Tag: John Cena

Ferdinand

When I was in the first grade back in 1945, I distinctly remember seeing Ferdinand with its really dark red cover, bull, and designs on it. It stood out amongst the children’s books merely for its boldness and not pastel everything color scheme.

So I definitely remember reading it, feeling proud at having read it. It was one of the first books I can recall reading that weren’t super basic.

This means I was a bit excited that eventually a movie was going to come out about it. It was coming out around Christmas time with no other animated film competition. Maybe it would be amazing! That would be great, given my disappointments this year on the entire genre.

But also, I didn’t remember the story, so I wouldn’t care about the plot of the film versus the plot of the book, which is something I definitely always strive for.

Goat
“There was no goat in the book, 0 out of 100!!!” – Book elitist.

When Ferdinand (John Cena) was just a kid, he lived on a ranch and was in training to be a man fighter. I guess that is what you call the bulls in bull fighting matches. But Ferdinand didn’t want to train and butt heads with the other bulls, he wanted to care for flowers and just enjoy the fucking sunshine. One day, his dad was chosen as an honor to head to Madrid and become a man fighter, Ferdinand waited for days hoping his father would return victorious, but alas, he did not.

So Ferdinand escaped. There was nothing left for him at his home except for sadness, angst, and bullying. Because of bulls. He escape and, luckily, found himself at a peaceful farm where they actually grew flowers for a living! And there was a little girl there, Lily (Lily Day), who loved Ferdinand and raised him as a pet. He wasn’t mean, he just loved flowers and was a big goof ball.

But when Ferdinand got older, he was extremely large, larger than most bulls. Ferdinand was a gentle giant, who accidentally caused a lot of trouble one day thanks to not listening and due to a bee sting. This put Ferdinand back into captivity, back at the place he escaped long ago, with a Matador fight looming that he knew he would not come back from alive.

Also starring Anthony Anderson, Peyton Manning, David Tennant, and Tim Nordquist as additional bulls, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, and Gabriel Iglesias as hedgehogs, and Flula Borg, Sally Phillips, and Boris Kodjoe as German show ponies.

Oh and Kate McKinnon as a goat, Bobby Cannavale as a rival bull, Miguel Ángel Silvestre as a famous bull fighter, and Jeremy Sisto as Ferdinand’s dad.

Drive
Oh. Animals driving trucks during the ending conflict. Lovely.

The book Ferdinand story was big huge bull, didn’t want to fight, liked flowers, got taken away when he accidentally messed up a village after a bee sting, went to fight a Matador, refused to fight and was saved. Simple book, and hey, that is the basic point of this movie too.

We also just get some extra kid backstory, rival characters, several groups of side characters, extra human characters, and more. There are so many goddamn animals in this one. Not just the bull friends, but we have some extra 1 of animals only, then a group of hedgehogs, a group of horses. It just seems like I was drowning in side animals, most of which were unnecessary and one dimensional. Although the hedgehogs made me laugh occasionally.

Thanks to all these characters, we got one of the worst scenes I have seen in an animated film since the entirety of Norm of the North, when there was a “dance off” between the bulls and the horses. It was bad, it didn’t match the characters, it went on too long and just was aggravating.

As for the rest of the film, the beginning was very boring, the voice acting was weak, and the film seemingly killed off characters willy-nilly without any big amount of remorse. Or at least it seemed that way, but actually the extremely efficient slaughterhouse has no actual employees. Seriously, they show up instantly to take away a bull not good enough, but when the bulls head to the place to save them, we have no employees, no people attempting to stop them, just an extremely elaborate and nonsensical “ground beef” making machine.

Add in the ending where we have our animals driving vehicles, because every goddamn animal movie needs that now, a way too long chase scene through Madrid, and an ending where, sure, Ferdinand and his friends make it but without any long term changes made.

We all know bull fighting is terrible at this point. It is a relic of the Roman Colosseum, killing animals in front of crowds for sport. It is awkward that basically every bull is super stoked about the idea of being chosen for most of the film, until they realize how bad it is. It is even more ridiculous when you’d think the goal would be to end all bull fighting to save the bulls, but apparently just their group of six is good enough.

Ferdinand had a treasured book to work with, and they used that material. Unfortunately, the people who gave us the bad franchises of Ice Age and Rio have seemingly, once again, failed to produce a quality product. Not surprising I guess.

