Tag: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

San Andreas

Get out of the way, motherfuckers. We got a GEOLOGY MOVIE to talk about. YEAHHH.

Sure, as a professional (in the case that I make fat stacks of cash), geo-scientists, I could use these movies to bemoan the lack of good science in film and to talk about everything that they got wrong. But in reality, Geologists don’t give a fuck and love the shitty geoscience movies. (Honestly, this could be true for most scientists, but I am not them so I don’t know). We haven’t had a decent CGI science fest in awhile though, mostly stuck with crappy intentionally bad movies which aren’t as fun.

BUT EARTHQUAKES ARE CLEARLY MUCH COOLER. So in San Andreas we should get shit breaking apart, people freaking out, presumably parts of California drifting off to sea. I can only hope. This is a geo-nightmare! One I am fully ready to embrace.

And if you came in here expecting a GTA movie, then get the fuck out of here right now.

Crack
We don’t have time for any more wise cracks.

In California, if your life is in danger, there is only one man you want to save your life. Ray (Dwayne Johnson) and his helicopter crew met and flew together in Afghanistan and now work for the LA Fire Department and rescue people everywhere all the time like the polished rocks they are.

But not everything is smooth in his life. No, cracks are forming in his personal life. His wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) wants a divorce. Their lives haven’t been the same since they lost a daughter in a drowning accident. At least they still have one more, their family bubble not completely eroded, in Blake (Alexandra Daddario). Emma is about to move in with Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd) who has a much more solid foundation. A famous architecht, rich.

But fuck all that. Earthquakes. The team at CalTech, lead by of course seismologist Dr. Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and Dr. Kim Park (Will Yun Lee) have been testing out a hypothesis that will allow them to predict earthquakes. Thankfully in Nevada there has been a series of miniquakes to hopefully test their theory out and hey, it works! Just in time, or not just in time, because it looks like all of their recent work stress is about to be tested when the earth’s stress gets released. All along the San Anreas fault. Through small towns, close to LA and right smack dab through San Francisco .

Also featuring a few British folks from up the river. Namely, Hugo Johnstone-Burt as an engineer looking for a job, Art Parkinson his younger brother, and KYLIE MINOGUE as a small role that totally wouldn’t normally be noted but it is Kylie Minogue people.

Cleavage
Hide! Kylie doesn’t like it when you call her roles small!

It has been awhile since there has been an earthquake movie released. The last two I can remember are Aftershock and Aftershock. And when I compare all three, I would put this a step below Aftershock, but one step above Aftershock.

That’s right. I liked a disaster movie. And I will only briefly talk about the science.

From my knowledge, the whole magnetic pulse to predict earthquakes thing is a solid hypothesis running around the community and relatively new. So that is fine. I think they made up a big fault that doesn’t exist as part of the main San Andreas fault having it go through Nevada, but honestly, I don’t know. But my biggest complaint science wise is the Tsunami. Part of the climax involves a tsunami post all the big earthquakes hitting the city. Buuuuuut, that seems silly. Do giant ass earthquakes cause giant ass Tsunamis? Sure! But not at the same place the earthquake hit. See, the giant displacement event would cause the water to shift away from the epicenter, not towards. A giant ass tsunami would totally head towards Asia/Australia, but it didn’t make sense for it to hit San Francisco.

Back to the earthquakes! I cried. I legit cried near the end of this movie. Because overall, this is a story about a man trying to save his family. A man who tries to save everyone but couldn’t save his daughter those years ago. A man who is a rock in real life, facing a force that literally breaks rocks.

I was surprised at the amount of action this movie provided. They went high with their Earhtquake and aftershock count and had the damage affect at least 3 cities separately, plus tsunami, so there was tons of near death (and death?!) scenarios. Shit, the body count on this movie is so incredibly high. Millions and millions of people die thanks to tall buildings falling over and streets ripping apart. It’d be a bloodbath if it was just rated R and we could show all the bodies in the flood.

There was also disappointment when douche looking Ioan Gruffudd ended up being exactly that, a douche. I was really hoping he would be a good guy, despite being the “new rich man” in their lives, and make it a bit more complicated of a love dynamic. But alas, if it looks like a douche…

San Andreas has everything I’d want in a disaster movie. Some extremely ridiculous scenes of survival. Some crazy deaths. Trillions of dollars of damage done to infrastructure. Ample cleavage because you have to have that in movies about geology for pun reasons. Not completely terrible CGI. Some actual factual science. Some extreme cringe worthy dialogue (including the most obvious ending dialogue to end the movie. Much cliche). And of course, last but not least, Paul Giamatti’s face representing my literal profession.

