Review: ‘Jurassic World’

Jurassic-World-Poster                I have been reading a lot about Chris Pratt being a Christian and or a conservative lately.  This could be true, and according to his quoting of Scriptures on his Facebook account and his talk of divine intervention and restored faith in God after a scare with the birth of his son, I hope so.  But I am worried this will be another one of those Christian conservative overreaches that could back fire when he comes out claiming that their take on what he said is completely wrong.  Don’t get me wrong, if true, fantastic. I am a huge fan of his and have been since Wanted.  Not just for his acting and comedic skills but also for his reported family beliefs, hard work ethic and general nice guy attitude.  Weird intro for a review on his latest film Jurassic World but his presence made the film a must see for me.  Does he put yet another step away from one of televisions best characters, Andy Dwyer and move closer to incredibly popular leading man.  Will he be what movie fans have wanted for years amidst the metrosexual depressed heroes of the last decade?  A no nonsense tough guy with a heart?  Oh, and is the “reboot” of a promising franchise good also?

                It’s been twenty years since the disaster that was Jurassic Park, but John Hammonds dream still lives with the much more successful Jurassic World.  Two brothers, Zack (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) are on their way to Jurassic World to have fun and visit their aunt.  Their aunt is Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who also happens to be the operations manager for the park.  On the day of the boys arrival, Claire has to try and sell a new attraction, the Indominus Rex, a new genetically enhanced dinosaur to potential investors.  The parks owner, Simon (Irrfan Kahn) has asked her to work with Owen (Chris Pratt) a former military serviceman who now works as the parks Velociraptor trainer.  The new creation escapes during their inspection and starts to wreak havoc on the island and heads toward the main attractions where over twenty thousand visitors walk, unaware of the danger coming their way.

                This is true summer blockbuster fair that is an incredibly fun time at the movies.  Characters that are identifiable, you care and root for.  Pratt is awesome as the tough guy here, but he is also well matched with incredible chemistry with the always lovely Howard.  The kids this time aren’t as annoying as the first film.  Although the angsty older brother grates on you until they get into dangerous territory where we see his older brotherly instincts kick in.  The addition of Kahn is welcome as he is charming, funny and is missed once he leaves the movie.  Even though D’onofrio plays the cookie cutter bad guy, it’s still Vincent D’onofrio.  The editing and pace is pretty well put together and the action is one of the films best qualities.  The tension is there and almost to the point of greatness that the first one had.  The final sequence is well worth the price of admission alone.  With only a few instances of low grade movie making, this is an entertaining and energetic film.


                There were two issues with this film that makes it not as great as it should have been.  The first has been talked about throughout any review you read outside of this one and that is the lackluster CGI and lack of practical effects that made the first one awesome.  There are some shots that are downright cringe worthy, that look like old school blue screen effects.  The second issue is even more eye rolling in its effect on the overall story.  Having an overly cocky military man who wants to use the tragedy as a reason to test the capabilities of trained raptors in battle was just liberal story telling ridiculousness.  It’s beyond the ability to suspend disbelief.  It’s laughable that the writers thought this a plausible scenario.  What military man or even military contractor would believe the use of wild animals that haven’t existed for thousands of years, if ever, would be viable in the battle field?  Geez, they learned during WWII that you couldn’t use cats as spy tools, why in the world would anyone think this.  Granted I can’t think of a better way to put a hurdle in front of the success of the protagonists, this is still a dumb idea.  If you are able to ignore these two heavy flaws, like I was, then it’s still a great movie.

                I would caution some parents who want to take their younger children.  Surprisingly there were some pretty violent and very uncomfortable scenes that may give kids some unpleasant dreams.  Other than that there is the usual dinosaur carnage, minimal amounts of blood and some language.  I would highly recommend this one for a weekend showing where you just want to be highly entertained.

