Tag: Walton Goggins

Words on Bathroom Walls

Oh my goodness, some more theaters are opening up and things are getting “national releases” at this point, depending on where you are in the country.

Words on Bathroom Walls was scheduled to come out in late July, but never really moved when the rest of the exoduses began to happen, and then just creeped back barely a month, to find a time it can come out and be appreciated at a social distance.

So this review was written quite awhile ago, is what I am getting at.

Words on Bathroom Walls is a book from the last decade, about high schoolers dealing with issues. That isn’t specific. I think I have noticed a bigger trend lately on high school literature is that they might be able someone who has a maybe misunderstood illness, to give these protagonists a better shake on how their lives run and understanding. Sure, these things have been done before, but they were often not well researched, or went extremely basic with the issues, becoming offensive on their own.

That is one of the main things I will look for with this movie. Does it explain things beyond the stereotype? Does it feel fair? Does it educate and still tell a good story? Has the research been done?

And of course, most importantly, will there be a prom?

Adam (Charlie Plummer) is a senior in high school, and he has now had a real big old panic attack. It happened in Chemistry. It causes a friend of his to get hurt. He started hearing and seeing things that were not there, it was very frightening, and all of his classmates were witness to his meltdown.

You see, it turns out that Adam has schizophrenia, and it all sort of just hit him at once. He can see and hear three main different people in his life. There is Rebecca (AnnaSophia Robb), a free spirited girl, there is Joaquin (Devon Bostick), a horny friend from a 90’s film, and there is a bodyguard (Lobo Sebastian), an intimidating person who is just trying to protect him. And there is a fourth darker voice that he can hear occasionally, and is especially dreadful.

But this isn’t the only thing going on in Adama’s life. He is a senior in high school, and would still like to graduate on time. So he has to start at a new private school. His mom (Molly Parker) was raising him on his own for a long time, so Adam became a good cook to help their family unit out, and eventually she got a new spouse to help out (Walton Goggins), but Adam doesn’t like or trust him.

Adam’s biggest worries are trying to ignore these voices, to appear normal to his new friends and classmates, and survive until graduation. Then he can go to culinary school and be happy. He also has to deal with experimental medication that can clear the voices but might effect him in different ways. And he also has to deal with Maya (Taylor Russell), the smartest girl in school who has taken an interest in him and him to her.

Eventually Adam will realize everyone has baggage, and his just might be harder to cope with.

Also starring Andy Garcia, as a priest,

oh, I also need my teenage fiction to include a graduation ceremony.

Okay, a movie dealing with schizophrenia, at the high school level, with a cast of characters that include different/voices in a characters head (and appearing around him from his mind) to offer advice throughout it. My immediate thought is, oh no, this is going to be wacky, and they will be a constant source of shenanigans or voices, and this feels stereotypical schizophrenia.

But! They are not throughout the film. Because he is taking trial drugs to help deal with the voices, so they do in fact leave for large chunks and it still can tell a compelling story about living with schizophrenia by making it also a film about dealing with the need to use a drug to better function (and the side effects those drugs can bring). I feel like the schizophrenia was handled with a large amount of respect. When I researched if the author researched enough for their book, I found no complaints by any schizophrenia organizations. So if it is schizophrenia approved, I have to assume it got things right and avoided potential offense, great job team.

Watching this movie actually made me want to read the book, and I still plan on it if I can find a local copy (I do not want to use Amazon to buy it). The book is written from the point of view of Adam telling about his life and stories to a therapist, and so you take the role as the therapist in the book. They do acknowledge that in the movie, and have a few therapist scenes where Adam is talking to the camera instead, to get that same feel, but I am sure it is not as strong as the book, because we get to actually see events.

I thought Plummer was a really good lead for this film and Russell was a great co-lead, with her own problems to deal with, and their relationship felt like it grew at a realistic pace, with realistic pitfalls.

