Tag: Ben Foster


When you think of Hostiles, you think of a group of angry people. Knowing that this movie is set as a western, with cowboys and American Indians, it sort of brings Pocahontas to mind. I know, it wasn’t cowboys, but close enough. And famously in that movie we had the song Savages. Throughout history, generally Savage was used when the “white” side ran into natives in another land. But in this song, they both saw each other as savages! Equality because both sides were different and didn’t trust different things.

Except you know, the part where in Pocahontas, the white people were actual terrible invaders and the bad people and that was it. So they tried well, but still failed in that regard.

Anyway, I think of that song when I hear Hostiles (and probably also for the movie Savages). Going into it, I assumed that every side and every new character was probably a “hostile” individual, and that no one should be trusted or given a gun.

When everyone is this aggressive, you just need to have the gun out at all times.

Set in 1892, we find ourselves in the Western United States. The Civil War is over, but the Spanish-American war had not yet happened. Soldiers at this point didn’t have a lot of responsibilties. Mostly keeping the peace, in forts across the country.

Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) has been in the army for about 25 or more years at this point. He has seen and done a lot of things. He was at Wounded Knee not to much longer before. And he hates the Native Americans. He h as seen what they have done to “honest, Americans” and is disgusted by that fact. Hell, most of his career has involved killing them or rounding them up, but he also has only done what he is told.

And now he is being told to do something unthinkable. He has to return Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family (Adam Beach, Q’orianka Kilcher, and more) to their homeland. He has been imprisoned for seven years and it has been long enough, especially since Yellow Hawk has the cancer. It has turned into a big deal for their government to send him home to die with his people and forgive past crimes, hell, even the president has signed off on it. The press are involved!

Blocker doesn’t wan this job. And it will be his last one before retirement. He has his crew (Jesse Plemons, Jonathan Majors, Rory Cochrane, Timothée Chalamet), he had his weapons and supplies, and he had a terrible mission.

And along the way he will also pick up Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) a very recent widow who lost her family and house to a group of Native American horse thieves, and (Ben Foster) a former soldier, turned prisoner for doing unthinkable crimes and trying to run, who needs delivery to a fort for a court marshal.

Also featuring others, like Stephen Lang, Peter Mullan, and Robyn Malcolm.

Shit, everyone gets a gun in this movie.

Hostiles is a film that is just a little bit over two hours, but one that feels much longer. The first scene grabs you and the film refuses to let go the entire time. It keeps your attention by gripping characters, extremely great acting, authentic everything, and slightly terrifying plot.

It doesn’t keep your interest like a modern cartoon, by flashing shit at you every few seconds. No, the scenes are long, detailed, and showcase real human emotion. Hard decisions don’t just come naturally, but they are often decided in between scenes. But in this film, we have to watch actors think through their moral issues and figure out what they need to do. And on its own, that might not seem too appealing, but it just shows the amount of attention to detail that went into this film.

Scott Cooper directed this film and I will be honest, I haven’t really enjoyed anything he has directed before. That is from Black Mass, Out of the Furnace, and Crazy Heart. All films that are known for one reason or another, some good, some not so good. But none of them really reached me.

Hostiles reached me something fierce. Bale has a good chance of getting nominated. Watching Pike play such an unhinged character gave me flashbacks to Gone Girl, she does such work here as well. All of the other side characters are clearly their own individuals. The film kept me guessing with just how scenes would play out. The characters are complex individuals, so their actions won’t always be obvious from earlier in the film.

Hostiles is just a great film on all fronts. The soundtrack, the acting, the story, the pacing, the cinematography, shit, even the costumes. Westerns are rare, but it seems like every western we get is basically gold at this point.

4 out of 4.


It feels like forever since I have seen a Dan Brown film. Angels & Demons came out in 2009, practically another life ago. I didn’t have to review that film or The Da Vinci Code. I thought the Code was okay, and I sort of likes A&D, but mostly because of Ewan McGregor.

I basically have forgotten these films existed.

