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Showing posts from September 17, 2017

Review: The Girl Next Door

School is nearing its end, and somewhat average Emile Hirsch (who seemed a star on the rise here) has come to a realisation I myself came to nearing the end of my own studies; Trying to list a ‘memorable moment’, he draws a blank. Then, out of nowhere, a new neighbour moves in next door. She’s blonde hottie Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert- Where the hell is she now?), and Hirsch is caught perving on her undressing. Next thing, she’s showing up at his door, and soon telling him that it’s her turn to see him naked. None of this ever happened to me, I might add. Humiliation ensues, of course, but then Hirsch’s nerdy buddies Chris Marquette and Paul Dano uncover something about Danielle’s past…she’s a porn star! They demand that he absolutely must get her in the sack, meanwhile Danielle, actually not a bad person at all, seems to have found herself a nice safe haven and a ‘normal’ life. Then her wild-eyed, unpredictable producer ex-boyfriend Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) shows up, and everything goe…

Review: Snowden

The story of former CIA/NSA analyst Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who tells his story to some journos (played by Zachary Quinto, Melissa Leo, and Tom Wilkinson) and flashes back to important moments in his life between 2004-2013. We see his military training with the Marines, his recruitment by CIA boss Corbin O’Brian (Rhys Ifans), his relationship with girlfriend Lindsay (Shailene Woodley), and his growing discomfort with the surveillance tactics used by the CIA and NSA that he feels compelled to leak to the public at large. Timothy Olyphant and Nic Cage play a CIA agent and one of Snowden’s mentors in the agency, respectively.

If you genuinely are invested in the issues at hand or if are in the tank for Edward Snowden as director Oliver Stone (“Platoon”, “JFK”) and his co-writer Kieran Fitzgerald (who previously scripted Tommy Lee Jones’ “The Homesman”)appear to be, you may be utterly fascinated and impressed by this 2016 biopic. I’m not and was not. Playing at times like a…

Review: Kickboxer: Vengeance

Alain Moussi is Kurt Sloane, whose brother Eric (the late Darren Shahlavi) is killed in a Muay Thai fight by the fearsome, god-like Tong Po (David ‘Batista’ Bautista), champion of underground fights held at the latter’s temple/training compound in Thailand. Enraged, Kurt attempts to kill Tong Po in his sleep, but his assassination attempt is thwarted and he is kicked off the premises. Trying a different tact, Kurt decides to approach his brother’s trainer, Master Durand (Jean-Claude Van Damme) in the hopes of getting him to train him so that he can defeat Tong Po in a fight to the death. Durand reasons that he doesn’t want to train another person to get killed by Tong Po, but eventually reluctantly agrees when he sees the kid is adamant. Meanwhile, Kurt develops a relationship with a local cop (Sara Malakul Lane) investigating the underground fight scene. Georges St. Pierre plays a fighter/doorman at the compound who may or may not be trustworthy, Gina Carano is a shonky fight promote…

Review: The Rocketeer

Set in the late 1930s, test pilot Bill Campbell comes into possession of a jet pack that is sought after by evil, swashbuckling movie star Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton) and the mobsters he’s in league with (led by Paul Sorvino), as well as Howard Hughes himself (played by Terry O’Quinn), who is working with the FBI, and who is the original owner of the rocket pack. Campbell, aided by his mechanic buddy Peevy (Alan Arkin) give the gizmo a test run. After a few joy rides, the press have gotten wind of this and dub Campbell ‘The Rocketeer’, alerting the attention of the baddies. When Campbell’s actress girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) gets mixed up with rapscallion Sinclair, The Rocketeer must fly into action. Tiny Ron turns up as an ugly, hulking henchman, and Ed Lauter is an FBI guy.

This 1991 Disney superhero effort from Joe Johnston (“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “Jumanji”) is the kind of likeable, cornball, Saturday matinee stuff that would remind the adults of 1991 of the adventure…

Review: Half Nelson

Ryan Gosling plays a smart, idealistic young high school history teacher who is also addicted to crack, something one of his students (Shareeka Epps) discovers when she walks in on him, strung-out in the toilets one day. She has her own problems associating with dealer Anthony Mackie, for whom Epps’ brother took the rap and is currently serving time. Whilst he’s teaching the class about opposing forces that collide to form a change, he’s fighting over Epps (whom he develops an unusual friendship with) with Mackie, whom we just know has seedy plans for her. But is the troubled Gosling, teacher or not, someone Epps should be protected by or from?

Ugly-looking but well-acted 2006 Ryan Fleck (his debut) film kept me interested longer than a film about a drug addict normally would. Gosling’s excellent performance is the primary reason for this (and I’ve not always been a fan), but I also had a teacher in High School who was a bit like him, a fairly cool guy who related well to his students…

Review: Shin Godzilla

Japan is besieged by disaster believed by the PM to be the result of an underwater volcano, and the Government heads gather to debate an appropriate and hopefully swift response. And that’s when the bombshell is dropped: This isn’t any of the usual natural disasters, but the destruction caused by a radioactive giant lizard, something that nerdy Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroki Hasegawa was laughed at for initially suggesting. Apparently the Americans have known about the possibility of the creature’s existence for quite some time, and a special envoy is sent from America to help out. She’s Ann Patterson (Satomi Ishihara) Japanese-American daughter of a U.S. Senator. Anyhoo, the creature (dubbed ‘Godzilla’ by the Americans) keeps mutating and growing in size, breathing fire and shooting lasers from its eyes. And yet the politicians keep dithering. Japan is fucked, y’all.

Aside from the 1954 original “Gojira” and the classic all-star monster mash “Destroy All Monsters!” I probably …

Review: Empire of Corpses

Set in a bizarro 1878 blend of steampunk and literary character names, medical student Dr. John Watson is hired/blackmailed by the British government to locate ‘Victor’s notes’, the lost diary of Victor Frankenstein. His employer of course is named ‘M’, and M’s secretary is named Moneypenny. Of course. Dr. Watson himself is an avid admirer of Dr. Frankenstein and has been secretly working on the resurrection of dead tissue, culminating in the revival of his best friend (and possible lover, if you want to read into things a bit too much than likely intended) Friday to become his faithful manservant and bodyguard. Accompanied by a British soldier named Burnaby, they are to venture to Afghanistan to follow up on a potential lead as to the whereabouts of ‘Victor’s notes’. They are to locate a man named Alexei Karamazov (!), a Russian scientist (!!). Other involved characters are named Ulysses S. Grant and Thomas Edison, because why the hell not?

Pretty much what you’d expect a Japanese an…