Another shout out goes to Parker, for being a great mom dealing with all of this, and also Goggins, playing an extremely normal role based on what he has done in the past. That of a step-father trying to be supportive of his step-son and doing the right thing, without being able to get really close.

Honestly, this movie packed a lot of punches in the right spots for me emotionally. It told a good story, about schizophrenia, without also only being about schizophrenia. It was relatable for other reasons, and hit me emotionally. I don’t think my high rating is just because of the lack of good films this summer, I hope not, but I definitely fully recommend people giving this movie a chance. Maybe not in theaters, depending on your safety concerns, but whenever it is available at home.

4 out of 4.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The first question you have to ask yourself, does anyone care about Ant-Man? Does anyone care about the Wasp? Does anyone care about Ant-Man and The Wasp?

So soon does this film come out, when just two months ago we had Avengers: Infinity War, a film that made some people cry. Now these titular characters were missing from Avengers of course. Does this happen before IW? After? During? That has to be the majority reason why anyone is watching this film. To see how, if at all, it connects to Avengers. People care about the larger story, not these minor characters.

And this is coming from someone who really enjoyed Ant-Man. I thought the villain was great, and it had the best superhero teaser for a film, that they sadly didn’t recreate for this film.

Either way, if this film ends up being completely stand alone, then a lot of people will be disappointed.

Hey look! The titular characters! Together!

This film takes place pre-Avengers: Infinity War, so don’t expect it to start with chaos. Scott (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest for two years following the events in Captain America: Civil War, before he has probation. All of this is explained neatly by the FBI agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) early on, don’t worry. It is boring, he has no contact with Hope (Evangeline Lilly) or Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas), but his daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) still visits frequently and his ex wife and her husband (Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale).

But hey, he lives with his ex convict buddies still (Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I.), and they started a security business themselves.

AND THEN THANOS ATTACKS. Wait, no not yet. Things start to change however, when Scott has a vision of himself inside the Quantum Realm again, including a vision of Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), the lost Wasp. This sucks him back into the technology rich, very steal heavy world of Ant-Man, despite only having days left on his house arrest.

Now they are in a race against time to finish developing a safer way into the Quantum Realm to find their wife, mom, and lady they don’t actually know, depending on what character you ask. We also have a skeevy business man who wants in on the potential profis (Walton Goggins), a girl phasing in and out of the physical realm (Hannah John-Kamen), and an old S.H.I.E.L.D. research buddy (Laurence Fishburne) also going in and out of their plans.

Hey look! Ghost is joining their dance party!

I almost gave this film a 1 out of 4.

Figure that is a good starting place for this review. Sure, it is entertaining. It is funny. The cast has good chemistry. A specific Rudd scene where he has to act like an entirely different person is nailed perfectly and doesn’t feel wrong. The crew has less screen time, T.I. almost feels nonexistant, but they still have their moments. And Ghost fights were relatively cool to watch, as was the Wasp kitchen fight scene.

And yet I almost gave it a 1 out of 4. Technically, the reason I gave it the 2 instead is because of Peña’s character. I was worried they wouldn’t continue a joke from the first film and declared it to be an okay movie if they continued it on. Eventually? They continued it on, and sure, an average review.

Because lets face it, you aren’t getting your Avengers tie in until the credit scenes. This movie overall feels like a filler film. We don’t have any real villains, we just have things that consistently make the plot longer. There isn’t a lot of fighting, it is more just car chases and shrinking and growing. It isn’t a film that can feel smart, because all of the science behind it is fake anyways, so when scientific breakthroughs happen, it happens because the characters say it work, not that the audience could figure it out on our own.

Overall, it sets up a little bit in the universe. But it feels too clunk with no real established threat besides time itself. Ghost isn’t even a villain, just another damaged person, which they make sure we understand very early on.

If the MCU was Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead, this movie would fit in the middle of season one, instead of how most other films are clearly in the 2-7 territory.

2 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.

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.

