Glass

Surprise, its M. Night Shyamalan! He has been on a bit of an upswing lately. After he did The Visit, which was better than expected. And after he did Split, which was really great thanks to acting performances and of course, a surprise sequel.

Now, with Glass, we find ourselves with a trilogy no one would have expected a few years ago. Split works really well as a sequel to Unbreakable, maybe more so because no one expected it to be a sequel.

Unbreakable still holds up today, as a slow origin story and realizing that one might be something greater than everyone else around him. With Glass he has quite a task. Can he fully combine these two films, and bring about some sort of resolution? Because I don’t think anyone is expecting it to continue after Glass, into some just Shyamalan franchise of supers. An update is what we want, not a never ending story.

But hey, I am willing to change my mind should this be awesome.

Door
“Yo lady. Check that door. It’s glass, isn’t it?”

It turns out, that the more I talk about really what goes on in this movie, the more I might accidentally give away in terms of it its plot. As of now, Kevin Crumb and company (James McAvoy) have created the Beast and are causing havok, doing their own thing. Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) is returning to her regular life, and is in a better home situation.

Dunn (Bruce Willis) runs his own security business, while also spending time looking for people to help, and right now, The Beast. His son (Spencer Treat Clark) is now grown up, but still on his side and his “tech base guy”.

Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) has been in a mental hospital for some time, and his mom (Charlayne Woodard) is still alive! And we also have Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) as a psychiatrist, who has a very specific niche.

Also starring Luke Kirby and Adam David Thompson as workers.

Ceiling
What a climatic battle of super people! Wait

First of all, I think general audiences are going to HATE Glass. We have the potential ending of a franchise, two superhuman forces coming to collide. Is it going to be an epic game of cat and mouse? Is it going to be a huge brawl after huge brawl? How is he going to make it feel realistic like Unbreakable?

No, nothing like that. Instead, most of what I imagine people will suspect is going to happen really quickly, and the other 85% of the movie will be something you did not expect. I know I didn’t, but I didn’t see a trailer and so went in with my own regular expectations.

Now I am not saying where it went was bad, it was just extremely weird and unexpected. Specifically, Paulson’s character I really hated, and yet, we were supposed to hate her. There was just other things off with it. The situation she was in, her conversations, they didn’t feel natural so it took me out of the realism they were going for.

This is a lot more than anyone bargained for. And for a lot of the film, I was still sort of digging it. I didn’t think the direction was bad. But the ending. The ending is a mess of “twists” and what felt like a never ending movie. This movie at 129 minutes feels like its three hours. It is very slow paced, and feels like there are multiple regular ending spots.

McAvoy is still fan-fucking-tastic. What we wanted was to see more of his sides, and I lost count, but I think we get to see the rest of his many faces. We get a lot of long shots of him going between his voices, and it is great to see the many transformations.

Samuel L. Jackson is not utilized enough, Bruce Willis looks great (and old) but is too quiet and also under utilized. We need more updates, damn it. It was great to see Clark and Woodward back after so long, replacing them would have been lame.

And finally, I am pretty sure the timing is really off in the movie. It sounds like they said it took place only 3 weeks after Split. Did it? No idea. But if so, then all this talk of 19 years is bullshit, unless Split took place in the future compared to when it came out. And if Glass is only 3 weeks later, from a few years ago, some of the references made don’t make sense. Damn it, I hate it when timelines are confusing and characters can reference songs that aren’t out yet.

Let’s end the review on this note. Again, Glass is weird, it tries to do something different. It succeeded at being different. And I don’t think people will be happy with that difference.

2 out of 4.

Death Wish

I don’t know a lot about Death Wish. I didn’t see the original, and the story doesn’t sound interesting. The plot of the film is the type that just promises to be a gory kill fest.

But I have seen a decent amount of Eli Roth‘s work, the director of this remake. He is all over the place when it comes to horror, and I will say that I think The Green Inferno is entirely too messed up. I had to pause it several times because of how graphic it was, so I entirely expected this to be just as graphic.

And their choice to put Lord Voldemort as a bad guy makes sense as well.

