The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature

Alright, this is an easy introduction. The Nut Job sucked. It came out January, 2014, made an okay money and a sequel was announced for January 15, 2016. Months before that date I noticed it and waited, because I was ready for an equally shitty movie that is easy to trash.

And then January happened, it was nowhere to be seen anywhere, and no one knew when it was coming out. It wasn’t until months later, April 2016, when it was announced it was pushed back to May 19, 2017. Yes, it wasn’t officially delayed until THREE MONTHS AFTER IT WAS SUPPOSED TO COME OUT. No announcements about being pushed back indefinitely, just quietly hidden under a rug. But I was there, I was asking the hard questions. I also don’t know when they finally gave it a name that was different, but they called it The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, to appeal to…some demographic.

Three months later in July, they announced that Jackie Chan had joined the cast. He joined the cast six months after it was supposed to already be out. There is some real big behind the scene delays going on. It wasn’t until December of 2016 when it was pushed back into August 2017, where it moved around again once I think, but was kept basically the same.

What a production shit show. And to think there is a The Nut Job 3 IMDB page saying a 2019 release date, despite no official announcements at all. Who is in charge damn it?

Squirrels
Ah, the fucking squirrels are probably calling the shots.

This sequel takes place a few years later with the nut store now out of business. And by that, I mean, it was being used as a mob den or whatever, so they probably just never got a new owner and it was condemned. And for some reason this condemned building was never removed of its items, so its basement was still full of nuts of all sorts. I assume it is a few years later, because literally none of the other squirrel and rodent leaders are present in this film, just our main character and crew and some young things, so at some point everyone else must have died out.

Now Surly (Will Arnett) and Andie (Katherine Heigl) are the de facto leaders of this group, I guess. And by that, I mean Andie is trying to teach some baby chipmunks how to hunt for nuts in the park, and Surly and his gang of randoms (Maya Rodolph, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Rob Tinker, Kari Wahlgren, Tom Kenny, Sebastian Maniscalco) are living in the nut shop basement that has turned to a variable den of sin. Andie thinks they are losing their ability to succeed in nature. Probably true.

Also in this city is a corrupt mayor (Bobby Moynihan). He seems like he has been there for awhile though, based on the way he lives and talks. He keeps getting elected despite being openly and obviously corrupt, and a danger to the citizens. He drives along sidewalks and hurts people while displaying he is above the law, yet everyone is fine with i? Anyways, this mayor likes his city making money and says that every square inch of his city makes money except for one. This is when most people would say “Oh yeah, the abandoned nut shop”. No, he says the park. Meaning he doesn’t know about the nut shop either.

So yeah, he wants to put an amusement park on the park instead, to make money. He begins to demolish stuff, which would be fine because of the nut shop, but the nut shop also blows up.

Now the animals have to go to war with the machines and the amusement park and the mayor. Oh how nutty!

Also featuring Isabela Moner as the mayors bratty as shit daughter (no mom in site, mayor probably killed her to be honest), Peter Stormare as an exterminator, Bobby Cannavale as another dog, and Jackie Chan as a kung fu mouse leading an army of city mice.

LibertyLand
That is a sweet ass sign, I would probably go there if I lived in the general vacinity.

“It was a mess of a movie.” – Gorgon Reviews, describing The Nut Job, in 2014. And it easily fits this review as well.

At this point in the review I am already over 700 words, and I haven’t even started to deconstruct its ass down yet.

I already alluded to it, but the mayor character cannot even exist in the world they created. Unless right when the movie starts he just got elected (despite implying longevity), and he was going on a two week crazy spree of fucking up parks and killing pedestrians. But we know it is a lie. For whatever reason this mayor character wanted to make the shittiest park, quickly, to make small amounts of money. But he is clearly a guy with high standards, so he wouldn’t make a park out of used parts, but something nice and shiny that people would want to go to for a long period of time. Another bad plot point.

The park premiers at a big fancy event for the mayor and all of his campaign donors, where everyone is dressed up, fancy as fuck, and rich. Except literally none of those individuals would ever set foot in a park like that. It is extremely ugly and they don’t try to hide it at all. It looks like a park that could give you AIDS just for walking into it.