But then Ron Howard comes back and says “No! There is more!” I am sure there is more than Inferno too, when it comes to the books, but I don’t even care enough to look it up.

Maybe Howard just got tired of making good movies, like Rush. Maybe he wanted something where someone would do all the leg work in the writing department. Either way, Inferno now exists. And I have to watch it after putting it off for months.

Inferno feels like uncovering a big mystery after thousands of years and opening it up to find out it was just empty.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is at it again! Or the opposite of that. As he wakes up in a hospital, in Italy, with no memory of recent events. He was dreaming of the Apocalypse though, which is always a fun time.

His Doctor, Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) tells him he got shot in the head and survived it, which would explain his amnesia. There is also an assassin after him, so they both had better get moving, or more people will get bullets in the head resulting in even more amnesia.

They eventually find a clue left by Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), a villain name if there ever has been one. He is a billionaire geneticist, and he wants to kill billions of people. Namely he thinks the population of the world has to go down, or else everyone will die. So, being obsessed with Dante, he made a virus called Inferno, that will kill everyone.

Unless, of course, you think…someone were to want to stop it?! Oh no! Who to call, who to call.

Also starring Sidse Babett Knudsen, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan and Ana Ularu.

Is this the same scene as above? I honestly don’t remember.

Inferno is a wild, chaotic, burning, mess of a film.

From beginning to end, they want to use confusion, instead of mystery, to tell a story and keep you involved. It is convoluted from start to finish, and a cast of one familiar character does not really help myself ever feel grounded.

I honestly found myself halfway through the movie just wondering if I should turn it off. That I should not write a review and instead watch something else. But then I knew that Inferno was so bad, I needed to make sure my review came out, even if it was months later so that future people looking into RedBox would have some clue.

History is exciting. Conspiracies can be exciting. But Brown must have used his best ideas for the first two books, because he is really digging up some less exciting stuff with this movie. Hanks had a pretty bad 2016, yes, I didn’t really like Sully. So hopefully he can turn things around in the future. Play a new role, not a real person, not a sequel. Give me something to show off the acting. Give me something new.

Inferno can go back to hell for all I care.

0 out of 4.

Hell or High Water

Hell Or High Water is a review I meant to have early in August. I mean, I even drove to a theater about 35 minutes away just to see it. I heard a lot of good things and I wanted to make sure I saw it before it was hard to come across.

And apparently a lot of other people heard the same news, because it was completely sold out. Sure, it was in a dinky 3 row theater, but those 15 or so people got there before me, and I got screwed out of a trip. So I saw Sausage Party instead and forgot about this movie.

But now Oscar season is rearing its ugly head. Good films are coming out in theaters. Good films are being released. People are talking, and I had not seen this movie yet. I knew that come hell or high water, I’d have to see this movie before December, or else I might get lost in the new film Oscar rage again.

Thems the laws, you gotta just follow them.

The story is about two brothers, a smart one, Toby (Chris Pine) and a convict, Tanner (Ben Foster). They are together robbing banks, like a bunch of western assholes. But they have some rules. Never the bundles, just the loose cash, just right when they wake up so no one gets hurt, and just from one bank, Texas Midlands Bank.

You see, their mom died and they are about to lose the family farm. She owed the bank moneys from mortgages and extra money for bank reasons, and unless they get $40,000 ish before the end of the week, the bank will take their home. The same home that just had a big oil deposit found on its land. The boys would like to get the money from the oil rights, and so would the bank, which is why the bank is moving so fast. The Texas Midlands Bank.

So they figure if they rob from the banks, they can use their own money to pay off the debt and live a life of somewhat luxury after that. Decent plan. They are in the middle of nowhere Texas, so law enforcement isn’t the best. They do have a pair of Texas Rangers (Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham) trying to figure out what the hell their plan is, which is becoming increasingly difficult with Tanner playing the wild card.

If they are lucky people will just assume 21 Pilots are committing these robberies.

