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: 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: 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!

Review: Contagion (2011)

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contagion cover

“So we have a virus with no treatment protocol, and no vaccine at this time.”
 – Dr Ellis Cheever

A disease seems to be spreading, and it appears to be nothing too major. A flu, some illness, simple stuff. Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minneapolis to her husband Mitch (Matt Damon) and son Clark (Griffin Kane). She seems ill, and as such stays home from work. Soon, though, Mitch is called to his son’s school to collect him seeing as he is ill. Blogger/reporter Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) has stumbled upon the story and wants to make it known to the world, but is told that there is no reason to cause a panic, and is turned away. Soon after, the death toll begins, and it makes the news eventually. People are starting to panic; it seems to be spreading rapidly.

contagion matt damon

“It’s figuring us out faster than we’re figuring it out.” – Dr Ally Hextall

Mitch is placed in isolation after his wife and son die, and his daughter Jory (Anna Jacoby-Heron) soon joins him to check up on him, not having been home when the contagion spread. He seems to be immune to the disease. In an attempt to leave the city, he learns that there is a quarantine in place for everyone, and that nobody is allowed to leave. Dr Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention meets with people from the Department of Homeland Security, and they want a game plan. The disease is suspected to be a bioweapon, and Cheever puts Dr Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), an Epidemic Intelligence Service, on the case, and wants her to investigate the disease and its origins, how it spreads, etc. The disease is spreading around rapidly now, and Dr Mears is having an issue getting local bureaucrats to put money into the project.

CONTAGION

“Don’t talk to anyone! Don’t touch anyone!” – Dr Erin Mears

Dr Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle) at the CDC isolates the virus base, seeing that it is a mix of material from pig and bat viruses. However, now that she knows what the issue is, there is still the problem of finding a way to create an antivirus, and soon. The world’s population is rapidly diminishing. Fear runs rampant throughout the globe, and soon the societies fall into disarray. Mitch puts him and his daughter under lockdown and refuse to see anyone in fear of her getting infected, and is trying to deal with the fact that his wife and son are dead and that she cheated on him prior to dying. Dr Cheever is fending off everyone that is harassing him for answers. Meanwhile, things are getting so crazy out there that doctors are being kidnapped and held ransom for antiviruses, wanting them first. Among them is World Health Organization epidemiologist Dr Leonora Orantes (Marion Cottilard), who is taken to a little village and instructed to teach the children while they wait. Krumwiede is causing stirs when he is scaring the population with his conspiracy theories and personal opinions, taking many people for a ride now that he has the power to do so.

contagion marion cottillard kidnap

“Right now our best defence has been social distancing.” – Dr Ellis Cheever

Will anyone be able to isolate the strains of the virus that are so deadly and create a vaccine? Will the world be able to recover from the epidemic that they are suffering? Will societies be able to rebuild after human nature snaps out of its social norms and runs rampant?

GRADE 6.5The concept was alright – unknown disease spreading rapidly, hopping continents even and working fast to knock the human population on its ass – well done. It is not something anyone wants to contemplate. How do you escape it? How do you stay safe? What if you become infected? The implementation was alright, though there were so many things left unanswered, so many leaps and bounds with no explanation and a lot of moments of lull. It was interesting, just failed to hold you from the beginning to the end, but it kept you watching, just not always so much on the edge of your seat. The cast was very good though, and managed to keep you interested from the off, each of them playing their roles incredibly well. There was a lot going on, and being able to see the entire story from a lot of different points of view was worth it – you understand what they are going through, their action and how they are struggling through things, so from the average person to the businessman to the person that is working to fight the disease, everyone is together on it. Also watching how people react to the unknown and how easy it is for the world to fall into disruption and chaos due to fear and the unfamiliar is insane. Jude Law’s character started off with a purpose, but that soon dissipated, and his role soon became an annoyance and a bit of a mystery (and no, not the good kind, either). Worth checking it, it was a decent film in its own right, though drastically flawed and filled with lull.

