Tag: Action

‘Justice League’ Review

‘Justice League’ Review

‘Justice League’ is a small indie film that stars Ben Affleck, Gal Godet, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, and Jason Momoa and is about Batman aka, Bruce Wayne, Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act from ‘Batman V Superman’, he enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, to face an even greater enemy, by joining forces with Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, Victor Stone aka Cyborg, and Barry Allen aka The Flash. This is obviously one of the biggest films of the year. My relationship with the DC films has been a rocky one. I really liked ‘Man of Steel’, I honestly liked ‘Batman V Superman’, I HATED ‘Suicide Squad’ and I LOVED ‘Wonder Woman.’ So I kind of went into this film with low expectations. I was preparing myself for disappointment because at the writing of this review this film has a 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. And I’m here to say that….the critics are being way too harsh with this film. Is this film perfect? No. Not at all. BUT, I’m not going to lie, I had a blast with this film. DC and director Zack Snyder (and Joss Wheadon) take a more light and “fluffy” approach to this film. They are obviously trying to make their new films lighter than their older films. This was apparent with Wonder Woman as well. So the positives that I found in this movie, are quite slim but they are important. This movie works for one reason in my opinion. It’s the Justice Leauge themselves. They are all fantastic. Ben Affleck remains my favorite incarnation of Batman (Ooooo controversial). I love everything about his portrayal of Bruce Wayne and this film continues to confirm that. I loved Gal Godet as Wonder Woman in her solo film, and she is probably the heart and soul of this film. She’s truly exceptional. Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, The Flash, is probably the standout in this film. He’s very funny and he gives a really charismatic performance and he made me want to see his solo film as soon as possible. Jason Momoa is badass as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher is good as Cyborg. But what is truly great about everyone is their chemistry with one another. It is great and my favorite scenes in the film are when they are with one another interacting with one another. I thought the dialogue was witty and since all these guys and gals are giving great performances, it really works. Zack Snyder directs the hell out of the action scenes in this film. They’re great. But I was expecting that. Now I have more negatives. The biggest one being, this film feels RUSHED. This film is 2 hours long. That’s pretty short for a film like this. I felt like I was on a freight train. It goes from scene to scene and there were a ton of scenes that needed to breathe because there are a lot of great scenes in this movie! I just wanted them to be longer. The villian….is terrible. But to me, that’s not that big of a deal. I don’t really care about the villain in these films because I care more about the heroes. But it is a problem because if they had a stronger villain it would make it a stronger film. Back to the pacing, in the beginning of the film it feels like a series of vignettes. It is EXTREMELY choppy. And that’s kind of all I can really talk about without spoiling this film. It is a very choppy film, but very entertaining. There are great moments of greatness that show what the DC universe can do and while I don’t love this movie, I think this is a very good step in the right direction for DC and Warner Bros. And just a last positive when Superman appears in this film….it is AWESOME. My favorite scene in the film by far.

7.5/10

‘Stranger Things 2’ Review

‘Stranger Things 2’ Review

IT’S HERE. IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!! Short review: Dear Duffer Brothers, I LOVE YOU. The end.

No, but seriously, I was salivating at the thought of a season two of this show. Like most people, I fell in love with ‘Stranger Things’. Mostly because it caught me completely off guard. I knew nothing about this show when season one came out and I got recommended it from just the buzz off the internet. Then I watched it all in like two days and I fell in love with the kids and just the feel of the show. It literally captured some of my favorite stories and films from the 80s all in one show. Spielberg films, Stephen King stories, and coming of age films from the decade are just some of the obvious influences of the show. All the characters I was in love with and I felt like I was playing Dungeons and Dragons with Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas. And plus this show was just so damn fun. Now, when I originally heard that there was going to be a season 2, I hesitated. Because I loved season one so much and I really did not want the ‘sequel’ to tarnish the original. SPOILER: It does not. This season is better than season one. ‘Stranger Things 2’ does everything a season two of ‘Stranger Things’ should have done. Dial the 80s nostalgia up to 11, check, introduce more awesome and fascinating characters into the mix, check, more back story for “Eleven”, check, ghostbuster costumes, check, and finally develop the existing characters with an even more emotional weight to them, check. I was blown away of how this surpassed the first season in every way.

