Bohemian Rhapsody

Right off the bat, I will say I was not looking forward to Bohemian Rhapsody. The song is fine. And I love Queen! I have very fond memories growing up, watching Wayne’s World and hearing Queen’s greatest hits. My family owned two VHS tapes collecting their music videos. I saw them all the time. I really enjoyed I Want To Break Free because the men were dressed like ladies with facial hair, but the instrumental part freaked me out.

Hey. I was a kid.

But why don’t I care about this film? Because production woes made me indifferent. I was in love with the idea of Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie Mercury, it was perfect, and he could sing!

Production woes! Cohen left! Creative differences! The band wanted a feel good movie about the band and PG-13, the actor wanted the real story, the R rated stuff, the Oscar winning Mercury stuff. And eventually we now got this movie. Let’s not forget that the director, Bryan Singer, probable diddler of young male talent in Hollywood, was kicked off the project when it was almost done, and they had to finish it without him.

Even the well edited trailer did nothing to me. I got to hear so many Queen songs in under 3 minutes. With Mercury singing. Is this whole thing going to be a film with Queen songs just spliced on top? Fuck. On my films, even my biopics, I want the actors do the singing, at least in a studio. I don’t need to see Remi Malek doing an air band performance for a few hours.

Mercury
And aerobics!

In the 1970’s, times were changing. Disco wasn’t yet in a full swing, but people still liked music, and still had dreams. Like a young Farrokh Bulsara (Rami Malek), who later would change his name to Freddie Mercury. He didn’t want a normal job at an airport, he wanted to sing in a band. And he just so happened on a band who just lost their main singer. That is where he met Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy). A guitarist and a drummer. They didn’t want him, due to his teeth and look, but his talent did not lie. They eventually found a bassist in John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) and the rest was history!

Oh, and some more things happened. Not an instant success, but honestly, it didn’t seem to take long either.

They were a band who worked together and competed together. To get songs on albums, to try new things, to go into places they had not gone before. Especially true for Mercury, who found himself eventually with men, despite being married with his long term love, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and with kids.

There were a lot of influences on their music and on their lives. Roadies, managers, other lovers, groupies, fans, and what not. And of course, eventually the story ends in tragedy, but not before one of the best live concerts televised around the world.

Starring Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, and Aaron McCusker.

Band
They definitely look cooler in this picture. Too cool. Ice cold.

Behold, for I am disappoint.

People will praise this movie for several reasons, and these are things you should be leary about. The number one aspect being nostalgia. Hey, they like Queen, so a movie with Queen songs is alright. Just having music that you expect to hear inside of it is not a reason for something to be automatically good. Queen music is expected.

Malek’s performance is praised because he gets to prance about on stage like no fucks are given, with some big facial expressions. But you know what he didn’t do? Sing. I think maybe once, or twice in this movie he actually had to sing, and when he did it was all very little. Basically all of it is just actually Mercury singing and again, if I wanted to hear Freddie Mercury sing, I have YouTube and CDs for that. Is it weird to have a double standard when it comes to performances? I want my actors if they are playing singers to actually sing, but of course I wouldn’t care if an actor is actually playing piano, guitar, or drums, although it can surely help make things authentic.

Honestly, one of my favorite aspects of the film ended up being the other members of Queen. I just loved that these members looked so much like their counterparts, who I recognize from seeing their music videos over and over again. They all also had their own personalities and traits, consistently through the film. I guess it is easy to get them right when the real figures are alive and backing the film. They weren’t outstanding acting performances or taking away from Mercury, but they felt like real people and that was a good change.