Paul

3 out of 4.

Buy it now from Amazon now on Blu-Ray or DVD.

Furious 7

FAST FAST FAST.

Nope. Too slow. Now you are just Furious 7. Look down. Look up again. You are Vin Diesel upset that Chuck Norris stole all of your internet jokes. Look at my hand. It is full of movies. THINK AGAIN. Just odd numbered Fast and Furious movies!

Blah blah blah. I have said before. I think the even numbered movies are either shit (2 and 4) or just okay (Fast and Furious 6). Some are well known to be bad, I went against the grain for the last one. Tokyo Drift has a good story though, which is why I like it and the first and fifth are entertaining. I was super stoked to watch Furious 7, before the death of Paul Walker, because I wanted the continuation from Tokyo Drift! I was ready for it all. And you know, 7 is an odd number.

And hey, Vin said this movie was amazing. Tears would flow and it should win Best picture awards. In that case I expect also hard hitting dialogue, some true events maybe, a new look at a modern topic, and maybe some death.

Sex
I don’t expect too much butt though.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT ALL OF OUR FRIENDS COULD RETIRE AND JUST ENJOY LIFE. Just right then. Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) shows up and starts killin’ people. He is the brother of the Shaw dude from the last movie and he wants revenge. Deadly revenge.

Well that is great, they have to deal with this asshole who has money, power, and explosives, and he will follow them around the world just to get his sweet deadly revenge.

Thankfully (?), a covert ops team lead by Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) wants to use Dom’s (Diesel) team to track down a computer program(er) (Nathalie Emmanuel) and a terrorist (Djimon Hounsou). If he stops the terrorist, they can use the special facilities to take out Deckard as well. Deckard of course will continually interfere with each step of that operation before he can be fully dealt with. Dom wants his crew though for the job. So he gets the leftover parts of the crew (Walker, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris).

Action, cars, people being mad. Dwayne Johnson is back in his role, Jordana Brewster is still Walker’s wife, Lucas Black reprises his role kind of, and Ronda Rousey is in this movie because modern action films secretly hate us.

Group Shot

Furious 7 is making shit tons of money. It is also is breaking records while doing it. Why? Is it because of its extremely diverse cast? (which is by the way, ridiculously diverse. Look at that group shot and tons more not featured). No, probably not.

The thing is, this franchise always made a lot of money. Six made almost 800 million, so the fact that this one already hit a billion isn’t a surprise. Because let’s face it, regardless of how good or bad it is, people wanted to go see it because of Paul Walker’s death. Just like The Dark Knight.

Now, sure, I might have had a tear near the end. My emotions are easy to manipulate in a movie. But I am still disappointed with their choice. I think a much stronger movie could have been made if they went real crazy and intense with it. I even knew I wouldn’t get the more intense and tear inducing finale to Walker’s character, because they announced what would happen to his character months ago. A literal ride into the sunset. Kind of disappointing, but I get it. I do.

Either way, some of the stunts in this film were insane. Most of them just involve literally the cars flying through the air and surviving big crashes. They are thankfully in vehicles a lot, so it keeps up with the theme, despite only one (and a half maybe) street races. And it didn’t feature an incredibly stupid ending like the last film. And the characters, all of which were still decently over the top, didn’t feel like superheroes which was another complaint I had.

But also, this one featured The Rock in a great scene involving a cast. That scene made the movie for me. I just really hope they don’t make another one. End up on top. Please no more. Don’t piss off Paul Walker’s ghost.

3 out of 4.

Hercules

2014 was going to be the year of the Hercules movies. Two films, doppleganger movies, going head to head, months apart, to see who could make the best Hercules based movie. Kind of silly, when nothing could ever beat the clearly superior Hercules Disney movie from 1997. Zero to Hero, bitches.

But two things were odd about this competition. One, the releases were almost 7 months apart, January to July. And two, holy shit, The Legend Of Hercules was very very terrible. Yes, it came out the second week of the year, but it firmly established itself as the worst movie of the year, and at this point, still has to be top 5 worst films of the year on most people’s lists. So no matter how janky this version of Hercules would be, it would probably be the superior film.