1 out of 4.

Tour De Pharmacy

A couple years ago, I saw an ad for 7 Days in Hell while using HBO and I was instantly drawn in. I had to watch that movie RIGHT AWAY and review it ASAP. It looked magicial, and really, it was.

I didn’t know it was so short, only 40 minutes. I didn’t know it was to poke fun at the ESPN documentary series. But I went in, it was short, but I still called it a film and had an okay review.

And now years later, I saw an ad for Tour De Pharmacy. This time I was older, a bit wiser, a bit smarter, and a bit less repetitive. I knew what I was getting in to, and thus I was excited. Why can’t lightning hit twice?

Bikes
And look, we have more athletes now than a single tennis match!

Tour De Pharmacy tells the story of the 1982 Tour De France, and all of the bizarre happenings that occurred during the race. Including the first time that someone died on the race!

Due to plot reasons, a lot of bicyclists in the race ended up getting eliminated really early on, as it turned out they paid bribes in order to avoid being drug tested. Like, a lot, a lot. As in, only five bikers remained.

We had Slim Robinson (Daveed Diggs / Danny Glover), nephew of Jackie Robinson, who wanted to be the first black athlete in some sport, so he was the first black athlete to compete in the Tour De France! There was Adriana Baton (Freddie Highmore / Julia Ormond), the first woman to compete in the race, but no one knew it at the time, as she pretended to be a man in order to qualify. There is also Marty Hass (Andy Samberg / Jeff Goldbloom), who is actually the first African to compete in the race. Yes he is white, and was an aristocrat, and it pisses off a lot of people that he has taken that first away.

The other two members of the pack were Juju Pepe (Orlando Bloom), a native Frenchman and actual famous bike rider, and Gustav Ditters (John Cena / Dolph Lundgren), a giant muscle man who didn’t fit the normal physiques that one would expect from a bicyclist. Along for the ride is Rex Honeycut (James Marsden), a journalist who will bike alongside the pack, in order to give in person interviews as the race happens!

This also features a slew of other actors, some playing themselves, to tell the story of the 1982 Tour De France: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kevin Bacon, Lance Armstrong, Maya Rudolph, Mike Tyson, Will Forte, and narrated by Jon Hamm.

Cena
The more arm muscles have, the faster you go on a bike. It’s fucking science!

If you liked 7 Days in Hell, you will like this movie! If you didn’t, you won’t. Pretty simple. Of course, a whole mess of you might not have seen the first one, so I still have to talk.

Honestly, this is just an absurd parody movie, I love it. It is short, so some of their jokes and moments don’t ever get to go into depth, and that is probably where it excels. After all, there is only so much stupid stuff they can throw in it before a viewer might get tired of it all. I think it was just the right length and zany to amuse the shit out of me, possible amuse the shit out of me over multiple viewings.

Now, despite that? Yeah, there are still some dull parts as well. The film even comments on it, as there were long boring stretches in the actual race that caused viewership to drop tremendously, in the fictional recounting. Making it meta and commenting on the progressiveness however, still didn’t do it for me.

Also, well fucking done Lance Armstrong. His role as hidden informant was a joke that just kept on giving, it surprisingly never got stale. All of the cameos were pretty funny.

Tour De Pharmacy is a relatively smart and quick laugh thrill ride, with only a few moments of slowed traffic to catch your breath.

3 out of 4.

The Wall

2017 is the year of the wall.

Jokes about the president, blah blah. But we already got The Great Wall earlier this year. And now we have The Wall? I guess this wall isn’t as awesome as the previous wall. But The Great Wall was just an okay movie. If this movie has a lesser sized wall, will that mean the movie is also not as okay?

I don’t know. But I hope there is a movie even later in the year just called Wall. Or maybe The Wa. I could go either way with my dreams.

Guns
Not picture: Any goddamn wall.

Set in 2007, we are in Iraq, after the war was “won” with a dead Saddam Hussein and all. But we still have troops there, to help clean things up, transition, whatever.

And we have Sergeant Allen Issac (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Staff Sergeant Shane Matthews (John Cena) who are a sniper pair. They have been watching a site for about 22 hours now where an ambush took place. Well, maybe an ambush, maybe an enemy sniper. But there are a few dead bodies, a broken wall and some trucks. But after 22 hours, they have to assume whoever or whatever did all of this has gone by now as they have seen no movement.

