Review: The Equalizer (2014)

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the equalizer poster

“Got to be who you are in this world, no matter what.”
– Robert McCall

SYNOPSIS: A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. – via IMDB

the equalizer gif

I missed this in cinemas when it came out (blame the exams, always the exams)and could not wait to see it. I loved it when I finally did watch it, and decided recently it needed a rewatch before I could go on to the new onw. Gathering my other half the other night, we sat down and got ready to watch the excellent Denzel tear up the town again. Let me just tell you, we were not disappointed, not even for one moment.

The Equalizer is paced fantastically – I liked that it concentrated on some story, and didn’t just get lost in action, but didn’t focus so much on the story that it was purely a drama. Also, let’s not forget Washington’s portrayal as Robert McCall. I was so impressed with him (I usually am) and I thought that he was super badass. He was very cool, well-respected, I liked the way he was so important to so many people and yet when he went home it was solitary, lonely and depressing.

That changes when McCall becomes a scary machine and starts fixing Boston, intense I tell you! There were some kill styles introduced that I have to admit were fresh and original (I know how that sounds), and an antagonist opposite McCall that was worthy of his time, escalating the events (though there could have been a more hardcore showdown). There was nothing left untouched by McCall to craft his weapons with, and that alone was entertaining enough to carry so much. The soundtrack fit with the movie perfectly, and The Equalizer was shot very nicely, too.

There was not one moment of boredom for me, and I was taken in with the entire presentation of the film. Great job all round, and I can definitely highly recommend this one. It has more substance than your average movie of this type, and though it follows a recipe, it doesn’t get boring.

Rapid Review: Carrie (2013)

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carrie poster

“Carrie had some sort of power. But she was just like me… like any of you. She had hopes, she had fears, but we pushed her. And you can only push someone so far before they break.”
– Sue Snell

SYNOPSIS: A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom. – via IMDB

carrie angry

GRADE 6It is common knowledge that I am not the biggest fan of the original. I really think it is overhyped. It let me down, and most of the acting was embarrassing. I remember I was rather indifferent to seeing that Carrie was being remade, but I sort of had a corner in me hoping for something better. Maybe one day we will luck out and get a version of Carrie that has the documentary style woven in between the story itself, sticking more to the book than anything. Hey, we can all dream! Anyway, I started this movie knowing that it got slammed by a whole bunch of die hard fans of the original and some other people, and I must admit that I thought this was highly uncalled for. The 2013 Carrie remake turned out to be a pretty decent watch. However, whoever the hell did the makeup for this movie was awful – everyone looked much older than they were and orange and silly. The performances were all satisfactory, and Julianne Moore was fantastic as Margaret White. Chloë Grace Moretz was a little pretty in my opinion to play Carrie, but she did a great job regardless. I loved Ansel Elgort as Tommy Ross, he was much better in this movie, and he is cute as hell. Chris was a real mean bitch, and Alex Russell as Billy was also very well done, considering how much I liked him in Chronicle. I must say that this movie was decent, it was entertaining and it was shot well, and I liked it more than I expected to. I think the film did a really good job when it got to showing how things happened at the prom and thereafter, they got that down. It is not amazing, and it is still not the perfect version of Carrie, but worth checking out whether you are a fan of the original or not.

Rapid Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

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“You don’t have to be a bad-ass to be a superhero, Dave. You just have to be brave.”
– Mindy Macready

SYNOPSIS: The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows. – via IMDB

kickass chin upskickass and hitgirl

GRADE 7After loving Kick-Ass so much, I was wondering if this was going to reek of sequelitis (thanks Tom). I was surprised. It was by no means as good as the first one for me (though my other half preferred the oodles more action in this one), it was not a flop, either. I had a good time with it. There were plenty laughs, but I found this one to be so much less awkward and embarrassing than the first (something I thought was excellent for it), but more forced at other times. Big Daddy may be gone, but it seems that Colonel Stars and Stripes was there to take up the mantle of father figure. He was by no means as organised or as odd as Big Daddy, but it works on some level. I didn’t like the fact that Evan Peters didn’t come back to play Todd (but I can deal, American Horror Story was way more important), and I found Augustus Prew (his replacement) to be really bland. What I did like, and it had me in stitches for hours after, was McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse putting all that bondage gear on, and not having the boobs to fill out the rack space (bwahahahaha, it looked hilarious). I was really glad that this one scene that could have potentially ended in rape didn’t go there. It would not have gelled with the movie, and would definitely have left a sour taste in my mouth. There was definitely far more action in this one, definitely some more cheese. I had a good time watching John Leguizamo here, he had his head more together than most, though he humoured Chris way too much. The inclusion of so many superheroes didn’t really work all too well, but they had their moments, and the plot was a little all over the show at times. I think I am being significantly less harsh on this than most people (I don’t get the really bad rap this film has), but maybe because I saw these movies directly after one another over two nights, I didn’t have time to forge expectations, and I knew that no matter what, it was going to be lame, silly, over the top and not as good as the first. Maybe that’s why I still had fun.

