Movies

6 Underground

Wow! What an entertaining movie! The action kicks off from the start and doesn’t let down until the very end. It was quite humorous too, at times, and in contrast to the violence that would be occurring on screen. Director Michael Bay does what he does best: cars, guns, hot women, and explosions. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It reminded me of movies such as The Losers or Smoking Aces. Just pure fun. Not a whole lot of thinking needed; leave your brain at the door.

Ryan Reynolds is great as the wisecracking, enigmatic One. Mélanie Laurent is kickass as a former CIA spook, named Two. Corey Hawkins does a decent job at playing the honorable soldier and sniper, named Seven. Six was played by Dave Franco as the driver for the opening sequence: a car chase that sets the tone for the whole movie. Ben Hardy played Four, the parkour expert and former thief. Three was basically the secondary comic relief, and done well by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. And Five was the beautiful yet deadly doctor of the team, played by Adria Arjona.

All of the actors did very well, you could tell they were having fun playing their roles. And they had such a great chemistry too. Many of their interactions brought me to laughter. The villain was also done well because you truly despised him, though that would be more a testament to the writing than the actor – Lior Raz. And speaking of the writing, the movie is quite political. You can clearly see the real life parallels that they tried to accomplish. I don’t like discussing that, so I’ll let you be the judge of what propaganda they are peddling. Outside of that, it’s a solid movie. Except for the cars blowing up upon crashing, but it’s Michael Bay; it’s to be expected.

I definitely recommend this movie to watch. Be advised the violence is quite graphic; in fact, the whole movie played like it was a comic book come to life. I would watch this again with my friends and family.

Movies

Rambo: Last Blood

I went into watching this movie expecting violence. What I didn’t expect were the levels of extremity that were shown. It is downright brutal; it is relentless. This is a bleak movie, with no redemption or satisfying end. It is a movie about loss. And frankly, a movie about the blackest of hearts; a movie about pure evil. The villains are the Mexican drug cartels/traffickers. A wretched hive of villainy, completely deplorable scum who, in this movie, deserve everything that happens to them. As John Milius said, “We need to go down there, kill them all, flatten the place with bulldozers so when you wake up in the morning, there’s nothing there. I do believe if you have a military, you use it.”

Rambo: Last Blood takes this idea to heart in its execution. Our titular hero ends up bringing the full weight of one cartel down upon his head, and summarily kills every last one of them. Though this was not without reason or cause: these villains kidnapped, raped, drugged and inevitably killed Rambo’s niece. It is a story about a man who has absolutely nothing left to lose and we are to be witness to his wrath and vengeance. His brutal killings are almost an artform at this point. And his final kill was actually, while gory and nasty, well deserving for its villain. Personally it was over too quick. But I can’t complain. Our protagonist lost his soul, and our antagonist lost his heart. Who really won? Nobody.

My other gripes are several characters are pointless and they only serve to further Rambo’s story. They have no ending or point to their own selves. Such as Paz Vega, a journalist who saves Rambo and provides him with the intel needed to complete his mission of wanton death and destruction. She herself gets no closure or even writes an article. She’s a journalist in name only. The other gripe I have is 70% of the movie is in Spanish. I thought only 20% of Arizona speaks Spanish, yet there’s a disproportionate amount here. Yea, I understand when they’re in Mexico. But why the need to do it in Rambo’s home. Even he, himself, has a look on his face at times that says “please stop speaking in Spanish”.

The start of the movie has Rambo attempting to save lost hikers from a sudden deluge that leads, somehow, to a river flow down a mountain. It’s supposed to serve as a way to illustrate that Rambo still has PTSD from not being able to save lives but just comes across as corny and laughable.

In short, I don’t recommend this movie at all. Take a hard pass. This is a twisted revenge fantasy that should have remained that, a fantasy.