Because everyone know, with doppelganger films, one has to be good right?

Roar
They did pick a fantastic person for the role though, no lion about that.

This story begins quite annoyingly going over the Legend of Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), not the other movie, the actual legend, and the 12 Great Deeds he had to do to get Hera off his back. But what if Hercules isn’t a demi-god, but just a mercenary with a great storyteller nephew (Reece Ritchie) to talk him up and make him seem more awesome than he actually is?

Well, according to this movie, yeah. And Hercules has friends! Including Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), an orphaned Spartan warrior, who likes to joke around, make money, and throw daggers. And Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal), an Amazon warrior, so of course she uses a bow. And Tydeus (Askel Hennie), of Thebes, who is now more animal than man and quite vicious. And of course, OF COURSE, Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), a seer who saw his own death already, so a fearless warrior in battle.

Yeah, Hercules and his band of merry men, or something like that.

Well, Herc and his mercs for hire get offered a shit ton of gold to help the nation of Thrace defend its borders from warmongering centaurs and some super evil dude. This means they have to train an army of farmers, so that Lord Cotys (John Hurt) can bring peace and prosperity to the kingdom.

But can Hercules do it? Can he? Punk? I don’t know that one for certain, but I do know that The Rock could probably do it.

Rebecca Ferguson plays the daughter of Cotys and Joseph Fiennes as the King of Athens.

Boar
“You’re a phony! A big fat phony!”

I think this movie actually had an interesting take on the Hercules mythos. A lot of what you see in the trailers is actually just from the first few minutes, going over his deeds and accomplishments. A lot of the story had been left out of the trailers, giving an almost fresh experience when I went in, not sure what to expect. I like what they did with it, and because it specifically said it wanted to attack the legend of the man, it made it seem like they were taking explicit jabs at the other film this year. Which is kind of hilarious.

The action scenes were pretty on point. The Rock did make a good Hercules, but he wasn’t the best part of the film. Ian McShane stole every scene he was a part of thanks to the comedy of the seer role and Rufus Sewell was pretty on point as well. The plot wasn’t too unique, could guess how it would play out and for the most part kept in line.

Outside of the action, most of the film just felt okay. It felt pretty short for the scope that it was going for, so that was disappointing. It had interesting characters to relate to though, so that is one redeeming quality.

Basically, what I am saying is that if there is a sequel, which there easily could be, I’d be glad to watch it. Obviously I’d watch any sequel, given the point of reviewing movies, but I wouldn’t go into this one with disdain.

But until that happens, looks like there is a shitty Asylum version of this movie too, Hercules Reborn, that I can spend my time with.

2 out of 4.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Another day, another Milestone Review.

That’s right, welcome to my 950th review for the website! The only thing really special about this milestone is that it is super close to a real, actual, super duper milestone, at 1000! That review I have been planning for awhile now.

But for now, I am going to talk about Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. I did Journey To The Center Of The Earth as my 850th, because I am a Geologist, and damn it, I wanted to talk a lot about the bad geology and strangeness of that movie. But once a franchise gets suckered into the Milestone review category, it is really hard to get out. Thus a sequel! A third one is coming out eventually, so hopefully that lines up nicely for me.

Speaking of nice, this movie is about an island! Hell yeah. That means it won’t distract me with a bunch of bad geology. I might even be able to enjoy it?!

Volcano
Oh for fucks sake.

This movie takes place a few years after the first film. Sean (Josh Hutcherson) no longer has to talk about his uncle, because well, he does’t live with his uncle. That was a one time thing. There are zero references to Brendan Fraser in this movie. So he is back to living with his mom, who has finally gotten married, to Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Probably one of the best possible upgrades for adult male star.

The thing is, Sean doesn’t want to hang out with him ever. He is getting into trouble in school, with the local lawmakers, you name it. But why?

Code Crackers
Because secrets.

Turns out Sean has been hearing a signal broadcasted by satellite in a code, and he is pretty sure it is from his Grandpa, who hasn’t been seen in two years! He is now a full fledged Vernian, and by golly, Hank was an intelligence person with the Navy. So he helps crack the code, which appears to hint the location/existence of The Mysterious Island. Apparently the same island as Treasure Island and an island in Gulliver’s Travels! Whoa! Collusion between authors! So, fuck it, they somehow convince the mom to let them go and find the dang island, as a way of bring them closer together.

