Wednesday 30 September 2015

The Martian Review by Carleton Rutter

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels & Sean Bean
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Strapline: "Bring Him Home"

So, in a nutshell?
A manned mission to Mars goes badly wrong when a fierce sandstorm leaves NASA astronaut Mark Watney missing, presumed dead. He is however alive and must work out a way of contacting NASA and creating enough food for himself to survive alone on this desolate planet whilst NASA come up with a way of rescuing him.

So, what are my thoughts?
In anticipation of seeing The Martian I decided to read or in actual fact listen to the novel written by Andy Weir, via my Audible subscription. I thoroughly enjoyed the book due not only to its content, but also the excellent narration by R.C Bray, anyway, I digress. Ridley Scott was given the task of translating the book into a movie. If not anything else, The Martian rocks a stellar cast. Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, and Jeff Daniels, the movie reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood. However, that is not always not a recipe for success, but in this case it certainly was.

Heck, I'll not beat about the bush, I'll come right out and say it, The Martian is my Film of the Year so far. Front and centre is Matt Damon who gives one of the best performances of his career. Having read the book and visualised all the characters in my head, no more so of course than Watney, Damon is PERFECT. He totally and utterly embodies this character and what horrendous physical and psychological highs and lows Watney has to endure. The actor himself had to undergo dramatic weight loss Tom Hank's style for his role. Hey, that gives me idea if I had to boil the The Martian down to three words it would be Castaway meets Contact.

The rest of the cast are on fine form. There is not one member who does not bring their A-game to the table. There is no phoning in performances here. Of all the cast (Excluding Damon) my favourites were Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders Director of NASA and Jessica Chastain as Commander Lewis, the commander of Hermes the crew's main ship. Chiwetel Ejiofor is also excellent as Mars Mission Director Venkat Kapoor. Side bar on his role, Irrfan Khan (Last seen in Jurassic World) was cast to play Kapoor but owing to a Bollywood contract obligation, it meant Ejiofor was cast only three weeks before filming commenced. It's ironic as after listening to R.C Bray's Kapoor on the audio book I always thought Khan would have been cast, and so he was, but it was not to be. Sorry I have strayed off the beaten track, let's carry on...

​The movie also has a superb visual style. The line between the spotless CGI and Jordan desert where it was filmed is seamless. This is all greatly enhanced by the fact I saw it in 3D. I implore you to see this movie in 3D. The movie was actually shot in Real3D, therefore seeing it in IMAX 3D does the full experience justice. The shots on earth are well done, but the movie really come into it's own when you see Watney set against this vast unforgiving landscape and the shots in space. The visuals are aided by a brilliant score penned by Harry Gregson-Williams.

The movie has Ridley Scott written all over it, huge credit also must go to Drew Goddard who adapted Weir's 369 page novel. Having read the book, I of course knew what to expect, and one could say therefore that this lessened my experience, as there were no surprises. On the contrary, it heightened the experience, as I knew what was coming. The Martian is also extremely accessible for the layman, the one criticism the book came under was that it was too heavy on the science. This is not the case in the movie, Scott and Goddard have managed to make it available to all, one of the things last years Interstellar fell short on.

The humour of the book also translates well to the big screen. There are some really funny moments, whether it be Watney "Sciencing the shit" out of Mars, his love-hate relationship with a crews taste in music or back home with equally funny moments with NASA. The Martian just hits the right spot on all fronts. This upbeat vibe is greatly aided by a soundtrack inspired by not only space, but Watney's peer's collection of music.

Being a huge fan of anything to do with NASA, it's natural therefore that some of my favourite movies of all time have been movies such as Apollo 13, Contact and The Right Stuff. The Martian is reminiscent of those movies in the tense nature of what man is accomplishing. My only issues with the movie would be sometimes it's a little predictable, and after the denouement, there are a few scenes that were not really needed.

My Rating 

Having read the book, I went into The Martian with much anticipation, and thankfully it did not disappoint. It excelled on all fronts, whether it be Damon front and centre or the superb supporting cast on top form. The movie is masterfully directed, shot, and the seamless CGI are made real by the superb use of 3D, making you feel that you are a really there with Watney. If there is one film you must make the time to see it's this one. As I said, The Martian is my Film of the Year so far, let's see if another movie set in space, come December will change that.

The Martian is released in the UK September 30th

Review by Carleton Rutter

The Intern Review by Carleton Rutter

Directed by: Nancy Meyers
Starring: Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway
Genre: Comedy
Strapline: "Experience never gets old."