This season picks up a year after the events of the first season. And I swear to you it’s like the Duffers didn’t miss a beat. It’s so obvious that they have the style of the show down pact. I obviously don’t want to spoil anything about the show, but in order to talk about season two’s plot, I have to SPOIL something for season one so just a warning here. So as you know they got Will out of the upside down and Eleven is stuck in the upside down in the end of season one. We meet Will and the gang during Halloween, but things are happening to Will….strange things. Like I said the direction in this show is fan-freaking-tastic. The Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, and now a newcomer to the series Andrew Stanton all do an incredible job. I was SO happy to see Stanton involved with this show. If you don’t know Stanton is a regular at the animation studio Pixar and has directed some of my favorite films of theirs like “Wall-E’ and ‘Finding Nemo’. The performances are just as good here as they are in season one. All the kids are just so great. I want to hang out with them all so bad. But obviously, Millie Bobbie Brown who plays ‘Eleven’ steals the show again. She is truly a special talent. When she matures and becomes an even better actress, she is going to be HUGE. Winona Ryder is back as Joyce and she’s even better in this season. You can tell that she learned a lot from the first season of playing this character and she knocks it out of the park again. David Harbour as Hopper again is another standout. The thing about this show is there is no weak link. Everyone is great. The new characters are great as well. I love Max who is a new girl in town who gets involved with the gang and she is great. But I was so excited that I heard Sean Astin was going to be part of this season. I’m a huge fan and I loved him as Bob in this season. Another major pro of this season is the pace of it. With the exception of one episode, (that I will talk about later), this show didn’t really have a “filler” episode. Each one of the nine episodes propelled the story along with interesting and super fun plot elements. I was so surprised that I liked mostly EVERY turn and risk that the plot took in this season. My favorite episodes by far were MADMAX, The Spy, and The Mind Flayer. As for negatives, I think most people who have seen the season know what I’m going to say. Episode 7: The Lost Sister was a weak point for ‘Stranger Things’. In my opinion, it is the worst episode that ‘Stranger Things’ has done so far. The execution of that episode was very weak. And I wasn’t a huge of the style that the director chose to do in the episode. While I liked the concept of the episode, I just think they failed at executing it to their fullest.  But other than that I FREAKING LOVED THIS SEASON! Bring on season three!!!

9.5/10

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review

‘Blade Runner 2049’ Review

‘Blade Runner 2049’ is the sequel to the cult classic science fiction film ‘Blade Runner’ from 1982. But more importantly, this film is directed by Denis Villeneuve. He has been behind some of my favorite films of the last 5 years. Those films being Arrival, Enemy, Prisoners, and Sicario. And it stars Ryan Gosling. A tour de force in acting right now and probably the best actor of his generation right now. Also, Harrison Ford. Who doesn’t like Harrison Ford? If you don’t….what? So this film had all the ingredients to be incredible. And I just saw it and OH MY GOODNESS. Denis KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE FREAKING PARK AGAIN!! This film is a film geek’s dream. This film is thought-provoking, absolutely  GORGEOUS, and emotional. The performances in this film are incredible. Ryan Gosling as ‘K’ is…..well great. At this point, I don’t expect anything else than greatness from him. Jared Leto as ‘Wallace’, Harrison Ford returning as Deckard, and Ana de Armas as ‘Joi’ are all great as well. But a standout is Sylvia Hoeks as ‘Luv’. I’ve never seen her in anything else but this is a breakout performance for her. She was awesome. While the performances were great, it’s the characters that writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green create which makes it compelling to watch. I don’t want to go into the plot at all of this film because I think it’s best for you to go in completely blind and experience this eye-gasmic 2 hour and 45 min experience. This is why we go to movies. To see movies like this. To emerge in a new world and to be invested in a great story and get lost in it. This is truly the true embodiment of cinema. With that being said, this is a deliberately paced science fiction film. Do not expect a lot of action scenes or anything like that. This is a film about humanity….and what makes us human. Please go watch this movie. This is going to spark conversation with the party that you see this without a doubt. I would recommend seeing the first Blade Runner from 1982 before seeing his film. This film does stand on its own, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the world of Blade Runner and certain characters. This is one of my favorite films of the year and I hope you go see it and enjoy it as much as I did. Lastly, if cinematographer Roger Deakins doesn’t WIN the academy award for cinematography…..the oscars will become dead to me.

