Music Promotions caught up with the founder of Film Reviews 2 to discuss his love of film
What makes a good movie? Why aren’t Bollywood movies more main stream?
What was the first movie you watched that stood out for you?
Alien, i do have a confession to make, i was 8 years old, in a dark bedroom, my mum and dad were sound asleep and i watched it with my sister and the Alien bursting its way out of John Hurt’s chest. It just terrified me to the point where i didnt watch it for another 20 years and i got my fascination with film from that one scene. it wasn’t just the chest buster scene, it was a lot of it, HR Gigers set design for the alien ship is exquisite, the close quarters of the really big ship, the strobe lighting which adds a degree of terror to it, the music as well amps up the scare factor and not to mention you have an 8 foot tall alien who’s only mission is to hunt you down and kill you. And even when you think the terror is over, there is enough time for one last scare.
At what age did you begin to watch movies and analyse them in detail?
Obvious i watched movies at a really young age my mum had a knack for making us watch musicals and Disney movies. I erm i think i started analysing when a certain movie critic gave his review of Iron Man 2 some 8 years ago. Many people have said that Iron Man 2 isnt the greatest Iron Man movie ever made and i would agree with them, but what i dont agree with, is said critic made Iron Man 2 out to be worse then it was. I believe he said that people would hate it and walk out. But people loved it and they didnt walk out. So i decided from there on in to review movies but catch the reaction of the audience because they are the ones who make or break movies not the critics.
There’s been a lot of movie sound tracks which ones really stand out for you?
If we’re on about songs from artists lthen Need for Speed, Guardians of the Galaxy, despite Daredevil being a really bad movie, i actually bought the soundtrack and i still have it. I’ve always been a sucker for classic music. But the ultimate one has got to be Ready Player One. Not only is the movie a nostalgia fest but the music in it is absolutely right up my street, I’m a big fan of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music and that is where the majority of the songs on the soundtrack are from, so how can you not like it.
IF we’re on about music from a movie then Gladiator, 18 years after it’s realise i still love it to pieces even if i try and sing Now we are free but Hans Zimmer could’nt have nailed it anymore then he did.
Who do you think is the best music composers in movies?
There are a few, Marco Beltrami, John Williams, James Horner, Enrico Morriconi are the ones i can think of but the one that will never leave my mind is Hans Zimmer. His scores are not just impressive but his music is inspiring and will be remembered for a long time.
Which movies of the last ten years have stood out the most for you?
A lot have, I’m a critic who wants to be impressed, who likes a movie that changes the landscape of movies. So Saw really got the Horror genre started back up and made stars of James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Fade Alverez’s Evil Dead, i was ready to crucify this movie and i absolutely hate remakes, but I’m not sure how he did it but Fade created something that wasn’t only true to the original but made it better. And his next movie Don’t Breathe. You had 3 thieves try to break in to a blind man’s house, but the saying “there’s more to it then meets the eye” has never been more true. Obviously Avengers Infinity War which was the culmination of 10 years of Marvel movies and left us all abit sad.
There is a few foreign films that have caught my eye, one is a little Indonesian movie called the Raid, saw the trailer, was interested, watched it despite the very limited release it had and i was blown away by what you can do with a low budget movie. The fights were some of the best I’d ever seen, the villian was one of the most lethal and unforgiving, we don’t even see the hero until everything goes tits up,. If there was a case of putting that forward as a cult classic, I’d be there. I must say it’s sequel The Raid 2 improved on that a lot it was called “The Dark Knight of Action movies.” I’m not sure it was that but if you want an example or 2 of how great action movies can be without blowing a Lone Ranger style budget on it, i present 2 movies who can.
Bollywood movies why do you think they aren’t as mainstream here?
How could Bollywood movies have more of an impact?
In all honesty, in a world of Marvel & DC movies, as well as mainstream movies i think Bollywood is pushed to the side, if i gave you a choice of Hollywood movies or Bollywood. Everyone would choose Hollywood cause it’s what we’re used to and many people don’t like a change of pace, direction or give it a chance. I will honestly say I’ve never watched a Bollywood movie but i have watched other Asian movies. The Raid is Indonesian, i would watch Asian horror but i saw 10 seconds of “Ringu” Which for the ones who don’t know it’s what “The RIng” was based on, i watched it and immediately i decided “that is too scary for me.” If i had a lot of brave pills and watched it in the daytime, i would but i darent.
Which directors do you think have been the biggest influence on movies?