Car
Tom Riddle could use a finger gun.

Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a relatively successful surgeon in Chicago. He has to surgery a lot of different people, and a lot of them are shot up. Apparently Chicago has a lot of gun violence, who knew! He has a wife (Elisabeth Shue) and a daughter, (Camilla Morrone), about to go to college at the end of her senior year. In NYC. Ugh.

Unfortunately, there is something foul afoot in Chicago. A string of burglaries in their neighborhood that wasn’t super announced. They find out that the family is supposed to be out one night celebrating a birthday, but an emergency at the hospital cancels their plans. Now the burglars end up going into a home that isn’t actually going to be empty, leading to some issues. More gun shots, more pain, more death.

Obvious bad things happen, putting Paul into a spin. He begins to question everything. He wants to clean up the streets, since he feels that the cops cannot find the criminals until something lucky, maybe happens. So he gets a gun, and he decides to do a little bit of vigilante justice instead.

Also starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Dean Norris, Kimberly Elise, Beau Knapp, and Jack Kesy.

Hoodie
See, if it was a black man in a hoodie, he couldn’t even pretend to be a vigilante without getting shot.

On the surface level, Death Wish is probably a very average, regular, action movie. At no point is it a great action movie, a well thought out action movie, or even an exciting action movie. Just an average one. And normally average regular films get a 2 out of 4.

But you know what, some things really irked me. One, it never really got to a level of violence you would expect from Roth. It was probably tamer than the original in some regards, which is a shock since this one is at least rated R.

Willis as a surgeon never felt believable. His quiet reserved dad look never felt believable. Nor did his awkward transition to a vigilante. This was not a great role for Willis at all, if we wanted it to seem possible. No one really stood out as great acting in the film.

After the “auto mechanic scene”, the movie also went down hill from an entertainment point of view. It felt awkward, forced, and just not good.

And maybe a part of this is just based on the current political climate, one that definitely does not want or need people with guns running around. The movie was incessant about having radio talk show hosts talk about the vigilante (who listens to that much radio?) way too much in the movie. And every time they talked, the same things were said. That was their way of seeming cool and modern I guess, like when characters use emojis.

I guess that after we arm the school teachers, it just makes sense that we start arming the doctors too. The people who should be saving lives needing to take them. Shrug. Bleh. Pass.

1 out of 4.

Rock The Kasbah

There is one important movie I missed in 2015, because I was tired of watching the worst of the worst. I stalled on a few films and had to watch too many 0 out of 4s in a row, so I quickly wrote my worst of the year list and moved on to bigger and better things (Oscars).

But what about Rock The Kasbah?

It opened alongside Jem and the Holograms and ended with the fifth all time worst box office opening, for films with 2,000+ theaters. Third overall live action. And the two that beat it in that category were also out this year (including Jem!). I watched Jem and We Are Your Friends, but for whatever reason avoided Rock The Kasbah.

But because I am a glutton for punishment, and a perfectionist, I had to see it and make myself feel like shit all over again.

Plane...Rape?
This whole thing looks really rape-y. I am uncomfortable. Are you uncomfortable?

Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) is a skeezy manager of musicians. He has one real client, Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel), and he seems to scam other people into auditioning and giving him cash to make him their agent. What a swell guy. Operates out of a hotel.

Well, somehow Ronnie impresses a guy at a bar who books people for OSO shows for the troops in Afghanistan. Richie convinces Ronnie to go, because hey, a paid gig for months! He leaves his kid behind and they head off where Ronnie just hates it all. She gets sick and nervous and freaks out. So she decides to leave in the middle of the night once they get there, with all of their money and Richie’s passport.

So Richie is stuck there. But also in a military base/town. He can’t go back right away but he isn’t screwed. So he hands out, gets to know the locals, and eventually hears Salima (Leem Lubany). She is singing and her voice is marvelous.

Richie gets the idea to enter her in on the Afghanistan version of American Idol, but her burka and family may be an issue. And they are. And guns happen. Woo movie.

Also featuring for various sized roles: Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Arian Moayed, Scott Caan, Danny McBride, Fahim Fazli, Beejan Land, Sameer Ali Khan, and Taylor Kinney.