Westerns are weird. A once popular as fuck genre now only has one or two movies a year. The good news is the people taking on these western films tend to want to make them a great watch, so they put a lot of detail into the setting, cinematography, and more. I don’t know a damn thing about the director, David Mackenzie. He has directed over fifteen things, and sure enough, I have only heard of this one. So it is a nice surprise when what feels like an unknown director putting out quality work.

The story has a large cast of extras, but really only the four important characters. It is about the relationship with the brothers, the vagueness of their past, their extreme situation and a whole lot of morally gray area.

The chemistry between Foster and Pine feels natural and believable as brothers. It is one of the strongest points of the movie and should be acknowledged. It might still fall to the wayside of Bridges, old as shit, and still kicking butt. His character isn’t just a smart detective who knows everything, he is a bit bumbling, but he gets the job done and you can feel his anger at points right off of the screen. Bridges is probably a lock for a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

It has good acting, visuals, story, and chemistry. So why did I not love it like everyone else?

Honestly, I can understand a slower movie, I love a few of the slower movies this year already. It just took me so long to really feel invested in the characters. Sure, I did get invested, but the beginning with the first robberies and the chases, it didn’t do a whole lot for me. It took too long for me to care.

3 out of 4.


How long was Warcraft in development hell? It had to overall be at least 10 years before it was announced that this movie would happen and its final release. I remember that it was supposed to come out in 2009. But then delays and director changes. Sam Raimi was originally going to direct it before being replaced by Duncan Jones.

For a bit of context as well, I definitely played World of Warcraft. I played the game a lot three different times in my life, so it is easy for me to say I will not go back to it, because it is never worth it. More importantly, I played a lot of Warcraft 2 and 3. Warcraft 2 was my first ever real time strategy game, and I played the heck out of Warcraft 3 Story Mode and early DotA.

So I like the Warcraft IP. I might not care for the MMO as much, with a similar hipster mind set. “Kids these days think it is just an MMO and don’t know the previous games!” At least with Warcraft 3, the games were really rich with story and there is still a lot of story that could be still said with the franchise. A movie with more story actually seems like a nice place to put some of it. As long as I get my Warcraft 4 eventually.

Aww look at the cute little green baby. What was I talking about again?

For those wondering, the official timeline of this movie puts it BEFORE Warcraft II. I don’t know anything about the first game, but presumably that means it is after the first one as well. So you won’t be seeing a lot of the WoW or Warcraft III plot lines, just allusions and hints towards the future.

In this land, a great warlock Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) has united the various Orc tribes on their dying planet. Using a dark, green, and evil Fel magic, gaining power from sacrificed souls, and creating a massive portal to another world. So they get all of their best warrior and chieftains to lead the charge into the new world. Once they secure enough slaves, they will build a new portal and bring the rest of their tribes over. The other Orc leaders include Durotan (Toby Kebbell) and his pregnant wife, Draka (Anna Galvin), Orgrim (Robert Kazinsky), Blackhand (Clancy Brown), and the half-orc slave of Gul’dan, Garona (Paula Patton). While running through the portal, Draka gets all funny and of course gives birth to her son right on the other side. Yay Orc babies!

Ahem. Speaking of the other side. We have a lot of different races. Humans. Dwarves. Some of those cool Night Elf things. But as of right now, the Orc raiding parties seem to be only a threat to human settlements, so the other free nations stay out of it for now. King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper) of Stormwind City is tasked with finding out what unknown entity is killing his people. His best soldier, Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) is sent to investigate which leads him to Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer), a young mage who abandoned his order sensing a great evil. He discovers The Fel, so they also bring in The Guardian (Ben Foster), the most powerful mage in the kingdom to help figure out this new threat.

And yeah. Then a whole lot of fighting. It should be noted that the Orcs are a not all mindless blood fiends. There is a growing movement in their camps, led by Durotan, to bring down Gul’dan. They don’t trust that Fel magic that kills the land and inhabitants, forsomereason.

Also starring Ruth Negga as the Queen, Callum Keith Rennie as The Guardian’s assistant, and Burkely Duffield as the son of Lothar.


