Tag: Aaron Taylor-Johnson

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.

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.

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.

Nocturnal Animals

I wasn’t able to see Nocturnal Animals before it came out, mostly due to screening conflict. But without knowing the plot of the film, I was interested in the cast alone.

But given that I wanted to see it, the title did a lot of work with only two words.

Nocturnal. Animals. It sounds mysterious, secretive, and of course, primitive. It riles up a lot of fears, especially for those people afraid of owls.

Jake Gyllenhaal already had a good year thanks to Demolition, so regardless of how this one went, I consider it to just be bonus Gyllenhaal.

And a bonus amount of this guy, who I didn’t recognize in the film.

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) is miserable. She lives in a giant house, with her husband (Armie Hammer). She is an art director, but feels like it is all junk. They are close to being poor, selling their items, waiting for a big business deal to come through, but she doesn’t care. She cares that her marriage is just a shell and pointless.

Then she receives a package from her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal). He is a writer, she criticized him a long time ago, he just didn’t write from his heart. But now he has a new story, one he says was inspired by her, to write from his heart, even dedicated to her. It is even called Nocturnal Animals, his old nickname for her to explain her insomnia.

The story is about a family, a husband (Gyllenhaal), his wife (Isla Fisher), and teenage daughter (Ellie Bamber). They are driving through Texas in the middle of the night, heading to a vacation, empty roads, no signal, simple. Until they do catch up to a few cars, who are up to no good and willing to make a few choices to ruin a few lives.

Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Robert Aramayo, and Karl Glusman as some bad dudes, Michael Shannon as an older, smoking cop, and Laura Linney as Susan’s mom. Real mom in this story, not the book mom.

But also all of these people are fake anyways because: acting.

Nocturnal Animals made me feel a whole lot of emotions. Fright, scares, hope, sadness, angst, tension, extreme sadness, indifference, and even a bit of confusion. Needless to say, I was on the edge of my seat from some parts of the film, and sinking into it later to try and escape the pain.

Nocturnal Animals tells a story, a story in a story, and it does both points so goddamn well. It both made me want it to never end, and to subsequently hurry up so that it could potentially become a sunshine, happy ending. But it sticks to its tone guns and it delivers exactly the perfect ending at the conclusion.

Everyone involved with this project should simultaneously be slapped and hugged because of what I imagine they had to go through to really convey those emotions. The acting, cinematography, directing, fuck, even the costumes, why not. It all just feels so planned to maximize the angst I felt inside.

This movie is extremely hard to talk about because in all honesty, it is something that should be experienced. It isn’t for the feint of heart, it goes into some heart wrenching areas. But if you give it a shot, you will get a smart film that doesn’t hold your hand, some of the best performances of 2016, and a story that will stay with you for a long time afterwards.

4 out of 4.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron


Do I even have to write an intro? Yes? Well. Fuck. Okay.

The Avengers was stupidly successful. I knew it would be in 2008 or so. Everything Marvel has done has been covered in molten gold, but in a good way, not a Game of Thrones way. So of course everyone is excited about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Honestly, I am more excited about the next Captain America movie and some of the new heroes like Black Panther and Doctor Strange.

But hey. Ultron is cool too. I will take what I can get before we get 3 Marvel and 3 DC movies a year, plus random other franchises.

Cool to the touch that is. HA HA HA HA HA.
Shits crazy. If you haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet, then I can’t really help you. Spoilers on that front.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone, unless you watch the TV show then who knows. Hydra is fucking shit up. The Avengers have gotten together to stop them.

Our friends are all back, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Remember the twins after the credits of the movie I just mentioned? Well, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) are also thrown into the fray. An evil fray.

Here’s the important facts though. The Avengers get Loki’s staff back pretty dang quick. And using its power, Tony Stark wants to return peace to the world. He would love to disband the Avengers because he doesn’t want there to be a need for them. So he uses the staff to help begin to build some AI to help protect the world from more outside threats. Shit goes badly. We got a robot that wants to take out all the Avengers now. The Avengers bring threats. They are dangerous. Without them the world would be better. Tony accidentally made an Ultron (James Spader).