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.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

What a promising film franchise to fall from grace so quickly. I quite enjoyed the first Maze Runner film, and I was excited for where it was going. I was also excited because they said the final book would only be one film, not broken up like other bad franchises.

Except the sequel, The Scorch Trials, was awful and repetitive. I have been told it deviated far from the book, unlike film number one, and it shows given it seemed to lack any direction or reason for existing.

And on to the final film, The Death Cure! Which was supposed to come out last year, but the star got hurt early into filming. He was hurt in March, 2016, and from his injuries, recovery time, and other commitments, the filming didn’t continue until March, 2017. A whole year delay! And now we are given a January release, where you know they don’t really give a shit about what they are dropping.

Oh, young adult dystopian book gods. This is the final piece of the final film to finish, as the others along the way either ended with a whimper or ended before they could end. Or in The Fifth Wave’s case, it was dead on arrival.

No matter what, remember that after it, it will all be over for at least two years before something else tries to recreate the Twilight and Hunger Games crowd.

Before Newt can shoot, he turns into a Final Fantasy character.

This third and final film is set sometimes after the second, months even. The resistance arm has been destroyed for the most part by WKCD, with several people getting taken including Minho (Ki Hong Lee), thanks to Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) switching sides, again. But don’t worry, if the Right Arm wants to do anything, it wants to destroy WCKD, run away to safety, and save Minho. Just Minho. Literally who gives a shit about the rest, if they get saved and aren’t Minho then they are not done.

So Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Brenda (Rosa Salazar), Frypan (Dexter Darden), and even Vince (Barry Pepper) and Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) try to save Minho. They don’t, they save 40 other kids, whoops. But doing so they find out they are headed to the Last City, somehow protected from the Cranks and the infection, where WKCD has their headquarters. A final showdown, to save Minho? Sure, why not.

Of course, while in the city they find out that there are other resistance groups around, one led by a Lawrence (Walton Goggins) who is super close to turning into a Crank, but has a serum supply. And oh, hey look, there is Gally (Will Poultier)! Long time no see, dick buddy. Anyways, there new goal is to break into an unbreakable city, get their boy Minho back, then escape into the wind to be immune on a beach somewhere. Whether or not Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) and Janson (Aidan Gillen) get dealt with would just be bonus.

Ah yes, those buildings are currently in tact, so I declare it a city!

For those who don’t want to be spoiled, let this paragraph be the last thing you read. Basically, this film is the bee’s anus. Some characters do actions with zero motivation or reason to these actions. The heroes literally care about only saving one person for the most part. The heroes are a bunch of jerks and are generally wrong. There are many sacrifices that are unnecessary. And it is so goddamn long and disappointing.

But while watching this movie, I knew I needed to be specific. I knew I needed to talk about certain things that pissed me off and they constitute spoilers. So here we go, SPOILERS AHEAD.

Let’s start with the baddest bad guy, Janson, who really wants to kill Thomas but is still charismatic and calm. Except for at the end when he decides to shoot and kill Ava Paige for no reason. Literally, they were still on the same side with the same goal, to get the cure from Thomas, and Janson kills her. She and him are friends. But he is sooooo bad that he kills her, only to make the ending more chaotic and stupid.

And really, in terms of bad guy actions, that is the only real super bad guy action. Because it turns out that WKCD was right all along. They wanted to get a cure from the immune people. They knew it could be done, they just needed the right people. In the second film they clearly went about it the wrong way, but Teresa, still a good guy (?) just wanted to make sure all the Cranks could be saved and everyone else. And guess what! She totally could make a real cure from Thomas’ blood, who had special blood because he was lucky, and he didn’t have to get tortured or anything for it to be made.

But who gives a shit about that. Nope, WKCD gets destroyed. Teresa dies sacrificing herself for Thomas, when there was no reason for her to sacrifice herself. And all for what? For Thomas and the good guys to run off to a beach and start their own community…while the rest of the world becomes Cranks and die off? Holy fuck. Thomas is a character who gives no fucks about saving the world, just himself, and the community act like this is a great thing that they did in the end. When the other option was to HELP THE WORLD they HELPED THEMSELVES instead.

