Archive for the ‘FILM REVIEWS/COMMENTS’ Category

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Sometimes the paranormal is in the mind and sometimes it’s real. Telling the difference isn’t always easy. It wasn’t for John Satori. After a brain scan he sees the unreal. He always thought that killing was just a job. Now he’s paying the price, when his past ghosts catch up with him.

An independent supernatural thriller mystery like no other.
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After nearly being rundown by a gang of drug dealing thugs a group of women take a joyride but the two wrongs escalate to rape, murder and revenge.

80s exploitation nostalgia hounds will eat up. Director Danny Steinmann’s Savage Streets echoes The Last House on the Left, Avenging Angel with a Death Wish vibe which retains it shock value.

Stephen L. Posey cinematography frames 1984 wonderfully. John D’Andrea
and Michael Lloyds music is notable. It’s a trashy exploitation affair with boobs, murder and blood as a teenage Brenda (typically 80s casting, all look over 20 something) vigilante seeks revenge on a group of violent idiots who raped her sister, killed her best friend and unborn child.

John Vernon is on usual top form and gives an extended cameo. Linnea Quigley offers a small restrained inning. Exorcist’s Linda Blair looks menacingly comfortable in the lead role especially in the opening and showdown ending. Street thug Robert Dryer is consistent and edgy. Lastly Suzee Slater leaves a staple Chopping Mall impression.

The script is as uneven, jovial, vulgar and crude as the tone (even for the time, as well as today), but the faults are out weighed by some good performances, Steinmann’s fine direction and sharp editing.

Overall, its of time and remains just that. If nudity, violence and obscenity with a dash Porky’s and The Road Warrior is your thing, then you no doubt already rate it or you’re going to watch it.

This will be my fifth novel, but first that YOU are going to make happen! This is a first for me, a paranormal paperback project that I hope you will love.

Fake and paid for reviews are ruining the industry- just two of the reasons I’m doing this.

Its title yet to be revealed – offered EXCLUSIVELY through IndieGoGo and will NOT BE AVAILABLE IN STORES.

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This will be the first work to be exclusively my own. You don’t need to have read my other works, it a stand alone. But like my other books it connects via sub characters and locations.

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Possible spoilers

The remaining Avengers must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies to destroy Thanos.

A finely produced Marvel film, directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo deliver on the mammoth task of concluding this phase of the MCU. End Game is packed with emotion, thrills and a number great action scenes. There’s some interesting ideas – a washed up Thor, a vengeful Hawkeye, Gamora’s ‘return’, Hulk’s Bannerisms, fighting duplicates, revisiting past films, forgotten characters and much more.

The Russo’s instalment is no doubt entertaining but after the credits roll and tears are shed for two of your favourite characters (many more, if you like root for the bad guys) ‘fridge logic’ creeps in.

Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and other writers grapple with time travel concept and shrug it off, wiping their hands of their responsibilities seemingly walking away by throwing in some one-liners and diagrams. Maybe they threw the time kitchen sink in by design so that fans will debate for many years. And that’s the major issue with End Game, it doesn’t work within its own logic with the writers moving their own goal posts. Sadly, even Doctors Strange’s 1 in 14 million outcome is flawed. It’s difficult enough to do films based solely on time travel, like Back to the Future, Timecrimes, Predestination to name a few and End Game just doesn’t wrap it up neatly. You really do have to leave you brain at the door to buy into it.

Overall, a great film, with hard hitting emotional closure moments but unfortunately they’ve left it to 14 million fan theories to tie up the lose ends and as just you make sense of it – annoyingly it throws up another paradox issue or question.

Possible spoilers ahead

Captain Marvel, finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle which takes her to Earth in 1995 which opens up her mind to her past.

As fan of classic Marvel comics, I must be honest and say (Thor Ragnarok aside) I haven’t been a great admirer of the arguably padded out borderline pretentious film outings. Thankfully, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel is one of the better more enjoyable instalments introducing shapeshifting aliens Skrulls and the Kree, powerful humanoid warriors.

With great acting, smouldering likeable blonde Brie Larson is fantastic as Captain Marvel which expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ties into a past story thread, namely the Tesseract cube and future threads, including Fury’s pager. There’s a great performance with plenty of screen time from Samuel L Jackson as de-aged Nick Fury, oozing screen presence Jude Law and mostly prosthetic makeup Ben Mendelsohn are particularly note worthy with their characters offering some story twists. There’s fantastic action, effects and music throughout – it’s one of the better stories of any MCU with an interesting 90s setting and top pacing as Fury and Marvel team up.

As expected there’s some end credit scenes The first will connects to Avengers: Endgame and the humorous second bookends the film.

Overall, a solid superhero actioner, you can’t go wrong.