I would say a lot, every movie director has a specific way of introducing something new that benefits movies in a different way. James Cameron received critical acclaim for his use of special effects in the legendary blockbuster Terminator 2 Judgement Day or T2, Alfred Hitchcock was labelled “The Master of Suspense” because of his ability to say “I’m not gonna keep you on the edge of your seat, I’m gonna do something that’ll make you fall back out of your seat.” D.W Griffith is considered by some as “The father of moviemaking” and it was because of him and Cinematographer Billy Bitzer, they discovered things like Crosscutting and Flashbacks. as we know Flashbacks are used a lot in movies today. (Crosscutting is most often used to establish action occurring at the same time. So for instance If you’ve seen a Chris Nolan movie like Inception (The 3 layers of dreams,) The dark knight (Batman and the police try to find Harvey Dent and Rachel while Joker is at MCU) you’ve have seen many examples of it.) Stanley Kubrick was a director who could express emotion in his movies. The Shining was a case of desolation, Eyes Wide Shut was adultery. Steven Spielberg was the man who made people afraid to go near water after he directed Jaws, Martin Scorsese’s films are always grounded in reality and sometimes the violence is a thing of beauty. Quentin Tarantino is i feel legendary cause his movies are always a case of “I’m Quentin Tarantino and you are watching what I’ve cooked up in my head and the studio has let me have my vision of what this movie should be.” Chris Nolan, this guy all the while been influenced by a lot of people has somehow managed to bring a lot of ideas together and made it fit into movies. His story telling is some of the best and some of his movies even have you asking questions many years later. (Like was Leo DiCaprio dreaming or did he wake up in Inception?)
What have been your stand out movies of 2018?
Black Panther, this was Marvel Studios first crack at a African superhero and I think with everything they do a grand job, A Quiet Place, it was brutally tense, it never let up once, you couldn’t go to the toilet cause something might happen and it never let up once, I really felt tension when Emily Blunt’s character had to give birth in a tub all the while trying not to scream in agony. Mamma Mia 2, it took the first movie, added a stronger cast and it was just so much better. even the loss of Meryl Streep didnt effect it that much. Ready Player One, if you want a nostalgia fest like no other. You need this movie in your life, whether it be all the references to character that Steven Spielberg or Warner Brothers own, then the sound track is absolutely brilliant.
Which actors and actress do you think are the best in the film industry right now?
Ryan Reynolds, it doesnt matter if you’ve seen his movies or follow him on twitter, no matter what your mood is, this guy will make you laugh, cry or make your insides hurt. Tom Hardy is one of the best actors in the last 20 odd years, you ask him to do anything, he’ll make sure he’s ready for the part. Actresses? Scarlett Johanssen, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively. I do think Kate Beckinsale is underrated because everyone knows her as Selene from Underworld and she is now only good for one type of role but i think she is one of the best actresses I’ve seen,
Which films do you think have been great and under rated?
I think a lot if Asian are underrated, well there’s a lot of Hollywood studios who look at Asian movies and think “Right we’ll try and do that only better” but the problem is, they never really do. So Asian movies are underrated, i myself have always loved a Rob zombie movie, i love his no holds barred approach to his horror movies, House of 1000 corpses, watched it once, haven’t watched it since because its too “Oh my god that’s brutal” but he never really gets the praise he deserves. I will say i loved his Halloween remake, not so keen on Halloween 2 because it got abit too carried away with everything., but he is a brilliant director. Event Horizon is a great Sci-Fi horror movie, yes it bombed because it was finished in hurry (god damn you Titanic.) But as far as the majority of the CGI rubbish you can get in horror, I’d take it, over them any day. The worst thing i can think of besides being crushed by 4 lorries when I’m in a car, is having ones eyes gouged out and the theory that something we can’t explain is going on. Yes it could’ve been better but it still feels terrifying. Jason X is really underrated, me personally it’s my favourite Friday the 13th. Yes I know the cast is abit lame aside from Lexa Doig and Kane Hodder, it had characters from the lobotomised section of horror and it was full of chest one liners.. But Friday 13th in space, as a sucker for Sci-Fi and horror, I couldn’t help but love it.
What is your opinion of 3D films? Any that stand out as being 3D worthy?
Right now 3-D is in a really crappy place, i myself have always felt that 3-D is there just to make more money especially when it’s in a movie whe Add Portfolio Galleryre it doesnt need to be, I’m sure when there is a movie that can fully utilise 3-D to itdoesn’tential then my opinion will change. I mean there have been some movies where it kinda might be ok but only one has stuck out and that was Drive Angry, which used 3-D a lot more then a lot if movies do. But at the same time it’s still not enough, So maybe when there is a movie that uses 3-D a lot then my mind will change but at the moment, it is nothing but a money making invention.
Who would you like to play you in a movie of your life and why?
I’d love to say Ryan Reynolds or Robert Downey Jr but realistically, maybe Ty Sheridan. In Ready Player One he showed he has the talent to play a nervous character which i have been the majority of my life.
Your movie recommendations of the next 12 months?
Bohemian Rhapsody, A lot of comic book movies for various reason. Captain Marvel will be Marvel’s attempt at doing for them what Wonder Woman did for DC, Avengers 4 so we can have answers for what happened in Infinity War, among a lot.) Godzilla 2, It Chapter 2, John Wick 3 are all i can think of at this point.
