Sunday, 24 September 2017

REVIEW: First Kill - Starring Hayden Christensen and Bruce Willis

First Kill is Released on DVD on September 25, 2017

Action thriller directed by Steven C. Miller and starring Bruce Willis and Hayden Christensen. After his young son Danny (Ty Shelton) experiences bullying at school, Will (Christensen) decides to take his son and his wife Laura (Megan Leonard) to his hometown for a family bonding experience. When Will decides to take Danny on a hunt however, his young son ends up being kidnapped. Will needs the help of local sheriff Howell (Willis) to rescue him but Howell is sceptical of the situation and Will's part in it.

Review by Jon Donnis
First Kill is the latest film to star Hollywood Star Bruce Willis, however do not mistake this for anything more than a Hayden Christensen film. Hayden Christensen takes the lead and Bruce Willis is very much a secondary character, but please do not let that put you off. This is a great film.

The story is pretty simple Will (Hayden Christensen) decides to take his son Danny on a hunting trip to give him confidence after he is bullied at school. Everything is going fine until they witness an attempted murder in the woods, and before you know it Danny (Ty Shelton) find himself kidnapped. What follows next is Will doing whatever it takes to get his son back.

After a slowish start, the action picks up after about 20 minutes, and from then till the end it is all very tense and very action packed. Everyone and their granny will spot the twist a mile away, but that never stops the film being very enjoyable. And there is some interesting dynamics which seemed quite original.

This film really shows Hayden Christensen at his very best, and although at times it seems that Bruce Willis is just going through the motions, he does his job perfectly fine.

It is also worth noting that Danny (Ty Shelton) has to be one of the very very few likeable child actors out there. He plays his part perfectly, and unlike so many young actors who over do it, I never once felt like I wanted him to come to any harm by the kidnapper. So rare these days for a truly likeable young character in a film.

Perfect Saturday night viewing. I watched the film from start to finish and after the first 20 minutes had passed, I never checked my phone, or looked away once. And in this day and age a film that can keep my attention is a film I can recommend.


Review by Jon Donnis

You can buy First Kill from Amazon UK using the following link that opens in a new window.
First Kill [DVD]

Friday, 22 September 2017

Interview with Kerry Carlock and Nick Lund-Ulrich - Directors of the unique new superhero film Armstrong

Kerry Carlock and Nick Lund-Ulrich, directors of the unique new superhero film Armstrong, talk comic book heroes, directing a film ‘together’, and how audiences will look at superheroes after their film.

Q:  Is Armstrong the beginning of a whole new franchise or is the intention – because it is such a different film from the standard comic book movie -  just to do the one? 

KERRY:  Well, that’s the inevitable question if you do a superhero movie with an origin story, isn’t it!

NICK:  We love the world and the characters so there are definitely more stories to tell in the Armstrong universe.

KERRY:  The first indie superhero franchise?

NICK:  I love it.

Q:  What did you learn from other superhero movies that you applied to this one?

NICK:  The Dark Knight showed that a more realistic, grounded take on a superhero would absolutely work.

KERRY: It’s not really a superhero movie but I think Terminator is a big inspiration for us.

NICK: Yeah, it’s a small story set in a really big world.

KERRY:  And its kind of a misdirect in that you think its about Arnold and Michael Biehn duking it out but really its Sarah Connor becoming the leader of a revolution.

Q:  Do you find it easy to ‘direct’ together? Lot of compromising going on?

NICK:  We’re very creatively in sync and we had been working on the script for a long time so we knew the story inside and out.

KERRY:  We hashed out all of our differences in the writing stage so that by the time we got to production, we were on the same page 99.9 percent of the time.

Q:  What do you consider each other’s strengths?

KERRY: Since Nick is a VFX artist, he is great with both the visuals and the technical aspects of movie making.

NICK:  And Kerry comes from producing so she’s great at seeing the big picture and she was also a theatre director so she’s great with actors.

KERRY: We found that we naturally took the lead directing different scenes based on those scenes, too.

NICK: Yeah, I loved directing the action scenes and Kerry dove into all the emotional dialogue.  It worked out really well.

Q:  Who casts the film? Did you get to pick the leads?

KERRY:  We cast the film ourselves and would keep running lists of actors we liked from our favorite TV shows and movies.

NICK:  We were looking for really solid actors that could slip right into the roles and embody the parts.

