From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Before I start this review, if you haven’t seen this movie I would advise you to not read any further. I’m going to be very excited and write about huge spoilers. If you don’t know what it’s about (and I highly suggest not finding out – the surprise is really worth it) don’t read further. Please don’t. Just watch it. Don’t look at the IMDb either. They give it away in a sentence. Jerks.

Seriously. Don't look it up.

Okay, you have been warned.

I had no idea that this was a vampire movie. I figured, “Oh, it’s a crime action flick with Quentin Tarantino where they say ‘Fuck’ a lot and blow shit up.” Which is what happens in the first half. Then it turns into, “Oh, it’s a crime action flick with Quentin Tarantino where they say ‘Fuck’ a lot and blow shit up, with VAMPIRES.” From the moment Salma Hayek‘s head changed shape my jaw remained dropped for the rest of the film. What the hell? HOW?! There wasn’t any indication that this was going to turn into a monster movie.

Apparently this is a film that has been ruined for people for generations and somehow I, in my 22 years, have never heard anything about it. All I knew was that Robert Rodriguez directed, Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney starred, and there was a lot of gunfire. I mean, that’s all I needed to know to see the darn thing but really? I was completely blown away.

Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney play brothers who are fleeing to the Tex-Mex border to meet a guy who will pay them for their – no you know what? This doesn’t even matter in the end of the film. I mean, this is brilliantly created and Tarantino’s character is a creepy sex offender and he gets his hand blown clean through from a shoot-out at the beginning of the film but I can’t even remember why they went to Mexico in the first place. It doesn’t matter. Vampires.

Danny Trejo as a vampire. F- yeah!

Is this film worth it? Oh my god, yes. Please make it a personal vow to see it. It’s nothing except entertaining. And besides, you get to see George Clooney kick ass and take names. He just wins all over the place. And he doesn’t need Tiger Blood.

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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

What a drink!

Wow. That was awesome.

Honestly, if any of you reading this haven’t seen this movie, then drop whatever you are doing and watch it on Netflix. It’s on Instant Queue. Fantastic.

It’s a heist movie that is extremely stylish but not pretentious. Just excellent. There are many players involved – which may seem like it’s confusing – but the pacing allows you to follow very easily. It takes place in London’s East End – which is particularly grim. It’s meat and potatoes with a bit of garnish.

With top-hitters like Jason Statham, Vinnie Jones and Lenny McLean and… wait. What am I saying? Everyone is good in this film. People who don’t have lines are good in this film.

I’m not even going to say anything about the film anymore. I’m just going to offer you a quote. Bacon (Jason Statham) orders a drink from a bar. The bartender offers him this frou-frou drink that has a whole bunch of junk in it. Bacon looks at it, at the bartender and asks what it was. The bartender tells him he ordered a cocktail, to which Bacon replies: “I wasn’t expecting a fucking rainforest. You can fall in love with anĀ orangutanĀ in there.”

Oh! I almost forgot to talk about the soundtrack. Totally cool – the two teams of criminals had their own songs. Our main boys had a bass line and the other had a guitar riff. A lot of swingin’ sexy sounds.

Yeah. Go see this movie. Awesome. Definitely in my top 100 films.

The Hit (1984)

Tim Roth in The Hit

I bought this film on a whim while browsing at a Barnes and Noble. I’m a fan of the Criterion Collection and when I saw that both Tim Roth and John Hurt were in this, I didn’t need any other pressure to buy it. I had never heard of it before and hardly has Criterion let me down.

Willie (Terence Stamp) is a gangster who sells out his pals in England for a free ride and a new life in a faraway village in Spain. He is nabbed by four Spanish boys who deliver him to two hit-men (Tim Roth and John Hurt) who are to bring him back for his destruction. Roth plays a brash punk that doesn’t really gel with the undercover nature of the mission and blows their cover every chance he seems to get. Hurt plays an unwilling leader who just wants to get the mission over with but gets into hang-ups because of Roth and the saucy Maggie (Laura Del Sol).

It is beautifully shot – arid deserts and long expanses of mountains, a raging waterfall and dirt roads. Music by Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Paco de Lucia – a fantastic flamenco guitarist – and the beauty of the shots made me feel nostalgic for a place I have never been.

It was well worth the time – especially if you want to see Tim Roth in his early days (which, I will admit, was my first reaction). It’s also an early Stephen Frears film (High Fidelity, The Queen) so I was eager to see it.