Review: John Wick 3: Parabellum (2019)

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“Are services still off limit to me?”
– John Wick

SYNOPSIS: Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere. – via IMDB

Okay, so this is something I have been looking forward to since John Wick 2, because I love the hell out of these movies. The first John Wick blew my mind, and I have been hooked ever since. We hopped off to see this on opening weekend and, naturally, had a good time.

John Wick 3 is teeming with action. The movie picks up immediately after the conclusion of the last movie, and it never really slows down in between. There is an absolutely fantastic knife fight in the beginning that I had a really good time with. Later, we also have Halle Berry and her badass dogs knocking about, and it all works. Obviously this movie is beautiful to look at, they have all been. Story wise, it offers more than its predecessor, but again, it only hints and plays at things, it does not necessarily get into the nitty gritty.

A complaint I do have is that the villain John is set against in this. I feel that Zero was really flat. As a fighting opponent, it was great to watch the two of them go each other, but I was not really sold on anything the moment he opened his mouth. The humour fell flat and was cringy and verbal interactions between Zero and John just totally pulls you out of the experience every time. I also feel that Asia Kate Dillon’s Adjudicator was also a rather wasted character. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Broyles Lance Reddick featuring in this (again) and totally owning his screen time. Always delivering on the laugh. Al Winston is also back in full swing, and I really feel that Ian McShane is hands down the best actor that could have been chosen to play him.

Anyway, John Wick 3: Parabellum is a worthy addition to the franchise, what with fantastic action sequences, a good score, fun humour and visually pretty, it is well worth a look see.

Sporadic Scene: John Wick (2014) – Club Scene

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Alright, you all know that I am an exceptional John Wick junkie. Every single thing about that movie just works perfectly. The more I watch it, the more I love it. It doesn’t get old. It was super stylish and looked fantastic and it was shot so well and, well, Keanu Reeves. For real. One of the most amazing scenes for me is when John Wick goes to the Red Circle to find Iosef, and everything that followed from there was pure adrenaline, pure awesome. I absolutely adore the way that colour is used in John Wick – everything has this washed out, dark look, but when the colour is brought in? We are talking neons. And John Wick himself is badass and calculated to boot. He kept his calm the entire way through the club, and he is just so hardcore. And cold. So cold. Constantly reloading and constantly kicking ass, John Wick is the man to beat, and I think Iosef finally realised the reason Wick is called the Baba Yaga. Plus the track that played throughout the scene is eerily perfect.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Sporadic Scene: The Matrix (1999) – Lobby Shootout

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This is one of those scenes that just never gets old, no matter how many times you see it. Trinity and Neo marching in to save Morpheus was one of those things that was a stroke of sheer brilliance. They were on a mission, they were prepared, they were ruthless, merciless, and wrecked that lobby to achieve their objective, and it is thrilling to watch them go for it. The implementation of this scene is flawless – the choreography, the music, the visuals? Awesome.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Rapid Review: Knock Knock (2015)

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knock knock poster

“I’m an architect, so obviously I believe in things happening by your own design.”
– Evan Webber

SYNOPSIS: When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse. – via IMDB

knock knock headphones

GRADE 4Well, yeah. I got to see this, something I have been looking forward to. Primarily for Keanu Reeves, let’s not even joke. Okay, well, Keanu Reeves and a horror film? Sold. Well, I got to see this, and it just… had more potential? It started off well enough, and then devolved into something crazy. My fiancé and I were just sitting there, hoping for an explanation so that it would give the movie some reason, some meaning. Instead, when the opportunity came to give us meaning, the ball was dropped. Right off, let me just say that those bitches were annoying as hell. Lorenzo Izzo’s Genesis and Ana de Armas’s Bel got on my absolute last nerve. Maybe that is because they were too good at what they did. I don’t know. I was just annoyed as hell watching them. Knock Knock is cheesy, too, and not the good kind, either. I mean I did not expect a masterpiece going in  here, the trailer already showed it was going to be a little ridiculous and all, but I did not realise that it would be so wasted. The performances were perfectly fine – everyone delivered exactly what they were supposed to and Reeves was really good – something totally different from usual, and it was shot quite well, but aside from that? The plot was all over the show and inconsistent, the characters were annoying, we are waiting for a reason, a motive, that just never makes an appearance, and there are places to make you cringe in here. I am alright with a horror comedy/some cheese (we all know this), but Knock Knock just didn’t deliver on those fronts like I was hoping it would. Obviously I was not expecting John Wick or Constantine, but I was expecting more than I got here. I think that Roth should have stuck to his more gory/horror/tension things. I know he is going for something different, but there was certainly something missing here. Maybe this is a learning curve for him, I suppose we will see.