The one thing I didn’t want for this movie to be was average. I wanted it to be awesome or shit and definitely not in between. Part of that is for selfish reasons. Average movies are hard to feel passionate about to write. But good news, despite the rating, there is plenty of things to talk about. Because we have a lot of things that are good, and a lot that are bad, and that just balances the movie. In fact, it is the perfect film for one of our LIKES/DISLIKES lists. Yay bullet points!


  • The fights. This is an action packed movie, there are a lot of encounters between the humans and orcs, between the orcs and orcs, between magic users, between magic users and humans, and more. This is a movie called WARcraft and damn it, the war is here.
  • The fights. Yes, a second point. There is a difference between these CGI heavy fights and something else recent, like TMNT2. In this movie, you can actually clearly see, for every fight, what the hell is going on. It doesn’t blur, it doesn’t constantly cut away. You can see who hits who and it makes them a more enjoyable experience.
  • Schnetzer was one of the highlights of the movie for me. He provided a character I felt I could actually cheer for and of course comedic relief at times is extremely helpful.
  • Patton, as our half-orc was also pretty decent. She wasn’t hounded by CGI so she could make real expressions and have a nice and tragic story line. Fimmel as Lothar was decent and almost crossed into very compelling territory but never fully reached his potential. Still better than others!
  • Good throwbacks. Both to zones in WoW, the capitals, the towns, characters, and of course, a couple spells or two.
  • That baby orc. I saw it in a trailer and was like, ew. But things must have changed because I loved it and wanted to play with it.


  • CGI consistency. For the most part (see: fights) the CGI worked really well. Both in terms of magic and hulking orc bodies smashing humans and orc bodies lounging. But at other points (budget or time reasons?) it was incredibly weak and looked like a B-Movie. One especially bad scene involved a character lying in a greenish pool and I remembered visibly ugh-ing.
  • The ending. The ending battles feel all over the place, and I don’t just mean geographically. The final fight between humans and orcs is incredibly forced based on the scenes right beforehand.
  • The ending. The fights at the end all felt just lower quality. Not just in CGI, but in purpose and proper set up. A character joins the Orc/Human fight after it is basically over, causing even more fighting to take place out of nowhere. It felt awkward and could have been handled better to not drag it out.
  • The ending. For the most part, this movie felt like it was planning on telling just a story and giving us resolution. But only one major point gets resolved out of about three, leaving more story for sequels. And I know this is based on source material, but on the Orc side, it feels like absolutely nothing really got resolved by the end. I didn’t get satisfying deaths of major characters that are supposed to. It is possible to tell a story and make it feel complete, despite part of a larger arc, damn it. Warcraft fails to really make it seem like a worthwhile movie ending.
  • Stars. I don’t know if it is a good complaint, but seeing Foster and Cooper in this movie felt odd. They were very recognizable and I couldn’t really see them as their characters.

Ah, those are always fun. What’s that? Review done? Okay good, I want to go play Warcraft 2 now.

2 out of 4.

The Finest Hours

I am pining (Pine-ing, if you will) for a conspiracy here, so hold on to your butts, let’s see what I can do.

Chris Pine is a weird guy. He does a lot of weird movies. Did you see Stretch? You should go see Stretch. At the same time he is a bit of a Hollywood pretty boy, so Disney wanted to get him in some of his movies.

They got him a small role as a Prince to make him feel important in Into The Woods, offering him the lead roles in future movies. Which brings us to The Finest Hours. I guess I am teasing a bit, because, I won’t get to the point of this intro until after the second picture.

Pine Face
Chris Pine-spiracy.

This is one of those Disney true story period dramas that they do quite often, and half the time in Sports. So they picked a 1950’s Ship Disaster, where two large Oil Tankers near Massachustes were ripped in half during the same storm. And during this same storm, the local Coast Guards had to attempt to save the lives of as many people as possible.