At the island, they find only one man crazy enough to take them. Gabato (Luis Guzman). What? How did Luis Guzman get into this movie?

OH FACE GUIZMAN
[This space left intentionally blank]

Turns out he doesn’t have a boat, but a helicopter. Oh well, it will do. He also has a daughter, Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), who also happens to be around the same age as Sean. How lucky!

Well, they get to the island, but through crash landing. Apparently there is a storm always around it or near it, hooray protection. Too bad they don’t have a way off the island. Looks like the only way they can think of is to first find the grandpa, and use whatever he has to get out. Right? Right?

Well they find him (Michael Caine) pretty easily, it will just be a few weeks before his transportation happens. Shit. Oh well, time to explore then, eh?

Atlantis
Aw yeah, mother fuckin’ ruins and shit.

Through whatever bullshit book source they decide to give us, not only do they determine that this island is home to Atlantis (see above), but it also sinks down to the bottom of the ocean every hundred something years. Of course, plenty of time to do research.

Until Navy Intelligence Speicalist Hank takes the case! No dog, there is salt water in the middle of the island in puddles around Atlantis. For it to get there, the sinking must be early. They probably only have a week or so to get off the island. Well shit. Better hurry on up then.

Navy Talk Plot Pic
“No guys seriously, I was in the armed forces for my brains not my brawn!”

So they rush. Oh yeah, what makes this island actually magical or cool? Well, normally big things are small, like a tiny elephant, and normally small things are big, like bees or lizards. In fact, they can ride the bees and the bees are totally like “Oh yeah that’s cool, fuck it, hop on.”

Shit. Luis Guzman and The Rock share a bee. That is some strong bee muscles. Well, turns out after a night of sex appeal and Rock serenading on a ukulele, his calculations were incorrect.

No. They only have mere hours before the island sinks. Oh nooooo!

Sex Appeal
Not so subtle sex appeal for a PG movie.

So they search for The Nautilus, the submarine from that one book. You know the one. But other bad things happen, like getting split up, and getting greedy. Because shit, that volcano is over a huge gold deposit, and thus gold is all around the base. You will never guess which character makes it his mission to retrieve the gold before the island sinks.

To be fair, they have noble reasons.

Sean and Hank find The Nautilus, but it is off the coast and under water. Shit. Thankfully they can hold their breaths forever, and successfully get down to the submarine. But it won’t start. Oh man, its been inactive so long, it needs power.

Electric Eeels Yo
If only there was some way for them to get power down there?

Needless to say, things work out, and we are set up for part 3.

So first of all, you can tell this movie really wanted to sell its 3D aspect to the viewers. I didn’t get to see it in 3D, just Blu-Ray, but they have a lot of silly shit fly at your from the screen, and it is really obvious even in the just Blu-Ray version.

Need an example? I found this awesome gif.

Pecs

To be fair, that was also one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Kid wants to know how to get the ladies. Apparently the correct way is by flexing the pecs back and forth. True. I am falling in love the more and more I watch it, and that shit was hilarious.

I can say without a doubt this movie is better than the last. Now they have an established story line. The first film has the problem of trying to exist in a world where the book…exists. So it isn’t telling the same story, but still does a lot of the same events in that story.

In this one, they don’t worry about telling The Mysterious Island story, they make their own across multiple books. It is just a lot more interesting and less annoying scientifically.

For this one, science wise, it is a bit better, but of course none of the biological implications of the island are explained, the storm, or how it actually can just go up and down every hundred years with no one noticing. Outside of magic.

But it is a lot more amusing and a lot more pretty than the first one.

And again, sorry to Mr. Fraser, but Mr. Johnson is far better suited for this and interesting.

So yeah, this movie isn’t a complete shit storm? Go figure!

2 out of 4.

Empire State

Empire State‘s cover looks like your generic action movie with no substance. Maybe that is why it went straight to DVD?

That’s not nice. I know plenty of straight to DVD movies I have enjoyed watching. I have nothing else exciting to say before the plot outline. ūüôĀ

Mike
I will note that only one of these two gents made it to the DVD cover. Behold, the two main stars.

