Review: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

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“The Bible says to never take revenge, to leave it to the Lord. But I wasn’t prepared to wait that long.” 
– Darius Kincaid

SYNOPSIS: The world’s top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Criminal Court. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time. – via IMDB

Dear Lord, I didn’t expect a great movie or anything like that, but I am truly shocked at just how terrible this movie turned out to be. It was godawful and a bag of chips. The trailer had me thinking it would be alright, and it literally featured anything worth seeing in this movie.

My husband and I watched this looking for something a little silly, nothing serious, as we were exhausted from packing up the house (again) and thought something light would tick the boxes. Well, uhm, yeah, then there was this. We expected a bit of cheese, instead we got this hunk of junk. It was not even good cheesy, it just sucked. And it was so long. The two hour run time was so excessive – the movie felt even longer than that, while we are at it. A total punishment to watch.

The jokes were so lame in this, and not one brought forth even so much as a smile from me or my husband. It was deadpan all the way and checking the time more often than not. I know, stupid, we are completists and just sat through it and had regrets. I watch terrible movies because it is fun to write about after the fact, and you all know I have seen some really bad ones over the years.

Anyway, not even Ryan Reynolds could save this, and even a healthy dose of Samuel L. Jackson did nothing to cushion the blows from this. Lame, embarrassing, littered with crappy action sequences and horrendous dialogue, the plot is also just stupid and has no kick to make it worthwhile. It is predictable and messy, that’s all there is to it. Reynolds and Jackson work together, but it just isn’t enough for this wreck.

Yes, I disliked The Hitman’s Bodyguard immensely. That it had a decent cast attached to it and still managed to fail is not shocking, but I honestly didn’t think it would be quite so bad. But it is. It’s long, bloated, badly written and comes together poorly, I would say give this movie a wide berth, you won’t be missing anything at all.

March Blind Spot: True Romance (1993)

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true romance poster

“You just said you love me, now if I say I love you and just throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may and you’re lying to me I’m gonna fuckin’ die.”
– Clarence Worley

SYNOPSIS: A lonely pop culture fan falls in love with a call girl and accidentally takes drugs from her pimp. The two go on the run to Los Angeles to sell the drugs and live happily ever after. Only they don’t know that Sicilian mafia and LAPD are after the drugs. – via IMDB

true romance

GRADE 7.5Man, can’t believe it took me so long to watch this! I had a total blast. This movie is so… crazy… yes, that’s the word. It is littered with trademark Tarantino dialogue, so naturally it is awesome to listen to. Not only that, it is carried by an impressive cast, too, who all do a great job. Given that, I do feel that they were rather underused at the best of times. The score is something that stands out, too, because it is so quirky, but it fits with the movie completely. The story is just balls to the wall silly, yet you are engaged from the off, and I was super interested to see how this whirlwind relationship between Alabama and Clarence would work out. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all. The movie was entertaining and shot well, and carried by some solid performances. It wasn’t too long, either, just long enough to share the story with the audience, get you in, and not skip over too much, but never long enough to bore you. I really wish there had been more of Brad Pitt’s stoner Floyd, and I thought Gandolfini was excellent here – the scene with him and Arquette was fantastic, too. The film was fast, unusual (though nothing not seen before), and came together very well. Tarantino really is a masterful storyteller. Arquette and Slater also worked wonders together, playing off each other, and you could buy into their loopy little relationship, purely because it seemed to work so well for them. True Romance is a fantastical tale that is entertaining and endearing at the same time, smart and witty, and is well worth a watch should you ever come across it. It definitely won’t be a waste of your time.