Our hero is 23 or 24 year old Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), a guy who grew up in a small town near Cape Cod and who has been sailing most of his life. So he joined the Coast Guard to save lives. There was a big storm the year prior where he was unable to do that and it has haunted him. So it comes to no surprise that he is willing to risk his life to go out into a bigger storm to do it again. His commanding officer (Eric Bana) isn’t from the area and is inept, meaning that he shouldn’t have sent out anyone due to the waves and the shifting bar. But then we wouldn’t have a movie.

Webber and his crew (Ben Foster, Kyle Gallner, John Magaro) take a small 32 foot boat to find the half of an oil tanker that is apparently a few miles off the shore. They don’t have an exact location, it is night time, and of course en route they also lose radio communication and their compass.

Meanwhile, on the ship itself, it is a giant vessel, in half, floating throughout the big waves. The crew consists entirely of workers, with the captain and “real leaders” being on the other half and totally dead. The de facto leader goes to Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) a quiet type who runs the bottom of the boat. I am sure there is a real name there. He has to stop the crew from trying to mutiny and turn on each other, while also have them attempt the possible: to steer half of the ship to a shoal or a beach somewhere so they can maybe get rescued. They do this with the constant flooding and fear their engine/power will go out, which means no lights on their boat and no whistle to call for help.

The crew is made up of over 30 men, including Graham McTavish, Michael Raymond-James, Abraham Benrubi, Josh Stewart, John Ortiz and Keiynan Lonsdale.

Also featuring Holliday Grainger as Webber’s new fiance to give us that love interest and pseudo Interstellar moment, and Matthew Maher, aka the Holy Bartender from Dogma, with a sizable role as angry tow truck driver.

And dozens of extras who only grunt and scream and work. Dozens!

Back to the beginning. Disney wanted to woo Chris Pine because they wanted him to be a superhero in the Marvel movies. It makes sense. He is a big actor, in Star Trek and all. So they offered him a gritty-ish historical film to woo him hardcore and play to his interests. But Pine was sleeping around. Pine is now signed on to play a role in the Wonder Woman! Sure actors have played both sides of the field, but not since it has gotten to its current big status. So, thinking that Pine has made his decision, they decided to make The Finest Hours not as great as it should have been. They don’t care about a flop. They have Star Wars money.

For a film with a lot of issues, I feel I need to mention to best parts first. Casey Affleck was wonderful in this movie. His character was unique and had a consistent personality and was a great watch. Well done Affleck! McTavish also did a good job of grizzled pseudo-assistant.

The rest of the film? Well, first of all, it probably should have had permanent subtitles throughout. We have accents all over the place, so many characters require a bit of a stretch to figure out their words. Add on a loud angry storm, with people trying to yell things, and shit. Half the movie feels almost inaudible.

The next sense that is betrayed have to be your eyes. The entire film is mostly ugly on the color scale. It is grey, dark grey, and occasionally white, but usually grey white also. An already dark movie is made worse with 3D, adding to the overall darkness. And yes, as you might have fussed, the 3D adds absolutely nothing to the film, making it an unnecessary hindrance. Every single wave looks fake, so it is hard to really get drawn into any of the tension. I spent good chunks figuring out where the green screens were and how much of the water was actually real.

I don’t think anyone is real in this picture.

As for the actual plot itself, the romance, despite real, feels incredibly shoe horned. They realized they made a very man focused film, so only one woman, a fiance, has any real screen time and has to do everything as a result. We have to see her be strong and do things that were unheard of at the time for women. Showing great women is movies is a good trend, but not if it is badly done and at the detriment of the film. Not every film has to have it.

These scenes just made the rescue more drawn out every time they cut away from the two groups. And the intro of the movie is entirely about their romance, which also feels overly long, while also not allowing the audience to feel emotionally connected to either of them.

As a final moment of disappointment, a big advertising/selling point of this film is that there were 32 survivors on the boat and the rescue boat was small with only room for 12. They made it seem like there would be a nice moral/ethical dilemma once the boat was found. In reality, it was entirely ignored and the issue was solved by just fitting everyone on the boat quite easily. More great potential suspense floundered.

