypse musical! Among the funnier zombie movies over the last 20 years. Up there with the likes of Shaun of the Dead! Great British musical, with talented cast and effective cinematography. You want to watch this in the festive season, it puts you right in the mood.

Young British schoolgirl. Anna. A group of friends. A high school party. A zombie invasion. The music starts and you get singing. Really not what I expected. I was really glad that someone had the initiative to make a zombie musical, because it really works well. British cast make this even more special. Helps to make it feel like Christmas. I would also say it is similar to the video game Dead Rising 4, set during the holidays at the Willamette mall.

What this movie seems to pull off so well is the essence or theme and feel of close friends battling for their lives. I really enjoyed the scene at the bowling alley because it has an awesome set piece, with great lighting and just the right amount of comedy and singing to make it mega fun. Rated at 15, this movie is probably okay for children. Maybe I was an outcast, but when I watched Shaun of the Dead on its release I was not 15. The ratings board will always be there to protect the children from something that they see regularly on gaming consoles because their parents bought them it, or on billboards or in the street. Movies are the last thing to affect children. Anyway, 15 is more of a marker of a target audience.

What will a zombie comedy be without poor use of weapons and a bunch of egoist teens? Probably boring. The film had a run time of 1 hour 30 mins approx.

Not much else to say other than it is not too late to watch this movie. Watch it in April.

Forgot to add the rating! 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

20 Year Anniversary of Movies!

In 2001, the world was graced with some of the most unforgettable movies of all time. I remember the year well. Multiple world wide catastrophes were abound, unfortunately including the incident in New York. But movies can help you forget the pain and misery of life…

2021 is the 20 year anniversary of some real gems in movie and film. I believe the wizard has a great list for you! I hope you enjoy getting nostalgic. So much has happened in 20 years. I remember those days like they were yesterday, fading away, time to move on.

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  3. Shrek
  4. Monsters Inc
  5. The Royal Tenenbaums
  6. The Fast and the Furious
  7. Bridget Jones Diary
  8. Planet of the Apes
  9. Tomb Raider
  10. Artificial Intelligence
  11. Spy Kids!
  12. Rat Race
  13. Zoolander
  14. Jurassic Park III
  15. Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Some real great movies here. Of course I included kids films. Harry Potter is at the top because I was so excited to see this and when I did it blew me away. It is also a rather long film for kid at 2 hours 40 mins I believe! Also hard to believe the first Fast and Furious movie was out. Who would have thought back then, that it would be the biggest, most profitable movie franchise in movie history competing only with the superhero craze of Marvel and DC comics.

I’m aware that more movies existed at the time, but I can’t list them all you know! On a side note, Spy Kids was pretty groundbreaking and fun, one of the more enjoyable movies for children. Rat Race got a mention because it’s the sort of movie you could watch anytime and many times. I don’t think any of the films are boring. Again, talking about the success of the franchises, Planet of the Apes went on to develop into a trilogy a few years later concluding in 2017 with War of the Planet of the Apes.

Keep your eyes on my feed, as I’ll be posting more Christmas movies recommendations again soon! I also have to confess that the wizard is struggling with sleep currently. Peace.

Christmas Guide to Movies

I am starting to let myself become excited now about Christmas. When the Manchester Christmas markets started to go up at the beginning of November, I was rather annoyed as the populace seemingly missed Halloween.

I remember the days when we all entered in the lockdown last March. How things have changed since then. People have gone and the world seemingly spins unbothered, but society is a very different place and now peoples lives are dominated by digital engagement….hmm, doesn’t sound right.

I am only recommending a few movies, as the list of actual Christmas movies is extremely long. I am only mentioning big blockbuster movies rather than b movies or anything with production value under one hundred million dollars. I won’t be watching any until the 1st December, that is a solid promise from this English gent. A rich gent. The order also does not dictate that the movie is better than the others.

  1. Home Alone

The most loved Christmas movie of all time… I think. Home Alone 2 recaptures the magic of the first movie and is probably the better film overall! All of them are great films for the family. So no worrying about Krampus!

2. Muppets Christmas Carol

Strange movies. The 2011 Muppets movie was great! A little old though.

3. Krampus

A horror Christmas movie! It is quite enjoyable!

4. Anna and the Apocalypse

If you thought zombie movies couldn’t get any more bizarre then think again. A Christmas musical not for the faint of heart!