The animals start terrorizing the park, the rich people hide, but don’t worry, exterminators come and get rid of them all. And the mayor makes these rich people stay. Of course animals quickly break out, come back to the park, and start to rip things up and destroy things with explosions. That point is weird though because 1) The rich people didn’t leave, 2) When things were exploding they carefully only showed the exterminators (who had already finished and should have been gone). Yes, very odd. Although they didn’t show them there, they specifically showed them staying, so a whole bunch of people probably died in this plan and they are just covering it because of badly written PG films.

Speaking of badly written, I am pretty sure that the movie was made, was worse, then they had to change a lot of it. Since Chan was brought in so late, they probably added his plot lines. He wasn’t in the film until halfway or so, and only one scene. Then he was brought back during the crazy end mess. I have to imagine that they just added this shit in, and that is why it was delayed a year and a half. A big waste of Jackie Chan.

The voice work is bad. The movie has absolutely no real feelings behind it. They just patched some shit together, hoping no one would examine to find out that there are holes everywhere.

And goddamn it, where is that little girls mom? Why was the Nut shop ignored by a money hungry government? Why the fuck does Andie the squirrel put up with Surly, who abuses her emotionally and puts her down in front of others constantly? And did the eat the other goddamn squirrels from the first movie?

0 out of 4.

Penguins of Madagascar

With the Penguins of Madagascar, every major animated release in the US in 2014 should now be reviewed on Gorgon Reviews. Hooray! Exciting!

Unfortunately it is the sequel/spinoff series to Madagascar, which I found to be very mediocre or bad. However, this one at least also had a TV show before it came out, so there is a lot of back stories with these characters and their adventures that I am wildly unaware of.

Bring on the penguins! They are cute I guess.

Octo
Holy, shit, we also get an Octopus? I am now ecstatic.

Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon), and Private (Christopher Knights) are all penguins who make up a pretty unique fighting team. Or at least they think they are. Going on adventures, using code words, what have you. Recognize the voice actors? Exactly, because this movie isn’t sold on celebrities, it is sold on characters and people who are real voice actors, damn it.

Either way, while celebrating the 10th birthday of Private, directly after the events of Madagascar 3. While getting some sweet ass Cheezy Dibbles, they get kidnapped by Dave (John Malkovich, bring on the celebrities now!), an Octopus! Apparently Dave has had a shitty life of living in zoos all around the world, where he is always second fiddle and ignored thanks to cute animals like the penguins. PENGUINS.

So he wants to get rid of them all. Or make them ugly. Something like that. ALL THE PENGUINS MUST BE PUNISHED.

That should be enough plot for you. Spy movie guys. Lot of things happen. There is also another agent group, the North Force (Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, and Peter Stormare).

NF
I will let you decide which voice should go with which character.

Shit, if you like Octopuses in movies, you are going to love this movie. Yes, Octopuses, mother fucker. It is the right way. They all reminded me of Octodad a little bit, especially since the main octopus is wearing a human costume sometimes.

In all reality, it was just an okay movie. I am glad that the penguins all had personality, but they didn’t really make me laugh all that much. I thought North Force was underutilized and the big bad guy plot was pretty lame as well.

There was one ongoing joke throughout the film, involving celebrity names and puns. They were fantastic and clever. Well done on that department.

But comparing it to other animated movies, the quality is definitely lower (although in line with the Madagascar animation, so at least they are consistent). It probably feels like an extended episode of the penguin TV show, so if you like the show, you will probably like the movie.

It could have been worse. It could have featured Firework over and over.

2 out of 4.

Strange Magic

Where does one begin when talking about Strange Magic? Well, first of all, it basically came out of nowhere. There were two main “kid” movies out in January. Paddington, which had tons of press and was actually pushed a little bit from December, and Strange Magic which had maybe 1 poster hung up somewhere in America.

I mean seriously, I saw no trailers ever, nothing on TV, no screening events, no kiddy toy promotion with a major realtor or fast food store. Did anyone know this movie was happening? Oh, George Lucas apparently knew it was happening. It was a Lucasarts film, which is now owned by Disney, but apparently it has been in development/production for FIFTEEN YEARS.