3 stars out of 4

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Review: ‘Run All Night’

run all night poster

                Gun control hypocrite Liam Neeson has been on a role for several years being the gun wielding hero/anti-hero.  Though the latest Taken movie did well financially it was a completely horrible film that wasted its potential.  Neeson’s big mouth didn’t help my thoughts on it either.  A Walk Among the Tombstones was also mediocre.  If not for Ed Harris, I’m not sure I would have given this one a second look.  Did it continue the downward spiral of mediocrity for Neeson or was it something that showed he still had something?

                Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) is a washed up former hitman who mooches off his former childhood friend/partner, a corrupt gangster/business man named Shawn (Ed Harris).  Jimmy is haunted by the past and by the faces of the many men he has killed and so he now lives his life drink after drink.  Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) tries to get his dad to join into a drug business with some Albanians and his father declines.  Danny then finds himself in trouble with the Albanians and kills them right in front of Jimmy’s son Michael (Joel Kinnaman).  Jimmy finds out and tries to get his son to keep his mouth shut but is forced to kill Danny himself before Danny kills Michael.  In retaliation for this, Shawn sends a lot of people, including a notorious hitman to kill them both.  Jimmy will do whatever it takes to keep his son safe, even if that means going after his former best friend.

                The acting in Run all Night is pretty solid across the board with Neeson, Kinnaman and especially Harris giving the film the gravitas it needed.  Neeson brings his tough sadness that he showed in The Grey here and it works well for his character.  Kinnamen plays it very well as the jaded son of Neeson’s character.  Holbrook is great as the moronic son of Harris who you just hate from the start and that always shows some good acting in my book.  It’s Harris though that is the best part of the film.  His calm and concise use of the dialogue gives his character that dangerous twinge, that something bad is about to happen any moment, when he is on the screen.  The look of the film is okay, sometimes it’s hard to see what could be going on in the darker scenes, but for the most part everything flows well.  The use of a weird “matrix” style zoom ins and outs did not work very well and seem out of place for this slow burn of a film.


                Again, like most films I review here, there is no new trails blazed with this film.  All of it is a been there done that as far as the start, middle and end of the film.  If it wasn’t for the actors in the roles they were in, this would have been a straight to DVD, late night HBO film that hardly anyone would know about.  Run All Night is your usual dead beat father trying to make amends for the son he let down.  Only this time he’s a dead beat father who just happens to be a former hitman who has to kill people to save his son.  There are several good action sequences that are well worth the watch. 

                This is an entertaining movie using Neeson’s talents for tough guy roles and using him in a different light as the bad guy trying to do good.  Violence and language throughout so be forewarned on that.

3 stars out of 4

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Review: ‘Snowpiercer’

snowpiercer poster

                For a while I didn’t want to see this movie because I knew it was yet another attempt by anti-science liberals to push their gospel of global warming.  Also, it was said to push an occupy Wall Street horse manure narrative of the rich and powerful being only rich white conservatives who cling to their Bible’s and guns.  Well, I kept seeing it on best movies of the year lists and the trailer and the concept itself made me curious.  So I watched it.  So, was it moronic liberal tripe?

                A new ice age has filled the world with eternal snow.  The last of civilization is now placed on a high speed rail forever predestined to travel the world in one big loop.  On the train, those who are poor and deemed unimportant to anything other than menial labor are in the back.  Those deemed as important to the furtherance of the human race are in the front of the train.  Curtis (Chris Evans) is a back of the trainer who has had it with the leadership coming down to his side of the train to oppress him and tell him his place over a loud speaker from Minister Mason (Tilda Swinton).  He and other’s decide to fight their way to the front of the train where the promise of a better life lies.  Each level of the train offers more and more trouble for the group as it gets harder and harder to reach their goal.