9.75/10

 

 

‘Wind River’ Review

‘Wind River’ Review

‘Wind River’ stars Jeremy Renner and Elisabeth Olson and is about a FBI agent (Olson) and the town’s veteran game hunter (Renner) who team up to investigate a murder in the Wind River reservation. This film comes from writer/director Taylor Sheridan who is responsible for writing Sicario in 2015 and Hell or High Water (both oscar nominees). So I was interested in this film just based on the fact this was Sheridan’s directorial debut and I loved both Sicario and Hell or High Water. I really think Sheridan is one of the best writers working today. And this movie proves that without a doubt. This film knocked me flat. When the credits started to roll I sat in silence for a few minutes. This is a powerful, incredibly acted, intense, and chilling film. Themes of grief and how living in a place (in this case Wind River, Wyoming) that you are forced to live in can dictate how you view the world are shown in this movie in excruciating detail.  Jeremy Renner gives by far his best performance he’s ever given. His character has a sad past and has a connection with the other locals of Wind River and there are a lot of great scenes between Renner and Gil Birmingham, who plays the Native American father of the girl who was murdered. Renner is very understated and subtle in his performance but it’s as powerful as it could ever been. Elisabeth Olson is great in the film too and I was really happy about her character. In the beginning when she showed up I was hoping that she was not going to be a damsel in distress or anything like that but she was anything but that. Sheridan’s direction is fantastic with the cinematography being excellent as well. His dialogue as well can only be describes as honest. Sheridan has his characters say it like it is and I loved the dialogue for that. Like movies like Se7en, the town of Wind River feels like a character because of the way it’s shot and it incorporation in one of the themes of the film. One thing that surprised the hell out of my was the BRUTAL action scenes in this movie. I was really not expecting them but they are very very satisfying. Like Sicario and Hell or High Water, ‘Wind River’ has a punch in the gut finale that is truly….cathartic. Lastly, what makes this movie one of the best of the year for me is just how emotional it is and how Taylor Sheridan treated the subject matter. By some end text that appears at the end of the film it will be sure to knock you flat. It reveals another layer to the film and what it truly is about, which is heartbreaking. I think this is a film that you are probably going to hear a lot about come Oscar season and will definitely be in my top ten at the end of the year.

10/10 

 

‘Atomic Blonde’ Review

‘Atomic Blonde’ Review

‘Atomic Blonde’ is the new action film starring Charlize Theron as an undercover MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate a murder and recover a list of double agents. This film comes from one half of the directing duo who brought us ‘John Wick’, David Leitch. I was looking forward to this because I love action movies, Charlize Theron is probably my favorite actress working today, and I love ‘John Wick’. I had a really good time with this movie! The story is pretty generic and is what you kind of expect from a movie like this. There are some cool twists and turns in ‘Atomic Blonde’ that I wasn’t expecting though. But for the most part this is a pretty straight forward action film. I’ll be honest the first 30-40 min or so is kind of slow. It takes some time to get going, But when an absolutely incredible action scene happens that starts in a staircase and goes into a car chase, that’s when this movie gets better and better as it goes along. That action scene I mention is, no joke, one of the most brutal action scenes I have ever seen. One of the best action scenes in any film you’ll see this year without a doubt. All of the action is great in this and the stunt work is incredible. David Leitch obviously knows how to shoot action right. No “shaky cam”, no quit cuts, and you can clearly see whats happening and its glorious. James McAvoy, who I’m also a big fan of, has a really good supporting role and he’s a lot of fun in this as well. This movie has a cool style that I liked a lot. It’s style with a lot of neon lights and it’s in-camera style with the action scenes really worked. I did have some issues with this movie though. The way it tells it’s story I felt was a little sloppy. They decide to have Charlize’s character in an interrogation room telling the story of what happened to her. I think that kind of sucked some of the tension out of the movie and the action scenes because we already knew that she was going to be okay. I wish that they just told the story straight forward instead of that. And like I said, for me it took a while for it to get going. But other than that I thought this was a pretty good action movie! I recommend this to people who just want to check out a cool action movie with a badass heroine in Charlize Theron. She’s fantastic as always.