Rapid Review: The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

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the matrix revolutions poster

“Why, Mr. Anderson? Why, why? Why do you do it? Why, why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting… for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. Temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose.” 
Agent Smith

SYNOPSIS: The human city of Zion defends itself against the massive invasion of the machines as Neo fights to end the war at another front while also opposing the rogue Agent Smith. – via IMDB

matrix trinity gun

GRADE 7So many complaints about this movie. So many. Now, neither of these sequels reached the heights of the original film, let’s not deny that, but they were alright. However, you all know what complaints I had with Reloaded, and there were many. As for Revolutions? I thought it was actually really entertaining, and a pretty good way to end the trilogy, even though there were some loose ends. I liked the fighting scenes in here more (they didn’t look as “soft”), I enjoyed the story more (there actually was more of a point to what was going on), and I liked the fact that there wasn’t such a massive sexual component in here (it was so unnecessary in Reloaded). The story also seemed tighter and flowed better. I wish that this final movie had been more of an equal to the original one, but I honestly do not think for one second that it deserves the hate that is spouted at it. It was entertaining, shot well, looked good, had Keanu Reeves in it, some wicked outfits and decent effects, so it had everything an action movie needed. It is not good as a standalone film, as I intensely doubt that anyone could have made heads of tails out of what was going on without the backing of the previous two films, and that is fine. That final fight between Agent Smith and Neo was simply fantastic, and I really loved the look when they were fighting each other with that green backdrop of windows. I could not find a gif of it anywhere, but it really looked good. The score was still a little too techno, but less in your face as the last one. I honestly loved Trinity and Neo together, and I still lament the fact that more time was not spent developing their relationship more to give it more bite than it has. I was riveted by the story, and it had ups and downs, of course, but it was concluding one hell of a story, and I think that the Wachowskis handled it relatively well. If you haven’t watched the Matrix movies in a while, I would highly recommend taking the time and doing a marathon of them!

Rapid Review: The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

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the matrix reloaded poster

“Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.” 
– Merovingian

SYNOPSIS: Neo and the rebel leaders estimate that they have 72 hours until 250,000 probes discover Zion and destroy it and its inhabitants. During this, Neo must decide how he can save Trinity from a dark fate in his dreams. – via IMDB

matrix reloaded morpheus twins fight

GRADE 7I get that this is regarded as the better of the two sequels, but I am not so sure about that, to be honest. For one… there is just so much CGI. And not like a lot of movies, where there is CGI and you can forgive it, this is just in excess and in your face all the time. Reloaded just looks so fake in so many places, and that is highly disappointing. Especially after the last phenomenal piece of cinema we got, this is just a step down. I was not a fan of the heavy techno soundtrack, and there was just far too large a sexual component to this movie than there needed to be. Also, there were many scenes laced throughout here that were unnecessary and time consuming. A complaint my fiancé had was that the fight scenes all looked “soft” – nobody seemed to be getting into a real fight, things were too gentle and relied on a lot of low gravity and nothing really happening, but fists constantly being swung, you get what he means? What I did like though were those two creepy white albino twin things. They were interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed the way they fought and morphed and moved. Something I have always wished about the Matrix movies is that they had focused just a little more on the relationship between Neo and Trinity, making it more real and understandable for us. Instead, their love story is something that just happened, no real introduction, no real fleshing out of it, always making it feel slightly less important than it needs to be. I really liked the keymaker, too. The storyline with Agent Smith is actually really cool, and there is so much that can happen from there. Also, the Seraph was incredibly entertaining, definitely a character that I thoroughly enjoy. I need to mention, you know my cape fetish? I have a thing for jackets, too (think my Peter Bishop jacket obsessions). Well, Neo only just has the most badass jackets when he goes into the Matrix. I mean wow. Long, flowy, amazing… yes. I love it. I do. Alright, alright. Moving back to the movie, Reloaded is well worth the watch, continues to tell us more about the story and what is happening since Neo has come to save them all, and is pretty good, though it falls far short of its predecessor, something you cannot but compare it to.

