Tag Archives: Review

XXX:The return of Xander Cage and Resident evil: the final chapter?

Here it is guys, I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit and ruminate over these movies. I’ll admit I watched them both weeks ago, but I’ve had a hell of a time trying to figure out how I was going to review them. I had to give it some real contemplation because I really had to try hard to find material that was comment worthy and thus enough to create a whole review for each movie. In the end I couldn’t and such we are gonna have this double feature review.

I’ll try to keep the spoiler to a minimum, thought to tell you the truth there isn’t much here to spoil. So…who’s first? *flips coin*

If you watched that trailer then I think you would have watched the best part of xXx: The return of Xander Cage. They even included pretty much the whole plot for us, which makes my job kind of easy since I won’t have to recap what is essentially the story equivalent of a sieve. Did anything stand out? *scratches chin* hmmmm let’s see.

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  1. This movie had a few nice stunt sequences, I’m told that is what is expected of this franchise, but to tell you the truth I watched the other two movies and barely remember what they were about. There were guns and explosions and some sporty stunt-y things so I guess that saying action and stunt-age are what is expected can be construed as a true statement. I’m guessing since Vin and Ice are part of it then the cheesy one liners are all part of it too. I wasn’t particularly impressed by either feature, which is saying something as I tend to fully appreciate Hollywood Physics when I see them. The action and dialogue both left me with a feeling of ‘meh’.
  2. The cast, the cast was good, badly used but good. Let me clarify. return-of-xander-cage-character-posters-xxxthemovie-13-820x772The movie contained names such as Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa. Folks who could have easily carried off this movie without Vin or Ruby or the DJ guy or the Crash Bandicoot wanna be or who was that blond lady? Not that Vin was particularly bad, they were all bad. I was hoping for a Fast and the Furious kind of feel and ended up just watching people moving and hitting things, often filmed in a way that wasn’t cohesive or even aesthetically pleasing. Come to think of it this was one of the few movies in which Samuel L. Jackson has appeared that didn’t dazzle me, and was that Micheal from Underworld? The only character there that was even a little amusing was our resident tech nerd sexually ambiguous girl person, who by virtue of this movie I can’t even properly remember.

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And that’s about it for that. See what I mean about not much to work with? Ugh.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter… or was it…was…well…ummm…a fair attempt?

Visually this thing was rich, as rich maybe as the first two movies, which were arguably the best in the franchise. Note that this observation is more from trailers, clips and still art I’ve seen that the actual film, but I’ll get to that later.

This installment did not disappoint when it came to the creature feature we have come to associate with Resident Evil. So visually our bases were covered. The dialogue wasn’t anything deep or philosophical, but if you went there expecting that of Resident Evil, then you’re obviously not a long time fan, so you are forgiven your misgivings.  

There was one line there that floored me, well more a phrase. Don’t be surprised if you find me with some characters who embody the phrase “Trinity of Bitches.” Loved that.

Plot-wise I think this movie was too little too late. They tried to fill in some of the blanks, introduce some story line and back story, maybe to make us more sympathetic to Alice or the Red Queen or to the little girl turned old lady she was modeled after. Thanks for that nod to the amount of time the fans have been faithful by the way.

The too little too late theme continues as we were presented with a host of recycled characters, for example, Dr. Baddy Bad and co, Mr Glowy eyes, and Mz Badass from the…one of the earlier installments. We only got one memorable addition in the person of one Ms Ruby Rose.  Come to think of it she was in both of these huh? Hmmm…interesting.

Too bad she can’t return for the next one. What? You thought this was the last one? Well they did say the third one was the last one, and that was how many ago? They spent quite a bit of plot setting up another one, sooooo I for one will be looking out for that, maybe 2019 after all the Marvel hype has cooled and we are all too bored to remember what a flop this one was.

Again, not the greatest movie, pretty much meh.

So both movies will get a combined score of 5.5. Split it how you will, any way you do they deserve it. I wouldn’t go watch them again, probably won’t even bother to pause channel surfing when they come on. But, if and when you do, let me know if there was anything I missed.

Now on a different note. The showing of Resident Evil: The Final chapter was my worst experience at our local megaplex to date. An experience characterized by a screen that was mostly blurry and unfocused and the loud, rude, completely inappropriate hood babies that took up residence right next to us. Though any of these factors could have been bad all by itself, what makes this event worthy of note is the fact that more than one member of our party complained on more than one occasion to the staff of the establishment.

