Rss

  • linkedin

Archives for : Action

Movie Review: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is Marvel Studios’ newest gem. Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) is a skilled Kung-Fu fighter, who’s forced to confront his past and return to the Ten Rings organization he ran away from. Find out my thoughts on the film in the video below.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opens in theaters September 3, 2021.

Share

Movie Review: F9 is a Ridiculous Ride

Before the screening of this film started our theater was greeted with some wise words, “leave all logic at the door.” I had to continuously remind myself of this thought during the entire two and a half hours of non-sense that is “F9”.

I was pleasantly surprised with the premise of “The Fate of the Furious”, so it’s upsetting that “F9” didn’t deliver the same quality to their storyline. In “F9” Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are living in a secluded home with Dom’s son, little Brian. Their quiet life is interrupted by some old friends who have been sent an SOS from intelligence operative Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). His plane, which was holding captured cyberterrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) and part of some “dangerous” weapon, was brought down somewhere in Central America. We quickly find out the person responsible is Dom’s brother, Jakob (John Cena), who he has never mentioned until now!? What happened to not turning your back on family, Dom?

The mystery behind these brothers’ past is revealed in flashback sequences featuring teenage Dom (Vinnie Bennett) and Jakob (Finn Cole). These scenes were actually the best parts of the film. Bennett and Cole show promising talent, and the older setting took us back to the roots of the franchise with simple street races. Man, I miss those. Less used to be more in the first, “Fast and Furious”.

As we are sporadically informed why Jakob and Dom no longer speak, we are taken on an insane, wild ride. Just when you think you’ve seen it all and it can’t get any crazier, it does! It’s literally out of this world. I could give further explanation of the plot, but why bother? It’s forgettable and not important.

Thankfully, the film is self-aware of it’s lunacy. Tyrese Gibson’s character, Roman, even suggests the crew might be some sort of super soldiers with invincibility. But everyone else thinks the thought of this theory is comical.

If the point of these films is purely to entertain with action, cars, explosions and some humor, then I guess “F9” did its job.

I understand these films aren’t looking to win Oscars. I don’t mind these characters dodging bullets, or Dom having superhuman strength; or even cars in space. In fact, I can appreciate the originality. But, does the script have to be so irresponsible and cheesy? It doesn’t have to be realistic, but the franchise is capable of a more coherent screenplay; i.e. films 1, 5, 6, and 8. That being said, we’re still going to watch the 10th and however many more they make, because we’re invested in these characters and their story.

“F9” sparks laughter, excitement, confusion, and eye rolls. Familiar faces from previous Furious films make surprising cameos and John Cena makes a great addition to the cast. Fans of the saga will be satisfied and somehow still want more.

Rating: C

“F9” opens in theaters June 25, 201.

Share

Movie Review: The Mitchells vs. The Machines is Heartfelt Entertaining Journey

The movies of 2021 have had a slow start. Aside from “Raya and the Last Dragon”, there’s not a whole lot of stand outs. But Netflix’s new animated, action-comedy, “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is easily one of the best films of the year.

Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) has felt like an outcast during most her teen years. She spends a lot of her free time making funny, unique videos of her brother Aaron (Michael Rianda) and their dog. Though she has a loving family, she has yet to find “her people” that share her similar artistic interests. Her dad, Rick (Danny McBride), especially seems confused by Katie’s “art” and worries making videos won’t be a profitable way to make a living. This doubt is part of the reason why Katie and her father always butt heads, and no longer have the bond they once shared when she was a little a girl.

As luck would have it, Katie gets accepted to her dream film school. She’s already clicking with her future classmates, and can’t wait to fly off to orientation. But her father has another idea in mind. In order to rebuild their relationship, he cancels Katie’s flight; and plans a surprise road trip for the whole family to spend one last hurrah before they drop Katie off to college. An already bumpy ride turns into a disaster when the newest service of AI robots- known as the PAL go haywire, and all humans are under attack by the robot mercenaries. And somehow, the only people that can now save the world are the Mitchells!

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” has a lot of shining parts. Directors/Writers Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe have created a film that is original, clever, funny, touching, and an absolute blast. This is a movie that both kids and adults will connect with and enjoy. Yes, though Katie and her dad have had their arguments, the entire family has drifted by burying themselves in their phones and electronics. Katie’s mom, Linda (Maya Rudolph), is obsessed with other families’ online personas; admiring a life she wished she had. And her brother is obsessed with everything dinosaurs. Rick is the only one in the family who hates technology, and enjoys more of the outdoors. It’s enough to make you think twice before pulling out your phones when you’re spending time with your family.

