Tag: Daniel Wu

Geostorm

I am a goddamn geophysicist, and it took me until almost half of a year later to watch goddamn Geostorm.

IT IS ABOUT EXTREME WEATHER. AND THE EARTH. AND I AM A GEOPHYSICIST.

It would have been unacceptable for me to watch San Andreas way late, like I did with Geostorm.

And hell, I have been relatively kind to natural disaster films on this site. I liked Into The Storm, and you already forgot it existed! Bring on the disaster, especially if it is fun.

Ice
Are those ice zombies? What are those soldiers going to do to those poor popsicles?

The Climate is fucked. After the storms started getting worse and worse, these extreme weather events began to get out of hand. Heatwaves killing thousands in an afternoon. Parts of NYC getting flooded. It just needed to stop. So the world finally came together. They couldn’t stop the climate change. But they could try to curb it.

With all nations actually working together, they developed technology, and put satellites into the orbit. Using science or whatever, these satellites around the globe can disrupt big weather events and counter act them through…I dunno, science/technology stuff. Just trust us, it works.

Hurricanes be gone, droughts be gone, whatever. The world is now a happy and prosperous place. The main creator Jake Lawson (Gerard Butler) was taken from his design though, because he was hard to work with. The US Government wasn’t a fan, especially because he wanted it to be perfect enough for the technology to be controlled by the UN, not the USA. Once he is kicked out, and his brother (Jim Sturgess) is put in charge, he feels like it is still fine, but nope. Time for exile.

He is just going to be needed years later, when the satellites begin to malfunction. Now these big storm events are starting to occur, people are dying, and bad things are happening. If these storms continue, they will start to cause other storms, until they get big enough that the whole world will be under weather advisory. A Geostorm.

Also starring a lot of other people: Like Abbie Cornish, Alexandra Maria Lara, Daniel Wu, Eugenio Derbez, Amr Waked, Adepero Oduye, Andy Garcia, Ed Harris, Richard Schiff, Robert Sheehan, Zazie Beetz, and Mare Winningham.

Space
Surprise! Half of this film takes place not even on the geo!

Goddamn it. I wanted to watch a terrible nature disaster movie. But Geostorm isn’t really a terrible disaster movie. It is really just a terrible political thriller, that has climate disaster consequences.

Fuck that.

I mean, if it was a good political thriller and about climate change, it would be one thing. But it is terrible at explaining the disasters, and a terrible thriller, with terrible action. Everything about it is terrible!

Well then why isn’t it a zero? You know, if I hated it, and the acting was bad, and the plot was bad, and the disasters were bad?

Well, they called the satellite program the Dutch boy. You know, referencing the fable about him sticking his finger in a dyke. That makes me chuckle. That is a solid nickname. That is worth a slight price of admission.

And unfortunately, Butler is a scientist in this movie, and mostly in space. So we don’t get to see him fighting a tornado or anything cool. Very disappointing.

1 out of 4.

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft first entered our lives in 1996, with giant pointy boobs, and a woman hero that has never been that defined ever in video games. Them polygons.

A strange video game feminist and sex icon, she raided the fuck out of tombs, and in some versions of the story, fucked the raiders in the tombs. It led to more female protagonists, more hybrid shooter puzzle games, and was a real win for the genre defying starlet.

Well, many years later they decided to reboot it a bit. They had Lara change her body type and her motives, and we got more polished games, more puzzle focused, but with a strange and many easy ways for her to die terrifying deaths. Not as bad as Dragon’s Lair, but relatively similar.

So why not also have a movie reboot as well? A new Tomb Raider. Get someone up and coming, get her in her first real action movies, and get her on the big screen.

Abs
Oh, and get her some abs and some muscle.

Laura (Alicia Vikander) grew up in the lap of luxury. Her father (Dominic West) was basically this perfect specimen of a man, who treated her well, trained her to be a model citizen, was into charities, being rich, and of course, cultural secrets. You see, he was sort of absorbed with the idea of finding a missing tomb of an ancient Japanese queen who was said to bring death to the world. Why did he want to find it? Well, it is a goddamn challenge, lost in history. That’s why!

But when he left on that fateful afternoon, he never returned.

Now, many years later, Laura is working, being athletic, doing things, but refusing to sign the papers acknowledging that her father is dead. No, he must be out there. If she signs the papers, she inherits the fortune, but she would rather struggle on the street and hope than admit to his death. She would rather starve, damn it.

Well, eventually she almost signs it, so she is given a puzzle key and that leads her to a secret message from her father. Following the clues, she is led directly to his research, with information on where he went, his goals, and learned about a bad organization and what they wanted to do with that information.