Desert
Your normal group of rag tag losers hoping to make it big.

Bill Murray. Just stop. You have given up for a long time it looks like. You probably gave up right after finishing Lost in Translation, but I am too lazy to check the list right now. Outside of some Wes Anderson brilliance, it just feels like everything is fake. Like he never cares, like he isn’t even trying to act. He is just playing an egotistical version of himself in every film.

But for whatever reason, Rock the Kasbah exists. Named after a song. If that song has any other reference, I don’t know it. It eventually turns into a singing competition plot line, but also women’s rights and religion, and just…existing in the middle east for no reason. Why do all these films that feature a singing competition end up being meh or worse? I’m looking at you, American Dreamz.

This film feels like a dream. A bad dream that keeps playing out, one boring situation into the next. The problem that Richie faced was an easily solvable one, but he was in Afghanistan for so long despite it. Seemingly just existing in he town, and then even longer once he found the girl. It made no sense for him to stay that long, especially since he has a daughter at home who didn’t even want him to leave. She wanted him to come home and survive and he seemed to say fuck that and this movie now exists.

Rock The Kasbah was a literal pain to get through. If I had seen it in theaters I would have walked out. Instead I had to pause it frequently just to do something else quickly to get my mind off of how bad the movie was. If I had seen it earlier, it would have placed high on my worst of the year list. Instead, it now just serves as a big bolded asterisk of a film.

0 out of 4.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

I don’t know how people reviewed the movie Sin City when it came out, I just know that Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will be pretty hard to review.

Sin City itself was pretty polarizing. I think overall it was on the positive side of the spectrum for most people (including me). The art style was something very different and took awhile for some people to get used to. It was also pseudo copied with The Spirit, which a lot of people hated (and those people also suck).

But a sequel has long been in development and long been clamored for, as the original came out in 2005. Almost took 10 years to get another installment. It has to live up to a lot of pressure, so I hope it can deliver.

Nakkid
Now with more nakedness than ever before.

Sin City is a land where dreams come true. Assuming your dreams involve corruption, drugs, sex, betrayal, murder, lawlessness, crime, death, and other synonyms. Shit is weak. Shit is weak everywhere.

Marv (Mickey Rourke) is still running around, being a badass. If you like him, good news, he is basically in every plot line.

Like when Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes to town, looking for secretive revenge and wanting to use his elite poker skills to do it. Or when Nancy the never naked Stripper (Jessica Alba) wants to enact revenge on the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis) from the first film. Or when Dwight (Josh Brolin) has to go an save Ava (Eva Green) from an abusive relationship, taking out an inhuman body guard Manute (Dennis Haysbert).

So, basically Marv is everywhere. Yay continuity?

Also featuring others, like Rosario Dawson and Powers Boothe bringing back their old characters. Or like Jamie Chung, taking over someone else character. And some people in much smaller roles, like Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven and Christopher Lloyd who is like 150 at this point.

Beat Up
If only there were angels out there for him to help out?

More action! More death! More sex! Is Sin City: A Dame To Kill For a step in the franchise? Or is it just too late?

Hard to say what the reason is, but this movie felt incredibly lack luster for me. Maybe it is because when Sin City first came up, it was before comic book movies really started to amp up their games. Before The Dark Knight before the Marvel films. Because for the most part, this story / set of stories feels very familiar, yet still distant.

Maybe I am annoyed at just how connected they wanted everything to feel? I liked the disjointedness of the first film, just a few short stories and then another.

Maybe it is just the quality of the stories? For what it is worth, there are basically three plot lines. The middle being the longest and most complete, or at least featuring the most characters, but even it dragged by the end. The “first” plot with JG-L didn’t feel interesting, and Alba’s felt not as epic as it was going for.

Maybe it is that the style feels stale after all this time, with the 3D elements never really enhancing it like I had hoped?

Maybe I don’t know. The only thing I know is this movie felt like a great disappointment. But also, maybe I am just getting older.

1 out of 4.