Chris Potamitis (Liam Hemsworth) wants to do good in his life. He really does. But life just keeps screwing him over. His dad gets canned after a long career, and the bills are piling up. He wants to be a cop, but he fails that test because he was arrested a few years ago for pot at a concert with his friend, Eddie (Michael Angarano). Shit. A one time mistake, and it has cost him.

So instead he is able to get a job at the Empire State Armored Truck Company. Kind of like being a cop. He gets a gun and a uniform at least. He just drives around collecting and storing money. Turns out, this company is chill as shit. No one cares, it is very slack. They don’t even count the money at the end of the day, they just stack them on crates between transfers. He is pretty sure people are skimming money off the top. The security cameras don’t even face the money!

Maybe he should take some money. The company itself is pretty scummy as well…

Dwayne Johnson plays a cop who is sent as the lead investigator for the post robbery. Emma Roberts isn’t really in this movie at all. She is like, a sister, or something, and in two small scenes maybe. Yet full cover treatment. Gotta love that stuff.

No. Fuck that. That is stupid. The cover shows Hemsworth, The Rock, and Roberts on the cover. They don’t show Angarano, the other male lead. They show Emma Roberts and she isn’t really in the movie. She has top billing on IMDB, and Michael Angarano has sixth. They put two other random people over him too. What the fucking fuck?

Rock
Shit, even the Rock barely looks like himself in this movie. Hiding in plain sight?

This sack of shit is based on a true story. Biggest cash heist in American history or something. Wasn’t really successful, because obviously they eventually got caught.

Somehow, they were able to take this story and give us one of the most boring action movies I have seen in recent memory. I know, I say action movies are boring a lot. But this one barely had any action in it at all. Everything after they took the money just had me falling asleep. Oh no, cops and mob people are mad at them. Oh well.

Watching Liam Hemsworth get beat up a lot I guess sort of redeemed it. A little bit.

But this film had scummy advertising, bad plot and action, and just overall felt very insulting to call it a movie. Sure, it was a movie. But barely.

0 out of 4.

Fast & Furious 6

After Fast Five premiered, there was a lot of talk about the future of the franchise thanks to the scene in the credits. It left many people confused. How could Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) be alive, when she clearly died in The Fast and The Furious?

We will get to that later. More importantly, the time line of the films became more clear.

They mentioned that Fast & Furious 6 (Trailer) would follow 5, and part 7 would be set AFTER Tokyo Drift. Basically, films 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of the series are in the correct order, and 3 is set after 6, but before 7. They also went through a little bit of development hell, where they were going to break 6 into two parts, but thankfully went back to just one film. Either way, the questions you have at the end of 6 will be answered next summer when part 7 comes out.

Fly
I don’t give a fuck about any of that, because HOLY SHIT A TANK!
Long story short, there is a highly tactical gang of drivers out there in Europe, who are trying to assemble a device that can shut down an entire city for 24 hours. That is a pretty dangerous weapon and could kill a lot of people. Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and his new partner Riley (Gina Carano) know the only people who can help them out are a group of lesser international criminals on the run from the law.

Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) obviously refuse to help, but when Hobbs shows pictures of Letty, his love who they thought died years ago, they assemble the team (Tyrese Gibson,¬†Ludacris,¬†Sung Kang, and¬†Gal Gadot) to find out how this picture exists and if she is really alive. Saving the world isn’t on their mind, just finding the girl.

But with Shaw (Luke Evans) being a criminal master mind, always a few steps ahead of the authorities, can their rag tag group even follow in their exhaust fumes?

Chicks
Of course the women have to fight each other. Gender equality people, let’s see some.
Fast & Furious 6 is being lauded as one of the best films in the franchise, and action movies in general. I will give the movie that. There is action throughout the movie, from car chases, to scenes completely void of cars. It doesn’t apologize for anything in the film, and goes at completely ridiculous lengths for an explosion or two.

But personally, it completely changes the genre of the film, which grinds my gears the most.

To me, everyone felt like a super hero in this film. There are TONS of hand to hand combat scenes between the two groups, and it felt like watching a live action Dragon Ball movie. Ridiculous feats of strength and long battles where neither side got hurt, when most of these people are just retired car racers. It bugged me to no end that they all basically became invincible just for the sake of a bigger action movie.