Uck, Ugh and Uck. I can only hope that the message was received and next rant I can go back to just ranting about the kind of people who bring babies to watch horror movies, on the late show, on a school night.

Thanks for sitting through this with me guys, much love from my keyboard to you.

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5 Ridiculous things I caught in the Underworld: Blood Wars

Can you guess what my first movie of 2017 was? Well can you? Oh you can? I guess I made it kind of obvious didn’t I?

Last week me and the gang went out to see the new Underworld movie. Number 5 in the ongoing series of Gangster movies, that try to pass themselves off as part of the occult genre. It didn’t disappoint, it was, in my opinion, absolutely terrible and I must say I enjoyed it to the fullest. Though to be fair I didn’t go for the supernatural thrill or even for the action. I went for the utter ridiculousness over the too-ness that these movies have come to embody for me.

Here is your obligatory spoiler alert. The following passages may include spoilers. So if you know you are bothered by that sort of thing, go with my blessing and watch, approach with a light heart though, and leave your inner occultist at home.

b0038166_4f1a1a00da6131. By now we are all accustomed to Selene and her signature skin tight leather outfit. Kate fills that thing out well and even though we can’t imagine how this thing could be functional as fighting garb, it does add to the sexy motif that the movie is trying very hard to sell us.

While they ditched the overly sinuous movement that has come to be associated with supernatural sexuality, they did drape the entire cast in so much black that we had to wonder if they was any black cloth left in all the world.

But even that wasn’t what struck me as most ridiculous. What struck me was the fact that the outfit is SELF HEALING!!!! I mean it has to be, for the amount of shots, stabs, pokes and projectiles it took, and still managed to always in the next scene to appear shiny and whole. I can’t imagine why it never dawned on me before, but then this is the first time I’ve gone to see one of these with my hawk-eyed compatriots in the movie group.

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2. Now let us look at it in terms of the timeline. First the vampires were on top, all winning the war and stuff. Then Micheal came along and they killed a whole bunch of elders hence weakening the vampire community. Then in the last installment it had gotten so bad that the wolves had risen to some semblance of dominance what with the experimenting and so on, and the vampires were little more than an underclass, all be it impeccably dressed but an underclass non the less.

So how is it that the elders in this thing were so arrogant? I get that prejudice is hard to kill, but you mean to tell me that you are sitting in the last Vamy stronghold and you’rE think you’re sitting pretty? Has it not occurred to them that they are the last because all the others are gone?…at the hand of the wolves?…the same ones they think wouldn’t attack them? Almost as if the elders of this coven didn’t watch the last movies but got some pretty limited cliff notes. Further how could they be so dismissive of the women in their midst, when their top most wanted criminal, best warrior and strategic general, Is a woman?

As such it left our vampires at a distinct and painful disadvantage that who wholly unnecessary. To make the matter worse, this very arrogance left our citadel exposed to a threat so sinister that when she struck they were all left aghast. Uck, and to say these are the kings of intrigue. Just Uck. Which leads me to…

3. Meet team Semara. Making it at number three on my ridiculous list. The absolute queen of the one liner in this film, she is also our resident comic book villain, complete with henchman and an overly complicated plan to meet her rather transparent goal. She can fight, she has that sinister grace, and is a good enough actress to hide it, I started being very excited about this one.

I will give it to this movie, the plot advance rather quickly with not very much exposition, I give a hat for that. But this Victor wannabe, with a flare for the over dramatic, who is resourceful enough to manipulate enemies and friends alike, was again thwarted by…you guessed it…her own arrogance.

The lady needed to take a step back and listen to herself. She needed to pay attention to the very flaws in her people that allowed her to reach the position she had attained. I mean what kind of villain only throws herself at the male lead who she might eventually need on her side only once? And don’t get me started on how her own selfishness robber her of an enhanced army and boy toy of her own. Sigh, I do say, as far as baddy bads go, she was rather a great disappointment. Spectacular and well played, but a disappointment.

4. These showdowns. While we all fully acknowledge that Hollywood takes privileges with things like the laws of physics and the general number of bullets that can fit in any magazine at any given time, I still found the showdown between Marius and our two heroes to be really amusing.