Review: Lawless (2012)

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lawless poster

“It is not the violence that sets men apart, alright, it is the distance that he is prepared to go.”
– Forrest Bondurant

SYNOPSIS: Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits. – via IMDB

GRADE 9The movie was absolutely great. Truly brilliant. I know that a lot of people take issue with certain things in it, but I cannot tell you how I get when I sit down to watch Lawless. I am like a giddy child that got to pick out anything I wanted to watch. I can’t count anymore how many times I have seen this since the first time, but it gets better and better.

lawless did you pull a gun

The cast is absolutely phenomenal, and carried this story, and each and every one of the actors and actresses in this is excellent. Tom Hardy is amazing. We all know that I adore the man, and Lawless is no exception. The man is a master and well worth watching – always. His portrayal of Forrest Bondurant is impressive. Guy Pearce is beyond reprehensible and Rakes truly gets under your skin. I have always admired Jason Clarke, but this is where I fell in love with him – Howard is insane, loyal, jaded, cuckoo crazy. Shia LaBeouf should be commended for his role of the youngest Bondurant brother, Jack. Why? Because, as cooked as he may be in real life, he is a solid and consistent actor. I thought he and Mia Wasikowska had lovely chemistry, and they played off of each other nicely. Bertha is just too damned sweet for words. Then I have got to talk about Dane DeHaan. I am a junkie, we all know this, and his portrayal of Cricket is wonderful. He is a character we all fell in love with, whom we adore because you cannot help but like Cricket, and it is easy to understand why he is favouried. Lastly, but certainly not least, there is Jessica Chastain. Beautiful, regal, Red. The moment she stepped onto the scene the Bondurants had no idea what was going on anymore, and I love how awkward the brothers could get around her.

I love the way the film was shot, it is beautiful and engaging, and the plot progression could not have been done better – not too long, not skipped over, every part is given sufficient time to make itself comfortable and relay the epic story of the bootlegging brothers. The score is perfectly suited, and I had such a blast with the humour in the film too. There is some heavy violence, but no violence just to be nasty. It all serves a purpose. I think by this write up you can tell that I am a huge fan of this and think that this film has a lot going for it, and I would highly recommend checking it out!

Rapid Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

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The Dark Knight Rises poster

Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”
– Bane

dark knight rises bane plane

GRADE 8.5This was a brilliant way to conclude a brilliant trilogy! I know that Luke and I don’t necessarily see completely eye to eye on this one, but I still think it is really good. At least we can agree that this trilogy is a stroke of utter genius. Plus, Tom Hardy as Bane. I mean come on, like that wasn’t going to go down phenomenally. Tom Hardy was just an amazing Bane, and his role was simply flawless. Nolan again nailed that perfect mix in the villain, where you wanted to know more about him and see what he was going to do, but still held out that Batman would save the day. Christian Bale is, again, just the most perfect Bruce Wayne/Batman. Seriously. The way he embodies both the billionaire playboy and the Dark Knight? It’s awesome. However, as much as this movie got right, I am not going to pretend there weren’t flaws. The pacing was a little uneven, and there was some incredibly flawed logic thrown in here. For instance, I get that John Blake is intuitive and all, but just guessing Batman’s identity right off the bat was just too much for me, and there is also the issue with Bane knowing exactly where Applied Sciences was, though it is apparently “not on the books” anywhere, and not public knowledge. Also, I am not a fan of Anne Hathaway, and her Catwoman/Selina Kyle is someone that grows on you after multiple viewings, but is still not a character I enjoy a lot at all. Yeah, there were a few niggles, but so what? This movie is ridiculously quotable. My fiancé just doesn’t even know what to do with me… walking up staircases and he doesn’t turn on lights? “Ah, you think darkness is your ally.” Threatening someone? No sweat! “It would be extremely painful… for you.” My one colleague and I communicate a lot in Bane quotes (well, any movie quotes). It’s a problem, we know, yet we have absolutely no plans to change that. But truly now, Bane is awesome on so many levels (and so hot here – the ladies will understand this, though it was unexpected)! And there are so many quotes in this movie that beg to be used. One of my favourite things in this movie was the return of the Scarecrow. I adore Cillian Murphy and I am a big fan of his Dr Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. I was thrilled to see him given more screentime this time around as opposed to The Dark Knight. Anyway, The Dark Knight Rises is another solid outing from Nolan, is really fun even though it is flawed, and closes one of the greatest trilogies of all time off properly. Go watch these all again immediately. Go on.