                First off, ignoring the moronic anti-science climate change beginning, this is a well-made movie with some great action sequences and cinematic look.  Those two aspects of the film are the best parts of it, meaning the acting isn’t what you come here to see.  That’s not saying that the acting is terrible, it is just one note and not really anything special.  Chris Evans has proven himself to be leading man material and an action star but he doesn’t really stretch any acting muscle here, again, not a bad thing.  The one standout is from Swinton who plays the evil role so cheesy it works and makes her hate her character even more.  Ed Harris brings the other decent role in the film that tries to show the film can be “philosophical” while still being a good action movie.

snowpiercer still

                As for the story, its rather been there done that.  Oppressed get mad about oppression and decide it’s time to end it and the oppressors try to stop them.  Still, the cinematography and action sequences make up for the unoriginal story arch.  How about that liberal message?  It falls flat, very, very flat.  Forgetting the stupid climate change bs, the message that I read in reviews of the oppressors being the conservative thinkers is just downright laughable.  Now, I get that the creators meant that to be true, but they failed, again at least for anyone paying attention and can use their brain.  No liberals, you are the bucked tooth hag at the front of the train yelling at those below you to “know their place.”  You’re the ones who think you are superior and those of you libs that are rich think you know better than everyone else.  You trick the poor and minorities to eat what’s good for them, like this movies protein bars, pretending you care.  You’re the ones brainwashing children into thinking idiotic and immoral things like this films teacher.  Watch this film to see what true liberalism end result is.

                This movie was a good idea with an even better set of action arrangements.  There is a decent amount of violence and some language, so be cautious there those of you who look out for that stuff.

3 stars out of 4

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Quick Reviews

                Here’s a list of a few recent viewings I have gone through lately that I didn’t or didn’t want to review for whatever reason.  Hopefully I can give a short review that may peak your interests to either watch or pass on a film you might have been considering.  There can be a mix of newer/older movies with a few insights.

Married to the Mob


                I remember loving this movie when I was younger.  In some ways it stands the test of time, mostly because of Dean Stockwell, Mercedes Ruehl and Michelle Pfeiffer’s performances.  Matthew Modine is the weak link here.  His performance is just weird, not sure what the plan was with that decision but unfortunately its distracting.  There are some funny bits here and there and the story is interesting enough.  It’s an obscure title form the 80’s but worth a look.  2 and ½ stars out of 4


home poster

                I’m not sure what the creators behind this movie were trying to say with this picture.  The trailer was the only good to come out of it.  While the voice cast is all up for the task and give decent performances, the story is all around boring and probably is another sign of downfall for DreamWorks animation.  DreamWorks has given us some great franchises, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and even Madagascar.  Unfortunately its box office draws have continued to wane.   The Dragon sequel should have done better, it was a good movie, and so was Penguins of Madagascar but when you look at the ticket sales, not much of a return.  This film wasn’t completely awful, it had some laughs, but in the end it is just mundane.  1 and ½ stars out of 4



                I can completely see why people hated this movie, yet I do not count myself as one of them.  Yes, its goofy and all over the place but I believe that was the intent.  This wasn’t going for the golden statue, but wanted to goof on British caper movies and it that decently.  Is it great?  No.  But I did find myself laughing throughout the film.  Initially, with the opening I thought I should just turn it off, but it was worth getting past that initial reaction.  Johnny Depp can do well in comedy and this proves it, if ever so slightly.  The rest of the cast is funny enough and it was great to see Jeff Goldblum show up, no matter how brief.  Funny enough to enjoy one Saturday afternoon on Netflix.  2 and ½ stars out of 4

Batman:  Assault on Arkham


                This was one of the best DC animated films to come out for a long time.  It is instantly interesting after the Ocean’s Eleven style opening.  With an extremely talented voice cast, led by the always incredible Kevin Conroy, the movie flies by.  It’s an entertaining story that is very much adult, so don’t grab your toddler and watch this one with them.  Each character is given enough material to feel fully developed, even if you are going into this one blind and not being a big DC fan/follower.  It even had a little twist I didn’t see coming and I always enjoy that.  This is up there with Batman Mask of the Phantasm, and The Dark Knight Returns.  I hope they can get these high grade films more often than they do and for the love of everything holy, give us a faithful Knightfall adaptation!  3 stars out of 4

