Category: Action

 

Summary: A group of immortal mercenaries discover a new recruit just as they find themselves being ‘hunted’.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 10th July 2020

Country: USA

Director: Gina Prince-Blythewood

Screenwriter: Greg Rucka

Cast: Joey Anash (Keane), Peter Brooke (Sergeant Wright), Simon Chandler (Father Sykes), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Copley), Majid Essaidi (Sadeq), Tuncay Gunes (Nelson), Steve Healey (David Eves), Aanya Hirdaramani (Savatt), Jordan Holland (Ashton), Natacha Karam (Dizzy), Marwan Kenzari (Joe), Kiki Layne (Nile), Anamaria Marinca (Dr. Meta Kozak), Luca Marinelli (Nicky), Harry Melling (Merrick), Van Veronica Ngo (Quynh), Shala Nyx (Gita), Olivia Ross (Celeste), Matthias Schoenaerts (Booker), Orlando Seale (Jean-Pierre), Charlize Theron (Andy), Mette Towley (Jordan), Micheal Ward (Lykon), Andrei Zayats (Andrei)

Running Time: 125 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

 

 

OUR THE OLD GUARD REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ The Old Guard Review:

One of the winners out of the worldwide cinema lockdown has been streaming service Netflix. Many may have expected the service to sit back and simply count their cash as more and more people took up memberships to alleviate the lockdown boredom. Instead Netflix have decided to use this period to flex its creative muscle and once again show Hollywood that they well and truly ready to swim in the big pool now.

Of course last year the streaming platform showed that when it came to serious cinema they were well and truly in the fight when they created and released the Oscar nominated films The Irishman and Marriage Story. Then earlier this year Netflix showed it was ready to enter the blockbuster market when it released Extraction starring one of the world’s most recognisable actors, Chris Hemsworth. Now they show that was no fluke by dropping another popcorn-worthy blockbuster The Old Guard with Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road).

There is really only one way to describe The Old Guard ­– a thinking person’s blockbuster. Based on a four-part graphic novel series The Old Guard centres around a group of immortal mercenaries led by Andy (Theron). While the group are eagerly trying to find the whereabouts of a new ‘immortal’ Nile (KiKi Layne – If Beale Street Could Talk) they also realise that their latest mission, tasked to them by Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years A Slave), was a set-up designed to bring them out into the open. It is there that mystery begins – who is Copley working for and why does it seem that he wants them captured?

It is a pretty basic plotline but together director Gina Prince-Blythewood (The Secret Life Of Bees) and screenwriter Greg Rucka (Whiteout) have managed to create an action-thriller that goes a little bit deeper than many would have expected.

Of course you have your action scenes. And while they may lack the visual brilliance of the ones in Extraction they are more than serviceable as Theron lays waste to enemy after enemy. But where The Old Guard trumps many other films in the action genre is when its plot takes it into deep themes such as how difficult it is to live with immortality, someone facing the fact that they are going to die sooner rather later and the ethical debate of whether medical science can really ever go too far. You could also possibly argue that another major ethically dilemma raised in the film is whether the owners of pharmaceutical companies are really in the business for their consumer’s health and well-being or whether or not it is all about the mighty buck. Yes, as you can see The Old Guard does indeed raise some pretty spicy and thought-provoking questions.

The Old Guard does work as a stand-alone film you do feel that a few scenes have been included to try and kick-start this as a franchise. While Andy’s flashback memories are a great way to show how she has suffered due to persecution and her immortality over the years they also serve as a way to introduce other characters you feel will return in the sequels.

Luckily that doesn’t distract too much from what works in this film. Casting wise Theron and the actors in her crew work remarkably well. The film also showcases the talents of Kiki Layne who seems to embrace the chance to play a character torn between who she can trust while trying to get her head around a world that she never knew existed. Fans of the Harry Potter franchise will also get a pleasant surprise when they get to see Harry Melling, who portrayed Dudley in the Potter-verse, turn up as the film’s Bond-like villain.

Of course The Old Guard is not going to reach the lofty award-winning heights of its stable-mates The Irishman and Marriage Story. Aimed at a different audience this is a film that will enjoyed by those who enjoy comic-book movies while showing the cinematic world that streaming services can now hire big name stars and place them in movies that can really pack a punch.

 

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

The Old Guard (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Old Guard Reviews:

You can read our The Old Guard review which appeared in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/a-good-start-to-the-old-guard-76720.php

 

Trailer:

 

Summary: A newly wed couples trip to India is ruined when a small time thief slips a gem into their luggage.

