BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Drew Goddard Stars: Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Lewis Pullman, Cailee Spaeny, Nick Offerman, Shea Whigham, Xavier Dolan. The El Royale hotel straddles the border between California and Nevada, and guests can have a choice of staying in the California suites, which offer warmth or the Nevada rooms which seem to offer a bridge between the past and a brand-new future. It is 1969, the tail end of darker and turbulent period of American history with Richard Nixon in the White House. J Edgar Continue reading

VENOM

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Ruben Fleischer Stars: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Woody Harrelson, Peggy Lu. Yet another superhero movie, this one featuring a second-tier character from the Marvel stable. Or should that be a super-anti-hero, because Venom is not your usual superhero? We first met Venom in the Sam Raimi-helmed Spiderman 3, when he was played by Topher Grace. And despite its origins with Spiderman, Venom clearly sits outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film itself has been produced by Sony Continue reading

A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire Stars: Joe Cole, Pornchanok Mabklang. This intense brutal prison drama is like Kickboxer meets Midnight Express. This unflinching, hard hitting and gritty and harrowing true story is set inside Thailand’s notorious Bang Kwang Central prison, better known as the infamous Bangkok Hilton. Like Midnight Express, which depicted Billy Hayes’ ordeal after being arrested and imprisoned for smuggling drugs in Turkey, A Prayer Before Dawn is based on the 2014 memoir written by expat Brit Billy Moore (played by Joe Cole, Continue reading

THE PREDATOR

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Shane Black Stars: Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Yvonne Strahovski, Trevante Rhodes, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Keegan Michael Kay, Augusto Aquilera, Alfie Allen, Jake Busey. Is this new take on the dreadlocked extra-terrestrial trackers who travel across the universe hunting and killing for sport a remake, a reboot or a sequel? According to writer/director Shane Black it is a sequel to the first three Predator movies and reinvigorates the alien predator first created by writers Jim and John Thomas in 1987. The Continue reading

SUPERFLY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Director X Stars: Trevor Jackson, Kaalan Walker, Esai Morales, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis, Andrea London, Jason Mitchell, Jennifer Morrison, Brian F Durkin, Big Bank Black, Antwan Big Boi Patton. This is a largely unnecessary remake of the 1972 Blaxploitation crime drama from director Gordon Parks jr, the son of legendary Blaxploitation filmmaker Gordon Parks, who gave us classic films like Shaft, etc. The original was a ground-breaking achievement as it one of the first films entirely financed and starring and Continue reading