Batman vs. Robin


                Who would have thought we would have gotten such a quick turnaround from page to film with the great story arch found in Court of Owls from DC comics Batman series.  While I always understand when creators of comic adaptations will make big cuts for their films, I still wish they would just man up and make the almost 3 hour movie that would be even better and no fan would complain.  As long as it was good at least.  It is unfortunate that here we get another watered down version of a great story that just barely scratches the service of what made the story great.  Its entertaining enough, especially the fight sequences, but it is still lacking.  The voice cast doesn’t really fit outside of Jeremy Sisto who does great as the Talon.  There’s also a surprisingly great vocal performance by Weird Al.  So it’s got that going for it.  2 stars out of 4

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Review: ‘Project Almanac’


                It is very rare that a time travel movie works on all levels.  Last one I saw that was incredible and seemed to tie up loose ends was TimeCrimes.  It seemed so original and very inventive as a story and was a truly smart film.  Back to the Future was great but had a lot of plot holes which is normal when it comes to create an entertaining time travel movies.  Tying up all loose ends, plugging plot holes, etc. can be really hard when it comes to time travel movies.

                David (Jonny Weston) is a graduating senior in high school who is extremely smart.  He has just been accepted to MIT, but his family cannot afford it and he was not given a big enough scholarship.  He is later found in the attic by his sister who finds him trying to figure it all out and finds his deceased dad’s old video camera.  On it is his seventh birthday, they day his dad died.  He sees himself in the film briefly, not as a child but at the age he is now.  He tries to figure it out with his friends and finds that his dad was working on a time machine.  He and the friends finish it and start to experiment, but they aren’t paying attention to what consequences might come about them time traveling.

                I remember seeing the trailer for this movie a few years ago.  For some reason it was pushed back almost a year and a half.  I remember thinking it looked interesting but forgot about it until recently when it was released.  It looked like a new twist to the genre that could pay off and it did.  The found footage genre is grating on many people, but if it’s well done, like 2012’s Chronicle, it good and this one is.  The young cast, well, a cast of older people playing teenagers, are all very good and bring not only the right sense of humor to the film, but when needed, a set of dread, nervousness and fear.  With the shaky camera throughout the film, it’s special effects are made all the better as they stay consistent and offer something different.  The pacing is also pretty spot on and it keeps your attention enough that the movie flies by.


                The story is typical for a film about teens doing something extraordinary.  The nerd has a crush on the hot girl in school and so you can guess what happens there.  The nerd’s sister is a tomboy and his friends are the comic relief slightly nerdy version of the main character.  Outside of the ending, you won’t be surprise on the route the film takes, yet it is still enjoyable.  A time travel film that makes you think of what the consequences would be if you did this or that and its good or bad outcome is handled well throughout the film.  It has an ending that makes you think it will end one way and then keeps twisting and turning in an interesting way and was a fun experience.

                Project Almanac offers something new to the genre and it works.  There is some cussing and an unfortunate sex plot line that didn’t really need to happen, but there’s no nudity.  Give it a shot if not as a time waster one Saturday night, you won’t be disappointed.

3 stars out of 4

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Review: ‘Kingmans: The Secret Service’


                Matthew Vaughn is a very creative director whose films subject matter comes across as if he had spent years studying the subject matter.  That’s how well his films have been in my eyes in that he takes them seriously and has not only a keen eye for directing with a unique visions but to give his audience something fun to experience.  Kick Ass and X-men: First Class had something to say about how comic book movies have grown up.  Stardust was a successful effort to pay homage to fantasy and fairy tale stories.  Will Kingsman do the same justice to the spy movie?

                Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a young man who lives with his mom in a not so safe neighborhood.  He isn’t the most ethical man or someone who has got his act today.  A meeting with a man named Harry (Colin Firth) who knew Eggsy’s father offers him a chance to change his life for the better.  He will do so by joining a group of other recruits to become a spy known as the Kingsman who have been around for a long time and work in secret and work outside of any government control.  As his training starts, Harry is given a case to spy on a billionaire business man named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) who is planning to make the world a better place by any means necessary.