Speaking of good bad guys and selfish heroes, the death count in this and the last film are pretty big, especially when a war is raged in the city. The city is the WKCD headquarters, but it is also a lot of other regular people just doing their own thing. So all of these people get fucked over in this giant fight, when only one place should be the real target. And none of it had to happen if Thomas just sort of realized and done the right thing.

On that note, if his blood really was special and had the cure, how the fuck did WKCD not know it before hand? He literally worked for them before he went into the maze, with Teresa. If they suspected immunity, they should have had him undergo tests, and the whole film series really doesn’t make sense at that point. They would have had the cure early enough to get it various places, save even more lives, and Thomas would have been glad to do it.

But no. Beach. Safe. Fuck the world. End of film. I am glad to know that the second film is very different from the book, because it means it must be true of the third film and third book as well. I want to read the series just to see how much worse these films ended up being in retrospect.

0 out of 4.


Shit. Did you know Mojave was the name of a desert? I think I dd,, but I had only heard it pronounced out loud before and never written.

So instead of pronouncing this as Mo-Ha-Ve as it actually is, I had to tell people I was going to see Mo-Jayve. No one knew what I was talking about, but thankfully it was so stupid that no one could even call me out on it due to their own confusion.

And uhh, unfortunately that is all my pre-story for this film. I knew absolutely nothing about this movie going in, not even the actors involves, so no cool trivia here!

The table once was used in a real room!

Thomas (Garrett Hudlund) was famous since he was 19. He lives in Hollywood, people know him. He is all up in that entertainment industry. And he doesn’t like where his life is at. His wife and daughter have moved to London and he is alone to wallow in his pity. He decides to head to the Mojave desert and maybe, you know, kill himself. After wandering a bit and setting up a camp, a stranger comes up to his camp seeing his fire. Jack (Oscar Isaac) is a weird dude. Talking about Satan and Jesus and talking about books. He is the type of guy that looks like he is up to no good, and maybe he is going to kill him. So Thomas attacks first and gets away.

During their adult hide and seek desert game, Thomas shoots a man coming into his cave and it turns out to be a police officer, not Jack. But Jack sees this happen. He knows what Thomas has done and he plans to use it against him. Especially when Jack finds out that Thomas is famous.

Thomas heads back to LA, not sure of what he should do. He doesn’t feel like he should turn himself in, for obvious reasons. He doesn’t think Jack will do so either, since he is pretty sure Jack killed a few people, so he doesn’t want to deal with the cops.

But Jack instead wants to just kill Thomas. Thomas got away from him earlier and he is a bad guy living in Hollywood pretending he didn’t kill a cop. Who is the sociopath now?!

Also with Mark Wahlberg as a coked up Producer and Walton Goggins as Thomas’ agent.

#NotAllCops deserve gun shots from cave men.

Mojave starts off slightly confusing and pretentious, and doesn’t change a lot along the way. I was confused after the first desert scenes. I thought I was suddenly watching flashbacks, no idea where the narrative was going when Thomas got back to LA. It all didn’t seem to matter to the actual plot, and instead was just there to give Wahlberg something silly to do.

No offense to Hedlund, but he is about as charismatic as a potato. He is played off as the lone wolf type. The character in an RPG group who wants to think he is cool for being dark and mysterious but ends up being a dick stealing from the loot bowl. That can be good, if given enough story and characterization, but it sort of just feels lazy on the writers part for him. He is sad because depression basically. And while there doesn’t need to be a reason for depression, for a film it would at least give us something to latch onto for him to hope for his survival.

They put all their effort into making Jack the cool character. A well written sociopath always helps a movie. Always. Isaac does a great job of unnerving the viewer while almost putting them on ease that maybe he isn’t the bad guy after all. If you are going to watch Mojave, watch it for Isaac and nothing else.