Year: 1988

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 1st July 2020

Country: USA, India

Director: Dwight H. Little

Screenwriter: Curt Allen, Nico Mastorakis

Cast: Laura Albert (Kim Chi), Charlie Brill (Inspector Ramesh), Bob Christo (Haggerty), Dhanushkodi (Maniam), Deep Dhillon (Tanjer), Marjean Holden (Shirley), Jack Kehler (Paul Lorre), Christopher Neame (Van Hoeven), Anna Nicholas (Stephanie), Rajinikanth (Shyam Sabu), Tej Sapru (Manu), Brett Stimely (Sandy McVey),Carol Teesdale (Anna)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: M

 

 

OUR BLOODSTONE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Bloodstone Review:

There is just something about going back and exploring old cult cinema classics that you can’t beat. Of course many film lovers will write some of these films off as trash but to me I always find a special kind of magic in them that just can’t be replicated in modern day cinema.

One such film is the 1988 classic Bloodstone. Directed by Dwight H. Little (who went on to direct episodes of popular shows such as Bones and Dollhouse) Bloodstone was a pretty early attempt at marrying the American and Indian film industries while also trying to launch Brett Stimely as an action star. Stimely’s action career never really took off but chances are you have seen him play the role of President Kennedy in a number of films over the years including Watchmen and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.

In Bloodstone Stimely plays Sandy McVey a man who has just quit as a Police Officer to enter family textile business run by his newly-wed wife Stephanie (Anna Nicholas – Remington Steele). The pair travel to India for business but their entire trip is spoiled as they happen to sit next to small-time thief Paul Lorre (Jack Kehler – Point Break) who is trying to smuggle the priceless Bloodstone back into India.

Convinced that the bumbling Inspector Ramesh (Charlie Brill – Star Trek) is waiting for him Lorre slips the gem into the luggage of the McVey’s which in turn sees rich criminal Van Hoevan (Christopher Neame – Ghostbusters) kidnap Stephanie in a bid to obtain the gem. That leads to Sandy having to team up with criminal-turned-taxi-driver Shyam Sabu (Rajinikanth – Baashi) in order to rescue her.

There is so much to like about Bloodstone. From the screenwriters attempt to make Ramesh the brand new Inspector Clouseau through to the very 80s action sequences featuring Stimely taking on any bad guy that comes his way.  In typical 80s style the film tries its best to try and make Stimely memorable in the role. His likeness to Richard Dean Anderson is uncanny at times but his action sequences do work, although cult cinema fans may giggle a lit at how staged the fights are, and the screenwriters also manage to give him some memorable one liners that he delivers while laying waste to the bad guys. Look out for one little gem delivered as he ‘let’s go’ a criminal just the way the man requested.

Stimely is also well supported by Rajinkanth in one of his only English speaking movie roles. The two make a great on-screen duo and as the film goes on you realise that it is a bit of a shame that Rajinkanth never did more American films as he had the rare duo of good dramatic acting and great action skills.

Story-wise Bloodstone definitely still holds up today. The premise that the gem is passed from person to person keeps the audience constantly guessing to its whereabouts throughout the film. While the psychotic nature of the Bond like villain – Van Hoeven – also leaves the audience wondering what exactly he is capable of doing to the film’s heroes.

Watching Bloodstone in 2020 makes you realise what a hidden gem the film is. The great mix of Indian and American culture works throughout the film while the on-screen duo of Rajinkanth and Brett Stimely makes you wish that they had made more movies together especially as the film spun off into a franchise. Bloodstone captures all that 80s action magic and is well worth a re-visit again today.

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Bloodstone (1988) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Bloodstone Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

Warner Bros. Pictures and Roadshow Films are partnering with exhibitors to invite audiences to celebrate the 10thAnniversary re-release of Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed box office sensation INCEPTION on July 16. This special anniversary theatrical event will also give audiences a never-before-seen look at footage from Nolan’s highly anticipated film TENET, which will debut worldwide two weeks later, on July 30.

“As cinema lovers return to theatres across the country we are thrilled to be bringing TENET, Christopher Nolan’s latest epic, to the big screen,” Said Joel Pearlman, CEO Roadshow Films. “Fans of Nolan’s work know the scope and scale of his films are made for the theatrical environment and as we countdown to the opening of this latest global film event, we are excited to offer his classic INCEPTION in cinemas on its 10th anniversary, July 16th.”

John David Washington is the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan’s original sci-fi action spectacle “Tenet.” Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion. The film also stars Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, with Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.  Nolan wrote and directed the film and also produced with Emma Thomas.

“Inception,” a 2010 science fiction action film written and directed by Nolan, who also produced the film with Emma Thomas, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for the implantation of another person’s idea into a target’s subconscious. The ensemble cast includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

For further information on session times and participating cinemas, please visit your local cinema website for full details.

 

Grab your popcorn and cuddle up with a hyena, it’s time to join ACMI in Australia’s first Birds of Prey: The Emancipation Of One Fantabulous Harley Quinn watch party with pop culture critic, ACMI writer and Number 1 BOP fan Maria Lewis. 

Starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and brought to life by Robbie’s own production company Lucky Chap Entertainment, BOP is a high octane film of firsts. Not only is it the first big screen all-female superhero team movie, it’s also based on the first all-female superhero comic book team.