Red 2

When it was released, Red received pretty decent reviews from critics but didn’t do amazing at the box office. It made up for it in DVD/Blu-Ray sales though, gaining a small cult following, which is why they green-lit the sequel, surprisingly named Red 2.

The main notable difference between the two is that this one doesn’t have Morgan Freeman. For shame.

Malko
Although, as you can see from the picture, it has a lot of John Malkovich being very very John Malkovichy.

The movie begins with Frank (Bruce Willis) and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) trying to build a home together. Frank is retired (and still extremely dangerous) but he wants to put his past behind him. Too bad Marvin (John Malkovich) comes prancing in, warning him that he thinks someone is trying to kill them.

Well, it turns out there actually are people trying to kill them! Reports have surfaced that they are nuclear terrorists, who are trying to take out Russia. In fact, the CIA are trying to take them in, including their main man Jack Horton (Neal McDonough, who looks like the white Robert Ri’chard), who has hired the world’s best assassin Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee). The MI6 are sending their old friend Victoria (Helen Mirren), and Russia has Frank’s former fling, Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Sarah doesn’t like Katja.

So Frank, Sarah, and Marvin have to work together and find Dr. Bailey (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant war scientist who has been kept in the loony bin for over thirty years. Together, they hope to clear their name, and possibly stop a nuclear bomb from taking out a huge populatio of the world.

Gun
I decided to not talk about John Malkovich with my second image.

I don’t think you need to see Red in order to understand Red 2. All you have to know is that Frank and Sarah met in the first film, and everyone else has a huge history with everyone else. If you had to only pick one to watch, go with the original.

Red 2 isn’t bad per say, but it just doesn’t seem to care too much. Sure, it is entertaining, and funny at times, but not a lot happens overall. They are framed fugitives being hunted by the top governments around the world, yet they still have time to walk around Paris and go shopping. It just seemed odd and ruined the flow of the movie for me. The ending chase scene ended up being really predictable as well.

Red 2, just like R.I.P.D. had its enjoyable moments and was entertaining, just not something I would ever recommend to see more than once. I think Red 2 is not really based on the graphic novel like the first movie. Instead it is based on whatever the writer felt like. I usually don’t care how close a movie is to its source material, but I think in this case, they really didn’t know what to do with their characters. Because of that, it just felt like a mess.

John Malkovich is brilliant as always, and a bit more insane than normal. Malkovich is the main reason to see Red 2, and the only real reason.

2 out of 4.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra came out in 2009 and was a shit storm, just a big shit storm. I wasn’t reviewing movies four years ago, but if I was, I would have lampooned it so hard, in every orifice it had. It had some amusing parts, that red head was hot, but whatever. Not even Joseph Gordon-Levitt, right before his big claims to fame could save it.

So why did we get G.I. Joe: Retribution? Who knows. Can’t say it interested me at all to say it. What is with the cast overhaul? There is like, 2-3 characters the same in this movie. No Dennis Quaid, or Marlon Wayans, or Mr. Eko. All big parts of the first. I guess if you want to distance yourself from a bad movie, you should just replace basically everyone? I guess.

But no JGL to return as the Cobra Commander really irritates me. Hopefully they didn’t just try to fanservice this movie up with random shit.

MOAR NINJAS
NOW WITH EVEN MORE NINJAS! Fuck.

Hah, Duke (Channing Tatum) is still here! Now he leads his unit, along with his (clearly always been there) buddies of Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jane (Adrianne Palicki), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona).

Well, they decide to save the day again, but for some reason they get ambushed and most of their unit (a bunch of nameless people) die! What, how could this be!

Oh that rascally President (Jonathan Pryce) did it! But why would he? Must be some sort of nanobot doppelganger! How crappy.

Well, they are assumed dead now, and must go undercover, finding the original G.I. Joe (Bruce Willis) to help them. BUT LETS NOT FORGET ABOUT Snake Eyes (Ray Park). Ninjas are cool, and he is a Joe as well. But now he is with Jinx (Elodie Yung), the sister of Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) (What, you thought he died in the first film? Pfft!). They have to bring Storm Shadow to justice, because the “Blind Master” (RZA. Yep) said so. Something about family honor.