PS: I just remembered now – this movie was totally worth every second of my two week self-enforced internet ban prior to its release (I hate getting things late in SA)! It still remains a running joke, and Natasha still can’t believe I underwent something like that for a movie.

Rapid Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

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The Dark Knight movie Poster

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it!”
– The Joker

SYNOPSIS: Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. – via IMDB

the joker hidark knight truck flip

GRADE 10I get the same thrill every single time I watch it, without fail. Yes, let me rave about it some more. This is truly another masterpiece from Christopher Nolan, and everything was just as it was supposed to be. The cast was fantastic (again), and Heath Ledger brought so much to the table with his performance, though it was heartrendingly his last. The day he died we really did lose one of the greats and I will always maintain this. Hans Zimmer composes us a beautiful and perfect score for this, and it only makes everything you see that much more amazing. He truly is a phenomenal composer, and adds so much to all the projects that he works on. I love that this was also not a simple plot, and it was constantly being changed up. This is the Joker, after all. Nolan gets the villain thing. Again, we know Batman must triumph, but the Joker is so mesmerizing you want to give him free reign of Gotham and just see him tear to it to the ground. The Joker thrives on chaos, no more, no less, and I think The Dark Knight captured that perfectly. The effects were also incredibly well done, and the cast all came together to give us something to chew on. Aaron Eckhart was so good as Harvey Dent, he was the White Knight of Gotham, he was someone you could back, a man of integrity and honour and nerves of steel, and his descent into the underbelly of Gotham and being thrown from his pedestal was intense and painful to watch, and you can get why he would lose his mind. The movie is infinitely quotable, and there are so many cool little things strewn throughout this (the small tidbits) that make it so great (think the Joker’s vegetable peeler between all his knives). I am still a fan of Christian Bale as Batman, he is fantastic, and he really handled the material well for the film, being torn between fighting for Gotham as well as turning himself in to stop the Joker. Bruce’s relationship with Fox is still one of those fantastic ones. I was also a fan of the brief sighting of the Scarecrow, because you all know how much I loved Cillian Murphy in that one. There is so much to rave about in this movie… the action, the script, the performances, the score, the effects, truly. It is a phenomenal watch, and remains my favourite of the bunch just because it is so chaotic, crazy and out there.

Rapid Review: Batman Begins (2005)

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Batman Begins Poster

“There is nothing to fear, but fear itself!”
– Scarecrow

SYNOPSIS: After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it. – via IMDB

batmanbatman begins lighter

GRADE 9The movie was simply amazing, with great cinematography as well as a brilliant score. This is one of my favourite origin stories, if not my most favourite. I know they have been done to death, but let’s face it, not quite the way that Nolan has done it. The man is a master, and he revolutionized the way we perceived the Batman films after they were butchered by Joel Schumacher. Nolan’s casting choices were dead on. Michael Caine is a perfect Alfred and Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon is a solid, trusty character. Christian Bale is my favourite Batman because he manages to pull of both Bruce Wayne and the caped crusader, which is something a lot of actors fail to do. ore often than not in superhero movies the actor can either pull off his identity or the alter ego, but so few times are they a success at both. He is pitted against the awesome Scarecrow, and Cillian Murphy was freaking perfect here, he plays the role so well. You cannot forget about Liam Neeson’s Ra’s al Ghul because he was truly a formidable enemy to have. Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox is a character that I thoroughly enjoy. The confused love story between Bruce and Rachel is very sad, too. Never overplayed, never not there. I think that the humour that is put forth in this movie is exactly what it has to be: not enough to make it a comedy, but not so greatly lacking that there is nothing but insurmountable drama. The humour that is laced throughout this is hilarious and gets me giggling good and proper, which is fun. The plot is put together well, and manages to stand on its own, and is definitely more than your average hollow action flick. If you have not watched it, where have you been?! For those who have watched it, watch it again and again! A Christopher Nolan Batman marathon is worth it each and every time. The length of the movie was just right, with plenty time to tell us Bruce’s story as well as take us through the motions of becoming the Batman. It did not feel long or dragged out anywhere, so well done! There is so much great stuff going on for this movie, from the awesome score from Hans Zimmer, to the great performances from the cast, a fantastic story and plenty action that looked fantastic… you can’t help but love this movie!