What? Is that not enough characters for you? Well fine. We have some other appearances of course, and I won’t tell you how big or small their roles are. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Heimdall (Idris Elba), and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). We also have newbie, Dr. Helen Cho (Claudia Kim), and of course Paul Bettany and ANDY SERKIS.

But Thor is my favorite so he gets his own picture, damn it.
For movies like this, there is no way I can get through these things without rambling and talking so much. So fuck it. Let’s go classic here. A simple pros and cons list of the movie. Well, a likes and dislikes. Yeah. And with fancy bullet technology!


  • Hawkeye. They heard the complaints about him in previous films and they made sure he was an important character. A lot was added to him. He had probably two of the best lines, did cool things, and was fantastic. Everyone should love him.
  • Hulkbuster. Hulkbuster guys. Hulkbuster. Amazing fight.
  • The plot elements in the film are definitely related to the first Avengers. Characters decisions are constantly determined to make sure they don’t redo what was done in NYC.
  • Characters shared the screen. It wasn’t just a one man show and his friends. A lot of characters got a lot of screen time. Most of the new guys got their motivations and back stories. Everyone got to fight and everyone fought hard.
  • It wasn’t an exact repeat of the first movie. There are similar elements, but the threats feel different, the arguments are different, and the jokes are different.
  • They didn’t dick around in the beginning, it starts with action and goes quickly into Ultron time.


  • Um. Ultron. I think. I mean. It is iffy. But from the many trailers, I expected him to be a bit scarier overall. He had creepy elements. Especially early on. But then he seemed to turn into a mostly joke cracking villain without the fear.
  • Vision. I liked him but I don’t think they did a good enough job explaining him or giving him more things to do. He felt a bit wasted.
  • Time. The movie is 140 minutes or so, but there are several times when the thing still feels rushed, especially in the 2nd and 3rd acts. There is a lot going on and a lot I liked, but some things made no real sense. Better explanation or more cutting would have helped a ton.
  • Love. There is a romance in this movie. It feels…forced and awkward the entire time. It helps lead to some of these moments where you’d like more explanation.

Also, under both categories I could say the Future. This movie does a lot to set up future movies. Future Thanos battle. Elements for the Black Panther movie. Elements for the next Thor and the Civil War (Although I thought they should have gone way stronger on that side). At the same time, this film kind of feels like a big stepping stone for the future instead of its own amazing event. Too much focus on the later movies, which we know the next many years for and not enough about Ultron.

Overall, AoU is really fucking entertaining. Make no mistake. It was a nice ride, and good action and all of that. The characters are the ones we love with new ones you will love as well. But I think it had enough disappointing aspects associated with it to make me not as excited as I had hoped. With all the set up, I think the Civil War movie will be the one that all this hype has been leading up to. Makes sense, because after it is when we start getting all the new characters outside of Ant-Man.

Go see it. Go see it multiple times. I will buy it as soon as I can for sure. But you know, not perfect.


3 out of 4.


Who doesn’t love an older franchise getting a reboot? Well, older Godzilla fans for one. They probably wouldn’t even consider this movie a reboot, just a continuum in the long storied history of the Godzilla franchise. But me? Sure, it is a reboot. We all remember the 1998 Godzilla. Even you in the corner probably remember it. I don’t care how many movies came out since then in Japan, if any. I only know there was a sixteen year gap between this one and the old one, and no characters are the same.

Well, one character is the same, I guess.

But fuck those older movies. This one is newer! With graphics!

State of the art Robot Graphics!

The year? 1999. Probably to mess with the other movie a bit. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is working at a nuclear reactor in Japan as a head Engineer, noticing some seismic waves, when holy crap, big disaster occurs! People die, questions are raised, and maybe, the whole thing is covered up.

Fast forward to now! Fifteen years later! Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Joe’s son is now a grown up, just a lad during the incident. He is in the armed forces, a bomb diffusion-er. I guess you can say he is good at calming high intensity situations. He is just arriving back home to see his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and kid when he has to go BACK to Japan to get his father out of jail.

He is now a conspiracy junkie and snuck back into the heavily radiated area they had to leave. Well, Ford joins his dad on a mission to go back to the plant, when holy crap, big disaster occurs! People die, questions are raised, and maybe, the whole thing is covered up. Just kidding, video footage gets out, at least one giant monster exists and it is about to fuck up a lot of shit!

