Thursday, August 11, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

This summer blockbuster isn't as good as you would have hoped for, but also, it isn't nearly as bad as you have heard. How in evil-fresh-hell does a wretched movie like Twilight get a higher rating than Suicide Squad is beyond me. "What a ride!" exclaims Harley Quinn. This movie isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's exactly that - one fantastic neon-laser-light-show ride from beginning to end. And I fully enjoyed this movie despite its many flaws. 

The plot goes like this; the cold-hard government operative Amanda Waller () secures approval to create a task-force of the worst-of-the-worst criminals who might be able to do some good, aka perform a rescue operation in Midway City, where an entity known as the Enchantress ( - love) is fashioning a super-weapon that could destroy earth. Leading the team is red, white & blue Rick Flag ( - love), a soldier who is romantically involved with the Enchantress's alter-human ego June Moone. Oh, and Quinn's boy-toy-thug the Joker () is also lurking around. 

The strong aspects of the movie include (some of the) performances and (some of the) characters. and definitely shined. Smith's Deadshot is the closest thing the group has to a leader. His backstory with his daughter, however, was nonsensical and melodramatic, but I can let that slide. Robbie on the other hand steals the entire movie. She plays Harley Quinn with just the right amount of peppy lunacy. Whenever the movie got too cheesy, she was there to lighten the mood with clever quips. The tone of her character is the tone the entire movie should have strived for. It was dark, sexy, fresh, a little twisted, and extremely fun. The chemistry between Deadshot and Quinn was electrifying and funny. 

The idea behind SS was a good one, but as is the case with most DC inspired comic book movies, the plot was overly stuffed, rushed and messy. There were a few characters we could have completely done without. Slipnot was most likely there to establish Flag's authority, so we'll let that slide. But Katana and Killer Croc were the biggest wasted opportunities (Boomerang is a close runner up even though he was super funny). If Katana isn't going to trap anyone's soul with her sword and/or find a way to bring her hubby back to life, don't even bring it up! And why wasn't Killer Croc ripping those bad guys to shreds?! Rick Flagg and June Moone's relationship was bland and unnecessary, with a cheese-ball ending. And even though I liked the crazy-zany portrayal of the Joker, his character seemed like a huge afterthought. He was most likely there to develop Quinn's backstory, which I'm OK with, but it almost would have been better for them to 'not' show him fully until the very end. 

It's a shame Warner Bros. threw too much attention on making this movie look fantastic they forgot to invest in a structured plot. DC has a long way to go in terms of churning out undeniably great comic-book movies outside of The Dark Knight trilogy. But with that said, SS isn’t deserving of the curb-stomping, poo-stain it received. It still manages to fully entertain, excite and thrill. It's fun, funny and definitely worth seeing (sans 3D).
Rating: C-

The floor is now yours.  What did you think? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Jason Bourne Review

Everyone around the world was 'dying' to get Bourne again. And with writer/director and the lovely returning to the scene, we knew we were in for one hella-tight ride. I guess nine years later and one ill-conceived spin-off, the two felt it was an opportune time to inject us with a dose of Bourne-adrenaline and his extreme ways. And oh how we were more than willing to get "doped" up again. Only trouble is, instead of innovation, it serves up a good dish of Bourne's greatest hits - sadly, there is nothing new here to advance the story. However, Jason Bourne is still a worthy successor, and despite its lack of deep intelligence - something the previous movies so effortlessly excelled at - it was still a thrilling pulsating ride from beginning to end. The unstoppable pace of Damon's standoffish Bourne still represents a driving force to be reckoned with. 

The next chapter in this bad-A franchise finds the most dangerous former CIA operative drawn out of hiding (again) to uncover hidden truths about his past.  Only this time he remembers everything (du-du-duuun).  Over the years, time hasn't been easy for Bourne. He's making ends meet as an underground brawler for cash.  All this goes down when ex-partner Nicky Parsons () finds him and offers yet another clue to the black-ops mystery of Treadstone - the project that turned him into a killer assassin. To say this time it's personal would be an understatement. It's always personal, am I right. 

Despite its flaws and lack of depth, this blockbuster still provides almost everything you'd come to expect from a Bourne film – the up-close fight scenes, improvised weapons, insane car chases, the oh-so-clever spy-craft, and the high-tech espionage techniques that border on wizardry and no-he-di'nt! It's fun, intense and will leave the audiences relatively pleased in the end. 
Rating: C+

Monday, July 25, 2016

Star Trek Beyond Review

This movie boldly goes where... we have of course gone before, but who cares! The third installment of the Star Trek reboot may not go above and beyond the greatness, but fans will still find ’s sequel a glorious return to the Enterprise. And while it 'is' my least favorite in the trekkie series, this auctioned-packed space opera is still a sexy, funny, thrilling rock-n-roll version of the 1960’s television series. It returns to the franchise’s altruistic values adding style, humor and one killer villain, thanks to the lovable – one of the dopest, most handsomest actors on the planet. 