But oh yeah, President is not really the President! The Cobra Commander must behind this. Hopefully he doesn’t threaten to destroy every major world power and successfully take out London. What? He takes out all of London? Holy shit! That should have huge repercussions that they will definitely deal with in the movie or the sequel. Ugh.

The Joes better figure out how to stop this, and get themselves back into good grace, before they make a trilogy and kill off the one or two links left to the first film! Also featuring Walton Goggins as a hilarious warden, and Ray Stevenson as a not so funny bad guy named Firefly.

GI Lols
Channing is just wondering why The Rock and Bruce Willis are in every dang action movie now (and how can he get that honor).

To answer that above question, the Rock is actually a decent actor. It is just getting overkill.

Woo! I found this movie at least entertaining. Strange huh? Some of the action scenes were fantastic, and nicely spread out enough to be enjoyable. There was a lot that I disliked of course. Only one main woman (not including the other ninja), and they had to use her looks I think three times to advance the plot. How convenient. Flint was a useless character, and Jane’s background was pointless. The Storm Shadow backstory didn’t make any dang sense when you look at how time works. Too many ninjas just might spoil the bunch. (In the film, they go to a ninja factory basically).

Not to mention no Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Boo!

Really, a problem I was confused with is that the movie felt like it went entirely too quick. One of those films that takes a long time to build up and climax, and once it gets great, it is solved quickly and over. I hate feeling unfulfilled, but it was already 110 minutes long. I think it could have added an additional half hour to it (if they changed the movie around for an extra assault) to really enhance it overall. But if they added more time, they might have added even more bad plotlines. That would be the real shame in the end.

Okay action movie, definitely better than the first. But still has a long way to go!

2 out of 4.

A Good Day To Die Hard

Die Hard, Die Hard, Die Hard.

Such a strange film series when you think about it. How many others have the main character balding naturally through the series, and look nothing like he really did in the first? It is so strange, yet so real, and thus it is awkward.

But did anyone really like the fourth Die Hard? To me, it felt pretty weird, and put me off. I liked it more than Die Hard 2, but not on the tier of Die Hard 1 / Die Hard 3. Did I tag them all? Well, not Die Hard 5 yet. Oh snap, done.

Either way, time to see what is good and bad about the next installment. Maybe even see if they lied to us about movie scenes with the trailer?

Cleavage
And now my website shows more of this scene than the actual theatrical release.

John McClane (Bruce Willis). Still a cop. Has had a rough relationship with his son. Why? Because of vague “always at work, no time for family” stuff. His daughter (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is fine with it. Just not his son, Jack (Jai Courtney).

But he finally finds him after three years, apparently in Russia. In Prison. For murder. Well, guess John has to use some vacation time to go figure out what the hell is up.

Oh snap, he is actually some sort of Spy and undercover?! Trying to extract Komarov (Sebastian Koch) and his daughter (Yuliya Snigir) from the country, to get valuable information on one of their new leaders Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov) who might be willing to start World War 3? Yes, I am aware of the run-on sentence.

Why does John have to show up and fuck everything up? It is like he is looking for trouble. Also featuring Radivoje Bukvic as a tap dancing hit man.

Trucks
Warning – This was my favorite scene, despite its awkwardness and strange ending.

I can’t not compare the movies, damn it. First things first, this Die Hard is about 30 minutes shorter than the previous Die Hards. That is 25% less movie! Previous Die Hards have had pretty intense plots, some with big political intigue and pretty awesome one liners, with great action as well. So does this one?

Well, first off it isn’t Hard enough. There is one death that feels pretty great, but everything else was a lot tamer. As I eluded to above, the trailer made it seem like the main woman would get down into her skivies for a scene, and in the actual movie it cuts away when the zipper goes down a few inches only. Not even cleavage. I am not trying to sound pervy, but they put a long version of the scene in the trailer literally to attract more males. That was its purpose. Yet it wasn’t in the movie? That is pretty strong levels of deception there.

So no sex, no great violence, heck, even the cursing felt tamer.

