Review: Blood and Bone [2009] - dir. Ben Ramsey

The last time 'urban' cinema had an authentic martial arts hero was in the 1970's in the 'super-fly' form of Jim Brown, for the past three decades 'chop-socky' action movies have been the exclusive preserve of caucasian or asian protagonists... until now! Finally this under achieving niche has a saviour in the majestic shape of 'Black Dynamite' himself Michael Jai White, and with Blood and Bone his martial arts credentials assertively ascribe him to the pantheon of golden age masters like Seagal, Van Damme & their breed.

Interview: Amber Moelter of ALM Talkies

Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and raised in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, Minnesota Amber performed as an actor, dancer, and singer in America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. She trained at the Academy of Arts, QUT in Brisbane, Australia in Contemporary Dance and later at London Studio Centre, attaining a BA Honors in Theatre Dance (Musical Theatre). While in London she acted in various shorts, pilots, and features including the leading roles in TrashHouse and Cross-Eyed Waltz

Review: The Hurt Locker [2009] - dir. Kathryn Bigelow

It's been too many years since we last saw the words "Directed by Kathryn Bigelow", and I'm ecstatic to say they make a more than desirable homecoming with The Hurt Locker. Based on a script by Mark Boal, a former journalist who was assigned to a bomb squad in postwar Iraq, the consequent tale revolves around Jeremy Renner as Will James, a cavalier bomb disposal technician who seems to have an indubitable rogue streak fused to a terminal death wish, much to the consternation of his time weary comrades Sandborne (Anthony Mackie) and Eldritch (Brian Geraghty).

News: Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade Of Cartoon Comedy - Lands on DVD & BluRay 25th January

From the creator of Family Guy and the co-creator of American Dad, comes a brand-new animated series of pop culture parodies, skewered stories and fabulously filthy fun nuggets. Uncensored, uninhibited and unbelievably hilarious, Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is brimming with raunchy, twisted humour you can’t see on television anywhere and is available to buy on DVD from 25 January by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

News: MESRINE: Killer Instinct & Public Enemy No. 1 - Released on Blu-ray and DVD 25th January

César Award winner Vincent Cassel (Eastern Promises, Oceans Thirteen) and Academy Award nominee Gerard Depardieu (The Man in the Iron Mask, Cyrano de Bergerac) star in the critically acclaimed, award winning double feature MESRINE: KILLER INSTINCT and MESRINE PUBLIC ENEMY NO 1 a lavish gangster biopic released together as a two disc special edition DVD set and single Blu-Ray disc on 25 January 2010 by Momentum Pictures.

Review: Patton [1970] - dir. Franklin J. Schaffner

As General George S. Patton, George C. Scott is an actor playing another consumate actor. The television age birthed a new kind of media-savvy soldier, one who becomes, by appearing as a character on the six o'clock news, emblematic of freedom (Colin Powell or Norman Schwarzkopf are more recent examples). In WWII, few commanders were willing to put on a show like Patton; he was, in this regard, either ahead of his time or a throwback to the flamboyant rabble-rousers of bygone eras.

Patton the movie establishes Patton the serviceman's Hollywood tendencies in a show-stopping prologue. Dwarfed by a stars-and-stripes backdrop, Patton stands on a stage and motivates an audience of troops with a charged and entertaining sermon.

Review: Clubbed [2009] - dir. Neil Thompson

THERE’S a dubious morality surrounding the events of Clubbed, a supposedly true story based on the autobiographical novel Watch My Back by author Geoff Thompson. On the one hand, it seeks to empower the individual by overcoming fear (especially of violence), but on the other it seems to celebrate brutality and even involves one character getting away with murder (albeit with mitigating circumstances, so we’re told).

Review: Intolerable Cruelty [2003] - dir. Joel & Ethan Coen

The writer/director team of brothers Joel and Ethan Coen seems to have been sent from their strange planet to this earth to bring a message of delirious joy through the medium of film. Their singular vision of bungling criminals, hopeless misfits and doomed romantics, all supported by a grotesque menagerie of secondary characters, has proved to be a winning vehicle for some of the most memorably idiosyncratic movies of the last two decades. An absurdist outlook on life and a keen ear for the nuances of vernacular register have reserved for the Coen brothers a special place, located somewhere between arthouse and mainstream, where their eccentric, intelligent films manage also to be popular.

Review: An Englishman in New York [2009] - dir. Richard Laxton

Directed by Richard Laxton and written by Brian Fillis, An Englishman in New York attempts to cover the latter part of the legendary Denis Charles Pratt aka Quentin Crisp's life from his new found fame (following the release of the original TV drama covering his early life, The Naked Civil Servant) and his timely move to New York in 1980 at the age of 72 until his death two decades later. What makes this a truly special filmic event is the return of BAFTA award winner John Hurt playing Crisp once again (33 years on from when he first played him)and allowing the rare chance for an actor to realise the opportunity to play a complete personal history of one character through the years.

Press Release: An Englishman in New York

BAFTA Award winner John Hurt (Alien, Outlander, V for Vendetta) delivers an outstanding, award-winning performance as he transforms himself once again to portray the outrageous and flamboyant Quentin Crisp in
AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK, released on DVD by Momentum Pictures on 28 December.

Picking up where the BAFTA Award winning classic The Naked Civil Servant left off, AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK tells the compelling and moving story of the latter part of Crisp’s life dealing with the fame and notoriety that the aforementioned film brought. The musician Sting was inspired by Crisp to write a song about his life in America resulting in the hit single An Englishman in New York and thus the title for the film. 