The true story of The Finest Hours is great. It could have been a very inspirational tale. But it was filled with cheese and shoddily made, giving what feels like a half-assed feel good film.

1 out of 4.

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor has the pleasure of being one of the lamer movie titles of 2013, while being based on one of the cooler military operation names ever.

Why is Lone Survivor a lame name? Because really, it gives it all away. Yes, it is a true story. Yes, that was the name of the book too. But still. Knowing it is about four Navy SEALS, and only one comes back is kind of upsetting. Especially from the advertising, only focusing on one member of the four, we already know who will survive.

Shit, even the beginning of the movie wants to make it clear to you. Only one of those people who survive. That person is Mark Wahlberg.

And to think Ben Foster actually liked his odds.

I tried to figure out why they would do that so blatantly. I guess, out of respect, they don’t want the movie to become some sort of guessing game. They want to actually respect the men who were involved in the operation gone wrong. By letting you know how it ends, and which character, you can respect the story too as you watch and learn about the other men who did lose their lives.

In 2005, four members of SEAL Team 10 were sent on an advance/scouting mission as part of a larger operation known as Operation Red Wings. (Thus, I like the name. Go Detroittt). Literally the name chosen because of the sports team. Sexy (minus the whole, everything going wrong part). The four marines assigned to the job were LT Michael P. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), SO2 Matthew ‘Axe’ Axelson (Ben Foster), SO2 Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class (I don’t know the short hand!) Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg).

Well, while they were on the mountains overlooking the bad guy camp, three goat herders came upon their area. Clearly Taliban supporters, they stumbled upon the American’s who were quickly left with a shitty situation. Well, civilians are never targets, so they can’t kill them and they can’t tie them up on the mountain and leave them there to die. Their only option is to let them go, even though they know they will just run down and give away their position.

Sucks to suck. Now they just have to try and survive until hopefully they can get picked up. Eric Bana plays the head of their actual SEAL Team, Alexander Ludwig as the newest recruit, and Jerry Ferrara (Turtle) as a communication dude.

Come on guys. We can’t ignore the 6th and 7th most important guys (assuming the bad guys aren’t on the list).

War. War never changes.

More or less that works for war movies too. I don’t think an actual serious war movie ever glorifies war, but they always respect it and its affect on the lives of everyone involved. Obviously, with a topic with so much death, there was no glorification here, but neither did it feature hero worship. Just respect of the people involved.

It is a shitty story, but a good one about never giving up, even in the face of extreme odds against you. It also can serve as a “falling down a mountain” simulator, because they do that a lot. Shit, surprised they could survive each fall given how graphic and awkward the movie made each tumble seen.

All four of our leads did an excellent job, didn’t really feel like any one person out shined any other. I am glad to see Taylor Kitsch growing up and doing a serious role like this. This is not Ben Foster’s first time playing a soldier, so he knows how it is done. Emile Hirsch still just looks like a really skinny Jack Black doppleganger.

Also, that speech thing in the trailer? About being a Navy Seal Diver? That was good. They need more chants like that in movies. Much emotional feels.

A pretty good movie. Go America. Maybe the best war movie since Tropic Thunder, but I don’t remember many war movies over the last few years.

3 out of 4.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Do I want to see a movie with Casey Affleck in it? Hell yes I want to see a movie with Casey Affleck in it.

Sure, I am one of the biggest Ben fanboys there are. But his brother has some acting chops. Did you see him in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford? If you didn’t, you are missing out on a long, but really well damn acted movie.

Either way, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is apparently a modern western of sorts. Set in the 1970s and Texas. So I will go in, expecting the best.

Getting Arrested
The best being, I dunno, a lot of gun shooting I guess. And crying.

Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) is a trouble makin’, no good, so-and-so. He’s an outlaw, quick on the draw. But his lady, too, is outlawish. Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara). But she is pregnant, and wants them to get out of the job. Alright fine.