                Matthew Vaughn has made another successful film that brings his own brand to yet another genre, this time the British spy one.  The movie looks great and has a good pace throughout its running time and there is no scene that isn’t used to its fullest.  Firth was a slam dunk choice hear as he brings his dry British swagger to a role that could have been laughable with almost anyone else doing it.  Surprisingly, he also does action very, very well.  Egerton also does really good in his role.  I’m not familiar with him, but I can see him making a name for himself one day in movies.  He is charming, quick witted and is a great match when paired with the any other cast member.  While I have made no qualms about my disliking for Jackson, he still can bring his own brand of humor to roles and he shines here.  The rest of the cast are all able to keep up and make their own interesting spins on what could be a stereotypical character, always one of Vaughn’s strong suits in his direction.


                The story is smart and entertaining.  Actually its odd how it even got made as it makes the distinction, spot on in fact, that climate change worshippers are nuts and certain world leader with big ears are the true one percent who wish to get rid of all those little pesky middle class and poor people because he can make the world a better place.  What then happens to him was even more of a surprise, but Vaughn seems to always get away with this type of stuff.  The “controversial” church scene is nothing to worry about for Christians.  Yes, the maker’s most likely think their representation is every Christian alive because of their own ignorance and bigotry.  Real Christians however know those depicted in the church scene aren’t believers and are evil.  Saying all that, I had no problem with the scene and it worked in the context of the story.

                You already know I like the hero is ready to sacrifice everything, even his life themes, well that’s here as well.  There is a lot of language in this film, a lot.  There’s a lots of violence as well and another unnecessary sexual innuendo at the end.  If that type of thing is something you can look past, this film is smart, witty and a lot of fun.

3 stars out of 4

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Review: ‘Maggie’


                It’s been an interesting time for zombies over the past decade.  There have been some truly original concepts from The Walking Dead to Warm Bodies.  When a subject has been around for decades you would think it would get old and that there was no new way to tell the story.  As far as I know, Maggie seems like a fresh take on the zombie movie.  What would it be like to be infected and have the time to say spend your last few days before you turn with loved ones?  Did the premise work though?

                The Necroambulist virus, a virus that turns someone into the walking dead, has dwindled the population of the world and has even infected farmer’s crops causing most food to be burned.  Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is traveling to a big city to pick up his daughter from a hospital as she has been infected.  The doctors release Maggie (Abigail Breslin) into Wade’s custody telling him that she has a short time before she fully turns and will have to come back to the city for quarantine.  Wade and his wife decide to have her come home so they can enjoy her last few days together.  Maggie is struggling with what is happening to her and what the ultimate ending she will have to endure.  As she slowly turns she grabbles with those thoughts as does her family and wonder what the right thing to do with her should be.

                This film will not be for everyone, maybe not even for the hardcore zombie fans, but I think it’s a winner.  The biggest complaints I could understand would be the pacing as well as the cinematography that would understandably make some standoffish.  It was an odd choice, long shots of distortion or far away landscapes, but it was one I appreciated.  This is definitely Schwarzenegger’s best performance in a long time.  Abigail Breslin does take some getting used to in the beginning but once the film has set the tone, you appreciate her performance as well.  The rest of the cast is mostly generic, which isn’t bad in this case considering the focus is on the Schwarzenegger and Breslin.  You do feel the length of the movie, which isn’t a bad thing in this situation because it seems that that was intentional to heighten the despair, tension and nervousness surrounding the story.

                The story, while not fully new does feel like a refreshing take on the genre.  What if the zombie disease was something you can track and see happening over weeks instead of seconds.  How would you deal with it if it was a friend or a love one that was infected?  In this case, how would a father deal with it in his daughter?  While the audience most likely will be telling the television screen to just get it over with, the director does a good job of bringing across how difficult this situation would be.  In the end you really connect to these characters and attach to the sadness and frustration of what they are going through.  There is a scene at the end, and other parts of the movie but mostly the end, where the tension is so high I felt my palms sweating.  Now that’s good stuff.

                I would put this down to another big winner for the video on demand market.  It is a well-made and well-acted film.  If you love zombie films, this is very much worth your time.  Surprisingly there isn’t much gore, but there is some language.

