Peppermint

When is the last time Jennifer Garner was in an action movie? I really don’t know. Quickly glancing, my guess is in 2007 when she was in The Kingdom, but I could have missed something else over the last 11 years.

She has been “mom” in so many movies for so long, it is hard to imagine her doing anything badass. Hell, she is the current voice for the Mama in Llama Llama, a simple as fuck show on Netflix.

I just cannot imagine her kicking butt and doing anything believable. I can imagine her making me cry, sure. I can imagine her caring for her kids. But the lady who made me teary in a Christian movie (a hard task), Miracles from Heaven, has to do a huge shift in momentum for me to imagine her wrecking house.

All I am saying is that Peppermint has a hill to climb from the get go.

Sad
I too may weep when it comes to the family dying scene.

Riley North (Jennifer Garner) is not a porn star name, but a young mother who just wants to do whatever she can to protect her family. That probably doesn’t make it feel less porn star yet.

Their family is struggling a bit, but they are making things work. Her daughter (Cailey Fleming) is having issues with friends. Her husband (Jeff Hephner) is trying to find additional sources of income. Some low life comes to him with an idea, about stealing from a drug dealer in a fool proof plan. He turns it down overall, but apparently the dealer (Juan Pablo Raba) already got word about it, and wants to make sure a message is sent. And that message involves being gunned down in public, taking out the daughter as well but not fully killing Riley.

Riley takes things to trial, clearly pointing out in a line up the culprits, but yet the crime lord has great lawyers, and has the D.A. and judge in his pocket.

So what’s a girl to do? Maybe get some fat stacks of cash, run away around the world, and train for about five years in combat, shooting, whatever, in order to come back for revenge to take down anyway who let this corruption happen.

Also starring John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Annie Ilonzeh, and Method Man.

Gun
Mommy’s got a gun, bad guns on the run, shoot ’em as they come.

In retrospect, Garner is the perfect person for this role. After the last decade of being a mom, in this movie, her extreme mom-ness mattered. She needed to have that loving, do anything for family look, and she has nailed that over the years. She also has some experience with action films and shows before that time, so working with stunt crews, choreography, etc would probably be second nature, even after this time. Peppermint called for a vengeful mom in order to work, and Garner fit the role very well.

Now, the film on its own does do a lot of strange things. It tells the story out of order early on, which mostly feels unnecessary. We get to see all of this build up of the case that she is so angry about, with these players. We especially got a lot of action with their lawyer. And yet when she is doing her revenge killings, we barely see any of the actual people involved getting punished. We get to see the judge get murdered, we see one of the shooters in a quick tussle, but the lawyer is completely ignored. A man who threatens her, has dialogue, is killed off screen and not even shown a death. It doesn’t make sense.

Instead most of her violent vendetta is shown against the gang itself, who sure, were involved with the death of her family. But didn’t actively do the dead or the cover up, just orchestrated it. It was very strange to not give us that initial satisfaction. They also made it way too easy for these initial things, deciding to brush it all over by turning her into some female batman who had some money and some years of training.

The film is still definitely entertaining. There are twists I tried to guess and was surprised with how they turned out. An okay film overall, one that you can reasonable accept and go along with.

And to answer the question you probably had, no, I did not cry when the family died. That probably says a lot about the film, I imagine.

2 out of 4.

Keanu

Reviewing films when they come out on DVD isn’t bad, it is expected for at least a third of all releases!

But like usual, the movie I am reviewing way later is a comedy. Keanu. Why did I not see it in theaters? I dunno, probably just lazy at that point. I also have never watched the sketch show Key and Peele, just random scenes on YouTube, so I wasn’t interested in some strange cat movie sketch.

I also didn’t even know if the cat talked. I think it does. Or did I get it confused with Nine Lives? Also, maybe both are talking cats? This one with Keanu Reeves as the voice, right?

Kitty!
Yeah, he has those rascally Reeves eyes, that’s for sure.

Clarence Goobril (Keegan-Michael Key) and Rell Williams (Jordan Peele) are two boring, regular, dudes. Clarence is married, wife (Nia Long) and kids, drives a minivan. Rell is heartbroken, because he was just dumped. But then he finds a kitten. Not just any kitten, the cutest kitten in the world.

Now, later, Rell is back to work, inspired, and Clarence is about to have some days to himself. Tim for some bro time! That means watching a movie! However, when they get back home, Rell’s house was broken into, smashed up, and Keanu the kitten was stolen! They find out from the local drug dealer (Will Forte) that it was most likely Chedder (Method Man) and his gang, looking for his house. Shit.

So it is simple. They have to get the cat back, and they have to infiltrate his club. They just have pretend to be thugs, pretend to be tough and just try and buy the kitten back. That way no one gets hurt, especially them. But then they get confused with some real badass people from Allentown and have to instead help the crew sell some drugs to earn the kitten. Can’t be too hard, non educated people do it all the time!

Starring Tiffany Haddish, Darrel Britt-Gibson, Jason Mitchell, Jamar Malachi Neighbors, Luis Guzman, Rob Huebel, and Anna Faris.

Guns!
Running and shooting at the same time in plaid is the first skill a gangster learns.

I honestly didn’t care about Keanu when it came out. And yes, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Peele and Key do awkward right. They wear that uncomfortable atmosphere on their face and run with it. This is full of overacting on their parts, but it also fits their characters just trying not to die, while also believing themselves to be larger than life individuals.