Rapid Review: Kick-Ass (2010)

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kick ass poster

“In the world I lived in, heroes only existed in comic books. And I guess that’d be okay, if bad guys were make-believe too, but they’re not.”
– Dave Lizewski

SYNOPSIS: Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan with a few friends and who lives alone with his father. His life is not very difficult and his personal trials not that overwhelming. However, one day he makes the simple decision to become a super-hero even though he has no powers or training. – via IDMB

kickass fuck you mr bitey

So I had never seen this, and I know that a lot of people are quite fond of it. Looking for a bit of a lame laugh the other night, I popped this one in and let me tell you, I got my money’s worth! I was astounded that the chipper lead for this film was none other than Godzilla’s wet rag, Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Who knew the dude had some spark in him? I might have to reassess my opinion with some more of his work. We will see.

I loved Kick-Ass. A lot. I didn’t actually have faith that I would, but I did. I can see there are going to be a lot of haters out there, but different strokes and all. Kick-Ass was cringe-worthy more often than not and dead embarrassing at the best of times and had some real lame moments laced through it all, but most importantly, it was fun. I had a few giggles at Nic Cage, who was absolutely ridiculous in this and he knew it. I was beyond thrilled to see McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Chris D’Amico. I think he rocks, he’s too damn sweet, and what a twit. This movie? No exception. I loved it when he was Red Mist and had that ludicrous wig on. I was wondering if he actually had a stylist that teased the hell out of his hair like that and streaked it for his nights on the town. And his Mist Mobile? Hahahaha!

kick ass and red mist being idiots

Anyway, this movie didn’t have any right to work, and I was thinking it was something like a spoof, but considering how much love it gets I thought it might not be conventional. Well, it definitely wasn’t! Dave is such an awkward dude, and I was happy to see Evan Peters (you all know I adore the guy) and Clark Duke (who is quite entertaining at times) alongside him. Chloë Grace Moretz worked very well in her role, too, and I think she was super badass. I liked that she wasn’t a sissy and stood her ground and didn’t take nonsense. Upon further reading I saw that a lot of people had issues with her character before the film because she was too young, etc. Thank goodness she was not changed! I know she cussed and killed people and was not conventionally normal, but it worked for her. Mark Strong is still such a great villain, and I enjoyed the dash of cheese that was laced through his character. I actually think the whole cast was right, they all brought something to the screen with them.

This was hilarious at the best of times, and I can see that I am going to go back and watch this a few times. There are no epic back stories and intense losses or anything like that, just a kid who decided he was going to be a superhero because he could. But seriously, dude, that outfit?! What were you thinking?! I can’t explain why this silly movie worked so well for me, but I loved it. It was a breath of fresh air!

Rapid Review: The Amityville Horror (2005)

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“Mrs. Lutz, get you and your family out of that house. Right now!”
– Father Callaway

amityville horror guest

Also – this was obviously for science…

amityville horror 2005 ryan reynolds

GRADE 6.5I know that it was not the most popular of films, or the most appreciated adaption of this tale, but I found the movie to be rather enjoyable – shoot me. I liked it. Maybe that is because I watched this without thinking of the true story, without trying to picture it in reality, and without having seen the original one in years. Makes a difference, I tell you. I watched it for what it was – another film. Ryan Reynolds is usually such a fun actor, and he can go more serious, but at times I felt that this might be a stretch for him, but in a sense it is good to see him out there doing something other than a cocky character. He pulled it off the majority of the time. I thought the film was shot very nicely, it all looked very nice and well put together. There were jump scares that I feel were more executed due to sounds and quick flits of camera, but they were definitely better than most. As is typical of a horror, the dialogue was a little weak, but I have to give this film credit for the entertainment that it gave forth – for me at any rate. I liked it, and feel that it is a lovely addition to any horror evening should you want to see it.