Anything that takes that long has to have some bad moojoo on it. Remember Duke Nukem Forever? There is attempting to make sure everything is perfect and forcing a boulder up hill.

Troll
And then there is this awkwardly realistic and equally awkwardly not dude.

The movie begins with the (world?) divided into two lands, a fairy land that’s all light and happy, and a bog land that is dark and scary. Immediately you might be thinking of Epic or even Secret of the Wings, it is a popular trope. The movie then begins with a very familiar tune.

Then there is singing. Singing of old songs. What is happening. Oh, not only was this movie mysterious, but it was also a JUKEBOX MUSICAL. So many of the characters sing real popular-esque songs. However there is no theme here like in Mamma Mia and they are just all over the place.

Ugh. Anyways. Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood) is a fairy princess. She is going to get married to Roland (Sam Palladio) but finds him kissing another fairy on their wedding day. So she goes a bit gothic and swears to never love again. Years later, her sister Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull) is in love with everything and everyone, much to her annoyance. Roland is still around, trying to marry Marianne just to control the army and become a powerful ruler.

So what does Roland do? He convinces Sunny (Elijah Kelley), an elf with a crush on Dawn, to get a love potion made so that they both can use it and get what they want. The only person who can make a love potion is the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kristin Chenoweth), who was captured by the Bog King (Alan Cumming), because he hates love and love potions, or something.

I mean, he has a point. They are pretty rapey. Needless to say, shenanigans happen thanks to the Bog King also kidnapping Dawn after she gets hit with the potion. So back and forth they go, singing and dancing, and stopping overall bad stuff from happening. Hooray kids movies and learning to love again!

There is also Alfred Molina and Maya Rudolph voicing royal parents, and Peter Stormare and Bob Einstein voicing random shit.

Fight
First we battle in an epic fashion, and then we dance!

How much do you really want to hear strange covers of Sugar Pie Honey Bunch and Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)? You don’t, you are right. This movie is full of songs you might have got to sing for public school middle school chorus classes or hear all the time at karaoke bars. Not having a theme isn’t an issue. Moulin Rouge! had no theme for the songs and they kicked butt.

Honestly, this movie in a vague description sounds like something I would love. I love musicals. I don’t mind fairies. I like nice CGI movies. But somehow this movie managed to fire on zero cylinders. Nothing felt like it worked. Parts of the animation were nice, and other parts looked like complete shit. They had really good voice talent, and wasted it on one of the most boring lists I have ever seen. None of the songs are really trying, they are all super safe and lazy. I Want To Dance With Somebody? Great song. Terribly easy to put into one of these and force a context for though.

Ugh. It ended up not being funny, not looking very pleasing on the eyes, and even made me dislike singing. How that is possible, I won’t ever know. I mean, I even gave Walking On Sunshine a 2 out of 4. This one just felt like an awkward mess. Knowing that Disney now owns Lucasfilms, it must have been in the buyout that they had to help fund or release this movie, and they just tried to sneak it out hoping no one would notice.

0 out of 4.

Rage

Rage starring Cage.

I think that was the reasoning behind this entire movie. It is a tagline that I don’t think anyone ended up using though. Come on guys, it was right in front of you.

Nick Cage has been in a lot of movies, always. He is the type of guy who never says no, going for the intense indie numbers like Joe, and for the straight to DVD shitty action movies like…well, a lot more of his recent stuff.

So why did I watch Rage? Well, I needed to watch a movie and wanted something about 90 minutes. One of the first random ones I saw on Netflix at all. Knew nothing about it outside of my fictional tag line, so I was ready to be surprised either way.

Face
The good news is we still get some intense new CageFaces.

This story is about Paul Maguire (Cage), an honest business man who cares about an honest days of work. He earned an empire starting a construction business in Alabama and is pretty successful now. Good job! But of course he had mob help. He used to be in the mob with his buddies Danny (Michael McGrady) and Kane (Max Ryan). They got a lot of cash from the Russians, thanks to some thievery, and he used it to help finance his business a few years later.