As the USS Enterprise continues to explore the furthest depths of uncharted space they encounter a ruthless enemy, a reptilian named Krall (Elba). The crew is soon stranded on the alien planet where they are befriended by Jaylah (), a vengeful, rebel warrior who has taken up residence inside a shipwrecked, century-old Federation vessel. 

Star Trek Beyond beamed in more than $89.2M opening weekend (worldwide). And even though this amount is surprisingly low for a movie of this stature, it has lasting power and is bound to roll in even more money as the weeks ensue. Seeing this film on the gigantic IMAX screen was absolutely exhilarating, and worth the extra few bucks, but do you need to see it in 3D? The correct answer is nope. Alas, this popcorn flick has a lot going for it - it's full of life, wit, intense thrills, plus it holds some of the most stunning visuals around. I feel fans of the series will embrace the movie, while others will simply enjoy all the fireworks and special effects.

Beyond is definitely entertaining, but basically it's an adventure movie that leaves little time for character development, as it races from one set piece sequence to another. I was a little disappointed with the under-utilization of the substantial talents of Idris Elba as our main bad guy. Hidden under layers of prosthetics, Krall is a one-dimensional villain, whose exterior masks a distressed individual who radiates hatred for the Federation. And, sadly, when his motives are revealed, they are somewhat uncertain and it's definitely anticlimactic. However, when all is said and done, if you’re a fan of the Star Trek universe on any level this sequel will not disappoint.  It's fun and exciting on so many levels. 
Rating: B-

Share your thoughts in the comment section below... 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Video Essay: The Art of Slow Motion in Film

 "We have no control of time." 
Check out this excellent video essay by Julian Palmer.  He breaks it down for us while examining the wonderful world of slow motion in cinema. We get films spanning from Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957) to many of Scorsese's films, all the way to recent films like David Fincher's Panic Room (2002), Zack Snyder's Watchmen (2009), Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (2011) and Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). And of course there's a scene from The Matrix, because 'duh'. There's plenty to admire and plenty to learn in this video essay on slow motion, so check it out and enjoy!
"Slow Motion is one of the oldest (and best!) tricks in the filmmaker’s playbook. Showing the action at half speed can add gravitas, drama, or old-fashioned epic-ness to any shot." 
I couldn't agree more.  In fact I feel by adding a little slow-mo to any movie provides a little fun nuance, thus throwing all our attention to the act at hand just a little longer. There are so many instances to be had, but some of my all time fav slow-mo scenes include 127 hours, Drive, X-Men and Mission Impossible. These kinds of fascinating video essays are what inspire filmmakers and movie goes alike. For the full list of films featured in Julian Palmer's video essay, click "Show More" on the YouTube page.  

What's your favorite slow-mo scene?

TV Spot for Suicide Squad

Source: Firsthshowing

"What was that?... I should kill everyone and escape?!" 

Worst heroes ever! Man, Warner Bros sure knows how to cut trailers! I mean, c'mon! Their latest TV spot for what is bound to be a 'dope' comic-book, action-packed blockbuster still has me hooked! Suicide Squad packs one powerful (villainous) punch! And with this gorgeous, star-studded cast we're most-deff in for some wild & crazy fun! We got Will Smith, Margot Robbie (BABE), Cara Delevingne (LOVE), Jared Leto (DROOL), Joel Kinnaman (SWOON), Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Common, Jay Hernandez, Karen Fukuhara, among others. This TV spot is basically a condensed version from previous trailers, but it still looks awesome and I cannot wait to see it! I just hope this flick is as cool as it seems.  Enjoy!
Suicide Squad is a DC Comics movie from Warner Bros, directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Sabotage, Fury) from a script by based on the comic books. Will Smith is Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman is Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Jared Leto is Joker, Jai Courtney plays Boomerang, Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, Cara Delevingne is Enchantress, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is supposedly playing Killer Croc. All of these characters are part of a super villain team recruited by the government for secret missions. It's rumored that Ike Barinholtz is playing Dr. Hugo Strange, Adam Beach is possibly Ravan and Jim Parrack is playing Deathstroke. You don't want to miss this blockbuster when it hits theaters everywhere August 5, 2016. 

You ready to go dark?...

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