But what do these creatures have to do with the mysterious Monarch group, lead by our only major Japanese character Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his three lined assistant (Sally Hawkins).

Also, the role of Godzilla is played by Brian Posehn.

It has often been prophesized that Posehn given enough radiation could cause this must destruction.

I think I have admitted to past to not really caring about the large raging lizard known as Godzilla. I can’t get into those movies, despite having multiple friends who have been raving about them and awaiting this movie for a few years.

However, I am a fan of really well done, exciting and entertaining movies. So, I guess I am a pretty huge damn fan of this movie. Godzilla is only right around two hours and never really has any pacing issues. Do you get to see giant creatures battling in the first thirty minutes? No, of course not, but the build up and the human drama early on really set the tone for what was going to go down. Shit, Bryan Cranston’s role isn’t that big in this movie, but he damn near made me cry with his own intensity.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has had a pretty good movie career over the last few years, some good movies, some bad ones, but usually solid acting. In this one, he mostly displayed a calming silent attitude when faced with near death situations, but I think it worked out well.

But who cares about HUMANS when we have giant monsters FIGHTING? Were the fights great? Yes. There are fights rhgouhout the movie, although some of them are teased or kept intentionally dark to only give you snippets, but by the end it is definitely worth it. A lot of fan service here for Godzilla junkies along with chances for easily made sequels in the future.

Even more exciting is the science! Obviously it isn’t 100% correct, because we’d probably have Godzilla-esque things now. But for the movie, it seemed to work out pretty well in my mind. Yay reasonable science in a movie!

Looking at the summer schedule, Godzilla is likely to be the best “disaster film” of the next few months.

4 out of 4.

Kick-Ass 2

Author Note: This review has been censored by the Author himself for hilarity sake, not any entity running this review.

Kick-[Butt] 2 is the sequel to Kick-[Bottom], that much is obvious.

What is not obvious is why Jim Carrey started acted strangely this summer, so I think we should discuss it first. In June, he tweeted that he could not support the level of violence in Kick-[Rear] 2, which was shot a month before the Sandy Hook incident.

However, his actual character in the movie, while violent, happens to be a born again Christian who refuses to use guns or swear. Yes, he actively protests gun violence with his character, yet won’t support the film? Ridiculous. Needless to say, his cast members had some choice words to say about the incident, and the sheer silliness of it all probably will lead to more people seeing Kick-[Posterior] 2 than before.

Thanks Jim. Gee whiz.
This movie takes place a few years after the events of the first film. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has now given up crime fighting, but we all know that isn’t going to last long. Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) is going to high school for the first time, and as a 15 year old girl, she has a lot to learn about real world teenage girls. She eventually gives up Hit-Girl, as a promise to her passed away father and new caretaker, Detective Marcus (Morris Chestnut).

It doesn’t take long for Dave to go back to his superhero roots, but finds fighting crime alone to be a bit daunting. He decides to team up with Dr. Gravity (Donald Faison), who introduces him to the vigilante group, Justice Forever! Lead by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Carrey), it also features Battle Guy (Clark Duke), Insect Man (Robert Emms), and Night [Female Dog] (Lindy Booth).

But evil is lurking. Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is upset over his fathers death (understandably), and wants to get revenge. In order to do that, he has to start his own evil organization. He is no longer The Red Mist, that was his hero name. As a super villain, he is now The Mother[Fornicator]. He recruits a few sociopaths, including Mother Russia (Olga Kurkulina), The Tumor (Andy Nyman), Black Death (Daniel Kaluuya), and Genghis Carnage (Tom Wu), and calls his group The Toxic Mega [Very Bad Insult Name For Women]. They plan on bringing down NYC and all the masked vigilantes. Especially Kick-[Gluteus Maximus].

I already tagged a lot of people, but lets tag a few more. John Leguizamo plays Chris’ Bodyguard/Butler like person, Augustus Prew plays the “other friend” Todd, and Claudia Lee plays Brooke, the high school drama queen.

Wow, he is wearing Big Daddy’s armor. That is all sorts of [Sexed] up.
In a lot of ways, Kick-[Buttocks] 2 is a lot like the first movie. There is over the top violence (involving teenagers) and a lot of people end up dying. But in a lot of ways, it is also different.