The way they chose to portray actual events in the film is really what bugged me. Honestly, it took way too long to have Mercury come out as gay in the film. They had hints about it, like stupid teases. Sure, being gay at that time was way more frowned upon, but as modern viewers, there is no need to keep such an obvious and important focal point hidden. And honestly, about 3/4 of the way through the movie, I was wondering if they would even say the word AIDS in the movie. I almost thought they wouldn’t mention it at all (they did). But they did it first through a weird news cast that Mercury happened to see. And the scene where he went to the hospital and was tested was just so…odd looking. It ended with a fan singing at him, and felt way too much like an awkward TV PSA about…drugs or anything really. It didn’t feel impactful, it felt awkward.

Biopics often have moments where they have people who doubt their talent who later are shown regretting it and being angry. These scenes are ALWAYS bad, and seem petty and unnecessary. But they really went full out with it in this movie. First, they had Mike Myers as the character in question. They made him say a line about how teenagers would never be banging their head to Bohemian Rhapsody, obviously referring to the scene in Wayne’s World decades later. We get to see him angry in his office later in the movie, because why not. Also during the Bohemian Rhapsody scene, it decided to have news/review quotes fly through the screen about how it was a bad song and destined for nothing.

Like, was the entire point of this movie actually to just rub it in some critics faces that people ended up liking Bohemian Rhapsody? Enough to name the Queen biopic after the song (which feels unoriginal and uninspired), just to prove that people like it.

The whole thing is incredibly average and standard as a biopic. This feels like a disservice to a band that was anything but average and standard. And because of that, I disliked it even more. This movie played it safe and boring. I, for one, will be ready for the better film in twenty years.

1 out of 4.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

What a promising film franchise to fall from grace so quickly. I quite enjoyed the first Maze Runner film, and I was excited for where it was going. I was also excited because they said the final book would only be one film, not broken up like other bad franchises.

Except the sequel, The Scorch Trials, was awful and repetitive. I have been told it deviated far from the book, unlike film number one, and it shows given it seemed to lack any direction or reason for existing.

And on to the final film, The Death Cure! Which was supposed to come out last year, but the star got hurt early into filming. He was hurt in March, 2016, and from his injuries, recovery time, and other commitments, the filming didn’t continue until March, 2017. A whole year delay! And now we are given a January release, where you know they don’t really give a shit about what they are dropping.

Oh, young adult dystopian book gods. This is the final piece of the final film to finish, as the others along the way either ended with a whimper or ended before they could end. Or in The Fifth Wave’s case, it was dead on arrival.

No matter what, remember that after it, it will all be over for at least two years before something else tries to recreate the Twilight and Hunger Games crowd.

Gun
Before Newt can shoot, he turns into a Final Fantasy character.

This third and final film is set sometimes after the second, months even. The resistance arm has been destroyed for the most part by WKCD, with several people getting taken including Minho (Ki Hong Lee), thanks to Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) switching sides, again. But don’t worry, if the Right Arm wants to do anything, it wants to destroy WCKD, run away to safety, and save Minho. Just Minho. Literally who gives a shit about the rest, if they get saved and aren’t Minho then they are not done.

So Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Brenda (Rosa Salazar), Frypan (Dexter Darden), and even Vince (Barry Pepper) and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) try to save Minho. They don’t, they save 40 other kids, whoops. But doing so they find out they are headed to the Last City, somehow protected from the Cranks and the infection, where WKCD has their headquarters. A final showdown, to save Minho? Sure, why not.

Of course, while in the city they find out that there are other resistance groups around, one led by a Lawrence (Walton Goggins) who is super close to turning into a Crank, but has a serum supply. And oh, hey look, there is Gally (Will Poultier)! Long time no see, dick buddy. Anyways, there new goal is to break into an unbreakable city, get their boy Minho back, then escape into the wind to be immune on a beach somewhere. Whether or not Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) and Janson (Aidan Gillen) get dealt with would just be bonus.

CIty
Ah yes, those buildings are currently in tact, so I declare it a city!

For those who don’t want to be spoiled, let this paragraph be the last thing you read. Basically, this film is the bee’s anus. Some characters do actions with zero motivation or reason to these actions. The heroes literally care about only saving one person for the most part. The heroes are a bunch of jerks and are generally wrong. There are many sacrifices that are unnecessary. And it is so goddamn long and disappointing.