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Caesar-poster

“If we go to war, we could lose all we’ve built.”
– Caesar

SYNOPSIS: A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. – via IMDB

GRADE 8.5finally got to see this movie, and I have been excited about it for the longest time. Ironically, I know, I was über sceptical about its predecessor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but after seeing it I was transformed into a fan, no to ways about it. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen since Caesar led the apes away from imprisonment, into freedom. I wanted to know what would happen after that ALZ-113 spread, that virus that makes the apes exceptionally smart but kills off the people. Let me tell you, the watch was well worth the wait.

The effects were simply amazing for this film, the CGI was something else. It was just gorgeous. The portrayals, too, were phenomenal, and Andy Serkis again simply owned the show in his role of Caesar. Again, the friendship between him and Maurice is so cool, they are such great friends. Caesar and the apes truly did build their little piece of happiness, their own home, settling into regular roles, very humanlike. Koba was a brilliant character, and his hatred and motivations are completely understandable, even though they are totally opposite from Caesar, whom we can also understand on the other end. It shows that each and every experience is subjective. Jason Clarke was great as Malcolm, though I must admit I was disappointed by how small a role Gary Oldman actually helmed at the end of the day.

The movie also managed to balance some complex and dramatic material, but also had a few things to smile at and laugh about throughout the film, which lightened it from time to time. The relationships and how they change between the humans and one another, the apes and one another, and then both groups towards each other is quite something. I feel that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gave a good look at both the humans and the apes, and both their sides and their feelings. They each had nice characters, and both had nasty characters, so no party was purely innocent or completely wrong, and it is bad to see what some people will do with some power.

The emotions that were put forth were complex, delving into many different aspects, from the humans side as well as the apes, and you can identify with both sides, though there is no doubt that the perception is almost skewed more in favour of the apes. Koba’s character was extensively used, and properly so. The movie was shot well and beautiful to look at. The scenes were the apes go to war, ultimately, captured the essence of confusion and fear perfectly. This movie was excellent, and well worth the praise it receives, it came together wonderfully.

The Potter Perceptions: The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

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harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban

This was the one film that I was truly not looking forward to checking out, but that Eric got pretty damned excited over after having seen Gravity and had his mind blown. We were at total odds with this one, and that is exactly what these posts were supposed to be about. Eric is gradually warming, and I am progressively cooling, though no matter what I feel about the movies, I am having a total blast with this whole theme!

azkaban

I was actually excited to see this one since it’s directed by Alfonso Cuaron (who did Gravity if you’re not aware) so when it got here I popped it in and… this started off pretty dumb with that family he lives with yelling at him and the aunt coming over and him blowing her up like a balloon. Then she flies off in to the atmosphere and I was all REALLY?? So he runs away from home and gets on a magical bus with a shrunken, wise cracking head of some Jamaican and they speed off through the streets. So I was really thinking “Well, we all get better with age and practice” and prepared myself for another two and a half hours of mediocrity.

But then this thing started to get good when they introduced those black ghost prison guard things and I was starting to believe in the acting and the story. I think, after three of these, these characters aren’t little kids any longer so – despite being a fantasy – the stories are more believable with teenagers, rather than seeing a bunch of little kids flying around on broomsticks.