The thing that got me is that both David and Selene have either gotten or discovered that they have gotten a major power upgrade. Why then could we not have had a display of power so epic that it made us feel inappropriate things as we watched? Instead we had our heroes blithering about, getting thwarted by not our enhanced Marius, but by their own emotions and or general ineptitude. Was this for dramatic effect? Were they trying to humanize these characters? Probably. But this is a movie about supernatural beings right? Soooo….why not rip out the stops and let them do what you promised by tying the words “Vampire and Werewolf” into this convoluted gangsta flick?

I mean yeah they won in the end, that there is a given. If they didn’t, how could they have set up Underworld 6? But it would have been far more satisfying if they had slapped a bit more badass on it.

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5. OK, so here it is that we now have reached the crux of my ire with this entire series. The werewolf transformations. These creatures were set up to fail from the onset. Firstly when they are in their most powerful form they seem to be rather inept, lacking the capability for thought and strategy that should be a given, given the “were” part of it.

Instead they divulge into a more primitive state when they transform, though from what I’ve seen of them isn’t much of a downgrade since they are mostly daft in the first place anyhow. Add to that the fact that they charge into battle all human shaped, get frustrated with their own tactics and must transform in order to effectively-ish beat their foes and voila easily beatable enemy.

How so? You may be asking. Just watch the gif? From the start of the transformation to the battle roar. Ready? Ok Let’s go. 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3…….10 Mississippi. A whole ten seconds when, in the heart of battle, these wolves are basically unable to act. How about we stab or decapitate now, oh being with supernatural speed and strength? A chop here a silver injection even? No? Your just gonna stand their and watch as the boss levels up and your life bar is already half? Ok, nothing at all ridiculous about that is there?

I did give this movie a 5.5 though, because technically and in terms of general lore and common sense it was lacking.  I know somewhere in the nerdiverse someone is about to lose what little they had of their shyte but be assured that I did love it to pieces, I would even watch it again.

Sausage Party: boy was that R-rated

When I asked about this movie, a friend of mine said, “If you aren’t into a lot of sexual innuendo then it isn’t for you.” He said it over a social media group, and I’m sure he knew that the way it was said, and the advanced knowledge that it was a Seth Rogen  movie would have had me all excited. I know he knew I was going to see it too, and I know now that there was a sinister smile on his face when he typed those words.

In the voice of Kevin Hart “I wasn’t ready!!!!!!!”

Don’t get me wrong, it was good. But dear God, I WAS NOT READY…but just so you are, there may be a SPOILER or two beyond this point. This movie took profanity and raunch to a level where at one point I think I was completely numb to it. It completely stole the novelty of it, lucky for Seth and the gang there was more to the endeavor than just that.

I will give Sausage Party this, it is intelligent and genuinely funny. There isn’t anything subtle about it though, to call the jokes innuendo in any form is stretching it, really really far. But again Seth…so…we expect no better. It’s full of sexual references, sophomoric humor and crazy pun play. Which I fully appreciated, I felt like I was in college all over again, in a good way. In the way that we spoke more freely and were so eager to question. It wasn’t all ass jokes and penis gags though.

It gives an interesting take on consumerism, international politics, racial issues, religion, serious stuff that we really didn’t expect. Do the statements it makes, rally us to a revolution of thought? Not so much, but if you are walking around in a fog of cynical jadedness, then having the things that got you that way presented like this, definitely wakes up some of those old brain circuits and brakes off some of that crust.

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The characters, boy the characters. The characters were all consumables, that talked and walked, believing that we had something other than consumption on our minds when we picked them up. There were good guys and bad guys, and douches, literally. Each character/item crafted as a clever stand in for some culture, race, religion, creed, if you can think of them they were pretty much there. It was witty and funny and inspired. Well done Seth.

But when reality hit our characters…I’m so sorry…I wasn’t ready either. This movie made me feel so bad for all the products I use in my day to day life. I will say sorry to every sheet of toilet paper, every prophylactic, ever morsel, and just everything I will every consume ever again, or at least until the shock fades. There were scenes in this thing that had me like…

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…Shock, gore, horror. I am still not over it. A week and a half late, and I’m not over it, and I have to give it a rating. I will give it a 9. My only complaint being how much of too much that last scene was. It was just so much…so much….so so much. GAWD, but it was sooo much.

Guys watch it. Honestly. And not just because I want to share the feeling that still quivers in my breast and rattles my brain. I want you to see it, and I want it to tickle your thought center, and I want you to have all the experiences, I had in that dark room, surrounded by strangers, who too were too shocked to misbehave. Again, Thank you Seth.