But while watching this movie, I knew I needed to be specific. I knew I needed to talk about certain things that pissed me off and they constitute spoilers. So here we go, SPOILERS AHEAD.

Let’s start with the baddest bad guy, Janson, who really wants to kill Thomas but is still charismatic and calm. Except for at the end when he decides to shoot and kill Ava Paige for no reason. Literally, they were still on the same side with the same goal, to get the cure from Thomas, and Janson kills her. She and him are friends. But he is sooooo bad that he kills her, only to make the ending more chaotic and stupid.

And really, in terms of bad guy actions, that is the only real super bad guy action. Because it turns out that WKCD was right all along. They wanted to get a cure from the immune people. They knew it could be done, they just needed the right people. In the second film they clearly went about it the wrong way, but Teresa, still a good guy (?) just wanted to make sure all the Cranks could be saved and everyone else. And guess what! She totally could make a real cure from Thomas’ blood, who had special blood because he was lucky, and he didn’t have to get tortured or anything for it to be made.

But who gives a shit about that. Nope, WKCD gets destroyed. Teresa dies sacrificing herself for Thomas, when there was no reason for her to sacrifice herself. And all for what? For Thomas and the good guys to run off to a beach and start their own community…while the rest of the world becomes Cranks and die off? Holy fuck. Thomas is a character who gives no fucks about saving the world, just himself, and the community act like this is a great thing that they did in the end. When the other option was to HELP THE WORLD they HELPED THEMSELVES instead.

Speaking of good bad guys and selfish heroes, the death count in this and the last film are pretty big, especially when a war is raged in the city. The city is the WKCD headquarters, but it is also a lot of other regular people just doing their own thing. So all of these people get fucked over in this giant fight, when only one place should be the real target. And none of it had to happen if Thomas just sort of realized and done the right thing.

On that note, if his blood really was special and had the cure, how the fuck did WKCD not know it before hand? He literally worked for them before he went into the maze, with Teresa. If they suspected immunity, they should have had him undergo tests, and the whole film series really doesn’t make sense at that point. They would have had the cure early enough to get it various places, save even more lives, and Thomas would have been glad to do it.

But no. Beach. Safe. Fuck the world. End of film. I am glad to know that the second film is very different from the book, because it means it must be true of the third film and third book as well. I want to read the series just to see how much worse these films ended up being in retrospect.

0 out of 4.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

No one knows how to Guy Ritchie like Guy Ritchie. He likes to go to the extremes, have some fast talkers, and go super British. But he has apparently mostly left his original line of work and decided to focus on remakes and cultural icons.

Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and now his take on King Arthur.

Sure, I am excited, the knights of the round table are interesting, tons of lore, and tons of cool sorcery could be afoot. But I really just want some more of his original stories, more than anything. Hopefully this doesn’t use up more of his time with another franchise.

Rock
Honestly, this looks like he just swung his sword at a rock instead.

Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) is more than a man with a badass name, he is the ruler of Camelot! And he is being attacked and raided by warlocks and mages. Uther is able to take out the threat, but his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law) betrays him and his family, summoning a demon to take the throne. But Pendragon’s baby son escapes, classic Moses manuver.

This son is found by prostitutes in another land and named Arthur (Charlie Hunnam). This is where he was born and raised, not knowing of his noble heritage. That’s right, he is from the STREETS. Now we have Guy Ritchie movie, loving those streets, even if they are over a thousand years ago.

Oh and uhh, then a lot of stuff happened with a sword, magic, wars, tons of fighting, and big group of friends.

Also starring Astrid Berg├Ęs-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Craig McGinlay, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Neil Maskell, Tom Wu, Annabelle Wallis, Freddie Fox, and Aidan Gillen.

Fight me
Arthur walking around, fists out, with that “fight me” look on his face. Classic Guy Ritchie.