But the positives? For the first time, in a long time, it felt like an actual “non stop action” movie. Outside of the “plot-y” beginning, basically once it started, it kept going the whole film. I think my main issue is it really didnt feel like a Die Hard film to me. They basically made him invincible in this film, surviving many crashes without too big of a problem, and having the stupidest fall (that a person can run from) I have ever really seen. Remember in the first film, when he had issues because of no shoes? If this John McClane was there, he would have taken the C4 himself down the elevator shaft.

I think the actual best part about this movie, is that we will get a fifth verse to this amazing song about the franchise.

2 out of 4.

Fire With Fire

You know what one of the weirder feelings ever is? Finding a movie that you have never heard of because it went straight to video, and actually having mostly really big actors in it.

I never know what is to blame for something like that, but I assume it is due to shitty post processing or whatever, a good idea that people liked became shit, and then they just had to try and bury it. It is not like Fire With Fire is a bad title, just kind of a cheesy one.

Firefighter
Firefighter with Firefighter would have been a completely different movie.

Yes, Jeremey (Josh Duhamel) is a firefighter. A nice bad ass one in Long Beach, California. But when he is celebrating a nice extinguished fire, he happens to witness a murder at a convenience store! Not just any murder, but in fact, the head of the local white power gang, David Haghn (Vincent D’Onofrio)!!! For whatever reason, he doesn’t have his lackies do his business, like Vinnie Jones, but does it himself. Oh well, sucks to be him.

Now Jeremy gets sent away for witness protection, to the magical land of New Orleans. The cop on the case, Mike Cella (Bruce Fucking Willis) is trying to rush the court date, so Jeremy can go back to living his life. Because once a criminal is in jail, he can no longer hurt you.

But first, he is going to fall in love with a cop in NO, Talia (Rosario Dawson). Eventually he realizes that yes, gang boss in jail does not make him safe, especially when they are able to find him in witness protection. So he does what any sane person would do. Go back to California, away from your escorts, and wage war on the gang himself! Maybe he can even get some of the crips to help, lead by 50 Cent.

HALF A DOLLA
I know everyone is excited to see Curtis Jackson back up and acting.

Alright, my apologies to the director or editor or whoever I blamed for post processing suckitude. Because that wasn’t the only problem, the writer has to share the blame as well. Turns out the plot was really bad, along with the acting/dialogue. At one point, when the mobsters find out his location in NO, the sniper fails to hit either of their vitals, but just Rosario Dawson in like, the shoulder or something. But the entire scene leading up to it with gun training, during it, and after, my head did not leave my palm. It was so bad to watch.

Unfortunately, that was early on in the film as well. The convenience store scene was bad, Bruce Willis was bad, it was just all bad. I found it very easy to start multi-tasking when he decided to go back to Cali and take down the gang by himself. Very easy indeed. Lets just say, fire got used.

1 out of 4.

The Expendables 2

Good news everyone. There are only 13 tagged actors for this movie, and one of them is actually a woman. Crazy, right? Obviously, The Expendables 2 is a sequel to The Expendables, which I forever have disliked because it came out the same day as Scott Pilgrim.

Dead Horsaz
Insert dead horse joke.

The crew is basically the same before. Lead by Stallone, second in command Statham, but also still with Couture, Lundgren, Crews, and Li. Too bad Jet Li leaves in the beginning of the movie, to come back later. Yes, he is pointless.

But they do have a young guy, Bill the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) who is former military sniper, and good at what he does.

Bruce Willis is mad because of events from the first film, but he is willing to forgive the team, if they go and retrieve some data from a downed plane far away. Easy enough. He is making them bring along a woman too, Maggie (Nan Yu) who definitely won’t be there as a romantic interest either.

But turns out the simple mission isn’t very simple. Shit hits the fan, and people might die. A different military group, lead by Vilain(Jean-Claude Van Damme…and yes Vilain? What?) and his lackey Hector (Scott Adkins) decides to steal the package and get away pretty cleanly. But what they stole, for their secretive reason, can actually put an end to the world as we know it.