BOP’s diverse pool of female talent isn’t just in front of the camera, but behind it as well. Directed by Cathy Yan and written by British-Taiwanese screenwriter Christina Hodson, together they’ve lovingly recreated characters who are dirty, funny and sexy in a way that doesn’t consider the male gaze let alone cater for it.  

   

Join ACMI’s Maria Lewis on Twitter @moviemazz using #ACMIwatches or on Instagram live @maria___lewis 

Find where to buy or rent Birds of Prey on Just Watch

 

Acclaimed actor Dylan Baker (“Hunters”, “The Good Wife”, Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films) stars in 2020’s most thrilling short film Nightfire – premiering in your lounge room today, May 1st!

Two American agents (Lorenzo Pisoni and Greg Hadley) are hired to retrieve military chips containing a large sum of government money. Their plan goes awry when an unexpected political prisoner (Dylan Baker) enters the picture.

Bradley Stryker (“iZombie”, “Cold Pursuit”), Francesco Pannofino and Becky Ann Baker (“Hunters”, “Freaks and Geeks”) co-star in the short film, directed by Brando Benetton and co-written by Brando Benetton and Los Silva.

The white-knuckle thriller, produced by a group of friends from Ithaca college, debuts on streaming platforms, including Amazon, today May 1 via Hewes Pictures.

 

One of the great initiates that has started up during our pandemic lockdown is that Monster Pictures have re-started their Friday Night Frights but are doing it online. The film screening tonight is the deserved Australian cult classic SheBorg Massacre. We decided that was the perfect excuse to catch up with filmmaker Daniel Armstrong who since directing SheBorg Massacre has also released Tarnation and is currently in post-production for his latest film Nova Star.

“Hopefully it will help kick a few of the lockdown blues in the nuts,” says Armstrong laughing when we begin to talk about SheBorg Massacre being part of Friday Night Frights. “I only found out about a few days ago, but it should be pretty fun… it should be pretty cool. I checked out Cat Sick Blues when it was on the other week, it is a good thing to do when you are a stuck at home, let the internet entertain you.”

As our discussion goes on we start to think back to the early days of when SheBorg Massacre was still in its infancy. “That is going back to far,” he says laughing again. “I think we shot in 2015 so I probably would have written it back in early 2014. What I remember is coming up with a title – originally it was called SheBorg Prison Massacre. I thought ‘that is the best name for a film, I should write that.’ So I remember writing that and then we couldn’t find a prison or something that looked like a prison to shoot in, but we did know a guy that had a farm that looked like a puppy farm. They were actually old chicken coops but we thought it looked like a really dodgy puppy farm.”

“So then I changed the name to Sheborg Puppy Farm Massacre and then we dropped the Puppy Farm part because it offended too many people,” he says continuing. “Then it became SheBorg Massacre. But yeah it started with a title.”

Despite the film being made on a micro-budget the film does actually contain actual stunts. At one point a car is crashed into a tree and at another point actress Whitney Duff is left climbing on the side of a moving van. That led me to ask how Armstrong shot stunts like that while filming on such a low budget. “To drive into the tree we just had an insane person who was willing to drive a car into a tree,” he explains. “So we just did that for real, we actually drove the car into the tree. With the van stunt we actually got a stunt co-ordinator and we got him in for the day and Whitney is actually wired onto that car. She was talked to about how the best way to do it but otherwise the car is actually driving around with her hanging off the side and back of it. She has a harness connected to the back of the car somewhere so in theory she can’t fall off, and she didn’t fall off so I guess it all went well.”

One of the highlights of the film are the amazing performances of Whitney Duff and Daisy Masterman so I just had to ask Armstrong how he went about discovering both of them. “It is the chemistry between Whitney and Daisy that makes the film fun to watch,” admits Armstrong. “They become legitimately good friends during pre-production and that really shows. That energy really helps you enjoy the film.”

“Whitney just auditioned,” he says continuing. “I don’t know where she would have seen the casting call but she just auditioned and I wrote the part for Daisy. I had worked with Daisy on Murderdrome, she had a very, very small part in that but she was extremely funny and I thought we should put her in a bigger part. I always knew that she was going to be Eddie so Daisy came to all the auditions that people came to for the Dylan character which is the character that Whitney plays. Then we kind of just judged on which applicant had the best chemistry with Daisy on the spot.”

To finish up we let Daniel say something special for all of you out there who are going to tune into SheBorg Massacre tonight. “If you all enjoy the film as much as we did making it then we enjoyed making it twice as much as you,” he says. “Hopefully you just enjoy it, I think it is entertaining and I think it is fun. It obviously has its flaws but it does do some really cool stuff. I think it is just entertaining and fun to watch – it has a good heart.”

 

SheBorg Massacre screens tonight as part of Monster Picture’s Friday Night Frights series.