Another fun confession time: My movie synopsis was quite short, yeah? It is like I have no fucking clue what happened during the movie, which is true. I don’t. First of all, the theater I was in had two issues: One, the bulb was almost dead, and two, something with the polarizer was wrong too, so the 3D screening I went to was incredibly dark. SUPER DARK. I watched a trailer after the film surprised at the darkness, wondering where the hell the white sky had gone in my viewing.

The darkness, and the overuse of CGI, seemingly terrible 3D, and ugly color scheme, put me straight to sleep. I didn’t sleep throughout the whole film, I woke up quite a lot. But every time I woke up, it still seemed uninteresting and I could not keep my eyes open. And that is terrible. I do know that a huge reason I passed out was thanks to the bad cameras, but I wonder how much of the story actually put me to sleep as well.

And I am never going probably go out of my way to see this movie again. Seeing it in theaters, I sat through trailers spent hours of my life on it. As a reviewer I have to watch a lot, so giving something a second or third viewing is usually restored to things that I actually like. Sure, when it is out on DVD, there is a chance. Maybe someone else will make me watch it with them.

But the experience did not work for me, and normally “slept through the whole thing” would be a 0, but I have to give it some benefit of doubt.

1 out of 4.

Sing Street

Originally, 2016 was looking to be a poor year for musical films. We would have movies about music, sure, but not enough musicals. Most of them are coming later in the year, up to this point I would say we have exactly 0 for the entire year.

But let’s take a step back and talk about John Carney. When I first saw Once I was disappointed, because it was hyped up as this wonderful musical, so I expected synchronized dancing and ridiculous situations. But it was raw and realistic. On later viewings, I understood it better, but still cannot fully appreciate it. Begin Again I have still only seen once, but thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a very different film, going from indie to main stream, both in theme and reality.

And now we have Sing Street. Another movie about people who just want to play music and make a living off of it. And hey, this one has street in the title, so you know this time the singing on streets is expected and not just a bonus. This time he is returning back to his indie roots and writing a whole lot more music. But this one isn’t about adults. Screw adults. This is about a boy making a band to impress a girl, which is how most bands ever got their starts.

Band
And clearly they are the funkiest teenage group in Dublin!

Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is just a teenage kid, the youngest in his family, and his parents (Aiden Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy) are going through a tough time. Hell, this is 1985 Ireland, everyone is going through a tough time. Jobs are getting lost and many Irish youth are flocking to London for work and leaving their homes in a worst state. And now due to their financial state, Conor is transferring schools to a much cheaper Catholic school, where the boys are rough.

And now Conor gets bullied by Barry (Ian Kenny) and the head priest, Brother Baxter (Don Wycherley). But then he sees her. Raphina (Lucy Boynton), a girl who looks like she belongs in on film, with wild hair and jewelry. She says she is a model, so Conor asks her to be in a music video. After hearing him sing a bit, she agrees once they figure out the details. Great, now he just needs to get a band together.

He gets Darren (Ben Carolan), our little ginger kid who knows people, to be their manager/producer/camera man and introduce him to other musical kids. Conor knows how to play the guitar a bit and sing, but they need more than that. They are introduced to Eamon (Mark McKenna), who plays basically every instrument and owns them all, because his dad is in a wedding cover band. They get Ngig (Percy Chamburuka), Larry (Conor Hamilton) and Garry (Karl Rice) to complete the rest of the band.

Great, he has a band! And now, with the help of his older stay at home stoner brother, Brendan (Jack Reynor), he can write some songs, so they can make the music video and maybe win the heart of a mysterious model. You know, while all the other problems are going down. Also featuring Kelly Thornton as his older sister, Ann.

Stoop
Stoop girl afraid to leave stoop?

Feelings, this film is full of feelings, how can I express these, with a sonnnng?