3 stars out of 4

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Review: Pitch Perfect 2

pitch perfect 2 poster

                Pitch Perfect was a surprise success a few years ago for Universal.  On a modest budget it went on to make over one hundred million dollars in its theatrical run.  I had so much fun with it.  I even went and bought the album on iTunes that same day.  With it’s success it seemed almost inevitable that there would be a sequel.  Would it live up to the originals fans expectations though?

                The Bella’s are as popular as ever and are performing before the President of the United States when they have a big embarrassing situation happen.  That situation gets them in national trouble and gets them suspended from finishing their victory tour or even recruiting new members.  Beca (Anna Kendrick) and crew ask if they can have a chance to be reinstated if they win the world championships for a cappella which is agreed upon.  Finding a loophole the Bella’s are able to have a new member join in Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) a shy yet gifted freshman.  As they get to know their competition, the former world champs Das Sound Machine; they must find their harmony again to win.

                While it is a valiant effort, not surprising this one isn’t as good as the original, but that’s not to say it was bad.  First, the songs weren’t as memorable outside of the riff off or finale, which I was expecting for a sequel.  Second, just as Kendrick’s character feeling of the moronic way things were blown out of proportion at the beginning, it also grates on the audience. There could have been a better set up for the story.  Third, I was disappointed on how much less screen time was given to Skylar Astin and Ben Platt, who were some of the best characters from the first one.


                There was enough good stuff to make the movie worth your while.  The addition of the Brigitte Hjort Sorensen and Flula Borg who lead up the films “villains” as the heads of Das Sound Machine.  Anna Kendrick is given a slightly better character and has some of the better lines in the movie, especially dealing with the rival group’s leader.  The film still has a good energy and a cast that have great chemistry.  An out of nowhere romance in the film is also a funny bit in the film.  This was a decent directorial debut for Elizabeth Banks.  I also liked a story point that was refreshing in these types of movies.  Instead of introducing a new love interest for Kendrick’s character, they have it that the two have been dating since freshman year.  Really liked that point.

                I found two things funny in this movie that I’d like to point out.  First, the whole bad situation at the beginning turning into a national phenomenon that gets the Bella’s suspended was very well done.  I’d like to think that it is a slam at our current media and their pretending offense at every little thing and blowing it way out of proportion. It was an accident and yet no one would listen, they just wanted to whine and stick their nose up, just like the real media.  Second, and this is spoilery, but performance the Bella’s do at the end of the movie was kind of hypocritical if they were going for the whole feminist angle.  For most of the beginning they are talking about how women rule the world…then finish by saying how they need a man to lighten up their life.  Right.  Movie was still pretty fun regardless of that little detail.

                I was expecting more and was let down, but it was still a fun date movie for my wife and I.  If you liked the first one, you’ll like this sequel.

2 and ½ stars out of 4

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Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max fury road poster

Some Spoilers

                The last Mad Max film, Beyond Thunderdome, was released three decades ago and was a modest hit.  The franchise that launched Mel Gibson into super stardom seemed like it had made its run and was just happy being part of film history.  Not so for creator and director George Miller.  Fury Road had been gestating since early 2000.  Numerous stars were attached to the film, including Heath Ledger at one point and many concepts were envisioned, like a 3D cartoon.  Thankfully the stars didn’t line up for this until a few years ago.  After the teaser trailer released at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, lots of fans salivated for the eye candy and action to come.  Including yours truly.  Did it live up to the promise that teaser gave many?

                Max (Tom Hardy) is a wanderer in a dystopian future where all is desert and water and gas are in short supply.  Haunted by his past failures at protecting others, he is a loner once again trying to keep clear of the madness around him.  He is captured by the War Boys, lead by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and quickly found out to be a universal blood donor and is imprisoned at their Citadel where he is used as a “blood bag” for Nux (Nicholas Hoult).  One of Joe’s trusted soldiers; Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) has taken his beloved wife’s with her to escape his evil.   A army of Joe’s and other territories soldiers seek to get them back and Max’s is unwillingly taken with them.  Upon his escape he starts to help Furiosa keep the wife’s alive and get away from Joe.