On top of that, I don’t think it flowed well. Almost every scene I felt confused due to the plot of the movie. The heroes were¬†constantly¬†doing nonsensical things. Nonsensical to their character and to a normal human being. They wedged a street race into the movie that plot wise didn’t make sense (nor did anything out of that London woman’s mouth before the race). At one point four or five of the bad guys get arrested and end up making their escape, yet one of the group is no longer seen in the movie. I guess they just decided to write him out of the movie.

The climatic plane ending is ruined for me thanks to it apparently being the longest run way known to man, making the ridiculousness too much to bare. It also features an Amnesia plot line, which I feel is one of the laziest plot developments you can ever come up with.

Yes, if you changed the movie to be something completely set apart from the Fast & Furious universe, I would probably enjoy the movie more. But we have five movies that are grounded (mostly) in reality, a shift in genre I can’t get over. It is breaks all the rules of the series, despite trying its hardest to include the previous five films. If it was an original movie (and better acting), I might have loved it.

2 out of 4.

Pain & Gain

I am not going to harp about how Michael Bay is the worst guy since whatever. Yes, he did the Transformer movies, and fucking Pearl Harbor, and he is about to kill the Ninja Turtles, but he has some decent stuff. Like. Independence Day. I love Independence Day!

I am just saying, there is no reason for me to assume Pain & Gain will be bad. The trailer just makes it look…weird. And apparently a true story. Okay, yeah. Sure.

Snell's Law
So far, Michael Bay is clearly experimenting with different light refraction techniques. He is growing!

1995. Miami, Florida. Danny Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is the current main manager at Sun Gym, after serving a short sentence in prison for fraud. He promised his boss (Rob Corddry) that he would triple the membership and get the gym back on the map, and boy did he ever. Through some questionable means, but who cares when you got dat income.

He is great friends with Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie), another former criminal and bodybuilder. But they are both poor and tired of it. Tired of a bunch of assholes, like Victor Kershaw (Tony Shalhoub) who are self made rich men, and think everyone else is a piece of shit. After all, Danny is a doer, not a donter (lessons he learned from Johnny Wu (Ken Jeong)).

Doers do, and so Danny had the simple plan. Kidnap Victor, torture him until he signs away everything and ruins his life completely, then kill him and live the life of luxury. Just need a third man. Like Paul Doyle (Dwayne Johnson). Paul just got out of prison, was a cokehead from NYC, but found Jesus and wants to turn his life around…but he also needs cash.

Simple plan, nothing can go wrong if they have enough can do attitude, muscles/fitness, and positive thinking! Yeahhh… Ed Harris plays a private investigator, and Bar Paly a stripper turned confidant.

Rock
Step 1: Identify self to kidnappers. Step 2: ???? Step 3: Profit

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. It is not cursing if you take 10 seconds to say it.

Hot damn, this film was awesome. And amazing! And abstract. Abstract? Yes. Totally. I wasn’t just looking for more A words.

Seriously, this film was definitely something special. Who thought Bay had it in him? I was laughing and cringing, often in secession. There is just so much ENERGY in this movie, I’d find it impossible to lost focus at all.

Dwayne Fucking Johnson, I don’t even know you anymore. He acted the fuck out of this film, and was 100% the best part. Not saying Mark Wahlberg wasn’t amazing (because fuck, he was!), he just had to compete with The Rock! The two of them were out of their minds the entire time filming this, and made their characters their bitches. That is the only way to describe it. Literally. No one else has tried. If they did, they used those words.

Just. Aggh! The true story itself is a fascinating one, which is also not as funny as the movie took it out to be. Check it out here, but be warned it is a long read (so…its like reading the book version?). I am not saying the movie made light of the events in the film, because very serious shit went down and they talked about a lot of it. Just still had a more comedic tone overall, while also splashing your face off with shock juice.

4 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.

Snitch

Dwayne Johnson has a movie a month for the next few months. Seriously. Look it up. February, Snitch. March, GI Joe 2. April, Pain & Gain. May, Fast and the Furious 6.

Holy crap, that is a lot of rocks!

But what makes Snitch different? Well, in the ads for Snitch, I only saw that “Dwayne Johnson” was starring in it. That means it was not “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson” like you see most of the time. Pretty crazy right? Has he finally made the switch (minus those other three movies?) Probably not. But I will respect that and not defile him with the nickname in this review.

Rawk
Because The Rock would kick my ass if I defiled him.