Goggins is wasted in this film, and Wahlberg presumably did it as a favor for William Monahan, the writer/director who also wrote The Departed. This is not The Departed. This is a slow film that has a few redeeming qualities, but is no where close to being as high as they wanted it to be.

2 out of 4.

The Hateful Eight

Quentin Tarantino is a crazy sunuvabitch.

He has passion, you gotta agree with that. He loves movies and wants movies to be real. Christopher Nolan and him are some of the only reasons film is even relevant anymore.

Tarantino had a lot of problems leading up to The Hateful Eight. Like when his script was leaked before they even began filming, causing him to cancel it completely. After awhile, he apparently changed some things and did it eventually.

He also wanted to film the whole thing on 70mm film, but barely anyone had a projector that could play it. So he decided to just provide free cameras to almost a hundred movie theaters across America, just so people everywhere could see his film in the vision he had in his mind. I can respect that, but I also think he is a single man on a mission to move a mounain. So we will see if his lunacy gets us anywhere. Until then. H8FULL8.

“Replace more parts of words with numbers, I dare you.”

Set a few years after the end of the Civil War, and thus, after Lincoln’s assassination, The Hateful Eight is about a group of would be killers, maybe killing each other.

Namely, John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell), rocking the same facial hair he had in Bone Tomahawk, is bringing a bounty to Red Rock to get executed. Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a very bad murderer and she has a $10,000 bounty on her head, dead or alive. Well, Ruth brings them in alive, because they deserve to have justice done to them. By hanging. Hanging justice. He is nicknamed The Hangman.

Unfortunately, they are currently racing against a mighty big blizzard and his driver, O.B. (James Park) is hoping to get him to Minnie’s Haberdashery before it hits so they can have a place to stay until it all melts. Along the way though, he runs into Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a bounty hunter with his own set of bodies heading to the same place. He is able to get a ride. But they also run into Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), son a Rebel leader who claims he is going to be the new Sheriff of Red Rock!

But when they got to Minnie’s, Minnie wasn’t there. She apparently was away to visit relatives and left Señor Bob (Demir Bichir) was left in charge. Other patrons included Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), a British literal Hangman, Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a cow puncher visiting his mom, and General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), from the Rebel side looking to bury his son.

Ruth thinks someone is lying. He thinks someone here is not who they say they are and looking to free Daisy and kill all the witnesses. People are lying, and now everyone might die because of it.

Also featuring some less hateful people, Dana Gourrier, Gene Jones, Zoë Bell, and Channing Tatum.

Tim Roth is actually just playing the real life Christoph Waltz.

The Hateful Eight feels like a play, and I love plays. It is definitely the best part of the film and it is why I might want to watch it over and over. The action is of course another big part, graphic and very violent once it gets going. Not as violent or crazy as his previous films, but it is still pretty up there.

The 70 mm version of the film, which is what this is based off of, did not feel too long at over 3 hours. It went quickly because there was rarely a dull moment. And hell, an intermission meant I could buy a drink and not torture myself for two hours refusing to leave my seat. The overture was a nice touch and of course the music throughout.

The film is tonally different over its two halves and I wasn’t as excited during the second half. The whole thing is set up as a mystery as to who is a liar and a cheat. Without spoiling, let’s just say the whole thing let me down. It was unexpected surely, but not in a good way. There were still some great acting moments in it, and some of the scenes were very tense, but damn, it just wasn’t that sexy of a reveal.

I cannot say for certain of the 70 mm actually added a lot to the film, it’d be hard to without seeing both versions. I believe the digital version is about 20 minutes shorter including the intermission, but I have no idea what they’d cut out of it.

Not Tarantino’s best work, and worst of his most recent films, but still quite memorable and worthy of multiple viewings.

3 out of 4.

American Ultra

I don’t know a lot about American Ultra. I do know that it has some nice buzz words to get more butts in the seats though.

A lot of big movies have American in the title now. American Sniper destroyed the box office, so people really love American shit. Then we have American Beauty, American Psycho, American Pie, you name it! American to start off your movie is like a golden ticket.