Well, on a night out, a couple of thugs break into his house. His daughter Caitlin (Aubrey Peeples) is taken (not like the movie), and her two friends (Jack Falahee, Max Fowler) were beat up and left behind to tell the tale. Shit. Look’s like Paul’s past has caught up with him. Now he has to figure out if the Russians finally figured out what he did or not, before his daughter pays the price!

Just kidding, they later find his daughter dead. Too late. No, this is not a rescue mission like Taken. This is a revenge flick.

So Cage is mad, and he won’t let anything stop him from getting revenge. Not his wife (Rachel Nichols), not his former boss (Peter Stormare), not the Russian mob boss (Pasha D. Lychnikoff), and not even Danny “Getting Too Old For This Shit 27 years ago” Glover.

Glare
His face just looks like an angry plastic mask the entire film.

Ah, see. This isn’t just an action shoot em up revenge movie. There is a some drama/thriller stuff too. And twists and turns! And mob warfare.

And it is still incredibly boring. The plot twists I couldn’t see coming, mostly because they were pretty fucking stupid. Strong words, strong opinions. All true.

Man, was this movie stupid. I couldn’t believe how much of a waste of time this 90 minutes felt to me. It offered nothing new and had some shitty action. It also had some shitty backstory plots.

So why not a 0? Because of one dang scene. Cage was yelling at a friend and being all intense about things. I felt real emotion from Cage during this one scene and thought it would have taken a lot of takes to get that sort of intensity. That one scene saved this boring as fuck movie.

1 out of 4.

22 Jump Street

If I told you four years ago that not only would a 21 Jump Street comedy be made, but that Jonah Hill would be involved, and they’d have a sequel called 22 Jump Street, you would have kicked me in the nuts. Then publicly shamed me for being a terrible person. You also may have been slightly confused at the oddly specific-ness of that foretelling.

For all intents and purposes, 21 Jump Street should not have done as well as it did. But it ended up being funny, making a lot of money, and here we are. And this time, they don’t care what you think.

Fuck You
Picture speaks for itself.

College! That is where our heroes, Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are going. Same aliases. There is a new new drug that has its own list of side effects that killed a girl. So they are going to infiltrate the dealer, find the supplier and take them down. Hmm, same plot too.

But this time it is different. Because in College, people can be free thinkers. You also don’t need a hall pass.

This time, Jenko is going to try out for football looking for dealers, where he meets the quarterback Zook (Wyatt Russell), who is basically Jenko’s clone and instant best friend.

Schmidt is going the art kids route, looking for drama and poetry geeks who might be hitting the WHYPHY up hard. That is where he meets Maya (Amber Stevens) and gets a girlfriend out of it. It isn’t creepy like the last movie, because she is of age.

But no! It is not just the same! After all, their bosses are still played by Ice Cube and Nick Offerman. Because that makes sense. But the new thug bad guy is Peter Stormare. That is different. Not to mention we have people from Workaholics, like Jillian Bell and uhh. That might be it.

Basically, what is important though is that they have the same blanket set as I do in real life.

Rocket Car

After viewing, I determine that 22 Jump Street was like one very long and elaborate inside joke. That would be annoying normally, but here is the good news. You are in on the joke, too. It all makes sense, because you are a person who saw the first film and understands that everything probably has an extra layer of meaning to it.

That’s right. This film is really aware of itself/meta/whatever you want to call it. And it will beat you over head with the jokes and at least for me, it didn’t get stale at all. Not only did it just keep building and building, along with an increase in action, but they didn’t even stop when the movie ended. It had to be one of the more amazing/funny credits I have ever seen. And they didn’t even fill the credits with dumb outtakes or anything.

Tatum might just be a comedy guy. Hill’s character had its moments, mostly dealing with one fight scene near the end and his interactions with Ice Cube, but Tatum had so many laugh out loud lines and moments. Only a few were shown in the trailer. The “lightbulb” scene with Tatum might be the funniest thing I have seen in a movie in over a year. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

I feel like I am giving out this rating far too much over the last few weeks, but seriously, movies are really earning their keep this summer. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are comedy gods and they should be worshiped as such.