I know Danny McBride is funny, but this is hands down his best role. He is hilarious and endearing. He’s the parent that we either have or we hope to be. His desire to rebuild his relationship with his daughter is incredibly moving. And his character is only elevated by his on screen wife. Rudolph plays a badass mom who might have some insecurities but she loves her children and will stop at nothing to protect them. Of course, the star of the film, Abbi Jacobson is fantastic. She’s a character you empathize with and root for.

A good number of laughs in the film can be credited to Olivia Coleman who does the voices for the digital villain PAL AI system. She’s snarky, yet serious. The very idea of her character is terrifying, but seeing such a villainess in the form of a phone is extremely comical.

The film never veers off course. From the start you’re immediately engaged by this quirky family, and quickly taken on an exciting adventure. Take in all the gorgeous animation scenery, and enjoy every thrilling stop. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is wild and fun ride everyone should take! 

Rating: 5/5

www.netflix.com/TheMitchellsVsTheMachines

Share

Premiering this Week: Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse”

Tom Clancy’s WITHOUT REMORSE will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, April 30.

Produced by and starring Michael B. Jordan, Tom Clancy’s WITHOUT REMORSE revolves around an elite Navy SEAL who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife.

Directed by: Stefano Sollima

Written by: Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples

Produced by: Akiva Goldsman, Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Michael B. Jordan

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Lauren London, Brett Gelman, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Colman Domingo, Todd Lassance, Cam Gigandet, Luke Mitchell, and Guy Pearce

An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy.

Share

Interview: Ruby Rose talks “Vanquish”

Director George Gallo brings us a new action thriller starring Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) and Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black). Rose plays Victoria, a mother whose trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon (Freeman) forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage.

I chatted with Ruby Rose to discuss her character, working with Morgan Freeman and played a game of would you rather. Watch the full interview in the video below!

“Vanquish” will be available in Select Theaters on April 16th and on Apple TV, and everywhere you rent movies on April 20th.

Share

Zack Snyder’s ARMY OF THE DEAD New Trailer

From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder’s Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that has left Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. When Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), a displaced Vegas local, former zombie war hero who’s now flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home, is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), it’s with the ultimate proposition: Break into the zombie-infested quarantine zone to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours. Driven by the hope that the payoff could help pave the way to a reconciliation with his estranged daughter Kate (Ella Purnell), Ward takes on the challenge, assembling a ragtag team of experts for the heist. They include Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera), an ace mechanic and Ward’s old friend; Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), a zombie killing machine; Marianne Peters (Tig Notaro), a cynical helicopter pilot; Mikey Guzman (Raúl Castillo), a go-for-broke influencer and Chambers (Samantha Win), his ride-or-die; Martin (Garret Dillahunt), the casino’s head of security; a badass warrior known as the Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) who recruits Burt Cummings (Theo Rossi), a slimy security guard; and a brilliant German safe cracker named Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). Scott finds an unexpected emotional hurdle when Kate joins the expedition to search for Geeta (Huma S. Qureshi), a mother who’s gone missing inside the city. With a ticking clock, a notoriously impenetrable vault, and a smarter, faster horde of Alpha zombies closing in, only one thing’s for certain in the greatest heist ever attempted: survivors take all.

ARMY OF THE DEAD is directed by Zack Snyder (who also served as director of photography) with a screenplay by Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold from a story by Snyder. The film is produced by Deborah Snyder, p.g.a.; Wesley Coller, p.g.a.; Zack Snyder, p.g.a. The film also stars Richard Cetrone and Michael Cassidy.

In Select Theaters May 14 and on Netflix May 21, 2021. Check out the new trailer below!

Share

Movie Review: “Nobody” – A Familiar But Fun Action-Comedy

Writer Derek Kolstad has graced us with the amazing “John Wick” movies; and for that I am forever grateful. If you don’t already know, John Wick is the badass who got ultimate revenge on those who murdered the dog his late wife left him. Each film has been an exciting thrill ride that leaves us wanting more. However, the same may not be said about Kolstad’s newest film, which feels almost too familiar.

Universal Pictures’ “Nobody” follows Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk), a middle-aged family man who barely has any life left in him. His marriage is stale, his son thinks he’s a wuss, but his daughter seems to actually like him. 

His repetitive, mundane routine is shaken up when two intruders break into his home and trigger a surprising rage in Hutch. We come to find out that Hutch is not just some mild-mannered man. He has a violent past and bears the skills of a trained assassin. He has sworn a life of normalcy, so he takes the high road and lets the intruders leave. But when he goes on a mission to take back what they stole from him, he witnesses a group of drunk men harassing a young woman on a bus. He channels all his pent up anger on them and goes full “Wick”. Unfortunately, those men have powerful ties that are now looking to get revenge on Hutch and his family.