5. Bad Santa

Brilliant, number 2 carries on the legacy of this old foolish alcoholic well. A real tribute to the alcohol consumed in the festive season.

6. The Polar Express

Probably my favourite on the list and I haven’t seen for many years. When this movie was released it was all the hype due to the special effects on live animation.

7. A Wonderful Life

Not a completed list without this movie about a man who is shown what life would have been like without him. It’s fantasy in case you wondered, mix in drama.

8. Elf

Not to keen on this although it is one of the most popular movies ever made regardless of the fact it is based around Christmas.

9. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

I think I have watched this every Christmas. Nothing beats Chevy Chase!

10. Trading Places

Based around Christmas time, this movie has an important message about money. Ultimately life is not about money, but you knew that didn’t you?

11. The Grinch

Great for kids, great for old people, great for me! I really enjoyed the movie as a child but dare not ruin that as an adult. Based on the book!

12. Gremlins

Yes, it’s a Christmas movie, and yes, they eat people.

13. Jingle all the way

Arnold sure looked like he was gonna pop when his cookies were being eaten, and apparently he told someone off camera that he wasn’t acting.

Joker: Movie Review

The Warner Bros Trailer for Joker

=SPOILERS

Highly anticipated and received to mixed reviews, Joker.

Released 2019 with a run time of 2 hours 2 minutes. Released 4th October 2019 UK. Directed by Todd Phillips. Gross Revenue of $1.074 billion.

Winner of 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globe Awards and 3 British Academy Film Awards.

8.5 IMBD 68% Rotten Tomatoes

I watched Joker with my friend the Monday just passed. It was quite an insight into the mind of a psychopath, the Joker.

Acted and played out brilliantly by capable Joaquin Phoenix, and well supported, including by legend Robert De Niro. A somewhat slow paced crime thriller, bordering psychological thriller. The film certainly delivers the elements of a serial killer movie developing through emotional distress and being shunned by society.

I kept watching to see whether we would learn anything interesting about the Joker or his background. The only things we learn are that he had a crazy mother and that he’s magically middle aged whilst Bruce Wayne is a child? Come on, that is a major inconsistency….making Joker a pensioner in the Batman films….which he clearly was not, especially in The Dark Knight when portrayed by Heath Ledger.

He has a maniacal laugh, later suggested is not a medical condition, which I suspected, but is a part of his psychopathy. Treated badly as a child, raised and ignored and made a laughing stock of on national tv by his presenter hero De Niro. Of course, this sets in motion a series of events that unintentionally lead the Joker to creating a massive clown masked revolution without really doing much at all. Started by the killing of three men in suits in the subways. Small ideas are thrown into the public eye and they eat it up quick enough, quick to cause carnage…a great and accurate representation of the world today.

As a literal clown for a job, he is invited on a tv show to showcase some of his work. He has it all planned out, after committing a series of murders on former work colleagues. The whole time we can see his mental health deteriorate as he slowly loses his grip on reality. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, as he has had a terribly abusive past and was lied to and humiliated consistently from start to finish. I am not surprised he did what he did. That might be why critics were riled and mixed reviews/poor reviews about promoting violence came through.

The finale sees him on the show where he brutally murders, by shooting the tv host. His actions come after a rant about his previous murders of the suits. Here we see some movie magic but also a dangerous film mechanic. Suggesting that the societal mentally sick are somewhat righteous to go and kill the wealthier is absurd. When Joker shoots the host, of course that is the start of the riots and mass criminal activity. Thousands called on by this self entitlement that the Joker seems to display throughout.

An okay film, with brief but not overly detailed insight into the Jokers mind. Due to the themes and suggestive nature of the film and the violence associated with this, I have deducted half a star for the final rating.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3 and a half stars. Not too bad, worth a watch, very controversial content surrounding mental health and the poor rich divide. Good luck watching this.

Sherlock Holmes – Movie Review

Spoilers.

An awesome movie, watchable multiple times, late at night, a feel good comedy, mystery and thriller.

Run time: 2 hours 8 mins.