Sing Street was good. It was really good. Carney is some musical directing genius, that is the only way all of this makes sense. I was extremely skeptical going into this film. Based on the description, I took the film to its most basic parts, and all of his movies just sounded the same. I wondered how long he could make similar movies before we stopped caring. Well, after watching Sing Street, I could easily take at least another half dozen of these, as long as the lyrics remain original with a different overall plot.

As advertised, this film is about a boy just trying to impress a girl by starting a band. But the film is more than that. Just like it is more than a comedy. It is certainly more comedy than drama, but it deals with some serious issues involving divorce, infidelity, abuse (sexual and physical), giving up and following your dreams. I technically only cried one and a half times, but I had another half cry on the way home from the film just thinking about some of the plot.

Perhaps the strongest subplot in it is the brotherly bond between Conor and Brendan. Reynor does an incredible job as his pseudo role model while they both live in a house with parents who just don’t understand. Reynor is a complete scene stealer and you can see all of the deeper issues he is working with, culminating with not just one but two powerful emotional climaxes. If it sounds sexy that is because it WAS sexy. Reynor, I judged you badly for Transformers: Age of Extinction, now I want you to become Han Solo and win a supporting actor award for this film.

Reynor
Heh. I said climax.

Ahem. Sorry. The acting from our lead was also good from Walsh-Peelo. In fact, basically the entire band and manager were all first time movie actors. Walsh-Peelo and McKenna were the main two that mattered, but the other boys held their own pretty good. Seeing the transformation of Walsh-Peelo as he learned about new bands was amusing and how he eventually coped with the failing home and school life that made up his current reality.

And finally, the soundtrack for this movie is just a blast. Both the original songs by our boy group and the 80’s music that inspires them create an overwhelmingly nostalgic experience. I have already listened to most of the original songs 3-4 times since watching the movie, thanks to YouTube. My favorite song is called “Up” and you should check it out if you are unsure if you will like the music in the movie.

Thank you Carney, you have given me a great pseudo-musical to give hope to this dry musical year.

4 out of 4.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Surprise, surprise. That was my emotion when I left The Maze Runner movie last year. Going into it, I thought I would hate it. I thought it would just be another terrible young adult movie adaptation that a company wanted to film to get that sweet post-Twilight money. It had a laughably bad trailer with some cringe dialogue, but I left it excited and wanting more.

Sure, I knew that whatever happened, there should be no more mazes after the first one, so calling it Maze Runner anything afterwards doesn’t make a lot of sense. Blame that on the author not coming up with a better series name.

This time, for Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (dropping the “The” was a solid choice), I am going in basically blind. I haven’t seen trailers for it or TV spots. I just want it to surprise me with whatever else is going to happen. This review is also so late because I wasn’t able to attend the press screening for the film, because I instead saw The Visit. Regardless of what has happened, this franchise has gotten some money out of me.

Hang
They don’t have to tie me up like these poor saps. Besides, I don’t carry loose change.

Remember where we left off? We got out of the fucking maze, that’s what. The evil Corporation WCKD (Wicked) who was testing on them have been killed and resistance group has saved them. Yay!

Or are they really the good guys? The first film already implied they were bad, so things shouldn’t be too weird to assume they are indeed bad. Even though they are being taken care of by the wonderful Janson (Aidan Gillen). The surviving crew is immediately debriefed, checked up physically, and welcomed into the facility. Forget who we have? Well, there is our main dude Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), the certifiable GOAT Minho (Ki Hong Lee), the minority, Frypan (Dexter Darden), and the sweet one, Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster). Yeah, I too am surprised at how few of them made it out. I really thought there was more.

Oh yeah, and then there is the woman, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). She doesn’t have a lot of personality so I forget about her.

Needless to say, bad things happen at the new facility, so Thomas and Crew end up escaping. They gain the help of Aris (Jacob Lofland) and Winston (Alexander Flores), who helm them realize this place isn’t good. They are collecting kids from all over these mazes for some …wicked…reason.