4 out of 4.

Bad Milo!

I’ve seen some weird movies in my days.

You know it is true, because I go and seek them out. Weird strange movies are like my beer of choice, if I had a beer of choice.

Which is why I was interested in seeing Bad Milo! The plot line is definitely on the weirder side, and it had the potential of being a good horror/comedy, not just a shitty one. So, you know. Hope it delivers, and shit.

Mouth
You will be grinning like this guy once you get that last subtle joke.

Not gonna lie. I watched this like two weeks ago, and kind of forgot to write the plot outline right away. So I am going to vague it up.

Duncan (Ken Marino) has. Um. Stomach problems.

Like, really big stomach problems. Turns out there might be a polyp or something in his stomach. Not good. But it turns out, his stomach problem has the ability to kill. Just not him. During a very big episode in the bathroom, Duncan passes out. When that happens a big…well, look at the picture. That thing leaves his ass, all evil and shit, and goes and kills someone who was annoying him at that moment. The thing returns, safely crawling back into his ass and he doesn’t know about it.

Yay! What?

Yes, apparently poor Duncan is hosting his own inner demon, that kills for him. Kind of strange.

Also starring Gillian Jacobs as his wife! Stephen Root, Peter Stormare, and Patrick Warburton too, as various characters.

Rage face is calming
Shit, this movie is a romance. Who saw that coming?

Bad Milo was a very…well…interesting movie.

The concept I can say is unique, even though it is parodying off of some other horror tropes. Not enough ass play in those regular movies though, so this one had to add that element, so that we could all laugh and enjoy it.

The movie is unfortunately really low quality, which I would say negatively affected my viewing. Just a bit too low budget B-movie for me.

Really, it just didn’t do that much for me. That is why I took so long to finally write this review (And going to 5 days a week of course). Even though I like some of the actors involved, it just didn’t feel creative enough for me. Sure, ass monsters that leave and kill people? Creative. But everything else, ehhh.

I am probably just being a negative nancy. I think I gave the movie a fair shot, it just didn’t appease. Oh well. I am sure there will be more shitty movies in the future that I might enjoy.

1 out of 4.

Get The Gringo

Mel Gibson‘s real life antics have seemed to put a dimmer on his movie career.

The Beaver came out right after or before one of those recorded racist rants of his, which obviously heart the film monetarily, despite being awesome and Jodie Foster‘s first real try and directing.

He even got kicked out of The Hangover Part II, but that was probably better for him in the long.

Presumably, the same backlash has affected viewings of Get The Gringo, an action movie that came out a year ago, that I have heard maybe one or two people ever talk about.

Munster
I personally blame it on his strange ability to look like an adult Eddie Munster.

The Gringo (Gibson) is nicknamed that because he is white, and in a Mexican prison. Why? Well, the film opens with him and a partner getting chased by the cops. They ram through the Mexican border, and crash. Then they get caught by corrupt Mexican police, who give him false charges, and take the $2 million in cash in his vehicle!

The prison he is sent to isn’t a normal prison either. It is a ghetto. You can’t just leave, but their are apartments and stores, and its own viable economy set up in the area. It doesn’t have police roaming the streets either, just outside, so people can basically do what they want and they police themselves. Because of the set up, there are even kids in the prison, born and grown up in this area. Like, for instance, Kid (Kevin Hernandez), a kid here who sees Gringo steal some cash. Whoops.

Well, something is special about this kid, because The Gringo eventually finds out that no one is willing to hurt him or wrong him. Very interesting indeed. Must have something to do with one of the bigger criminals in the joint, Javi (Daniel Gimenez Cacho).

Oh well, Gringo just has to find away to escape, get his money back, and punish the people who set him up. Not too bad. Also featuring Peter Stormare, Dolores Heredia, and some Dean Norris action.

Kid
Yep. Two main characters, neither given real names.

Get The Gringo is indeed a strange movie, in that it has comedy. Or non intended comedy. I am not sure. Let’s say it is all intended.