So, in a nutshell?
70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin. With his foot in the door, Ben brings hope and life to a career driven lady who has lost touch with who she really is, and what is important to her.

So, what are my thoughts?
In 1973, Martin Scorsese decided to cast an unknown actor by the name of Robert De Niro. It would serve as the then 30-year-old's big break in cinema. He would go onto star in some of cinema's most iconic and celebrated movies, Mean Streets (1973), The Godfather: Part II (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995) and Heat (1995) and in the process become a true legend of modern cinema.

However, with the turn of the 21st century, truly iconic roles dried up. Of his 37 movies since 2000, quantity not quality has certainly been the watchword. In terms of drama, with the exception of The Good Shepherd (2006) this great actor has little to show from the last 15 years of cinema other than play a caricature of his well known persona honed in the said iconic movies of his earlier years. I have not seen Silver Linings Playbook (2012) or American Hustle (2013) for which I know he is famed.

His foray into the world of comedy has had decidedly mixed results. Movies such as Meet the Parents (2000), Analyze That (2002), and Last Vegas (2013), perhaps being his best. Fast forward to 2015 and we have Nancy Meyer's seventh outing in the director's chair, The Intern. The Intern is an affable comedy that will do little to offend, but also little to excite. It won't harm De Niro's career but it also not give his career the shot the arm that it so deservedly needs.

Robert De Niro is on fine form though as he turns in an affable Uncle Fluffy performance. Unflappable, old fashioned and wise would best describe his character Ben. Although the consummate professional acquits himself well, his part could have gone to say Tom Hanks and it would have been equally effective. Talking about Tom Hanks, De Niro's character reminded me a lot of Hank's Larry Crowe in the film of the same name. Nice, clean-cut neat guy who exists at a different rhythm to all those around him. Accompanying De Niro is Hathaway, who I liked in this movie. Her character grew on me as the movie went on and as her character warmed to Ben. As a result, they had good solid chemistry between them.  

The supporting cast is made up of a smattering of well known faces, a nice subtle turn from Rene Russo as Fiona the companies masseuse, being my favourite. Adam DeVine of Pitch Perfect fame features but as with that movie tries too hard to be funny. He is upstaged by Zack Pearlman as Davis, De Niro's fellow intern.

The Intern is just a nice middle of the road movie, hence there is not too much to write about this one. The movie has some nice laughs, and some nice moments that play well on the age gap where the Instagram generation meets the Telegram generation, but there are not enough of these moments. Also the pacing is out of whack leading the movie to drag and feel overlong. Nothing much happens and save the more serious moments between De Niro and Hathaway that produce some affecting moments, there is little to write home about. 

My Rating -  3 out of 5 stars
The Intern is just a good movie. Nothing more, nothing less. De Niro produces a nice turn as Ben the unfazed sage gentleman of a bygone age. Hathaway equally acquits herself well in the dual lead role. However, the two leads aside there is not enough here to recommend that you go out and pay top price to see this movie. This is an ideal movie to watch cuddled up on the couch under a blanket with a glass of wine and the roaring fire. Skip this one at the movies and catch it at home. 

The Intern is released from October 2nd in the UK

The Intern Review by Carleton Rutter

Hail Macbeth - in cinemas Friday 2 Oct

Monday 28 September 2015

Regression Official Trailer - In UK and Ireland Cinemas 9th October

Minnesota, 1990. Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) investigates the case of young Angela (Emma Watson), who accuses her father, John Gray (David Dencik), of an unspeakable crime. When John unexpectedly and without recollection admits guilt, renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (David Thewlis) is brought in to help him relive his memories and what they discover unmasks a horrifying nationwide mystery.

Burnt Official Trailer (Bradley Cooper - 2015)

Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had it all – and lost it. A two-star Michelin rockstar with the bad habits to match, the former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene did everything different every time out, and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star though, he’ll need the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). BURNT is a remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.

A Movie directed by John Wells
Cast : Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy
Release Date : October 23, 2015
Genre : Comedy, Drama

Competition: Win Spooks: The Greater Good on Bluray

Spooks: The Greater Good is out now on Blu-ray and DVD and to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 Blurays to give away!

When charismatic terrorist Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel) escapes from MI5 custody during a high profile handover, legendary operative Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), Head of Counter-terrorism, is blamed. Disgraced and forced to resign, Harry disappears without a trace.