KERRY: When we saw Vicky on “Orange is the New Black,” her physicality and emotional depth really fit the character of Lauren.  We contacted her through a friend of a friend and she loved the script!

NICK: Our producers, Doug, and Paul, helped us look at a lot of different actors for Armstrong and Eddie.  But ultimately we ended up finding Jason and Shawn by way of friends who knew them and had worked with them.

Q:  What’s the title referring to?

NICK:  The title refers to the wounded superhero character David Armstrong. Over the course of writing the script we tried out different titles, but always came back to Armstrong.
KERRY:  And it’s always good for your movie title to start with the letter A.  ;)

Q:  Will Armstrong make us look at superheroes a different way from hereon?

NICK:  We believe that Armstrong is a unique take on the superhero genre and proof that there are plenty of other kinds of stories that can be told with superhero type characters.

KERRY: We heard some one say recently that Superhero movies are like what Westerns used to be in the 40s and 50s.  They were pervasive but there were all different kinds of Westerns- there were spaghetti westerns and musicals and revenge stories and comedies.

NICK:  We think superhero movies are branching out too and audiences want to see what these archetypes can do in all different kinds of situations.

KERRY: We’re fans and this is a movie we would want to see.  We want to see the big VFX driven adventure but we also want to see a superhero be frustrated and struggling and fighting for his life.
NICK:  There’s room for all of it.

Vicky Jeudy, Shawn Parsons, Jason Antoon and Christian Anderson star in Armstrong, available on VOD and DVD (Walmart only) from October 3.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Isle of Dogs - New Poster and Trailer

Isle of Dogs is released in UK cinemas March 30 2018.

ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.


Well, that’s it - summer is officially OVER. But before you go weeping into your thermals, bear in mind that the shorter days provide the perfect excuse to spend more time on the sofa. What’s more, if you crank the heating up enough and choose the right kind of movie, you can pretend you’re on the beach without the inconvenience of getting sand in awkward places.

So, with Baywatch arriving to your homes just in time, here are our top five films to watch under a blanket on the sofa whilst pretending it’s still summer…

This movie reboot of the nineties TV classic will have you feeling nostalgic for more than just summer 2017 - it’ll take you right back to your carefree youth, when life was easier than a slow-mo jog on the beach. After a crime wave hits the shores, Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) recruits an elite squad of lifeguards, including former Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron), to save the day - and discourage us from tucking into that second packet of biccies. Those abs!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
When you want to escape the real world, is there anywhere better to head than Hawaii? We think not. Take, for instance, the case of Peter Bretter (Jason Segel)… After his celebrity girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) dumps him, the struggling musician heads to Hawaii for a valuable life lesson and holiday romance with a local girl (Mila Kunis). Ditch your winter scarf for a lei and join him.

50 First Dates
Aloha again, Hawaii. The perfect rom-com backdrop it seems. 50 First Dates follows Henry Roth (Adam Sandler), who’s a self-confessed commitment-phobe until he meets Lucy (Drew Barrymore). The pair hit it off but since Lucy’s an amnesiac, they must re-live every date as though it was their first. We can think of worse places than a Hawaiian beach for a Groundhog Day scenario…

Blue Crush
The only tube you’ll be riding might be one to work but that doesn’t have to stop you dreaming of being a surfer boy or girl. Blue Crush follows Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), a serious surfer girl who’s preparing for a big competition but gets thrown off guard by a football player. Anne Marie demonstrates that beach life can be a full-time profession if you play your cards right, but those early mornings still look pretty gruelling - not to mention those gnarly waves.  

Cast Away
Next time you’re mourning those long summer days on the beach, spare a thought for Cast Away’s Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), who got just that when his plane crashed in the South Pacific on an uninhabited island. In the epic survival drama, the FedEx employee is forced to adapt to beach basics, with only a Volleyball called Wilson for company. Wilson might be better behaved than your housemate but Cast Away probably won’t have you hankering after your own desert island. It looks like hungry business.

If ever there was a reason to stay away from the beach, this is it. In the 1975 epic, a giant great white shark plagues the shores of a New England beach, causing havoc until the local sheriff crews up a squad to track and destroy the beast. Okay, so we think it’s pretty clear now - the sofa is definitely the best place to be marooned this autumn. Especially if you’ve got Mitch Buchannon to guard you.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Tomb Raider - First trailer

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen.  Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class.  Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone.

Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.  But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous.  Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown.  If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.