So they decide to call it. Matthews heads down to investigate knowing that they are safe, with Issac watching from above, still playing it safe. And then, Matthews gets shot.

Fuck. There is an enemy sniper here. A real professional. And now they are caught in his trap, with a small tiny wall protecting them. He is even on their radio frequency (voiced by Laith Nakli). And he wants to talk.

Snipe
Wall so small, not in this picture either.

Doug Liman is the director of The Wall and he is an interesting dude. From Swingers and Go, to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow, he has been all over the map. If you look at his producing credits, he has a ton more action movies. But from what I can tell, he isn’t super heavy on the horror/thriller aspects, which is sort of how this movie plays out.

It is a short movie, about 80 minutes, and it plays out entirely in one location. It is more dramatic/thriller than horror, but it really could have gone either way based on the sniper character. Since they were able to communicate with radio, they could have made him down right horror villain. Thankfully they went the smarter, more realistic way, and made the sniper a compelling person with his own reasons for doing what he did.

Now, I will admit, they did make him a bit too powerful. Our soldiers 100% believed they were in the clear for good reason. But this guy is super human. He is a super soldier and he hits his mark, apparently. I would have liked it if they made him a bit more believable in those aspects.

But The Wall was tense, and the whole thing basically rested on the arms of of Taylor-Johnson giving an impressive and physical performance, which he did. Not a bad way to spend under 90 minutes and another film that talks about the real tolls of war without glorifying anything.

3 out of 4.

Trainwreck

In all honesty, when I first heard about the movie Trainwreck, I really really really thought that this movie would involve a train. A couple meets on a train and talk and get to know each other. And hilarious things happen. But that is basically Before Sunrise minus comedy. Trainwreck is nothing like Before Sunrise, unfortunately.

So, no train. Maybe that means it will be like Trainspotting. That had no train right? It has been awhile.

Cena
There is a train of pain in his arms though.

Amy (Amy Schumer, yes she plays herself or something), is the trainwreck in question. Why? Because she is promiscuous after sex doesn’t stick around. Oh no! Why is she like this? Because her father (Colin Quinn), when divorcing their mom, told them love isn’t real and to not trust it. Didn’t affect her younger sister, Kim (Brie Larson), though. She is in a nice relationship, married to a man (Mike Birbiglia) and helping to raise his son (Evan Brinkman). Ugh, stable relationships, yuck.

The only thing sort of stable is Amy’s relationship with Steven (John Cena), except that is getting a bit rocky too as Steven might want something deeper.

Anyways, Amy works at a shitty magazine, and her boss (Tilda Swinton) wants her to do an article about a guy named Aaron (Bill Hader), who is a sports injury surgeon. He is the best surgeon too, working with the best athletes to repair their legs and knees to get them back in the game. He is even BFF’s with LeBron James (LeBron James)! Too bad Amy hates sports.

But hey, dorky Aaron is a nice guy. She should sleep with him and dump him. But he is so endearing. Maybe she will date him. Yeah. Sounds good.

Also featuring smaller roles by Dave Attell as a bum, and Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park and Jon Glaser as coworkers, and Ezra Miller as an intern.

Lebron
I didn’t know LeBron was that much of an actor, but he plays the fuck out of himself.

Trainwreck is directed by Judd Apatow and it feels very much like an Apatow movie. It is too long, it has long unfunny periods, and everyone is a bit awkward talking about real issues.

It is also written by Amy Schumer, and thus, the main characters name and I guess mostly her jokes? Hard to say, I haven’t seen her shows or stand up or anything really. But everything is about sex, making this an adult comedy about adult things. Get your big boy pants on.

Either way, the film on its own isn’t that great. The romance doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense and Hader’s character is legitimately boring. Schumer’s character gets old relatively quick, because it seems like it is just the same joke over and over again.

But cameos make this movie. Cena and LeBron are amazing. Ah maze ing. Cena didn’t have as many scenes, but he rocked it each time. LeBron is in this film a lot more, and does a great fake version of himself. His jokes are great, although also a bit repetitive.

Overall, the cameos makes it worth it. Despite the meh leads and overall length.

2 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.