                Yes it did, Fury Road lived up to the promise of that trailer. The story and pacing start off at a slow jog, to a steady pace, then an extremely long sprint only to settle down to take a breath before starting that extended sprint to the finish line.  This movie is gorgeous in every cinematic shot.  Just about every single camera shot is full of colors and so well pictured you could watch this film on mute and still be enthralled.  The action is incredibly choreographed, so well done and exciting, I found my palms sweating.  It is almost unbelievable that there was so little CGI in the entire film and all that action you saw was all real.  The only thing I can say that was bad about this film was when there was CGI.  Max’s haunting images of the past aren’t all that good and look cheap.  Thankfully there are not a lot of those scenes.

fury road still 3

                The acting is all incredible as well.  Tom Hardy is quiet most of the film, communicating with grunts, but his Max is definitely equal to Gibson’s.  Charlize Theron is equally good as the heroine.  You believe her to be tough and vulnerable at the same time.  Keays-Byrne does a lot with how well he delivers his lines and acting mainly with his eyes as his face is covered up the entire film.  Hoult gives the most layered performance.  It a believable and joyful transformation that shows his character starting off as a crazy loon to one that is sheepish and saves the day.  All of them are staring in a story that is pretty much just one big car chase and has the typical good versus evil in a very straight forward manner.

                 Let’s talk about the supposed feminism that was forced into the film, I will leave it to John Nolte from because he sums up just how real feminism works and it’s in this film.  “In fact, just the opposite is true. Miller’s heroines are beautiful, feminine, and breaking away from a cult of personality and its tyrannical central government. These are feminists who have come for their God-given rights, not emasculate. They don’t crybaby, they act. They don’t tell others how to behave, they fight. They don’t want to take away your rights, but they damn sure are demanding their own.  These are women too busy being strong and independent to collapse into a helpless ball of harpy outrage over imagined offenses.”  Fair enough and straight to the point with how this movie portrays that subject matter.  It’s a truthful and insightful breakdown which in all truth is weird when the creators, especially the director, are all hardcore liberals.  Only thing I’d add is that with all the feminist consultants on this picture, it was the man who came up with the plan for hope, a man who spoke plainly and everyone listened and a man who saved the heroin from death.

fury road still 1

                The moment I walked out of that theater I wanted to get in line and purchase another ticket for the immediate next showing.  I’m really glad that I also saw the film in 3D.  Not since My Bloody Valentine has 3D looked so good and been done so well.  Amazingly, there is only one scene I can remember that showed any gore and I don’t remember any cursing or there was no sex or nudity.  See this film; even if you’re not a fan of the genre, treat yourself.

4 stars out of 4

Also tried out this meme thing going around:

mad max fury road meme brandon sostre copy

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Top 10 Gangster Movies

                I have always been fascinated with everything Mafia.  I was young when I started watching old gangster films on television and even watching gangster shows like the reboot of The Untouchables series, which was really good, in 1993.  I have no idea where this fascination came from, but it’s been a hobby for some time.  Reading, movies, television shows.  Well here are Hey Buddy Movie’s top ten gangster movies.

10.          Mobsters

mobsters poster

                Unfortunately this may have you question this list as a whole because this movie is anywhere near it, but stick with me here.  This was the movie that got me hooked on the gangster/mafia genre.  This was also the first R rated movie I owned thanks to my grandma.  A previously viewed copy that I wore out.  I was a huge Christian Slater fan, which initially drew me to the film and then I became hooked and ready to watch anything about the mafia.  I found out that a lot of the film was historically accurate.  The look of the film and the colors used make much of it actually eye popping.  It also has some pretty decent dialogues, especially from F Murray Abraham.  Give it a shot if you haven’t seen it yet, it really is worth it.

9.            Road to Perdition

road to perdition poster

                Adapted from a graphic novel, Perdition is one of the better comic to film adaptations existing.  Tom Hanks plays his first villain character that the audience actually starts to feel for as he tries to protect his son from a vengeful gangster he once thought of as family.  Hanks character is a hitman with a heart.  The late great Paul Newman is very reserved in his role as head of a family that adopted Hanks as one of their own and must decide between him and his own son.  Jude Law puts in a haunting performance as the hitman hired to kill Hanks.  Not only is it an interesting story, but the direction and photography/production values are incredible.  The movie looks beautiful throughout its entire runtime.