The movie opened up slow, but once they were in the club it really hit its stride. The voices, the backstory, the names, all gold. The obsession with George Michael and his songs filling the soundtrack were a comedic plus. Back flips, gun shots, celebrity deaths and more. I was just surprised all around.

I also wasn’t a giant fan of the ending. After everything had finished, it petered off a bit too long and the twists weren’t worth it. But Keanu is still full of laughs and a really decent time waster. I might watch even more random clips on YouTube, right now.

3 out of 4.

The Cobbler

When I grow up, I want to be a cobbler. I don’t think anyone has said that in at least 150 years.

But at least it is a funny word.

Times are strange when you find Adam Sandler in a VOD movie with very limited theater release. His movies have practically printed money the last few years with the minimum amount of effort. Sure he sold out, but he can’t hear the complaints due to the hundred dollar bills falling out of his ears. And plus all of his friends get parts in his movies, and he uses the same crew. He is at least a good guy in that regard.

The Cobbler is about magic though. Or something. I dunno. Bring it on.

Heels
“‘Bring it on’ Adam said, as he slowly slid the red heels on for the first time.”

Max Simkin (Sandler) lives in modern day New York. He lives a boring life in down town, running the shop that his father (Dustin Hoffman) abandoned. He doesn’t really enjoy it, but he needs money. He also has to take care of his mother (Lynn Cohen), whom he lives with. There are protests lead by Carmen Herrara (Melonie Diaz), trying to protect the residents and store owners from higher rents, driving them from the area and forcing to sell their livelihoods for cash.

You know what. That sounds nice to Max.

But first he has to deal with some rude customers. Like this guy Leon (Method Man) who needs some shoes repaired that day to pick up that night. Well, Max’s main machine breaks. Shit. He finds a manual one hiding in a back and makes it from that. And wouldn’t you know it, eventually he finds out that machine is magical. SPARKLES AND EVERYTHING. Well, no sparkles. But in boredom, Max puts on the guy’s shoes waiting for him, and he transforms into that guy. Aw shit, shape changing powers. After all, Max is the owner of their soles.

How will he use this power? For good? For evil? For sex? To be a super HERO? No. Not the last one. Kind of all in between.

Also featuring Steve Buscemi as the neighbor barber, and a whole lot of other people, like Dan Stevens, Ellen Barkin, and Elena Kampouris.

Shoes
For a guy who fixes shoes for a living, there are quite a lot of shots of him being shocked at having shoes.

Despite the movies flaws, I don’t think that they are the fault of Mr. Sandler. I know, that may sound crazy, but it is true. The problems must all lie instead with the directing, script, and whoever made decisions behind the scenes. Because honestly, Sandler was fine in this role. Disgruntled Jewish middle aged worker, poor and bored with life. He fit the bill really well. His character also made sense for his new powers. He isn’t a great guy. He uses his power for as many shenanigans as he can figure out, until his shenanigans run away with him.

But despite the decent enough pun/premise, the movie just fell completely flat.

The movie didn’t know what it wanted to be. A comedy, a drama, a dark comedy. Its indecisiveness rested on the main characters indecisiveness. Shit, it feels like a family movie for the most part, outside of some partial nudity, attempted sex, and murder scenes. Basically everything outside of that is extremely family friendly outside of a few moments. Kind of super awkward.

The movie also dragged. It only took 20 or so minutes before we got to both the power and realization of how to get said power, but everything else was extremely slow. Not to mention not really funny. At all.

Damn it! This movie could have gone to so many good places. And everything is just so damn drab and boring about it.

1 out of 4.

Sinners and Saints

Dumb titles aside, Sinners and Saints does what…well, a lot of movies seem to be doing since Katrina. Apparently a post-Katrina New Orleans is a gritty, bad place to live. Or maybe the gangs are bad there, and the cops are the most dedicated (for not moving?) that they all warrant movies, fictionalizing the neighborhoods.

Even pre-Katrina though, I have found New Orleans “Area” to be yucky. So I hate seeing the same area, just “worse looking” on my movies. Thats all I will say on that!

sinners and saints
Hey look, violence!

I am feeling lazy, so here is the plot from IMDB!

In the gritty New Orleans underbelly, beleaguered Detective Sean Riley (Johnny Strong) is trying to cope with the death of his young son and his failed marriage. Facing a probable suspension from the department, Riley is teamed with a young homicide Detective, Will Ganz (Kevin Phillips), to help solve a series of brutal murders that have plunged the city into a major gang war. The two quickly realize there is something much bigger and far more sinister going on than either could have ever imagined.

There is also Costas Mandylor, playing another cop dude, and Method Man, playing a gangster with a disfigured face. I looked very hard for a picture of it, but alas, the internet does not giveth.

I want to describe the brutal murders though. Usually they involve strapping someone to a chair, dousing them in gasoline, and of course, setting them on fire. They keep finding people burned and dead in chairs! That is fucked up. And messy. NO is crazy.

Brees
I can’t help but think this is the work of Drew Brees!

The film I only found kind of interesting. The low budget of it really took away from the story from me. Tried to make it seem even grittier than it needed to be. Not a good feeling.

Or I don’t love it from my distaste of the area. One or the other.

2 out of 4.