And then of course whe have Ultra. That puts it at the top tier, and it sounds a lot like Ultron. Maybe they want people who love America and love the Avengers to see their film. If they can bring in those two demographics, they would be walking their way over to the billionaire club.

Again, knowing nothing about the movie, this has to be their plan right?

“And bring in an established couple from other movies! Like those kids from Adventureland!” – Movie Exec

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a small town, do nothing, stoner. He has never left his West Virginian town and any time he attempts to leave he ends up having a panic idea. The thought of going places just freaks him the fuck out.

Thankfully he has weed. And the love of his life, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart). She is basically perfect and deserves someone way better than him, as he is a constant screw up. But for whatever reason, she loves him back. Even when he kills two men outside of the convenience store that he works.

Shit. Shit shit fuck. He didn’t even know he could kill a man, and technically they attacked him first. He already has enough trouble with the law, weed smoker and all. It has something to do with the strange lady (Connie Britton) who came to his shop and basically said just gibberish. Next thing Mike knows, other strangers are trying to assassinate him and wouldn’t you know it? He can fight back! Magical Stoner Powers activate! Sometimes it can be good to be a government sleeper agent.

Also starring Tony Hale as a CIA employee, Topher Grace as a mean CIA dude, Walton Goggins as a hitman, John Leguizamo as a dealer, Stuart Greer as a sheriff and Bill Pullman as “mysterious CIA man.”

To John Leguizamo, Thanks For The Drugs, Jesse Eisenberg.

One exciting fact about American Ultra is that it written by Max Landis, who also wrote Chronicle. Huh. Chronicle. The great movie that was directed by Josh Trank, who recently directed a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Fantastic Four movie as his next main project. So weird that two guys who worked on an indie movie both got much bigger movies that were released in the same month three years later.

One thing I hate as a movie watcher is hearing other people echo commonly held complaints that they just regurgitate from the internet, without realizing they never gave it any thought. For example, a very popular “opinion” is that Stewart is terrible and cannot show emotion. People of course got confused with her real self and playing a hated character. For those that think that, they will be happy to know that Stewart shows a lot of emotion in this film: fear, sadness, extreme happiness. She is all over the place. And she also does a fine job.

As for the rest of the movie, American Ultra is a very strange film. Not fully comedy, not fully action, and not really a normal action comedy. And don’t even think it, because it is definitely not a stoner action comedy either, like Pineapple Express. It is a strange mash of all of these genres, and not in a normal or bad way. It reminds me of Red State. Red State was a hard movie to describe, clashing together different genres and keeping you on your toes. This film is of course nothing like the actual Red State, but I think you get my meaning.

American Ultra almost perfectly embodies the 2 out of 4 rating on this website. It is an enjoyable movie yes. Sometimes the jokes work really really well, thanks in a lot to the chaotic nature of a few scenes. And sometimes the movie feels like it drags and you just want to get to the next scene. We call that pacing issues in the biz, and it can make or break or apparently average out a film. But it did have some nice acting from our leads and some pretty slick shots at the same time. It can be worth a watch eventually. I think the people who love it are going to just really love it.

2 out of 4.

Machete Kills

Machete started out as a fake trailer in front of the Grindhouse movies, Death Proof and Planet TerrorRobert Rodriguez decided that the fake trailer needed to be made into a real movie and Machete was born! A movie that was made on purpose to be bad, it had plenty of potential, but to me just felt boring. I wasn’t impressed.

I basically forgot about the franchise until they announced both a sequel and a third film coming down the pipelines. The sequel, Machete Kills just hit theaters, but the third film really caught my eye thanks to its title of  Machete Kills Again…In Space. With a name like that, this franchise can’t be that bad!

Yeah, it looks like he is about to kill it here.

