Skip to main content

First Things First


Hi, my name is Phil Cantillon.  Ever since I was taken to see Beethoven's 2nd at Stockport cinema by my Dad (I imagine I ended up enjoying that more than him), I've loved the experience of going to the cinema.  The sticky carpets & the smell of the popcorn.  The fold down seats & the mind blowing trailers.  And then later, the Kevin Bacon adverts... hmm.  Early memories of going to see The Lion King (and A Goofy Movie… *ahem*) and the Star Wars re-releases were so exciting, and I still get that now.


At home I would re-watch and wear out our VHS recording of The Sword in the Stone and Robin Hood until you could barely even make out the naff 90s adverts in between.  When I was being babysat by my gran I managed to convince her Mum and Dad said I was allowed to watch Jurassic Park.  Despite that first showing scaring the hell out of me, that film changed my life.  Somehow I wasn’t left totally scarred, although it’s probably a good job I never braved American Werewolf in London until quite a few years later no matter how alluring it’s black box was.


When DVDs were first introduced my Dad couldn’t wait to set up his surround sound system and invest in a big telly.  I remember him and Mum buying one DVD each; Top Gun for Dad, and The Sting for her.  Excellent choices for very different reasons, but I fell in love with both and couldn’t wait to show The Sting to my girlfriend Charlotte for the first time recently (everyone enjoys being told why they need to love a film scene by scene right?).  Now I have a set of shelves bursting at the seams with my own DVDs untidily squeezed in on top of each other.

There’s nothing more powerful or immersive than a film, particularly when you catch it on the big screen and it’s by far my favourite form of escapism.  I can’t wait to get stuck in here and share my opinion on film’s I’ve watched (latest releases as well as chipping away at my DVDs), and cinema in general.  For the time being though, everyone loves a list:

Fave films
Drive, Jurassic Park, The Thing, Se7en, Inception, Psycho, Rear Window, Fargo, Jaws, Alien, Aladdin and the The Prestige

Fave directors
Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Brian De Palma and Ridley Scott

Fave actors
Tom Cruise (yes, seriously), Steve McQueen, Robert De Niro, Paul Newman, Leonardo Di Caprio, Jack Nicholson, Paul Giamatti and Mark Ruffalo

Fave actresses
Helen Mirren, Amy Adams, Emma Thompson, Julie Andrews, Kate Winslet, Emily Blunt, Julianne Moore and Marion Cotillard

Fave cinemas
‘Home’ in Manchester, ‘The Electric’ in Birmingham, and the AMC cinema in Deansgate, Manchester.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Baby Driver (2017)

Shaun of the Dead (2004) is somehow one of my favourite ever comedies, as well as making it on to my list of favourite ever horror films.  Hot Fuzz (2007) is brilliantly funny too (always thought it would make a great cinema double bill with Bigelow's Point Break, the 1991 thriller from which it took a lot of inspiration), but I don’t remember reacting to The World’s End (2013) in anyway near the same way.  While the first two in Wright’s ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ heavily referenced films I knew very well to comedic effect, I remember thinking that I would find The World’s End funnier when I’m older… so its terrifying to think that soon may be the time to give that another go.  I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright’s snappy style and cuts, and there’s actually a great analysis of his visual comedy which I recommend checking out here.  After he backed out of doing Marvel's Ant-Man in 2015, the release of Baby Driver crept up on me a bit this year.  Had I known one of the m…

My Best Films of 2017 So Far - 6 Month Review

As is now a famous Philhelm Scream tradition (ie. I’ve done it once before, last year), approaching the half-way point of the calendar year feels a suitable time to take stock and rank some films. After what was an incredible strong Oscar year, there’s a good showing of the nominees here seeing as each received a January release here in the UK. Fingers crossed July – Dec is just as good!

10. Hidden Figures
I thought it was a bit of a shame Hidden Figures (along with 2016's Hell or High Water) slipped under the best Picture radar a bit this year, while the incredibly dull Lion (2017) and Dev Patel’s hair seemed to get a lot more coverage. The story of the first ever black female employee at NASA, and the struggles she faced to get there was told really well. It’s a proper fist pump of a story, and doesn’t get too bogged down in the boring number crunching that it could so easily have done. The leading trio of Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer are each brilliant…

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

I'll admit that I immediately dismissed the first John Wick film when it was released back in 2014.  Although I'm a big fan of Point Break (1991), Speed (1994), and The Matrix (1999), it's fair to say that Keanu Reeves' more recent releases have been pretty disappointing.  The idea of seeing a film about an ex hitman out for revenge after someone kills his dog didn't inspire me with confidence either.  However, having heard lots of positive things about the action sequences Charlotte and I grabbed the DVD ahead of the release of it's sequel and thought it was a huge amount of fun.  It's a franchise that knows exactly what it's about: thrilling action with it's excellent stuntwork from it's lead actor, and it does it really well.  Laurence Olivier he ain't, but Reeves is a brilliant physical actor who throws himself in to a role (often literally), and this is a film that plays to those strengths.  Thankfully Chapter 2 is more of the same, so …