Not in the “Oh its so bad that it is funny” or “so ridiculous/awkward that it is funny” but like, legitimate humorous scenes and narration by Gibson to entertain on a not so action-y level. Which is surprising, because of the three genres listed on IMDB, none of them are comedy. That is silly, I laughed a ton.

Get The Gringo’s first half was strangely entertaining for me. The Gringo was placed in a strange world and he had to use his wits and “charisma” to get him places, and everything seemed to work out.

Unfortunately, the ending and second half left me a bit more bored than I would have liked. I enjoyed the eventual escape that occured, and how it went down, just felt a lot of the build up to get to it was a too dull for me. Too much mindless shooting, not enough sexy shooting. I think most people would enjoy this movie more than me, and it certainly is worth a gander for those who enjoy action with non slapstick comedy.

2 out of 4.

Small Apartments

Small Apartments is another example of a film I picked to watch merely on the bizarre cover. Nothing really out of the ordinary in terms of subject matter, it was just faces of a few cast members. But those faces? Those faces were weird looking.

A bunch of actors I recognized, just all slightly off. I was ready for a dark comedy, or just strange film. Or at least, I thought I was ready for that jelly.

Horn
Basically the first scene of the film. I WASN’T READY!

Franklin Franklin (Matt Lucas) lives alone in his apartment, in an apartment complex of weird people. He isn’t any different. He really loves Switzerland, wants to go there, has the giant fucking horn thing and everything. He also is hairless. Relevant? Not sure. He also has the dead body of his landlord (Peter Stormare) on his floor.

He is surrounded by other odd folk, like Tommy Balls (Johnny Knoxville), a junkie with an almost philosophy degree (who is banging Rebel Wilson on the side). There is Simone (Juno Temple) who sometimes spies on Franklin, and flirts with the local convenience store employee (DJ Qualls). Let’s not forget about Mr. Allspice (James Caan) who I guess is just mean. That’s not really weird.

Shit, I could tell you more, but its just…Weird stuff. Weird stuff happens. Conspiracies, and investigators. Burned bodies and burned bridges (that second part is a metaphor, but the first part is literal). We also have James Marsden, Billy Crystal, and Dolph Lundgren.

Knoxville
I never realized Knoxville had the eyes of an angel.

I think I already said this, but man, this movie was weird. I really wasn’t prepared for it in any way.

Everyone was so odd, I just had such a huge quizzical look on my face the whole time, wondering what was happening and why. This is based on a book. I am going to assume the book is equally odd.

I am going to say that based on how rustled my jimmies were, the movie did its job. The actors, in particular Matt Lucas and Johnny Knoxville, were really excellent in this movie.

The issue is, because of its weirdness, I never really felt like I could get behind it. It didn’t really interest me in watching for a movie, it just piqued my curiosity a little bit. A movie I will remember for a little bit, but forget unless it is specifically brought up. A shame. And I feel weird saying the only reason I dislike it is because I couldn’t really get into it, but hey, it’s my website, so sometimes I have lame reasons. Hah!

1 out of 4.

Tai Chi Hero

After I saw Tai Chi Zero, I was immediately excited for the sequel, Tai Chi Hero. I knew they were filmed around the same time, and part of a planned trilogy (of which the third has not been announced yet, peculiar, hmm).

I was a bit disappointed that the first film wasn’t a “steam punk martial arts” movie as advertised. Only very barely. But to recap the first movie, we got a guy, going to the Chen village, to learn a very special Kung-Fu. He defends the down, despite not knowing the Kung-Fu, and can sometimes turn into a demon when his tiny horn things get hit. Yeah boy. Let’s continue, damn it.

Captured
Aw shit. This movie has fancy beat sticks.

Yang Lu Chan (Yuan Xiaochao), formerly The Freak, is ready to learn the famous Chen Kung-Fu! But they still insist that only actual villagers can learn the martial arts, no outsiders. So they set up an impromptu wedding to marry Lu Chan to Chen Yu Niang (Angelababy), famed daughter of Master Chen Chang Xing (Tony Leung Ka Fai), who he is smitten by and totally saved last movie.