Special features on the DVD include a „behind the scenes‟ look at the making of the film and an interview with „John Hurt discussing playing Quentin‟.

Review: Red Road [2006] - dir. Andrea Arnold

Jackie works a job that many would find dull; she is a CCTV operator but one that gets a perverse kick out of watching others going about their everyday business; that is until a day in which a man appears on her monitor: A man from her past and one that she never wanted to see again. Now she has no alternative but to confront both the man, and the demons inside herself.

So this is going to be a hard review to write, I am sure a million people or more will disagree with me on many aspects of my opinions of this film, and judging by the reviews on Amazon, I am probably very, very wrong... but here goes...

Review: Career Girls [ 1997] - dir. Mike Leigh

Director Mike Leigh follows up his Oscar-nominated SECRETS AND LIES with CAREER GIRLS, a bittersweet drama that deals with the passage of time between two friends. Annie (Lynda Steadman) and Hannah (Katrin Cartlidge) were college roommates in London. Six years later, Annie is taking the train back into London to reunite with her friend. The resulting connection sparks flashbacks from the past, where we learn that Annie was even more shy and defensive than she is currently.

The British writer-director Mike Leigh is a strong-willed auteur of the grubby (David Thewlis in Naked), the misfit (High Hopes), and the economically impoverished (Life Is Sweet). Indeed, the accessible, emotional Secrets & Lies still remains almost the exception in Leigh's bleak, twisty universe of hard to love characters. Career Girls is more like the rule: It isn't easy to even begin to understand these two women. But the effort rewards the viewer with a satisfying cinematic take on the resiliency and therapeutic importance of friendship.

Editorial: Coming Soon...

OK so here's the list of upcoming reviews and editorials...

Die Hard 2: Die Harder (Competition Winner review)
Career Girls
 The Usual Suspects
Big Trouble in Little China
South Pacific

Review: Along Came a Spider [2001] - dir. Lee Tamahori

Based on the first James Paterson novel to feature criminal profiler Alex Cross, the film opens with a police trap that goes catastrophically wrong and forces Cross into early retirement. He spends his days mulling over what might have been and making model boats. At a local school for kids of the rich and famous, a teacher has kidnapped one of the prodigious pupils and begins sending Dr. Cross evidence of the abduction in the post. Not only does the kidnapper want to commit the crime of the century but he also wants to play mindgames with the successfully published psychologist.
After the worldwide success of the grisly yet superb Seven in 1995, Morgan Freeman obviously decided that he hadn't had enough of chasing serial killers and promptly made the much less satisfactory Kiss The Girls. Based on a James Paterson book, it somehow captured the public imagination and became a modest success. Now Freeman returns in another adaptation of a Paterson novel, playing the same character and chasing another psychokiller. Co-produced by Freeman and directed by Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors), this is a much more successful venture than Kiss The Girls should have led to a respectable franchise for one of the world’s greatest living actors, sadly this doesn't seemed to have come to fruition.

Review: Die Hard [1988] - dir. John McTeirnan

It's Christmas Eve and New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is flying into Los Angeles. He's a nervous flyer, and as the plane lands the passenger sitting next to him suggests a tip: after the flight, he should take off his shoes and socks and make fists with his toes on the rug. A limousine has been sent to take John from the airport to the high rise offices of his wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who he is separated from. The chauffeur, Argyle (De'voreaux White), offers to wait in the building's car park while John decides whether he will be spending Christmas with his family or not, but as John gets ready to join the office party, there's a disturbance outside... some uninvited guests with guns...

It's safe to say that Die Hard was a crucial development in the action movie genre. Written by Jeb Stuart and Steven de Souza, it led to many lesser imitators (including its own sequels), which would become known by the reviewing shorthand as Die Hard on a ship (Under Seige), Die Hard on a plane (Air Force One), Die Hard on a train (Under Siege 2), and so on. Despite looking well-worn now in terms of its plot, the original still stands up as reliable entertainment through its spectacular set pieces and excellent characters, ideal for watching again and again. It also turned Bruce Willis from a television star into a movie star, so how you feel about that depends on how you feel about Bruce Willis (of course).

STOP PRESS... AVATAR ... $500M dollar travesty?

OK... Ready?... Sit down... trust me, you will need to when you read this... Avatar (the big Crimble Release from James 'I wasted 6 years of my life for this?' Cameron) is estimated to have cost... $500 Million!!!! That's HALF A BILLION DOLLARS!!!!

How much health care, housing solutions and welfare does that equate to I wonder?

Read more here if you dare...

Article: The Billion$ God Trilogy - Part 1

In The Beginning [2011] - dir. Michael Bay

Adam - Zac Efron / Eve - Megan Fox / Voice of the Serpent - Nicolas Cage / Cane - Ben Affleck / Abel - Matt Damon / David - Liev Schreiber / Saul - Alan Rickman / Soloman - George Clooney / Noah - Sam Neill / Samson - Arnold Schwarzenegger / Ahab - Gabriel Byrne / Jezebel - Sharon Stone / Job - Tim Robbins / Moses - Russell Crowe / Abraham - Anthony Hopkins / Voice of God - Morgan Freeman

Picture this, a RED EPIC 5K digital print presented in next generation RealD, who better to capture the creation story than Michael Bay,