Movies

The Knight Before Christmas

This movie put a smile on my face. The story has been done before: a knight from the past is brought to the future to fulfil his quest, but it manages to capture the spirit of Christmas and about true love. It’s a story about being kind to others, being charitable, and caring. About putting others before yourself. Helping those in need and just being an exemplary human being.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the lead love interest opposite Josh Whitehouse who plays the titular knight. Vanessa did a really good job here with the material and came across as very likeable, and her character felt very real. I connected with her easily and established an emotional response in regards to her character’s journey. Josh did a fine job as well portraying a man lost in time, a man trying to acquaint himself in the time period he now finds himself in. They had very enjoyable chemistry together. I was very happy when they finally kissed. That was another thing I liked: their relationship didn’t feel forced. It felt organic. It blossomed naturally and didn’t feel forced by bad writing.

The side characters were also well done and although they lacked characterization, they did serve to further the character growth of the leads while still feeling like they were their own people. They felt real and not caricatures.

So if you’re looking for a feel-good movie with your significant other, or even by yourself, I’d definitely recommend watching this movie. It was really refreshing to see a movie portray a small town where people care for each other and there was nothing seriously bad or horrible or profanity/violence. I loved it.

Movies

The Wolfman (2010)

The first time I watched this movie was when it was released in theaters. I decided to rewatch it on Netflix, and I can’t believe I went and saw this in theaters. It’s just a mess. There’s good ideas in there but the execution is muddled and just bad. It’s a remake of an older movie of the same name but it takes its plot and butchers it in an attempt to make something new. It starts off so rocky and badly acted, you wonder if it’s a joke. It slowly improves though not by much. You’d think such famous actors would be doing a better job but the fault isn’t theirs alone, the writing is such a letdown.

The plot is standard for a werewolf movie. Man arrives to former home looking for lost brother. Man gets bit investigating supposed werewolf. Man turns into werewolf. Now he’s the one getting investigated. Shenanigans ensue, death happens. The man in question is Lawrence Talbot, son of John Talbot. Lawrence is played by Benicio Del Toro, John is played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, and the widow of the brother is played by Emily Blunt. Both Benicio and Anthony phone it in, they act like they don’t wanna be there, that this is a paycheck and isn’t worth the effort. Emily Blunt, on the other hand, actually tries and her character is the only one to create an emotional response.

The good part of the movie is that the transformation into a werewolf is very well done. The effects were done by Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London) and those transformation scenes are about the only true horror in the movie. Every single other bit of horror is a jump scare and after the umpteenth time, it’s just boring and downright lazy. The final “boss fight” was thankfully over quick and the werewolves were easily dispatched.

I’d recommend watching the transformation scenes on YouTube and avoiding this mess of a film. It’s not worth your time.

Movies

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

What a lovely family adventure movie! It was so refreshing to watch after many movies filled with profanity, violence and sexuality. I had a smile on my face the entire time, from start to finish. It made you feel good. It made you laugh, a lot. It was just a thoroughly enjoyable movie. That’s rare these days. Even rarer was that the puzzles in the movie were actually well done. Even better than Tomb Raider and that’s saying something.

I’ve never seen Dora, the cartoons, only heard of them. Though I now know what they look like because of a scene in the movie that briefly shows off the animation. Our titular character is played with poise and grace and just phenomenally acted by Isabela Merced (former stage name Moner). She was immediately likeable and you can’t help but smile at her presence on screen. She’s definitely a star. Her costars also deserve praise even if their characters were caricatures. Two of the animals are voiced by well known actors and they’re just great little surprises.

The plot itself is more like magical realism. Yes it takes place in the real world but at the same time, there’s a mysticism to it all. From her companion Boots, to the talking fox named Swiper, and even to the fantastical city of gold that they’re searching for. It’s like the writers were inspired by Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull but they wanted to make a good movie instead. So they nitpicked all the best elements and applied Dora to it.

Several scenes were quite entertaining and sometimes had me in stitches. It was just so funny. The jokes all nail their target audience but there’s also jokes for adults in there. Like the ending with her parents, that was incredibly funny. Speaking of her parents, they were played by Eva Longoria and Michael Peña and both did a good job for the roles they had to play.

I definitely recommend this movie to all ages, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. I’d love to watch it again with friends and family.