Jesus is King: Kanye West (2019)

Jesus is King: Kanye West (2019)

I battled to get to my cinema to see Kanye West’s new film Jesus is King through bitter winds and freezing temperatures.

I got to the cinema somewhat dishevelled but in one piece. This film was the perfect antidote to this. A gorgeous and very uplifting preview of Kanye’s new gospel flavoured album that was full of passion and euphoria that is contagious and sweeps you along with the whole vibe of the piece.

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The visuals are interesting and experimental. Images come in and out of focus and are framed what looks like a circular lens that acts as the frame for the visuals. This frame grows and shrinks according to what the music dictates. Architecture, nature and the actual gospel choir are all used to evoke imagery that gels brilliantly with the majesty of the music.

This cinematic curio exudes an element of artistic expression that is sorely missing with most mainstream, multi-million selling artists but never comes across as an artist trying his hardest to be ‘arty’. It all feels organic, natural and like a very accomplished concert film that turns the genre on it’s head. No, it’s not as brilliant as The Last Waltz or Stop Making Sense but it is still a brilliant artistic achievement rather than some vapid, overlong commercial for Kanye’s new album.

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A(nother) project that Mr West can be proud of. And it sure beats the vapid releases of other huge artistes who could only dream of something as ambitious as this.

I was lucky enough to see this in IMAX which suited both the visuals and the sound perfectly. Kanye, the pleasure was all mine.

4/5 out of 5 stars

Day 3- 31 Days of Halloween- The Exorcist (1974)

Day 3- 31 Days of Halloween- The Exorcist (1974)

I feel like I’ve grown up with this film.

This was one film that I remember seeing on the shelves of video stores when I was a child but didn’t get round to seeing before it mysteriously disappeared. Absence made the heart grown fonder and I knew I must see this forbidden fruit.

But when I was at school a friend of mine had the video as his Dad ran a video store which was very fortunate. I borrowed The Exorcist and watched it with my father whilst we were eating our evening meal. A bad mistake.

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Then in 1993 on my 18th birthday I went to see the film at the Odeon in York with some friends where it was being shown as a one-off midnight screening. The print was in terrible shape. But it still scared me so much that I spent a sleepless night tossing and turning in bed thinking about what I’d just seen.

Then in 1998 the film was rereleased in cinemas in a digitally remastered form. It looked and sounded amazing. Again I saw it.

Then in 2000 came the ‘Version You’ve Never Seen Before’ that incorporated deleted footage and CGI at different parts of the film.

For my money, the best version is the original.

Yes, everyone knows about the famous (or should that be infamous) scenes that are actually more shocking and effective on screen then in the telling. But this is a multi-layered complex film and demands repeated viewings to reap everything the film has to offer.

Captain Howdy, Burke Dennings, Friedkin playing with our senses in certain scenes (check out the scene where Chris sees Karras and Dyer for the first time but we don’t hear what they say as theres a jumbo jet going overhead or the dream sequences involving the St Christopher necklace falling to the ground and you’ll see what I mean), the epic and haunting otherworldly sequence in Northern Iraq, Chris’ speech about why she wants an exorcism (some of the best acting I’ve ever seen- although I could say the same about all of this film), the desecrations, ‘Have you seen what shes done? Your cunting daughter!’, ‘Your mother sucks cocks in Hall!’, ‘The sow is mine!’…theres so much to love.

Look out for actor Paul Bateson in one of the murder scenes. He was later charged with murder and was the inspiration for Friedkin’s later masterpiece, Cruising.

The Exorcist is the horror motherlode. 5 out of 5- a true masterpiece.

The Omen (1976) – Day 18 – 31 Days of Halloween

The Omen (1976) – Day 18 – 31 Days of Halloween

The Omen aka Donald Trump: The Childhood Years

An American diplomat adopts an orphaned child whose mother died at birth unbeknowst to his wife who has just given birth to their (supposedly) stillborn son. Their new child however is the Antichrist. Hilarity ensues. Just kidding.


This film is perfect in many ways. Direction, cast, cinematography, music, screenplay. If ever it feels like the movie could curdle into camp it then reins itself in. The scariest horror movies deal with the huge conflict between good and evil. Us mere mortals are in no position to scoff or deride such things. This is one of the many reasons why this movie is so bonechilling.

Whilst I could name all of the performances I love in this film I would just be reciting the entire cast list. My favourite performance? Damian himself. He says very little but his performance is flawless. And watch for his facial expression at the very end of the movie when hes looking directly at the audience. 


The Antichrist is adopted into the world of politics. Makes you think doesn’t it?
4 out of 5 

Beyond The Door – Day 9 – 31 Days of Halloween

Beyond The Door – Day 9 – 31 Days of Halloween

A mark that you’ve made a great movie is when your film spawns a number of imitators. One such movie is The Exorcist.


One such imitator is Beyond The Door. But whilst some imitators are pale and shoddy rip offs, this film is amazing.

Starring esteemed actress Juliet Mills this deals with her posession and pregnancy.

Cue plenty of body horror grossness, surreal scenarios (you haven’t lived until you see her eat a discarded banana skin) and much profanity. Add to the mix a potty mouthed child and you have a great cinematic experience. The film is also beautifully shot and staged. It has a feel all of its own.

Apparently Mills is extremely proud of this movie. And so she should be.
4 out of 5