It is hard to describe, but something is missing in this sequel. I think it lacks the heart of the first film. In the first film, you could definitely tell Dave wanted to be a good guy, to do good things, and help save the world. In this movie, he felt like almost an entitled jerk, and he certainly felt selfish. Sure, he said he wanted to just help people in the movie, but it all felt superficial.

The film also has far too many plot lines, lessening its potential. You know what is boring? Watching a movie about “Superheroes” not fighting crime. This is unavoidable if it is the first movie in a series, because we need to get an Origin story. This movie had our heroes away from their costumes many times throughout and gets in the way of a lot more fisticuffs. The comedy and violence is the only thing this franchise is going to have going for it.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, however, played the self entitled super villain really well, especially when his super power is being rich. It was amazing.

Overall, the movie is just not as good as the first, it isn’t as funny, and it spends too much of its 100 minute run time lollygagging.

2 out of 4.

Anna Karenina

If you have never heard of Anna Karenina, then you might have your finger far from the pulse of the Russian Literature community. So you might be like me.

“But this is Tolstoy!” all two of you yell in anguish. Yeah, well, he is dead now, so how great can he have been?

This is not the first time a movie has been made from the book, no, it is the thirteenth time. Of the previous 12, I of course have seen zero of them, so this Joe Wright adaption shall be my first.

Taken abak
I think this is a literal example of a crowd being taken aback by something amazing.

There is a lot of plot going on in Anna Karenina. Maybe even too much. I am even surprise they can fit so much story in these movies. I have the basic gist of the story, but I cannot fill in a lot of the details on my own.

Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) is a Russian aristocrat and in the spot light, married to Karenin (Jude Law). It is an okay life, she is rich and all, the sister of an eccentric Prince Stiva (Matthew Macfadyen) who is married to princess Dolly (Kelly Macdonald).

But something is missing. Passion is missing.

Passion is what she feels when she meets the Count Vronsky (Aaron Johnson), and then embarks on an affair, that will lead to divorce, hearsay, gossip, sexytimes, and a life filled with love. But with love, comes great sorrow.

Many other characters and players in this, but going over all their plots would literally kill me. But hey, Domhnall Gleeson is in this movie, so is Olivia Williams.

That woman in the top right is shunning SO HARD right now.

Here is a fact that I realized watching this movie, that is both unfortunate and wonderful. I don’t think someone watching this would consider it a straight adaption of the story and novel. Sure the setting is there, the character and plots are the same, but there is more than that going on in the movie from the visuals. It is not that I began to question if scenes were actually happening, but just they way they were presented were strange. Almost a giant metaphor, I think that they were trying to say that when you are an aristocrat, you must always put on a performance/show or else you might lose your prestige.

Alright, did that paragraph confuse you? I am sorry. It is just hard to describe.

But I think a problem with this movie is that I didn’t know the story or its many sub plotlines, and I quickly got lost in the flashy colors and grand scenes. I am not sure of half the things that happened, because the filmmakers probably assumed I knew about it. After all, wickedly famous novel, many movie adaptations? Well I am sorry, but I couldn’t get it to work.

The acting however was very well done, and I would say I loved the costumes and cinematography. The final message sucks and reminds me a bit of Gone With The Wind but I guess that is life. I just wish it was a bit easier to follow.

2 out of 4.



There is a bunch of them in this town, and they are barely even human.

That is all the pop culture I can pick up from that word. Two is a fair amount, hopefully this movie gives me another.

Look at those BRUTES, those SAVAGES, sitting in California and looking fantastic. Sickens me, every time.

O (Blake Lively), short for Ophelia, is the narrator of this tale, and born rich local of Laguna Beach, California. She meets Chon and Ben, working for their pot empire. POT EMPIRE? This movie is about drugs oh no!

Chon (Taylor Kitsch) is a former marine, serving in Iran and Afghanistan, and when asked by Ben, he assured him that Afghanistan had the world’s best pot. Ben (Aaron Johnson) is a free thinker, okay hippie, with big world visions involving giving water to Africa and stuff. But also hey drugs. He has a degree in Business and Botany, and he gets Chon to get some of those seeds back to the states. They are able to grow them with great attention, giving them ridiculously high THC percentages, and make an empire in California where they are rich and can donate a lot to the world charities. Chon is also the muscle, he has a few Iraq buddies to help them out in dire situations.