Now they have to go into The Scorch, the name for the desert, and survive against the elements. And against the Cranks, which are like the infected humans that they are immune to. Basically zombies. Then they basically go from area to pre-established area, each with their own notable leader, who have their own new world agendas. They are kind of like a fleeting Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Along the way they will meet Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Tudyk, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, and of course, Patricia Clarkson.

Dust
But first, they are going to get sand in every nook and cranny.

At over two hours, The Scorch Trials thankfully tries to fit as much as possible onto the screen for us viewers. So much that it is hard to imagine the film as a whole. I’d rather break it down, which means I am going to make another Likes and Dislikes list. Last time I did this was with Avengers: Age of Ultron!

Likes:

  • Right off the bat, things get tense and there is quite a lot of action in this movie.
  • The soundtrack can keep you mostly on the edge of your seat!
  • The Cranks/zombies are an interesting add on to the series. They are fast zombies basically and it was totally unexpected. Some of there scenes were quite terrifying, helping blend this into a more hardcore Dystopian future film.
  • For the most part, beautifully shot with great camera work.

Dislikes:

  • The intelligence of the characters would not be consistent. They would do something really smart, but then something terribly stupid just so the plot could lazily move forward. The standing around during the sewer scene is a prime example.
  • There continues to be very cringeworthy dialogue.
  • The film feels like it doesn’t have a cohesive story to follow. Just a bunch of small barely connected parts. And like I said, the main characters don’t feel special, they just feel like they are meandering in the middle of something way bigger than themselves and they are insignificant.
  • One scene in particular where a character does a “Noble Suicide” because he is going to turn into a Crank. How? By shooting himself in the head and telling everyone to leave him alone an keep walking. Not only was I pretty sure they were out of bullets by then, but also what the fuck, you are about to die, you don’t need to keep the gun. Just kill yourself so they can get the gun back. There are fucking zombies out there.
  • The glass breaking window scene was as nonsensical as they come.
  • Teresa was so useless. She was like an emotionless blog used to move the plot forward, usually thanks to Thomas trying to do something for her.

This may read as being a bit nitpicky, but in all honesty, there were a lot of cool moments, and a lot of bad minor or stupid moments. After a second movie I feel like I should actually know more about what happened on this planet. If there is one movie left I feel like I should know more about their overall end goal by now, instead of running around like headless chickens.

I was pretty sure I would have given this film a 2 when I started writing it, because at least I was entertained in the film and I was even scared at points. But a disappointing finale, along with a lot of scenes that made me tilt my head in confusion, leads me to realize this is poorly put together. When your film starts to break down once you think back on events and plot points, that is never a good sign.

Hell, this is the same reason why the last Transformers movie got a 1 instead of a 2. Plot doesn’t hold up. Hopefully the third movie can restore some sort of awe and greatness to this franchise. And, you know, not just be a spray painted golden turd.

1 out of 4.

Buy It! – This movie is available now on {Blu-Ray} and {DVD}.

Calvary

Brendan Gleeson is one of those actors who took a really long time to get noticed. He had nice dramatic roles and a sweet Irish accent, but lets face it. His looks probably held him back. But now that he has a distinguished old guy look, his talents are more noticed and he is getting leading roles.

A few years ago, he got The Guard, and now he gets the movie Calvary. Both black comedies / dramas in a way too. I guess it is okay to have a genre niche.

Butcher
I am surprised the “Movies With Scenes In A Meat Locker” genre hasn’t taken off more fully, either.

Let’s pretend you are Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson). You are an old man, running a small Irish Catholic church in a tiny community. There are only a few other priests in the area, like Father Leary (David Wilmot). That means a lot of soul saving falls on one man.

During mass on a Sunday, in confessional time, a person says that they were abused by a Catholic priest when they were younger and goes into great detail. The priest has since died, but the man is still angry. He wants to get back at the Catholic Church, and to do that, he wants to kill a good priest to send a strong message. He wants to kill Father James Lavelle. In exactly one week he will come back to kill him, in order to get his affairs in order. Then he leaves.