John Matthews (Mr. Johnson) runs a construction company, built it himself, hells yeah. But he is divorced, because this is what drives plot. His ex Sylvie (Melina Kanakaredes) was able to keep the son Jason (Rafi Gavron) in the divorce, because John drove around a lot as a truck driver for his job. Damn, sucks. He has a new family though, a wife (Nadine Velazquez, solid solid upgrade) and a daughter there as well, but still wants to be in his sons life. He is about to go to college!

But his son does a dumb thing. He agrees to let his friend ship him a package of high quality drugs to his place, so he can pick it up later. Little did he know, that his friend got caught, and just snitched on Jason to reduce his own sentence. Jason didn’t want to help sell them, but agreed to help his friend, and now it looks like it was his idea! Sucks to suck. With federal minimum sentencing laws, he is looking up to 10 years in jail, despite the first time offense and no solid evidence. Unless he can snitch out someone else. The problem is, he doesn’t know any other drug dealers, and he is not willing to set up a friend.

Good morals, bad situation.

John wants to do anything to help his son. He is able to get the district attorney (or some equivalent title thing…Susan Sarandon) to reduce his son’s sentence if he helps set up an arrest himself. He just needs the help of one of his workers who used to be in on the drug game (Jon Bernthal) to get him started. Also featuring Barry Pepper as head of the local DEA thing and Michael Kenneth Williams as a big drug dealer guy.

Beard
By now you realize that if I see weird facial hair, I am going to post the weird facial hair.

First off, fuck this based on a true story nonsense. This time it is based on the fact that federal minimum sentencing is real, and it causes people to rat out other people maybe not actually involved. That is it. Go die, true story message. Die hard.

Snitch tries to go in two different directions, an action movie, and a drama where the father wants to do anything to help his son (like John Q, I guess. But more action). Part of the problem is that the action really isn’t there. The ads show lots of action, but that is mostly one and a half scenes of the movie, so I would definitely call action a stretch.

So that means we have a drama, folks.

A drama that isn’t that bad, but ehh, not to great either. Mr. Johnson actually great. Most of the supporting characters are so-so. The fact that this movie is just a strange way of saying that mandatory minimum sentences are bad, is kind of silly. They could have done it a lot better making it a more realistic picture, instead of the small action sideplot near the end.

Mr. Johnson did do great, as I said, but it would have been a better role for a frail guy. That is all. We are so ingrained in seeing Mr. Johnson as an action star, I can’t imagine him getting beaten up in this movie, or overcoming any difficulties by the end. Because he is Dwayne ‘The Friggan Dwayne Johnson’ Johnson.

2 out of 4.

Faster

For world building purposes in movies I generally like it if the characters have last names. Just makes it feel more “Real” to me, or at least gives the false impression that they spent some more time working on the plot.

But sometimes, movies can say fuck character names in general and go a more simpler route. For Faster, we get characters like Driver, Cop, and Killer! Yeah! Fuck names!

Faster Car
Guess which name he gets!

Dwayne Johnson is…the driver. Yes. Correct. He gets out of prison at the start of the movie, and he is mad. So mad that once he gets out of the gate (of course on an abandoned desert road?) he just starts running. He runs to a car, drives said car, and then kills a telemarketer. Damn.

Mike Epps plays the guy who got him the car, and with that car, a list of names of people who helped put him in jail. He was double crossed after a heist with his brother. They shot him in the head! But it ricocheted around his skull in one way, out the other, avoiding his brain, so somehow he survived.

At the same time, the cops Carla Gugino and Billy Bob Thornton (who is of course about to retire) are looking for him/trying to figure it out. Also also Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays the Killer, who is (re?)hired to kill the Driver, before he enacts revenge on all of the people who have mostly changed their lives around.

Like Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who is now a traveling Evangelist. And the last name on the list. But who actually shot him and failed at being an assassin?

BBT
And why does BBT look so sad when he is about to retire?

The movie is a pretty simple plot, so it will have to rely on at least decent acting or surprises along the way to keep interest. It kind of delivers on small scales. I think I have heard of people surviving shots to the head the same way. Maybe I have heard of that just in movies though.

I think the ending was decent given the premises too, was acceptable. I also liked that they tried to give the other non-Rock characters some story lines too. I really didnt like BBT or the other cops involvement though. Felt like a weaker plot line of the movie.

But hey. The movie is called Faster. What can you expect. Its not like they are going to one up it with an unrelated movie called Fastest, right?

2 out of 4.