With MI5 on its knees in the wake of the Qasim debacle and facing controversial reform, former agent Will Holloway (Kit Harington) is brought back from Moscow to discover the truth about Harry’s disappearance and in doing so, uncovers a shocking revelation; Harry is still alive, has gone rogue and desperately needs Will’s help.

Will must decide whether to turn Harry in - or risk everything by trusting the damaged, dangerous master spy who betrayed him once before…

Spooks: The Greater Good is available now on Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Entertainment One

Win This:
Spooks: The Greater Good [Blu-ray] 
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Sunday 27 September 2015

Back in Time Official Trailer #1 (2015) - Back to the Future Documentary HD

Cast, crew, and fans explore the classic time-travel trilogy's resonance throughout our culture 30 years after Marty went Back in Time.

A Month of Sundays - TRAILER ( Anthony LaPaglia - 2015)

Real estate agent, Frank Mollard, won’t admit it, but he can’t move on. Divorced but still attached, he can’t sell a house in a property boom - much less connect with his teenage son. One night Frank gets a phone call from his mother. Nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from the fact that she died a year ago.

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS is about parents, children, regrets, mourning, moments of joy, houses, homes, love, work, television, Shakespeare and and jazz fusion: about ordinary people and improbable salvation.

Because everyone deserves a second chance.

Even a real estate agent.

The Peanuts Movie - TRAILER # 2

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state-of-the-art 3D animation. Snoopy, the world’s most lovable beagle—and flying ace—embarks upon his greatest mission as he takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis The Red Baron, while his best pal, Charlie Brown, begins his own epic quest. From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the ICE AGE films, THE PEANUTS MOVIE will prove that every underdog has his day.

An animated film directed by Steve Martino
Release Date :
Genre : Family, Kids, Animation

Saturday 26 September 2015

Going Away Movie Trailer (French Drama)

Baptiste is a loner. A gifted primary teacher living in the south of France, he knows how to bring their schoolwork alive for his pupils but never remains in the same job for more than a term. His unremarkable appearance masks cracks, even violence... When he is left unwittingly in charge of Mathias one weekend by the child’s negligent father, the boy takes Baptiste to his mother Sandra, a dazzling but fragile woman who works on the beach near Montpellier. An erratic parent who longs to make amends, she welcomes Baptiste and her son into her bungalow. For one enchanted day, a powerful spell unites them, the beginnings of a family for those who do not have one. But it won’t last. Sandra owes money and her creditors are moving in. She is forced to flee again. To help her, Baptiste must return to the roots of his life, and to the darkest, most painful secrets within him...

A Movie directed by Nicole Garcia
Cast : Déborah François, Dominique Sanda, Louise Bourgoin, Pierre Rochefort
Release Date : October 02, 2015
Genre : French Drama

Friday 25 September 2015

A Christmas Star - Official Trailer

The feel-good family film of the year: Spreading a truly special Christmas message…

This Christmas, prepare to believe in miracles as Belfast-based children’s charity Cinemagic and Signature Entertainment present A Christmas Star, released in UK cinemas nationwide from 13th November 2015.

A host of film and television professionals join forces to tell the truly magical and heartwarming story of a spirited young girl who charms her entire village, The highly anticipated Christmas family film stars newcomer Erin Galway-Kendrick along with an ensemble supporting cast that includes Pierce Brosnan (Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, The World Is Not Enough), Suranne Jones (Coronation Street, Scott & Bailey, Lawless), Robert James Collier (Downton Abbey, Coronation Street, Mercenaries), Bronagh Waugh (Hollyoaks, The Fall), Richard Clements (A Belfast Story). The film is narrated by Liam Neeson (Taken) and it features a cameo from Kylie Minogue (Moulin Rouge!) and guest appearance from Dermot O’Leary (The X Factor).

Set in the picturesque village of Pottersglen in Northern Ireland, A Christmas Star follows a young
and spirited Noelle who, born in dramatic circumstances under the Christmas Star, believes she has the gift to perform strange miracles. When conniving developer McKerrod threatens her peaceful life she teams up with a misfit gang of local kids to save the village from demolition. But one by one her friends lose faith in Noelle’s abilities and she is left to fight McKerrod on her own. The town’s future hinges on a final showdown in Belfast’s historic Stormont building as Noelle implores politicians, her friends and the watching world to believe in the true meaning of Christmas…love.