Why are they afraid of outsiders? Basically, back in the day, one or more of their former students went total asshole on another village, and hurt a lot of people. They came back pretty mad, embarrassed their students, and promised that if they ever taught any outsiders again, their village would be doomed. So teaching only their own family and kind was a way of protecting against that. So people are still afraid that Yang Lu Chan learning the art will kill their town.

Remember Fang Zi Jing (Eddie Peng)? Probably not, those are sounds that don’t sound familiar. Well he was the bad guy who was from the last movie. He is pissed that he got defeated, so he teams up with the East India Company and Duke Fleming (Peter Stormare), who is upset over the death of that one chick from the last movie. So he is now a governor, has an army, and lots of cannons.

Aw yeah. Can they defeat the threat that is bigger than the last one? Can he learn the Chen Kung-Fu? Because he would totally have to use it to beat a whole mess of new people, a gauntlet type of situation, to prove the fighting style’s legitimacy. That is kind of just tacked on to the end.

Scary Confrontation
The scariest part of this movie is that Peter Stormare is in it. Who the fuck saw that plot twist coming?

Here is the main differences between the two films. The first film is pretty silly, with crazy fighting, video game references, and it was entertaining. The plot was weak. In the sequel, they want to expand the plot, the universe, and so many back stories. There is a lot more drama in this one, enough for me to take out the Comedy tag.

The problem is that this film almost feels like a strange rehashing of the first film. The ending is completely rushed, and unfortunately the most entertaining part. The final fight scene on top of the…small tiny walls (I am not sure what to call them. Partitions?) was excellent.

Now, I did not know that this (eventual) trilogy was meant to talk about the beginnings of Tai Chi, when it was apparently first just a variant of Kung-Fu. So this is supposed to be a very exaggerated and crazy, true story. Kind of. I guess that is interesting, but it is not something made clear at all in the first film.

I think this is definitely a weaker film than the first, in terms of entertainment. The fight scene at the end was dope. They also decided to get rid of his cool, demon crazy fighting ability half way through the movie. Not sure why. I guess because they never really used it at all. I feel teased. Super teased. Still decently well done though. Hopefully part three is a musical.

2 out of 4.

The Last Stand

The Arnold is back!

Alright, maybe he hasn’t really gone anywhere. The Govenator was still taking part in The Expendables franchise at least, but with The Last Stand he is officially back in the lead role. Just don’t confuse it with the X-Men movie of the same name.

Phoenix
Although Phoenix could solve this problem in an instant.

Sommerton Junction is a small town in Arizona by the border of Mexico. That border is a giant canyon, so there aren’t too many problems associated with it. The high school has a big road football game, so most of the town has left for the weekend to cheer them on, but not Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold). He is happy to have a weekend off, but he gets a strange feeling about a trucker (Peter Stormare),who comes up clean when his plates are run.

Oh well, it is not like he is secretly a member of the Mexican Cartel, working on busting out Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) from FBI Custody (Forest Whitaker), and then racing him to Mexico across the canyon. That would be ludicrous!

Ray decides that no Mexican Drug lord is going to come into his town and kill its citizens, not on his watch. Nope. He wants to make a stand. With his crew by his side (Luis Guzman, Jaimie Alexander, Zach Gilford) and the deputized citizens of an alcoholic who wants to redeem himself (Rodrigo Santoro) and a weapons museum owner (Johnny Knoxville), they decide to go all out to show that they are not just stupid farmers and rednecks.

School bus
“GET TO THE DINNAH”

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out if you are supposed to take a movie seriously or not. I like to apply the LG test. That is, if the movie includes Luis Guzman, do not take it seriously, and I don’t think it has failed me yet.

I do love that The Last Stand provides an action movie without an overabundance of special effects, and being set in rural Arizona helps add to the grittiness. I liked the resolution to the plot, even if the plot was one of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard of. It also wasn’t just a silly shoot em up movie where the good guys use Home Alone-esque traps to take out the bad guys. I actually feared that any character could die.

But, the acting still is pretty bad, and the dialogue probably over did its “one liner” quota. I think the beginning was also a bit too slow, but it picked up when they discovered the bridge being built. An interesting movie, but not sure if it is one I will ever try to watch again.

2 out of 4.

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