Which films that have been rebooted do you love and which do you think should have been left alone?
there isnt that many reboots i like cause i think Reboots just underline how one dimensional the film industry can be, on occasion there is one that can be better then the original, but in general i think movie studios should just think, “let’s get some fresh eyes in our studios” but they don’t . The only reboots that have caught my eye has been IT & Fade Alverez’s Evil Dead, i was ready to crucify both of them but i was surprised by how great they both were and how they were both kept to the original movies format. So yes i can be surprised by how good a reboot is but I’d be more impressed if there was more original ideas instead of recycling older movies. There are those movies that should be left alone, the masterpieces like Exorcist, Bullit, Shining, Scream, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I really wish Sam Raimi would’ve left Poltergeist alone, i watched it and i thought after i watched it “That Tobe Hooper has just spun in his grave,”
Should video games be made into movies? Which has been the best?
I think yes and no, i mean there has been a lot of video games made into movies that had a lot of promise like Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Need For Speed and Resident Evil that i feel have been ok and there have been those like Mortal Kombat, Doom, Prince of Persia, Hitman, Tron, Max Payne, House of the Dead, Super Mario Bros & Street Fighter to name but a few which have been complete flops and unmentionables in movie discussions about positive video game movies. Erm the problem i think is, you play a video game with a story or campaign mode in it, you expect something better or similar. Now i’am a gamer I’m quite proud to admit, the Call of Duty Modern Warfare trilogy is among the best campaign modes ive played in my life, but you do a movie based on it, you’lll expect an Oscar winner but you wont get it. The only solution, is to do games that have no campaign mode, i think Need for Speed could’ve been so much better then it was, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege has no campaign mode, so you do a movie based on that game, people wont say, oh its rubbish because there is no campaign mode to base it on, you can do a movie where you can have the characters engage in whatever you want as long as you stay true to the characters and what abilities they have. Well maybe not Vigil who has a cloaking field. The best sort of games are the comic book characters or movies that have been made into games. I recently got Spider-Man, brilliant game aside from the boss battles. Batman Arkham series are among the best games out here, except Origins, that was the bad pea in an otherwise brilliant pod. But what i love about those 2 comic book set of games. Is that they take the characters and they made them in a way that they haven’t been seen before. I mean in Arkham series, Poison Ivy was a woman who was stunning to say the least. In Spider-Man, Mj wasn’t an actress, she was a reporter for the Daily Bugle. So those little changes make all the difference.
CGI in movies opinion?
Depends on the movie, i mean there are some genres where it is exceptable and others where it isnt. Anything you want grounded in realism, there is no room for it so horror for instance, cgi has no place in it, sci-fi definitely because movies can not use it but it doesnt bother me because sci-fi isnt to be grounded in reality, it’s grounded in anything the imagination can think of. But there is a fine line between when CGI is acceptable and when it’s venturing into overkill territory.
Which cartoon would you like to see made into a movie?
Honestly, i think the problem with some movie studios is they try to cash in on a cartoons popularity by transferring it from the small screen to the big screen, Tom and Jerry i grew up watching it on my tv in the mornings, but i despised the movie. The only exceptions is South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut and Space Jam.
If you could go back in time and re cast and re direct any movie what would you choose and why?
Probably Superman Returns, i will say that the people behind it made a really big mistake in casting Kate Bosworth, the woman has no star power, no creativity, she made one of DC’s most fascinating leading lady’s and she just turned her into an annoying journalist who did nothing but whinge throughout the movie. Brandon Routh I feel did an ok job as Supes, Kevin Spacey should’ve made Lex Luther so brilliant that he should’ve been a villian that the audience will hate but i dont really hate him infact i didnt really like him either. His talents were just wasted in that movie. It wasn’t so much that that movie was too big for him, but i think he was too big for that movie. I do like James Marsden but his character was simply there to fill the third part of a love triangle. I’d keep Bryan Singer on but i wouldve recast Lois Lane and taken Richard out of the movie altogether. Batman and Robin i wouldve redone in a whole different manner. If i had the choice to It wouldve been less comical, less cheese and more grounded in reality. That is the key between that and Chris Nolan’s and Tim Burton’s versions. Grounded and less stupid. But if i did that, would we have had Chris Nolan’s trilogy? Would we at this point have the DCEU? Sometimes in order to make something better, we have to let it be ruined first. There are some movies that I wouldn’t have made in the first place, like X-Men Origins Wolverine, Pudsey the Movie, Project X, anything beyond Scary Movie 3 and Sharknando.
Quick Fire round:
Mamma Mia Or Mamma Mia Here We Go Again? Here We Go Again
Batman Returns or Dark Knight? Dark Knight
Favorite Marvel Movie? Thus far, Thor Ragnarok
Best Director? Chris Nolan
Best horror movie? Evil Dead remake
Worst Horror movie? Anything with CGI in it
DC or Marvel? Both
Ironman or Deadpool? Iron Man
Favorite comic book superhero? Batman
Worst Movie made? Project X
Favorite actress? Anna Kendrick
Ryan Reynolds or Robert Downey Jr both
Favorite romance movie? The Choice