Competition: Win Elimination Game on DVD

Win a copy of Elimination Game on DVD!

The Running Man meets The Hunger Games in this futuristic action film!

After a civilian massacre in a foreign war zone, Navy SEAL Rick Tyler (Dominic Purcell), is falsely imprisoned for the crime.

But Rick is offered the chance of freedom – all he has to do is enter and survive a deadly game show, which pits him against some of the world’s most ruthless killers in a series of brutal locations. The rules are simple: kill or be killed.

Can Rick survive the game, win his freedom and find out why he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit?

Elimination Game is out on DVD from 12th October 2015

Win This:
Elimination Game [DVD]
To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Competition Closed

Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Sicardo Movie Review by Carleton Rutter

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal, and Josh Brolin
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Strapline: "The Deeper you go, the darker it gets"

So, in a nutshell?
Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an idealistic FBI agent who is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Sicario features an excellent cast.

So, what are my thoughts?
Today, is the first day of fall, and with Sicario, summer is very much over. Despite featuring some impressive set pieces, the movie acts as more of an insight into the depressing and horrifying war on drugs as opposed to a summer blockbuster that may have championed it's action. What we are offered therefore is an unflinching look at this ruthless world.

Sicario marks the third English language drama for the 47-year-old French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, after his engrossing child kidnap movie Prisoners and Enemy which also starred Jake Gyllenhaal. Front and centre of this movie though is Emily Blunt through whose eyes the movie unfolds. Blunt proved her action credentials on last year's Edge of Tomorrow. The project for which the English actress was brought to Villeneuve's attention.

Sicario get's off to an explosive start, literally but unfortunately it then loses it's way in the world of Mexican Cartels. From a technical standpoint the movie is extremely impressive. Featuring thrilling sequences, that are well shot, lit and edited. My favourite of them being a high speed convoy in and out of Mexico to bring back a captured drug lord. The movie also features some beautiful aerial shots that are near perfection. All of this is aided by Jóhann Jóhannsson's chilling score that helps raise the tension to a steady series of crescendos that well never really happen.

And well, that's the problem, the movie walks the walk but it does not talk the talk. The movie is very well cast though with Blunt further proving her acting credentials front and centre as a plausible tough central heroine. Del Toro (My favourite character by far) is on fine form as the mysterious Alejandro. A sidebar on his character by the way, I read in the news that there may well be a sequel to Sicario with Del Toro's character taking centre stage. Del Toro's bad cop-bad cop partner is Josh Brolin who is also excellent as the hard hitting "Take no prisoners" Matt. Daniel Kaluuya who plays Blunt's on screen partner Reggie holds his own against more experienced hands and provides the much needed comic relief at times. Victor Garber and John Bernthal are the only actors that a really underused.

So all the ingredients are in place, but the movie just doesn't come though the way it should. With the quality of directing, cinematography, acting and film scoring on offer, Sicario whilst successfully hard hitting enough to distance itself from the popcorn summer fayre, never really hits it out of the park. The movie provides you with a series of set pieces that never really pay off. In style, one could say that at times it felt like several episodes of a TV series pinned together. They could have even called it CSI Mexico. 

My Rating 

Sicario is a missed opportunity. All the pieces are lined up, direction, acting, cinematography but they never really fall into the place. It's beautifully shot, and features another great central turn from Blunt with solid support from Del Toro and Brolin. My issue with Sicario is that it's all build up and no delivery, the cinematographer is writing cheques the script writers can't cash. From a visual standpoint this holds it's own on the big screen, and fans of Blunt, Brolin or Del Toro will no doubt check it out. But for the rest of us, just check this out when it's released at home.

Sicario is released in the US 2nd October and UK 9th October

Review By Carleton Rutter

FILM NEWS (UK): New sci-fi thriller feature from Johnny Kevorkian goes into production

AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS, a darkly monstrous tale of tyranny and television, will start a five-week shoot on Oct 5 at GSP Studios’ studio facilities in York.

Produced by Jack Tarling of Shudder Films and Alan Latham of GSP Studios and directed by Johnny Kevorkian (The Disappeared) from a screenplay by Gavin Williams, the cast includes David Bradley (Games of Thrones), Sam Gittins (The Smoke), Holly Weston (Howl), Kris Saddler (The Hour), Neerja Naik (Hackney’s Finest) & Grant Masters (Silent Witness). Key crew members include: Annika Summerson (DOP), Nina Topp (Production Designer), Dan Martin (Special Effects) & Ben Louden (VFX).