7.5/10

 

Top 5 Films of 2017 (so far)

Top 5 Films of 2017 (so far)

Since we are halfway through the year, I thought I’d share my top 5 favorite movies of the year so far. Like I’ve said before this is MY list and if you have a problem with that write an angry comment if that makes you feel better. First, some honorable mentions:

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Alien: Covenant- I really enjoyed Alien a lot. i thought this was a great return to form for Ridley Scott and the Alien franchise. I know most of you didn’t see this movie in theaters but definitely check it out when it comes on VOD because I think its worth your time.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: This was one of my most anticipated movies of the year and while it did let me down just a tad in the story department, I still had a blast with this film. Director James Gunn is still one of the most creative directors working today, If you haven’t seen this yet definitely check it out.

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Beauty and the Beast: Look I don’t care what you think. I LOVED this movie. It was a magical ride that swept me off my feet and made me feel like I was 6 years old again watching the original at home. I still sing the song “Evermore” to this day. Am I ashamed of that? Hell no! It’s a dope track and I stand by that.

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Okja: Y’all probably haven’t heard of this movie. It’s a Netflix original movie and it’s directed by Bong Joon Ho, a korean filmmaker behind a film that I love to this day called Snowpiercer. Okja is a bizarre film. But it has an incredible heart and an incredible cast. If you are looking for a film that is just completely different from any movie you’ll see all year check Okja out.

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5. Wonder Woman: Coming out of Wonder Woman, I was so goddamn happy, I was just happy to see a DC film that was…..great. Look I liked Batman V Superman. It had problems but overall I thought the good outweighed the negative. That being said, I hated Suicide Squad. Talk about a film that is the definition of wasted potential. So I was obviously worried going into Wonder Woman. And DC really knocked it out of the park with Wonder Woman in my opinion. The action was bad-ass, Gal Gadot is a great heroine, and the film had a heart to it that I wasn’t expecting. But most importantly this movie makes my list because of just the cultural impact this movie has and will continue to have. To have a female lead superhero movie, directed by a woman, be as great as it is and doing great business, is great for Hollywood. There is a lack of female directors in Hollywood and hopefully this paves the way for more great female talent to emerge in Hollywood.

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4. It Comes at Night: This movie haunted me for a couple of days. This is a dark, bleak, and disturbing film that in my opinion includes some of the best horror filmmaking of the year. Joel Edgerton is Oscar worthy in this film. Truly a deeply haunting and affecting horror film. The reason this makes my list is just on the lingering quality that this movie had on me days after I saw it.

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3. Get Out: The fact that this is Jordan Peele’s first film that he wrote and directed is astounding. Peele makes a film that manages to be both highly entertaining as well as injecting extremely smart social commentary about race. All the performances are fantastic, especially Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford who are just creepy as hell in this. There are so many cool and disturbing twists and turns that really got under my skin in the best way possible. A film by Jordan Peele (from Key & Peele fame), you’d obviously expect some comedy in this. While there is not a lot of it in this movie, but when it is it hits HARD. The character of Rod played by Lil Rel Howry is so funny. Hadn’t laughed that hard at a character in a while. Peele is also obviously influenced by many classic horror films like Rosemary’s Baby, and does some cool visual tributes to other films that horror fans will spot and like. Overall, this is a fantastic horror film that is extremely smart and layered and will definitely raise discussion after the credits roll.

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2. Logan: Wow. That was the first word that came to my mind when Logan ended. Wolverine was and still is one of my favorite X-Men characters. I find that he is the most fascinating out of all them. And to see James Mangold take Wolverine in this direction was a sight to behold. This film is brutal and heartbreaking. This is not just the best superhero film of the year, it’s one of the best films of the year. Period.

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1. Baby Driver: All I have to say about Baby Driver is I’ve seen this film twice already. It’s been out for about a week and a half. Baby Driver is literally everything I love about movies and more. The soundtrack, the seemingly effortless healming of the action scenes, the choreography, Ansel Elgort, the unpredictability of the story, literally everything is perfect in this movie. I can’t think of one scene or moment that feels out-of-place. And that’s why it’s my favorite movie of the year so far.

Baby Driver Review

Baby Driver Review

Baby Driver Review:

I’m gonna keep this short. This movie is phenomenal. If you like action movies, comedy, music and just plain coolness then go see this movie. Director Edgar Wright has been one of my favorites for a long time. And holy hell he does not disappoint. Please go support this movie because this is one of the most original movies of the year and we need to show studios that we want more original kick ass films like this.

10/10

 

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