After the death of his partner (Jessica Alba), Machete (Danny Trejo) finds himself at the wrong end of the law, blamed again for a murder he did not commit. To get out of the jam, the President of the United States (Charlie Sheen / Carlos Estivez) has asked him to go on a suicide mission into Mexico. His mission? To stop revolutionary/mad man Mendez (Academy Award Nominated Demian Bichir) from sending a nuke straight to Washington DC.

Sure, a simple enough mission, but there are a lot of factors that stand in his way. Million dollar bounties, crazed heart monitors, multiple personality disorders, priests seeking redemption, a hitman called El Camaleon, brothels, space scientists that know the future, a madam with a grudge, former friends, and clones stand between him and his goal.

There are so many celebrities, trying to list them all would be insane, but I will do it anyways. Telling you their role in the film almost seems like a disservice, and plus, you probably wouldn’t believe me. The movie includes Mel GibsonAmber HeardMichelle RodriguezSofia VergaraLady GagaAntonio BanderasWalton GogginsCuba Gooding Jr.Alexa Vega, and Vanessa Hudgens!

Vega Lawl
One of the best “jokes” in this movie is having Alexa Vega in close to nothing. Since he worked with her on Spy Kids 12 years ago.

As I mentioned before, Machete was trying to make a good/entertaining “bad movie,” in honor of all the poor quality B-movies of the 70s/80s. It is pretty hard film type to make correctly, the last one I really enjoyed being Black Dynamite. The first film had a lot of appropriate jokes for genre, but the overall plot and tone bored the crap out of me.

Machete Kills corrects these mistakes and more. First off, it was actually entertaining. Over the top action from start to finish and nonsensical plot lines that will cause you to stare at the screen in confusion. Normally that would sound terrible, unless terrible was the goal, in which case it sounds great! Machete Kills put a lot more detail into purposefully editing the film in a sloppy way to increase its humor potential. The film has a rampant disrespect for obeying the natural laws of our reality: where a broken car can drift 500 miles in mere hours, and where several days can pass in only 20 minutes.

Most of the jokes are smaller references or in the background, outside of the absurd characters themselves. Despite how outrageous everything is, the characters themselves for the most part are incredibly serious. After all, their lives are on the line. The movie sports a lot of death and violence, which is all packaged in creative ways.

Machete Kills improved a lot from the first film, but I think it still has a lot of untapped potential that it just hasn’t reached yet. Assuming the third film actually gets made, it might finally cross into the “So Bad, It’s Amazing!” territory that the series is striving for. As for now, it is not a must watch, but more of a watch eventually (maybe) type of movie.

2 out of 4.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra came out in 2009 and was a shit storm, just a big shit storm. I wasn’t reviewing movies four years ago, but if I was, I would have lampooned it so hard, in every orifice it had. It had some amusing parts, that red head was hot, but whatever. Not even Joseph Gordon-Levitt, right before his big claims to fame could save it.

So why did we get G.I. Joe: Retribution? Who knows. Can’t say it interested me at all to say it. What is with the cast overhaul? There is like, 2-3 characters the same in this movie. No Dennis Quaid, or Marlon Wayans, or Mr. Eko. All big parts of the first. I guess if you want to distance yourself from a bad movie, you should just replace basically everyone? I guess.

But no JGL to return as the Cobra Commander really irritates me. Hopefully they didn’t just try to fanservice this movie up with random shit.


Hah, Duke (Channing Tatum) is still here! Now he leads his unit, along with his (clearly always been there) buddies of Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jane (Adrianne Palicki), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona).

Well, they decide to save the day again, but for some reason they get ambushed and most of their unit (a bunch of nameless people) die! What, how could this be!

Oh that rascally President (Jonathan Pryce) did it! But why would he? Must be some sort of nanobot doppelganger! How crappy.

Well, they are assumed dead now, and must go undercover, finding the original G.I. Joe (Bruce Willis) to help them. BUT LETS NOT FORGET ABOUT Snake Eyes (Ray Park). Ninjas are cool, and he is a Joe as well. But now he is with Jinx (Elodie Yung), the sister of Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) (What, you thought he died in the first film? Pfft!). They have to bring Storm Shadow to justice, because the “Blind Master” (RZA. Yep) said so. Something about family honor.