Much love to Rogen and Company from a small Island Paradise, in the Caribbean.

Barbershop: The Next Cut

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I know, I know, most of us were kind of surprised to find another Barbershop movie how many years later. I for one thought the franchise was dead, and well after Beauty shop I figured it should be. But they did do it again and I am really glad they did. Here’s why.

I pause here to add an obligatory spoiler alert.

We know Barbershop has always been a social commentary on the state of the American Black community. It gives the grassroots dialogue not of politicians and big business, but of small folks, living normal lives and their perspectives on the world around them. So is it really any shock that in such a tumultuous time in U.S. economics and race relations that this franchise has come back to life?

No. Not it isn’t.

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A New Perspective. This time around, Clavin Jr’s has joined forced with Angie and her hair salon. Which means, that the original man cave has now become home to some not men, and no Terry did not count as the female voice of the people. This serves not only as an opportunity for them to address the state of American economics, politics and culture, but by having women present, allow them to share their perspectives. Not that this changes much. Some might want to raise a glass for progress but, I’m not so sure that the male and female though on most current issues are that far apart. And that I think is a better thing to realize than the fact that there may be vaginas present.As such the only issues that get illuminated, solely because the women are there, are the ones of male/female interaction.

Issues like the unrealistic expectations of women men seem to keep. The ongoing battle between “the hoes and the good girls”. Infidelity and body “enhancements”. Did they need it? Yes, but only because the “boys in the hood” talking hood has been done, over done and done some more. New faces and voices are always good when we have had a decade to stew in the sameness of the Barbershop.

It was Funny. They revised the Know-it-all character by splitting him in two, making one half Indian, and making them both millennials. You know? As in folks with the benefit of all the knowledge of google, a whopping sense of optimistic entitlement, an only academic idea of “the struggle”, being eloquent but a bit clueless. It gives for a lighter tone in some places, and a face palm or two in others.

We also get a few hijinks. I’m now sure we in the Caribbean aren’t the only ones who thought a messed up hair do would be reasonable punishment or attitude adjustment tool. To steal a line, “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.”

And so we got the laughs. Because, well, that’s life, even when we wade the waters of shit creek because not only did we not start with a paddle but the boat sprung a leak and sank, we still find a reason to laugh.

Familiar antagonists. While some of us would have us believe that the bad guys in this movie were the gang bangers who force Cal and the crew to action, I beg to differ. Yeah there was some gun play and a bit of posturing but that really is all there was to that. Even though a death resulted from the gang banging, it wasn’t the same as seeing a pivital banger do the shooting. does that make sense?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that instead of making all the bad emanate from one source we got it, and different aspects of it from a number of different places. It was more organic I think, more life-y.

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Relevant and Intelligent. This move made statement after statement after statement. All of the relevant to the time period in which we live, the virtual life we live, just every damn thing we do today. But it did it in a way that was not intrusive, it did not seek to force it’s ideologies on us, it just was. It didn’t even state that these were the statements being made in an obvious way. What I am trying to say is, it did not assume it had an audience of idiots. Even as there were some simply expository moments in the thing, we didn’t feel like we were being preached to. I appreciated that. I hate a pretentious movie.

I’ll give this movie an 8/10. It made me feel like I was hanging out with friends. You know the kind of friend who you can just sit around and chat with, and sometimes it gets really deep and sometimes it’s just all fun and laughs and all that. I like that feeling, I miss it. As a matter of fact if any of my friends are reading this, I wouldn’t mind a domino, beer and chill night.

What am I saying? “Wouldn’t mind”? That’s just me not wanting to look like I’m begging in front of all these people. I absolutely crave it. Come get me guys, seriously. Please.

The Legend of Tarzan, beyond the Abs of Glory

Tarzan PosterWas there really any doubt guys, that this movie would be chock full of Badassery? I mean the character has been trailed through history and the history of story telling as the Baddest Badass of the British colonial non-pirate world.

Don’t believe me? Just read his profile on Badass of the week. For more evidence one need only reference the Disney cartoon version with that awesome Phil Collins soundtrack.

This movie, however, despite its’ Pg-13 rating is far more adult, sporting quite a few adult themes that are very satisfying to the adult mind and eye and libido. Here are some of them.

Beyond this, as we explore the things that grabbed me about this film you may encounter some spoilers in this review.