Anyway, this movie was very dark and the special effects and settings were fantastic and Cuaron was establishing his loooooooooong shots and I was really kind of liking it. And then they added the time travel aspect and I started to LOVE it. I LOVE good time travel movies, especially when people are looking at what they were doing in the past, like in TIMECRIMES (highly recommended by the way). It shows me that the director really planned this out well. Any asshole can make a movie and then go add in some time travel and then just “super impose” the same character in the same scene later – but this and TIMECRIMES is how good time travel works. I loved it!

I’m not saying I loved the entire movie, since there’s the usual melodrama and some guy looks like a rat and it seems Pooter is always about to die and luckily someone saves his life but this was pretty enjoyable and I REALLY enjoyed the time travel bits. Cuaron is a total stud! I also liked it when Hermione punched that shitty blond kid in the face!

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The good:

  • Harry’s hair. Finally, they are getting it to stick up a bit more, though the messiness is inconsistent throughout.
  • The Dementors. They were pretty creepy for what they were, though I thought what was under the hood was such a damn let down, and not as bad as you would hope.
  • Hagrid’s hairy brown suit. It was excellent; exactly what I always pictured it to be.
  • Gary Oldman. I know he was underused in this movie series, but Gary Oldman was great for Sirius, and did the character justice.
  • Peter Pettigrew. Timothy Spall did a good job, and looked every bit the rat he portrayed.
  • David Thewlis. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him as Remus Lupin, skulking around Hogwarts, offering advice, the whole thing. He had the demeanour of a werewolf trying to fit into society down, and his odd behaviour makes sense when that cat is let out of the bag.
  • The directing. It looked good and felt good, even though the script was a bloody awful affair (and the CGI went a bit  ballistic at times), the way that it was shot was not bad.

The bad:

  • The Knight Bus sucked. I mean talking heads and just… I think that is what it was. The exterior was perfectly acceptable.
  • Tom at the Leaky Cauldron. A stupid, retarded cripple? Since when?
  • Marge and the rage Harry felt towards her was not adequately explained.
  • Harry doing magic. At night? When I last checked, it was illegal.
  • Questionable movie effects. Damn, these were just incredibly dodgy. Nothing magical about them.
  • Headless Hunt. What the hell are they even doing here?
  • Harry actually getting a turn at the Boggart and it being a Dementor. Harry was not allowed near the Boggart seeing as Lupin feared that it would become a full-fledged Lord Voldemort and terrorize the students.
  • The Dementors. Their effects were not sufficiently explained, and the way they sucked at people and stuff was just… no.
  • The Firebolt. Only arriving at the end? Really now?
  • Floating candy. What the hell?! What is the point of being invisible when you will walk the candy around town in mid-air?
  • Ron and Hermione’s relationship. Being hinted at so early and quickly? Pffffft.
  • Sirius Black. No adequate explanation for why he is so terrifying or that he and James were inseparable at school.
  • Harry seeing Pettigrew on Maruader’s Map. Harry was never supposed to know about Pettigrew prior to the Shrieking Shack.
  • Screwing with the past. Harry and Hermione messed with way too much when they went into the past – Harry was the only one that was supposed to change one thing, and that was the Dementor attack.
  • Lupin as a werewolf. Pffffft. The effects were dreadful as well as his appearance and how he morphed. His actions were also ridiculous, and that it was not shown that Sirius was big enough as Padfoot to keep up with Lupin’s werewolf form, instead they dwarfed him.
  • Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. No explanation that it was the group of friends consisting of Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter, or that they were the creators of the map.
  • The screenwriters. They should have been shot.

So there, I have now wrapped up three. You know, I maintain that this is where it all went wrong. I mean the movies were by no stretch impressive, but this is sort of where they just decided “fuck it” and discarded the source material. I am a huge fan of The Prisoner of Azkaban (the book), so to watch it be desecrated like this was unacceptable (yep, gonna have me another little nerd rage). I was pretty sad with this one seeing as this was really an incredibly enjoyable story, but I just feel that the film did not do it the justice it could have, and I put that purely onto the screenwriters, and the incredibly awkward place everyone’s acting was in.