It's Christmas Day and the Milgram family wake to find a mysterious black substance surrounding their house. Something monumental is clearly happening right outside their door, but what exactly - an industrial accident, a terrorist attack, nuclear war?

Descending into terrified arguments, they turn on the television, desperate for any information. On screen a message glows ominously: 'Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions'. As the television exerts an ever more sinister grip, their paranoia escalates into bloody carnage.

Kevorkian commented: “I want to create a pressure cooker atmosphere, which ultimately explodes on screen! By the end of the film we’ll be shooting mostly handheld, really ramping up the pace with lots of camera moves to create an unstoppable climax to match the extreme situation”.

The film has been further developed with the support of public agencies Northern Film + Media and Digital City Innovations. Film London facilitated financing and Creative England have backed the development of marketing strategies for the film.

Beyond Science. Beyond Sanity.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Zoolander 2 - Official Teaser

Derek Zoolander is back in Zoolander 2. Coming to theaters 2016.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip | Official HD Trailer #2

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in New York City…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother.

Welcome to the official 20th Century Fox Family Entertainment UK channel - the home of previous family entertainment films such as Ice Age, Rio, The Croods and Home. This channel will bring you exclusive trailers & clips, behind the scenes action, interviews and featurettes for our best and latest releases.

Everest: IMAX® Behind the Frame

" came this storm that changed our film." Everest documentary co-director, David Breashears, discusses his real-life experiences and how they helped bring the feature film Everest to life.

Universal Pictures’ EVEREST may now be experienced by IMAX® 3D audiences one week earlier in the UK, when it releases exclusively in IMAX 3D and other select cinemas on Friday 11 September, 2015. The film will be released wide—including standard 2D and 3D—on Friday, 18 September, 2015.

Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind.  Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.  The epic adventure stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Everest is directed by Baltasar Kormákur (2 Guns, Contraband) and produced by Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, as well as Nicky Kentish Barnes and Kormákur.

Universal Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures’ presentation of Everest—in association with Walden Media—is adapted for the screen by William Nicholson (Gladiator) and Oscar® winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire).

The film was shot on location in Nepal on the foothills of Everest, the Italian Alps and at Cinecittà Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the U.K.

The IMAX release of Everest will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of An IMAX 3D Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

Monday 21 September 2015

Competition: Win Ruth & Alex on DVD

Ruth & Alex is released on DVD on September 28th, and to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to win on DVD

Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton star as an elderly couple on the move in this romantic drama. Preparing to move out of their Brooklyn apartment, retired couple Ruth and Alex (Keaton and Freeman) host an open house for seemingly disinterested potential buyers while they look for a place more suitable for themselves.

As they go through the process of moving, the pair reminisce about their early days together when they first moved in to their home over 40 years ago.

This title will be released on September 28, 2015. 

Win This:
Ruth & Alex [DVD]

To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Competition Closed

Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Whatever happened to our favourite action heroes?

Whatever happened to our favourite 
action heroes?

Having first graced the big screen as mop-headed slacker Ted Theodore Logan in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Keanu Reeves has since become one of Hollywood’s ‘go to’ actors when explosive action is the order of the day, starring in numerous edge-of-your-seat thrillers including Point Break, Speed and The Matrix.  He most recently starred as John Wick, a former hitman hell-bent on revenge as he returns to the criminal world he left behind.  John Wick is released on DVD on 21st September.

With a career spanning over three decades, Reeves is rarely far from his next on-screen adventure, but what about some of those action heroes we haven’t heard from in a while?  We decided to track down a few of our favourites.

Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton shot to fame as Sarah Connor, a young waitress who finds herself pursued by a relentless android killer in The Terminator.  The film was an unexpected smash hit and in 1991 she underwent a rigorous physical training regime when she reprised the character in the sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Hamilton also starred in the 1997 blockbuster Dante’s Peak, however since then you’re more likely to find her on the small screen with TV roles in series such as Chuck, Lost Girl as well as a one-off appearance in Frasier.

Did you know?  Linda’s identical twin sister played her body double in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

Steven Seagal
Martial arts supremo Steven Seagal is best known for his role as Navy SEALs counter-terrorist expert Casey Ryback in 1992’s Under Siege.  He starred in three more cinema releases during the nineties including the follow-up to Under Siege, however the star’s career suffered a dip over the next two decades with virtually all his acting credits coming from direct-to-video productions.  Seagal returned to the big screen in 2010 as Torrez in Robert Rodriguez’s grindhouse flick, Machete.