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There was a very very good Villain. The Legend of Tarzan sported one of the most complex villains I’ve seen in a long time. Leon Rom played by Christopher Waltz, was the kind of man you loved to hate. Not just because of his greed, or his nefarious plot to enslave or kill every soul he came across, but because he seemed the villain without the cowardice. So much so that his lack of fear or rage, and optimistic outlook as to what he was looking to achieve in securing his place in history sold me that he really was a sociopath worthy of my disdain. I cheered when he died, and I must say that is a thing for me, you know how I love me some bad guy.

 

The Love story was intense. We only had one love scene in this movie and that, being decidedly Disney, wasn’t very action heavy. But that did not stop this lady from selling us on the fact that the love she had for her man was infallible. I heard one of the men in our little group comment on how steadfast she was in her faith in her husband. While I held my tongue then for reasons of sheltering ego, I really wanted to tell him that that is the kind of faith every woman wants to have in her man. A faith deeply rooted in the knowledge that he is both honestly head over heels for her and dedicated to her and his goals. It’s the sexiest thing on earth hence why so many books and movies make it the defining characteristic of their male leads. As such it added, for me at least, a whole new layer of Va va va vroom to that steaming pile of oooo la la that played Tarzan.

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Samuel L Jackson. I appreciate the historical accuracy of the character played. I appreciate the strength of the character as portrayed by this fellow. I appreciate Samuel L Jackson, in any incarnation I can get him. I know it was a Disney film, so I knew not to expect any exclamations including his all time most famous phrase, but I still kind of miss it. He did however, find a way to imprint himself on my psyche during the film’s run time, and not with speech either. I find his greatest contribution to this film was the constant looks of bemusement on his face as he watched our hero connect with his Africa. From rubbing up Lionesses to jumping off cliffs, this face said it all. Him and Jane were where we found most of the best dialogue, humorous and intelligent. It was hilarious and I loved it.

Djimon Hounsou is second in my heart only to the great Idris, and even then they sometimes struggle to maintain that hierarchy. Here he plays an Chieftain with a grudge, willing to aid and abet one of the biggest racial transgressions in history to avenge a lost love. Oh but did he light my fire while doing it. He brings with him his signatures, graceful charm and deep emotion . His fantastic body being a given, he made this movie even more of a hit with me. Sweet baby Jesus help me for saying this but, even blind with heartbroken rage I was soooooo engrossed. I was squealing, I kid you not, in my seat at the sight of him.

Now to the reason we all went to watch this.

Tarzan himself. No matter who you are, this guy is the reason you went to see this movie. Either you remember him from TrueBlood, or from some movie, or you saw the trailer and licked your lips in that suggestive way. Yes, there were bound to be epic fight scenes, and heart tugging moments, and spine straitening convictions, and we got all that, but that wasn’t our primary reason. We went to watch him, and he was well watched.

We watch him, from his flashback origin story, to his civilized Lordly life, to the taking off of his shirt, and subsequent adventuring with tongues out. Looking, for all the world and unashamed  about it, like a cartoon wolf, heart shaped pupils and all. While his man candy status is forever set in whatever the strongest material in the world is currently, he brings more than just his glorious V. Being lean, hard, strong, quiet, intense, brave, strong, lean, hard and well spoken along with that body was excellent.

He pulled our empathy out of us with those eyes and that face. And not just him. I give a nod to all the actors who played the character at different ages throughout this thing. Well done sirs, all of you.

Oh my damn but does this review feel serious. Maybe because I’m trying really hard not to be a perv, I may even have missed some stuff but…I can’t hold it in any longer. Much like the lady one row behind me, whose husband is undoubtedly very well exercised since we saw this movie on Tuesday, I spent most of this thing in a heightened state of turned all the way on. God, there was so much eye candy. So much muscle and there were scenes when they were all wet and dirty and pants were riding low on hips and loin cloths were just the most hated things ever conceived. Dear Jesus, I just…it was…oh dear lord. Look, look for yourselves…

See? Even the extras and supporting characters are drool worthy. Can you blame me?

Is it possible for me to give this movie a 15? No? Well this may be the muscle love talking but, I’m going to say it’s off the charts for me. It will be one to join my home movie collection, it was that good. Go see, enjoy, and let me know what your thoughts are. I’m gonna go enjoy a glass of wine with my mental afterglow.