8.            The Departed


                Odd that a Scorsese film would show up on a list like this, but here it is.  This is the one that finally got him the Oscar, even though it wasn’t his strongest effort.  This was Jack Nicholson’s last great role in a career that had a lot of great roles.  I used to have a deep seeded disliking for Leonardo Dicaprio in his early acting career, I didn’t get why he was so popular.  This is one of the roles that earn that popularity.  Everyone, Martin Sheen, Adam Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, on down to the one liners is perfectly cast here.  There is hardly a dull moment in the film and it has one heck of an ending.

7.            Donnie Brasco


                The combined greatness of Depp and Pacino is what makes this movie the success it is.  I don’t think there would have been a very good movie here if the cast was different.  Can you picture either Tom Cruise or John Travolta, both attached at one point, as Brasco?  Pacino and Depp lose themselves in these characters and it’s mesmerizing.  Top that with a based on a true story premise and you have got one good movie.  The production value on the wardrobe as well as the feeling of the era comes across perfectly on screen.

6.            The Untouchables

untouchables poster

                It would be interesting to see if this movie would have been as good if Robert de Niro wasn’t Al Capone and Sean Connery wasn’t in the wise sage role.  Both of them are the best parts of the film.  Rounded out with the star Kevin Costner as honest cop Elliott Ness and Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith to finish the group make for a fun cast.  Some great locations and some seriously good costume design make this film look authentic as well as an enjoyable movie to watch.  Filled with memorable scenes and many quotable lines, this is one to cherish.

5.            A History of Violence


                The second film on this list whose source material came from a graphic novel.  Viggo Mortneson plays a small town café owner who gets national coverage as a hero after masterfully killing two killers who were on a road trip of death.  This brings a mysterious man to his door step played by Ed Harris who thinks Viggo’s character is a mafia hitman on the run pretending to be a husband and father.  This is another one that looks great, no surprise there as it’s directed by David Cronenberg.  It has some parts that are hard to watch, so fair warning here.

4.            Eastern Promises

eastern promises poster

                Another Cronenberg/Mortenson collaboration came in the form of a Russian gangster flick.  Mortenson plays the close friend and advisor to a New York gangster’s son who has ties to the Russian mob.  The look of the film feels as gritty as the story.  The acting is phenomenal and the story has a great ending that I thought would bring on a sequel, but we have yet to even hear of one happening.

3.            Goodfellas

goodfellas poster

                This film is brilliant in almost every way.  It was a game changer for film when it came out in 1990 for many reasons.  It had unflinchingly realistic violence, multiple narrators and a quick pace that seems to build in energy.  This movie is hands down Ray Liotta’s best role and outside of The Godfather Part 2, Robert de Niro’s as well.  Add to that the brilliant performance by Joe Pesci and so much of the supporting cast and you have one of the most realistic gangster films ever made.  It’s also another great quotable film.

2.            Gangs of New York

gangs of new york poster

                Many or everyone would strongly disagree with me on this one, but I think this is Scorsese’s best film to date.  It was a film of love for him, which he developed for years and finally came to fruition in the fall of 2002.  The cinematography and production value alone is something to behold.  You can feel the dirtiness and cold through the screen.  You also get an absolutely genius performance by Daniel Day Lewis as Bill the Butcher.  The rest of the cast is great as well.  After seeing the movie I ran out and bought the book that Scorsese based his film on when he found it in the late seventies at a friend’s house.  Scorsese bring Herbert Ashbury’s fantastic historical text to life and it is awesome.  It’s an all around good film.

1.            The Godfather

godfather poster

                I don’t think anyone would argue that this film shouldn’t be number one.  Though some prefer its first sequel over this one, I have to go with this one every time.  What was missing from that sequel was the intense performance of James Caan.  The movie succeeds on practically every level.  From the genius performance of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino to the pacing and tone of the film, this film will stand the test of time again and again.

There you go, thoughts?

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