Director Ilya Naishuller does a fine job with this movie overall, but the film has it’s flaws. The obvious being you are continuously comparing it to “John Wick”. Aside from that, there is a slow start. The action doesn’t really come into play until nearly halfway. Even the break-in scene is underwhelming for what is essentially the catalyst to Hutch getting back into his “old ways”. It doesn’t even come close to the feeling you have watching John Wick’s innocent puppy get killed by those monsters. (I wanted them all to pay!). In this movie they almost make you have empathy for the intruders. Which makes the later scene of him attacking the harassers on the bus feel a bit forced. Don’t get me wrong, it’s entertaining and fun to see the fight not take itself so seriously. But the entire time you’re watching, you’re wondering did these men really deserve such a blood bath?

However, it’s such a delight seeing Odenkirk in this role. He proves he is just as much of a badass as Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, and Denzel Washington. In fact, he’s the most realistic one. His minor injuries and reactions to pain makes him more human than the typical action star. The guy is a likeable character, which is more than I can say about his family.  With the exception of his father played by the great and hilarious Christopher Lloyd.

“Nobody” is short and sweet. There’s lots of value in it’s simplicity. It’s just hard to label the film as a stand out, because films like “John Wick” and “Equalizer” have done this story better. That being said, Odenkirk’s performance alone is enough to make this film worth watching.

Rating: 3/5

“Nobody” opens in theaters March 26, 2021

Share


Interview: Director Edward Drake talks “Cosmic Sin”

I chatted with director Edward Drake to talk about the new sci-fi thriller, “Cosmic Sin”. We discuss the making of the film, the video games that inspired the film’s look, working with Bruce Willis, and much more. Watch the full interview below.

“Cosmic Sin” opens in theaters and is available On Demand March 12, 2021.

Share

Critics Choice Super Awards Winners

WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE INAUGURAL “CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS” HONORING SUPERHERO,  SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY, HORROR, ACTION, AND ANIMATION  MOVIES AND SERIES 

“PALM SPRINGS” AND “SOUL” LED FILM WINS WITH THREE,  “THE BOYS” LED SERIES WINS WITH FOUR 

NETFLIX EARNED A TOTAL OF FIVE AWARDS 

PATRICK STEWART AND SONEQUA MARTIN-GREEN ACCEPTED LEGACY AWARD FOR “STAR TREK” FRANCHISE 

Kevin Smith and Dani Fernandez Hosted The CW Broadcast Special 


(Los Angeles – January 10, 2021) – Tonight, the Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced the winners of the inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards during a special presentation broadcast on  The CW. Produced remotely following COVID safety protocols, the ceremony was hosted by  writer/director/podcaster Kevin Smith and actress/writer Dani Fernandez, and honored the most  popular, fan-obsessed genres across both television and movies, including Superhero/Comic Book,  Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, Action and Animation. The full show will be available to stream for  free on The CW App and cwtv.com starting tomorrow. 

Hulu and NEON’s “Palm Springs” and Disney+’s “Soul” led the film winners, each earning three trophies. “Palm Springs” was recognized for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie, Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie (Andy Samberg), and Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie (Cristin Milioti). “Soul” earned Best Animated Movie, as well as Best Voice Actor in an Animated Movie (Jamie Foxx) and Best Voice Actress in an Animated Movie (Tina Fey). 

In the series categories, Amazon’s “The Boys” took home the most awards, earning a total of four including Best Superhero Series, Best Actor in a Superhero Series (Antony Starr), Best Actress in a Superhero Series (Aya Cash), and Best Villain in a Series (Antony Starr). Starr was the only actor to take home multiple awards for his work. 

With wins in both the film and series categories, Netflix led the studio/network count with a total of five. 

The Critics Choice Association also presented the Legacy Award to the “Star Trek” franchise, recognizing the cultural impact it has had across multiple decades while continuing to

appeal to and grow its loyal fanbase with new stories and characters. “Star Trek” icon Patrick Stewart, and “Star Trek: Discovery” trailblazer Sonequa Martin-Green were on-hand to  accept this special honor, which came as the franchise celebrates its 55th anniversary.  

The inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards show was produced by Bob Bain Productions. The CCA  is represented by Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig. 