Director: Guy Ritchie. Budget: $90million

26 December 2009.

7.6 on IMBD & 69% Rotten Tomatoes

Starring Robert Downey Junior as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. This modern film adaption and reboot was exactly what the series needed. Well acted, perfectly filmed, directed and plotted and led smoothly from this film to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Our protagonist Holmes (Robert Downey Junior, Iron man), with sidekick Watson (Jude Law, The Talented Mr Ripley) are first sighted together at the opening of the film and we are thrust into this occultish sacrifice in the opening scene with Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong, Kingsmen) apparently leading some sort of dark art murder.

It doesn’t take long for them to detain him but the mystery and the film really pick up when Holmes and Watson learn that Lord Blackwood has escaped from the grave, supposedly risen. They are drawn into the world of the Order, a secret society that condemns Lord Blackwood as evil and capable of great dark, black magic.

We are learning and seeing the characters develop during this time, and the parts are acted superbly. Holmes with his ingenious detective skills is soon luring Watson down a deep dark investigative path. The action, drama and thrills are tightly paced, and yet keep you longing for more. There is something extremely nostalgic and comforting about this movie.

The action accumulates when Lord Blackwood seemingly convinces the Order that he will reign dark days and death of the world. The murders that Holmes and Watson have been investigating have come to this. Holmes and Watson uncover the plot that will be Blackwoods final malicious act in Parliament.

The use of the dark symbolism during the movie is rather disturbing, but me, as many others, will recognise and understand that it is just a movie and provides a great film plot. Ultimately, as Holmes sees through Blackwoods lies, so do we, and the mysterious dark powers are not supernatural at all, but rather science and fear based.

The conclusion also leads very elegantly into the sequel, hinting at Professor Moriarty being the next antagonist and ending strongly.

A family movie, yet dark enough to keep new age movie fans happy. I rate this gem, which is one of the best movies ever made: Rating 5/5

The sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows continues the tradition and humour, glorious film rendition of a classic. MUST SEE.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Movie Review

Spoiler Free as can be.

Well Quentin Tarantino throws us a magnificent suspense, drama, comedy movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. An absolute killer of a Hollywood movie set in 1969 Los Angeles and focusing on faded television actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo Dicaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) as they try to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Rated 85% by Rotten Tomatoes and 7.7 by IMDB, running time at 2 hours 41 minutes.

I was hesitant to buy this movie from Amazon Prime, but I took the plunge and loved it. This is the best Tarantino film in my opinion since movies like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. What you get is a sweet mixture of intense suspense, action, drama, comedy (absolutely hilarious, subtle) and some great acting.

Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt shine in this movie. I thought to myself what a strange combination, but in the end they make a great acting pair and the chemistry is brilliant. Don’t forget Margot Robbie, hopping in as Sharon Tate and Emile Hirsh as Roman Polanski.

The movie starts off getting to know Rick Dalton, and his stunt double, we see that they are struggling, trying to plan and forge some kind of future success in the movie industry. There is a great bond, a friendship which makes this connection and film so unique.

Of course, things get better and more funny as they finally land their roles in western films typical of the 50s. Then, all is not what it seems as Cliff, seemingly sets in motion a chain of events after picking up a young girl on the street looking for a ride. I won’t say anymore.

The film seems to be going off on tangents and I was left wondering what the point of all of it was. Persevere for a great, suspense filled finale. It all comes together at the end.

A film that ultimately comes down to love and friendship, dramatic relationships and comedic failing television stars.

My Rating: 5/5

Lockdown Guide to Movies

Hi everyone, this is an essential movies list for those stuck inside or those looking to find some decent movies. I won’t be adding pictures for each movie, rather a list. Some movies are part of trilogies or series of films.

  • Jurassic Park
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Back to the Future
  • American History X
  • Interstellar
  • Indiana Jones
  • Rear Window
  • Green Mile
  • Terminator
  • The Departed
  • Inception
  • Alien
  • Django Unchained
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • American Beauty
  • Braveheart
  • Waterworld
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • 2001 – a Space Odyssey
  • Snatch
  • Rock n Rolla
  • Monty Python
  • Metropolis 1922
  • Die Hard
  • Chinatown
  • Heat
  • Pans labyrinth
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • V for Vendetta
  • Black Swan
  • Mission Impossible
  • James Bond
  • Shutter Island

This is only a small list, but a good starting point for anyone struggling to find a movie they haven’t seen before. I would find it hard to believe someone hasn’t seen any off this list!