BUT NOT BEFORE A SHOOTOUT. In a house, bullets flying, and Ruth ends up killing a police officer. That is no good. So Bob claims the entire responsibility for the crime. Killing a cop isn’t an easy fix, so Bob is given a strict and long sentence, so he could protect his lady and soon to be child.

Well, many years later, Bob is sick of prison. He has tried to escape at least five times before, but at least the sixth time is finally successful. The rest of the people involved in the escape get caught quickly, but not Bob. He is on a mission. He wants to see his child for the first time, a girl, still a child, but has grown a lot over the last few years.

But he can’t just go straight home. No, that is where the cops expect him to be. Not to mention he made a lot of enemies in his outlawin’, so others are surely out to kill him. The only reason he escaped was to see his woman and child, so really, nothing is going to stand in his way. Also starring Ben Foster and Keith Carradine.

At this point, I think it is illegal for me to not mention/show great mustaches in reviews.

Well, if I came for just acting, this film didn’t disappoint. I was more amazed how much I liked Rooney Mara in this role, more than anything. I haven’t seen her ever try to play such a passive, wait around, old timey role before. Just a loving mother trying to survive. So that was cool.

Casey Affleck, like always, felt really genuine.

But man. The story. A nice idea. But seemed filled with a lot of silly nonsense after he escaped from jail. Just go to the house already! Develop some sort of ruse! Just do it!

That’s what I was yelling at the screen. I don’t dislike it for the character choices, I dislike it for the director making those characters make those choices.

It could not keep my interest after the first 30 minutes or so, and didn’t really seem worth it when I got to the end. Sad times on this end, oh well.

1 out of 4.


When doing my “What random shit should I review in between new releases?” run, I walked by Rampart and knew I had to watch it immediately. There is only one reason I know about this movie, and that is because of its horrible PR campaign to promote it.

Basically, on Reddit, Woody Harrelson did an ask me anything before this movie came out. Yes to promote it, but he apparently forgot it was an ask me anything. He only wanted to answer questions about the movie, ignored basically everything else, answer only a dozen or so questions, and most of them badly. One response he said “…i consider my time valuable.” So, the internet was scorned, lots of boycotts against seeing the film, and now no one really knows anything about it.

Don’t fuck with the internet?

Hobo Scorn
Basically, that hobo is the internet, and Woody Harrelson is Woody Harrelson.
This is based on the Rampart Scandal. What is that? Exactly. In the 1990s, the Rampart Scandal involved evidence of the LAPD having huge amounts of corruption and misconduct. Over 70 officers were found guilty of being dicks and abusing their power. Pretty serious deal.

Like Dave Brown (Harrelson). He hates everyone equally, so he feels like its okay for him to be a bigoted, racist, sexist, scumbag who beats his perps. I mean, he murdered a serial date rapist. That makes him a good guy right?

Well, he lives with his two ex wives (Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon). Both of them are sisters, both had a kid with him. Yep, very scumbag.

But a video surfaces of Dave beating up a person who got into a car accident with him. He says it was assault with a deadly weapon, the people think otherwise. This leads to a bigger investigation, and more potential bad stuff Dave has done. They want a forced retirement, he wants to fight it. Silly Dave.

Also featuring Ice Cube, Sigourney Weaver, and Ben Foster.

Do you hear that? That silence? Yeah, those are the fans.
Good thing the internet chose to boycott this movie. After all, if they didn’t, we’d have all went and seen it, giving them money, then hating it afterwards. Better to hate it before hand, because an actor doesn’t know how to internet, I guess.

Woody actually did a lot for this role apparently (according to the AMA). Lost weight, had to get in a new psyche of a complete asshole. But I would say most of his recent roles have been assholes to some degree anyways. I can’t imagine it was that hard.

Basically, the movie is just kind of boring. Drama with some action elements. I like dramas! I understand their pacing. This one was not done well is all.

Unfortunately, it will be remembered for all of eternity, as that one movie that pissed people off, not by the content of its character, but by the way it advertised its colors.

1 out of 4.


Two things I assumed from the tv ads for Contraband when I first saw them in January.