This year is a really big year. I’ve had novels out for 10 years. So for the next few days (April 2nd-) Darkest Moons will be FREE! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkest-Moons-M-Esmonde/dp/1508567700

If you’ve not been ‘following’ I have so many writing inspirations but I was mainly inspired to write due to legendary horror author James Herbert and his kind correspondences I had over a screenplay that languished at the time in development hell. As well meeting Mr Herbert, I was lucky enough to meet my other horror hero – filmmaker and writer, horror legend George A. Romero.

Specifically, I wanted to write horror, yes, sub-genre horror, but with a twist, my take on at the time a worn genre of classic monsters.

Fast forward 10 years, zombies went mainstream, Frankenstein, Dracula and the kitchen sink have had remakes/reboots/ reimagining and so on. Sadly, Herbert and Romero have both passed away leaving their horror legacies forever on the world.

I have many people to thank. Some of which are no longer with us.
But to the many readers who provided constructive feedback on the books to help me understand what they wanted and how I could give it to them. Thank you.

Anyhow enough waffling!
What a journey it’s been! I am grateful.

So from tomorrow to celebrate Darkest Moons (I think one of my best) will be totally free on Kindle. Not just Kindle Unlimited but to everyone.

Paratroopers with a mix of experience on a mission to destroy a communication point just before D-Day discover secret base carrying out Nazi experiments.

High concept super soldiers are nothing new, but don’t expect a low budget affair, director Julius Avery’s offering of a Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith screenplay is wonderfully delivered with high production values. From a parashoot drop that could easily belong in Saving Private Ryan to like a small French town setting echoing the likes of The Keep and The Piano, Overlords hooks the viewer in from the outset.

The B-film concept is executed by Avery with blockbuster gusto, high production values, excellent locations sets and costume. The cast is on form, the lead Jovan Adepo is excellent as thoughtful Private Ed Boyce who uncovers the Nazi experiments below the church and radio tower. Taking a leaf from 1982’s The Thing with surprise deaths and sacrifices the supporting cast is out standing notable are edgy Wyatt Russell as Ford, memorable Mathilde Ollivier as Chloe, John Magaro as sniper Frank, to be honest you could list them all.

With first class gross out special effects, as the gore amps up and mutations showing inhuman strength plays-out with an end baddy showdown granted it loses the realism of the WWII shooting and explosive action setups throughout. Nevertheless, it’s still an entertaining, tense at times, finely crafted film from Avery. Recommend.

Humankind’s only hope against mindless flesh-eaters, referred to as ‘hungries’ is a child and a group must survive to develop a vaccine.

Colm McCarthy The Girl with All the Gifts offering echoes particularly the likes of 28 Days Later and World War Z. There’s a fitting eerie vocal injected score by Cristobal Tapia de Veer. The CGI is effective and thankfully used sparingly. The make up and gore effects are solid as the group escape a base and journey through post apocalyptic London. Young Sennia Nanua as Hannibal Lector-like masked Melanie is believable as the infected girl, there’s an excellent dry wit performance from the underused Glenn Close. Gemma Arterton gives 110% and to her credit acts her chops off. Notable is reliable actor Paddy Considine as Sgt. Eddie Parks who provides much of the back bone of the bleak film.

McCarthy’s direction is on point and even though the plot and visuals are familiar there’s enough new ground and good acting on display to keep interest. That said, the deviating latter half possible sacrifices hardened zombie fans.

After a homeless person is bitten a zombie virus spreads rapidly and a woman must reunite with her boyfriend while her father also searches for her.

From director Yeon Sang-ho, packed with social realism especially around gender, this is an animated prequel to Train to Busan. Seoul Station is refreshingly different from its predecessor.

It’s avoids stereotypes, has plenty of tension, atmosphere, has all the blood, guts and violence you’d expect but also has a solid twist at the end.

Highly recommend.

The studio appears to have scrapped their version and adopted the Director’s Cut as the standard which can be streamed 0n Amazon.

Highlander Connor MacLeod must reveal the truth about the Earth’s anti-ozone shield while fighting some immortals sent from the past.

It lacks the danger and finesse of the original, but thankfully the new Highlander 2 edit with updated effects makes this troubled and poorly executed sequel at least watchable, compared to the original theatrical release.

Michael Ironside and supporting cast give distracting, larger than life theatrical performances. Sean Connery lights up the screen, and Christopher Lambert is notable especially in the aged make-up. Virginia Madsen comes off in the best light, although she is not given enough to do, going from strong feisty conservationist to love interest in a blink of an eye. Nevertheless, the script is poor and the editing is still choppy. The film has a serious pacing issue which no amount of re-jigging can correct.

It has some redeeming qualities, the sets and score are excellent and director Russell Mulcahy gives some fantastic sweeping shots. The new cut now makes sense; for example why MacLeod becomes immortal again, hinting that he has forgotten a past, prior the setting of the first film, and gone is the idea that Ramírez and Connor come from another planet.

If you must watch Highlander 2, avoid the ‘The 1991 Quickening’ version at all cost and watch the 2010 blu-ray release and the version currently streaming on Amazon . Although it’s far from a kind of magic.