Posts Tagged ‘Junkie XL’


November 8, 2019 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been a somewhat depressing experience to watch the once brilliant and groundbreaking Terminator franchise descend into one of the most risible series of films in Hollywood’s recent history but, unfortunately, that’s what has happened. In the aftermath of Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991, there was a 12-year gap before Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines appeared in 2003, during which time creator James Cameron went off and began prepping Avatar and its 282 sequels, leaving directorial duties in the hands of Jonathan Mostow. Terminator Salvation came and went in 2009 amid Christian Bale’s on-set meltdown, and Terminator Genisys opened in 2015 with the hope that Emilia Clarke could transfer her Daenerys Targaryan Game of Thrones fan base to the big screen as a new version of Sarah Connor. Spoiler: she couldn’t. The only constant through all this has been the presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but as is often the case in this situation, his original terrifying performance as the ultimate unstoppable killing machine eventually morphed into something approaching self-parody, especially when you consider that the Governator was 68 years old when Genisys came out and was barely able to walk without limping, let alone do any stunts. Read more…

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL – Tom Holkenborg

March 19, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Hollywood’s increasing interest in bringing new versions of Japanese anime titles to an American audience continues with the release of Alita: Battle Angel, adapted from the eponymous 1990s comic book series by Yukito Kishiro. The film was written and produced by James Cameron, who originally intended to direct the project himself when it was first announced in 2003, but after sitting in ‘development hell’ for well over a decade, it was eventually helmed by Robert Rodriguez. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic future and focuses on Alita (Rosa Salazar), a female cyborg who has lost all her memories and is found in a junkyard by cybernetics doctor Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz). Ido rebuilds Alita and takes care of her like she is his daughter; eventually, however, Alita discovers that she has immense strength and fighting skills, which leads to her becoming a bounty hunter, and eventually learning more about her past. The film co-stars Oscar winners Mahershala Ali and Jennifer Connelly, and has been a surprisingly popular critical and commercial success, overcoming the film’s misleading marketing that entirely omits the significant sports movie plot, as well as its potential for trips to the ‘uncanny valley’ in terms of Alita’s look and design. Read more…

TOMB RAIDER – Tom Holkenborg

March 21, 2018 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Back in the 1990s, someone had an idea to make a film based on a popular video game, and it was quickly seen as a fertile new ground from which to draw cinematic inspiration. Unfortunately, the first few films – 1993’s Super Mario Bros., 1994’s Street Fighter, 1995’s Mortal Kombat – were all significantly awful, meaning that it was not until 2001’s Tomb Raider that a video game movie saw any real traction, either with critics or at the box office. The original film starred Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, the eponymous globe-trotting adventurer searching for artifacts and hidden treasure among the ancient ruins of the world. Now, 17 years later, Lara Croft has been rebooted, and this new film stars Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, the eponymous globe-trotting adventurer searching for… well, you get the idea. The film is directed by Norwegian Roar Uthaug, co-stars Walton Goggins and Dominic West, and has done some brisk business, achieving the highest Rotten Tomatoes score of any major video game adaptation movie to date, and taking in well over $100 million on its opening weekend. Read more…

THE DARK TOWER – Tom Holkenborg

August 8, 2017 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Dark Tower is an action/fantasy/sci-fi epic based on the massively popular series of novels by Stephen King. Directed by Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel, the film stars Idris Elba as Roland Deschain, a ‘gunslinger’ from a parallel universe who is trying to stop a sorcerer named Walter (Matthew McConaughey) from destroying the titular building, which stands at the center of the universe, and protects it from evil. Into this epic tale comes 12-year-old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), a typical New York kid who has untapped psychic powers, and who finds a way to travel between dimensions to help the Gunslinger stop The Man in Black once and for all. Having not read the books, I can’t comment on the fact that the film apparently discards much of the stuff that made the original novels so compelling – the intricate world-building, the deep back-stories of each character – in favor of a fairly simple good vs. evil tale with morally black-and-white characters. The film was in development hell for more than a decade, and went through at least three directors and numerous potential stars prior to finally hitting the silver screen with a resounding ‘thud’ in August 2017. Read more…

DEADPOOL – Tom Holkenborg

February 27, 2016 Leave a comment

deadpoolOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

By far the biggest and most successful movie in the first quarter of 2016, Deadpool is an irreverent, massively entertaining super-hero film spinning off from the X-Men universe. Ryan Reynolds stars as Wade Wilson, a former special forces op and mercenary-for-hire who is tricked into undergoing a radical treatment as a last ditch attempt to cure his terminal cancer. However, Wade is betrayed by those who promised to help him, and is instead subjected to extended periods of torture on behalf of a shadowy organization attempting to create an army of invincible slaves; the ordeal awakens latent mutant genes which give him super-human powers of re-generation, and cures his cancer, but leaves him terribly scarred. Escaping from his captors, Wilson adopts a new persona as Deadpool and sets about bringing those who tortured him to justice. Meanwhile, Deadpool’s new mutations capture the attention of the X-Men, two of whom – Colossus and Negasonic – track him down and attempt to convince him to join their group. The film is directed by Tim Miller, co-stars Ed Skrien, Morena Baccarin, and Gina Carano, and has an original score by Tom Holkenborg. Read more…

BLACK MASS – Tom Holkenborg

September 27, 2015 1 comment

blackmassOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

James “Whitey” Bulger was a notorious and violent mobster who, basically, was the leading figure in organized crime on the south side of Boston, Massachusetts, throughout the 1970s and 80s, allegedly personally committing dozens of murders and being involved in everything from drug smuggling and racketeering to illegally exporting arms for the IRA. Throughout this time, however, Bulger was also an informant for the FBI, which turned a blind eye to Bulger’s own criminal activities, in exchange for the information he provided about other organized crime families in the area. This all changed in 1994, when a new district attorney decided to go after Bulger, who then fled the city. For the next 16 years Bulger remained in hiding, until he was finally captured in 2011 outside his apartment in Santa Monica, California, and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. The movie Black Mass, directed by Scott Cooper, tells Bulger’s life story; it stars Johnny Depp in a return-to-form performance as Bulger, Joel Edgerton as his FBI contact John Connelly, Benedict Cumberbatch as Bulger’s brother William, the former president of the Massachusetts State Senate, and has a superb supporting cast including Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, and Jesse Plemons from Breaking Bad. Read more…

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Tom Holkenborg

May 31, 2015 3 comments

madmaxfuryroadOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s been 30 years since the end of director George Miller’s original Mad Max trilogy – comprising Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981) and Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – which starred Mel Gibson as a former Australian highway patrol officer in a dystopian post-apocalyptic society, who gradually loses the last vestiges of his humanity as a result of his run-ins with various lawless biker gangs and opportunistic self-proclaimed leaders. Miller’s films were noted for their simple plotting, the monosyllabic central character, and the creative visual concept design, as well as for their mind-bogglingly spectacular chase sequences and car stunts, some of which are regularly cited amongst the most impressive ever filmed, and Fury Road continues the trend. In this latest film, which appears to continue the chronological adventures of Max, Tom Hardy takes over from Mel Gibson in the lead role; here, he finds himself involved in the civil war that develops between Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), the fearsome leader of a clan-like cult known as the War Boys, and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the driver of a heavily armored War Rig gasoline tanker, who escapes from Joe’s Citadel with his five wives – women specially selected for breeding – and intends to take them to safety in a mythical ‘green place’ beyond Joe’s control. Read more…