One: With Mark Wahlberg, how does this look like anything but The Italian Job 2?

Two: With a name like Contraband, why does it only remind me of something like Armored?

What’s that? I haven’t reviewed Armored yet? Then never mind. But still. The trailers made it look like some heist movie, similar to point 1. More so just a smuggling movie, and very little stealing going on.

That is real counterfeit money right there.

Mark Wahlberg doesn’t do crime anymore guys. He is clean. But…when his relative gets in some shit with a local thug, he has to do another run. Smuggling is a dangerous situation. If the US Customs office checks the items you have to dump it and usually the sides are okay. But this crazy asshole, Giovanni Ribisi, doesn’t play games like that. He wants the money or the cocaine within two weeks or else his family will pay. Marky Mark doesn’t like that when he is married to Kate Beckinsale, so he agrees to go get the money.

But first, he leaves his friend and former illegal trafficker buddy Ben Foster, to watch over his wife and family.

So he has to get a crew back together, and get on a ship to Panama, captained by germaphobe J.K. Simmons. They mess up some stuff to get themselves time, to try and transport counterfeit money. But thanks to a lack of trust at home and other shit going down, they also have to help another heist happen and possibly take on cocaine and some other merchandise too. But if the customs gets involved again, can they risk dumping the cargo a second time while their loved ones are at home alone?

Never trust a thug who also looks like a rapist.

Ben Fosters character may not be as buddy buddy as you had assumed. But I doubt you assumed that. Look at him. LOOK AT HIM. He is never a straight shooting guy. Not even in X-Men The Last Stand.

I overall found it decently entertaining. About halfway through it I thought I was almost done with the movie though, didn’t expect to have “That much more” “plot” left to it. Mostly a lot of deception. Normally bad people get killed, but in this movies case, they all pretty much get arrested in separate ways.

I don’t like how unrealistic certain things were, such as Kate’s character. She got hit in the head so damn often, and its like nothing phased her. Must have a plate there. I definitely thought certain characters should have been dead, but “somehow” they weren’t and just unconscious or some bullshit.

I will give props to Giovanni Ribisi. Normally thugs are all tough guy, smack you around. But he is small and weaselly, and gave a different element to his fear mongering. I enjoyed that part the most.

2 out of 4.

The Mechanic

Remake alert!

Did anyone even know that? Did anyone even care that The Mechanic was a 1972 film? I know I don’t. Back to the violence, please.

Statham hilarious
I am cutting my original joke, because this screen shot from the movie is hilarious.

What is a mechanic? If you answer a guy who fixes shit, that is an acceptable answer. But in the world of assassinations, it is a guy who will kill and make it look like natural causes, or an accident, or suicide. Very useful, that ability to kill and make it look okay. Right?

Jason Statham is one of those guys, of course, and the movie opens showing him do that shit. He gets paid mad monies from Donald Sutherland, one of the few people he gets missions from. Good friends they are.

UNTIL TONY GOLDWYN SHOWS UP. He gives him a new mission, to kill Sutherland! Why? Because he might have intentionally failed a mission in South Africa, and blah blah plot. So he does it. Unfortunately. At Sutherland’s funeral, Statham meets his son, Ben Foster, who has that young guy rage. So JS is all, hey lets make him a mechanic too! So he uses him as bait / to help kills, get him in the know.

Sure, there’s the fact that JS killed his dad, and made it look accidental, but that probably won’t come back to bite him in the ass, right? Right!

That chihuahua is not Photoshopped in.

Overall though, the story I just didn’t find that interesting. It went the obvious route, especially the supposed “twist” near the end. That twist is actually what was expected. Not having the twist would be a better twist. But you know, billing order and stuff, that matters. Jason Statham is the star, damn it. Acting is as you’d expect for the movie.

Action scenes were fine. But its amazing how these professionals tend to have things go wrong so often, despite all the supposed planning. I guess we have to assume that in the movie, that first success he did is how it normally goes, and that every other time in the movie happens to be not the norm, despite evidence showing the contrary.

2 out of 4.