Huh. That is terrifying. There are only a few people in the area, so it can only be a few people. But who?

Here is a vague list of actor names of characters, instead of talking about all of them individually. I even threw in a woman, too. (Chris O’ Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankole, M. Emmet Walsh, Domhnall Gleeson, Marie-Josee Croze).

Oh yeah. Let’s not forget that he also has a daughter, Fiona Lavelle (Kelly Reilly), as part of his marriage before he became a priest.

As the story gets closer and closer to Sunday, more and more sinful activities seem to take place in his town, as if the whole world is going to Hell, and there is nothing the Father can do about it.

Family
In true Irish fashion, his daughter of course is a ginger.

Despite the similar genres, The Guard and Calvary aren’t very similar. This film is much heavier on the drama and symbolism, while The Guard has more comedy, lewd behavior, and shooting of guns.

Gleeson puts on a heck of a show though, and even though I recognize his face in plenty of sinful characters from the past, I feel like it fits the best in a Catholic suit garb. Whatever those robes are called. He fit the character really well, including the few times in the movie where he broke down and did non Priesty things.

The supporting cast was especially up there for me, especially Dowd and Moran. Moran in general was just impressive with his character, and Dowd was impressive being in a more dramatic role which is rare for him. I have only seen Gillen in Game of Thrones, but his character is also pretty great. It is also nice to see Reilly in a controversial role after her last terrible role in Heaven Is For Real.

Overall, this is a really great and powerful movie. It might be pretty easy to get lost in some of the symbolism, or really figuring out where it is all going. I know I didn’t understand the whole thing without some additional research (and some of that research feels bullshit). Definitely a movie you might have to watch more than once to get the full impact of it.

3 out of 4.

12 Rounds

12 Rounds is a film that is now a bit older. Okay, 2009, so not too old. But I definitely remember seeing the trailer multiple times in theaters and dozens of TV Shots. You know what I thought of it back then? “Huh, that looks pretty good!”

Yeah, four years ago me was weird. Still, I never heard about it after the fact, but I did see that there was a direct to DVD sequel, 12 Rounds: Reloaded. Huh, so it was good…enough…right? To make a direct to DVD sequel? Something in the back of my mind made me want to watch it though. It could be really entertaining, if not just a bit silly.

Rawr
YEAH. EXPLOSIONS!
Miles Jackson (Aidan Gillen) is a big fancy arms dealer, a big bad guy, who they want to take down. Namely Danny Fisher (John Cena). Well, shit goes wrong. He almost gets away with his girlfriend, but then she gets hit with a car and dies. Shit, who saw that coming. Miles gets caught and he is pissed off.

A year later, Danny gets a phone call…FROM MILES! OH MAN! He has escaped from prison! And he has his girlfriend Molly (Ashley Scott) captive! Ahh! Miles tells him they are going to play a game, a game called 12 Rounds. He just passed Round 1 by surviving an explosion, and if he passes all 12 tasks, he will get the girl back. Sure. Right.

So Miles has Danny running around the city, with the help of the force (Steve Harris, Brian White, more) to get his girl back and also recapture and dangerous man. Also, explosions and death and shit. Lots of that.

Who is this guy?
Miles looks like a cross of Edward Norton and Josh Groban to me.
Let’s just say this movie wasn’t as entertaining as advertised. Wasn’t even silly. It was a very serious faced film. Everyone took it very seriously, and I didn’t care one bit.

Shit, it took TWENTY minutes for the intro to finish so we could get to modern day and start the games. That is a long chase for the arms dealer dude. Who gives a fuck.

This movie literally gave me a headache with its badness. So I had to give it this rating, because I hate headaches. No entertainment value for me. Can’t wait for the sequel.

0 out of 4.