FILM WINNERS FOR THE INAUGURAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS 

BEST ACTION MOVIE 
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) 

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE 
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix) 

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE 
Betty Gilpin – The Hunt (Universal) 

BEST ANIMATED MOVIE 
Soul (Disney+)

BEST VOICE ACTOR IN AN ANIMATED MOVIE 
Jamie Foxx – Soul (Disney+) 

BEST VOICE ACTRESS IN AN ANIMATED MOVIE 
Tina Fey – Soul (Disney+) 

BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE* 
The Old Guard (Netflix) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE* 
Ewan McGregor – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO MOVIE* 
Margot Robbie – Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) 

BEST HORROR MOVIE 
The Invisible Man (Universal) 

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR MOVIE 
Vince Vaughn – Freaky (Universal) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR MOVIE 
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man (Universal) 

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE 
Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE 
Andy Samberg – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY MOVIE 
Cristin Milioti – Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON) 

BEST VILLAIN IN A MOVIE 
Jim Carrey – Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount) 

SERIES WINNERS FOR THE INAUGURAL CRITICS CHOICE SUPER AWARDS 

BEST ACTION SERIES 
Vikings (History) 

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION SERIES 
Daveed Diggs – Snowpiercer (TNT) 

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION SERIES 
Angela Bassett – 9-1-1 (Fox) 

BEST ANIMATED SERIES 
BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 

BEST VOICE ACTOR IN AN ANIMATED SERIES 
Will Arnett – BoJack Horseman (Netflix) 

BEST VOICE ACTRESS IN AN ANIMATED SERIES 
Kaley Cuoco – Harley Quinn (HBO Max) 

BEST SUPERHERO SERIES* 
The Boys (Amazon) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPERHERO SERIES* 
Antony Starr – The Boys (Amazon)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPERHERO SERIES* 
Aya Cash – The Boys (Amazon) 

BEST HORROR SERIES 
Lovecraft Country (HBO) 

BEST ACTOR IN A HORROR SERIES 
Jensen Ackles – Supernatural (The CW) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A HORROR SERIES 
Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country (HBO) 

BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES 
The Mandalorian (Disney+) 

BEST ACTOR IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES 
Patrick Stewart – Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY SERIES 
Natasia Demetriou – What We Do in the Shadows (FX) 

BEST VILLAIN IN A SERIES 
Antony Starr – The Boys (Amazon) 

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA) 
The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada,  representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the  Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between  film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

Movie Review: “Wonder Woman 1984” Fails to Soar as High as its Predecessor

It pains me to write this review, as the first “Wonder Woman” movie was one of my favorite films of 2017. Patty Jenkins directed/wrote a simple, yet, thrilling, and charming story. It still holds up today as an incredible film. Sadly, the sequel, “Wonder Woman 1984” does not carry that same merit.

First off, what the heck!? I mean who approved this script!? Did they even refer to the last movie??

I just had to get that out. It is extremely frustrating, because we know DC can’t seem to figure out how to create the same kind of quality superhero movies like Marvel. That was until the first “Wonder Woman”. They found a gem in Patty Jenkins, and I know she is capable of much better than this.

“Wonder Woman 1984” picks up 66 years after Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) helped end World War 1 with the help of her friends and self-sacrificing boyfriend, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). She’s now in Washington DC curating ancient artifacts; working with a socially awkward Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig). She is still saving the world, but she’s unhappy and living a lonely life without any loved ones.

Diana’s life is pretty routine until a foiled mall robbery shakes everything up. The incident leads to the discovery of an old artifact known as the dream stone, which grants wishes, but also takes something in return. It’s a dangerous tool that leads to a series of catastrophic events when it falls into the hands of a ponzi scam artist, Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).

The acting in “Wonder Woman 1984” is good. Gadot has some stand out moments, particularly in a heartbreaking, emotional scene with Pine. And Pascal plays a hilarious, wacked out nut job. And Wiig does a fantastic job as Barbara/The Cheetah. She was actually my favorite part of the film. I just wish they utilized her more as a villain. Though Pascal is great to watch, I would have loved seeing Wiig in her full evil mode for much longer than what we’re given.

The problem here is in the writing. It goes beyond campy into cheesy territory. The opening sequence of the film is promising. But early on after Pascal steals the artifact, the movie just goes downhill. It gets muddled, and doesn’t even make that much sense. Maybe too many people were involved in writing the story, or maybe they were trying too hard to make a unique plot. But it didn’t work. They focused on corny jokes and a fluffy subject matter instead taking the route of the previous film’s darker tone. There are minimal action scenes, and the few we see have no real impact or awe factor. And I can’t go into detail, but there are so many problems with the ending. I would vent about if I could.

As a fan of the first “Wonder Woman”, I still have to advise you watch this sequel, and form your own opinion. There’s still some fun moments, and the characters are enjoyable. My only advice is to go in with the lowest of expectations.

Rating: 3/5

“Wonder Woman opens in theaters and streams on HBOMax December 25.

Share