The Expendables crew will have navigate unfamiliar territory, versus basically an army, and a pretty short clock to do it in. For those disappointed with Bruce and Arnold from the last movie, don’t worry, they do more shit. But also, Chuck Norris, because the internet loves him. Before you ask, basically, Chuck Norris was a walking Chuck Norris joke in is 2ish scenes he was in.

So much Power
The triumvirate of power, right in front of your eyes folks.

I think it is acceptable enough to compare this to the first one right? Well I thought the first one was boring. It had a lot of action, but I don’t think I really understood everything going on, in between explosions and fisticuffs.

The second one? Well, I understood the plot! There is that. I also found the action scenes to be a bit better overall. I would say the first scene of the movie, a compound break in was a bit confusing due to the vehicles. The airport scene was a bit over the top, because it made no sense to have a basic flood of enemies continuously appear for them to mow down from all angles.

Interesting action movie? That is a rarity in my case. When the death happened, I actually felt upset. The final fight scene that you know exists between JCVD and Stallone was pretty epic.

But at the same time, a lot of features ended up annoying me. Having Jet Li in for one scene felt like a waste. Couture, Crews, and Lundren were all underused as well. The girl love story was a nice pointless addition, that felt forced. And basically anything involving planes, really.

So I am sure they are planning another one, which I will watch, but won’t really need to see the previous ones again.

2 out of 4.

Looper

If you wanna have a good time, every time you say Looper, you should pronounce it as “Loopah”. Reminds me of Zelda a bit.

It is a good idea to laugh. Especially when you see Looper, and feel all sorts of weird feelings during it.

Loopah

The year, 2044. The setting, Kansas, because why the fuck not? Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper. Probably want to know about that, eh? Well, in the future, time travel is invented and immediately banned. Naturally then, only criminals have time travel at that point. So they sent a representative back to 2044 (Jeff Daniels) to set up a system to their advantage. Bodies are hard to dispose of in the future, so they send back the people they kill at predetermined times and locations! The loopers job is to kill them right when they appear. They get paid with silver bars strapped to the back.

They work until their loop is closed. How does a loop close? That is when the mob sends back the future version of yourself. They are always bagged, so you don’t realize it until you see that you received gold bars instead of silver. Then they know they have 30 years left of their life, and to take their huge wealth and enjoy it. But things start to hit the fan for the Loopers. Loops start closing quickly. Joe’s good friend, Seth (Paul Dano) ends up letting his future self go, causing problems! Apparently the future is scary. Some new guy is taking over and closing up shop.

But what happens when Future Joe (Bruce Willis) gets sent back. Will Joe do his job, kill his future self? Or will he help him figure out how to change the future for the better, with every action they take changing it in some way? And what does the future have to do with a local single mom (Emily Blunt) and her kid (Pierce Gagnon)?

Bangkok
Tell me I am not the only one who immediately thinks of Bangkok Dangerous when I see this?

Shocked. Shocked is basically how I felt after watching that movie. Not at the ending. No, I could see it coming, just still didn’t expect it. Hell, there was many options the ending could have chose. The film did a nice job of keeping you guessing, and leaving you with a feeling of wonder.

I know what you want to know. Time travel? Does that mean this movie will be confusing? Does their time travel make sense? Hard to say really. I’d say there is some confusing elements. Comes with the territory. Is their time travel without paradoxes? No, not really. Especially when dealing with loops and stuff. I would say their metaphysics isn’t perfect, but it is good enough for the movie.

The science in the movie isn’t the main feature though. It is the characters involved. Lot of serious questions get asked when dealing with your future self and the implications of it, of which I think the film handled wonderfully. Everyone acted pretty amazingly, and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was next. They also did great job with the makeup work to have Levitt look like a younger Willis.

Finally the movie does a few things that few films outside of horror ever do. Have the potential death of multiple children, and the use silence in the music and action to convey feelings of isolation/being alone. I love it when a film steps out of a normal comfort zone. It is great when a film makes you think too, and focuses a lot of energy into character development in arguably a short time. Just don’t go in expecting some action heavy flick, and you will be set.

4 out of 4.

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