They’ve been giving cutbacks to a local DEA higher up (John Travolta) for years to keep their business sailing, but when a Mexican Cartel from Tijuana wants to hire them for three years, to use their pot, resources, and people, they get a little bit worried. Especally when the offer presented by one of their lawyers (Demian Bichir) turns out to be more of a demand, and them saying no can get them in a lot of shit.

More or less, it results in the kidnapping of O from both of them. Oh who is O? Their mutual girlfriend. She sexes up everyone. And she loves them both for different reasons, but it leads to nothing bad between the guys so it should be fine. So now Chon and Ben have to try and save her, not die, avoid their really bad ass hit man Lado (Benicio Del Toro) and convince Elena (Salma Hayek), the head of the organization to let them go freely with O, at any cost.

Oh so evil
What a fucking great character. No jokes for you, just that fact bomb.

Turns out this movie has a lot of unlikable characters in it. Pretty much no one is the type of person you’d want to root for. So it was hard to really watch the movie on that aspect, as it was a lot of gray area. Unfortunately, the character I liked the least, O, was also the narrator. The dialogue for the narration was bad, and the character was like a spoiled rich kid who has no problems, until the movie. And I don’t think really anyone would care about her, or her kidnapping and constant danger. It sucks, but its true. Let her die, I say. Solves most of the movies problems.

The other big issue I felt was the ending. It didn’t really seem to fit the rest of the movie, almost felt lame. It was different, for sure. But not what I would have wanted. If you see it, you will understand.

But other than that, great performance from Benicio Del Toro, who looked completely different in this movie. Also, Aaron Johnson? He looks ten years older at least than he did from Kick-Ass, and not at all the same. I was shocked when I realized it was the same guy.

2 out of 4.


Sometimes movie titles like to lie to you. Sometimes they just note a cheesy line said in the movie. And sometimes they just describe the movie. Kick-Ass happens to be the third option (okay, the second one too. But still)

It is a good strategy too. Movies should just come out with titles like EXHILARATING and BEST MOVIE EVER.

I know you won’t believe me, but I assure you this scene is not a weird sex scene.

Aaron Johnson is just a nerdy kid. Women, like Lyndsy Fonseca, ignore him. He loves comics, but you knew that already because I said he was a nerdy kid. He thinks it is impossible that no one has ever tried to be a superhero, based on probability alone. So he buys a scuba outfit, modifies it a bit, and begins to walk the night! Then he gets stabbed. And hit by a car. Super hero-ing is hard stuff guys. Thankfully in his main painful months of recovery and post surgery, a whole bunch of metal plates are put into his body, so his ability to feel pain has greatly reduced. People also think he is cool now, cause they think he is gay.


Or just like, you know, in his room with some sticks.

At the same time we have Nicholas Cage (Big Daddy) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit Girl) are trying to take down a drug lord (Mark Strong) because he both killed their wife/mother, and got Cage wrongfully imprisoned as a cop because he wouldn’t go on his payroll. Pretty small world right? Big Daddy trained his girl from a young age to make her a fighting machine, great with weapons and guns and the ability to not freak out in a tense situation.

Anyone I miss? Oh yeah. Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Red Mist, the son of the crime lord, yet also nerdy super hero. But is he good or bad?

To me, this movie is fan-freaking-tastic. I laughed a lot and thought all of the action scenes were well done. I felt most of the basic emotions too while watching the film. In the “Kick-Ass unmasked” scene, when Big Daddy is yelling out different tactical commands to his daughter, despite his own excrutiating pain, just to save her. I was almost crying at that scene. In his first big moment, when Kick-Ass is explaining why he is not giving up, it is a very powerful and believable moment.

Kick ass orgy
Not to mention right after this scene was a big costumed underage orgy.

I normally don’t compare things to their original books, but I think the movie is better than the graphic novel. In the graphic novel, a few more people end up dying. Also, certain characters reasonings for their actions turn out to be lies. And yeah. It is just more depressing and lamer. Stick with the movie, and have a fantastic time.

4 out of 4