But oh yeah, President is not really the President! The Cobra Commander must behind this. Hopefully he doesn’t threaten to destroy every major world power and successfully take out London. What? He takes out all of London? Holy shit! That should have huge repercussions that they will definitely deal with in the movie or the sequel. Ugh.

The Joes better figure out how to stop this, and get themselves back into good grace, before they make a trilogy and kill off the one or two links left to the first film! Also featuring Walton Goggins as a hilarious warden, and Ray Stevenson as a not so funny bad guy named Firefly.

GI Lols
Channing is just wondering why The Rock and Bruce Willis are in every dang action movie now (and how can he get that honor).

To answer that above question, the Rock is actually a decent actor. It is just getting overkill.

Woo! I found this movie at least entertaining. Strange huh? Some of the action scenes were fantastic, and nicely spread out enough to be enjoyable. There was a lot that I disliked of course. Only one main woman (not including the other ninja), and they had to use her looks I think three times to advance the plot. How convenient. Flint was a useless character, and Jane’s background was pointless. The Storm Shadow backstory didn’t make any dang sense when you look at how time works. Too many ninjas just might spoil the bunch. (In the film, they go to a ninja factory basically).

Not to mention no Joseph Gordon-Levitt! Boo!

Really, a problem I was confused with is that the movie felt like it went entirely too quick. One of those films that takes a long time to build up and climax, and once it gets great, it is solved quickly and over. I hate feeling unfulfilled, but it was already 110 minutes long. I think it could have added an additional half hour to it (if they changed the movie around for an extra assault) to really enhance it overall. But if they added more time, they might have added even more bad plotlines. That would be the real shame in the end.

Okay action movie, definitely better than the first. But still has a long way to go!

2 out of 4.


Looking at all of the tags, I know you are thinking the same thing. How the hell does a movie called Predators not also include Chris Hanson?

Chris Hanson
Because he’d catch them all too quickly and make them have a seat.

The movie begins with Adrien Brody falling in the sky. He is strapped to the chair and flipping out, cause he is falling through the sky. He kinda gets a parachute off, allowing him to note die, but also, only kinda. I generally don’t expect to see Brody as a big action star, but he pulled it off pretty convincingly in the jungle.

Who else fell from the sky? A bunch of soldiers and criminals I tell ya! Alice Braga, the only woman, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins (Rapist like guy who is in prison jump suit) and Topher Grace. Topher Grace?! Yeah. He is just a doctor. Awkward.

Also, later they meet a past survivor. One Laurence Fishburne, kicking ass, and taking names.

So why are they out in the middle of no where? Eventually they find out that they are prey, for some type of aliens war games. Humans who speak English tend to call them Predators, which is good to know! I am sure their alien name is something like Graafbbfzx. These Predators only tend to kill bad humans though, not innocent ones. So, the title makes more sense when you realize that even the prey are “predators” in their own right. We see what you did there, movie people.

But an alien that only prededates on other predators? So it is like an army of strong, alien, highly technological, Dexters.

I can kind of see the resemblance too.

What can you expect from a movie based on some 80s movies? A pretty decent action movie, actually. By making all the humans bad people, I have no problem with a force running around killing humans. Usually I think Humans > All Aliens, but hey, if they are bad people, who cares right? So I can enjoy the (many) deaths that occur, and the tactics the humans use to try and survive and kill them first.

Thankfully the plot didn’t have much going for it. A very easy thing to imagine, since we already have to imagine aliens with great technology, we can easily imagine they can have a planet where humans can live, and teleport them from Earth to this place, and you know, death. Also there was a samurai sword fight scene out of no where. These Predators at heart at just warriors, and duelists. They give humans a fair fight, and I like that too. What is the fun in massive slaughter?

2 out of 4.