Oh no Laura, what are you going to do? Follow your father’s wishes and destroy all the evidence? Or go on a trip to complete his mission once and for all? Well, we know the answer to that one.

Also starring Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Alexandre Willaume, Derek Jacobi, Nick Frost, and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Bows
Everyone knows that girls like to play with bows growing up. In and out of their hair.

The original Tomb Raider film was pretty okay. For the 12 year old budding reviewer, it was beyond everything I had hoped for, well, almost. The sequel I didn’t watch until years later and don’t really recall much about it.

If I had to describe this reboot in two words, the words “pretty okay” would be perfectly acceptable towards this film as well. If you want action/adventure, you will get a decent amount of it. Most of it takes place after she leaves London of course, outside a thrilling-ish bike race scene. It seems that after we got to the island, a scene where she escaped capture seemed to last for fucking ever. I was just waiting for her to finally die, or just get caught. Of course neither would happen, but I knew those scenarios would finally let the movie chill out a bit.

The ending parts with the tomb really didn’t let the movie shine. A lot of silly things occur, with puzzles that don’t feel smart or anything, just inconvenient. I want the obstacles they overcome to be actually well written is all.

Overall, there is a lot of hope for this movie. Vikander does do a wonderful job as the new Lara Croft, I believed in her ability to do awesome things. It is still a bit cheesy with mostly lazy thrills and stunts though. An adrenaline junkie might have a good time, but this is still not the video game movie savior.

2 out of 4.

Warcraft

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.

Baby
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.

Mage
THE POWER OF THE LICH KING COMPELS YOU!

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!

Likes:

  • 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.

Dislikes:

  • 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 Man With The Iron Fists

If you saw the trailer for The Man With The Iron Fists, you would have immediately thought of “Kill Bill“. Heck, Quentin Tarantino‘s name is plastered all over it. However, that is actually “Quentin Tarantino presents!” What does that mean? Well, he gave some money to the project. Yeah, that is about it.

Instead, consider this a movie by RZA, more famously known as the “leader” of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Gun knife bitches
Set in China? Doesn’t matter, I will show one of the two white people in the movie first.

In Jungle Village, life is crazy. China in general was pretty crazy in the early 1900s. But in this village, it seems like all the weirdest people decided to get together and make a city of sin. It even has the best brothel in the area, lead by Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu). There are two warring gangs, the Lions and the Wolf. The Golden Lion wants peace, but due to sabotage, he is poisoned and killed, leaving the Silver Lion (Byron Mann) in charge, with Bronze Lion (Cung Le) now second in command.

Oh yeah, I hope you like silly names.

The Silver Lion wants to steal the governor’s gold, and live like royalty for the rest of his days, killing any who stand in his way. But his gang needs weapons. That’s where the Blacksmith (RZA) comes in, a man who hates fighting, but needs to get money to buy his love’s freedom (Jamie Chung) and escape the village. Too bad leaving can never be that easy.

With other characters such as Jack Knife (Russell Crowe), the X-Blade (Rick Yune), Bronze Body (Dave Bautista), Poison Dagger (Daniel Wu), and The Gemini, the fight over Jungle Village will be one that lives in infamy.

But just who is the Man With Iron Fists?

Iron fists
Oh well, probably this guy.

If you like crazy Kung-Fu movies, you will be pleased to know that this movie has some of the craziest I have seen. Goriest too, so hopefully that isn’t an issue. I almost think it could give Kung Fu Hustle a run for its money! The major players in this town don’t just need simple weapons for their battles, they need strong and creative ones. Claws, fists, automatic knives that can shoot saws, suits of armor that throw out blades, you name it.

That is really all this movie is about. Over the top fight scenes, with over the top players. Plot? The plot isn’t even important overall. Which leads to the films biggest problem. Not the lack of plot, but trying to force the plot on us.

Overall, most of the film is pretty fast paced, fight to fight, with enough plot to get the basic story. But halfway through the movie, bam, it slows down and we get stuck with a flash back story. The problem with that story is that it really doesn’t add too much to the overall plot (nor character motivations) yet takes a long time to do so.

RZA felt a bit too laid back in the role for my tastes, trying to seem mysterious, but coming off aloof. A stark difference compared to the rest of the cast. Crowe and Liu were of course brilliant, both causing me to laugh and cringe throughout the movie.

The Man With The Iron Fists is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so neither should you. Instead, enjoy the beautiful fight scenes and the¬†interesting characters.

3 out of 4.