Rapid Review: The Matrix (1999)

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the matrix movie poster

“What is real? How do you define ‘real’? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
– Morpheus

SYNOPSIS: During the year 1999, a man named Thomas Anderson (also known as Neo), lives an ordinary life. A software techie by day and a computer hacker by night, he sits alone at home by his monitor, waiting for a sign, a signal – from what or whom he doesn’t know – until one night, a mysterious woman named Trinity seeks him out and introduces him to that faceless character he has been waiting for: Morpheus. A messiah of sorts, Morpheus presents Neo with the truth about his world by shedding light on the dark secrets that have troubled him for so long. – via IMDB

the matrix red and blue pills

GRADE 9I’ve actually been itching to rewatch these for a while now, and there was no better time to do it than when the trilogy went on sale recently from my favourite online retailer. Whoop! It was time. I talked my fiancé into it (surprisingly easy) and we were off on our adventure. Wow! This movie is great! Totally understandable why it is so loved. It is just plain down super cool. The effects are amazing, especially if you are looking at the release date, the actors all worked together to pull of something different, unique, awesome, and they did it properly. This is one of those instances where Keanu Reeves just nailed it. You all know I am a fan, through the good times and the bad. His portrayal of Neo was just perfect – he didn’t believe too fast, he went along with it in a sense (as Morpheus cleverly likened it to a man accepting what he sees because he believes he is in a dream) and watching how he changed was well worth it. His interactions with Fisburne’s Morpheus and Moss’s Trinity were so good. He grew attached to these people, to their hopes and dreams, he took them on. Let’s not even forget about Hugo Weaving and his wickedly strange and creepy Agent Smith. He fitted that role and worked it fantastically. The Matrix is famous for some of the most revolutionary action sequences of all time (we have all seen that bullet time back bend dodge of Neo and jump up slow motion kick of Trinity in so many places since, and it is the one thing we all remember about the movie years later, even if the other details have faded). There is humour to the film, but it is dark and used sparingly, making it all the more effective. I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack (Zombie and Manson??? Heaven I tell you!) and I think it all worked very well. I am a big fan of the story and how it was implemented – slowly but surely you are given all the information, it isn’t all dumped on you at once, though there is still a lot of information to process. The Matrix is shot well, and it is easy to get sucked in and lost in the story that you are given. The Wachowskis created a gem when they gave us this film, and even after all these years it’s a great, innovative watch. Highly recommended for sure!

Rapid Review: Constantine (2005)

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constantine poster

“What if I told you that God and the devil made a wager, a kind of standing bet for the souls of all mankind?”
– John Constantine

SYNOPSIS: The story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to Hell and back. When Constantine teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost. – via IMDB

constantine hell

GRADE 7.5This is a movie that really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be, and I thought that Keanu Reeves was, in actual fact, cast really well for the role. I thought that the way the movie was laid out was decent, and the story itself was cool, too, though there were some inconsistencies and plot holes. That plagues most movies though. I have a soft spot for this. Constantine really is the most bizarre and hardcore exorcist, and he is hell bent on enforcing the balance. The cast was also good, and even Rachel Weisz didn’t get on my nerves or anything. Constantine boasts some insane cheese, but it works absolute wonders here. The war that was described in the movie between Heaven and Hell was interesting, and the way that Hell looked was impressive, too. I didn’t think the effects were awful or anything, especially when taking into consideration how long ago this was made. Keanu Reeves rocked the white shirt, black tie, black pants, severe smoker and tortured soul thing – so good at being deadpan – I really thought he was well suited, despite what so many other people have to say. There is just insane amounts of fun to be had with this movie, really. It has a cult following for a reason. It had cheese in the right places, humour, too, and a solid cast to carry it. The effects weren’t bad and the progression was exactly what it needed to be. The movie manages to introduce us to Constantine and his world before immersing itself in the battle between Heaven and Hell adequately, so that we are not thrown into the deep end and left floundering. Also, I need to make mention of the tease that Constantine was in this… I mean if I were Angela I would have flipped out with his lingering and never doing more. The frustration. Poor woman. Anyway, if you haven’t seen Constantine, I think it is well worth looking into and a good time to boot, just don’t take it too seriously, you will ruin the experience for yourself. Oh, and embrace the cheese.