Did you know?  Steven worked as a martial arts instructor on the Bond movie Never Say Never Again, accidentally breaking Sean Connery’s wrist during production.

Val Kilmer
Whether it was taking to the skies alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun or donning Batman’s famous cape in Batman Forever, Val Kilmer was right up there when it came to action heroes.  The latter half of the 1990s saw the actor turning in a series of less-than-successful performances in films such as The Saint and Joe The King, although he found a return to form as a tormented drug addict in The Salton Sea in 2002.

Did you know?  As well as playing the band’s iconic singer Jim Morrison, Val Kilmer performed all the vocals for The Doors soundtrack album.

Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio was responsible for an entire generation of kids drawing imaginary circles in the air as they followed Mr Miyagi’s instructions to ‘wax on, wax off’ in the popular 80s movie The Karate Kid in which Ralph played high school senior, Daniel LaRusso.  Ralph continued to kick butt in the film’s two sequels (imaginatively named Karate Kid Part 2 and Part 3 respectively) and he found fame again in the award-winning 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinnie, starring alongside Jo Pesci.  Since then we’ve not seen a great deal of Ralph on the big screen, although eagle-eyed fans may have spotted him in the comedy-drama series Ugly Betty in which he played Hilda’s love interest Archie Rodriguez.  More recently Ralph tripped the light fantastic when he competed in the US version of Dancing With The Stars.

Did you know?  Ralph was actually 22 when he played teenager Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid.

John Wick is released on DVD and Bluray on September 21st

Keanu Reeves Retrospective

Keanu Reeves Retrospective

From mop-headed rock wannabe Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan to kick-ass action hero John Wick, Keanu Reeves has provided us with some memorable movie moments in a career that spans over three decades and encompasses over 40 films.

His latest action thriller John Wick is released on DVD on 21st September, so what better time to look back at some of our favourite Keanu performances.

7.  Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Cue air guitars as high school slackers Bill and Ted take charge of a time-travelling phone booth to salvage their seemingly doomed history project and avoid being thrown out of school.

6.  My Own Private Idaho
Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self-discovery and find their relationship on the way.  The film featured one of the last performances by River Phoenix who tragically died of a drug overdose in 1993.

5.  River’s Edge
One of Reeves’ first major roles came in this bleak portrayal of teen alienation.  When a group of high school friends discover that one of their peers has killed his girlfriend they choose not to inform the police, opting to protect their friend instead.

The friends’ apparent lack of shock or remorse over what has happened feels even more sinister when you realise the story is based on true events.

4.  Speed
This adrenaline-pumping thriller finds Keanu in true action hero form as LA Bomb Squad expert Jack Traven facing the ultimate challenge from crazed extortionist Dennis Hopper:  to diffuse a bomb on a passenger-filled bus that will explode if its speed deviates from 50mph.  Sandra Bullock’s commute home takes a turn for the worse when she is pressed into service as the bus’s substitute driver.

3.  Dracula
Reeves stars as Jonathan Harker alongside a stellar cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s reimagining of Bram Stoker’s gothic horror novel.  While Reeves and other cast members drew some flack for their shaky grasp on an English accent, any criticism is more than compensated for by dazzling camerawork, lavish production design and some amazing costumes in a sumptuous, seductive take on this literary classic.

2.  The Matrix
This sci-fi classic wowed critics and audiences when it came out, employing the best state-of-the-art visual effects 1999 had to offer as well as some explosive stunts and gravity-defying fight sequences.   Reeves plays Thomas A Anderson, a computer programmer who leads a double life by night as a hacker known as Neo.  When he is contacted by fellow hacker Morpheus, Neo discovers that the ‘real world’ is far from what he thought it was.

1.  John Wick

Keanu kicks ass on an epic scale as he plays John Wick, a former hitman hell-bent on revenge.

After the sudden death of his beloved wife, John Wick receives one last gift from her, a beagle puppy named Daisy, and a note imploring him not to forget how to love.

But John’s mourning is interrupted when his 1969 Boss Mustang catches the eye of sadistic thug Iosef Tarasov. When John refuses to sell the car, Iosef and his henchmen break into his house and steal it, beating John unconscious and leaving Daisy dead. Unwittingly, they have just reawakened one of the most brutal assassins the underworld has ever seen.

John Wick is released on DVD and Bluray on September 21st