Hannibal: Season 1 (2013)

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hannibal season 1 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Everything. I am not even kidding, this is sheer television perfection.
  • The dark sense of humour. That is really nasty to say, but it is true. It is messed up but perfectly executed, never tastelessly.
  • The cast. Really, they all did fantastic work with what they were given and they are engaging every step of the way.
  • How graphic the crime scenes are. I was totally not expecting it, but it could never be a story about Hannibal Lecter without bringing in all the nasty, and I must admit that Hannibal does not hold back any punches when it shows you a killer, a crime scene, a murder, nothing. Refreshing, as bad as that may sound.
  • Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. There could not be two more perfect people to play opposite one another as Will and Hannibal, truly. Mikkselsen nails the intellectual creepy dude who “befriends” Will, and Dancy was perfect in portraying Will, a character that is afraid but develops consistently throughout the show, and has a mind that is simply fascinating, and you can understand why Hannibal is drawn in the way that he is.
  • The “friendship” between Hannibal and Will. It is so disturbing, like you know it is all wrong and that Hannibal is observing Will for his own selfish needs, but on the other hand you wish they could have a genuine friendship, no murder in between. Alas, some things will never be.
  • Will Graham’s continuous character development. It never stops, and he is so layered.
  • The cases are so bizarre, yet each and every one of them reveals some extra plot to the show, it is so interesting to watch.
  • The show just looks gorgeous – it is shot well and the colour palette used is perfect for this.
  • The throwbacks to the movies and books. Truly, I love it!
  • The way Hannibal’s mind works. It is truly ingenious, and the way he uses it, too, it fascinating. It never gets old, though it is disturbing as hell.
  • The costume design. Wow, really. I am looking here especially at the suits, and how distinctly different Will and Hannibal are. I know we keep coming back to them, but let’s face it, this whole show is about them and their dangerous dance.

hannibal mushroooms crime scene

What I didn’t like:

  • If I really, truly need to put something in here it would probably be Freddie Lounds. Not because Lara Jean Chorostecki did a bad job, but because she is such a bitch and has absolutely no morals. Bad, bad, bad.

hannibal chesapeake ripper

Rating:
GRADE 9This was such a perfect example of a brilliant first season. This show truly exceeded my expectations beyond any belief that I had. I was overly sceptical of a Hannibal series, seeing as in my eyes the movies were wonderful, and Sir Anthony Hopkins owns the role. Now, nothing has changed in my opinion of Hopkins being the best Hannibal Lecter of all time, but I have to give Mads Mikkelsen credit. He is a totally different kind of Hannibal, and brings exactly to the table what is required for this show. He is so dark and straightforward, creepy and incredibly smart and manipulative. He was truly wonderful to watch. The humour was so damn dark in here when it came to things such as his dinner parties (it was inappropriate, but I thought it was funny how he would pick a recipe out of a box and then a business card for the corresponding victim for the meal) as well as when he spoke to his guests about characteristics of the victims that have been served. Hugh Dancy was also quite the surprise as Will Graham, and he played the role very well. I was impressed with the cast in general, and the constant back and forth between Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller amused me. Freddie Lounds was a true pain in my toe at the very best of times, relentless and underhanded. Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford was also well done, and he really is such an inconsiderate man at the best of times, then on the others he is not so harsh and bad. A very contradictory character, but great to watch. The way the events unfold is also gripping, and will keep you hooked from beginning until end. Everything is subtle, but not overly so, but not too in your face, and you need to watch to know what is going on. Will’s spiral into some form of mental illness and a severe setup is simply gripping to experience. The crime scenes are incredibly graphic in this show, which was completely unexpected. I have watched a lot of television shows for serial killers and procedural crime shows, but they always hold back on the brutality of things. This show? No qualms. This show is truly a great way to execute something that was once film. There are things in common, and at other times it is vastly different, but each carrying their own merits. The cinematography and settings are breathtaking in this show, and everything about it works. The lighting, the sound, the portrayals, the score that constantly keeps you creeped out and on edge and random scenes just worked in, too… Hannibal is one of those shows that simply cannot be missed!

hannibal please don't lie to me